The Day’s Work

It was a lovely summer day.

And I knew that I had to stay inside for the morning, and finally pay all the bills, including this quarter’s Business and Operating tax, and do a tidy on the office.  I always grumble to myself about having to pay B&O tax.  In Washington state, artists and writers are taxed just as if they are small businesses.  So, I pay a tax on my income to the city and to the state every quarter.  It strikes me as unfair as my business does not incur any extra costs for the city; I don’t require extra police patrols, I don’t generate extra waste water, etc.  Basically, I am taxed for having a computer in my office and writing on it.  Grumble, grumble.

Next order of business was mailing things.  One very nice item was that I was sending back a signed set of contracts for Romanian rights to Farseer. 

Then, back to the house, where I successfully ignored the little drifts of dog hair in the corner of the livingroom. I vacuumed just yesterday, not just the hosue but the dog himself.  Pip has always enjoyed being vacuumed, and I had vaguely hoped that the shed hair might go straight from the dog to the vacuum bag, but evidently he had more to share.  Later, I will get that.

Then I made my first batch of jam for the year.  The cool wet start to summer has meant that my strawberries did not do well.  Enough lingered on the plants that our recent bout of sunshine and warmth ripened them up to sweetness. So I was able to do one batch of strawberry jam. Tomorrow, I will do raspberry. 

Next task was to run through the .pdf file of “Blue Boots”.  That is my story for the anthology SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH, edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois.  This is an anthology from fantasy and romance authors, due to be released in November of this year.  (Gives you an idea of how far ahead we have to work on these things!)  As I often do with stories I have finished, I began reading it with rather a jaded eye, wondering if I’d done my task as a story teller.  But, at just the right moment and completely unexpected, I got a shiver up my back!  Like most writers, I do write for myself first. So, at this point, all I can do is hope that you share my sensibilities and that Blue Boots will work for you as well.

Now the day is winding down and I still have to do some pages on my major project.  I’ve passed page 200 on the manuscript for the new book.  My goal is to pass 300 pages before the end of the month. I desperately want to turn this book in well ahead of time, and actually have a relaxed holiday season with my family, with no deadline keeping me at the keyboard while everyone else is eating holiday cookies!

So, I may miss the sunshine today.  And the drifts of dog hair in the livingroom corners may get a bit deeper. 

But that is this writer’s day.


12 Responses to The Day’s Work

  1. Please tell me that there will be a third book in the Rain Wilds Chronicles! I am new to websites, but an old, long time fan of yours! Three generations of our family devour your books! You are an amazing writer! Thank you for bringing so much pleasure into our lives!

  2. Glad to hear your insight of a day in your life. It’s also nice to know that at least you plan to meet your deadlines (unlike mentioned George R.R Martin). Keep up the good work Robin.

  3. It’s mid-July and we’re talking November/December. Hope that helps keep you cool when the weather’s dreadfully hot.
    Amber – I understand your frustration, but why slag George, or Patrick, or anyone else who works so hard and provides so much enjoyment? Please let it go?

  4. Annnd I’m procrastinating and not writing anything lately. But I think that’s okay, because no one expects me too. Maybe it’s not okay. Gah!

    Jealous of your summer and strawberries and things. It’s icy here today and I am missing home made jam – we ran out a few weeks ago, my daughter is a jam fiend.

  5. Alright my mobile device has just deleted a 30 minutes long response. So to keep it short,Landi, your slang “slag” is misimplied and perhaps a tad mistasteful. Additionally your usage of the word means that people not from the U.K or Oceania may be at a loss. Nowhere in my context do I deliberately list my frustrations or personal attacks on George RR Martin or Patrick. I was simply using that reference to show appreciation for writer’s such as
    Ms. Hobb that keep her readers/fans updated at a close Proximity. (Unlike George’s 5 year delay and disattached posts) But this doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate his hard work or his “working towards our enjoyment”. No need to bristle or take offensive. As to your question: I will let it go. If you thought I was selfish enough to voice my frustrations of another author on Ms. Hobb’s website; you are sadly mistaken.

  6. Good luck with the manuscript! Really looking forward to reading it!

    In UK artists (and everyone else for that matter) have to pay 50% (!!!!!) tax if they earn over £150K… or about 45% if it’s over £40K. Something like that. How ludicrously unfair – you work your butt off just to have half your money go to the taxman and, effectively, to those who come up with various excuses not to do any work at all… Makes me cross.


  7. 😳 Amber – I’m sorry if I upset you. You’re right – you deserve better treatment and more forbearance than I offered.
    As a bit of background, I follow only 3 authors online – George RR Martin, Patrick Rothfuss and our wonderful host, Robin Hobb. George and Patrick have both taken quite a bit more time than anticipated to produce next novels in their series, and both get a lot of negative commentary because of this. When I saw your comment here, it upset me; I see way too much of this elsewhere.
    I wish you had not lost the initial response. I think I would have liked to have read it; you seem a thoughtful and passionate person.
    I regret my mistake, and hope you won’t remain angry at me.

  8. Landi :] I feel bad that I was a bit harsh. But I’m not at all mad at you or upset. There’s a lot of disgruntlement and unnecessary comments on other forums that I despise as well. The Name of the Wind is among one of my favorite books and I absolutely love A song of Ice and fire Hope you have a great day and thanks for the reply =]

  9. It looks as though you are doing another Rain Wilds Chronicles book. I hope so. I just finished the 2nd in the series and cannot wait for more! Please let me know if you are planning on or working on the third.

  10. wow my two favoirite authors, yourself ofcourse and George rr martin, another great in the fantasy genre, and may i add one of the many great authors that recommened your books to me, with you writing and him editing it must be a great cannot wait to get my hands on this anthology

  11. It’s not fair. I’m about to finish the Farsser series and now I find out there is this blog and multiple other books to read. I may never have time for anything else. Thanks for the great reads!