The one major to-do item for my vacation this week was to write a short story I promised for an anthology on libraries and librarians. As of now, it's complete and ready for a few beta readers with quick turn-around time. It ties in with my planned Restoration-era historic romance series (series title: Diana's Band) and involves the failed heist of a book of Latin pornography. (Nothing explicit in the story.)
I really need to make a blog icon for the Diana's Band series at some point. This is the second story I"ve written in that series, but the first didn't sell to the market I wrote it for so I've been holding on to it for future use. The basic premise of the series begins with a second-chance romance between widows who were separated by marriage and then by their families being on opposing sides of the English Civil War. After they get back together (the first novel), Diana Countess of Hartsworth sets out on a campaign to take under her wing various women who find themselves in need of friends and assistance (many of whom just happen to be queer, naturally). Her pitch is that if she assists you, you've become part of Diana's Band and are pledged to repay the favor when she calls on you. (See this post for the inspiration for the name.) This creates the context for a connected through-line for the series that allows each story to stand on its own.
This is the first completed fiction project I've written since the start of Covid. One reason I signed up for the anthology project was to give myself a solid target for getting something written. After all, it would be good to have something of a running start when retirement shifts me into being a full-tme writer.