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Five things Lawrence Hill couldn't live without

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1) A good chair. I'm too old to sit on the floor, cross legged. Wrote my first published short story sitting on a toilet in an empty apartment in Calgary that had no furniture -- not even one chair. But never again, thank you very much!

2) Pyjamas. The best thing about being a writer is that you don't have to get dressed up to go to work. 

3) A good typewriter or computer keyboard. I like to hand write edits to drafts, but in first draft mode, there is nothing better than letting it rip on the keyboard. Can keep up with my thoughts, that way, and don't end up with pages of hieroglyphics.

4) A calm, focused, purposeful mind when it is time to write.  

5) A sense of joy in discovering what lays waiting in my heart. I like to imagine stories, voices and people murmuring and cavorting deep down in the subsurface of my body, asking to be found, begging to be mined, dying to vault up and surprise me on the page.  Writing should be fun. Stimulating. Exciting. So I couldn't live as a writer, without feeling that the act of writing is like taking my heart out on a date.  

Lawrence Hill is the author of eight books, including The Book of Negroes, winner of various awards including The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the 2009 edition of Canada Reads.Hill also co-wrote the television miniseries adaptation of The Book of Negroes, which airs on CBC Television in January 2015.


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