Joya: AiR / writer in residence / Deborah Joy Corey / Maine USA
Joya was the perfect place for me to complete the final edit of my novel, Settling Twice. This exquisitely designed residency allows one the freedom and comfort to focus fully on the project at hand. There are many things to be admired about Joya, particularly the restoration of a number of ancient farmhouses into an well sited retreat, which not only honors the land’s history and landscape, but is sensitive to the environment as well. Still for me, the privacy that was afforded me was a standout and made it well worth the trip from Maine, USA. Donna and Simon Beckmann have put tremendous thought into creating spaces that not only inspire, but also comfort after a long day’s work. Their evening dinner table is lively with laughter and great discussions, and even reassurances when the need be. It was my good fortune to be here during the American Presidential Election. I say good fortune because I was escaping the drama of it back in the U.S., but also because when it turned out differently than I had hoped, there was a table of artists from many places to not only share similar heartbreaking experiences in their own countries, but they were present to teach me how to go forward and what to expect. Go Forward. If there was something inscribed over the entrance of Joya, that would be it. For this is a place of restoration that encourages the going forward of the artist’s heart, soul, and mind. And Go Forward is the call that we must all heed.