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Dilemma of The Week...

I haven’t done one of these for a while, but I was inspired after a mini Twitter Kerfuffle yesterday. Also, I know that not many people read this blog now, so it’s a good place to posit this particular dilemma.

Scenario – You’re an author, you do ok, but nothing amazing. You have some hardcore fans who buy everything you write, but it’s not massive. You also work a full time job to keep a roof over your head and to feed your two children. Your ex left you, and he doesn’t pay you any child support, and none of your family have the means to help out. You struggle along anyway, and the money from your full time job and your writing endeavours is just enough to keep you afloat. You pride yourself on being a decent human being, you’ve always done things by the book, and as far as you’re concerned, you will continue to always try to do the right thing.

You then get laid off from your job, and all of a sudden the only income you have coming in is the money from the books you sell, and it’s literally peanuts. Your youngest child becomes ill, and you don’t have health insurance. The bills are mounting up, you can’t find a job, your rent/mortgage is due, your benefits aren’t enough to pay your bills, your rent, or the medical bills that are currently piling up. What do you do?

I’ll give you two options. Just these two options.

The first option is reaching out to your online community and other strangers on the internet, laying yourself bare to them, explaining your situation and asking them for money. You do this and set up a Go-Fund Me for people to donate. This is the honest option. The option where you forget your pride, because nothing is more important than feeding your kids. Some would say that this is the more selfless option.

The second option is that as a Kindle Unlimited author, you get paid by the number of pages that are flicked through. You’ve worked out that by adding additional material at the end of your books, you can make more money. You can ask your readers to make sure they read your books until the end so that you’ll get the maximum amount of money. This option is sketchy, because you know that anything you make means that other authors will lose out, due to how the KU system works. Authors who may be in a similar situation to you.  Some would say that this the more selfish option, how dare you do this to your fellow authors? How dare you ‘steal’ from them by taking advantage of a system that’s supposed to benefit everybody equally? At the end of the day though, nobody is more important than your family, certainly not a bunch of authors who you may or may not know. Also, there’s no way you’d ever beg for money from strangers on the internet, fuck that noise.

What would you do?

Sidebar, I’m not really interested in what you’d do, that’s between you and your God, but I thought it was at least a different way of looking at things. And now I’m really done, because I have way more important things to be dealing with.

Life Sucks And Then You Die

Life Sucks And Then You Die

Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Posted in: Uncategorized

My father-in-law died this morning.

It feels weird writing that, because it doesn’t feel quite real yet. He’d had respiratory problems and I think we expected him to get well soon.

He didn’t. His kidneys started to fail, and just about all his vital organs  started giving up.

Two days ago, the doctors informed us that he wouldn’t make it until the end of the week. Yesterday, we were informed that he wouldn’t make it past the day.

TTG and his mum had kept a bedside vigil for eighteen hours, and when he drove his mum home so that she could take the dog for a walk, that’s when his dad finally succumbed. He died in the hour that they were gone. Paul is inconsolable. My MIL is resolute, and determined to do what has to be done to get through this devastation. I can’t imagine the pain of losing somebody that you’d spent sixty years of your life with, but my God she’s handling this like a boss.

He isn’t the only family member or friend that I’ve lost in the past couple of years, and with every death, regardless of the circumstances, I’ve learned a few things. Firstly, tomorrow isn’t promised, so love the people in your life as much as you can. Secondly, behind every smile is a story of heartbreak yet untold, we never really know what’s going on behind closed doors. We don’t know what hardships people are suffering, we don’t know what they’re currently going through. We don’t know if they’ve just lost a child, we don’t know if they’ve just lost a husband.

As I watched my MIL deal with things this morning, with military precision, I understood that it would be easy for an outsider to assume that she’s OK. She’s not OK, not by a long shot. Like so many strong women, she’s just doing what must be done. But it’s going to take a toll on her eventually.

I’ve seen her like this at least once before. Nine years ago, she had to bury her daughter who died after a battle with cancer. The plan was always that her and my father-in-law would go first. What’s that saying? You never expect to bury your children. That’s what she had to come to terms with. Now she’s lost her best friend and husband of sixty years.

My job this morning was to be the pragmatic one, to allow my husband and mother-in-law to come to terms with their loss. My MIL wasn’t having any of it. “I don’t have time to curl up and die”, she said.  So I helped her make checklists of what needed to be done. We made a list of all the people who needed to be informed. I created a Funeral Arrangements sub-list, and systematically went through all the different tasks, who would execute them, and when by. I made a shortlist of solicitors that we could use, in case we didn’t get a good recommendation from friends and family. It helped me, and it helped my MIL. For now at least. We have a plan.

Once everything is done, I know that she’ll quietly fall apart, because when all’s said and done, she just lost the love of her life.

Oh, and how do you explain to a 3 year old that the grandpa that she loved and adored so much will no longer be able to help her put her jigsaw puzzle pieces together?