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23 August 2012 @ 08:30 pm
Carcassonne!  

Churchbells ring like crazy at a quarter to eight, here. It gives one the impression that the village had best be up and about by now, not lying around like lazy slug-a-beds. :)

We had not planned any French Adventures yesterday, as my parents were arriving for their part of this vacation. I’d thought I could get quite a lot of writing done. Sadly, poor Young Indiana had a French Adventure of his own and was sick all of Tuesday night, so yesterday was pretty much a total wash. He’s feeling better now, poor lil guy.

Today we went to the citadel of Carcassonne, which is utterly amazing. It’s a walled citadel dating from the 1200s, although it apparently fell into huge disrepair and was totally restored in the mid-1800s. I could spend two weeks in the citadel alone. It’s just stunning. We ran out of steam before seeing the inner citadel and the cathedral, so we may actually go back, since it’s not like we’re going to see Everything here anyway. But wow, so completely awesome. And so very–

See, some years ago, not long after moving to Dublin, I came around a corner into an alleyway that was filled by two mounted policemen. It was an extremely startling, and for me as a fantasy novelist, visceral, encoutner. One reads about that all the time in books, but actually experiencing the unexpected size and breadth of the horses, and the fairly significant height of the riders, within the context of an actual medieval streetway, is pretty powerful. And Carcassonne’s citadel is filled with streets that are only just a little wider than a man’s reach, so putting those two pieces of physically-experienced imagery together gains increasing impact. Add to it the awareness that the streets were mucky, not cobbled, and filled with people–10,000 at Carcassonne’s medieval peak–and the reality of the cities you’re trying to build becomes all the more vivid. It’s wonderful.

And then there were sudden open spaces: market places, I imagine, or that’s certainly what they’re cast as in the cityscape of my mind. A single dominating church, with a huge courtyard of its own and broad streets leading to it, but all the streets leading to the broad one are narrow and twisty. I’m loving it.

Also, because so much fantasy seems to draw on French language in particular and culture in general, there’s a part of my mind that sees all the signs and notices in French and just sort of…thinks it’s in an epic fantasy novel. *laughs*

Through sustained effort I reached 15K on this book. Again. 3rd time. Said as much to my husband, who said, “Good. Now just do that 5 more times and you’ll be done.” *laughs* I’m not sure that was *exactly* the response I was looking for, but hey… :)

18617 / 70000 words. 27% done!

(x-posted from the essential kit)

 
 
 
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on August 23rd, 2012 05:18 pm (UTC)
Poor Indy. I'm glad he's feeling better.
As to Carcassonne... all I can say is, go to Bruges... Ils sont formidables, tous les deux.
Aberdeenaberdeen on August 23rd, 2012 08:23 pm (UTC)
Before I splat on the couch for a nap, having survived the first day of students, I wanted to note that /4/ kids, without any intervention or prompting from me, were determined to read Urban Shaman for their SSR book. (Four kids for whom the reading level is appropriate, even.) I told them I'd get more copies, if they each read a few pages and were sure they wanted it. They did, and they did.

Out of 5 bookcases full of novels of various lengths, nearly 6% of Kotlik 7th - 12th grade students chose C.E. Murphy. (:
kitmizkit on August 24th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
Oh my god. That is...about the most awesome thing ever. Wow.

Maybe I should send you some copies of these books I'm writing for Breic. They're aimed at 9-12 year olds, and it'll be a few years before they're Officially Published, but...I mean, if you think they'd *read* them...
Aberdeenaberdeen on August 24th, 2012 01:18 am (UTC)
That would be awesome! Yes. Just from what you've said about them, I can think of a couple boys who would be interested. There is, I am happy to note, more interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy, this year, than there has been. More kids willing to branch out beyond the "culturally relevant" books they usually pick.
Also, one of the girls was very impressed, as she read the About the Author page, to see that you had your own website, so I promised she could look at it, the first time we go to the lab. (;
Flitterbyflit on August 25th, 2012 02:18 am (UTC)
I love the awesomeness of walking around! In an epic fantasy novel!

Of course, since you're in Carcassonne I keep thinking you're walking around in a game....