Many people ask me how I came up with the magical green fire and green fog that you see in The Broken Circle. I think it stemmed from the chemistry class I took in junior high. I grew up in a small town in Maine and my homeroom was also the chem lab and my homeroom teacher was also the science teacher.
The teacher looked kind of like a werewolf you would see on The X Files, and he was completely into science. He kept the chemicals in a dark closet that some of the kids in class would sometimes get into uninvited. I remember one experiment we conducted before he arrived to school one morning. He usually kept the closet locked but it was not that morning, so we mixed together some ingredients that had an explosive nature.
In the beaker, the different chemicals hissed and popped and greenish smoke rose from the top. We were so mesmerized that we did not hear the teacher come into the room. Of course we got in trouble for that, but I will never forget how the steam looked.