Thursday, November 29, 2007

Excerpt from Death on Mars

As I stared at the candle, I tried to come to a reason for the existence of crime. From a kabbalistic viewpoint, or at least one school of it, crime was merely the repaying of debts from past lives. I couldn’t imagine what I did to deserve being almost killed in a hull breach, or how the people of an entire colony could be guilty of something that would warrant repayment in the form of missing supplies. And what did the Director do in a past life that he deserved to have his head bashed in during this one? I wasn’t sure that I believed in the theory much, it sounded too much like the Eastern concept of karma. I have struggled with it for years.

Once back on Earth, I had been in a burger joint. You know the type of places where the goal is to get you in and out as quickly as possible. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been surprised about what happened; after all it was a bad neighborhood, being right next door to the parole office. I had brought my burger and drink, and one of the people in the next line asked me if I had a dollar to spare. I told him no, but he could have the loose change I just got back. We both drifted over to the pickup area. “Thanks, I just got out of jail,” the black man told me. I shrugged my shoulders and went back to reading the kabbalistic text that I was studying. The server called an order exactly like the one I ordered, and the black man said it was his. I wondered if he was lying. But I figured it was possible that he ordered the exact same thing; after all, I had paid absolutely no attention to what he had ordered. I waited, and learned that he had taken mine, for when the rest of the orders were handed out, there was only me waiting. The shlepper had stolen my burger. I offered to pay for another one; the server replaced my order, but told me to make sure that I spoke up the next time.

For many hours afterwards, I wondered what I did in a past life that the theft of a burger and drink, and a handful of change, could make right. In the end, I could think of nothing. Possibly, it was just a senseless event without any mystical meaning whatsoever.

And the breach and the murder of Director Robinson were probably also meaningless. God knows that I am not enlightened enough to came up with a spiritual reason for the events. I am not sure anyone could.

So barring any mystical revelation, I mediated on the possible mundane reasons for crime. Greed was obviously the sin behind the missing supplies; the breach was just a rather extreme way of covering it up.

If the Director’s death was tied into that, then I knew the motive for his murder. If it was an unconnected crime which I doubted, then there was all the emotional sins--envy, jealousy, lust, rage; it was a rather long list. I would have to check them out, but I was positive that the Director’s death tied into the breach and the missing supplies.

Cheese assault and other misdemeanors

Yesterday was a strange day. I was sitting in the “lunch room” in the South Classroom (at the Community College of Denver), talking to my friend Susan when a small ruckus occurred. Joanne, one of the workers at the little store there, walked up to one of the neighboring tables and started to talk to the lady that was sitting there. Turns out the lady was guilty of ripping off the store, and this was not the first time either. The woman got upset (protesting her innocence) and as Joanne walked away, the lady threw her food at Johann. Unfortunately, she missed Joanne and hit me instead. Yes, I got assaulted by nachos.

My classmates thought it was a little strange that I didn’t seem upset about it. Pangloss, a name for our current reading assignment, was applied to me. They might be right, but I chose to blame it on being a manager for so long--after all, I had to learn to be calm in that job.

It is not the only strange crime to happen to me this month. Earlier in the month, I had a person steal my order at MacDonalds. That incident annoyed me more, so much it ended up in the rough draft of the novel.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tired and--oh, look shiny

So I have fallen greatly behind in my quest to write a novel in the space of a month. In large part, this is due to the terrors of term paper season. For some reason, writing a couple thousand words of research paper just saps all the creavity right out of me.

But on a bright note, I did get my microeconomics paper back yesterday, and I got a hundred on it. A large part of it, I was talking about the writing business and its nature, was about my own top earning articles on Helium.

I am still working on the rough draft of my political science paper, and have finished my philosophy paper (though that one was short, and I have one more philosophy paper to go).

I also have to type up all the bullet points that I wrote in group during political science. One of my fellow group members believes that my handwriting is unreadable. Hey, I can read it perfectly fine--they write in block letters; feel free to draw your own conclusion here (I have).

So I am really tired. And I can foresee having to finish the rough draft of this novel sometime next month. Besides the politicial science paper, I have astronomy homework to do.

And have I mentioned studying for finals?! No. Well, there is that too.

I am so tired. So much so that I have already wasted an hour looking at shiny things. Yes, I am one of those people. When I am tired I am easily distracted by bright shiny things, or just things in general.

