I’ve wished for a cabin or shed in the woods for some time. I write better, contemplate better when surrounded by trees. Although let’s be serious, I mostly just love staring at a beautiful view. Occasionally, I splurge on a mini writer’s retreat, but those nightly rentals add up. A couple of months ago I got an idea to buy a greenhouse and put it on a friend’s land. That didn’t work out, but it helped crystalize my vision and led to my outfitting myself with a Writing Fort.
Through November I researched making a portable writing space. Having a view open to the sky became important when I realized it was possible. I found a pop up tent, the sort of which soccer mom’s watch games from in bad weather with a clear top from Wayfair that weighs less than five pounds. I purchased a camping table that makes a surprisingly sturdy desk that folds up like a briefcase and weighs about six pounds. I bought an eight pound folding chair and a five pound propane heater. The whole rig is realistic to carry a reasonable distance to set up for hours of solitude in virtually any space I choose. The cost was under $300. (I’ll post links below in case you’re interested.)
In my Writing Fort’s maiden voyage, I set up overlooking the Potomac River at Voilette’s Lock along the C&O Canal. The morning was freezing cold, but my Little Buddy heater is so warm I needed to open the “windows”. I took off my coat, enjoyed the music of the rapids, breathed in the woods, and wrote a likable little tanka poem, then kept right on writing.
Since, I’ve been to Trident Beach, Swains Lock, and Sugarloaf in Maryland. Set up takes about ten minutes and I’ve stayed out two or three hours each time. I have a long and growing list of places to set up, explore, and breathe in. One review says that the tent is not really waterproof. I look forward to testing that. My dream is to set up early in the morning when the forecast calls for snow and watch the snow fall from above and all around me. In this dream, the tent is indeed waterproof. Not in the cards for this winter break, but seems a possibility for this year. If not, maybe next. I plan to get many years of use out of this Writing Fort, Inshallah.