Here’s the idea – pick up your dictionary and randomly flip through it. Close your eyes for this, it’s more fun. Select a page at random, then open your eyes and let your eyes find a word that interests you on that page. If you can’t find a word on that page, close your eyes and flip to another page and try again. Then use that word to generate a word association activity – create a list of words and phrases that come to mind as you focus on where your eyes have landed. Here is mine:
Latin conflagration-, conflagratio, from conflagrare
a huge argument
my father’s temper
a tornado of flame
jalapenos mixed with too much tequila
my kids bickering
how it felt to have e-coli
the last few months with my ex
The next step is to try and write something based on what you generated with the word association.
This is what I came up with:
If I had swallowed battery acid, it might have hurt less. There was nothing left in my stomach, but that didn’t stop my body from heaving and retching in a violent effort to rid my body of whatever was causing this conflagration. By now, too, my intestines had long since forced everything through the system. This unknown assailant was now drawing blood and my body was expelling it. I couldn’t stand under my own power, and my husband – his face pale and taut with concern – lifted me in his arms, transporting me down the flight of stairs and into the back seat of the car. He drove like a madman to the emergency room, left the car door open in the parking lot as he sprinted to the entrance and demanded help. A 20-something nurse in green scrubs wheeled a chair to rear door and helped my husband shift my dead weight into the chair.
“If I die,” I said to my husband, “the kids will be too young to remember me.”
“You’re not going to die,” he said, but his conviction rang hollow, and the corners of his eyes were creased with fear.
I’m not tagging anyone specifically, but let me know if you try this out.