Where’s Maria?

Tomorrow we begin a one-week tour de France that will end in Paris on October 15th, where we’ll be staying until the 22nd. The Frenchman will be working, as he has duties there every couple of months. I’ll be writing, visiting the Bibliotheque Nationale to research for my La Maupin novel. Friends of the Frenchman there who work in the art archives will hopefully be able to provide me a gander at period artwork depicting the Opera House and other important landmarks.

I’m insanely excited. I’ve got that mental twitch where I’m constantly ticking off what I need to see, sketch, photograph. I have a list of French books I need to look at, but first I need to see what I can download from the Bibliotheque in advance because photocopying there is extremely expensive. Like, $.60/page. Yeah. And that’s if the document is in good shape. Otherwise, no copying at all.

Our Gothic and terribly romantic vacation will take us first to the amazing Carcassonne for lunch, then to the Pays Basque. We’ll make our way up north to Brittany for a couple of days, then Normandy, where we’ll see the D-Day beaches and meet The Frenchman’s sisters and their families. In Normandy, we’ll stay for a night at Mont Saint-Michel in L’Hotel Mere Poulard. This place is so haunted I can hear the haints wailing all the way from here. It’s the castle that inspired the design of Minas Tirith in Peter Jackson’s Return of the King. After that, our romantic getaway will peak in the Norman fairytale village of Honfleur.

This is going to be a fantastic two weeks, but overall I’m dying to return to Paris. I can’t tell you often I’ve been teased by French people about being the reincarnation of La Maupin. I have no illusions that that’s the case here, but I do know that I have an intense connection to the birthplace of my lover that is pretty incomprehensible. (Although Les Catacombes are pretty rockin’. Do I need another reason?)

You can read about my previous adventure in Paris starting here (I landed on January 22, 2004), then continuing here and here.

Yesterday, I wrote 1500 words, but for Cold Hands, Cold Heart. That’s my modern version of “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen, where Kay is a woman instead of a little boy. When I started the story last year, I named the lead demon Rezendi after my friend Jon Evans. Yesterday, I had a blaze of inspiration to finish, complete with a scene where the demons find themselves on Hollywood Boulevard getting their pictures taken by German tourists in front of the Chinese Theater as they plot murder. First draft is almost done. I’m hoping to have it out in the publishing rounds by next month.

Back to planning and writing…

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