Today's tour started off with me viewing a slideshow of the ten worst keyboards of all time. Hey I used to own one of those. I won't tell you where I went from there, but one shiny interesting thing led me to another, just like a magpie. An hour later, I realized that I was wasting time. Sigh, that is a sure sign that I am really tired.

So I would like all of you to do me a favor. Go take a hour long nap for me. Thanks, I need the sleep.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A good day yesterday

Well, I managed to hack out 3249 words yesterday. That brings my total up to 26,668. If my term papers would count towards this, I would have a little over thirty thousand words.

I fear that if I do end up with a shortfall of words, that it will be close to the amount of words that my term papers chewed up. Sigh.

Happy thanksgiving everyone. I am hoping for another three thousand word day, though I am not going to hold my breath on that one.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holding the line; And a book review

Well, I have been hacking out at leat 1667 words a day for the last couple of days, which is good. I am doubtful that I am going to make up the shortage of words I have before the end of the end of the month, simply because I am not doing that much more than the daily amount. If I had started the week only slightly behind, I would be ok--but my shortage was such that I need to do a lot more than I have been doing.

And I have yet to even start on the homework that I need to bash out this week. So I am not going to hold my breath.

Besides working on the novel, I did a book review of Janet Perr's Yiddish for Dogs, which can be read over on Associated Content.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Plot problems

A remark that was made by one of the Nanowrimo-ians was that one of the reasons that week two (or was it week three) was so hated by those who attempted to write a novel in the space of a month, is the fact that you are trying to cope with a year's worth of plot problems in the space of a week.

I can see where they are coming from. I am surprised at some of the solutions that I am coming up with. And I am not sure if I would have figured a way around them if I would have just worked on my plotting ahead of time. I am happy with the solutions that have came out of my writing, but I have serious doubts that these ideas would have even occured to me if I would have been approaching this the old fashioned (take nine months to a year to write a novel) way.

And yesterday, despite errands, I managed to hack out 1720 words; some of which I think are going to survive the later revision. That makes me happy.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Holding the line

Managed to get 2093 words done yesterday. So while I gained very little ground, I didn't lose any either. Though I must admit that it was a debate there if I was even going to hit my 1667 for the day or not. I started the writing session off feeling rather cruddy.

Quite honestly, I was more interested in selecting my classes for next semester than I was in writing. I also researched a question that an Order member asked me. But in the end, I did get down to it and write for a couple of hours. So all is good.

And I am feeling better than I did yesterday. I think that I am finally getting over this blasted cold.

Oh, and joy, this week's pep talk for NaNoWriMo was by Neil Gailman. I realize that everyone gets the same pep talk, but it made me so special. Especially to know that I am not alone in some of my feelings as a writer.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Excerpt from Death on Mars

“Death was common on the first extraterrestrial colonies of man. The colonists and the crews of the pod ships grew so accustomed to it that they got to the point where they barely noticed it. Besides, the bodies of the dead were promptly disposed of in a manner that earlier civilizations would have objected to. Given the lack of organic material on the colonies, and the expense of shipping the bodies back to earth, the dead started to be looked upon as a viable source of organic material for the budding eco-gardens that were the heart of the new colonies. Basically, the colonists decided that the dead were good compost, something that would have appalled previous civilizations.”

--Chapter 13 (Composting the Dead). Life and Death Among the Stars--The Starfaring Citizen’s Guide to the Ethics of Life and Death. S.L. Spokane.

Lost some more ground

Well, I lost some more ground (word count) on trying to finish a rough draft of a novel this month. On Thursday, I only got 578 words done. But on the bright note, I got 2184 words done yesterday, so don't count me out yet.

I have noted several scenes that I am still missing, so I don't have to worry about not having any direction for the next couple of days. There are some things that I am wondering if I made the correct initial decision on, such as the time period the story is set in. There is also the fact that I haven't done any research for this story.

Given my ability to be distracted easily, doing research is a hazard for me. On several occasions, I have (in the past) went to look something up and hours later, still had not learned what the answer to my original question was despite spending hours on the interent or with my nose stuck between the pages of books. Call it ADHD--everyone else does (though in my defense, I have never been formally diagnosed with it).

Anyways, I am making progress still; I am just falling short of the ideal 1667 words a day.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Falling behind on word count--blame college

Well, I am falling behind on word count something fierce this week. I only did 83 words yesterday and none the day before. I am not really surprised, after all this is my fifth semester of college and I knew how busy it was going to be walking into the month.

