Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Children are already reading this?!

Censored to make the ex-partner feel happy and secure.
Learned today from my co-creator, J. M. Monkie, that school children are already reading this ebook. And yes, it surprised me--we haven't done our official launch yet. But it is all good. Heavens knows that I need the reassurance that we have an audience for this project.

Why do I need reassurance? Because I am the artist for this project.

Yes, that is right--I said that I am the artist.

Not the writer. But the artist.

Talk about expanding my horizons. I am deep in a zone that is untested waters for me.

Now, I have done artwork off and on for over thirty years. I even thought about going to art school (Colorado Institute of Art--nowdays, it is called The Art Institute of Colorado). Couldn't because I did not qualify for Federal student loans at the time (I did not have my GED yet). And I am glad that I didn't because it probably would have been a waste of money (nothing like an instructor at the Institute looking at your artwork and telling you to save your money because you can learn everything that you need to know on your own).

About a year and a half ago, when I retooled my business (went from focusing on the print market to focusing on the ebook market), I pulled out my drawing board. I needed some ebook covers, and I had no cash to buy any. So yes, I cobbled together a few covers for the erotica market.

(Yes, it is strange that an erotic writer is also the illustrator of a children book series. But trust me, I have heard stranger true stories.)

Then last year, I needed some Tarot pictures for another blog I write. So I did the pictures for that...ended up with monkeys in my Tarot cards. And that is how the writer of the Turtle Monkey series discovered my artwork, and decided that I was the perfect artist to do the illustrations.

She is confident that I can do the artwork; it is me that needs the reassurance.

So today is a red letter day for me--some school children are already enjoying the Turtle Monkey series. I guess that makes me a professional artist as well as a professional writer. (Hey, if I earn money doing it that makes me a professional--degree or no degree.)

[Shameless self-promotion: Meet Turtle Monkey, the first book in the Turtle Monkey series is available on Barnes and Noble.]

[Update: July 2013: Due to differences in sales expectations and business philosophy, in early July 2013, I ceased to be involved in the Turtle Monkey project.]

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Urge to write another article on the lottery

Last night on the way home from the Hearthstone Open Full Moon ritual, I passed the billboard by Colfax and York that advertises the Powerball and Mega Millions. And promptly had the urge to go home and write another article about how bad an investment the lottery was.

The billboard had a picture of Ben Franklin looking shocked (or were they aiming for interested) at the amounts that the Powerball and Mega Millions are up to. They want to imply that Ben Franklin would buy a lottery ticket or three. He wouldn't--I am sure of that from reading his autobiography (which I have misplaced--the only reason that I am not writing the article). Franklin believed in hard work to become rich, not luck.

This is a belief that I have also picked up over the years. Today (as my regular followers know) every time I get the urge to buy a lottery ticket, I write a lottery article instead (better return for my time and money). Not that I had the urge to buy a ticket last night--no, it is simply that I had the urge to mock the billboard (hence this blog post).

If you are curious to read my articles talking about how the lottery is a bad investment, here are some links:

Save money by banning the lottery from your budget.

Do lottery tickets make good gifts?

Misleading lottery ads

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tax Horror Day 2013

Today was Tax Horror Day. I finally filled out my taxes today--I cut it as close as I could to my next royalty check (c'mon royalty check, show up before the next credit card bill does).

My business is improving. I had to pay self-employment taxes this year (which I would rather pay than not pay, given the state of the economy). And I already know that I have to pay them again next year (yes, I am one of those people--hopelessly self-employed).

Of course, the IRS does not ask me to prove that I am a "real" writer. All they care about is that I made enough to have to pay some self-employment tax. They could care less that most of my income came from writing erotica, unlike some other people who loudly declare that erotica writers are not real writers.

I think that maybe the only opinion that mattered today was the IRS'. Right?