Because that’s what The Cave is all about. For those of you who haven’t met me or know me particularly well, I call my bedroom my cave. It’s a fond term which came about after several winters when the snow which shed off the roof at the back of the house had piled so high no daylight came through. Where there are caves there are troglodytes, and thus came about an affectionate nickname for yours truly.
The Cave is tasteful with a soft honey-colored ceiling and one blueish green wall born from a paint can which promised a ‘perfect storm’. I made the multicolored quilt on my bed with my own two hands. I made much of the art that has graced the walls over the years, though only one watercolor/ink piece and one acrylic-on-canvas painting of mine are up at the moment. And, oh, the books. A single, twelve foot, walnut custom shelf was crafted and installed by my brother to help me remove the approximate twelve feet of stacked books lying in neat piles on the floor. It joined the ranks of book-holding in my room, with a hidden case in my closet and one that is also a desk. And also made by my brother. He dotes on me, and I can’t complain.
The Cave is also a state of mind. A calm place of creativity and jewel-toned loveliness. A place for tea parties and quiet conversations, and one where you might just glimpse a faerie fluttering in the garden outside.
In full disclosure, I never expected to actually end up writing a blog. I said to myself, “Once I get that novel finished, I can start my blog while I edit the manuscript, and then whammo I can say to a publisher that I have one of those ‘online platforms’ writers nowadays seem to be going on about to no end.” But… blog? Moi? Who would even read it?
Then I came to the firm and surprising decision on April 20th, 2016 that it was time to start a blog. I designed and launched the bare bones of the thing in no time flat. Is my fifth novel (the one I think might just stand a chance in the real world) done? No. Is it close? *cue maniacal laughter* No.
Here I am, eleven days later, drafting out my first blog post, and I have one of those helpful how-to-blog-so-people-actually-read-your posts open on the other half of my screen. One of the tips is to “Identify Your Audience”. Who would even read, indeed? I suppose I’m caught a little flat-footed because, well, I expected my blog to be about writing. Or reading. Generally in the literature direction, definitely. My best friends are a writer and an editor. Actually one of them edited a book for the other which was how we met. My mother was an English teacher. I’ve read voraciously since I was a child. I’ve written over 360,000 words on nine different novels and/or short stories… not counting the dozen other ideas I have jotted down and shoved in a dark corner until they’ve learned their lesson and come back at a more convenient time. I have finished three novels. I can pontificate for hours on end about writing and writing-related things. I have also written 238 letters to my grandmother over the last five years. Not one-liner emails: three paragraph, fully articulate, functional letters. If anything will teach you determination… a weekly letter will.
Books. This blog could be about books and writing.
It won’t be. Not entirely, at any rate. While I have a solid idea of what I’m doing and where I’m going, I probably shouldn’t be given any kind of ‘professional advice’ sash to wear. If that weren’t reason enough, I am simply too busy to write and write about writing. I have other hobbies, many of them a tad too neglected for my taste, and I have an occupation. The occupation is somewhat seasonal, but highly demanding and will likely feature in many future posts. If I’m going to be putting enough material online for people to care, it can’t just be about books. It has to be about the other thing.
Art. Art is the other thing.
When that occurred to me, my chorus of insecurities piped up. It wasn’t a fun chorus, and they weren’t in harmony. It was cacophonous and made me want to curl up in a corner and die. You know why? Because I don’t like criticism. Who does? Who would subject themselves to that kind of horror on a regular basis with such little return? Me. Because I wander. I wander over to challenges and thumb my nose. I may be a troglodyte, but gosh darn it, I’m also a nomad.
I work in just about every medium except oil paints, so if you’re expecting consistency from this point out, you are in for a bumpy road. There’s going to be digital art, photo manipulation, straight up photography, sketches, smudges, pen drawings, typography, ink, chalk, charcoal, acrylic, water color, and possibly the imprint of my head as it smashes through a brick wall. Artistically.
So… who’s going to be reading this blog? Marital status, age, ethnicity, and geolocation? I have no idea. Probably people who love art, people who love reading, and people who love a good laugh at and with an odd person.
I’m guessing someone, at some point, will be sitting at a picturesque breakfast table sipping a hot beverage and wheeling their thumb through some blog posts because they want to start their day off with a smile and a simple appreciation of beauty and light and thought.
Like I said at the top of the post: that’s what The Cave is all about.
Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I’m sneaking up on the end of a chapter, and I don’t want to scare it. Shhh!