Hallo Dear Reader,
The making of my book – Mademoiselle Puss in Provence – was inspired by years of teaching the French language through my own patented La Sorbonne system of storybooks.
My students from our magical mountain village, Topanga, where I lived for 16 years, inspired me to write this story. Their impulsive, naive joy fed me for many years – we laughed and created and learned and had cake and tea weekly. And thousands of photos keep my memory sharp. Taking pictures of children in the moment, takes a certain skill and much experience. You have to be fast, in the moment, and look at them through the eyes of love. These images prepared me to create the images for Mademoiselle Puss.
I have never liked the original Puss in Boots story by Charles Perrault. Sorry, Monsieur Perrault. The cat was clever, the human not. The cat was conniving and manipulative, and the human got his princess not through his own doing, but the cat’s craftiness.
Not much of a message for 21st century young ones.
So, I wrote my own modern version of the story. And set it in Provence, from where I have many back-packing young-poor-student memories. Beautiful, romantic and free, I was also aimless, drifting and in search of guidance, and … lonely. I desperately needed a Puss in my life. But life instead taught me, and it took a while.
The older me, more settled but still wild, gathered up all my memories and entwined them with a little fairytale fancy. I shot photos of the characters, created collage images with paper and glue, sent my creations to a brilliant graphic designer in Sri Lanka to re-create digitally, and through trial and error, voilà, Mademoiselle Puss in Provence!
I have never been good at making money, or earning it, despite my talents. Making this book was no different. So, I reached out to my community through Indiegogo and asked for help. It takes guts and humility, believe me. Who ever wants the world to know that you are poor?
Here below, is the wonderful little YouTube video that Hannah Johnson made for us to raise the money, and we did. And the book was made. And you can purchase it here! For only $13. I constantly think of poor people, believe me 🙂
May it bring you moments of magic and belief in yourself! And may you not be poor, but rich with LIFE!
To Puss! To Victoire! And to Provence!
The Making of Mademoiselle Puss in Provence!
Hallo Dear Reader,