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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » First 13 lines of book, The Moon on Muddy Water

Author Topic: First 13 lines of book, The Moon on Muddy Water
Thomas W Keogh
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In the spring of 2003, the internet came to the jungle when cherry-faced Buenaventura Calderón installed his bulky hardware in a sweltering room at the Gran Hotel Flores. I got myself an email account and began to search for people I used to know back in the United States. I wrote a veiled message in a bottle—“Hey, long time since we’ve talked. What’s up?”—to some twenty people around the country and dropped it into the ether. Only Rob wrote me back.
He was flying to Nicaragua in June with someone he called a “renowned Bible scholar from Israel.” The guy was supposed to be on the History channel. Could I come over from Honduras and translate? He would pay my expenses. There would also be a married couple leading a team of young people from Maui. “I want you to meet David and Nutie,” he wrote. “You’ll like them.”

[ September 16, 2019, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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I liked this. And I don't like many starts. It sets the story, and the action can continue from here. The level of description works for me; the bottle metaphor I liked. I'm expecting an intelligent book.

I stumbled on "the country". Rereading, that was probably my fault. But there are two countries in play, and he is not in the U.S. so he might not refer to it that way.

The last paragraph I think needs more words to keep me on your path. I don't know how to reconcile that with your style, which I liked. (I think two "called"s and a "because" might do it.) Is that really true about the translation? I think it needs to be. And you can probably tweak the metaphor, but that's impossible for me to describe.

"Only Rob wrote me back" would, I think, be conventionally in the next paragraph. I can't see a reason for your paragraphing except for style. And if you did that for style, then I will respect your choice.

So this hits all the right buttons for me.

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