Checking in, Holiday Wishes, Update and a promise

I have been off the boards, so to speak, for nearly a month after diminishing participation for several more.  Without boring anyone, I’ll say that Eldercare Issues occupying a lot of time and travel expense (remind me to move to within 100 miles of my nearest and dearest when I am in my eighties.  It will save wear and tear on my family) a (day) job that keeps me extremely busy but puts bread on my table and three projects in the air have kept me from being any sort of a presence on this blog or anywhere else.
Just this morning, going through my mail, I encountered this blog post from WriterUnboxed:
It was just what I needed to read, an elbow to the ribs that brought home things I had been thinking.

Whatever we do, whether we are being creative, running a marathon or running after toddlers, we need to keep ourselves in shape, challenge ourselves and refresh ourselves.  Not the easiest thing to do, as we all know, but imperative. 

…So, Diana, what, exactly, have you been doing?

Aside from eldercare and driving 500 miles approximately every other weekend and worrying about the particular elder?  Writing,  you mean? 

Well, I could give a list:
  • Polishing Book 2 of The Orphan’s Tale (due out around May of 2016)
  • Writing book 3 of The Memphis Cycle (due out autumn of 2016 if I’m lucky)
  • Mulling over putting out a book of shorts from The Memphis Cycle
  • Finishing the Crocodile Story (see upper right of my blog for a look at the cover).
It’s rather a lot to do at once with everything else going on.

So, what to do? 

I’ve decided to schedule one post per week.  If I think of other things, I’ll post about them.  I’ll participate in the IWSG.  I love the Celebrations blog hop, and it would be easy to incorporate that into my weekly post.  I’ll also be careful to respond to comments.  We’ll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, if anyone is curious, this is what I did over the weekend.  It is the book cover for Vengeance, Book 2 of The Orphan’s Tale.  The books form a trilogy.  Book 1 and Book 3 are essentially written.  That is, Book 1 has been out for some time.  Book 3 originally flowed from that after a six month hiatus.  Well, while polishing Book 3 I began to think of what happened during those six months.  So Book 2 has been written, basically, from whole cloth. 

The covers all feature a character from each story.  Book 1 was the Heroine, Book 3 will have the hero, and Book 2 has a little boy who is a pivotal character in every volume.  His name is Larouche, he was out on the street around age 3 in the wake of a cholera epidemic.  He was taken in by an old priest for the next year or so.  When the priest died, Larouche never went back.  He makes his appearance  nearly a year after the priest’s death, and the Hero runs afoul of him.

Their relationship is one of the megathemes of the series and it has been a delight to write.  It was hard to find an image for him (depictions of street urchins are rather scarce, and I had to adjust this one).  I set it within a painting of a great old Parisian structure on Christmas.  Very fitting, since Book 2 ends Christmas eve with Larouche pausing to look in the window of a festive house.  It took a lot of work to adjust the images, position them, shade them, highlight the windows…  A lot of work can also be really enjoyable.  I do need to adjust the fonts at the top and bottom and perhaps change the color of the velvet background, but I do think I have my cover.

Thanks for your patience, my apologies that it was necessary.

May your days be merry and bright, and may 2016 be a year of wonderful happiness and peace.