047. Tag, I’m it!

  • Go to page 123 of the nearest book.
  • Find the 5th sentence.
  • Write down the next 3 sentences. (Or, paragraph!)
  • “I was working on an oral report for American lit about Zelda Fitzgerald- the talented but tragically unstable wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald- and having a perfectly marvelous time. WHOOO! Who knew she was such a loon! A gorgeous, fabulously doomed loon! I think I’ve found a new role model!”

    (“Freak Show”, James St. James)

    The other meme: write about your five strengths as a writer. Tagged by the beautiful Leah , this one is trickier. Honestly, we do tend to obsess over our flaws, strengths forgotten in the dirt. If I come up with five, it’ll be a miracle. Any and all of these only apply when I’m on top of things- the talents dissolve as soon as I actually need them.

    1. I can write dialog. It is rarely difficult for me to hear the voices, the flow of a conversation. I have absolutely no issue using imperfect spelling to reflect syntax. Y’all, dunno, words that imply a shrug. I can typically reflect speech patterns in my writing, without use of strange spelling if need be. If only I can use correct spelling when needed!

    2. I write simply. This is both a strength and a weakness. I can use smaller and capture a vast point, and unless I’ve done something really strange it’s easy to find the meaning I aim towards.

    3. I’ve written a few stories, and in each case my characters are pretty well fleshed-out. I don’t do flat. They round out with imperfections, quirks, history, relationships, insecurities, abilities. Even if I’m the only one who knows the history, they always have one. It affects the way I write them. Chances are, even if asked about a character I’ve only written in a small story, they have a family or a desktop plant at work they’ve named. They have a favorite food, a preference for green-colored floss, an irrational fear of windchimes. They have a ringtone consisting of ocean waves, tried to date a cheerleader in highschool, helped grandpa bury a body. They have a library book from 1963 hidden under their mattress, which they refuse to give up to the library they’ve walked past for forty years, and they still fear guilty about it. Absolutely none of it shows in the tiny story about buying bread, about waiting in the parking lot on an airless day, but I know it.

    4. I’ll try writing anything, even just once. A story, a poem, a form, a freeverse, a vignette- anything.

    5. I’m easy to inspire. Sing a song, wander into a shabby bathroom, breathe the smoky cigarette scent, mingling with cover-up perfumes and sprays, creating a new incense that’s actually not half bad. Put me on the stage, alone, curling in the half-light of the wooden framework, behind the curtain, lying underneath the supports and painted scenery. Hide me in a stairway, ears pressed to the wall, eyes closed, trying to hear a band play softly a floor away. Move for me, interact and let the poetry of hands resting on shoulders stand up and declaim. Give me a ripe kiwi, a pad of paper, perhaps a knife, and let me block out the noise, the busy, the reality.

    I tag you. Yes, you. Go write!


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