Saturday, August 04, 2007

Hot and dry with possibility of good news

It was dark at 5:20 this morning, a signal that the days are definitely dwindling down, no longer as light or as long, as night takes over for its turn at the helm. The sun is coming up now and it's bright and clear, washed clean by the rains last night, but not cooled down, not for long. A cool breeze whispers through the windows pushed here and there by the ceiling fan, but the higher the sun rises, the more its rays heat and twist the cool into something breathless and close, pressing down until its weight is palpable, breathing down my neck and washing like a fiery kiss over my cheeks, drawing the moisture from my lungs and body and leaving me limp and spent. Summer. Dog days. Heat.

Soon, I'll close the windows and trap what little bit of cool I can find here inside with me, pushed to and fro by the ceiling fans until it, and I, rest in the shadows away from the merciless touch of the sun before this vehicle I cling to swings out and away in its yearly celestial do-si-do and I can leave summer and dog days and breathless heat and pollen up my nose behind. I relish the cool, smoky scent of the coming autumn, the swish and crackle of brilliantly colored leaves, the crisp air, the slowly yawning mornings, and the light touch of frost as winter nears nearly as much as I look forward to the soft, scented breezes of spring when the air is filled with the perfumes of earth and budding trees and rising sap and gentle rains. It is only the brass furnace of deep summer that chafes and chars I pray will be cooled by long, hard rains that beat back its smothering, hovering, over solicitous attentions. I will crave its attentions more when my blood is sufficiently thinned and my skin chilled by anything other than tropical temperatures, but for now, since summer does not bring vacation and lazy days of wandering and lolling about, I will look to the other three seasons for relief and endure these horse latitude hours that stretch before me in seemingly endless ranks and parcel carefully out what energy I have in tasks that help me to lose track of the clock's molten drag.

I can focus on things like emails from Colleen Sell of Cup of Comfort books who bought another one of my stories. Yes, Mr. Hyde the cat will live between the covers of Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers next year and for all the years to come and I will see another little check add zeros to my bottom line. That definitely makes the day seem less brazen and more welcome, just as fighting the IRS and winning did when I was told the news earlier this week.

After three years of back and forth discussions, and me nearly giving in and signing away a piece of my hard won income, I decided to take a weekend (and it took a whole weekend) and fight the IRS on its own terms -- and I won. They decided it was too long ago to give me the money they owed me, but they swallowed their interest and penalties and will now leave me and my refunds alone . . . until they can find another reason to rake me over the coals. They won't find me quite so willing to go to the auditor's block the next time. I am so glad I do my taxes online and they save all my returns. Beanie couldn't find the files for the tax years I needed, but they were there online, safe and sound and free from mice and jumbled files. So, no big payday from my efforts but the IRS doesn't get a big payday either and that's worth the effort.

Now, it's back to burning my shows onto DVDs, courtesy of a country gentleman who lives out in the eastern plains who gifted me with eight rewritable DVDs and cases and a brand new DVD burner (he won't bet with me ever again). I will design artwork for the cases and a little something for the disk (other than the usual felt tipped marking pen legends) so it looks good enough to stand on a shelf in plain view. I might even design a little some for the DVDs an old friend made me a couple years ago and get rid of the pink Post-Its that show what's inside. Although I really appreciate the fact that he made me a copy of The Doctor Who Movie that debuted here in the U.S. in 1996, I downloaded a brand new copy, complete with bonus features and no commercials, and I'm going to burn that to DVD, too.

As the sun rises higher in the sky and heats the fresh, cool air until it wheezes in and out of my parched lungs, I'll stick to the shadows and write more stories for Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup to buy, design a little art work, and work in a little work to pay for a few more blank DVDs. The day will be hot, but life is good.

That is all. Disperse.

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