Hi, folks… I seriously hate to disappoint, but right now I’m so immersed in the mechanical details of life that I don’t have a lot of fascinating stuff to wander on about.
I spent a lot of last week pulling figures together for my taxes. I’m incorporated, so the filing date is earlier than if I were just filing personal taxes. This year, by really bad coincidence, the deadline for getting figures to my accountant and for handing in the manuscript for AA2 is the same: March 1.
So, last week, while Jim finished reading the manuscript of AA2, I assembled figures. I’m pretty organized already but, since I like to hand everything over to my accountant in order (no shoeboxes of receipts for me), there’s always time spent on this. Being organized about professional deductions and suchlike was a lesson I learned from Roger Zelazny back when I sold my very first short story. In addition to congratulations, he sent me a tax organizer with a note clipped to it that said something like: “You’re a pro now, lady. Keep track.”
Jim really got into AA2, so he finished reading several days earlier than I expected. On one level this was great, because I finally had the chance to talk with someone about the characters and events that have been obsessing me since I started writing this book back in June of 2013.
(Just for the heck of it, I stopped to re-read the WW for 6-05-13 about starting AA2. I felt like a time traveler!)
However, knowing the manuscript was days away from being ready to be handed in didn’t help my desire to concentrate on crunching numbers. So I alternated back and forth, getting something done on both, but by the end of the week nothing was finished.
So this week it’s back to the numbers and the typo corrections, and figuring out how to do a few formatting tricks that I haven’t had to do since I shifted over to Word from Word Perfect the middle of last year.
And, so, of course, just when I needed my brain sharp and acute, the juniper and cedar pollens (both of which I am acutely allergic to – seriously, I have the paperwork to prove it) spiked. When I visited my asthma/allergy specialist on Monday, I was informed I had a fever. Not a very high fever, but enough to explain why I’d been feeling a bit disconnected from the world around me.
When people ask what I do and I say that I write, I can tell by the dreamy look in their eyes that they’re envisioning me in a book-lined study with soulful music playing in the background, perhaps sipping tea, and nibbling a thin cookie while the Muse whispers in my ear.
No such luck. The books are there, true, but I rarely write to music and when I do it’s more likely to be something pretty hard rocking. My drink of choice is black coffee, and a treat would be dark chocolate, popcorn, or, rarely, a donut.
And the Muse rarely whispers. Usually she grabs on hard and shakes – or has to be coaxed into talking to me at all. It’s an interesting relationship. One I wouldn’t trade for all the world.
But for a professional writer tax prep, manuscript formatting, and, yeah, even fevers (and no sick leave!) are as much a part of the picture as the creative side. That’s where I am right now.
By next week I hope to have the taxes done, the manuscript off, and the fever gone… Juniper and cedar will still be pollinating, though. Oh, well… Guess you can’t have everything!