Saloma Miller Furlong
Author and Speaker

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Saloma Miller Furlong's Blog


And that Important First Paragraph...

Wow! I had no idea how many of you would respond to my last post. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again! I think at least twice as many people liked the bonnet beginning better. Both will be in the first chapter, but I wanted to get a sense of which line would grab people the most. Those of you who liked Number 1 best gave some good reasons why, though.

Here is my dilemma: I like the bonnet beginning better also, but it happens after the other scene, so if I start with that, I have a bit of a sequencing issue.

I thought I would reveal the rest of the paragraphs to each of the lines I gave. Here is how I’ve written them so far:

A light rain fell as the procession wove its way up the narrow lane to the cemetery, where each horse halted by the hitching post. The drivers stepped off the buggies and tied up the horses. The other occupants of the buggies, the women in their black shawls, bonnets, and dresses, and the men in their black Sunday suits and felt hats, stepped off the buggies and slowly walked over the wet grass. My husband, David, our grown son, Paul, and I followed the last buggy in our Toyota Camry. David parked in a spot off to the side, away from the buggies, and we followed the other mourners toward the gaping hole in the earth next to a mound of dirt under a makeshift tarp.

The day of my mother’s funeral, I bought myself an Amish bonnet. It was a curious thing to do, considering she never gave up trying to convince me to go back to take up what she perceived as my place in the family and community. And now only hours after she’d been buried, I found myself in an Amish store in the little village of Mesopotamia browsing through the black bonnets. First I tried one on and found a mirror in the far corner of the store. Then I had an idea. I walked up to my husband, David, who was browsing through the straw hat section and stood close to him. When he looked up he he stepped back with a startled look on this face and exclaimed, “You look just like your mother!”


I don’t know if the context changes anyone’s mind, but I thought I would reveal the rest of the paragraphs.

Thank you again for your input. To all of you out there, I so love reading your comments. I don’t know if I would still be writing this blog if I didn’t have the most wonderful readers ever!


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