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  • Nicole Hays

Artist Residency Preparation

With two weeks left until I drive the 11 hours to Hohenwald, TN, I am starting to cross things off my to do list! I have most of what I will be bringing ready to go, apart from my new act prop (which we actually need to start making today in order for it to be ready for the trip!). One more trip to Home Depot should have us covered, though.


This residency really couldn't have come at a better time. It looks as though Omicron may end up cancelling a lot of events in the next few months, which means I likely won't be missing any important gig leads. I do have a few more jobs lined up for the end of the year, one in particular that I am going to have to be incredibly careful at. It does involve being high up on stilts, so that will at least keep me away from being right in anyone's face!


(Me as a Candy Cane)


I'm really looking forward to Christmas Day, which we will be spending with friends on Pass-a-Grille Beach. This will be one of the last social gatherings I'll get to spend with friends for the rest of the year. We are being very vigilant with Omicron, so we will be making sure we are socially distant and masking indoors. We have tried our best to have outdoor, socially distanced get togethers this past year and have been very successful so far at helping to keep everyone safe. It's actually been quite nice not being sick this year, not only with COVID, but also with things like cold and flu.


A.J. and I also get to head up to St. Augustine for a few days to spend time with his family. They've rented an amazing house on the beach. I've actually never been to St. Augustine and am looking forward to checking it out.


The Trip


My first stop will be in Atlanta where I've gotten a hotel room for myself. Atlanta is a little more than halfway (I usually don't drive more than 8 hours a day). I will arrive in Hohenwald the next day and stay for the duration of the month. I'm also excited that A.J. will be flying up to meet me in Chattanooga after the residency. We are heading over to one of my favorite little towns, Helen, GA, where we will be staying in a place that has a heart-shaped hot tub! If you aren't familiar with Helen, it is a cute little German themed town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. A.J. has never been and I am so excited for him to visit (which reminds me that I cannot forget to bring my dirndl!).




Residency Reading


During my residency, I have a goal of reading one book a week. Now, I haven't been reading regularly for quite some time. This is one of those self-discipline related things that I am hoping to begin to fix during my time away. This is honestly a pretty high bar for me, but I think I'll be able to manage...especially with no social media distraction going on.


Here are my chosen books:

  1. How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell (so appropriate for this trip, right?)

  2. The People We Keep by Alison Larkin

  3. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety by Sarah Wilson

  4. Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Sanjay Gupta, M.D.

I'm also bringing a copy of The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz and possibly The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (in case I get overwhelmed by the self-help reading and need some more fiction).


I think that's it for current updates! Stay tuned for another post regarding my top secret new act ;)


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