Homer JacksonUSAVisual Arts2002

My stay at Civitella was very productive. I was extremely focused and gave myself a difficult task to accomplish: I wanted to write the beginnings of a novel. I came to Civitella with just about seven pages of notes for my novel project, currently titled,”$30,000 for 30,000 miles” and lots of music to listen to. The book explores the strange story of a jazz musician Sonny Williams, who violently beats up and hospitalizes a music critic, then calmly turns himself into the police. After his arrest he refuses to talk any further. This bizarre tale is pursued by a young freelance journalist who writes for Hip Hop publications and who has been threatened with death by a rapper.

As a visual artist and first time novelist, I was fortunate enough to accomplish my goal, as well as to exceed it. The time spent at Civitella allowed me to focus with very little distraction and to also have access to facilities and great people. One additional gift of the experience was that it rekindled my love affair with Jazz music. After spending the 1980’s as a radio DJ, I grew bored with Jazz music and grew away from it. Being totally inundated with Jazz music and musicians while working on the book helped me to get back in touch with the wonderful moments and artists that ignited my initial interest in the music years ago.