Lately when people have asked me how things are going, I just blink and don’t know how to respond. There’s so much! Where to start?
Chronologically, the first bit of news is that I’m taking a “business of writing” class through the RWA (Romance Writers of America). I’ve been a member just over a year, and I’ve been taking little email classes from them this whole time: How to develop better characters, how to build better worlds, how to plot a series. I went through my files the other day, and I think I’ve taken about 6 classes. Membership worth it, right there. I have learned so much!
But yeah, this class is “as a professional, independent writer, how do you set up your business,” how do you handle taxes, how do you maintain your files; that sort of thing. How do you prove it’s a business and not a hobby? I am such an organizational freak that this is actually really exciting to me. (I know: looking at my house you’d never guess that I’m organized, but I really am. I’m just not tidy– there is a difference.) Surprisingly enough, it’s a lucky thing I haven’t been paid yet, because now I can get myself completely sorted and ready so that when I do get paid, I’m already prepared with where to put things and how to file. I think it’s also really exciting to think of my writing as an Actual Business ™!!! This has led to much bustling about in my computer: moving files around, creating new profiles so that there is a separation between playing and writing, and generally having a wonderful time Putting Important Things Away.
Have I mentioned that my computer is about 100 years old? Well, really she’s about 8, but in computer years, that’s practically Cro-Magnon. You know, mostly I write and play with Facebook, so it hasn’t been an issue, but with these extra profiles… My computer has been expressing herself, and she is Not Happy. Still we’ve been getting by. As long as I don’t look at her funny.
The next thing to happen actually started about a year ago, too. My friend started up a Miche (say ME-chee) business, selling purses, and eventually jewelry. Now, I’m not much of a girly-girl and never wanted to spend the money to have a billion purses on hand. Plus, it’s such a pain in the arse to have to dump everything out and put it all back. How do people put up with that??! And I could never find anything for the first week, because all the pockets were different. (I did tell you I like to organize.) The whole thing with changing purses drove me nuts, so I did like my mother: I bought one black bag that was utilitarian and vaguely went with everything, and rode it into the ground.
Well, when Mags introduced me to Miche, I was blown away. The inside stays the same, and you just pop off the outer shell to change your purse. Pop a new one on, and you’re up and running in no time flat. Goodbye to forgetting your keys in the old bag! Goodbye to not finding anything because the pockets are different! Goodbye to dowdy black bags that really don’t go with anything! I had entered a world of COLOR. And for the extreme fashionistas, you can even change out handle shapes and colors– even get different colored metal clips. Not really my thang, but some people have a blast with it.
For the first time in my life I had more than one look from my purse; I bought so many shells: blue ones, purple ones, turquoise ones, even a RED one *gasp*… even… a shocking pink one that really grabs your attention. I HAVE PURSES THAT GRAB ATTENTION. I even had women compliment me on my bag. And when they did, I would tell them it was Miche, and give them Mags’s phone number. And all of this before I started working with bankers.
Now that I do work with bankers, I have really had to up my look. I was dressing at such a different level from them, it was painful how badly I stuck out. Dowdy, frumpy, spinster… They never used the words, but I was always embarrassed standing next to them. When my desk got moved, and I basically became the first face people saw of the office, I knew I had to change. I took my last tax refund and invested in the beginnings of a new wardrobe.
And then Miche released their brand new line of jewelry– the kind of looks that transform a bland outfit to fabulous. I bought half the collection… And then realized I could be getting credit for these purchases, so I hosted a party, bought the other half of the collection, and got some sweet deals for a couple of extra items.
And the comments started up again. “I love your bag! Where did you get it?” “That necklace! I want it!” And I wondered why the hell I was handing over so many hot leads to Mags.
Two days after I signed the papers for my own Miche business, my computer informed me in no uncertain terms that she was ready to retire. My choices were to force her until she completely died, or to upgrade while she was still barely able.
So. I now have a shiny, new computer, complete with New Computer Smell (yes, that’s a real thing), and two shiny, new businesses. Heh.
Short answer: Yeah, I’m good.
PS. If you’re curious about Miche, my web site is
PPS that’s my photo credit, too.