Getting 2 Know Lori Hahnel
My idea of a great holiday is one where my family and I can spend a lot of time getting into the history of an area. Holidays where you lay in the sun on a beach have a certain appeal (particularly in the middle of a Calgary winter), but we all really love museums and historical tours, though that might sound a little dull to some people.
Last spring break we visited Seattle for the first time and the highlight of the trip was visiting the Experience Music Project. It’s an interactive museum started by Jimi Hendrix’s family (he was from Seattle) and dedicated to the history of rock music, with an emphasis on the Pacific Northwest scene. Among the many displays are an entire gallery of Hendrix’s guitars, another one that traces the development of the electric guitar, and a lab where you can create your own music. All this in an amazing building designed by Frank Gehry. Very cool. The novel I’m working on right now talks about the Seattle music scene in part, so it was very helpful to go there and do some research.
What’s the best decision you’ve ever made, and why?
Certainly the best decision I’ve ever made in terms of writing was to give my writing priority in my life as much as possible. I tried to write at night after working full-time at Calgary Public Library when I got out of university, but I really found most nights that I was too tired to be creative. Creativity takes a lot of energy, no question about it. Pulling back to part-time hours after a few years allowed me to give my writing the attention it deserves, and although I was poorer I was a lot happier. The last six years the only work I’ve been doing other than writing (and raising my two kids) is the occasional teaching or editing job. I’m fortunate that my husband has a good job, so I don’t have to worry too much about bringing money in.