Taking Tea in the Kasbah

Dear Tami,

After reading your letter last week, I can tell you’re coping well with the likes of TWMNBNG Insurance Co. Your new friends, Denial and Avoidance, sound like very helpful mates. And, in case you’re wondering, Shoshana is doing well at the Secret Unicorn Sanctuary and she sends her love.

Life is getting busier for us both, isn’t it? Between the bike race, the Cheltenham Literary Festival, film festivals and the Crime Thriller Awards (many thanks, by the way, for the congratulations on winning Best Actor), I’ve been incredibly busy this past month.

You’re no slouch either, friend. I’m impressed you signed up for National Novel Writing Month, or what you writerly types call NaNoWriMo. An entire month of getting hundreds and hundreds of words down on the page every day is quite the undertaking. I know you’ve been busy with all of the prep that goes into getting ready for an endeavour like that. How fantastic for you to get that new novel cranked out by the end of November. And then it will be time for an adventure.

I realise this all means you’ll be sequestered in the writing cave for even longer periods of time and will be practically glued to your laptop over the next month. I do worry, though, how you will sustain such an intense and long bout of writing without seeing the outside world or donning your Cat Woman suit even once. Telling me that you’ll be just fine because you’ll be consuming copious amounts of the Three Major Food Groups for Writers – coffee, tea, and chocolate – does not actually reassure me. And because the location of the writing cave is still an enigma to me, I am unable to send you things to better balance your diet, like real food or water.

So, on the chance you should venture out of the writing cave to the cafe (you know the one), the barista may hand you a parcel with your name on it that may or may not be from me. Also, there may or may not be perishable items in it that you might recognise as “fruits” and “vegetables”.

Also, out of care and concern for you, I am submitting what I believe is one of the more important writing cave theme song suggestions. I hope you will use this one often during the month of November:



Don’t worry about marking a few extra points for me on the Bonus Points Board in the kasbah for choosing the version of this song with James Taylor. I can take care of that the next time I’m there. You’re welcome.

Actually, why don’t I look after the kasbah for you while you are so busily at work on your novel in November? Remember how well everything went the last time you left me the keys to the kasbah? I can certainly keep everything up to your high standards with class, grace, and the occasional dance party. There may even be a surprise left for you from time to time. Just sayin’.

The kasbah will be in good hands, trust me. I do hope you’ll take me up on this brilliant idea. I look forward to receiving those keys in the post in the very near future.

Supportively yours,



*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 seen or read as a true collaborative writing endeavor with him. 

21 thoughts on “Letters from Benedict: On Being Busy, NaNoWriMo, & the Keys

  1. A pox on Huey P ACKard! He won’t let the music out when I play videos. There will be no tears shed this Christmas when he hits the back-up laptop shelf — to see the light only when/if my new computer has to go to the Geek Hospital in Louisville, KY.

    NaNoWriMo, eh? How insane commendable! I am with Benedict on applauding your dedication and drive. I’ll watch for those climbing numbers.

    I tried it once, but quit after a week when I did the unthinkable (the verboten) and reread what I had written. Sadly, it didn’t take long to read…IYKWIM. I didn’t go into the month with a plan. Not so much as a sketchy plot points outline.

    Sounds like you’ve got your connect-the-dots in a row! Good luck!

    Posting this now (at 5:55 Central) to prove my claim that I get up at 5 a.m. and manage to wile away time catching up with my favoUrite (nod to Benedict) bloggers!

    • A thousand pox upon Huey P ACKard for giving you the silent treatment when there’s so much music to be heard!

      I have signed up for NaNo but I have no idea how I will pull off writing nearly 2000 words/day and NOT re-read them. I’m going to have to send my inner editor to Hawaii for the month. I think she’ll like that. She’s always wanted to go.

      I can fritter away time online no matter the time of day, though you are forever changing my perception of the early risers being entirely more productive than us night owls. Thanks for that self-esteem boost. I needed it. 🙂

  2. hmm, I’m still thinking about doing NaNoWriMo… that is, I’m telling everyone I’m probably doing it. But I haven’t signed up yet. That would make it too real…

  3. Best of luck with NaNo! I hope Benedict will have some picture books ideas ready for going into PiBoldMo while you’re busy.

  4. on ,
    livrancourt said:

    You know that one of my fondest dreams is to sing lead in a Dixie Chicks cover band, right? Love them! Therefore I FULLY SUPPORT Ben’s choice for writing cave theme songs. The old guy they had as their guest even held his own in this version.

    • I didn’t know that about you, Liv. You should totally do that! I’d bet you’d be stellar at it. I’ll be the one whistling and cheering obnoxiously from the front row when you do. 😉

      JT is one of my favorites, so it was especially nice of Benedict to include this version of the song. He scored himself some major bonus points for that one.

  5. That first picture makes me think that Mr. Cumberbatch would make a pretty good young Indiana Jones in a movie or something.

    And congrats on signing up for NaNoWriMo! You’ll do awesome 🙂

    • I was thinking the SAME thing about that photo! Maybe he can be the next generation Indy. I’ll mention it to him.

      Thanks for the NaNo vote of confidence. We’ll see how it all shakes down by the end of November. And it’s good to see you ’round these parts. I hope all of that algebracizing hasn’t been too taxing. 🙂

        • on ,
          Tami Clayton said:

          That’s good. Too much algebracizing just can’t be good for the brain. Or so I’ve heard. 😉

  6. Not that I ever doubted the integrity of Benedict’s posts, but I was pleasantly surprised to notice the British spelling of “realise”. As for the topic of NaNoWriMo, I wish you much luck. I’ve tried it before, but won’t be participating this year. The foods you have chosen for sustenance may leave you a littllllleee pepped up.

    • Colo(u)r me impressed that you noticed! Sometimes when my Americaniz(s)ed brain edits his letters, it forgets that our friends across the pond spell certain words differently.


  7. I’ll be cheering you on for NaNoWriMo. I know you’ll win with flying colors, or perhaps coffee, tea, and lots of chocolate. Only the best quality, of course. Write on!

    • Thanks, Marcia! I’m glad I’ve got you trained up – November is going to be one hectic month!

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