So far the research for my narrative non-fiction project has included being called ‘hen’, being enticed into a dark and dusty room full of baskets containing crystals and locked in, witnessing the breakdown of a young mother who lost her little boy in a car crash, Chinese dumplings, being asked to stop writing, bursting into tears in front of a room full of strangers – strange strangers at that, smiling as sweetly as I could at a man making bird noises for me and gently refusing to partake in a plate of stale biscuits proffered by a sweaty round woman clutching a word search book. Oh – and I made someone else cry, so that evened things out a little.

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