Now the end is near and so I face the final cave.
Here we are, my lovelies. In Writing Caves #5 we had a wander down memory lane, a hike through cafes and beds, took a bewildering detour past my kitchen table and got lost and slightly scared in the WORST CAVE VENUES EVER.
After all that, let’s face it, we’re knackered, we’ve had enough of meandering through the dingy byways of my writing practice. What we need is a nice sit down, slippers on, feet up on a pouffe, a choccy biccy and something warm and comforting to drink. So park your bum, take a load off and listen up. Last time I promised to lead you into the world of imagination and wonder, to dream a dreamy dream of my ULTIMATE WRITING CAVE.
Now, let’s be clear. This cave has no relation to reality. It is unattainable for me. Unless I get an advance for one of my as-yet-unsold-novels of around seven figures, this ain’t never gonna happen, people. But we’re dreaming here, so let’s give it a go and take flight.
First off, let me just run through a quick list of definites my perfect Writing Cave would have.
(1) Tea and coffee making facilities. Let’s keep this real. There’s no writing without tea and if there isn’t a kettle and a mini fridge on hand, we’re not in dream territory- we’ve slipped into a nightmare.
(2) Isolation. I know, writing’s an isolating enough business as it is, but surely, to write my magnum opus or Magificient Octopus as Bladrick would have it, I need to be apart from the world, apart, above, beyond. Probably.
(3) Internet access. I write a fair bit of historical fiction: Tudor, Victorian, Ancient Roman, the Middle Ages, World War II… I’ve written short stories and novels based in all of these periods. Now until some boffin invents a time machine (come on, Stephen Hawking, what’s keeping you), I’m largely reliant on other people’s research to find out what the Tudors called their loos (privy, jakes, house of office), that Victorian milliners had sales girls called She-Barkers and that one of the main foodstuffs of the Roman Gladiator was barley porridge. Now, sometimes the best resource is still a well researched book, but for snippets of historical info (names/places/dates) when you need them in a hurry, there’s nothing like the net.*
(4) Electricity. Well how else am I gonna boil me kettle? And run the laptop, of course.
Now, that’s the basics, how about some luxuries? Comfy chairs, a heater, a few inspiring knick-knacks (Roald Dahl famously kept his own knee bone in his writing hut. I’ve still got my own knees, but I’m sure I could think of something…) How about nature? I know, I said in my last post that being outside was a pain in the backside, but I love hearing those darn bees (yes, as you’ve gathered, bees are a small time obsession of mine).
When I put all of these together, the only option, the dream Writing Cave is… ta-da-da da-da-da.
Clearly we’re not talking something knocked up by your dad from a few wooden pallets he found in a skip. We’re talking luxury wood-based accommodation with all mod-cons, somewhere you could use as a granny flat if granny was driving you particularly crackers, somewhere Red Riding Hood could any second peek round the nearest tree, where wood sprites and ancient spirits lurk, where Herne the Hunter’s your neighbour and he’s having tea with Robin Hood… and that costs tens of thousands of pounds.
Ah, well. That’s what dreams are for- dreaming.
* Of course, this is when I can tear myself away from juggling cats, giggling babies, emails, this blog…