by Felicia Donovan
Every Spring, my accountant sits patiently across the desk with a solemn expression on his face as I explain my annual list of what I think are justifiable deductions. Every Spring, I'm politely informed that the Federal Tax Guideline has not evolved to the degree that I think it should have and the bulk of my list, which I carefully document on a neat spreadsheet, is stricken. I don't understand this. My requests are reasonable and based on sound accounting principles. To my readers and fellow authors, I let you be the judge...
"What's this 200 hours for?"
"Books. I'm in training. You know, like an athlete. The more books I read, the better a writer I can be. It's germane to my profession."
I don't just mean hair product, I mean every product - moisturizers, special soaps, etc. You figure out how many public appearances the average author makes a year. It costs to look this good. And while I'm at it, no one has yet to explain to me if I'm supposed to use the wrinkle relaxer before the wrinkle firmer or vice versa. Is it a massage after a good workout or a good stretch before a run? Doesn't matter,it's all necessary.
Coffee and Strong Tea
It's not my fault that those paper shufflers in DC do not "get" the creative process, but let me make it clear that we authors do not "create on demand." Some of my most brilliant neural misfirings come at the oddest times and if I'm going to capture them, I need caffeine to stay awake. This is genius and you don't put genius on a schedule, hence I should be allowed to deduct the 20+ cups of coffee and/or tea I consume in any given day as an allowable expense that enhances my profession due to an unpredictable schedule.
Dolce & Gabanna Handbag
Where else would I keep the Kindle? Since the Kindle can be snuck under "appreciable equipment," so should the bag it's held in. And the bag had better look good. If the bag looks good, I'll be more confident. If I'm more confident, I'll be a better writer.
You see my quandary? Am I asking to write off my corporate jet? Noooooo... Am I asking the tax man to discard my million dollar bonus? Noooooo.... All I'm asking for is a little break for being a dedicated writer who squeezes in a writing career in between caring for a family, a house, a bunch of dogs, and working a full-time "day" job. Isn't it time we authors got a break? Maybe some of you have your own deductions that I've missed. If so, feel free to pass them on...