March 27th, 2008


I am about to do an extravagant thing. This very day, I am about to spend the money to take ballet twice a week instead of once.

To some extent, spending money comes easily to me. Even at the times when there was little or no wiggle room, I would buy books, good vegetables and cheese, decent pens. I understand the idea of paying enough money to get something worth having.

On the other hand, I’m cheap. I buy my tennies in the boy’s department at Target, rarely spending more than $15 per pair. Some of my favorite books have come from the library used book sales for a quarter; those get extra bonus points because my quarter goes to a good cause, too. Before Brent and I got married, I needed to get some clothes for our honeymoon. I went to the stores with every intention of blowing a bunch of money on cool clothes and ended up buying two pairs of pants for $16, total. The rest of my purchases that day were not quite as inexpensive, but nothing was full price.

Yesterday I had to go to the bank. I am the trustee for my parents’ trust, which at present means I make one deposit and write one check per year to take care of their life insurance. I closed one account in order to open another at a more convenient bank. I worried about it all day and the transaction took exactly ten minutes.

In working on my writing, I have been trying to focus on plot. I can describe things for days, but struggle with getting things to happen to my odd characters in my interesting settings. The plot exercise I wrote the other day was about what might happen if I tried to rob a bank.

Add to this tangentially related complex of concepts the fact that I am not currently working for money. I write. I revise. I send out queries. I collect rejection notes. I pretend I am useful by doing the laundry and making dinner and cleaning house.

I fear being irresponsible, spendthrift, and subsequently penurious. I also fear accepting privilege.

So I’m writing it down. Eventually, I hope, this will make the issues come clear.