Friday, March 23, 2018

You Never Give Me Your Money

Make a bullet list of your ideal writing-related expenses. Must jibe with the themes of your books. And must be funny.

by Paul D. Marks

Jeeze Louise, a list of ideal writing-related expenses that must jibe with the themes of your books and it has to be funny. Hmm. I went to my Morey Amsterdam book of jokes but none seemed quite appropriate for a list of writing-related expenses. I guess I’ll have to wing it.

And since one has to justify one’s expenses, I’ve added a little description of each and why it’s necessary, rather than make a straight bullet list.  So, that said, here goes:

Internet expense for researching online……..: I want the platinum package, of course. The one that never disconnects and people actually come out to fix it before a month is up. Y’know, the basics. $5,550.

Dinner at my favorite restaurant. This would be research because one must know how the other half eats in order to be able to write about them. Of course, a meal at my favorite restaurant would cost about a measly ten bucks. So my patron and benefactor gets off easy on this one. $10.00. Maybe $15.00, inflation.

New York: Airfare, hotel, food and all expenses trip to NYC. Well, I truly am working on a book set in New York so this one’s not totally a joke. Gotta go there for research. And since an author should be treated to the style to which he isn’t accustomed I think Amy and I should stay in the best hotel, eat in the best restaurants, have the best seats for the theatre, have bodyguards to get us through and lots of insurance in case we don’t make it through. So I’m thinking $300,000.00 for a week’s stay. Hey, it’s New York, it ain’t cheap.
The Jungle Boat Ride at Disneyland
(Probably the closest I'll ever get to a cruise down the Amazon.)

More research: And while I’m at it, I think I might set a future book in New Orleans and one in Paris, Rome and Istanbul (one of the top places I want to go). And let’s not forget that trip I’ve always wanted to take up the Amazon in a boat for that story I’m, uh, writing, so those travel expenses will be necessary too. (I actually do have things set in latter two places, but in scripts I worked on but maybe a novel one of these days so you see I’m planning for the future here.) $2,000,000.73.

My mortgage, I know you’re only allowed to expense your home office if it’s used exclusively for your business, but isn’t every minute of every day spent working/thinking about my writing? And really my entire house is my office…books, papers, computers, tablets…strewn all over the house. You should see it it’s a mess. So $???

I'd like to write off my mortgage.

Will work for food!

My dogs’ food and vet bills: They are after all my writing assistants. $900.00/day. Don’t want them to starve. And I did promise them three weeks paid vacation, a health plan and 401(k) with 10% matching employer contributions in their contracts. That’s gotta come from somewhere.

eBay purchases: I like to scan eBay when I’m trying to think. It relaxes me. So if I sometimes end up buying something shouldn’t I be able to write that off? People have comfort animals. I have comfort goods. Like that submarine that was for sale a while back. I’d really like one. $200,073,037,034,247.44.

Books: I need books and lots of them. Can never have too many. $3250.00/week.

Diet Pepsi: Well, it used to be Diet Cherry Pepsi until they changed it. Then it used to be Diet Cherry Coke until they changed it to Feisty Cherry Coke, which is awful and makes me very feisty. Now we’re just onto plain old Diet Pepsi. Gotta have something to sustain us in the wee hours when the going gets lonely. Definitely a legit writing expense. $283.33/day.

Häagen-Dazs: Kind of like the comfort goods. After a hard day’s writing, it’s a necessity. $936.00/day.

Massage expenses: Sitting at a computer typing away all day makes your muscles sore. Gotta do something about that carpal tunnel syndrome. And since I’m a pampered writer I’d fly in Lucrezia B. straight from Italia (it costs more and is, therefore, better if you spell it that way). I just hope the B doesn’t stand for Borgia. $836,323.00/year. (I actually knew a guy, a hair stylist, who a Saudi prince would fly to Saudi Arabia several times a year just to cut his hair. I don’t know what he was paid, but I’m sure it helped him afford gold-plated shears.

Porsche 911: Well, you gotta get to book signings, plus pizza and beer runs and also to get to SinC-LA and SoCal MWA meetings on time. Might as well go in style. Of course, it is a tad cramped in the Porsche with the chauffeur, who doubles as a bodyguard, and what fun is a Porsche if you don’t drive it yourself. So the chauffeur sits in the passenger seat.  I’d also like that ’67 Pontiac Firebird for my character Duke Rogers in White Heat and the upcoming sequel Broken Windows, since his got burned in the 1992 riots in LA. He would like a replacement and so would I. My two fave cars, the Porsche and that era Firebird: orange with a black vinyl top. $42,500 for the Firebird. Porsche: $191,750. Glad there’s no change on that one.

Time and Materiel: Hey, a writer’s time ought to be worth something. A lot of people don’t seem to think it is but I do, so I’m making up for all those others here. And I want materiel instead of material ’cause, well let’s leave the details for another time: $3,038,384,598,434,933,444,348,102,218,562,034.33

And most important of all, Anti-Depressant drugs: see time and materiel explanation above, add in a whopping dollop of rejection and you definitely need to lay in the Prozac. See the cost of Time and Materiel, triple it, and that’s the cost of the drugs…after the insurance pays its share.

And back to the beginning of this post, who the hell is this Louise anyway?

And now for the usual BSP:

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Unknown said...

Reasonable I think, except maybe the ice-cream. Should cut back about 50% of that one. Otherwise, all good.

Anonymous said...

The dogs are your most indispensable expense---but they won't fit in the Porsche ;-)

GBPool said...

Too bad we don't itemize on our taxes, but there are some things the government just doesn't need to know about... period. I know Al Capone was put in jail for tax evasion instead of all that other stuff he did, but we have all learned from his mistakes. He should have gotten rid of his accountant first. Cement works wonders. A fun post, Paul.

Lisa Ciarfella said...

Want the dog treats, toys, and comforts of home all comped on the road, as I travel around Europe's seediest spots, hunting down bad guys to write about!Gotta have the pup for inspiration!

Paul D. Marks said...

I think you’re right, RM. Cut back on the ice cream. Add more pizza. :-)

Paul D. Marks said...

You’re right, Maggie, about the dogs being the most indispensable expense. And these dogs definitely wouldn’t fit in the Porsche. Hmm.

Paul D. Marks said...

Thanks, Gayle. Cement does help solve a lot of problems, doesn’t it?

Paul D. Marks said...

Definitely need the dogs when trekking around those seedy spots. And don’t forget the body guards too.

M.M. Gornell said...

LOVE this post, Paul. I'm with you on the dogs, ice cream, and massage especially. Don't see why we have to itemize anyway--said by someone who is doing taxes this weekend. (Never enough puppy companionship/help or Häagen-Dazs strawberry or butter pecan or chocolate...

Anonymous said...


Charlotte M. Liebel

Susan C Shea said...

I'm impressed at how big you and my fellow Minds think. I, having just gotten by jolt of a tax bill, would have been happy just to get an ice-cream deduction.

Paul D. Marks said...

Thanks, Madeline. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Dogs, ice cream and massage. And definitely write-offable. Good luck with your taxes.

Paul D. Marks said...

Thanks Charlotte! Glad you liked it. How can I top that? :-)

Paul D. Marks said...

Think big is my motto, Susan :-) . Don't you take the standard ice cream deduction? I think everyone should get that.

Lisa Ciarfella said...

Oh...forgot to mention the Firebird. Gotta have one, and the brighter orange the better😀

Paul D. Marks said...

Definitely the Firebird, Lisa. Whichever one of us gets one first owes the other a ride :-)