rants n@…like pants n@…but no pants

Rebooting post from Rants N@

Rants N@

Happy Thursday to anyone who may have stumbled upon my blog site and welcome! I’m trying to build my writing resume, so I did some research and all hands point to writing a blog as a good place to start. So here it is. My very first entry for rants n@. I hope you enjoy, and come back often!

Speaking of rants…and pants…as many Pittsburgher’s do every morning, my life and work have provided me with ample opportunity to put on my big girl pants and board the bus each day to travel from the western suburbs of Pittsburgh to my office downtown. Many of you know the joys I get to experience on a daily basis, but just in case, for those of you afforded the luxury of traveling solo in an air conditioned vehicle on your way to your reserved (and probably paid for) spot at the local…

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Tax Tips for Authors

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It’s 2018 and I’m diving back into action after taking a long, but strongly needed hiatus from my blog. Initial subject of this piece is discussing the new tax law and the effect it has on authors and their 2017 taxes. So if you’re a procrastinator and haven’t filed still, such as me, continue reading.

The outcome of my research on this was freelance writers and self-published authors are: (1) small business owners; (2) their profits are described as self-employment income; and, (3) they may write off standard business cost. As far as changes, this is nothing but excellent news! A quick reference to keep in mind is, if you declare yourself as an employee of your business, you cannot enter deductions.

One article I saw online, Tax Tips for Freelance Writers and Self-Published Authors, offer great advice for filing your 2017 taxes, along with useful information on the Schedule C, home office deductions, and the 1099-MISC. I hope you find it helpful.

Today Only – Sale on Hand Soaps at Bath & Body Works

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If you love the lovely sweet scents by Bath & Body Works then you don’t want to miss the sale they are having “only” today. All hand soaps are priced at $2.95.

I got this notice by email. I’m not sure how many you can buy if you go to the store, but online there is a purchase limit of 15. Here is the link, http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/home/index.jsp.

 

One Space or Two Spaces After the Period at the End of the Sentence?

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I decided to do a little research about that pesky question of whether to use one or two spaces after the period at the end of a sentence. As a lifelong proponent of the two spaces camp, I now grudgingly yield to the 21st century and advances in typography to move to using only one space after the period.

Every major style guide–including the “bibles” of the Modern Language Association Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style–prescribes a single space after a period. The two-space rule began during the age of typewriters, when the spacing of letters was not proportional (as it is now) and using two spaces at the end of a sentence made documents more readable. The only computer font that is not proportional is Courier, which we do not use. (I don’t think anyone uses it anymore.)

According to an article in Slate (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2011/01/space_invaders.html) which addressed this very issue, “because we’ve all switched to modern fonts, adding two spaces after a period no longer enhances readability, typographers say. It diminishes it.” This same point was made by every major source that I researched.

So, I am waving the white flag of surrender in my ancient, Tyrannosaurus Rex hands to say that I think the switch to one space is the better and updated rule to follow.

I feel I can adapt to change okay, however, if you find yourself having great difficulty in making this transition, I saw the following suggestion in the online version of the Chicago Manual of Style: once the document is finished, use the Find and Replace feature to eliminate all double spaces. In the “Find” box, type two spaces, and in the “Replace With” box, type one space. Hit “Replace All” and you’re done.

R. Lynn Archie

www.rlynnarchie.com

IS SELF-PUBLISHING RIGHT FOR EVERYBODY?

IS SELF-PUBLISHING RIGHT FOR EVERYBODY

The book publishing world has gone through a revolution in recent years that is similar to the one that happened in music ten years ago when it became easy for bands to publish their own music and have their fans download it, instead of dealing with the middlemen – the record companies. With the rise of e-books it’s easy for authors to self-publish, rather than go through the laborious process of trying to get a book contract with a mainstream publisher.

But is it worth it? There are many pros and cons to self-publishing, and if you’re thinking of doing it, these are the questions you should ask.

