May 16th, 2011

crossed heart

Progress and Payments

Originally published at Cassie Alexander. You can comment here or there.

I got my first check today! I've been haunting the mail all week -- I was super excited to see it come in. I don't need need it, but boy howdy, is it nice! I can't believe that someone's paying me for the stuff inside my brain. It feels fairytale, like I've woven words into gold.

I'm going to talk random business here. It's somewhat personal, but I'm pretty frank, and I know it's the kind of stuff I'd like to have read even as little as a year ago.

First off -- my book sold in November. This is -- check it -- May. So if I'd gone all crazy and quit my dayjob or somehow leveled up my expenses otherwise, in anticipation of this payout, we would have been in a bad bad place.

I was sure this was coming though, eventually ;), so my hubby and I had some big chats along the way. First off is retirement stuff -- we'd rather have a retirement than a house , and then is some minor car stuff for both of us, a little bit of play money, and the bulk of it we pretend it's not really there. As much as I want to move, and as much as one of my largest rewards for myself at the end of an editing night has been ogling rentals on Craigslist :P, we still can't really swing it right now. Why? Because while what we've got is a sweet windfall, it's not an actual cashflow.

My books aren't coming out till 2012. After that, I still have to earn out. I have to sell (*coughs and crosses fingers*) quite a few. And then after after that point, I won't get paid royalties until a full 12 months after I make them. (I should check my contract specifically, it's been awhile since I've read it, but I'm pretty sure that's how it works.) So even if I *poofmagic* earned out for my whole series on my first book, I still wouldn't see that money till early 2013. The more likely scenario is not until 2014. Or, never. There's no guarantee that they'll earn out at all, after all. Tons of books don't.

My husband's new job is awesome for him, but it's also contract work, it might be done when his contract is over. So it looks like we'll have to stay where we are for a bit, because the last thing I want to do is piss my book money away on something as intangible as rent. Yes, it's small here (and when we move, I will take pix to show you all just how small :P) but we can totally afford it, and I can afford working my job part time here. I don't want to rock the boat just yet, until we're more stable.

That said, a few things will be way better now. Should my hubby's car take a nosedive (because it's scrolling up quickly to 200k miles) we could afford a new one. Or we've got a chunk for a nice downpayment someday. I don't have to feel bad at all about my trip to NYC this summer, or any other cons I do for awhile, too, which is nice.

So since we can't expand, but I do want more space -- and windows, did I mention windows? -- I treated myself to an office day downtown. A new office co-op opened up, and I bought a daypass there just to check it out. It's actually pretty sweet, they have fantastic windows and light. (The windows look out at a sex toy shop, and there's a civic building just up the road...so you get an interesting people watching mix of professionals and otherwise ;).) And a friend told me about another co-op that's a little pricier but not too far away, so I'll check them out too. It would be nice to move away from the tyranny of coffee-shops-for-windows, and I'd probably break even, considering I feel guilty when I settle in at a shop all day and wind up ordering too much stuff to legitimize my staying there.

So anyhow, breathing room. Breathing room is good. (I did go out and buy two skirts in small celebration. To wear @ Wiscon and in NYC :D)

In other news: My tattoos have hit that awesome (not) scabby stage where they itch a lot and I shed pieces of colored skin like Pigpen's dander. (Yes, it's attractive :P. I make sure to clean up after myself.) I went to yoga. My sports bra did not feel like it was trying to rub my tattoo off for the entire hour of poses. Moonshifted is really moving along. I've hit the 50k mark, which makes me feel a lot better about getting paid. (I no longer have lingering fears about if I'll have to send the check back, for instance. ;).) Last, but not least, I did 2100 words at the co-op today. Figuring out how much new/better stuff I've put in would be a masochistically depressing activity -- but I feel like it's working towards something now, not merely fixing broken pieces anymore, which is dearly nice.

More later, as always.