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Sometimes, not often but sometimes, the feeling I get when I am writing is one of exhilaration and also a strange kind of heartbreak, a feeling like growing pangs or a rush of emotion somewhere behind the eyes, like looking down from a cliff or perhaps the edge of the world, the feeling that I am on to something or that something or someone is on to me, the feeling that I am standing too close to a fire and yet still not close enough. I almost always move away, distracting myself with one thing or another. This kind of writing requires bravery. And just when I think I’m not up to the challenge –or that the Muses (so to speak) have settled on the wrong scribe– the words that come to mind are paraphrased from a letter Chekhov wrote to his brother: “I’m waiting for you. We all are.”


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