There Are Days Like This, Too

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.

A View From the Bridge

A View From the Bridge

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!

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5 Responses to “There Are Days Like This, Too”

  1. Heteromeles Says:

    Hope it all goes smoothly. It might be useful in a future blog to talk a little bit about the technical part of the business of writing. Incorporation? To me this seems like overkill, which reveals the depths of my naivete. It looks like there’s a lot more I have to learn on the subject.

    • janelindskold Says:

      If by “technical part” you mean, “business part” I must decline.

      I am not an expert, which is why I treasure my accountant.

      I’m not sure why you would consider incorporation “overkill.” There is a point where “sole proprietorship” contains nearly as many hassles and fewer advantages.

      And, as I have tried to stress in these Wanderings, from the moment you sell a story and receive money for it (not copies, not egoboo) the IRS will expect its cut.

      However, I am not the best person to discuss the details of this.

      I strongly suggest than anyone interested in writing for money — full or part time — get educated on the tax consequences and what is and is NOT a valid deduction. Don’t believe what your friend tells you, even if that friend is a writer.

      I have heard far too many writers say “Oh, I don’t have to do that…” And then the IRS comes along and says “Oh, yes you do.”

      Talk to an accountant or tax professional. Or at least to someone who isn’t telling what a friend of a friend told him or her.

      And remember, state regulations will vary widely, so what is a good idea in New Mexico may not be in California or Maine or wherever.

  2. Nicholas Wells Says:

    For not having a lot to wander about, that was a fair amount of wandering. Who knew nothing could be so interesting? I shamefully admit though, half-way through I started laughing a little. I’ve been in periods like that, and at some point, you just want to scream, look up and heaven and say, “Why not?”

    Those are the times, as my mom has said, I can either scream or laugh. Usually, I choose to laugh. Here’s hoping you can too. Hope it all settles down soon.

    • janelindskold Says:

      I’m so glad you laughed! And I even left out the part about the traffic jam that meant it took me three times as long as it should have to get to the doctor’s office AND the pet that had to go to the vet (it’s okay) and…

  3. Paul Says:

    Nothing like a bunch of deadlines hitting all at once, along with not feeling well. It’s a good thing you’re a pro!

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