Welcome to A Year with Mona…. Lisa, that is. My name is Matt Randles and in July 2015, I left the grey skies of Seattle with my family for the grey skies of Paris. We spent a year in France, experiencing life in another culture. Here you’ll find my writings about life among the French, my progress in writing a novel, and whatever else strikes my fancy.
What can you expect? Stories. Photos. Insights. Some of it is quintessential Paris. Some is off-the-beaten path Paris. And plenty is about our real-life, non-travel-guide experiences.
Like joining a cover band in Paris. Driving in a foreign country. Figuring out how to bake with foreign ingredients and kitchen stocked with plenty of escargot-eating-tools but no measuring spoons. Visiting the most opulent Starbucks ever and making friends with other writers.
It’s not all days of wine and roses. We’ve had our share of head-scratching moments. Getting cell phone service is an adventure fraught with far too much mystery and drama. And bureaucracy is the French national pastime.
We were here for the Paris terror attacks. I’ve had a mugging occur right in from of me on the métro and witnessed a very public fight between a couple right along the Seine. I’ve even had surgery here!
And then there are the posts on what it’s like writing a speculative fiction novel in the city of Hemingway. Is there a better place to write? I spent a week writing in Colmar in the Alsace region–and ended up getting locked in my hotel room. Maybe I’ll stick to the Parisian cafés…
Thanks for stopping by.