On the bright note, I turned in my economics paper yesterday, which means that after he grades it I should be able to pass the class even if I don't hand anything else in. And my political sciene paper is not due for a little over a week. My philosophy paper is going to be an easier one than the last one, so I should be able to get that one done in a timely manner. Sure, I have two books to read over the break, but what else is new?

Ultimately, I was planning on being behind on my word count going into this week; I didn't see any way around it. Now I am off to study for an astronomy test.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day twelve

Well, I didn't get a lot done on the novel yesterday--a mere 345 words were the final count for the day.

But that was better than I expected. Yesterday was one of my "recovery days." Something I learned long ago is that I have certain limits as a writer; if I surpass those limits I suffer for it.

Yesterday was one of those days. The limit I surpassed was I wrote too much for too long without a break. I really had no breaks during the writing of my economic term paper; it was done in two days, with no breaks in either day's work batch. Basically, I was like an over-cooked chicken nugget.

I couldn't even summon up the energy to do simple editing yesterday. Susan asked me to look at her English 121 paper, and I am not sure if the writing was that rough, or whther I was just that tired. Either way, not much got done yesterday.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day eleven

Did absolutely nothing on the novel yesterday. Was slightly sick, still am, due to the fact that I got the cold that the wife had. Did manage to work on my term paper for economics, finishing out the rough draft of it.

So I don't feel too bad about not completing a single word on the novel yesterday.

After all, in the space of two days, I completed 4348 words of economic rough draft, which I don't consider too bad for an English major.

Now onward to the political science term paper rough draft...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Day ten

Well, I only did 313 words yesterday. A large part of the shortage is the fact that the wife decided that she was sick. Basically, she is a big baby when she is sick.

Today, I still got a ton of homework to do. Bright note, I have got two pages of my microeconomics paper done. Sad note, now I have the bug that the wife brought home. Sigh.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Day nine

Just did 767 words yesterday, which was more than I expected to do. Especially after getting sidetracked into PR. I don't plan on getting a lot done today, I have to hack out a couple of papers (term papers no less) because I need the rough drafts done by Monday, plus some homework, and studying for two tests.

On the bright note, I am not going to lose any writing time to my sister's visit. Not by complete choice, it is just that I am not going up to Brush Colorado to meet with her. With moving vehicles being one of my migraine triggers, I can't afford to take the risk while still in the midst of the semester. I am not sure if she understands--I hope that she understands. Besides the wife is pretty booked on time also.

So I am off to do college homework, and hopefully slip a thousand words in on the novel.

Friday, November 9, 2007

My best earning articles on Helium

One of the things I am doing for my Microeconomics term paper is to look at my own freelance writing; why not use my own business as a company to look at.

My very best earner, if you include income I earned from Associated Content for it also, is What is Golden Dawn (retitled A Brief History of Golden Dawn for AC). It did very well for me before they did away with the Occult Channel. Now, it only earns a few cents a month; I think it is because no one would look for it in its new channel, New Age Groups. Golden Dawn is not exactly New Age.

My second best earner, which at its current pace will surpass the Golden Dawn article is How to Flip a House. It has slowed down a little lately, due I presume to the mortage market.

My third best earner is The Importance of Teamwork in the Company. I am proud of it, for it has managed to stay in the top fourth of the articles under that title.

My fourth and sixth best earners are both in the Wicca and Witchcraft channel--in fact the articles are related to one another: How to start your own Wiccan Book of Shadows and An introduction to the Wiccan Book of Shadows.

My fifth best earner is a TV review of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader. I think the reason for its high earnings is the fact that the title made the Helium homepage a couple of times this year, including once when mine was the highest rated article under that title.

My seventh is a Golden Dawn article listed under the Wicca and Witchcraft channel, The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram--I am not happy with that placement, but there is nothing I can do about it.

All of these articles, except for the last one have earned me at least a dollar this year. The Pentagram ritual article is currently at 91 cents, so it may break a dollar this year.

If I could write more articles that make a dollar or more a year on Helium (the real estate article is only six months old, and has earned me $2.24 so far this year), I would be very happy.

So far today

So far today, I have only done 45 words on the novel. Sad, isn't it?

I have spent most of the day, doing basic PR work for myself, updating blogs, posting links back to this one, things like that.

I also spent some time today trying to figure out how the adult webmasters do what they are doing. Hey, someday, I might attempt to do it for the money.

