Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's raining.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


At long last I've finished the dang tax return!

Since I'm self employed, I have to fill in quarterly tax returns.  Normally they're quite simple:

Income: guiding
Expenses: social security, petrol
Profit: Why do I bother?

Only this quarter I published a book, didn't I? Layout and printing for two issues in English, ISBN, graphics, business cards, letter head, web site to sell books, ISBN for the Spanish version ... On the plus side, I've sold a story to Abyss and Apex, books @ 5€, 10€ 11.20€ and 12€, and finally been paid for guiding work done in March, July, August, September and October. Oh, and I've been paid for Spanish books I haven't delivered yet.

It wasn't easy.  I'm very glad that I've finished.

And here's a little something to relax anyone who's still struggling with a Spanish tax return:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Preditors and Editors

Every year, the critters workshop hosts the Preditors & Editors™ Readers' Poll, which honours print & electronic publications published during 2012.  When somebody reminded me about it, I put nominated The Dodo Dragon and other stories in the anthologies category, but I had almost no time for publicity. I think I mentioned it on Facebook and one email group, and that was it - I had a book to finish.

To my astonishment, I came joint 13th.

Many thanks to the people who voted for me.

(And the Spanish version of A Breathtaking Window on the Universe , "Una espectacular ventana al universo" should be going tot eh printers in a week or so.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back to work.

Once the pressure was off with the book, I collapsed in a bit of a heap. Since August, I've had two days off sick, but apart from that, the only day I haven't worked on the book was Christmas day, and I was cooking for a good bit of that.

And for the last week, I've been ignoring the housework almost completely.

So Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday were spent catching up on sleep, taking the Christmas decorations down, and scrubbing the kitchen. Today, I'll get back to work on the book, because it still needs finishing.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Lucky with my friends.

I'm extremely lucky with my friends.

As soon as the printers said I'd have to get the book to them by Friday, the cavalry came over the hill. The friend who's been checking my translation kicked into high gear. the friend who'd polishing the Spanish worked right through the bank holiday - about 12 hours, I think. And the friend who's doing the layout almost kept pace with the other two.  OK, so I'm paying people and doing return favours, but this was way more than they'd signed up for.  Two of them said very similar things: "Well this book's your big dream, isn't it?".

Yes, it's my dream.  And they worked like it was theirs.

On Tuesday, when most people were back at work, I contacted the Tourist Board to ask how many books they wanted for Fitur (which would affect the amount I had t pay the printers in advance).  And I was told that her boss had changed his mind over the break, and he wasn't going to do a presentation on astrotourism, so he didn't want books there.

In one was this was marvellous.  I could take a break.  In another it was extremely embarrassing. People had worked like stink to help me.

It was so embarrassing that I briefly considered not telling people. But I wasn't going to lie to these people, even by omission. So I took a deep breath and picked up the phone.  And explained, ending with, "But I really do appreciate everything you've done just the same as if I still had the deadline."

Every time I got a long, loud silence.

Well, I say long.  I think it was about 5 seconds each time. Believe me, that's a long silence for a phone conversation, and longer when you're on tenterhooks.

And every time, the silence was followed by, "Don't worry about it."

I think the 5 seconds was the time it took to for my friends to work out that I didn't do it on purpose.

Yeah.  I'm very, very lucky with my friends.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Silent Running

The island's government, the Cabildo, have been extremely helpful with my book, "A Breathtaking Window on the Universe". Now, pretty please, they'd like copies of the Spanish edition in time  for the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid at the end of January.

I've talked to the printers, and that means they need the book delivered to them this week.


I'm going to be far too busy for blog posts until it's done.

See you later.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to my reader.

We had a comparatively quite new year's eve, but it was fun. At midnight, from my balcony, we could see five firework displays on La Palma, plus lots more on Tenerife and La Gomera.

I hope that 2013 is the year when you get what you go after.