I didn’t coin the category, “On the Blog Rhoad with Rusty”–that came from our beloved Char Chaffin. But today it certainly fits. Instead of sitting with my butt in my ergonomically-designed chair and nose to my computer grindstone, I’m off site-seeing. In France.
But I’m also checking one of the top items off my bucket list–see the Cro-Magnon cave art. It’s been on my list for a long time. 55 years at least. And those things are important. So Lis, the narrator of my current work in progress, is just going to have to cool her jets this week.
These trips are important all on their own. This art has been here 10-15,000 years! People very much like us, the offbeats and wild thinkers and artists of the community, put these here. Not for us to enjoy–that’s just serendipity. But for reasons of their own. Just like why we sit in the chair day after day, coaxing our characters to show a little more enthusiasm about what you’re doing, dammit.
But you can always use what you see and what you imagine in a novel later.
I don’t have any novels–so far–with a significant part of the action taking place in France. Since what I write has an Arthurian tie-in somehow (although generally contemporary), I tend toward England and Wales. Closest I’ve come is a paragraph where Merlin and the Holy Grail stop by King Ban’s kingdom in Brittany and see Lancelot training as a 9-year-old on their way back home.
I once set a part of a novel in a small town on the Welsh-English border, Hay-on-Wye. Never having had the fortune of going there, I Web-searched it best I could and wrote away with my typical self-confidence. The following year, while the book was in edit, I had the opportunity to actually take a side-pilgrimage to Hay-on-Wye during a business trip. Wow, it was nothing like I’d imagined. Had to significantly rewrite the details. At least I got to write that day’s travel off my income taxes.
*** NOTE: the writer of this blog is NOT qualified to give tax advice. Caveat emptor.
(images, top to bottom, are from Lascaux, Grotte de Font-deGaume, and Grottes de Cougnac)