Taking Tea in the Kasbah

Dear Tami,

I’ve been forlorn thinking of you in that writing cave/secret lair of yours feeling all sad and down. The dark place hasn’t lightened up yet, has it? I’m sad to hear that, my friend. My offer to whisk you away for a bit of fun still stands. All you have to do is say the word (and give me the GPS coordinates of your writing cave, obviously) and I’m there.

Don’t think I didn’t notice the lack of a confession to leaving those things in the woods for me last week. Telling me in your letter that I could look at them as “possible” clues to the location of your writing cave was very cryptic. And, I’ll admit, very intriguing. It’s a rather random assortment of clues, but I know better than to sit around and wait for you to explain it further.

I guess there’s only one thing left to say:

The game, my friend, is ON.

You’re obviously just as good at keeping your writing cave’s location a secret as you are at scaling down the sides of buildings, but I should probably let you know that you might want to get as much done on your novel as you can in the coming weeks. Why? Because I’m taking this search to the next level. Oh yes. I will be devoting more of my time to solving the enigmatic location of your cave. I’ll be putting my best people on this, and by people I mean myself, a GPS device, a few topographic maps, my mobile phone and my laptop.

Write quickly, my friend. Make those fingers fly across the keyboard. That is your challenge. Finding your writing cave is mine.

And when I discover your writing cave, just know that you’ll find me waiting on your doorstep ready for an adventure. Don’t worry, I’ve got some good ones in mind for us.

Speaking of adventures, you alluded to one in your letter that you’re thinking of sending me on next week. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’ve been plotting and scheming in that cave of yours. What I can imagine is the sly grin on your face as your mind whirls with adventurous ideas. It’s with equal parts trepidation and curiosity that I’ll be awaiting your next letter.

So, what have I been up to lately? Let’s see… Well, the narration I did for the Google+ ad in which I read “The Seven Ages of Man” from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” came out last week. (You can watch it here if you haven’t already.) I’m not given to self-accolades but if I was pressed to, I would say it came out rather nicely, don’t you?

I’ve also been trying to wrap my mind around possibly being included in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the Year. I am both deeply humbled and completely amazed that my name is on the list. Me? Influential? Really? I can hardly believe it.

I know I’ve mentioned that the last couple of years have been such an amazing, wild ride for me. The thing that’s been most difficult for me to fully grasp and understand is all of the attention and adoration from the fans. Does that make any sense? Don’t get me wrong – I’m immensely grateful and thankful for all of it. I’m SO very appreciative that my work is getting more and more noticed. I couldn’t be happier about it. I am incredibly privileged and lucky to be able to do the work that I love.

But at the end of the day, I’m just a guy doing his job. I’m not some kind of superhero. I haven’t performed brain surgery or penned the solution for world peace. I’m just a man who enjoys getting on stage or in front of a camera and doing my best to bring my character to life. I love what I do. Sure, it’s taken a lot of hard work to get where I’m at now. And still, I’m just a guy. Just doing my job.

I know you get what I’m saying – you’re always such a good listener. I’m on an incredible journey right now. I know it will come to an end at some point and when it does, I plan to move on with my life and continue to enjoy my friends and family in the same way I do now: with an open heart and my feet firmly planted on the ground.

So what is it about an actor (or anyone who has a public presence) that can bring out so much adoration from fans? I’m not asking specifically about me or fishing for compliments – just trying to understand. Perhaps you can ask your readers to shed some light on it for me.

But enough about me. Tell me, dear friend, how is your YA novel coming along? I’ve been writing down a few luscious bits of dialogue for your novel and saving them for you. I know you disagree with the relevance to your story, but I find it to be a wonderful writing exercise. Who knows? You may decide you want to add in a mysterious love interest for your main character, perhaps one who just happens to have a British accent.

Now where did I put my GPS device…?

Yours faithfully,



*Editor’s note: The views, ideas, and opinions expressed in the Letters from Benedict series are works of fiction and obviously did not come from the actor himself. This series is just my way of expressing adoration for Mr. Cumberbatch and his work and is not intended to be taken at face value or seen as a true collaborative writing endeavor with him.

