Work in Progress: Ashes and Light, week six

Ashes and Light
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 3

38041 / 85000 (44.75%)
Nothing like remembering that you forgot the weekly blog update just as you’re about to fall asleep.
So here we are, starting week seven. I’m well ahead of where I should be, which is good. It’s good especially since I think I have to shuffle the chapters I’ve already written. I started Ashes and Light with Douglas and Margaret, in the Victorian era. Looking back at what I’ve written already, though, I think I really need to start in 778 AD, with Roland and Turpin and Olivier, which means taking chapters six through ten and making them one through five. Since I’m writing in Scrivener, that sort of change is trivial — one of the infinity plus one reasons I love Scrivener.
Decisions, decisions. I’ve got time to decide, though. I’m only about halfway done.
The excerpt this week from Ashes and Light:
“Olivier?” he called as he started putting on his clothes.
“Yes, Master?” Olivier called back.
“While I’m gone, keep an eye on Roland, will you?” he asked. “I know he’s recovered very well, but I still worry—”
The curtain opened. Turpin turned to see Roland standing there, looking furious.
“I don’t need looking after,” he said, his voice very quiet.
Turpin sighed. “I’m sorry, my love. I didn’t mean for you to hear that—”
“I don’t need Olivier to be a nursemaid,” Roland snapped. “And I really don’t like the idea that you were going to ask him to do it behind my back. I thought we were past hiding things, Turp. Am I a child now, that needs a nursemaid?”
Turpin was silent, pulling his tunic on over his head. He picked up his belt and scabbard, and fastened them around his waist. “You’re not a child. You are my beloved Roland. Almost losing you frightened me, more than I can put into words. I don’t think there are words for it, not in any language I know.” He smoothed the front of his tunic and turned to Roland. “It hasn’t been that long.”
Roland closed his eyes. His jaw was clenched, and Turpin could almost hear him counting, trying to control his temper. Finally, he took a deep breath. “Ever since the fever broke, ever since it was clear that I was going to live, people have been waiting to see how it broke me. It’s smothering. I am fine. I’m healthy, or I wouldn’t be on campaign. Correct?”
Turpin nodded slowly. “That is correct. Charles would never have allowed you to ride out with us if he hadn’t thought you hale.”
“Then stop treating me like an invalid!” Roland’s raised voice was like the crack of a whip. It left silence behind. Silence broken by the sound of someone outside the tent calling Turpin’s name. Turpin closed his eyes and sighed.
“I apologize,” he said softly. “I wish we had more time to discuss this. I don’t see you as less because you were so sick. I was frightened, Roland. Badly frightened.” He looked up at Roland. “I love you.”
Roland looked down. He nodded. “I’m just tired of being treated like glass.”
Turpin sighed. It was the best he’d get, and he knew it. He looked around. “Olivier, where are my packs?”
“Out in the travel cart. Grossaille is harnessed and waiting for you. And so is Nasir.” Olivier made a face. “Waiting for you, I mean. Not harnessed.”
If you follow me on Twitter, you know I had a really good writing week. Like, really. Almost 2400 words in a single sitting good. That was, however, on Heir to the Firstborn. Chapters eight, nine and ten are already written, proofread and scheduled to go up on Patreon on the next three Fridays, and I’m working on chapter eleven. And I’ve introduced one of the two characters that I have been impatiently waiting to get into this story. Owyn has what I think may be one of the more interesting descriptions that I have written for a character.
Aria nodded. “In a moment. Aven, lie down.” She moved in close to him and peered into his face. “You didn’t sleep, did you?”
“Not well,” Aven admitted. “The bed didn’t feel right.”
“How do you usually sleep?” It was Owyn, coming back in with a tray. He set it on the table, and brought two mugs to Aven. “Left is tea, right is broth. My left, I mean.”
“Thank you, Owyn. And how I sleep? Underwater, usually.” Aven sipped the hot broth, sighing as the salty warmth chased itself down his throat. “Oh, that’s good.”
“Can’t do anything about sleeping underwater,” Owyn muttered. “How else?”
“When we were out in the deep, I’d sleep on the canoe—”
Owyn frowned, looking fierce and distant. Aven glanced at Memfis, who smiled.
“What’s your thinking, Fire Mouse?” he called. Owyn nodded slowly.
“Underwater, he’s not going to weigh anything. Can’t do anything about that. It moves, don’t it? The water? On the canoe, it’s still going to move— I’ll be back.” He wheeled and ran out of the room.
“What’s he doing?” Aven asked, sipping the broth, then the tea. He offered the tea to Aria, who took a sip, then made a face.
“He put salt in the tea!”
“Good. He thought of that on his own. That means he’s paying attention. And as to what he’s doing? He’s creating,” Memfis answered. “I told you. He’s brilliant. But he doesn’t think the way most people do. Most people, they think in lines, one thought following another. For Owyn, those lines are broken. Sometimes they overlap, and occasionally his corners have curves.”
The salt in the tea is because Aven, as a merman, is biologically unable to drink fresh water.
The plans for this week? Decide on the order of chapters in Ashes and Light, and make it to the halfway point.  Finish chapter 11 in Heir to the Firstborn and start on chapter 12. And, of course, write all the words!

What do you think?

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