The Hidden Cost of Just Being

When I moved to Houston, I was fortunate to have a number of colleagues whom I could call on for advice. They all told me the same thing, that the cost of living here is about the same as the town I was leaving, but that you have to be careful because there are a lot more things to spend money on.

True. So true. In spades.

So now I’m a writer, and my time is much the same. I have the same amount as I had before I started but now I have this whole other life to shoehorn in. It’s a challenge. Just ask any writer.

And now I’m getting to some small level of success. I have book signings coming up. I have some likely opportunities for readings and/or talks. Eventually, I’ll need to be able to sell a few books on my own, mostly for signings when I don’t have a cooperative merchant to work with.

So now I take credit cards. Pretty simple. You sign up with a vendor like PayPal or, wait to be verified, and get a little scanner to plug into your phone. To expedite things and satisfy a fe points of curiosity, I opted to buy a reader locally and get the purchase price refunded through an on-line rebate. Why not? It all works as advertised and is all very tidy. I can now take credit card payments for a few percent of sales, with no other commitments or fees. No horror story. No cautionary tale. Sorry.

Except I had to drive to the store, and while I was out, I needed a new pair of shoes (I write at a walking desk) and then I had to register and read up on the scanner. And now, uneventfully enough, that’s three hours I don’t have to write.

And so it goes.

And I don’t count the time walking around the lake with my wife because, well, she’s awesome.