Sunday, 28 April 2013

Getting a kick in the pants from Lawrence Hill

This was the week of girl's nights.  A trek to Toronto (three bottles of wine and a dirty martini later), a catch up with an old friend over dinner and tea and then last night I washed the toddler out of my hair, a clean t-shirt and put on some eyeshadow. With lattes in hand we embarked on a literary girls' road trip.

Enjoying a reading by Lawrence Hill would have been spectacular in itself, but it happened to be held at one of the most exquisite pieces of property in the area, Wintergreen Studios. Wintergreen Studios has 200 delicious acres, completely off the grid with a straw bale lodge and a series of hobbit houses along the property, which houses a lake and beautiful walking trails. *yum* A walk through the woods, a hike in heels, and an offering at the river reconnected me. To the land. To myself. To passion.

Hill himself was poignant, funny and a delightful reader. Hearing about his trials with the book burning in the Netherlands made me realize just how strong you need to be to be a writer. You need teeth and determination.

As I realized my copy of The Book of Negroes sat in my dining room, unable to be signed, I was lucky enough to chat with him about writing, children and the trip to the UK with my 10month old daughter on my back. He asked, “Who does that!?” and I say “Me... I’m VERY SLOWLY writing a memoir about it.” He then asked me who my publisher was, I replied with a laugh. He told me to get on it.

He’s right.

I’m starting to forget the little details. As a freelancer, I write for work, so rather than chronicling the amazing stories of our trek when I have down time, I have started to doing other things... like ironing.

So, with the sunshine and our dance around the Maypole coming up this week (Happy Beltane) I am tapping into my muse with a renewed sense of conviction and determination to do this... if not for anyone else but Penelope and I.

Thanks for the kick in the pants Lawrence Hill.

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