Work in Progress

From Gwenda:

Turn to page 123 in your work-in-progress. (If you haven’t gotten to page 123 yet, then turn to page 23. If you haven’t gotten there yet, then get busy and write page 23.) Count down four sentences and then instead of just the fifth sentence, give us the whole paragraph.

Here’s mine:

Kate stretched out her arms, as Alex removed her coat in a manner that struck Jack as vaguely seductive. As the coat slipped off, Kate looked to Jack like a beardless Christ with a good body. He didn’t know whether to be horrified or turned on.


  1. It was difficult to disagree with her. The Hunt for Red October was living the vagabond’s life in Costa Rica while studiously avoiding alimony payments. From her vantage point, he was a runaway from duty and good sense. But on the Osa, Hunt was part of the live-and-let-live atmosphere, a kooky ex-pat specimen in a landscape that is littered with them. Americans think of immigration as a one-way road heading from south to north. But there’s a lot of traffic in the other direction as well, the tired and worn out all looking for permissive, frontier towns that will let a man live cheaply, evade responsibility and camp out in an ambulance on a pristine beach. The John Hunts of the world are free to live on their terms on the Osa. The police are unlikely to bother him. Nor are Hunt’s fellow settlers, many of whom are up to some unregulated enterprise of their own.

  2. “PFFFT. This guy doesn’t talks much does he?” (He was practicing his new Scandemerican accent). I shook my head very slightly, took aim at the pelican and threw. The fucking thing wouldn’t move.

    Suprise, suprise – mine has the F word in it.

  3. Here’s mine:
    He thought about it for a moment, and she could see, in that transparent way of children, how he was working hard to pull himself together. He knew now that she couldn’t save him, that she was useless—even worse than useless. She was somebody that he had to work to save, to allow her her little delusions that things were going to be all right. She saw it in his eyes, that he had resolutely decided to go along with the cheerful tone. He kept hold of her thumb and ran his hand in circles around it, just like where a ring would go. Then he swallowed—that swallow nearly killed her—and said in the bravest voice he had, “Well, are you going to stay here with me until I have to go on the airplane?”

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