I’d stretch and change into a bathing suit, then walk the beach with Christiana, puzzling out the story structure and plot while throwing coconuts into the warm, salty sea of Conchal for Dunkin, gone and missed now these past two years, to retrieve. We’d hike back home through the orange sunset-infused air and jump in our pool while flocks of parrots screamed their way to bed and bats emerged for the night, swooping the pool’s surface but always just missing us. After dinner, we’d take our quads to a nearby deserted beach where we’d stroll along the water’s edge, kicking bioluminescent sprays of warm sea water and watching sea turtles laying their eggs. I finished the manuscript again, this time calling it The Light of the Son, but it was still very, very long. Start over.
In the summer of 2011, I moved back to the yurts, went back to the WW conference and pitched 8 more agents, went to Wordstock again, and my co-chair gave me a full ms critique. I revised again. My WeBook advanced to Round 2, I queried another 20 agents, and I paid for another partial ms critique, revising with ratchets and levers and other scene and sequel techniques and changing the name to East Meets West. I also joined SheWrites and an essay I wrote in Guatemala called “Yoga Matt” was accepted for a travel humor anthology—Moose on the Loose. I continued swimming laps and walking the beach watching seals while thinking of character development and agonizing over theme.