These last few months have been rather stressful, but not things I normally talk about while they are happening. Because of them, however, I have to push the publication of Sand and Ash back a few months since being a "responsible" adult is apparently important at this point in my life.

The Priorities

I have a priority system that I've written about since before EDM was born. I left only three things on it: family, work, and writing. The three things comes from a Readers Digest I read sitting in a doctor's waiting office, but generally it keeps me relatively focused.

The First Child

The longest running problem is that neither me nor SMWM had a will or trust fund. This is one of those things that was on the "we should really do this" list but it kept getting pushed back. Even when EDM (the oldest) was born, it was on the list. And now that BAM (the youngest) is here, it still wasn't done.

A few months ago, I decided that it was something we couldn't afford to let go, so I found a lawyer through a friend and went through the process of getting something drawn up.

It was also my first shell-shock when I found that I was billed in six-minute increments. But, now we have a signed will, a strange clause that I'll write about some day, and everything is squared away. Except for paying the bill.

The Second Child

There is something about us and names. When EDM was born, all but one of the forms had his middle name correct. Social Security, on the other hand, used my first name for his middle name (in all honesty, there is only one letter difference between the two). However, it required us to go back and forth a few times to get it straightened out.

So, when BAM's birth certificate came in, I saw a typo. Two, actually. They had my middle name wrong and my birth date. Now, these are things that I see no future need for BAM, but I have enough genealogist in my family to know that a few generations later, it would make things difficult to track us down. Also, there is a small chance that I will need it right for BAM. And it is something you can't do in the middle of a crisis.

It started with just a notary and a lot of photograph but quick escalated into threats from lawyers (at six minute billing intervals) and four rounds with the Iowa Department of Public Health. There was also some talking about needing to get a court order and public filings, but thankfully our lawyers managed to get around that. But even that came back with a typo that I had to call to get fixed.

Last week, we got it all squared away and his certificate is correct.

Except for the lawyers, but once we get over this, we won't need them for a while.

The Other Business

I won't go into details, but we also got hit by a large expense over on SMWM's side of things.

The Accident

Right on the tail end of that, we had a small accident with the car. And, like all car accidents, it pretty much nailed any chance of me using the money to get my book out. Hopefully that will be dealt with in the next week or so. It is a "preferred vendor" which means they are pushing to get it fixed now and we never see the insurance money since it will go directly to them; which is probably a good thing.

The Holidays

Looking at my income forecast, things will ease up right in time for the holidays. Which means I can't afford to get editing done on a book, nor are the people helping me available during those last sixty days of the year.

The Last Book

Sand and Blood is going slow. I keep seeing people talking about "only" having fifty reviews I'm pretty happy at five but that doesn't mean I can't hope for more. I know the reason I don't have many sales, but they are slowly increasing.

Getting the next book would help the first one, but… I can't see how that is going to happen.

The Next Book

We have a small budget for business. SMWM has her photography business and I have my writing. The cost for editing and covers comes out of that budget, but priorities says it needs to go for the lawyers and insurance.

Priorities always win.

Because of that, I started getting beta readers to start reading the book and see if I can garner up some of the bigger details like sweeping plots. The feedback is positive, everyone has said that Ash is a far better story than Blood.

Most of the time, I'm very patient. In this case, I can feel myself chomping at the bit because I want it out. It is a fun story, I love reading it, and I can't wait to see it in my hand. But, I have to wait. It's the only thing I can do.

The Third Book

Sand and Bone is about half done with the third draft. I'm submitting it to writing group over the next few months. I should have it done by the end of the year which means it will be ready for beta reading in January. If things ease up, I should have it for WisCon. We'll see.

Regardless, I'm going to push for getting Ash done and printed by WisCon. It is a good deadline, though I probably wouldn't actually sell any copies there.

The Conclusion

Any two of those things I could have handled with our pad. But four? No, not going to happen.

Overall, I'm glad we did what we did. The legal things needed to be done just as getting the car repaired. It is disappointing, but I'd rather not break the bank in hopes of making it big.

Just keep swimming. — Dori, Finding Nemo

2014-10-14