Friday, April 25, 2008

A proper book tag

I don't normally like tags of course, but this time I'm really happy to be tagged by Norm with this good one:

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.


Tania Hershman said...

Thanks, Elizabeth - here it is! And just to mention that we have a review of The Loudest Sound and Nothing on The Short Review and will shortly be interviewing Clare, I can't wait to get my hands on her book!

Debi said...

Thanks but I've already been zapped for this one.

Fancy page 123 being blank in your book of choice ...

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Hi Elizabeth

Can someone explain what these are actually for? What is a meme, and what is the point of copying out some lines from a random book?

(I am old, and out of touch!)

Elizabeth Baines said...

Well, as I say, Vanessa I'm not keen on memes/tags (I don't know if there's a difference between these two things). Quite often they seem to be just a way of advertising your blog and getting people to link to it. However, I liked this one: I liked the idea of seeding consciousness of a book, and it so happened that when I looked around after receiving the email a book I really love was nearest and I jumped on the chance of promoting it. As for the idea of taking random sentences, well yes it is arbitrary, but the intriguing thing for me was that it came up with a really good nugget which, like any good quote, was telling about the whole book