How long am I willing to wait to get published?
If you have a story or idea that is just gnawing at you and you feel compelled to publish it, you’ll definitely get it into your readers’ hands a lot quicker if you self-publish. The traditional publishing route can take years, from the time when you send out your first manuscript to when the book actually gets on the market. If you self-publish an e-book it will be a matter of months from the time you write it to when you can publish it.

Am I willing to promote and market my book, or do I want somebody else to do that?
Traditional publishers do a lot of the marketing for their books, which takes pressure off the authors. If you self-publish, the marketing begins and ends with you.

Do I want to do all the editing, cover design, formatting, etc. myself, or do I want somebody else to do that?
Again, traditional publishers have the manpower to do the jobs involved in the book’s presentation. If you self-publish, you’re responsible for all that.

How much of a royalty do I want?
Self-publishers get to keep up to 70 percent of their book’s income. The royalty offered by publishers is usually in the single digits. Self-publishing is a viable option for some authors, but for others, it’s not as attractive as going the traditional publishing route. It’s a question you need to research and think about, to determine if it’s right for you.

R. Lynn Archie
www.rlynnarchie.com

Suggestions on How to Get Out of a Writing Rut

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Has there ever been a time when you wanted to get essential thoughts down on paper but just could not get yourself moving to do so? Whether you are a writer, student, or simply someone wanting to inscribe a thank you note, it can happen. The magic question is what can be done to get out of the rut?

Helpful Suggestions

Think about what you are trying to write about in the first place. Start by focusing on the task at hand and then begin mentally de-cluttering your mind of everything else.

Put your thoughts down on something tangible like paper or a computer. If you are anything like me, as soon as a great inspiration pops into my head I have to immediately write it down. When you have a busy schedule, it’s very easy to forget things.  With this method, you then have the option to go back to your notes later on. It’s a helpful way to kick-start your creative juices to get it flowing again.

Select a means to push your productivity. This can be a special room, a selective piece of furniture like a bed or chair, a special music playlist, or even something straightforward as a change of scenery like sitting in the park or going to a coffee shop. Whatever you decide to do it should be something that is refreshing, and will give you the ability to concentrate.
All it takes is the decision to get started, and as long as you stay motivated and passionate you have the foundation to work through getting out of a rut.

 

R. Lynn Archie

Website:  www.rlynnarchie.com

One Way Trip to Mars

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This isn’t my everyday topic, but it involved reading so I wanted to share my thoughts on the one way trip to Mars that so many people had signed up for. Out of 200,000 applicants for this non-return expedition to Mars (Red Planet), the selection has been narrowed down to one hundred—50 men and 50 women.

It amazed me that so many people happily volunteered knowing they can never return to Earth. In addition, they’re leaving their families, significant others, friends, and everything else precious in their lives to be marked into the history books forever; yet, it’s at such a huge sacrifice.

Sonia Nicole Van Meter, 36, is a D.C.-area political consultant and one of the 100 finalists. She was interviewed about the possibility of being picked as one of the twenty-four for the trip to Mars, and her answers mimicked other interviews I’ve read from a few of the other finalists. To sum it up, they have the same inspirations about making this journey.

The plan is that Mars One will be the first group to make the initial travel, and the first launch is planned for 2024, to land in 2025. Ultimately, 24 people will be selected to make up six crews of four, which Mars One says they hope to launch to the Red Planet every two years from 2024, with the aim of starting a colony there.

I can’t even imagine traveling for that length of time in an unknown space. Even with the seven or eight years worth of pre-training for the final recruits, you really have to ask is it enough? I mean you’re talking about regular people, who are being trained to endure space travel and residence on a planet with an atmosphere that is unlivable without the proper aids to help them do so. Just the thought of that makes me appreciate the necessities that are taken for granted every day like water to drink and air to breathe.

What I do know is find this topic interesting. When 2024 finally arrives, I wish the expedition group and groups to come after them, the very best, and applaud them in their choices to take such a giant step in history.

R. Lynn Archie
Website: www.rlynnarchie.com