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Writing toward hope is possible *

At 10:47 a.m. on February 3, 1931, Napier, New Zealand, was decimated by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake. The earthquake, located approximately nine miles north of the city, lasted 2.5 minutes, killed 256 people and injured thousands. Nearly all the buildings in the central areas of Napier were leveled, and “The Dominion Post,” a daily newspaper published in Wellington, NZ, reported that “Napier as a town has been wiped off the map.”  During the first 24 hours after the earthquake, 151 aftershocks were recorded including a magnitude of 5.5. In the days to follow, other top-magnitude aftershocks included a 6.4 on Feb. 8, and a 7.3 on Feb. 13. Altogether, 597 aftershocks were recorded in the Napier area by the end of February and more than 900 by the end of 1931.  Until a presentation called “Writing Through the Earthquake: When Your Place Shifts” by author Hannah Anderson at the HopeWord’s Writer’s Conference in early March, I’d never heard of the Napier earthquake; now I can’t forget it. As

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