I’ve mentioned Writers’ Caves (Hello me, this is me) before, those personal places where scribblers spill their literary guts onto screens/ notebooks and if they stay still too long, short-haired pets and small children. Now, let me share mine.
The downstairs of our house is rather ‘open plan’. Now, if that phrase conjures some kind of Scandinavian, architect-designed work of genius with plate glass windows, a view onto a fjord/ out of town Ikea/ darkly twisted murder scene involving lovely stern ladies wearing fair isle knitwear, then I’m gonna have to disappoint.
Our version of ‘open plan’ is where someone knocked a ruddy great square hole between the living room and the dining room of our modest, Edwardian terraced house. I’m guessing it was the same ‘someone’ who removed the interior doors throughout. It means the light floods in, almost at the same rate that the heat floods out.
In the dining room, at the dining room table* is where I usually write. It’s where I’m writing this now, listening to the guttering overflow into the back yard, surrounded by a half-finished Meccano model, a BMX, a scooter and a stack of books that were supposed to have been donated to a charity shop before Christmas, but have now been accidentally recycled into coffee table/ clothes airer.
In the winter, it gets so cold in here I have to wear two jumpers, a thermal, several pairs of socks, drink endless mugs of tea and wrap in a blanket just to keep my fingers moving. It’s not a retreat from the world, it’s the centre of where the action happens in our house. We put our Christmas tree over there: we’ve had umpteen kids parties here: the exercise bike is tucked in the corner to my right, crowing over me and my sagging midriff because I write more than I cycle.
Despite the fact that it’s not really MY space, that I have to push nuts, bolts, coasters and table mats aside just to make enough room for the laptop, it’s my Writer’s Cave, the space I’ve drafted and redrafted novels and short stories, polished plots, critiqued friend’s work and created this blog.
It’s my main place to write, a homely space, choc-ful of distractions, but mine.
Look out for future instalments of Writer’s Cave: Sub-Caves and why every writer needs them.
*Lynn Love, in the Dining Room, with a laptop- guilty as charged.