Day eight--the start of week two

Well, I managed to write 1702 words yesterday. Not that all of them should be in the novel--I had a writer's rant and am too conscious of my word count to cut them out. If at the end of the month I go over, then I will crop them out.

The important part is that I kept writing, even if it was just talking to myself, despite the fact that I felt a freeze coming. I hate writer's block.

Part of it is that I only have a couple of more scenes to write, and then I am out of plot (outline). This idea may have only been enourgh for a short story.

And the sad part is that this weedend and most of this coming week, I got to read a whole book for philosophy, study for two tests, do two homework assignments and write two term papers. And the two term papers are equal to two days worth of rough draft on the novel, except that they have to be edited and usable words. So the novel is going to have to be backburnered for a week.

Fortunately, I am not too far behind. So far I have 11143 words wrote. Which is good, if I wanted to catch up completely today, I would only have to write 3860 words. There are some people who are at less than a thousand words (I was talking to one of them yesterday), and there are some who are halfway to the finish line. But it is not a contest, except with oneself--the goal is to finish 50000 words in thirty days, not worry about other people.

So I am now off to do a few vital tasks, and then work on housework and homework and possibly the novel. It is going to be a long and busy weekend.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Day seven

Well, I am slowing catching up to where I should be at this point of National Novel Writing Month. I am currently at 9441 words, having wrote 1777 yesterday.

So I am only behind 2228; if I want to be where I should be by midnight tonight, I need to write 3895 words. I do not see much more than 1667 happening today--after all, it is Thursday and that means political science.

Learned yesterday that my sister, Mary, is coming to Colorado thanksgiving week. I think I better gain a headstart because I am sure to lose a thousand words of my lead that day. Good thing I am a self-employed college student.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Excerpt from Death on Mars

Looking around the office, I had to admit to myself that I had no the slightest clue where to begin. Well, I knew that I was looking for clues. Having a thought, I looked at Patrica.

“What were the results of the DNA tests?”

Patrica choked. “We didn’t do any.”

“Why not?” I asked feeling brilliant.

“Because we don’t have the equipment to conduct such a test.”

My heart sunk.

“Why not?”

“My guess is that they didn’t think that we needed a test kit for DNA. The same thing goes for fingerprints. Who would have guessed that someone would get killed on Mars?”

“Hmm, there is that,” I admitted.

“If you don’t mind, I can see that you have this under control, and I got a lot of work to do, so if you don’t mind…”

“No problem,” I said.

Actually there was a problem, but I really didn’t want any witnesses to watch as I struggled with it--quite honestly, I had no idea how to solve a murder.

Day Six--a good day

Well, I was right. Yesterday turned out to be a good day. I managed to write 2111 words for the novel yesterday.

Also met a couple of the other college students who are taking part in National Novel Writing Month this year. Nice to put a face to the lunatics. LOL.

And I learned that my Hillary Clinton article on Associated Content is picking up some page views.

All in all, it was a very good day for me as a writer.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Day Five

Didn't get a lot done on the novel yesterday. Only 541 words---yikes.

It was just not a good day yesterday. Got my philosophy paper back--only got a B bleeping minus. Of course, that is not really a surprise. I had a dozen false starts on it. And it didn't help that it is the first graded assignment for that class this semester. In theory, I should get a better grade on the next paper--now, I know some of what he is looking for.

I have put off the latest hunk of lodge business until Friday. Time issues, it is not that I don't want to attend to the latest business; it is that I do not want to fall any more behind on my word count on this novel. After all, I only have until the end of the month to hit 50,000 words.

I got 31 words of outline written today, so that is something--three scenes. So today should be a good day.

Spent some time on Friendswin today, approving friends. Did the same on Yuwie the other day.

Ok, it is not writing. But I had to do it sometime. Yeah, I know that just sounds like an excuse.

Well, I am off to school and the novel. It should be a good day. We will see later if it is.

To join FriendsWin, click here.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Day Four

Didn't get a lot done on the novel yesterday. A mere 411 words. *sigh* But it is not really surprising, considering that I had a lodge meeting to attend yesterday.

The issue of importance was if we were going to continue operating as a lodge or not. The vote was positive, so that means that we will continue operations. Whether we are going to change the meeting day or the focus of the lodge is still up in the air.

Plus, the lodge advanced one of the members to Zelator.

