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Writing and life

Writers have a significant advantage in dealing with the darker, messier, more painful side of life. To at least some extent, everything is material you can take apart, study and reassemble; material you can later turn loose on your characters. Yesterday afternoon, as an orthopaedic surgeon shoved a needle through the capsule of my shoulder joint, a small part of my mind – maybe ten percent, maybe less – was analysing and recording. Not just pain (note to self: they prefer to call it ‘discomfort’) but my own response, and his. The room, the equipment, the observing trainee. The other ninety plus percent was quite comprehensively occupied with ‘ow-ow-ow-ow-ow’. But that ten percent pulls you

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iBooks Best  of 2014
Donnel's Promise
by Anna Mackenzie