The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore


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Post February 16, 2012, 01:27:08 PM

The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

This is a very enjoyable story, very well written. The pacing is relaxed, and it just kind of floats along for the most part, though it does pull you up a little at the appropriate places. Nice, fresh phrasing. Very smooth. I liked the ending; I was halfway expecting something disastrous, but was pleasantly surprised.

One of the neat things about this is that the -- magic trick, if you will -- is only used once, and the way the story turns out, it can't be determined certainly that the box actually did anything at all.

Excellent job.
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Post February 16, 2012, 06:55:41 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

This was an okay story. I did have some issues with it. I thought that there was too much telling and not enough showing. It seemed the author was more focused on the plot than developing the characters, which is often a problem in fantasy and sci-fi stories, and I had a difficult time liking the protagonist. The ending also underwhelmed me. Like Lester said, there is an expectation for something bigger to happen. Losing the box, though, doesn't seem like much of a cost. Unless there's a hidden cost of marrying Muriel-- who, by the way, seemed very unforgiving when Myron made a slip of the tongue. I wouldn't marry her.

One glaring example of telling vs showing:
They were also becoming ever more physically intimate, and now it was time to take that next big step. Myron had lately been indulging in somewhat lurid fantasies starring Muriel, and she occasionally allowed the subject to occupy her thoughts as well. So she was comfortably ready and perhaps even a tad impatient by the time the moment, aka The Night, finally arrived.

And so they did it, and it went well.


The last sentence made me laugh. It seemed abrupt, almost Biblical in its wording, e.g., "let there be light". My apologies to the author if he didn't mean it be humorous.
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Post February 16, 2012, 07:42:56 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

Jaimie wrote: I thought that there was too much telling and not enough showing. It seemed the author was more focused on the plot than developing the characters, which is often a problem in fantasy and sci-fi stories...

Keen observation.

I've had problems doing the same thing, focusing on the plot to the exclusion of developing the fabric of the story. I think McCamy once said something like a plot driven story sounds like a movie promo (I don't remember the exact words, but the sentiment stayed with me).

I hope I have improved through the years through the flash challenges. Maybe the author would benefit from the same. :idea:

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Post February 16, 2012, 07:48:00 PM

Where a Freudian slip over your under garments.

Jaimie wrote:...Unless there's a hidden cost of marrying Muriel-- who, by the way, seemed very unforgiving when Myron made a slip of the tongue.

Now if Myron actually "slipped" her the tongue, Muriel might have been more forgiving (and we might have had a whole 'nother story).

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Post February 18, 2012, 05:20:15 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

A very nice, humanistic story about young people in love. And, we have a magic box that must symbolize ‘hope’ in a tangible sense, in which hope is real, and not just some abstract feeling or concept that bubbles up to the surface of our minds. But then again, maybe the box is just a box and nothing else, only the author knows for sure.

One mistake to point out: The author used ’They’re’ instead of ‘Their’ in the beginning of a paragraph, but in all honesty I can say this author has a very good command of language! Just a little editing need---like myself: Only I’m much worst!

The descriptions very good, and enough sensory input to feel and taste the aroma of breakfast during that one scene. Nice job!

I agree with Jamie’s critique about showing versus telling. More showing in the story---it takes more time to write scenes that show---would have really polished this one off.

Nice job
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Post February 20, 2012, 09:14:02 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

Once again to spur the discussion, I will try an alternate view.

I was fine with the "telling" because it harkens back to a politer time when you were *supposed* to "Tell and not Be Rude". This read like an O. Henry tale. He never "showed" the graphic side of anything.

And yes, it was a charming ending, Once was all he needed, more would have led him into cheap greed.

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Post February 27, 2012, 02:44:49 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

Not often can we watch a person writing a story while reading the completed piece. This story might be one such case:

E. A. Moore wrote: He got busy with notepad and pencil again. It took a while this time but with the help of the translation site and much riffling of pages in his English / Latin dictionary, he eventually arrived at:

FOSSOR PATAFACIO MIHI PRO ALIUS.


It seems to me the author has lost an opportunity here.

For one thing, after forming that last line, there are some letters left in the collection on the titular box, indicating that the whole thing might read

fossor patefacio mihi pro alius vicis

What this might be supposed to mean we know from the story. However, Latin has a rich grammer that tells us differently. For example the last three words of that sentence are totally unrelated. All in all that sentence might read somewhat like:

A fool I open for me for other a turn.

