One of the big BIG blessings of landing a book deal is that I'll be getting an advance. For you non-writer types out there, that's an advance on my anticipated royalties - in other words, payment for my book. Once the book starts earning royalties, I get a share of those, too after I earn back my advance.
And it's a sad fact that a lot of new writers never earn back their advance.
I'm going to do everything in my power not to join that club, but I am quite happy with the advance as it stands. The contract has been signed, so it'll be here anytime now.
And the kids are more than happy to have it all spent before it gets here, of course.
I don't blame them.These last five years we've played a never-ending game I call "Mom...when we have money again..." It's kind of a wishful-thinking sort of thing that we do.
"Mom, when we have money again, can we go to Harry Potter world?" (This from David, who's the biggest Harry Potter fan in the world).
"Mom, when we have money again, do you think I can get a new laptop? For school? The old one is so clunky and big." (Anna, of course. Hey, at least she has a laptop, right?)
Across the years we've played the game with vacation destinations, new bikes, wardrobe items, even DVD's we'd like to buy for movies that we had to skip because Mom didn't have the money to go see them while they were in theaters.
The kids aren't the only ones who do that. I have travel brochures for Ireland, Scotland, Samoa and every island in the Caribbean in a folder at home. I look longingly at my sagging couch and my scarred up coffee table and envision a beautiful new living room. I stare at my clothes in my closet and try to remember the last time I went clothes shopping - I mean really went clothes shopping for more than a replacement to a solitary ripped or stained item.
I can't remember when.
So when the money comes, I tell the kids, the first thing it has to pay is bills. They know this, because this is always how it is. But there will be some left over. Christmas is going to be good -but not outrageous - this year. I'm taking them home to visit their grandfather and my home state for vacation next summer. There will be some car repairs, a few new clothes, a new laptop for Mom (who really, really needs it) and a few more movies out before it's all whittled away and life is back to slightly-better-than-normal.
Or a lot better than normal, if you're the girl who just had a dream come true.
And I ain't talking about the money, folks.