I tend to blog infrequently, but summer vacation means even more infreqent posts from me.  I have two kids, and the summer is filled with things like traveling and doing stuff outside the house. I am also one of those people that write when I’m alone.  It has a lot to do with the nature of my writing, but not entirely.  I have a hard time concentrating when there are other people walking around behind me or playig music in the background.  Even more, the divided attention just kills me.  When I am working on something, I really need to focus.  There are times where, if I am in the groove, I can write for six hours straight without even realizing the time has gone by.  The requests for help with one thing or another break the concentration to such a degree I usually give up trying.  

This summer has been pretty much a non-starter for any kind of writing.  I put up a couple of blog posts on my other blog during the family vacation to Europe, but haven’t done much else.   I figured I should just admit that I’m not going to be around much until September.  At that point, I will likely have two more stories out in anthologies (Yay!) that I can share.

In spite of wanting to just completely disappear and head to the beach all summer, I had to tend to some business.  Someone who reads this blog regularly sent me the following in an email:

“…..I noticed your blog looks different.  What happened to all your pretty pictures?”

Well….  I read this blog post, by Roni Loren.  Talk about a cautionary tale!  I had been using images that I found off of Google searches without really thinking about it. They were out there being used by everyone else, right?  Well…read Roni’s story, and you’ll see why I just started deleting things.  I have since removed any image that might have any copyright issues.  I have no desire to break copyright, and as an author I can really appreciate the notion that people should be compensated for their work.  I spent a couple of hours last week removing any images that I didn’t have permission to use.  What that left me is covers of books that I either blogged about or where my own work appears.

The really bad image to the left is one I have complete copyright on since I created it in Publisher in about five minutes. I looked for a free “schools out” sort of image, but didn’t really feel like spending $10 for one.  You can see why I haven’t just been doing my own art all along. I’m not an artist–or at least not a graphics artist.  I’ll be researching various photo-stock and image galleries that give things away for free or at low cost, but until then…Well…you get home-made images if any at all.  

Have a happy, fun summer. I’ll be back to more regular blogging in September.