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Valverde Maclean

Life and love can take us to unexpected places

   Imagine if William Shakespeare had used a computer.  With a modern spellchecker he would have been fine.  After all, he was the first recorded use of many words we use today.  ‘Premeditated’, ‘courtship’, ‘barefaced’, ‘lack-lustre’, ‘obscene’, ‘puppy-dog’.  I can hear him saying “Just you watch.  Everyone will be using those words in four hundred years’ time.  An Elizabethan version may not have been so accommodating, although it would have probably accepted ‘prithee’, ‘dars’t’, and ‘kicky-wicky’, whatever that is!

  Then there’s the green line and the message.  ‘Fragment, consider revising.’  I can see him sitting at the keyboard cursing the computer.  Perhaps that’s where the lines from King Lear came from.

  “O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven!

  Keep me in sweet temper, I would not be mad!”

  We all know that feeling when we are having computer problems.

  Actually, I mention Shakespeare because the Shakespeare Hotel in Barcaldine features briefly in my latest book, “The Letter”.

  A woman finds an old letter amongst her deceased mother’s effects and it starts her on a journey to discover the mystery of her family’s history.  A journey that will change her life, and the lives of those dear to her.

Family history is often ignored.  Most of us are more concerned about the present.  Yet each of us carries fragments of our ancestors.  Sometimes with pride, occasionally with shame, and mostly without thinking too much about it.  However the way one generation were raised influences the next.  Perhaps we use it as an example of how we should raise our children, or perhaps we decide that we will do it differently this time.  Whatever we do, we are responding to our predecessor’s experiences and personalities.

  Then there’s genes.  While we may differ about how much they predetermine our lives, there is still, at the very least, a potential effect.  It may only be a predisposition.  It may be a health issue, maybe something else, but it is lurking there, and can act given the appropriate situation.

  In “The Letter” Liz’s discoveries speak of these matters but also how, while times may change, human nature and behaviour can remain the same.

   Daily  we make decisions that affect our lives.  Other times, life, without our knowledge or input, makes decisions for us.

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