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"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men" Zora Neale Hurston,(opening paragraph), Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Yesterday I was on fire for inspiration and rushed to Barnes and Noble to get the Hurston. On the way home I stopped at my local pub which has European style outside tables and chat, and met up with Manuel who teaches at Johns Hopkins University, but is from Spain. He is a writer and I had shared the first page of my novel with him. We had long talk about writing and life mixed with my chopped up Spanish and love rant about Zora Neale. There was a Jewish guy who spent many years in Mexico also speaking Spanish. He, too, was a writer. He schooled me on a few Spanish words and helped me patch together my broken sentences. When we embarked in English on our roots, we found our kindred souls at the bottom of our histories. Our roots, "raizes". Indeed, at the heart of every present is the past.

I had The Book with me and we all read the first paragraph and sighed our applause. I told Manuel that I had discovered a better opening for my novel, the all-important first sentence. It Just fell out of the night, late, but right on time -- free, no charge. Aaaah, this fickle muse.

Zora, here I come.

August 2010

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