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Welcome to this 2018 edition of Hackwriters. Read our amazing archives. 19 years on-line, 7477 articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on using the links.
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Sam Editorial:
February 2018

My last post for a while as I'm off to Cape Town for a few weeks. Stay safe readers and here's wishing all of you a successful Year of the Dog. May it be a peaceful one.

For some time now, well over six months I have been in pain. At first it was in my legs and they felt so heavy I had to lift my right leg in and out of the car, then around September it left my legs and moved into my arms and shoulders where it remains.  Some days I find it hard to brush my teeth without crying out.  My doctor, the one who refuses to come around the desk and even examine his patients, just shrugs his pain-free shoulders and offers painkillers.  I do not want painkillers.  I want a cure.  Doctors can’t feel your pain. They can’t plug your body into a diagnostic programme on their computer and see the blinking light where some vital component has malfunctioned.  If only they could.  To be honest Doctors have little time for anything other than prescribe pills.  Certainly not empathy or a lengthy question and answer probe that tries to narrow down exactly where and how it hurts.  Nevermind why.

I barely sleep anymore. This is why I have given up the magazine and teaching. I miss my students on the MA course but in the end the pain defeated me. One feels ridiculous picking up a cup of tea and realising it hurts to lift it. Bringing shopping home is agony.  Trying to sleep is endless agony.  Because you look perfectly healthy no one can understand why it is you aren’t yourself anymore.  All you can think about is pain. 24 hours a day.

I came across this quote on-line.
Pain is such an uncomfortable feeling that even a tiny amount of it is enough to ruin every enjoyment.’ Will Rogers

I wondered what happened to him. Probably something to do with all the horse riding he did for the movies and around his ranch in California I suspect. But it is so true. Remember how even a simple splinter can cause distress? Imagine arms that feel like lead with spikes of stabbing pains on any simple movement.

I found a more insidious quote that I feel entirely in tune with what is happening to me.
Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.” George Orwell, 1984

I can still see the smiling face of Michael Palin as the torturer in Room 101 in the 1984 movie.  When you are a person in pain you make bad decisions.  You are never comfortable, standing, sitting, lying down, nothing helps. If by chance you get a five minute nap it’s cause for celebration.  Everyday you wonder how the manufacturers of expensive pain-relief potions like Voltorol can get away with selling their useless crap that relieves nothing, for not even one second.

I need no torturer's power tools to make me feel bad.  My amazing osteopath Joe tries to understand and makes efforts to relieve my pain (this involved lots of actual torture as he tries to make my arms rotate).  I believe Joe will help me – even though he tries to tell me that it’s all in the mind and mindfulness will help. I must have missed that class, as for the life of me I do not comprehend mindfulness.  I try not to feel insulted when I’m told it is psychological – what sane person would inflect this amout of pain on themselves?  But then again I guess there are people who do. Joe is the fittest person I know and in training for the London marathon.  I can’t imagine he ever feels pain but he has empathy down pat. Something Doctors could learn a lot from.

I’m flying off to Africa for a month.  Staying in Knysna and hoping for warmth, long walks by the sea and miracles.  Two out of three won’t be so bad.  My pal David called to wish me luck and remind me there are lots of high cliffs to hurl myself off if the pain gets too bad.  A dangerous suggestion to someone in pain me thinks.

The world will do just fine without me..  Never having to hear anything about Trump ever again would be one reason to jump… let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Do explore our archives - there is bound to be something you'd enjoy and want to share with someone.

© Sam Hawksmoor Feb 3rd 2018
Be one of the first to read: Girl with Cat (Blue)
'London doesn't exist; has never existed and those who say it does are liars... '

*As ever Hackwriters is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle, we aren't picky.
The Sam North Novels - still available to order on Lulu or Amazon
** The Heaviness, Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles are recommended also read The Repercussions of Tomas D

J&K 4Ever - Love and Devotion in the Wastelands
Sixty years after the end of everything the city of Bluette survives, controlled by a malignant sect.  A place where men rule, girls receive no education and are matched at 16 to the highest bidder.  No one is ever permitted to leave the city and outside is a murderous wasteland of despair. Orphans Kruge and Jeyna have been devoted to each other through all the years of terror in this harsh regime and sworn never to be parted.  But the beautiful Jeyna has been betrayed by the Warden. Kruge has been swiftly banished to the Scraps, under the control of the Keeper. Jeyna is heartbroken; she will not accept her fate and escapes to find Kruge.  She is pursued by ruthless Enforcers on horseback, whose task it is to bring runaways back, dead or alive. 'A genuine romance in a bleak but plausible and terrifying setting'.
Marikka MARIKKA- exclusively on Amazon Print and kindle 2

Based on a tragic real life event, Marikka flees from an arson attack on her home to the sea, where she meets Starfish boy – a runaway working for Jackson, a scarred man hiding a sinister secret from the world. Meanwhile her real father searches for her with the aide of Anya, ‘the girl who can read objects’. More about the writing of this book

Long after my tears dried, my heart stayed with Marikka, Starfish Boy and the strange girl who reads objects.’ CT
You will smile, you will gasp with shock, and you will struggle to read the words through your tears. Gemma Williams - Amazon.co.uk 2015

By Sam Hawksmoor and Sam North
Could you live in a world where antibiotics no longer work?
Print & Kindle
Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear as a lethal virus approaches from the East. No one knows how many are dying. People are petrified of being thrown into quarantine. Best friends Kira and Liz once parted are scared they will never see each other again. Teen lovers, Chris and Rachel, prepare to escape to the islands. Do you stay and hide, or do you flee?

Review from the First Edition:
'Beautiful, plausible, and sickeningly addictive, Another Place to Die will terrify you, thrill you, and make you petrified of anyone who comes near you...' Roxy West - Amazon.co.uk

Another Place To Die

Repercussions Spy/Romance thriller set during the Blitz in WW2 - Kindle download
All proceeds go to keeping Hackwriters going

The Repercussions of Tomas D
A Hero? Or Englands Greatest Traitor? USA Paperback here

'Disturbing and very poignant YA love story that presents a chilling alternate future for an England that lost the war.' Marcel d'Agneau
'A brilliant imagining of living in the Blitz, well researched.' Amazon UK
'This is Man in the High Castle for teens and scarily plausible with alternative facts '
*download the Kindle version or buy the paperback from Hammer & Tong
'The Heaviness' for any reader who likes to think about such things as betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity. An original Genie Magee story

Genie & Renée have just 36 hours to save Rian or he dies

'Without a doubt, one of the best YA Sci Fi series out there.' Evie Seo Bookish
Kindle & print

Thanks to readers who have been buying this title. If you enjoyed it, please post a remark on Amazon or Goodreads. It all helps. * Now published as Rüya by Marti Yayincilik - The Turkish publishers of TOZ & Golge
The Heaviness of Genie Magee Ruya

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