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So it appears one consequence of finishing a book is that I'm blogging more. Those words gotta go somewhere, and fond as I am of twitter (quite fond), I might as well splash some wordage around here too. Herewith, some old school journaling-about-my-life.

The state of things: still kinda dire. My wife has now been laid off for four months. We haven't completely burned through our savings, she's got unemployment money coming for a while yet, and I'm expecting a significant fraction of my year's writing income to arrive in the next few months, so we can keep the wolf from the apartment door into at least early 2010. Here's hoping a job shows up before then -- or else a book deal. If I sell a novel for decent money, that'll buy us more time, too.

We're fortunate in that we qualified for subsidized COBRA, and our monthly health care costs for Heather and River are actually less than we paid out of pocket when she still had a job; hurray for stimulus money! But that won't last forever either.

Both of the potential work for hire gigs I was pursuing (a video game and a novel project) failed to work out, though I did get paid a decent chunk of surprise money for my trouble on one of them, and I think they'll keep me in mind for future gigs, which is cool.

Weirdly, despite not selling any novels, this has been a pretty good year for writing money -- some foreign sales, some lucrative short story sales, the anthology-editing money, etc. If Heather hadn't lost her job, I would've been able to make a nice-sized dent in our credit card debt with that income. But alas, alack, etc. At this point, the emphasis is on paying rent and bills, not crawling out of the debt-hole.

And yet, I'm optimistic. The response to Bone Shop has been heartening (remember, your donations buy food for my family!). I've published some good, well-received stories this year, with more forthcoming. I've picked up my old steady freelance reviewing gig again after a few months without it.

In a larger sense, the publishing industry seems to be loosening up. One of my day job duties is writing the People and Publishing column for the magazine, which, among other things, lists sales -- and there are more sales, and more debut novelist sales, than there have been in months. So I'm daring to hope I might sell one of the three projects that I have out on submission... but not counting on it.

For the time being, though, we can pay the rent, and eat well (though not at restaurants; it's better for us to cook at home anyway), and Heather's using this time off to get tons of work done on her (very awesome) novel, and she gets to spend time with our son every day, which is something many parents don't have. Our situation isn't ideal, and it's not sustainable in the long term, but we're getting all the benefits out of it that we can in the meantime. When life gives you lemons, you should make citric-acid batteries, after all.



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