1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.
My nearest book was happily one I love, a volume of short stories, The Loudest Sound and Nothing by Clare Wigfall. I was (and am) sitting on the landing at the top of the stairs: it's where I banish my computer when I'm working hard on a first draft, which I always do in longhand, or trying to get back to writing after a disruption, which I am now, after John's recent illness. The Loudest Sound and Nothing was sitting on the top step ready to go downstairs to the shared bookshelves: tidying my study is another way back into writing for me, so that's what I'd been doing.
Page 123 was unfortunately blank, so I turned to the next printed page, 125, where the story 'Night after Night' begins, and here's what I ended up with, just one example of the multifarious voices in the book:
I couldn't for the life of me think why they'd be ringing on us. Took off me apron and fluffed up me hair in case the two bobbies at the door was going to want to come in, but then Stan come back with his coat and hat on and tells me he's gotta go down to the station to answer a couple of questions.
'Couple of questions?' I said. 'What do they want with you?'
I'm tagging Debi Alper, Ms Baroque, Tania Hershman, Vanessa Gebbie and Charles Lambert, who can ignore it of course if they wish.