I started this blog two years ago, a year before 13 rue Thérèse came out. It is still put-putting along to record some of the random firings that sometimes occur in my braincase. Yay me! Speaking of random firings, In the Red was horribly stuck for a long time. Then I started spending all my time thinking about this weird religious ecstatic from late medieval France who’s occasionally made appearances in my head. I was planning on making her my next book, but I was like, fuck it, since I’m not writing anything, I might as well work on this. I wrote a few pages in her wigged-out voice. Then I did a whole bunch of research about random late medieval stuff. They had the most fascinating mental illnesses back then. There was about a 200 year span from the 15th to the 17th century where it was fairly common for people who were probably schizophrenics to suffer from something called The Glass Delusion. They believed they were literally made of glass, which made them terrified they would break, and also that people could see through them to their very souls. A pretty awesome allegory for the human condition, if you ask me. Apparently, King Charles VI of France suffered from this ailment and wore protective padded clothing during his psychotic breaks to keep from getting shattered. (And then the English were like, hey, the French king is fucking nuts! Let’s invade and take his country. And thus began the Hundred Years War.) For a completely fascinating take on the glass delusion, check out this article.
Speaking of madness and the Hundred Years War, did you know that Joan of Arc’s field marshal was a child-raping serial killer? What. The. Fuck. Well, um, at least it’s reassuring to know that murderous sexual predators are not an innovation of the modern world.
History is so fascinating when you begin to delve into the fucked up personalities of the seemingly sterile actors in your textbooks. Anyway, this was an interesting little side trip that had the additional benefit of getting me unstuck: I wrote a few pages of In The Red today. So maybe the answer is to toggle back and forth between two novels while working. Either this will keep me from losing the rest of my fraying wits, or it will completely finish the job. Stay tuned.
Let us close with a public service announcement for my fellow Americans: If you’ve been watching the electoral process lately and thinking, Jesus, I would vote for a ham sandwich over any of these dudes, I recommend googling some of the hunchbacked insane homicidal venereally-diseased kings that used to run things in Europe and reflecting that democracy is indeed the worst form of government, except for all the other ones.
Those are fascinating tidbits of history. Thanks for the links.
As for switching back and forth between books, I’ve found that that helps me as well. It’s like writing ADD. Whenever I fizzle out on one, I turn to the other.