From Rory’s daily blog series “a few of my favorite things about the Festival this year”…
Although I moved to Nashville in 1995 to be a songwriter and through the years have been a singer, filmmaker, author, etc… but I mainly consider myself a writer. A storyteller who tries to use whatever medium works best to convey the story I’m trying to tell. Sometimes it’s just with words, sometimes with pictures or video, or more often than that, all-those-things combined.
In the last 25 years or so that I’ve been doing it full-time, I’ve done my best to be creative wherever I am. Whether that’s in the living room of a little apartment (with the tv on and little ones around my feet like I did when we moved to Nashville in the mid-90’s)... in an office at a publishing company on Music Row... on tour buses, airplanes, cars, or hotel rooms... even kitchen tables and Waffle House booths... I've written stories using legal pads and pens, spiral notebooks, hotel letterhead, bar napkins, and even receipts... you name it... but mostly I tell stories using a laptop on a little desk in the farmhouse... just like I’m using now.
I’ve had dozens of spots through the years around the farm where I’ve written stories. There have been desks or tables setup in just about every room in the house. I've written stories in the Milk House and the apartment above the barn... I’ve written in the concert hall, at the cemetery, on the porch, and in the shower... you name it, I’ve done my best to use whatever is available at the time. In the end, I sit down and do the work (which is a whole lot harder than it sounds).
But in saying that, I have always sought a place to write (like writer Michael Pollan references in his book of the same title, A Place Of My Own). And for awhile now, I’ve known what that place would be (and where or when if the opportunity ever came around)... A small cabin at the pond in the back of the farm behind the cemetery. Joey and I picked the spot twenty years ago. We often walked back there together and imagined where the cabin might go. A couple of years ago, I even cleared an opening through some big oak trees where I planned to begin building... when the time was right.
And that time is now.
It’s actually happening this coming weekend, or at least the first part is. The Dougherty’s, (the same family who are doing the sheep shearing and hog butchering demonstrations) are going to be doing a timber-frame demo also. They will be assembling a 12’ x 16’ timber frame structure by hand over the two days. People will be able to watch, learn, and even participate in, not just building the framing of a building here at the farm, but the framing of what will one day soon be my writing cabin. And it will all be done timber-frame style, with pegs, mortise, and tenon joints... the way it would have been done in the early Homesteader days.
Of course, when the weekend’s over, there will be much to do to complete the structure and build-out the exterior and interior. But my writer’s cabin will be started... and for most of us, that is the part that is the hardest.
Instead of back by the pond, it will be assembled closer to where all the tents and demonstration areas of the Festival will be. We’ll find the perfect spot and move it back to it’s permanent location in the coming weeks.
I can’t tell you how excited I am about having a dedicated place to write in one-day-soon. A place to think, create, and dream in. It will be a simple, rustic, one-room cabin with no electricity or water... just a wood stove and an outhouse (the outhouse is already there, I wrote about moving it to the pond a few months ago). The quietest place on the farm, with no distractions. I can only imagine what I might write and what stories I might tell in a place like that.
If you want to come learn about timber framing, and maybe even be a small part in bringing this writer’s cabin to be, just go TheHomesteadFestival.com to get your passes, and to learn about all the speakers, music, demonstrations and more that will be going on. It’s going to be an incredible weekend of not just learning how to grow your own food, but how to grow a life filled with meaning and purpose.
Hope to see you here in three days,