Sunday, October 23, 2011
A Good Cabin for a Writer
It was hard not to wonder: could I write in a place like this?
The answer seemed to be "Yes." I could take my morning coffee out onto the deck and look at the view of the national forest and mountains and make wonderful progress on my novel in progress. I'm sure the IRS would see such a cabin as a valid business expense so that when it came to the bottom line, the cabin, cleaning service, utilities and maintenance costs would actually be free. If I started to get writer's block, the deck's hot tub would ease it away without need for excessive amounts of Scotch.
On the minus side, the winding gravel road is the only way to the grocery store, post office and the book store. To live at the cabin, I would have to be better at planning logistics than I am now. In the small town where I live, the grocery is five minutes away. If I run out of milk or wine, no problem. Working at the cabin would require stocking up enough food for a week at a time. Maybe longer. Maybe for the entire winter when that gravel road is hidden by snow and ice.
Where Have Have All The Patrons Gone?
In the old days, when a king or a duke wanted music, art or written entertainments, he found a composer, artist or poet and gave him a castle, a castle staff, a stable filled with impressive horses, and enough money to live almost, but not quite, like a king or a duke.
What's happened to all of that?
Really, I don't want a castle. I certainly don't want a staff sniffing around watching what I'm doing, taking notes for the tabloids, and sneaking parts of my manuscripts down off the mountain for the operatives of rival publishers. Seriously, I don't want to be part of the pampered elite of rich movie stars who live in $100000000000000000 mansions and get their pictures taken every time they stop at a comic book store and buy the lastest copy of Green Lantern or Wonder Woman.
While I can write on a deck with a great view or next to a fireplace with a warm fire, I can't write if CNN is parked in my yard waiting to see when "Mr. Campbell is going to set foot outside his castle." Castles attract attention. Cabins don't.
The more I think of the cabin plan, the more sense it makes. I'd even be willing to share. For a modest investment--say, $150 per night--other writers in need of a retreat could retreat to the cabin and write, think, meditate or play a relaxing game of pool in the basement game room.
It's win win for everyone!
Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the recently released contemporary fantasy "Sarabande," probably would have finished that novel five years ago if he'd only had a cabin.