Five high-pitched beeps, each just short of a second long, sounding in regular succession. This is preceded by a gurgling sound that I don’t always hear. That depends on where I am. The beeps, however, are just piercing enough that I will hear them.
Five electronic beeps that sing a melody-less song of hope. Signaling that the rich Colombian elixir is ready. That elixir which chases away the 4 am cobwebs and stirs the blood.
Five electronic beeps, “I am ready for you, master. Come, partake of me. Fill your cup and drink me in.”
A five note siren song, drawing me to the kitchen, a mug, steamy warmth nestled in my hands as I trod the dark hallway to the den, my desk, my work.
Oh, the song of the morning. Long before sunrise. Invigoration that prepares me for creation, for study, for contemplation.
I hum a song of gladness, of gratefulness, to The Maker, for the maker of coffee.
You have a desire to write; to make your thoughts and inspirations known to others. Perhaps you are knowledgeable and wish to share your expertise with others, passing what you know to another generation. Maybe you are creative and enjoy entertaining others with stories of fiction. Or perhaps you are insightful and like telling factual tales about places, people and events; helping others to understand.
They say that human beings (most living things really) are creatures of habit. I know a few people who claim they hate being locked into a routine and would much prefer to live spontaneous and free. Perhaps they’re exceptions to the rule; perhaps they’re only fooling themselves regarding the construction of their lives. As for me: I like routine. An established routine is like a warm blanket that gives me security by knowing where I will be and what I will be doing. Normally. Life is never quite that simple. Perhaps if I were an inmate in a prison, but in life as a free citizen: stuff happens. Continue reading “Routine”
There has for some time now been a tug-of-war going on between two schools of thought about how writers should dress when they go to “work”. On one end of the rope we have the combatants who advocate dressing for comfort: if that means a well broken-in sweat suit and bedroom slippers, then so be it. On the other end are those who insist that writers treat their writing like a job and dress appropriately, just as if they were going to work in an office with dozens of other people. This is not necessarily a power suit, but at least a dress shirt and slacks for men, and equivalent for women.
On the morning of Sunday, January 19th, 2014 Allan Douglas passed over the bridge to pound the great typewriter in the sky. He died by my hand. Although I prefer the term “assisted suicide” to “murder” because Allan Douglas and I had in fact discussed this situation and the way things might play out. But should anyone elect to prefer charges…
Before the NSA data-mining center flags this post and sends the FBI over to break down my door, I should explain that Allan Douglas was my pen name. A pseudonym I began using way back in the late 1970’s when I first began writing for periodicals.
I chose to use that name because it was easier to remember – and to spell – than Douglas Bittinger. I also felt it sounded more artistic: more…writerly. And since it was indeed my own first and middle names, just deranged, it was still “me” any way you sliced it.
Why Kill Allan Douglas?
So what would motivate me to cast aside a moniker that I had served me well for so long and I had spent so much time building up? I can explain that in one word: Phoneyism.
Today, Dear Reader, I have the extreme pleasure of playing host to one of my most favorite Indie Sci-Fi authors: Mary Pax. Her short stories, which include Plant Girl, Translations, and Small Graces hooked me with her dynamic writing style. When she came out with the novella Semper Audacia my infatuation with her work only deepened. And now that she’s launching her first full length novel, which will be the first novel of a series I’m practically salivating with anticipation. Especially since I learned that her inspiration for The Backworlds was the TV series Firefly. Firefly was and still is my most favorite TV series; I have the series and it’s spin-off movie Serenity on DVD and re-watch them frequently. In today’s guest post, Mary explains how Firefly influenced and inspired her new book, The Backworlds.
Today, Dear Reader, we conclude the series on the business of writing and welcome back Brigitte A. Thompson as she shares her professional advice as an accountant and author.
Bookkeeping is an essential part of the business of writing. Determining what you can claim as a business expense and how to substantiate those deductions require an understanding of the Federal tax code.
We welcome back accounting professional and author, Brigitte A. Thompson as she continues her helpful advice to writers with a tax tip.
Automobile Expenses for Writers
Driving to the local office store to purchase writing supplies can generate a tax deduction with proper documentation. This is what you need to know.
The miles that you drive which are related to the operation of your business, or the actual expenses required to maintain your automobile can generate tax deductions. This is one of the most overlooked tax deductions for writers.
Today, Dear Reader, we continue the series on the business of writing and welcome back Brigitte A. Thompson as she shares her professional advice as an accountant and author.
Bookkeeping is an essential part of the business of writing and includes storage of receipts, invoices, statements as well as all the required documents to substantiate both income and expenses.
Business Recordkeeping Options for Writers
To justify expenses, it is important to establish a system of recordkeeping that works for you. Some things need to be recorded daily, while others can be done weekly or monthly. It is imperative that you get into the habit of saving and recording everything related to your writing business. All invoices, receipts, credit card slips and bank statements are essential documentation that should be kept. Continue reading “This Business of Writing: Recordkeeping”
Writers may choose to meet with their agents over lunch or they might arrange to meet a subject to interview at a local bagel shop. The cost of the meal can be a tax deduction with proper purpose and documentation.
1. The primary purpose of your business meal must be related to your writing business.
2. You must conduct business during the meeting such as discussing the storyline of a new book or determining which publications are interested in your current article.
3. Be sure to save the receipt. It should contain pertinent information such as the name of business, location, date of the meeting, time, who was present, total charge, and how it was paid for. You can use the back of this receipt to record a summary of what was discussed.
The amount you can deduct is limited to 50% of the actual unreimbursed costs. The IRS is considering an increase in this amount to allow 80% reimbursement. As of this writing, the deduction has not been raised. You can Visit the IRS Web site for updates.
The information provided is intended to be general and based on the Federal Tax laws of the United States. As such, it is subject to change. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for financial or legal advice. Be sure to consult your tax advisor on all tax matters.