I spent some time researching handedness, for the plot of my third Cornish Detective novel. A dead woman has been found with a blow to her right forehead, which looks to have been struck by a left-handed assailant. The problem for my detective is that the main suspect appears to be right-handed, though he carries a shotgun in the crook of his left arm.
This set me thinking about how I use my hands, and whether I only do some things with one hand or the other. I’m right-handed, though strive to be as ambidextrous as possible just for the mental workout. It’s reckoned that 10-12% of people are left-handed, and all sorts of sweeping generalisations are made about how this affects creativity or a tendency to be better at the sciences.
By coincidence, an article came in from the Brainpickings site which referred to the writer Maria Popova teaching herself to write with her left hand; it had unexpected benefits for her:
Beyond the tangible satisfaction of mastery painstakingly acquired, the endeavor had one unexpected and rather magical effect — it opened some strange and wonderful conduit through space and time, connecting me to the version of myself who was first learning to read and write as a child in Bulgaria. Generally lacking early childhood memories, I was suddenly electrified by a vividness of being, a vibrantly alive memory of the child’s pride and joy felt in those formative feats of the written word, of wresting boundless universes of meaning from pages filled with lines of squiggly characters.
Intrigued by this, I had a go by compiling a list of descriptive words that I want to include in my WIP. I wrote a few in a spidery left hand, coming up with words which I might not have thought of if typing them on the keyboard—probably the most ambidextrous thing most of us do.
For some reason, I use my left hand to operate taps/faucets.
Which hand do you favour?