Taking Tea in the Kasbah

Dear Tami,

I applaud your twist on the resolution list (poetically, of course), turning it upside down and inside out, keeping things carefree and simple. If I didn’t know you better, I’d say you were feeling a little overwhelmed, over-committed, and over-stretched. Not the best way to start a new year. Don’t worry, I’ve got just the thing for when you’re feeling that way.

No, not that.

Or that.

Not that, either.

Now, if you don’t mind, I would like to offer an addition to the Un-Resolution List based on some advice that we’ve given each other over the past year, advice that is always handy when you’re feeling blue or a bit weary or even a tad confused:

When in doubt, dance it out. 

Yes, another rhyme, but it’s a catchy one, don’t you think? Dancing clears the mind, stirs the soul, and gets the writing mojo flowing, especially when your resident genius is preoccupied in the depths of your disguise closet. Might I also suggest that you place a lock on the closet this year? It would certainly cut down on your dry cleaning bill, not to mention all of the work you would be able to accomplish with the genius more focused on the writing instead of finding weird disguise combinations. Case in point:

resident genius

Meanwhile, in a writing cave far, far away…

As for the dream you had the other night, you’re right, I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean or if Martin Freeman really does possess the skills necessary to be a handyman/office assistant/teacher at your work. I’ll take your word for it when you say he looks adorable when laying down for nap time. I can, however, verify that he is a joy to work with as you discovered in your dream. I also think it’s safe to say that the chocolate consumption, cozy spot by the fireplace, and the YA novel you were reading before going to bed are all to blame for the bizarre inner workings of your subconscious. Obviously.

Oh, did you want me to keep your dream a secret from Martin? Sorry, my bad…

Dreams are important, though, especially the ones that we hold for our individual and collective futures. I, myself, still hold on to the dream that I’ll discover the writing cave right around the time you finish your novel. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll discover it just as you’re starting the revision process so I can assist you with the rewrites. It has been far too long since I sent you some creative dialogue for use in your story.

(Did you notice how my dream – finding the writing cave to help with the revisions – beautifully complements your dream of finishing a manuscript? I know, weird coincidences like that keep happening.)

Since I’m on a bit of a poetry run today, I’ll leave you with a favorite to enjoy:



Poetically 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.

19 thoughts on “Letters from Benedict: On Dancing, Dreams, & Poetry

  1. So, Benedict, I watched and listened. Out of curiosity, I then went to YouTube to see if the lovely Tami is the creator of this work of art. But no, she is not.

    I got sidetracked then (as if this sidetracking doesn’t occur all the time) by the comments to this video. You have quite a following of fans who commend your melodious voice and spot-on reading as well as wishing to have…well…relations with you.

    I’m sure you are aware of this. That is certainly why you spend so much time hidden away in the kasbah.

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Dear Brinda,

      How astute you are in discovering one of the main reasons I shy away from all social media. Except, of course, for this writing gig from the sanctuary of the kasbah.


  2. I wake. I don’t sleep. Perhaps it takes away from the oh-so-poignant message, but that reading made me close and my eyes and listen to the words in that yummy timbre and accent. The truth? It was a bit dark, so I chose to take that voice and accent to my imaginary world. I imagined hearing it in my bedroom in the midst of…

    [Erk! Brain Filter kicked in. It wakes! Hence, ’nuff said, and you’re welcome.]

    Should I decide to visit, and I promise not to peek, would you pretty please lead me into the wardrobe closet in your writing cave? I’ll only steal borrow one outfit. L-O-V-E the one you chose.

    I’ll select something fitting for dancing and dreaming and wishing on shooting stars.

    Dance cures many ailments — stress, brain clutter, The Yebbits, and the blues. In my experience, it’s impossible not to be happy and reinvigorated during and after a good boogie.

    That’s it! “Purchase Zumba Exercise Tape” goes back on my TA-DA!* list.

    *Credit Sherry Isaac with renaming TO-DO lists. It’s fun to put even those mundane tasks on a TA-DA! list.

    Thanks for another lovely start to my day, Tami.

    • P.S. to Laird. When you show up to peruse your lovely handiwork in the Kasbah, I would love to chat with you about my own glob. Tami has my email.

      • on ,
        Tami Clayton said:

        I’ve got ya covered, Gloria. I sent word to Laird and gave her your email. 🙂

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      The poem is a bit dark and somber. But I also find it comforting (yes, some of that has to do with this particular reading). While I’m not surprised, it sounds like you went in a different direction with the poem. Kudos to your imagination. 😉

      You can come visit the disguise closet anytime, Gloria. Mix and match disguises to your heart’s content. (My Cat Woman suit is off limits, though. It’s my fave.) Dancing will follow. Obviously.

      That Sherry woman is so clever to come up with a TA-DA list. I like it. I’m gonna borrow it and make one of my own.

  3. I used to go to a line dancing dance and gave it up when I was running short of time. I think it would be good to MAKE time for it again.

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Yes! Make some time for line dancing again. And if you can’t make it to a class, just have your own one-woman dance party right there at home. 🙂

  4. How is it that he gets through the whole poem without using the word ‘aluminium’. Shows a lack of foresight on Keats’ part, don’t you think?

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      I know, right? Keats, what a slacker. Surely he must have been as tickled as I by the difference between the American and British ways of saying that fantastic word. An Ode to Aluminium could have been his most epic and revered poem. *sigh* Perhaps I need to write it and put in a request for Benedict to read it for me. You know, as a beta reader. Obviously.

  5. “…dance of provincial song and sun burnt mirth…” Sigh… Benedict does it again, with his innate wisdom, keen sense of rhythm (getting down with his bold self in his man dance parties), and superb taste in poetry. How does he manage finding the time to be so soulful with his busy schedule? Oh, right … he “makes” the time for his dear friend. 😉

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Even I don’t know how he does it all. It might be a super power of some sort. ‘Tis best left a mystery for now… 😉

  6. So do you, like, put this Keats poem on repeat, or something? Have you convinced him to read any audiobooks yet? Because you know he totally should!

    I too was listening out for Aluminium, but alas…

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      There are a few audio recordings out there of Benedict reading short stories and poems (a set of Sherlock Holmes stories, The Metamorphosis by Kafka, Casanova, just to name a few). His voice and his training as an actor makes him, in my humble opinion, an utterly phenomenal person to do audio books.

      As for listening to the poem on repeat, I shall plead the 5th on that. I will confess that even though the poem’s subject matter can be seen as dark and brooding, I find his reading of it to be a soothing antidote to a lot of the stress and angst I’ve been dealing with over the past year. And with that, I think I’ve just firmly secured my place in Very Odd Persons Club. 🙂

  7. Oh, to have a sensual man read poetry. Was Benedict outside your window, Tami?

    Does your writing cave have windows?

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Now that you mention it, just the other day I did happen to see a gentleman wearing the mask of Zorro and a trench coat whilst holding a boom box over his head saying something. But since the windows of my writing cave are sound-proof (distractions find me so easily), I couldn’t hear him and just went back to work. *sigh*

      note to self: un-sound-proof the writing cave’s windows and add a balcony for proper swooning – you never know when a certain classy British actor will show up and recite some poetry.

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