This week, I have plans to go to the 14-acre Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean. Described as a “maze of pathways winding through the gulleys of mossy rocks, twisted roots and bridges,” Puzzlewood has been the inspiration for Tolkien and Rowling alike (also, a filming location in both Merlin and Doctor Who). Naturally, I aspire to follow in the footsteps of these great literary giants, so Heathens has its own ‘enchanted forest’ — one full of ruin-stones, jackalopes, skeleton trees with fungus-acne and boys who are far too much trouble. Puzzlewood is thus the perfect spot for research, inspiration and spiritual contemplation. I’m going to take my camera and my Moleskine notebook ( ) and get beautifully, terrifically lost in this ancient woodland.
Next week, not to be out-done, I also intend to attend the Hay Festival, the so-called ‘Woodstock of the Mind’. Hay-on-Wye is a magical book town near the Welsh border, in the Black Mountains of the Brecon Beacons National Park. I’ve wanted to go since, like, forever. Finally, I will be browsing streets full of bookshops in the quaintest heart of Olde England. There is a bookshop called Murder and Mayhem, stocking crime and horror; there is a bookshop dedicated solely to poetry; there are antiquarian bookshops specialising in rare and out-of-print works…
This might be dangerous, in fact. I might never return.
I mean, LOOK! Just look at the booky wondrousness!
Don’t you want to live there?
(On a related note, how amazing would it be to do a world tour of book towns? Anyone up for that? I should have the money for it in about five thousand years.)
According to their website, the Hay Festival:
“gathers people together to think about the world as it is and to imagine how it might be. We share stories and ideas with great international writers and thinkers, film-makers, historians and novelists, philosophers, environmentalists, poets and scientists. And at night we like to party with the greatest comedians and musicians. It’s a bunch of mates hanging out in a field with time to think, finding the inspiration to re-imagine the world.”
I can’t imagine anything I’d rather do than that. Just that.
* * *
Evidently, I have ousted the daylight writer’s block that plagued me in my last post and am back to my usual business of ignoring the world. Huzzah! On the downside, I skipped Praise Sunday yet again yesterday (risking some serious smiting). The bad blogger returns. To be fair, I was working all weekend, and today I actually went SHOPPING for a change… Real world. Bright lights. Shiny people. But alas and alack (and pleasedonthateme), I’m going to have to impose a blogging blackout for the next two weeks so I can finish this Heathens draft and meet my deadline.
I know, I know, right? It’s going to be difficult, if not entirely impossible… Might have to define the terms a bit. By ‘blackout’ I don’t mean I’ll be completely incommunicado. I will post about Puzzlewood and Hay Festival and anything else of great importance that might occur, but in terms of my daily participation in WordPressery I’m slightly AWOL. I won’t be writing any of my 1,000 word epics. I won’t be keeping up with my WP reading. And I feel bad about that. I really do.
But I need to focus. The end is so close in sight. The five-year dream is finally being realised…
With this in mind — and I know this sounds a bit wanky but I really do love reading you all — if there is anything in particular you’d really like me to consider for my Epic Sunday Praise catch-up post scheduled for 2nd June, which will contain practically a month’s worth of best bloggery, please comment on this post and I promise to check out your recommendations.
Alternatively, if you just miss me a bit, I will still be replying to emails (heathenwriter @ gmail . com) and tweets. Please feel free to send me randomly brilliant brain-farts to remind me that I still exist.
In the meantime, here is a picture of my new bovver boots. Fancy, eh? I promise a picture of me wearing these awesome boots in awesome Puzzlewood forest and awesome Hay-on-Wye very soon.
Big Love, like Fleetwood Mac,
P.S. — Sorry if this post makes me sound like a shithead.