After all the effort the author seems to have put into that line, this either indicates that the story's main character has actually not been that successful at decyphering the inscription - or it might be a tad bit disappointing.
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Post February 27, 2012, 04:05:45 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

Well, they don't call it a foreign language for nothing . . . of course, I'm sure a native speaker of Latin would say the same about English! :lol:
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Post February 28, 2012, 11:00:48 AM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

Lester Curtis wrote:Well, they don't call it a foreign language for nothing . . . of course, I'm sure a native speaker of Latin would say the same about English

Yes, I guess they'd have - using terms like 'lingua barbarorum'.
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Post February 28, 2012, 01:27:00 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

vates wrote:
Lester Curtis wrote:Well, they don't call it a foreign language for nothing . . . of course, I'm sure a native speaker of Latin would say the same about English

Yes, I guess they'd have - using terms like 'lingua barbarorum'.


That's the language spoken by Vinnie Barbarino, among others.
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Post February 29, 2012, 01:10:21 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

Lester Curtis wrote:Well, they don't call it a foreign language for nothing

It is but a foreign language
So a story you when write
Let that be to your advantage
There's no need to get it right


Did I get your meaning?

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Post February 29, 2012, 02:49:35 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

vates wrote:
Lester Curtis wrote:Well, they don't call it a foreign language for nothing

It is but a foreign language
So a story you when write
Let that be to your advantage
There's no need to get it right


Did I get your meaning?

v.

Mmm, no . . . if you're going to use a foreign language in a story, you should get it right -- same as whatever science you refer to (or beware the fury of the Wolfe).
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Post February 29, 2012, 04:31:17 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

Lester Curtis wrote:Mmm, no . . . if you're going to use a foreign language in a story, you should get it right -- same as whatever science you refer to (or beware the fury of the Wolfe).


Careful Lester. Using my name in vain can lead to an exposed vein. . .or three.

As for the story, I enjoyed it despite the stuff that Vates mentioned. And it's not like the language was ancient Mesopotamian (as opposed to modern Mesopotamian??) A little more research would have been better. There are plenty of Latin translation sites out there that could have cobbled together something a little less. . . uh. . . .puzzling.

However, the ending both surprised and delighted me. I didn't expect the story to finish like it did. These kinds of Djinn in a Bottle things never (I guess I should now say hardly ever. . .) do.

Any story that I can't (or just flat-out don't) anticipate gets an automatic higher mark in my estimation.

I also agree with Tao about the O. Henry similarities, especially the surprise ending. It reminded me more of A Retrieved Reformation, than anything else. That's always been my favorite O. Henry story.

And I think I'd think twice about marrying her, as well. That little slip-of-the tongue should be a fairly minor thing if everything else is going right.

Loved the haggling scene. . .wish I could do that.

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Post March 01, 2012, 01:17:24 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

I'm with Jaimie on this story - I don't see much in it and the ending was disappointing. Boy and girl meet/ they have sex/ he's unsure about asking her to marry him/ they separate for 2 weeks & get back together with girl happily throwing her arms around boy's neck. So? Yeah, I know theirs an odd box in the mix, but the price doesn't equate with the dire 'pay' directive on the paper.
If you want to talk there always being a price for magic, any magic, I call your attention to Mr. Gold of Once Upon a Time on CBS. Now that show REALLY knows how to turn it around so the price often overpowers the original magical offering. This story, however, not so much.
How about this for an ending: SPOILER: Inside of the antiques shop 10 years later. In walks Myron, dressed in a custom suit. Muriel has left him because he spent too much time at the office getting $$$. He browses quietly and then sees THE box. He picks it up and takes it to the cashier. "How much" he asks. She tells him a astronomical price - everything he owns - and he quietly asks if they take Visa, realizing that life without Muriel's love is worthless.
The whole haggling thing was kinda silly, noone drops the price that much unless the air inside the box contains leprosy.
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Post March 02, 2012, 01:24:48 PM

romanes eunt domus

Bill_Wolfe wrote:As for the story, I enjoyed it despite the stuff that Vates mentioned. And it's not like the language was ancient Mesopotamian (as opposed to modern Mesopotamian??) A little more research would have been better. There are plenty of Latin translation sites out there that could have cobbled together something a little less. . . uh. . . .puzzling.


OK, I 've brought this up. Maybe I should apologise. For examples, what translation programs can do, or rather what they can't, you need only read the occassional spam in this forum. So far I have only encountered sites whose output is about on par with the latin in the story.
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Post March 03, 2012, 05:24:43 PM

Re: romanes eunt domus

vates wrote:. . . .what translation programs can do, or rather what they can't, you need only read the occassional spam in this forum. So far I have only encountered sites whose output is about on par with the latin in the story.



Vates,

Occasional SPAM? The Forum handles more spam than a Hawaiian deli.

And I'm out of my league when it comes to languages, with you. If I were to write what Mr. Moore did, I would have found real Latin phrases that seemed to fit.

