We’re looking at embracing some near-and-mid-term challenges here at the Cat Farm — have I mentioned this?
No, I think I haven’t.
First, and most near-term — the day-job and I will be parting company as of close of bidness on Thursday, July 28. This is prompted by a whole buncha things, but most pressing is the fact that both of my jobs have been expanding their demands over these last almost-five years, to the point where I had to Choose One, or resign myself to providing diminished performance at both.
Since I never actually learned how to do a bad job on purpose, the diminished performance option was Right Out, which left Choose One, and, honestly — there was never a contest. I’ll miss my faculty and various colleagues and acquaintances around the campus, but not as much as I would miss being able to do my art on my terms.
So, once again with the following of the bliss. Joseph Campbell’s got to be right one of these days.
Now, one of the reasons that we can undertake this particular challenge at this time is — you guys. That’s right — give yourselves a hand.
Because you’ve supported our work in the most gratifying and concrete way imaginable — you bought books.
You bought a lot of books.
Last royalty period (that would’ve been the royalties paid in October), Fledgling earned out — that means that we don’t owe the publisher any money to pay back the advance; that we get a piece of the action from every book that’s sold. However, Fledgling didn’t just earn out — it earned out handsomely. Enough so that we could get ahead on mortgage payments and salt away another piece of change, into, like, savings.
This royalty period — the statements arrived yesterday, accompanied by a check. This royalty period, Fledgling continued to earn; Saltation earned out, and! (especially near to my heart — thank you all!) Mouse and Dragon earned out.
We got to — not quite kill, but almost kill — the Monster Bill that accrued while we were waiting for Meisha Merlin to catch us up on what we were owed.
Since the day-job is going away, savings becomes living money.
That’s a little tight, but doable, if we’re careful. The echapbook sales are moving briskly. We of course expect that stream to diminish, but hope that it will continue to flow, Steve and I being subscribers to the Every Little Bit Helps school of economics. We’re still working on those stories for subscription, however the mechanism for that finally shakes out — that’s a line from one of those stories-in-the-making, up there in the title bar.
Short-mid-term challenge — We still do need to move — to a smaller place, in a more populated area. Country living’s for you hearty young folk. I’m holding out for Old Orchard Beach/Saco/Biddeford. I may have to adjust my sights, but — not yet.
Oh, and of course, we’re back on the Freelancer’s Health Plan — Don’t Get Sick — and what used to be called Major Medical (aka pay all medical expenses unless something Terrible Happens, but have the advantage of paying all medical expenses at the insurer’s negotiated rate. Yes, it’s an idiot system, but we love it. Eh.) But, to be fair, the day-job’s health insurance was headed in that direction, too — to the point where health insurance coverage was a consideration in decision-making, but not a major consideration.
That’s where we are, on this sunny, breezy and green Friday in Maine, and hoping you’re as at peace with your world as I am, with mine.
Only twelve more working days ’til school’s out.