Rainbow Snippets: Dutch culture shock in New Mexico

Today is Saturday, which means it’s time for Rainbow Snippets—sharing about six sentences from a book featuring LGBTQ characters.

My snippet is from Reading the Signs, a short story romance and current freebie about Theo, a Dutch master’s degree student, and Alfonso, an older American professor of linguistics. Both are hearing, but were raised with Deaf family members and are fluent in their local sign languages. Theo attends a summer linguistics institute in New Mexico to learn more about sign languages in general, and that’s where he meets Alfonso.

reading the signs book cover

In honor of Rainbow Snippets, here are a few lines from Reading the Signs about Theo’s feelings of displacement in Albuquerque:

This was Theo’s first time in the United States, and this part of the country couldn’t have been more different than his home in Rotterdam. Albuquerque was in the middle of a desert plateau, while Rotterdam was under sea level and famously wet, covered in a network of canals and rainy year-round. And Albuquerque was hot as Madrid in July.

Even after almost two weeks of being at the international linguistics summer program, Theo couldn’t get over how bright the sun was. It seemed somehow nearer to the earth than it had back home, making the air at noon feel like a candle flame against his skin, and bleaching most of the landscape to a pale beige.

There were few trees, either, to filter the light—and the ones planted by the university’s landscape crew seemed as out of place as a cactus growing out of one of Rotterdam’s canals. No matter where he looked, there was nowhere for his eyes to rest: the sun was bright, the sky was bright, and the land and buildings were bright. It was like having snow blindness, but without the snow.

You can currently download a copy of Reading the Signs from Instafreebie through the MM Romance Giveaway. Enjoy!

14 thoughts on “Rainbow Snippets: Dutch culture shock in New Mexico”

  1. I’d be happier in Rotterdam. ~grin~ It’s funny, but I enjoy trying to find something of exactly six sentences, in some case trimming the original prose to fit. That almost always strengthens my storytelling, too. Heh… Thank you for sharing. And Happy Writing!

    • To each their own. I don’t revise excerpts fro published works because then I’d worry about misrepresenting the story to readers. And the original rainbow flag had seven stripes, so we’re all good. Thanks for stopping by!


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