I needed to get the wheels going once again on my concept-outline of The Next Novel. In no time at all I had fallen, like Alice in Wonderland, into what I think of as The Black Hole of Research. I emerged at 1:30, eyes-crossed, brain-numb, having forgotten to eat, much less even move.


1652: young Athénaïs is at her family chateau in Lussac and the Court is near-by in Poitiers. All I wanted to know is what Lussac was like, and what her family chateau looked like (and if it still existed). As well I wanted to know where the Court would likely have been housed while in Poitiers. In all this day, I didn’t find out very much about Lussac, and I didn’t even get to Poitiers.

As for the family chateau—there is a museum of prehistory that claims to be housed there (or what’s left of it): so I got that far. But no images. Perhaps the most sparky bit of information I got in all this is that her family’s motto was “Ante mare undae”—”Spirit surpasses matter.” That’s a sweet little detail.