The Blog

Novelists, Inc.

Post 12 in my Professional Authors Associations Series. Click here to read post 1.

Novelists, Inc.: ninc.com

Learn more about Novelists, Inc. at their website, ninc.com

Learn more about Novelists, Inc. at their website, ninc.com

Novelists, Inc. is a coalition of working writers dedicated to serving the needs of multi-published writers of popular fiction and to improving the status of career novelists. NINC helps its members connect and communicate with each other and to stay informed, with a focus on “the business of the business.” It provides a popular members-only e-mail loop that is considered a go-to resource for research and the latest industry information, a monthly newsletter, a well-attended annual conference, a legal fund and advocacy, and a discount on personalized Nielsen BookScan reports, among other benefits.

This information has been adapted from the 4th edition of The Writer’s Legal Guide by Kay Murray and myself.

 

January 27, 2016 0 Comments

The Money Mentor: Where the Pain Started

This is Part 4 of the series to serialize my book The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom. Click here to start reading from Part 1. Every other week will have another segment of the story of how a 23-year-old dancer struggles with and ultimately overcomes the burdens of her crushing financial debt. Look for posts on a variety of topics in the intervening weeks.

Off I went to the dentist’s office in a pricey part of town. I have to say he looked stern when he first came into the waiting room and introduced himself.

“Hi, I’m Dr. Peter Testa.”

“Iris Cassidy,” I answered, rising and taking in this tall, skinny man with his bald dome of a head and round, gold-rimmed eyeglasses.

“So you’re Tina’s roommate?”

“That’s me.”

“And did you give my receptionist four credit cards that were maxed out?”

“But the fifth wasn’t,” I tried to keep a cheerful front. If I hadn’t had to pay in advance, the embarrassment of having lost track of my drawing on the credit lines of the cards could have been put off until after the treatment at least.

“You’ve set a record for this office,” he said, shaking his head. “Well, come on in.”

I followed him into the small room with all the dental equipment and settled myself in the chair, my head on the headrest and the light in my eyes.

“We’ll start by taking some X rays. That way I should be able to do something today to relieve your pain.”

At this point I was also feeling some additional pain because I felt devalued in his eyes. I took his remark about setting a record as a criticism. I wanted to explain about the cost of the broken arm, but I had also spent money on clothes, albums, dance outfits, and even some meals. I didn’t understand how the credit lines had been used up so quickly, but I suddenly felt very bad about it. Once Dr. Testa started working, he managed to make me feel worse and worse. It’s awful to endure the pain of dental work, but when a dentist delivers a monologue—and it’s about you, and you don’t agree but you can’t say anything because your mouth is stuffed with cotton, clamps, and tubes—well, I can think of a lot of places I’d rather be.

The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom

If you don’t want to wait two weeks for the next post in this series, you can purchase The Money Mentor on Amazon.

January 20, 2016 0 Comments

National Association of Science Writers

Post 11 in my Professional Authors Associations Series. Click here to read post 1.

National Association of Science Writers: www.nasw.org

Visit NASW's website at www.nasw.org

Visit NASW’s website at www.nasw.org

NASW was formed to “foster the dissemination of accurate information regarding science through all media normally devoted to informing the public.” Its mission is to fight for the free flow of science news. Members include freelancers and employees of most of the major newspapers, wire services, magazines, and broadcast outlets in the country. NASW offers an array of benefits to professional science writers and practitioners in related fields: a quarterly newsletter, reports on trends, issues and controversies, news of regional events, practical advice on freelancing, teaching, public affairs, and other professional specialties, annual workshops, a jobs mailing list, educational resources and mentoring programs, the annual Science in Society awards, free website hosting, insurance plans, and travel fellowships. Applicants for regular membership must be established science writers and have two sponsoring members. Student memberships are available.

This information has been adapted from the 4th edition of The Writer’s Legal Guide by Kay Murray and myself.

January 13, 2016 0 Comments

The Money Mentor: Where the Trouble Started

This is Part 3 of the series to serialize my book The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom. Click here to start reading from Part 1. Every other week will have another segment of the story of how a 23-year-old dancer struggles with and ultimately overcomes the burdens of her crushing financial debt. Look for posts on a variety of topics in the intervening weeks.

I think my downfall must have begun before the accident. It’s hard to be certain because I was vague about finances, numbers, budgets—actually, budget was not a word in my vocabulary. So when I put on inline skates for the first time and started downhill—without any instruction; I thought that with my dancer’s footwork and coordination I wouldn’t have any problems—I soon found myself speeding out of control. There was a moment of fear and an odd exhilaration when I knew that I had lost control and would crash, yet I was still flying on winged wheels down that slope. When it was over, I was sprawled out on the pavement and lucky to have nothing worse than a broken arm.

That was my first experience of being uninsured. When I added up the medical bills, I couldn’t believe the amount. I sat down and started to cry. I had accepted a bunch of credit cards in college so I could use their credit lines for just such an emergency. Unfortunately, I had used them for a lot of other things before the emergency happened, but I had enough left on the credit lines to pay the medical bills. Having a broken arm meant that I couldn’t waitress and I had to look for new work. I found a job as a receptionist at a small advertising agency. They had a health plan but no dental coverage, so of course the next misery in my life was an unbearable pain in one of my molars that eventually required an inlay.

I didn’t have a dentist in the city, so I asked Rachel and Tina, my roommates, and Tina gave me the name of her dentist. He was old, maybe over forty, and actually taught on the faculty of a dental school as well as having his own practice.

The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom

If you don’t want to wait two weeks for the next post in this series, you can purchase The Money Mentor on Amazon.

January 6, 2016 0 Comments