In no particular order:
1. World peace and a cure for all horrible wasting diseases.
2. For my kids to be grandparents when I die.
3. A great Indian restaurant to open in our little town.
4. For my kids to get college scholarships because their 529 plans are looking a little skimpy.
5. To learn to play the guitar.
6. For soccer season to go by fast.
7. For all of the crickets that are currently loose in the house (see previous post) to either die or escape into the great outdoors and stop the infernal chirping.
8. A Moose Munch bar that is low calorie but still tastes the same.
9. A zero credit card balance.
It's that last one that is becoming problematic. For about a year, I had the best freelance writing gig - assigned topics, pay every two weeks, no chasing after the money. Then it ended. Then the one I got to replace it never materialized. The lack of money suddenly appearing in my account has made me sit down and take a hard look at what I really want to be doing.
The problem with writing fiction is that it can take years from the day the word gets onto the computer screen to see any compensation. First you write. Then you show it to your agent who marks it all up so you can barely see your original words and gently suggests a complete overhaul. So then you revise because she's pretty much always right. Then you show your critique group and they all have more and brilliant suggestions that you go back and incorporate. Then you show your agent and she just has a few more wee tweaks, then it goes to editors who may want you to do an entirely new overhaul before they can agree to publish your work of art. See, actual years.
In the short term, I've been a little panicky and thinking about all the things I can do to bring some cash into the house. Recently, these have included: Starbucks barrista, pre-school teacher, grant writer, resume writer, housecleaner, dog walker, office grunt, payroll grunt, library assistant, daycare provider, waitress and online writing teacher. I've been so all over the place that on our long walks, the Big Hairy Dog has asked me repeatedly the question that is heading this post. And I've discovered that the true and honest answer to this is that I want to write fiction and then go out and give author talks and school visits. Then write something else and start it all over again.
As they say, you've got to keep your eye on the prize and don't let yourself get distracted by the minutia. Like money. Although, in between writing fiction, I'm studying furiously how to write a winning resume so that I can be certified by the Professional Resume Writers Association (PRWA). That credit card bill isn't going to pay itself.
On this date: In 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast.