Happy Birthday, Nastenka, my little sis! С Днем Рождения, моя дорогая сестричка!
I was so happy to hear your voice yesterday. Sorry I woke you up. I called mom right after you. I remember the day she came home with you from the hospital. You were all wrapped up in a blanket. Everyone went to eat in the kitchen, and I stood over you lying on the table, marveling at your little toes. They were so small! I couldn't conceive how they could possibly be that tiny. And they wiggled so much. Wish I could come visit you. Soon, I hope.
I called mom right after you.
CONVERSATION WITH MOM:
— Happy Nastya's birthday!
— Oh! Ksenechka [a diminutive of Ksenia]! It's so good to hear you! There are terrible things happening. The free transportation passes are being canceled for pensioners, and here I was hoping I could move around more freely when I become a pensioner. There are now trap doors and spikes and barbed wire on top so people won't sneak onto the trains without paying.
— I'm sorry, mom. That's awful.
— So I sit here and knit dresses. I'd like to send you some, maybe you could sell some. But I can't afford the postage. Could you maybe send me $50 or so?
— [I laugh really loud.] I'd love to, mom, but I have nothing! My money for ghostwriting has ended and our checking account was frozen today because rent hit a day early and we were short on cash. This is the first month Royce is supporting me.
— But what about your books?
— Well...sales spike only when I release new books, mom. I'm writing them as fast as I can, but the process of publishing them is slow. I can't afford to pay anyone, so I have to wait for everything to be done. A new book is coming out soon. I'm hoping for some sales. But mom? Don't fret, I'll make millions in the near future and pull you out of there.
— [She laughs.] Really?
— Yes. World domination is my goal. You watch me.
In the end we hung up both in good spirits although both broke. Before saying goodbye, I told mom, "Hey, at least we can still afford phones and talk. And we're not dead yet." She laughed some more.
Which brings me to a point I was pondering...
This month I ran out of my ghostwriting money and wasn't able to contribute to our combined budget. We can scrape by on Royce's income alone, although I have to be very careful on how I buy books for stock and predict sales. I had an idea, especially after suffering though editing The Badlings a gazillion times. Maybe I should offer editing services? I see writers do it all the time. What do you guys think? Would you pay? I'm very thorough so I'd do a full edit with an editorial letter, edits in the file and comments. Only I won't proofread it for you. I mean, I'll catch some typos but proofreading is not my strength. The other stuff I can do very well. I'm a hardass, just warning you—meaning, I will scrub through your draft down to the bones.
I thought about writing the second draft of TUBE and then while I'm on break I could edit. And I thought regarding payment, I could start with the low editing rate (I quickly researched the prices. Is this what you guys have seen as well? Am I on the mark?):
- A full edit of anything you want would be something like $3 per double-spaced page (this is half of the normal $7.5 per page rate, at least what I've seen online), standard manuscript format, so about 250 words per page.
- A full edit of a novel (60-120K words) would be something like $1000 with a $500 deposit and would take me about 4 weeks. So you'd pay the other $500 only if you were satisfied with the end result (you'll get it back looking like this). At least until I gain credibility in this department.
Yes? No? Thoughts?
If you want to help me continue writing books full-time and not look for side jobs, support me on Patreon. Or buy a gazillion of my books for all your friends. Or donate the last of your savings. I'll take all of it, I'm not squeamish. Or suggest other ideas?
TOGETHER WE CAN DO THIS.
I have faith in you that you will catch me if I fall. I love you. Thank you. XOXO
P.S.: I really need to start writing second draft of TUBE soon. As you can see, blog posts are pouring out of my ears. Stuart says The Badlings should be formatted by Monday. Hopefully by next week I'll get it published and can start.