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can you describe your own emotional experience of writing this specific excerpt? To get to the emotions involved in a scene, a writer often has to dredge up similar feelings from her or his own past. I drew, in part, on remembered feelings of helplessness from childhood, of being forced to do what I was told was for my own good. But, perhaps, the most intense experience I had of powerlessness occurred over thirty years ago (Above Right in 1990 with her baby daughter) when I was working for the Tax Office. I had just finished studying librarianship and had applied for a library position in another branch. Because the government announced a recruitment freeze the day I was told I had been successful, my manager informed me that I would not be able to take the job. The feelings of anger, frustration, thwarted dreams, and helplessness are still vivid and it was these I drew on when writing this scene. And while this was extremely frustrating for me, how much worse would it have been in earlier times when some women were given no say at all in a decision as important as the choice of a marriage partner.