All in all, a busy day.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Day Three

I didn't accomplish as much as I should have yesterday on the novel. Only got 1374 words done, and some of them were me making a note that I found the whole idea of writing the planetfall sequence to be boring.

Now, if the killer does something to prevent the hero (or is it antihero) from arriving, then maybe it would be interesting. Unfortunately, I am not hundred percent positive who the killer is. In fact, we (me and my pretend audience) just know the crew of the incoming rocket to Mars, and considering that they were inbound on the rocket, we know that all of them are innocent.

In fact, the hero doesn't even know if it is actual murder yet; as far as he concerned it may have just been an accident. (It was a murder--that is the whole point of the story; though Accident on Mars sounds pretty neat to write about too, much like small accident at the power plant threatens to wipe out the entire town--maybe I watch too much Simpsons).

Did another chapter of Economics homework last night, and some study for the upcoming quiz. And some research for one of my term papers.

Got a lodge meeting today--big vote due today--do we continue to exist? Going to be a long day. *sigh*

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Day Two

So I completed 1769 words yesterday, if I can maintain that pace I will actually complete 50,000 words this month. I am just a touch behind where I should be at this point. 107 words to be exact. That is based on the word count that my Neo coughs up, which is slightly different than what Word gives me. It doesn't really matter; Word says I have fifteen words more.

So yesterday, I ended up with my first borderline sex scene. It didn't develop into one, or rather I started it after sex and faded to black before more sex occurred. Was it a necessary scene? I am not sure.

It is not like I am writing back in the fifties. Today, we just presume people are having sex. And it did gave the reader more information about the characters, three of which have yet to be introduced.

Of course, that brings up a problem. According to the "How To Write A Mystery" books I have read, people are supposed to know and care about the person that got whacked. I am not even sure that I agree with that, and considering that I am writing this story in first person and he never meets the victim, I am not sure how to do that.

Oh well, this is just the first draft. I can figure out how to fix that later.

Not a sex scene, but close--excerpt from Death on Mars

“I knew him,” Lucy said.

Running my fingers down her neck, I asked, “Who?”

“Tim, Director Robinson,” she said. “I served with him on Mars a couple of runs ago.”

“What was he like?” I asked.

“Passionate,” she said. I must have cringed for she quickly added, “Not like that. Well, like that also, but I mean that he was very passionate about the possibilities that Mars had to offer mankind.”

I nodded.

“So what happened?” she asked.

“He died,” I answered.”

“Sparky, I already know that. What I don’t know is how?”

“I am not sure,” I paused. “It might have been an accident.”

“Right,” Lucy sat up. “So why did they need to create a law enforcement branch if that was the case?”

I traced a gaggle of goose in her freckles flying in a giant V south. “To be on the safe side.”
“You are a terrible liar. There have been accidents on Mars before and they have never felt the need to invest someone with a badge. What is different this time?”

“He was the Director of the whole Mars colony; the Agency probably just wants to ensure the public that everything possible is being done to ensure the safety of the colony.”

“Not good enough, your average Joe could care less about Mars. Unless you have a relative on Mars, you don’t care about the people on Mars. And a decade ago, this would have been a cry to bring our people home. Nowadays, no one believes that the Agency gives a damn about public opinion. So what is the real reason?”

I sighed, “They, the Agency, believes that there may have been foul play involved.”

“He was murdered?”

“Perhaps, I won’t know until we get there.” I shook my head. “If I am capable of figuring it out, that is. Why don’t they just send a real investigator?”

Lucy closed her eyes; I watched her lips move as she quickly calculated. “They would have to wait another three years, one month and seventeen days, even if there was an investigator willing to join the Colonization Service.”

“That still doesn’t explain why me.”

“Simple, we are just three weeks away. And they figure given your lack of charm that you are not going to make any friends.” She looked at me. “Oh my god, that is why they picked you, isn’t it?”

“They said it was because it was my first tour on Mars, so that I would be the least likely to be biased.”

“Honey, I love you. But I suspect that they read your jacket, you are not the most social animal around. Heavens knows that I would have never given your anti-social ass a second look if I wouldn’t have been cooped up with you for two years.”

“You could have always hooked up with one of the other crew members.”

“Like who? Harris is married to his dissertation. And the twins are happier with one another than they ever would be with me, besides I find a man to be more fulfilling than a woman.”

“So you are with me just because I am the only available man?”

“That is right. What are you going to do about it?”

