Merry Christmas Eve and a Happy Hannukah (which also begins tonight) to all our friends...
For the past few months the entries here have been erratic and I want you all to know how sorry our authors (Allan and Helen) are for these issues. However, life has gotten in the way in many forms during this time. First, up until November, Allan was still taking full-time classes at CSU Monterey Bay and these were very demanding classes. They ate up a lot of his time and his mental energies.
Then in early November he received a job offer with the County of Santa Cruz in their Assessor's office. As you all can imagine getting settled into a new job and learning all the ropes is no easy task and very consuming of both time and energies (especially mental energies). However, the biggest obstacle since he started work has been the fact that his commute takes anywhere from 1 - 1 1/2 hours one way, on any given day. He rises at 5:30AM and does not get back until 6-6:30 PM, which leaves him little time to spend with Helen, who has been dealing with a major FLARE up of her Fibromyalgia. Naturally, he has been trying to care for her as best he can when he's available.
However, these are not the only obstacles the two of them have had to deal with. In addition to preparing for the holidays and guests, they have also been looking for a new place to live. Until now, they have lived in subsidized housing at CSU Monterey Bay, but that is only available to students who are full-time! Naturally, Allan can no longer be a full-time student while working full-time and caring for an unwell spouse. So they are hunting for a new place they can afford during the holidays (not easy let me tell you). But as they do so, they are aiming to cut down his commute considerably to give them more time together as well as time to write.
Naturally, this has left both of them with very little time to be creative. Hence, the lack of updates or even a Christmas-themed tale. Two stories were well under way, but are on the back-burner until a new place has been found for them to reside and then get moved and settled in. So please bear with them as they try to get their lives back in order.
Finally, know that the stories and more novels about me, Lisa, Marisa, Otto and our other friends in the Para-Earth Book Series, are on the way. The hopes are for two books to be released in 2017. The first will be "The Door" which is a sequel to "The Bridge" and "The Ship". In December an anthology of some of the stories that have appeared on this blog over the last 2 years will be released. The anthology will also include several brand new short stories that have never been seen before.
During 2017, work on the 2nd "Vampyre Blogs" novels will be fully under way as well, leading to an anticipated 2018 release around Thanksgiving/Christmas. I know that's a long way off, which is why more adventures will continue to appear on this blog, in addition to the anthology for next December.
I can also tell you cross-over stories involving myself, Lisa, Marisa, and Otto, as well as characters from the other 3 novels ("The Bridge", "The Ship", and "The Door") are in the works as well. One or two of those tales will appear in the anthology, as well as novellas, and full-length novels. So please be patient and hang in there. Allan and Helen are very eager to get back to their writing and bring you more adventures to tantalize and thrill you all.
In the meantime, we and they wish you all a wonderful holiday season and as a little bonus. For those who had not realized, in addition to writing our stories, Allan is an accomplished artist and the artwork that graces each of the Para-Earth novels has been done by him. So here I share some of his more holiday-based art. We hope you enjoy these works and have a wonderful and magical holiday season:
First we have a European Father Christmas, he based on several different figurines of Santa Claus he found in antique shops:
Next we have a Robin on a Yule Log. Robins are associated with Christmas quite heavily over in the United Kingdom, but for this piece. However, Allan chose an American style Robin (which is different from those in the England where his mother was born and raised), blending the tradition between the two countries.
And finally, we have this little piece which he titled "It Was Supposed To Be A Still Life". This is true because, he had planned on doing a pastel piece of the presents and village he and Helen had set up beneath their tree one year. Of course, after getting things just right, he went to fetch his art pad and soft pastels and came back to a scene much like you see here. However, rather than getting angry and trying to set things up again, he simply sat down and got to work on the piece saying, "Hey, it's Christmas for kitties too..."
*Note: the coloring of the cat is based on his late father's cat Spikette, rather than his own feline mistress Avalon who was jet black and had been the one underneath the tree. Originally he started out using Avalon's ebony coat, only to find it was too distracting to the rest of the piece, so he kept her attitude and behavior while substituting Spikette's colors for a more balanced piece. He finds great comfort in having done this since both kitties are in Heaven now, although their spirits seem to occasionally visit and cause mischief around the house when one least expects it.
That's all for now. Enjoy the holidays and stay safe everyone. If you must travel, may your journey be swift and fun, without worry or fear. And we will see you all in the coming year.
Nathan, Lisa, Otto, Marisa, the rest of our extended family and of course our creators Allan and Helen Krummenacker