Author Interrupted

stressed

They say, ” what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. After these past few months, I’m thinking I should be made of kryptonite by now.

 

This has certainly been one summer that has passed me by. I’m not sure if it’s the planets colliding, or that ‘Murphy’ hasn’t hopped on my shoulder, but certainly some bad entity has entered my orbit.

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It’s been an ongoing love affair since June with me and the good old government. In early June I was randomly selected for an audit. I’d never been audited in my life, and oddly enough, since I only began submitting expenses for my book writing two years ago, my number came up—for a two year audit.

I have an accountant that looks after mine and my husband’s affairs and he is very efficient and a stickler for staying within guidelines. To help curb costs, I do a lot of the legwork involved in preparing for him to do taxes, and so naturally, that meant me digging through, photocopying, and matching receipts in what feels like a mountain of paperwork.

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After all was prepared and sent, I received notification that my ‘author business’ wasn’t a business. Really? So I’ve worked day and night for almost the last three years building a platform, reaching out to readers and writing books and apparently that isn’t work in the eyes of the government. I was mortified at their reply and charge back. After speaking with a helpful agent on the phone about my dismay, I was instructed to write a letter and resend for another check. This resubmission is now once again in their hands.

It seems our tax department has a theme of businesses to check on, which changes every few years. Apparently, these past two years have been the theme of ‘authors and bloggers’. Me, being the one in a million girl for things to happen to (for everything except winning lotteries), was one of the chosen.

 

Within two days of hearing about my submission declined, my husband got notification that he was now being assessed for three years. Was this a coincidence? I think not. If I thought I’d already been to hell and back, I’ve been knee-deep in the process once again; this time a lot more difficult as his income entails a lot more detail than mine. After spending a week in search mode for all his paperwork, I’m buried in putting together everything requested to prepare for the accountant.

These last two weeks have been unbearable; sucking every ounce of life and joy out of me. My newest book was supposed to be published already, and in between this mess I’ve left my graphic artist midway in my cover design and my editor in long delays between responses to edit. Who the heck can concentrate?

I’ve tried to keep up with reading blogs at night, and social media, but the truth is I can’t concentrate on anything until I get this task finished. My nerves are shattered, my intestines are knotted, and I don’t remember the last time I slept through the night.

So, with this all being said, I’m sure you can appreciate that my gravatar has been a little sparse lately on many of your blogs. I just wanted to let you all know that I haven’t disappeared completely off the map, and when I get through these next few weeks, I’ll be back with a vengeance. Until such time, just know that your comments don’t go unnoticed, and when I get a spare moment where I get some ‘me’ time, I’ll be circulating around the blogosphere.

Miss you guys!

DGKaye©2015

#Taxi Wars, #Uber and the Cost of Living — My Two Cents

My two cents

The battle of the taxis are going on in Toronto. The taxi companies want to get rid of Uber. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Uber, they are an alternative taxi service whereby, you download the app on your phone, fill out your info, insert a method of payment, and when you need a taxi you go to your app and order someone to pick you up, and pay a lot less than you would for a regular taxi. There are also bonus promo codes which can get you free rides. In fact, at the end of this post, I will advertise my coupon code if anybody would like to look into signing up for the service (available in many countries), and you can plug in my code and get $20.00 free added to your account.

I drive my own car, so I don’t find these Uber wars particularly bothersome, although Uber comes in handy for quick jaunts to the subway – cheaper than parking my car there. But I thought I’d offer my two cents about the situation.

Let’s face it my fellow Torontonians here, the cost of living here for everything from food to housing is getting out of control. The price of food, which I can justly speak out on, has gone up so much in just this past year alone. Some products (such as my favourite, almond butter) HAS DOUBLED! It makes me wonder, is there suddenly a shortage of almonds? I don’t think so! But people are learning about getting healthier and almond butter has been given a lot more publicity in the last few years, so of course, the greedmongers have to capitalize on it.

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Contents of groceries have shrunk dramatically, yet the prices keep rising. Foreign investors have driven up the prices of real estate here so much that they aren’t even realistic. Starter homes are a thing of the past, or one would have to move to the far north outside the city to find something for under a half a million dollars! A new couple just starting out in life together, barely have a chance to get involved in the housing market. The banks have been very cautious, holding off from raising mortgage rates for an unprecedented amount of time, oddly, for a city with everything going up, up, to avoid a situation like what happened to the United States, not so long ago.

