Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Tax Man Cometh

It's nearly the end of March, and I haven't finished my taxes yet. This is the latest I've ever been. Of course, there are very good excuses: I went to a February mystery conference in Alabama (Murder in the Magic City & Murder on the Menu), then I went to Left Coast Crime in mid-March and then directly to Las Vegas for an author event. And---I've been writing seven days a week since returning from Left Coast to get back on track with my current Kelly Flynn mystery due in June. All good reasons.

But---the real time "devourer "are the other regular life concerns that take away those odds & ends of time that authors and other small business owners normally use to check the year's business receipts, credit card bills, checkbooks, etc. All of us have other stuff going on in our lives. With some people it's family--kids, parents, spouses can have traumas going on in their lives and need our support. With some people, it's health issues, their own health or other family members. With others, it's the demands of their daytime jobs. And for some folks---it's the even more serious concerns of having LOST their daytime jobs. For me, I have a 90 year old mother who lives in an independent living retirement home in town. Believe me, I try to do things with her regularly. Ninety years is a gift.

Then sometimes, we just make choices. This weekend, I spent an entire day writing a 22-page chapter in the current Kelly mystery. It was a very special chapter, filled with relationships and sports, and action, and a lot of fun and laughter. I wanted to catch the rhythm of the scenes and not let it drop, so I kept on going. All day and into the evening. Taking breaks for meals, of course. :)

It took all Sunday. Sundays afternoons were often when I'd grab a couple or three hours to work on my taxes. Not this time. So---I have no one to blame but myself for the slowdown. I chose to use my time differently. I don't regret it, even though tax crunch time is staring me in the face now. Let's be honest--writing is a heckuva lot more fun than working on taxes.

But, now----I see the Tax Man in the distance, coming closer, so I'd better get busy. I really don't want to meet this guy face-to-face. How about you, folks? How are you doing on the income tax front? Have you finished/haven't started/ignoring them/or plan to file an extension and plead for mercy?