Friday, July 18, 2008

Daydreaming about that first check

I fantasize about winning the fiction contest I'll soon be entering. Of course, publication and validation would be the main rewards, but victory also comes with a $1,000 check. That would go straight in the checking account and then right back out, probably for groceries or a case of toilet paper. Alright, I'll indulge myself a little by spending $100 on books about writing. Look out David-Kidd, here I come! I'll also take hubby out to dinner to celebrate, if I can find a sitter (there's a $20 in it for you). Look out LeChardonnay, here we come!

So after the groceries, toilet paper, books, dinner and babysitter, that leaves about $580, which goes to one of our eight maxed-out credit cards. A girl can dream, can't she?

Ahhh, but a book-publishing deal, wouldn't that be sweet? Seeing as how I shelved my women's fiction novel, it'll be a children's book, say maybe a $5,000 advance against royalties (woo hoo!). The first $1,000 is accounted for (see above), and we're definitely going to get a used pop-up camper. It's a business expense, really, since we'll eventually go to all the great campgrounds in our area for book-marketing purposes. (Man, I can’t wait to do that! I’ve got dozens of great ideas.)

Seeing as how the book won't be out for probably two years after it's accepted, things will be pretty much the same around here, except Nina gets a new full-sized bed and Amelia gets a dresser with drawers that actually open (I've put about 10 coats of paint on her current one). I'd want to do something wonderful for hubby with the leftover $800, maybe a weekend on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. But he'd be more practical than that, so it would go toward the credit cards.

But here's the big publication fantasy (believe it or not, I really don't dream about making $1 million from my writing, not yet anyway). I don’t win the contest but I submit my short story to a Southern literary magazine, which loves it, publishes it and pays me in copies. But then a TV movie-of-the-week (do they still have those?) producer reads the story and wants to turn it into a movie. I haven't researched it much, but I'm kind of thinking about $50,000. The first $5,000 is accounted for (see above), and we'd have to put at least $25,000 more on bills (Hey! We're debt-free other than the mortgage!), so we've got about $20,000 left to play around with. Hubby definitely gets to go on weekend golf excursion. I'll even spring for the honor-bar bill, so that bumps it up to $1,000. That will warm him up for the obligatory 10-day trip to Disney World, which he absolutely will not be able to talk me out of ($5,000). Oh, and I'm headed to Nashville for the SCWBI regional conference ($500), plus some weekend writing conference in New York with hubby in tow, which will have to be at least five days so we can be tourists for a couple of days ($5,000). Absolute Write gets $100 (to buy myself and four of my beta readers--the wonderful Round John Virgin, Dana-Lynn, slhastings and a yet-undetermined fourth writer--full memberships, though $100 is not enough for all the great advice I've received there). Let's see, about $5,000 goes toward the house for improvements, repairs and a fence to block the view of the interstate behind our house. Well, make it $4,800 for all that, because at least $200 needs to go toward hiring a maid to clean my filthy house, which has grown even worse since I've been writing for hours on end every single day.

So that leaves $3,400 for savings, which we'll fall back on when hubby gets fired for taking off too much time. It won't last long, so I better get back to writing so I can sell that next story!

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