Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Hay, born 22 October 1951
- A child lies like a grey pebble on the shore until a certain teacher picks him up and dips him in water, and suddenly you see all the colours and patterns in the dull stone, and it’s marvellous for the stone and marvellous for the teacher.
- But the writing life is a good life. It has countless humiliations, but the pleasure continues of making something, working on it, working out the snags, reaching somewhere deep and surprising that makes you feel more alive.
- And when is it ever convincing, the belief others have in your abilities? You know perfectly well they can't see the mess inside you.
- Everything in my steno pads – thoughts, observations, worries, things overheard – forms the basis for later stories or novels. They are my raw material. I type the raw material into the computer, print it out, then work on the hard copy.
- We look so very different from the way we sound. It’s a shock, similar to hearing your own voice for the first time, when you’re forced to wonder how the rest of you comes across if you sound nothing like the way you think you sound. You feel dislodged from the old shoe of yourself.
- I love being alone in a room. I love being at my desk. I love taking life and weaving it into a story. I love living with fictional characters. If I have nothing to work on, or am terribly stuck, then I feel lonely and empty.
- Movement always helps. A world of thoughts occurred to her whenever she rode a train, and a lesser world whenever she went for a walk.
Hay is a Canadian novelist and short story writer. Her novels include A Student of Weather, Late Nights on Air, and Alone in the Classroom.
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