Ever wait and wait and wait until some promised money finally arrived? If you’re a writer, of course you have! Surely, the rest of the world occasionally has the same problem. And Miss Crankypants is here to tell them how they feel about it.
The scenario begins with that promise. Popeye’s portly friend Wimpy said it best: “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Editors have been known not only to resemble Wimpy, but to utter almost those same words. “I’ll gladly pay you sometime in the next millenium for a manuscript today.”
The problem is the gap between the promise and the payoff, the place which most novelists call the slow middle of their book or “the second half of my advance.”
This aeons-long waiting makes the Jurassic period seem like a ten minute coffee break.
Meanwhile, Miss Crankypants never lets her time go to waste. While she’s growing longer in the tooth waiting for the dough, she’s daydreaming of a thousand ways to spend it. Her semiannual royalty check of $37.50 is burning a hole in Miz Cranky’s pocket before it’s even in there!
She really really needs new shoes. OK, she WANTS more new shoes, a sinful but oh-so-rewarding habit she picked up in high school, when knee-high boots were all the rage. Now that the same fashion trend is back again, soft Italian leather beckons her, perhaps in a tasteful shade of taupe. The only difference between the go-go boots of her youth and the in boots of today? Now you can wear those brown boots with black clothing. Well that and hardly anyone says GROOVY these days.
But what about her teeth? None of Miss CP’s pearly whites has been inside a dentist’s office since Moby Dick was knee-high to a minnow. She could use her moolah to get some of the pot holes fixed. Prices start at $1500 per tooth, she hears.
And the car! The poor lil Honda Civic has been begging for a new timing belt or at least an oil change. Mom always told Miss CP that she ought to take good care of her teeth and her car. Besides, vehicles have been known to exact revenge at the most inopportune times–say on I-5 at rush hour on Friday going 75 mph. You know, squeaky wheels really do get the grease. Or a blow-out.
So far, Miss Crankypants’ royalty check has already been spent to the tune of about 10 grand. And that doesn’t even factor in the new iPad, 5g phone or Mac book Pro she’s been drooling over. What’s a good cranky writer supposed to do?
Please do NOT suggest that Miss Cranky should take you out to lunch. These days, most restaurants charge $37.50 just to let you take a whiff of their most mouth-watering dish. After you smell it, then it’s another ten bucks to look at the menu.
She regrets to inform you that she’ll probably end up changing the car’s oil. The squeaky wheel really does gets the grease, or in this case, the $37.50. Better luck next royalty statement.