A Failure of Google-Fu

Aside

I’m running into an issue with my research for the medieval murder mystery. Not everything I want to know is online! Or, if it is, it isn’t in English! I know … shocking.

I’m working on the language aspect. My French reading skills are getting better so, if I can find documentation in French, I may even be able to read it. Someday. Soon. I hope.

More worrisome, my google-fu is failing me. I’m just not discovering important things, like where the heir to Burgundy was to be found in 1418 (he wasn’t lost. I just can’t find him). I have no idea of the name of the mistress of Chateau Montbrun in 1427, or the list of convents and/or monasteries to be found in Guyenne, Provence, or Burgundy in the fifteenth century. How hard should that be, really?

One of the benefits to writing historical fiction is that I can use my imagination to fill in the blanks. But when do I decide that the information is not out there and it isn’t just that I’ve failed to find it?

Not surprised

Aside

I’ve been posting, on Facebook and elsewhere, the fact that what is going on at a national, political level, is just not normal! And yet? I’ve already lost my surprise. I’m no longer shocked that the party in power is making the changes it is, making the demands that it is, proposing the laws that it is. None of these are right, none of them are helpful, so many of them are, at root, simply mean, shortsighted, and wrong.

But surprised? Nope. They have no shame and I expect nothing more from them.

And so do these atrocities become normal.

Je lirai

Aside

At my French class last week, I was asked why I’m studying the language. I used to have a good answer: a short version, a long version, a self-deprecating one. But when I was asked the question last week, I realized that my answer had changed.

I had begun my language learning journey mostly because it’s something that I’ve tried several times before and had not succeeded at. It’s not the only thing I’ve failed at in my life (poker was an especially humbling and costly lesson) but this one seemed like something that would be challenging while being both interesting and intellectually satisfying.

It’s been all of those things, but now it might be useful as well. My past interests suggested that I set my current novel-in-progress in the Medieval era. My current language studies suggested I set the novel in France. As I do more and more research it will surprise no one that much of the research that I want is not available in English.

It seems that I’ll need to focuse more of my language studies on reading, and academic reading at that!