Just read “If The Mountain Comes” by An Owomoyela, in Clarkesworld Magazine, issue 69 from June 2012. I was engaged from the first lines. Here are the first two sentences: “François and Papa were outside, discussing what to do if the water rose. I was in, scrubbing blood from the walls with a palmful of sand.” Am I right? You want to know, don’t you? Go read it if you haven’t already.
I found Owomoyela’s website (An’s got a Twitter account to follow if you do that tweeting thing) and clicked about, and under “blog” found this posted on September 19, 2012: “It’s international book week, and thus apparently time for a meme. The rules: Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence. Don’t mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your post.”
Sounds like fun. So I did. Here’s what I found:
1) She comes to life in the prairies, in the murky river that drowns prize begonias.
2) As Silliman puts it, “She always thought on the scale of Ezra Pound and Emily Dickinson.”
3) “The carriage is hitched,” she said.
(Yeah 3 is not terribly interesting… 2nd sentence in that book page 52 is better: She would have liked to ask, but having already introduced the matter once, she felt it would be nagging.)
Picking random lines from books/media is one wonderful way to generate new work. The lines without context and thrown together we try to make logical sense of them = we create stories. I have enjoyed creating new work (usually poetry) this way. And don’t forget to use your dictionary! Some great lines in there.