On the Trail of a Novel

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I just finished an amazing residency at Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap where I worked on my novel-in-progress, The Recklessness of Water. Nothing like greeting fall in the mountains of North Georgia. The first few days were rainy and cool. I loved waking to the sound of the rain on the roof of my studio. As always, it took me a day or two to withdraw from my busy life and sink into all that creative quiet. To cope, I constructed an elaborate, colorful outline on the wall of my studio and worked on short, lyric, intercalary chapters.

Halfway through the residency, I took part in the Hambidge Great ARTdoors festival. My family came down for the event. The kids loved watching the ten-foot wolf puppet move through the crowd. They got to paint Raku pottery and “help” create an amazing community sculpture from borrowed ladders. While it was hard to say goodbye, I was eager to get back to work.

When the sun came out, the leaves began to fall, and I found a lovely rhythm. In the morning, I led yoga classes on the screened porch of Lucinda’s rock house or hiked the waterfall trail. I wrote all afternoon. My desk was in front of a large window, so whenever I looked up from my laptop, there was the golden flurry from the ash and maple trees. One evening, when I drove out of the holler to phone my kids, a double rainbow spread across the farm pastures.

548I finished eight intercalary chapters and three regular-length chapters—meaning I have only one and a half to go! I also began mapping possible creative collaborations with two amazing artists, print maker, Catherine Clements and painter Isabela Munci. Even the tire blow-out I experienced on the way home just outside of Sylvia, North Carolina, couldn’t dampen my experience. Now, if I can just keep that momentum going!

Check out more Hambidge pics on my Facebook author page: Julie Hensley

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