I pulled her down, and kissed her hard on the lips. A laugh escaped her lips, before she dragged me closer. Lucy was a big talker, but she knew that she was mine. At least, for the moment.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Day one

So I actually worked on the novel yesterday, despite a pile of homework that needed to be done for class.

Got 1463 words done. A little shy of the 1667 that I should have finished with.

I created a lot of quotes. It is something I like in the stories that I read. There are quotes in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Agent of Chaos, Myth-Adventures, and a few other of my favorite books.

I find that quotes can give another viewpoint to the reader without having to switch viewpoints, or do flashbacks. In my case, I am using them as hints and hooks.

When I did my attempt in July, I resisted putting these types of quotes in. Mistake on my part. I was trying to write what I have been told is a good novel, rather than the type of novel that I would actually read left to my own devices. Live and learn.

Well, I am off to work on the novel; see you all tomorrow with my results.

Excerpts from Death On Mars

“The human race, as they left their ancestral home, took all that they were with them. All their virtues and vices, they transplanted to the stars. It just a shame that like cockroaches, they had more vices than virtues.”
--Black Badger Woman, Twenty-second century philosopher

“Mankind hoped that crime would not exist as they moved out into space. It took them awhile to realize that crime had its roots in human nature. Much to their horror, they realized that they needed law enforcement in the far reaches of space.”
--“:The Early Years of the Star Cops.”

“For years, it puzzled me where the term ‘Star Cops’ came from. It hardly seemed reasonable that mankind would willingly choose such a term. Finally, I traced it down to a journalist, who was also a reader of that prophetic type of fiction that was called science fiction. One of their forgotten entertainment programs was called ‘Star Cops.’ As a joke, he had referred to the High Justice Corps by this forgotten reference, and it stuck. Ironically, he fulfilled the very prediction that was made by the prophecy.”
--“:The Early Years of the Star Cops.”

Interesting malfunction

That was an interesting malfunction. I just had the same post appear thirty times. Moral: Neo (a type of portable word processor) are not compatiable with Blogger. I will have to do it the old fashioned way, because uploading it directly from my Neo sure messed things up.

Hillary Clinton speaks at Auraria campus

As some of you may know, Hillary Clinton spoke at a political rally at Auraria Campus on October 23rd. Thanks to the fact that I am currently taking Intro to Political Science, I ended up being able to attend.

I have mixed feelings about Hillary. She seemed to be promising a lot that I am not sure that she can actually accomplish. After all, we are talking politics here; other people have a say (vote) in what is actually going to happen.

Anyway, I wrote up an article and submitted it to Associated Content. They offered me five dollars upfront payment for exclusive right. Yes, it was a low amount and I took it.

Was the article worth more? Maybe. Maybe not. If you like you can read it, and judge for yourself.

Hillary Clinton Talks About Her Goals for America at Auraria Campus in Denver, Colorado.

The issue I would like to talk about is "Was it correct to accept the five dollars?"

My answer is yes; it was the correct decision to make. My reasoning behind this is that one I spent the time listening to the speech, and I did take notes.

In part, that was because Roy (he wants us to call him Roy), William Staliwe--my political science professor, was willing to give us extra credit for a one page summary/reaction paper. I am all for the extra credit. So I had notes from that.

And I figured that the worst that could happen was that I would have to settle for performance pay only. So five dollars, though I was hoping for more, was better than nothing.

It only took me a couple of hours at most to write. So less than minimal wage unless I get a lot of page views.

Yet, I have some friends who would automatically say that I shouldn't have accepted this offer. And whenever I talk to them, I sigh. Because as much as they want to make their living as writers, I am not sure that they understand the concept of treating writing as a business. These are the same writers who have given up on Helium, and view Associated Content with some contempt. They are looking for the big score, rather than focusing on what they can already accomplish.

It is not like I didn't get paid for it. I recieved five dollars though paypal for my effort.

And it was a sunk cost already. For those who have not taken economics, a sunk cost is time and money that is already spent. From an economic viewpoint, sunk costs should not have any bearing on correct decisions. If you spend a couple of hours writing a piece, after a hour of listening to a speech, and they only offer you five dollars, you should take it. Unless you know of other markets for it. In my case, I couldn't think of any markets that I had an in with already, so I had a choice between five dollars, or nothing, for a story that had a limited shelf life.

I took the five dollars. Because some money is better than no money.

No one said that being a working writer was going to be easy (except those who have never been working writers, but that is a whole rant for another time).