Saw this on Loud Solitude, and I’ll play:
Turn to page 123 in your work-in-progress. (If you haven’t gotten to page 123 yet, then turn to page 23. If you haven’t gotten there yet, then get busy and write page 23.) Count down four sentences and then instead of just the fifth sentence, give us the whole paragraph.
So, here goes. One from a story, and one from a novel. Oddly enough, both are “chemical”-related…
PAGE 123 of a novel on hold:
There’s hydroquinone and metol and sodium thiosulphate. Ammonia hangs in the air and coats my skin. Sometimes I get a streak of the chemicals on an arm or a finger, sometimes an irreversible brown stain on my clothes. On the days I mix Ethol UFG or HC-110 or Edwal Super-20, the fog from the room—chemicals in powder form and liquid form and, once evaporated, in no form that can be seen—attaches itself to my clothes and to my hair. My tongue tastes of it. My head swims.
PAGE 23 of a story in progress:
I put it to my lips, even though it had just touched his lips, and sucked it deep into my lungs. I held it there for as long as I could, as long as I could stand it. Soon enough, I felt my heart pick up speed; I felt my limbs loosen and relax; I felt the anger and resentment and whatever else that was crowding up my head split into tiny, insignificant specks of feeling and shimmy away. I felt everything and nothing, felt closer to him than I had the time I was six and he brought me to the vegetable garden to show me how to plant zucchini. I had forgotten about that, the zucchini, and just as soon as I remembered, it fell away and I forgot it all over again. For some time, we passed the bowl between us, an easy conversation that had no need for talking.
It’s like spinning a globe with your eyes closed, then stopping it fast to see where your finger lands. Fun!