Title: Battle Scars: Men of the Cross
Current word count 84,090
Revisions: Wow. I had to look back to June 12 to find my last update. I hadn’t been overly impressed with my progress these last few weeks. I had expected a slow-down with my 17 day sojourn to England. But look at this!
June 12: 12,800 words revised
July 22: 12,491 to go
I’d say that’s pretty darn good. (And I’ll ignore the fact that I have at least 3 places highlighted to go back to before I will call this round 1 revision complete.)
How about an excerpt from chapter 2? Sound good? Here goes…
Stephan awoke near noon to a cold, damp, and dreary Southampton. The darkened skies matched his mood, a fitting way to end his days in England before sailing to the warm climes of the Greek Sea. Good riddance weather; good riddance brother.
Outremer would no longer be a place he’d heard described in song and legend. Somehow Stephan knew he’d see Jerusalem. At three and twenty, he was a cynic about the Mother Church and her servants. Whether he’d find salvation by confessing his sins and following the One True Faith, he was not so sure. But he wanted to see the places this man—this Son of God—had walked. To do that at King Richard’s side, to follow his liege lord until he took his last breath, would surely be the most honorable thing he’d ever do with his life.
Leaning against the door of the inn, he watched a parade of wagons pass, their wares rattling. Coopers, smiths, bakers—men of every trade imaginable jostled through the streets. “Three months?” “To Sicily?” “To Marseille.” “Ten or more thousand…” “The Saracens killed…” Voices filled with anticipation—and dread—about the long journey ahead.
“Hello, my sweet,” a feminine voice called.
The driver of a two-wheeled cart tossed the woman a gap-toothed grin.
“Not you.” She tossed her head back. Shouting above the braying of the tradesman’s cantankerous mule, she leaned further out her upstairs window. “That one, Sir blond knight.”
Stephan looked up, pointed to himself.
“You look cold and miserable, my lord.” She smiled, dampened a finger with her tongue and held it against her lower lip. “I can help.”
“I’m afraid you have the wrong man, dear lady.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Until next time, enjoy a few pictures from my vacation.