Ex: stultus is quisnam bis morsus a epotus mica

Translation: foolish he who twice bites a swallowed morsel

Though why anyone would write a warning in an anagram, is beyond my comprehension. Kind'a defeats the purpose, don't you think?

I was referring to the fact that I counted 32 letters on the lid but only 27 in the words he made out of them. I didn't even look to see if he got the anagram right.

And are you seriously implying that:

"Congratulations Mister Dog-like Wild Beast, you have been fortunate at winning large cash award performing to you richness forever! "

Isn't a real email? That this might be a translation program? Are you saying maybe I shouldn't have wired them a measley $2000 so they could process my fortune?

Weeeeee'll see who's laughing when my Nigerian Banker friend wires the full amount to my account. . . .we'll see who's laughing, all right.

Bill
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Post March 06, 2012, 09:35:39 AM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

"Congratulations Mister Dog-like Wild Beast, you have been fortunate at winning large cash award performing to you richness forever! "

Very funny - Dog-like Wild Beast. And I thought my 2nd husband's name (True) was bad. We lived in New Orleans and the shop keepers would say: Is that spelled Treoux? But 'Mr. Dog-like Wild Beast - All I can say is Ah Woooooooo!
P.S. - when you get that $26 million could you spread it around a little? - I hear that Mr. Romney still doesn't consider herself 'rich'. Perhaps a few more million would help.
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Post March 06, 2012, 12:40:53 PM

Re: romanes eunt domus

Bill_Wolfe wrote: Occasional SPAM? The Forum handles more spam than a Hawaiian deli.

Okay, that was funny! Did you make that up?

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Post March 06, 2012, 12:55:32 PM

Profit of Doom!

Bill_Wolfe wrote: Though why anyone would write a warning in an anagram, is beyond my comprehension. Kind'a defeats the purpose, don't you think?

Unless you're Nostradumbass (phonetic spelling). Keeping his messages mysterious by using vague generalities like he was really onto something, gave his readers the chance to infer the hell out of whatever he thought he was trying to say at the time. There again, he was probably drunk.

Pretty good for a French druggist. :shock:
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Post March 06, 2012, 04:38:49 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

My email handles more salami, errr spam, than an Hawaiian deli! We gladly feast upon the flesh of those who would subdue us!
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Post March 06, 2012, 07:58:58 PM

Re: romanes eunt domus

Bill_Wolfe wrote:...Though why anyone would write a warning in an anagram, is beyond my comprehension. Kind'a defeats the purpose, don't you think?...
Bill


Heh. Made me think of the mysterious journal with the note attached "DO NOT READ" (from the story of the same name). Of course, in that story, the purpose was to absolutely guarantee that the victim WOULD read the book...

As for the quality of the Latin -- could be worse. Could be Harry Potter or Harry Dresden pseudo-Latin... (I love both series, but I retain just enough from my five years of high school Latin to know it ain't kosher.) In my Al Majius stories, the Rumanian and Hebrew and Arabic words are authentic, but the grammar is poor or downright non-existent (slightly better than the assembly instructions from a cheap (or even an expensive) toy or hunk of furniture, but not much).
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Post March 06, 2012, 09:33:48 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

vates wrote:
Lester Curtis wrote:Well, they don't call it a foreign language for nothing . . . of course, I'm sure a native speaker of Latin would say the same about English

Yes, I guess they'd have - using terms like 'lingua barbarorum'.

Maybe more likely "lingua illigitimi." And I'm pretty sure I've bastardized that.
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Post March 07, 2012, 06:33:34 PM

Re: romanes eunt domus

Robert_Moriyama wrote:As for the quality of the Latin -- could be worse. Could be Harry Potter or Harry Dresden pseudo-Latin... (I love both series, but I retain just enough from my five years of high school Latin to know it ain't kosher.) .

At least Dresden *admits* that his Latin is attrocious.


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Post March 12, 2012, 06:12:50 PM

Re: The Mulligan Box by E. A. Moore

Bill_Wolfe wrote:I also agree with Tao about the O. Henry similarities, especially the surprise ending. It reminded me more of A Retrieved Reformation, than anything else. That's always been my favorite O. Henry story.

Bill Wolfe


Hi Bill!

It's not just the surprise of the ending, but something about the soft tone (that wasn't to some folks' liking above) that reminded me of O. Henry's understated endings.

One of my many projects for a while was in fact a systematic study of many O. Henry stories. This one felt a little different than Retrieved Reformation, because the character didn't quite make the same kind of despairing sacrifice. I'll suggest "Mammon and the Archer." http://www.encyclopedia.com/article-1G2 ... rcher.html

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