I haven't vanished off the face of the earth, honest!
However, it may have seemed as though I have...
I haven't written in a long time, for a whole variety of reasons, including a very stressful family crisis and a very stressful phase of contraction/growth/contraction/growth at the company I work for. All of that put together has really sapped me of the will, and the ability, to write over the last year.
There is, however, a light at the end of the tunnel. The stresses are starting to reduce, noticeably, and my creative spark has been coming back in surprising ways. About a year ago, I bought a high-end digital SLR (a Pentax K10D for those interested) and started shooting again. I had been an avid photographer, albeit an amateur, for years with cameras such as Yashica and Pentax before, even rolling my own film, but I had let it slide. The problem with film, of course, is that the results are not immediately visible for you. Since I don't have a darkroom, I have to go out of my way to get them developed and the vast majority of places aren't very good at it. Net effect, I didn't do a lot of photography for years. Well, getting a DSLR with serious features, that could use the lenses that I already had, has changed all that. Throw in a very good photo printer (Canon Pixma Pro 9000) and I've been taking pictures like crazy, especially nature pictures.
How is that relevant to Joanne the Author? It's not directly relevant, of course, but it has a role because my mind is getting the creative block unstuck from where it was. Don't expect anything new immediately, but Queen Rider is being opened up again and I intend to finish it. Yes, I'm truly terrible at getting stuff done in a reasonable time frame, so no promises on a date. I've gone back and read the comments on the various sites, including here, as well as personal emails people sent me. They're incredibly motivating.
Anyways, that's the location of my head at this point. Not totally out of the woods, but getting there.