Tranquility du Jour #402: A Paris Year + Giveaway

A Paris Year with Janice MacLeod. In this week’s edition of Tranquility du Jour, Janice shares the inspiration behind her new beautiful book, how life has changed since writing Paris Letters, her favorite spots in Paris, and kindly assists me in pronunciation {lots!}. Giveaway: leave a takeaway from this podcast in the comment section below by Friday, August 11 to enter to win a copy of Janice’s new book!

Tranquility du Jour #402: A Paris Year


Direct download: Tranquility du Jour #402: A Paris Year

Upcoming Events

Writing in the Woods in West Virginia: October 27-29

Yoga, Mindfulness + Creativity in Costa Rica: February 17-24

Yoga + Art in West Virginia: May, 2018 TBA

Featured Guest: Janice MacLeod-Lik

I am the artist behind Paris Letters, a painted letter series sent out via snail mail to those who crave getting fun snail mail from the land of fromage, rosé  and lippy waiters.

After a childhood in Canada that was just dysfunctional enough to make me funny, I became an advertising copywriter and eventually an associate creative director. Most of my time was spent in top agencies throughout the USA and Canada, because I’m kinda into fame. And modesty. I’m humble, too. And perfect.

Paris Letters
After 110 years of writing junk mail in advertising, I devised an exit strategy to finance my own sabbatical. My Shawshank Redemption, if you will. When I met my financial goal, I skipped town and traveled with nothing more than my suitcase and a small set of watercolors. Along the way, I painted letters about my travels and mailed them to friends. Enamored with this unique medium, I opened an online shop. Each month I create one painted letter, copy it, personalize it and mail it to hundreds of subscribers who are hungry for fun mail.

While in Paris, I met the lovely Christophe, who built me a closet so I would finally unpack my suitcase. I’ve been an embarrassment to the French language ever since. We got hitched and hit the road. Now we’re hanging our hats in the Rocky Mountains.

I wrote the New York Times best selling book Paris Letters (Sourcebooks, 2014), which is really a long-form version of this About page. But with more pictures.

If Paris Letters is about BECOMING an artist in Paris, A Paris Year is about BEING an artist in Paris.

Part memoir and part visual journey through the streets of modern-day Paris, France, A Paris Yearchronicles, day by day, my daily discoveries in the world’s most beautiful city. This is more than a diary or travel journal: it’s a detailed and colorful love letter to one of the most romantic and historically rich cities on earth.

Before all this crazy Paris-themed goodness, I co-wrote two books: The Breakup Repair Kit (Conari Press, 2003) and The Dating Repair Kit (Conari Press, 2006).

I have had airtime on TV shows such as Tyra Banks Show and Movie & A Makeover. I’ve also been featured in magazines such as Elle, National Geographic, Canadian Living, Canadian Family, Cosmopolitan, Chatelaine, Glamour, Flare, Psychologies, Huffington Post, The New York Times… whew… long list, Psychologies, Renegade Collective, Business Insider, and and and… the list continues.

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  1. Frances says:

    This was such a fun podcast and I am loving the book!! Literally savoring every page – thank you for having Janice on and its good to see she is Canada with a baby! Take away – time to savor my moments and get back my me time!! Thanks for the gentle reminder!

  2. Kimberly Wilson says:

    Thank you SO much for all your thoughtful comments and takeaways. I’m delighted that you, too, enjoyed the interview. Janice is so much fun! Using random number generator, the winner is KATHERINE of Kudos, Katherine. Email me your snail mail addy and Janice will get a book your way. xo

  3. Carrie says:

    One of my favorites… well done!
    My biggest takeaway from this delightful episode was Janice’s premise that “A Paris Year” is meant to help inspire us see the beauty and importance in the details. That concept inspired my photo prompt for today in Susannah Conway’s “August Break”. The prompt was “one wish”, and I decided on a photo of a mason jar of zinnia my husband picked for me, with the explanation that my one wish is to always see the beauty in the simple things.
    I also love loved your discussion about flaneur and the concept. I believe she called it a ‘slroll’ a slow stroll, haha. So cute!

  4. Tami Kowal says:

    I think this might be one of my most favorite podcast episodes of yours to date, Kimberly! Janice made it a very visual listen which was so lovely. I loved the emphasis on being in the moment! It seems I cannot be reminded of this enough and the way it was expressed in this podcast truly resonated. I sometimes like to look at my environment as though I am traveling so that I can see it with fresh eyes… It gives a whole new appreciation!

  5. I love the discussion around “thinking in colors” and how she saw things differently once she focused on the color palette. And, of course, the description of the paper and her inspiration via a daybook — because I can relate oh so well. Loved this episode!