At a ridiculous rate of under 2%, mortgage rates fluctuate, depending on lock in term. That is the enticing feature for those who have managed to get into the market. People have stretched themselves to the max just to jump into the market and have a home at a half decent rate. The banks know very well, that many people are at their max budget currently, to enable them to keep their homes. If rates even double to 4% or less, which is still ridiculously low, for an average person paying $1000-2000 dollars a month, their payment will double! Many would have to sell their homes, which in turn would create the overdue bursting of the real estate bubble, and the banks would have to start owning many homes, all of which they are avoiding doing by leaving the rate alone. But seriously, it can’t go on much longer, and once again we will have a housing crash.

And so, now we have the taxi wars.

 

Taxis are ridiculously expensive, our streets are over-populated with cars, not enough highways to accommodate them, construction closings on a daily basis, which leaves an overflow of traffic scouring for alternate routes and therefore cluttering so many streets. These taxi meters click away at lightning speed as they endeavor to take us to our destinations at a snail’s pace. Enter Uber. In many cases, a fare will cost almost half of the price of a regular taxi. I say Uber is a smart commodity available to those drowning in expenses and have to get around.

 

 

Greed has taken over so largely in this city, it’s almost as though we may soon have to pay for the polluted air we breathe. If corporations don’t want to stop gauging consumers, we have every right to get the best bang for our buck and if I need a taxi, I too will be using Uber.

It’s not up to us struggling tax payers to worry about corporations making enough money. It’s up to our government to stop the greed. They need to stop taxing companies to the max, so they in turn can stop gauging the consumers.

Anyone like to add their two cents?

 

PS: My promotion code for Uber is debbyg44ue if anyone signs up to Uber and uses my code, they will get $20 added to their account. As well, once you sign up, you will get your own promotion code that you can share, and the people who use your code, you will in turn get $20 added to your own accounts for every person who joins and enters your code!

Now that’s what I call good business sense!

DGKaye©2015

The News – Why I Sometimes Don’t Watch It

 

Today's thought

Is it ever good? Do we usually hear good things when watching the news? Do we ever turn it on and hear….Newflash – taxes are going down! Or….Thanks for coming, but all is right with the world so we have nothing to report!

No, it’s called News but it’s never usually good news being reported. I prefer to live with the old adage….’No news is good news’, so therefore I try not to watch it too often. I seem to go through phases, either I run to turn on the TV at 6pm or I will go for a few weeks and not listen to any news. Not because I’m not interested on the goings on in the world, but mostly because I have a tendency to dwell on things and it’s just easier for me to ignore downer news for as long as I can before I have to realize that the pertinent things I’ve missed are taking effect. I get pissed off at government issues and as I am a very empathetic person,  when I hear or see sad things that happen to people, it makes me very sad.

Sometimes my husband will ask me if I saw such and such on the news and I’ll say, I don’t want to know, then we get into a debate. He reiterates how important it is to stay abreast of things and I argue back that I don’t want that crap in my head right now. If I can’t change anything and have to bite it, I sometimes choose not wanting to know.

They say, you shouldn’t watch the news before going to bed. I wholeheartedly agree and have long ago given up that ritual. After all, I have enough to worry about that keeps me up at night without having to worry how I am going to fix the world.

Just my thoughts here.  Anyone else have an opinion?

 

DGKaye©2014

Paperbacks and Canadian Authors

Today's thought

 

While I was anxiously awaiting for the delivery of my newly published book Conflicted Hearts, my brother asked me for a copy about a week ago and I told him I didn’t even have one yet for myself, other than a proof copy. I spend most days with the exception of one or two days a week at the most, at home working on my new books that I am writing. Of course, the one day of the week I went out yesterday to take my husband to the doctor’s office and to buy a new laptop, my books had come while I was out. Or let me rephrase that, the postman had come to my door with them but didn’t leave them behind. I was puzzled at this as I pulled the tag off my front door with the notification to go to my local post office and pick them up. It didn’t dawn on me until this morning why the books weren’t left on my porch and as I went to recheck the notice, I turned it over and discovered there was a customs tax I was required to pay for $15.00.

I found it a bit exorbitant that as a Canadian author having my book published in the United States, that the cost of each book for an author to purchase for herself becomes quite costly for us with all the add ons. Yes, we get a slightly discounted price for buying our own books but that is only the beginning. The shipping to Canada charges are monsterous and then let us not forget those charges are all in U.S. dollars and then are converted to Canadian dollars worth less, on our Visa cards also with an added surcharge, courtesy of Visa and then Canada customs gets their grubs on us deciding that we should have to pay yet another charge to allow our items into Canada.

So in essence, my $53.00 order became $110.00! I’m just saying, that is pretty steep. Is it any wonder why many Indie authors don’t opt to get involved with paperbacks when self-publishing? Where is the justice?

I just thought I’d use my space here to vent. All feedback is welcome! 😉

 

DGKaye©2014