writing

Trudging Along the Road of Happy Destiny

WIPpet Wednesday BannerHappy Wednesday, my friends! Today I am providing you with a snippet of my work in progress (thus, WIPpet), a challenge hosted by K.L. Schwengel. Basically, you post a snippet of your current project which in some way relates to the date. I usually post something which relates to “today in history” but I have encountered a major brain fart today and just decided to post something from p. 22 (since today is the 22nd day of January).

This snippet is from my WIP, Dark Ages trilogy (Book 1) in which reluctant knight Justus must redeem a thief (Tristan) and guide a barren woman (Richende) on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Also, I am trying to decide upon a name for this book. Please vote on your favorite!

Now then, in this scene Richende and Justus are discussing the pilgrimage to come.

“Your face is brown,” she observed. “Your arms as well. You’ve been outside the cloudy lands of your forebears for some time.”

“Yes,” he admitted. “Years.” He calculated in his head, said with surprise, “Two, now, since I’ve been gone.”

“Irish monks have come here before, when I was a child. Three of them, with stringy long hair and priests’ habits and wild eyes. I remember their fervor, and their hope. They were on a peregrinatio, a wandering, they knew not where day by day, but only went as the spirit of God directed them.”

Justus thought of the hermits in the desert, the saints sitting atop poles or rooted in the earth, the signs and wonders he had seen in the glittering cities of the Roman East. The golden icons and sweet perfume, the filth and illness and degradation that affects the poor everywhere. He had been fed by nuns and nursed in sickness by monks who lived atop a hill overlooking the ocean, in Greece. He had watched peasants stomping grapes at harvest-time, had seen others eating juicy oranges as they rested and laughed like life was sweet and full of jest.

“There are many such along the roads, wanderers for the faith,” he volunteered.

Comments, reactions, impressions, constructive criticisms – all are treasured, should you choose to provide them. Visit my fellow WIPpet participants here, or join the fun yourself:


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25 thoughts on “Trudging Along the Road of Happy Destiny”

  1. Nice excerpt! I don’t know who Justus is speaking to, since I don’t have any context, but it did occur to me that she didn’t sound Christian, the way she refers to the Irish monks, so if that’s the case, “your god” instead of “God” might be more appropriate.

    I didn’t vote — I just haven’t seen enough of this to know yet what would be appropriate, sorry!

    1. No worries about the voting – I completely understand. It’s a bit of a challenge to keep up on everyone’s entries every week! Ooooh – wonderful observation about the “your god” vs. “God.” Thank you!!

  2. I had to vote none on the title. Maybe a shorter version of one? They seem too wordy.

    Anyhow, another great excerpt. I love how she describes the Irish monks. I also love that you disclose things about Justus through the dialog. Well done.

  3. Ah… none of those titles seemed to fit. They’re long and yet they fall short of the intensity of your prose, Xina. You always present us with such vivid imagery, but none of those titles seem to come alive the way your excerpts do.

    As for this piece… I love Justus’s part, but it lacked a sense of origin… No biggie. It’s a matter of it being a tiny sample of the larger piece.

    1. Thanks for your honesty and your excellent feedback! I always know when you comment that I will receive a well-though-out, valuable comment! That’s worth it’s weight in gold!

      Yes, I hear you about the sense of origin. Hopefully it makes more sense when read as a continuous story. I’m always afraid to overload readers with these snippets. Generally, I think shorter pieces are more powerful – but they don’t always make the most sense!

      1. Shorter snippets are definitely more powerful. As for making sense? Most anything taken out of context risks being confusing or disjointed.

        Thank you for your kind words about my comments, Xina. I confess, it’s just gut reaction, not a matter of well-though-out anything…

  4. I don’t know why, but I got tripped up reading this part:
    He calculated in his head, said with surprise, “Two, now, since I’ve been gone.”

    I read it four times and it just hit me as odd. Can’t say why.

    Other than that, you do beautiful writing as always. Many vivid images were painted in my mind.

  5. I really love the descriptions in the third paragraph! They’re only brief but gave me some pretty clear images in my head. These characters sound fascinating, I can’t wait to read more about them!

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