  6. Krystal says:

    Loved this interview with Janice! The biggest takeaway for me was the importance of being in the moment – looking at your environment with a fresh perspective and appreciating all that is around you.

  7. Kristi Poehlmann says:

    Loved this podcast – so many take-always. I’m heading on vacation and have downloaded it to listen again. The biggest take-away for me was to take a slow walk and enjoy the moment. I telecommute for work and I am always worried about being online…..why not take a walk after lunch and walk slowly, take in all the beautiful nature around me. Thank you for this podcast and interview – just wonderful! I have never been to Paris so I appreciated the education on greeting. Is the same true in Montreal? If so, I haven’t done so, but will on my next visit!

  8. Kayla says:

    I took so many notes that it’s hard to choose just a few take aways! It was a wonderful podcast that whisked my mind away to Paris for 45 minutes. I love the idea of a snail mail letter subscription. Lately, there has been nothing I love more than getting mail that isn’t junk or bills! The idea of taking a cooking class when traveling is an amazing idea. I thought of all the places I’ve traveled to and how I would’ve loved to take a cooking class that taught me how to cook or bake authentic food of the country. That will definitely be on my list of things to do during my future trips. I think the most important take away for me was when you said to look at other’s art for inspiration and not comparison. I find myself doing the opposite of that frequently and I’m teaching myself to be kind and gentle with myself when learning a new creative skill.

    Great podcast, Kimberly! As always, I’m anxiously awaiting your next one! xoxo

  9. Kirsten says:

    What a fantastic listen with you and Janice. During the listen, images of the places kept appearing in my mind.

    I heard so many takeaways but here are my favorites: writers need big tables which is so true. I especially loved compare to yourself-see others as inspiration not as comparison. A slow stroll allows you to notice the details around you.

    The last time I was in Paris, I was all about the mille-feuilles (Napoleons)’ and absolutely had to have one every afternoon.

  10. Katherine says:

    There are few podcasts I keep on my phone, and both interviews with Janice Macleod are on my saved list! My biggest takeaway is that it is ok to remember (and document) the bit that are important to us, and forget the rest! I’m inspired to open up my box of random Paris ephemera from my trip 11 years ago and finally document it in a way that makes sense to me, focusing on the parts that stand out to me, and (finally) throw out the rest of the ephemera that I can’t even remember where they came from!

  11. Renae says:

    Deeeelightful show!! So good that I listened to it twice!! Love her humor=)…and her description of a Paris Christmas color palette was spellbinding…(I’d read a whole book on just that=)!!
    …Kimberly, how about an interview with the “Paris in Bloom” author Georgianna Lane, if she’s on your radar=)?!

  12. Laura says:

    I adored the podcast! I especially loved the story of how she turned her everyday journaling and letters into a book. It makes me feel like I don’t have to write “for” any specific goal or end game, but that I should just WRITE, because you never know what you will end up with! I also loved imagining her discovering that beautiful daybook and getting the idea to create her second book. How fun!

  13. Allison says:

    As someone who has also run away to Paris (with the help and inspiration of Kimberly’s yoga and art journaling workshops during my 8 years in DC), this podcast was such a helpful reminder to look up and appreciate the colors, architecture, etc. that you start to take for granted when you’ve lived/worked in a place for a time…I think this applies to life in any city, but was especially poignant to hear it applied to my own! Merci!

  14. Lindsay says:

    Wow – this book sounds amazing with a mix of memoir/travel/photos and paintings! I love the concept of a “yearbook” of your life, and think it’s an amazing idea for us all.

  15. Judy says:

    Both books are on their way to me. I love it she had the ‘nerve’ to uproot and make the move and write about it too. We should all live our lives.

  16. Kristen says:

    I’m so glad you did this show! I saw the (gorgeous!) book at Barnes & Noble last week and it was immediately on my wishlist! It was wonderful to learn about how it came to be. I really appreciated hearing about the year of writing/compiling work (doing the January things in January, February things in February, etc.). Also, I’m making note of a couple of the spots you mentioned, for my next visit to Paris. Thanks for the continued inspiration! xoxo

  17. Monica says:

    I have been WAITING for this podcast! I love “Paris Letters” and devoured “A Paris Year”. I am not the biggest fan of where I am living right now, and I am trying to see the area with fresh eyes and a new perspective. Thank you, Janice, for your lovely books and letters (I’m a subscriber). And thank you, Kimberly, for your wonderful podcast!

  18. Debralyn says:

    I love that she said she did the book for herself and thought others would enjoy it too. Such an inspiration for someone like me who is just beginning the journaling process. I love that the colors align with the seasons. The way Janice describes the paper (as a paper geek myself) of the daybook she found and the way both of you talk about the cover of her book. Buy don’t bake macaroons LOL Very enjoyable listen.

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