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Hendersonville artist finds new identity as children's book author

Lenore Barnett now has a chance to reach a whole new generation with her creativity in the form of a children's book. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

A creative spark has inspired a 90-year-old painter to establish a new source of identity.

Lenore Barnett's released her first children's book, "The Night Ship," a story that came to her in the depths of a difficult time five years ago.

She wrote the book while rehabilitating from a car accident.

"And I also broke my neck-- not fun," she recalls.

That might seem like an odd time to rhyme, until you read between the lines.

"He felt a bump and with a whoosh his bed rose up," she reads. "Ooh, says Rodney, what was that?"

"The Night Ship" is about a child's imaginary journey in his crib. Barnett believes it makes sense she wrote that book while rehabilitating.

"The relaxation was enough for a new form of creativity to occur," she said. "The second thing is, whether I was aware or not, maybe I was really wishing to get out of my own bed, so to speak."

Art is often more than meets the eye.

"If you're a painter, you've got to paint," she explained, while painting in her Hendersonville home. "It's a really glorious feeling."

For Barnett, every brushstroke is an escape.

"There is what's called the zone, I'm sure you've heard of it," she said. "And you literally absolutely forget any pain you're suffering, any worries you've got."

The book is just the latest sign she's turned longevity into an art form.

"That life never just ends you keep on living it to the best of your knowledge," she said. "That's very satisfying to know that you have created something people will love."

You can purchase it at Firefly Craft Gallery in Flat Rock, or online at Amazon.com.

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