I am going to Carcassonne for the first time tomorrow. I have a soft spot for any walled city or castle and a deeply romantic yearning for the medieval. I think I have dragged my poor parents to every single Norman castle in Wales and one of my earliest memories is being told off for using the clothes prop as a lance. I can only have been five.
You can guess that I am really excited.
However this trip has absolutely nothing to do with my current work-in-progress The Wedding Ghost, nor any other writing I have on the back-burner. It certainly has no relevance to selkies. So what is the point?
First of all, it is a creative respite: in Julia Cameron’s terms, a chance to refill my well. I have been bashing the first draft of my ghost story and I’m pretty drained. Something unrelated yet inspiring gets the muse going again, I often find. Besides a little French cuisine and culture is all to the good.
Secondly, you never know, it might start something off. I do not think I would be treading on Kate Mosse‘s toes if I were to write my sort of fantasy adventure prompted by Carcassonne. A. she is far too generous a writer to mind, B. I don’t think I could manage such involved doorstops as she does and C. it would end utterly transformed by the time I’d finished with it if any of my other locations are anything to go by. Scoresby is not Scarborough, Selchester is not Chichester nor Selsey and The Isle of Wythering exists in some dark space on the South Coast entirely of its own.
Thirdly, it is a deliberate distraction. My MA novel provisionally titled The Seal People of Scoresby Nab is out there: somebody professional is reading it. I am understandably nervous yet I need to focus on what I am supposed to be doing now. I cannot emend my work by telekinesis so worrying about it is fruitless. Hence a trip away thanks to The Beloved Husband.
I am a very lucky wife and writer, I realise. I expect this will stoke me up for quite a while. I shall report back soon.
Which new place would you chose to set your muse singing?