Friday, August 31, 2007

I'm leaving on a jet plane....

Hello everyone,

I shall in the future finish my thoughts regarding Deathly Hallows and the Harry Potter series as a whole, but I do not have the time right now to do the subject justice. I would rather not post than to post something that is not worthwhile reading.

Those who have read my essays on the series in the past know that I go into elaborate detail and quote from the source to ease understanding.

I don't have the time, because I'm leaving in about 48 hours to go on a long fact-finding trip.

Yes, I am traveling to France to research my novel set in the time of Charlemagne.

I am so excited over this and have been feverishly consulting multiple travel guide books, websites, maps, et cetera to plan my itinerary.

I will be taking copious pictures and am hoping to upload some of those to this blog while on my journey.

Recently I tried uploading a picture for the first time to this blog and it didn't work. I wondered what I did wrong and then the next day saw another blogger who routinely posts pictures complaining about Blogger's uploading glitch. Hopefully the next time I try, it will work.

If not, I plan on putting many pictures on my future website.

Here are some of the places I will be visiting and not necessarily in this order:

Paris -
Musée Carnavalet
Musée national du Moyen-Age
Musée de l'Armée
Institut du Monde Arabe
St. Gervais-St. Protais
La Conciergie
Petit Palais
La Crypt Archaeologique
and seeing what is left of the ancient city fortifications

Saint Antonin-Noble-Val
Forêt de Gresigne
Les Baux-des-Provence

I'm also planning on going on a hunt for sites associated with an obscure saint from history.

Saint Nauphary, also known as Saint Namphasius or Namphaise.

According to legend at one time he had been a soldier in Charlemagne's army, then left to live the life of a hermit. After doing some searching I found his legend online that mentions a few towns in rural Quercy that I shall visit. As I read the automated English translation of that page, I came across the improbable sentence:

"A convent of chocolate éclairs will succeed to him which will have a tragic destiny: the nuns fall into paganism and sacrifice children to the gods of the abysses."

It is the convent of chocolate éclairs that I find most intriguing. I'll look, but am not certain that I shall find the mythical convent of tasty baked goods, but I can't pass up the opportunity.

If any of you reading this post are from France or have visited these sites and wish to give me travel tips, please post them.

My plan is that after this trip that I shall embroider detail to my manuscript and then work to make it as tight as possible and start querying widely. Then I shall start writing Volume 2.

Until next time,



B said...

I am so jealous! Enjoy your trip! Keep your eyes peeled particularly for those chocolate eclairs- if that convent exists I shall be taking orders!

L.C.McCabe said...

I'll be satisfied if I can find a convent of chocolate croissants.

Or just a patisserie in one of those towns that St. Nauphary is associated with in that legend.

I hope to find the pillars of his tomb where epileptics go and are cured.

In less than 48 hours I shall be in the air and starting my journey!


L.C.McCabe said...

Arie gave me permission to post his comments to my blog. He wrote this while I was in France.

Dear L.O.O.N.,

Though not from France (I'm Dutch) and so unable to give you tips for your trip, I'm still writing a quick email in the hope I can spare you a huge disappointment: I'm afraid you won't find a convent of chocolate éclairs, at least not in Quercy :(

The original of the text you quote reads "Un couvent de religieuses lui succédera qui aura un destin tragique : les nonnes tombent dans le paganisme et sacrifient des enfants aux dieux des abîmes". You probably already see what happened, the Babelfish Translator Devil has struck again:
"religieuses" is simply the plural feminin of "religieux", (which is more properly translated as "monk" by Babelfish), so it was just a convent of religious women, nuns. Though probably not very Christian ones, as Babelfish correctly told you they did "reconvert" (?) to paganism and sacrificed children, which is not really a pious thing to do if you are a nun, nor even if you are not.

I'm not sure why this translation was selected (according to Wikipedia, a "religieuse" is a chocolate éclair shaped to resemble a nun, but that seems rather a secondary or tertiary meaning of the word...) but it just goes to show that you always need to take the results of a computer translation with a grain of sweet :)!

Have a good journey and enjoy your time in France (but why not take a quick trip through the Chunnel, guaranteed goblinfree however deep it goes, to London and Platform 9 ¾ as well?).

Best regards,

Arie Schenkeveld

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