In taking a very small break from the gamut of politics – and unfortunately, there will be plenty more strongly-worded posts from me about it; it’s an election year and I will not think myself a good citizen if this country goes Republican in 2012 – I have to remind myself that yes, there are Things To Do.

I have been noodling at an article for Wine and Jazz, which is way overdue, and touches on the new experience of a wine festival that I had. There’s another one in the making, actually, at the Hilton Short Hills in NJ, and I’m thinking of making the trip. The only problem…time.

The anthology, which has been poking at my mind for a long time, is still slated for a Christmas release. I need to start gathering content, and maybe write the first of the Haunted Club shorts. Zanzibar Blue in Philly’s about to make a small comeback (yes, I’m aware it’s closed…bear with me here).

Book 4 of The Index is still in heavy progress, and though I’ve been seriously behind (for good reason, dammit), I’ve made some progress in finishing out Chapter 10. The rewrite isn’t much of one, really, but it’s adding certain elements that I’ve been able to spot in retrospect, and it’s doing my work a load of good.

Now, for the reason that I’ve been this delayed in everything.

Tax season.

In case you’re new to this blog, or you simply hadn’t heard me mention it, I have a day job. I kind of have to, because while my book royalties are enough to get me a decent steak dinner once in a blue moon, I am not making a living off the book sales. I’m hoping to make a living off of them one day, but for now, I work a day job. On the resume and from 9am until the cows come home, I’m an administrat0r at an accounting firm, and I do everything from billing and accounts-payable to actual tax-prep and bookkeeping. Basically, if you send your stuff to a CPA firm, chances are that the return starts and finishes in the hands of someone like me.

During tax season, I barely have the time to breathe, and I’m sure that if  I have your cell number, then you probably already got a phone call where I sound like death warmed over from exhaustion. The only way I have the chance to type up an entry is either over breakfast on a coffee break, or during lunch (and there’s no guarantee that said lunch will take place during actual lunchtime).

Yes, it’s a difficult job. I work in a small office, part of a staff of 7 people, and we have a hell of a lot of accounts to wade through and prep. Thankfully, we can file extensions in March and April, else…well, yeah.

So do pardon if there’s a lack of cohesive, informative, writing-related posts from me for a bit, because for the love of world’s finest Brie, I’m starting to forget what a good night’s sleep feels like. But the muse has been biting, and it’s been biting all the more because of the stress. By the time that tax season comes to a close, I will have a good amount of stories and plotlines to flesh out, and not just as a part of The Index.

Also, since when does WordPress auto-correct? Seriously; when I italic-underline something, I expect it to stay that way.

Yeah, the next couple of months will be a little crazy for me, more so because I have to actually start putting some serious planning behind Book 4. As a wrap-up of the first arc of the series, it finishes up the plotline with a bang, ties up the loose ends, and leaves enough to springboard right into Arc 2. I have a cover design in mind, and have to chase down my artists – yes, plural – and have to put some consideration into reworking a lot of what I previously had in mind for the second arc as well. This will be a very madcap year for me as a writer, to be sure, and once these two months, March and April, are hurdled over, then I will be OK and will work on the other things through May and June. July and August are Spirit months, and I will have my hands full on the boat. :)

Two things, though:

1. Have to renew my passport. It ain’t cheap. I mean…it REALLY ain’t cheap.


2. My trip to CA is likely not going to happen.

Last year, I went out to the Newport Beach Jazz Festival, which was a fabulous event, and I got to meet my beloved friends across the country. It was a great time, but I just honestly cannot afford it this year. Hell, if I really think about it? I’m still paying back last year’s travel expenses. I am looking at the costs of the trip to CA this year, and thinking that, fiscally, it is just not prudent. Unless someone is willing to Paypal me enough money to cover the expenses of the trip, or my boss pays out the first segment of my overtime (of which I already accrued more than enough), it is just not a good idea for me to overdo it in traveling. It’s $1,200 that I really can’t spare at this moment, even in credit cards. I have more than enough credit card debt now.

On the good bit about it, the money I will save by not going to CA will go right into renewing my passport. Which, honestly, I have to do one way or the other, because CapJazz in October REQUIRES it as travel documentation. So guess who really wants to ensure she goes on at least one vacation? This girl!


Whew. This has been a very nutty three days so far.

Here’s the skinny, in short form:

– Gayle has interviewed me. Yes, she’s also my editor. I’ll also interview her. That link is coming up.

– Jamie DeBree of the Variety Pages will post another chunk of Book 1 for your reading pleasure.

– I have revived my account on Goodreads! And, lo and behold, Books 1 and 2 have been on there for some time. Those links are added, and updated. Addendum: Shelfari page for Book 3 is also up.

– The About The Index Series page is updated also, with precise book-buying links. Previews included.

– The proof copy for Book 3 will arrive earlier than scheduled! I expect it tomorrow, in face.

– Same goes for the postcards. If you’re not a New Yorker, and you spot the ‘cards..well, I have minions everywhere! *evil cackle*


And so it begins…