Sunday, 2 December 2007

Writers' rooms: Uncle

This is my inner sanctum, my private space.

I come here to escape the administrative burdens involved in the ownership of Homeward - and to indulge my creative muse.

There is no telephonic communication here and the Old Monkey knows that he must only disturb my peace if faced by another outrage from the Badfort Crowd.

Here I am unassailable.

I'm usually at my desk by 8.30am.

I have finished a number of novels and plays in this room. Now and then I sit back, look around at it and at the things it's gathered over the years and think: this is a nice room to be in.

The room is fitted out with two desks. One is of fine oak and has brass handles and all the necessary drawers and pull-out trays. This I write at. The other is a small occasional table that contains a big bunch of bananas. Behind my ergonomically designed chair (for the larger figure) I also have a large well stocked fridge. These are there in case I get peckish whilst ruminating. If food be the music of literature, eat on,, I think, the Bard of Avon once said. I must say, a nice snack usually gets my creative juices flowing.

Talking of music - I always listen to music when I'm writing. I have a gramophone on the desk - usually playing some stirring brass band music. I have a great fondness for music and am attempting to learn the bass viol. If I am having difficulty in my literary efforts I'll have a little practice on the bow.

I write in longhand in notebooks using only a quill. The Old Monkey then computes them for me. I do not understand how people can arrive at even a flicker of creativity by means of a computer.

On the desk is a bronze badger that holds my writing quill - this was a gift from the King of the Badgers in gratitude for my great charitable works.

Also on the desk are all seven volumes of my biography. If I am feeling down I need only read a few passages about my lowly beginnings, rise to fame, and great triumphs to cheer myself up.

Under the desk is a 13-volume dictionary. All the words I'll ever need are here; as the Old Monkey often says, on reading one of my plays, "You have all the right words, sir, but not necessarily in the right order.”

Beside the desk is a wooden tub full of letters from fans and admirers. Goodman deals with these - sending out signed photographs.

When writing goes badly, I am often to be found gazing at my ceiling thinking what a priceless harvest great literature is, but sometimes so difficult to reap.

It is at times like this that Lucy, my parrot, is invaluable with her outspoken advice. Many is the time when she has suggested a useful plot development.

The room is full of pictures; a lithograph by Van Gogh, wood engravings by my Aunt Maidy, but my favourite is the portrait of the Old Monkey and I by Waldovenison Smeare. It brings back such happy memories.

Even though I don't spend much time looking at all the treasures in this room, I like knowing they are there - part of the vague sensual information that comes and goes as I mull over the next sentence.

I work with the window wide open. It's a beautiful urban view of the skyscrapers of Homeward - often enhanced by a beautiful sunrise or sunset.

I stop at lunchtime, have a large meal and a drink and then fall asleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment