Mail call

Some interesting mail today. I got two of the books I ordered, including Barry Malzberg’s Breakfast in the Ruins, which turns out to be The Engines of the Night, expanded to twice it’s original length. That’s fine since, although I’ve read Engines of the Night twice before, it is one of those rare books which receives 5-stars from me. I look forward to reading what has been added.

I got my temporary AARP card in the mail today and that sounds like a joke, but unless someone put my name in for me, it is no joke. The accompanying letter indicated that I am eligible to join the AARP and all I have to do is mail in a check for $25. Granted I have reached mid-life. But I have by no means retired! I’ll send them $25 once I retire. (Of course, by then, I’ll need to send in $250, what with inflation.)

I received the June issue of ASIMOV’S today as well.

There was an email from my tax preparer with several questions she needs answers to in order to complete my returns. For instance, while I had $650 in charitable donations last year, I listed none this year. Did I forget to include them? The truth is, no. I’m embarrassed to say that my donations this year fell far short of my goal. Mostly out of laziness too. I donated small sums here and there, but nothing worth reporting. I feel guilty about having to respond in the negative to this. My feeling is that I should be donating more and more each year. Over time, I’d like to be donating about 10% of my income to charity, but I took a step backwards in 2006 and will work to correct it this year. (What’s worse, my income went up, and I bought lots of stuff that wastes my time and contributes little else to my life–the money would have been much better spend on various charities.)

The other question was about any writing expenses I incurred in 2006. I feel that now that I have sold a story, I can legitimately write off some of my writing expenses as business expenses, but to be honest, those expenses are minimal. There is the cost of paper, which I would purchase even if I didn’t write. And there is postage which, while it adds up, still does not seem like it’s a sum worth reporting. Other than that, I can think of any other writing expenses.

Anyway, I’ll send her my answers tomorrow and will hopefully have my taxes completed soon so that I can mail out my payment to Uncle Sam.

I should have been in bed almost an hour ago. I’m finishing up the chapter that I am reading in In Memory Yet Green (through 75 pages) and then it’s lights-out!