Until I became the Emerging Writer-in-Residence in the last room at the end of the second floor hall, I had no idea what happened behind the sliding wooden doors at the top of the stairs to the second floor of Aqua Books. This private hall is probably the most well-used space in the city; urban planners would do well to take notes.
In less than a month, I've witnessed the hall's transformation into the equivalent of a living room for a song-writers' club, a makeshift yoga studio, a sales venue for a giant used book sale, and a warm-up room for instrumental and vocal musicians who are about to perform on stage in the room next door. If I have learned anything from my residency, it's that just because you start out as a hall, doesn't mean you can't transform into something else.
Writing is such a quiet activity that in spite of my attempts to cough, type loudly, or scrape my chair on the floor, I don't compete with a strumming guitar, laughter, or a soprano's vocal exercises. Which means that I get excellent writing material listening in on excerpts of music and conversations that are not readily available to the general public. After a few looks of surprise when I suddenly appear from behind one of the four doors that lead into this secret hall, I understand how this residency got its title. In this building, you just never know where a writer will emerge next.
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