Book Covers & Sundry

Quick post today. Our first day of school got pushed back a week because the science curriculum took longer to get in than I anticipated, so TODAY is our first day, instead of last Monday. Starting in 20 minutes, in fact! But I wanted to at least get something up. Trying to get back into some sort of a routine here, even if it’s ragged at first.

A little while back, I contacted an artist friend of mine about doing a painting I could use for a book cover for Wings of Song, the story currently in 2nd draft form. I have learned how long cover art can take, so I wanted to get a head start on it!

She both moved more quickly than I could have imagined, and produced something more beautiful than I could have dreamed. Here it is:

by Valerie Monroe

by Valerie Monroe

(clicking on the photo will take you to her studio’s FB page)

It’s STUNNING. I’m so pleased. The physical painting should be getting to me this week, and I have every intention of hanging it above my desk after I’ve scanned it into my computer to add title and author.

Ironically enough, right around the time Val and I were completing our transaction, the cover designer for Magic Most Deadly and I came to an amicable parting of ways – her life took a few turns which meant that she wouldn’t be able to tackle the cover for another several months, and I just couldn’t bear waiting that long to put my book-baby out there.

So now I’m figuring out my options for MMD. Do it myself from stock illustrations? Simplest, but also liable to make me tear out my hair. Hire someone else to do it? That gets pricey, and I’m also kind of fussy about my covers – standard covers today, with photos of real people gracing them, just don’t fit my writing style. Talk to artists I know and see how they feel about Art Deco? Maybe, but that also gets pricey, and can take a long time.

Plenty of options, I just have to figure out the best one. I find it thoroughly amusing that I have a book cover for the unfinished novel, and nothing for the completed one. Seems a fairly typical pattern for my life!

And now I get to put writing concerns aside for a few hours, and instead focus on teaching my kids. Science, math, and handwriting for the 1st grader today, and letters and numbers with the preschooler. Hurrah for the first day of school!

(By the way, I finished this post with TWO minutes to spare. Go me.)

Tap, Tap … Is This Thing On?

Wow, I think I’ve almost forgotten how to blog. 

Our days have been filled with unpacking, running errands, organizing, re-organizing, re-packing stuff we don’t need right now, making lists of things we still need to buy, throwing other stuff out, and trying to get outside to the playground with the kids at least once a day.

We like the tire swings

We like the tire swings

We’ve also been doing some fun stuff – we went to the beach, and this past weekend we visited Boston, and while we haven’t made any bosom friends yet, we have met a few people who seem like they might be kindred spirits.

Me, happy to be at the ocean

Me, happy to be at the ocean

Still haven’t made it to the library, though.

I will be starting school with the kids on Monday, so that will add a whole new wrinkle to things. This morning I wrote out our education plan to submit to the district. Ugh, I hate doing things like that, but oh well, they have to be done, and at least, from all I hear, this district is pretty hands-off and homeschool-friendly, so I’m hoping we won’t be asked to provide meticulously detailed descriptions of all our curriculum and materials. It is, after all, only kindergarten.

School bookcase

School bookcase

(We’re doing first-grade work with Joy (Grace is still preschool age, so I don’t need to start reporting her for another couple years), but technically she’s kindergarten age, so that’s what I’m reporting her as, which gives us some cushion room in case she hits a road block with her studies and we need to take longer with any particular subject than they would in public school. Which pretty much sums up MY entire mathematical education.)

Visiting different churches, not fun but necessary. Setting up bookcases, SUPER fun and necessary. Figuring out which of my beloved books I can keep in storage for now, painful but has to happen in a small apartment! Working on the baby quilt for my niece, not necessary but fun and a good way to relax. Working on three different writing projects, probably stupid.

My precioussssses

My precioussssses

I made spaghetti and meatballs, with fresh green beans and homemade bread, for supper Sunday night. It was our first “big” meal in this place, and it happened after Carl and I finally got the last of the boxes in the living room unpacked and disposed of, and the kitchen organized the way we wanted it. It felt like a celebration.

Life’s going to be different, these next few years, and parts of it will be very hard indeed. But we take our joy wherever and however we can, and I think we’re going to be okay.

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