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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

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.


  1. Hi Diana - I know the worry and anxiety of care - I was somewhat nearer and eventually very near .. but it was daily. My thoughts to you - as you manage your life, and your loved ones together. You've been busy with the covers ... I might at some stage ask how you do those - next year!! I found the blog stimulated me .. so I was very happy I'd started it.

    The idea of once a week - keeps us in touch .. and makes sense .. well done with your writing even so ...

    Have a peaceful Christmas and all the best for the coming year - with thoughts - Hilary

  2. If anyone would know, Hilary, you certainly would. And with my parents, it was the least I could do, since they had been marvelous parents and, ultimately, people I also viewed as friends. I have seen how much enjoyment you have had with your delicious blog, and I am going to see if I can, by putting in less, put in better quality. It's worth a try! Best wishes for a lovely Christmas and a lovely new year in 2016!

  3. Hi Diana,
    I love the cover. It's like the turn century cover of, The Little Match Stick Girl. Your orphan has a twist on his fate I find intriguing. Looking forward to our IWSG post next year. Happy Holidays!

  4. Hi, Adrienne -
    I'd forgot the little Match Stick Girl. I went and looked up the illustrations. Beautiful but sad. I'm enjoying Larouche and his journey. One of my favorites of all my characters, especially a speech he gives in the third book to a group of anarchists. Definitely IWSG: I have some ideas, and I'm working on it now. Have a wonderful holiday and a great new year!

  5. I think I'm going to have to put your books on my list for the new year, Diana!

  6. Hi, Tammy -
    I'll do the same with yours1

  7. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Looking forward to reading more about Larouche and friends. Here's to health, happiness, and good stories.

    1. Thank you, Beth, and the same to you as well as success with your writing. You do know that if you ever nee a Beta reader, I will be very happy to help out!

  8. Beautiful cover! Job well done!
    Best wishes for your beloved Elder, and I hope you find time to recharge the well!

    1. Thanks, Lara - A day relaxing, kicking back and shopping (and NOT for presents!) was a wonderful way to get a breather. I hope you are enjoying your loved ones, old and new.

  9. Good for you that you're still writing. Have a merry Christmas.

    1. And the same to you, M.R. R. - may your Christmas be a happy and blessed one!