In Stephen Eglen's collection I found tex-wcount, which counts words
of latex file, using the detex program, and displaying the result in
the modeline. It uses the timer library and count every N
second. However it seems only to work under GNU emacs since it uses
timerp which is not defined in xemacs.
I find this package nifty and tried to port it, but I don't know
enough lisp for this. The author is not reachable any more.
I attach the package which is small and would really appreciate if
anybody could have a look.