18 thoughts on “Letters from Benedict: On Fame & Stepping Up His Game

    • Thanks, Mike. My novel is, you know, coming along in bits and pieces. Not as quickly as I would like. I’m kinda in a stuck place with it. Maybe I should take Ben up on his offer for an adventure – it might just give me the inspiration I’m needing.

      • My novel is coming along slower than I would like too, so I know the feeling. Maybe some sort of adventure would help shake things up a little bit, even if it’s just a small adventure close to home 🙂

        • Yes, I am in need of an adventure to lift the spirits and jolt the creative process a little. I just wish a warm, sunshiney place was closer to home because that’s where I would go!

    • It would be a fine idea if my main character didn’t already have a love interest. I could make him have a British accent, though…

  1. on ,
    livrancourt said:

    There was a guy at church last night who looked like Benedict, and I was so sorry you weren’t there to see him. Of course, he was across several rows of pews from me, and with the Good Friday thing and all the lights weren’t all that bright, but I do get a pretty good view of things from the choir. I thought of you…

    • You crack me up, Liv! I don’t think I’ve ever had someone say they thought of me while at church, so this is a delightful first.

      A look-alike you say? Take a picture next time so I can see, too. I’m sure the rest of the worshippers won’t mind if you get a camera out in the middle of the service, right? 😉

  2. What do you mean by stuck? I think I’ve been every kind of stuck that I might be able to offer some tips on how to get unstuck. But for me, how I pull out of it always depends on whether the stuck is overwhelmed with the task, clueless where to go next, or feeling like the new doesn’t fit with the old or some other paralysis.

    You know I love your Benedict letters. They are quite brilliant. No pressure there.

    • I’ve hit a place in my WIP where I need the main characters to have some information but I’m struggling with how they should acquire it. I’ve tried several different ways and none of them seems quite right. It always comes out sounding too obvious or forced or info-dumpy. Does that makes sense?

      Thanks for the kind words about Benedict’s letters. I’ll let him know. 😉 His letters always cheer me up as do everyone’s comments here.

  3. I look forward to your letters from Ben. Maybe they could become a novel one day? Ask Ben. See what he thinks!

  4. First, Tami, I’m with the others on these missives from Ben. I love them.

    Second. Yup. Been there. Am there. “Write past it and come back,” is the advice I get.

    Then I get a missive from YebbitVille. Return address Inner Editor, Gracie, 1 Got Nothing Blvd.

    “Yebbit, what if the solution is a mere five minutes away? Conk yourself on the noggin. You might knock something loose.”

    My solution this month lies in the two Margie Lawson courses I’m taking. I’m forced to write forward or lose the funds invested in this opportunity. Wish me luck. Please. I need it.

    • Good luck, Gloria, though I seriously doubt luck has any bearing on your fine writing skills. The excerpts you shared were AMAZING.

      That inner editor of yours is one tough, smart cookie. I like her. She sounds like she might be related to mine. I realized last night that my inner editor looks and acts a lot like Tara’s Shoshana alter personality from the show United States of Tara. Ever see that show? Toni Collette is brilliant in it. I’m giggling just thinking about it.

      I need to get myself signed up for one of Margie Lawson’s courses. I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Actually, that will be my only goal for today. Thanks for the gentle nudge/reminder.

      Write past it and come back – good advice. Also, a conk on the noggin might be helpful as well. That or some good wine.

  5. Writing cave? You mean that lovely tea kasbah is actually a cave? Hm. Well, as long as the Earl Grey is steeped long enough…

    Sorry I’ve been absent lately. Life. Stuff. I’m back.

    • Unfortunately, I can neither confirm nor deny if the kasbah pictured above is my writing cave. I can, however, say with complete certainty that your tea will be steeped to your specifications whenever you stop by. Just be wary of any tall British actors lurking about asking for directions. I have more writing to get done and it is far too easy to get distracted by him.

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