Join the Fight: Tell Congress That Being an Artist/Author IS a Business!

Like most people, I barely understand most of the legalese involved in tax law.  In fact, until recently, I blindly believed that, as an Author, since I considered myself engaged in business, and everything I read told me I had to file a Schedule C as a sole proprietorship, when I had royalty income, I was engaged in a For-Profit business.  Well, imagine my surprise when the State of Arizona tried to tell me, just before Christmas, last year (Thanks a lot Arizona Scrooge!), that because I couldn’t prove a profit (ie, more income than expenses) in three out of five years as an author, I was not, in fact, engaged in a For-Profit Business.

Apparently, being an Artist/Author is one of those areas for which you are supposed to be punished, in the good ol’ US of A (or, at least, in Arizona), thanks to one of a set of “tests” to determine whether or not a business meets the criteria for “For Profit.”  Unfortunately, one of those tests requires a showing of profit — something few authors or artists are familiar with, when it comes to their art.  And, equally apparent is the ridiculous notion that an author or artist should ONLY be engaged in writing/art in order to be classed as pursuing that For-Profit status without proof of said profit margin.  Apparently, we really ARE supposed to starve and end up in the poor-house/bankrupt in order to be taken seriously by the tax laws.

Well, if you’re an author/artist, or family or friends of such, you know how driven a profession this is.  We dedicate every spare moment we can squeeze out of our day for the creation of our creative minds.  And there’s not a one of us who doesn’t intend to someday be able to do nothing but write, paint, etc, etc  full-time.  But we’re also realistic enough to realize that with millions of books printed every day, and hundreds of thousands of artists out there, most of us aren’t likely to ever see our names on or far enough up the bestsellers list or on gallery listing, etc, to make that kind of money.  We hold down other jobs, to pay the bills, and our families suffer as much as we do, for our art.

It’s time to take a stand… So if you’re an artist or author, a friend or family of one, or a fan who wants to see your favorite author/artist/etc continue to create, we need your help.  Follow the link below, sign the petition, and let’s tell the US Congress that being an artist/author IS a business, and we deserve protection and fair regard, as such, under the tax laws.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/arts-irc-186-amendment/ (yes, I know the link has a mistake… I hit a “6″ instead of a “3″ when typing in the title, and can’t figure out how to change it).

“Uncharted Territory” — Excerpt from SPIRIT MAGE (Legends of Tirum)

Legends of Tirum 3: SPIRIT MAGE

When Phoenix Telyn Gwndal returned to Raiador, she intended to bury her heart there, and never love again.  But when the  Elementals guarding the sacred World Forge set her a task that took her beyond the reaches of a mystical forest, Telyn was about to come face-to-face with a secret that would turn everything she believes about life, and death, upside down.

 

“Uncharted Territory” — Excerpt from SPIRIT MAGE (Legends of Tirum, Book #3):

The Eleshau was alive. That was what all the stories about this benighted wood said, and after everything she’d seen during her time in the Borderlands, she wasn’t inclined to disagree. Phoenix Telyn Gwndal eyed the trees around her warily as she rode along the undergrowth-covered ancient paths. Not many people ever travelled these trails. Few who did ever returned.

She glanced to her right, certain the trees were whispering, and not in the whimsical, imaginative way. She was far too aware the shadows here harbored monsters capable of killing the body, or stealing the soul.

“I must be mad.”

She had no idea why she was here, but she wasn’t inclined to linger without good reason. Somewhere out there in the trees was  Nacaris’ final resting place. Though she’d searched, she never found his body.  She mourned him the whole way to Raiador, battered and weary to the soul. She’d expected to hide herself away within the World Forge and lick her wounds – both physical and emotional — until she could face the world again.

But the Salamandars had other ideas. No sooner had she arrived, Phoenix Book in tow, than they put her to work memorizing the entire Book. And then, to her shock and horror, they sent her back out here, to the Eleshau. Sala claimed the next step in her journey as one of the Chosen lay beyond this forest.

Telyn swallowed hard. She wasn’t even sure there was anything beyond the Eleshau. Legend told of a land beyond here — a mystical land peopled by beings from the stars, and Majikal creatures few had ever seen. Other stories declared the continent dropped off sharply into the roiling riptides of the ocean, just past the forest. That, storytellers said, was why no one who entered the forest ever returned.

 

DAUGHTER OF ASHES Release – Today!

Legends of Tirum: Daughter of Ashes

Time to break out the party hats and celebrate!  Today’s the launch day for a brand new series for me!

Legends of  Tirum is a Fantasy series with Romantic elements that’s been a long time in development, and I couldn’t be more happy or proud to say it’s finally here!

Today’s release of DAUGHTER OF ASHES, the first book in the series, is the culmination of years of work!

So, in honor of today’s release, I’m posting a special excerpt.  Have a peek… tell me what you think… And if you like what you read, pick up your very own copy at Desert Breeze Publishing today! :)

Excerpt from Legends of Tirum: DAUGHTER OF ASHES –

The streets of the Brassanburg Market were already thrumming with morning business by the time Telyn and Nacaris entered the gates of the city. Telyn smirked at the hawkers — street corner peddlers who screamed their trinkets and wares like birds of prey — who badgered passers-by in the hopes of turning a head by sheer volume. She wondered if they knew how many potential customers they drove off that way. The proprietors of the storefronts and billowing pavilions certainly knew, if the disdainful, irritated looks they cast their street-corner compatriots was any indication.

“Is it always this loud?” Nacaris’ voice carried over the boisterous peddlers, and she turned to grin at him.

“This is the great part of the market.” She always enjoyed watching the subtle battle of wills that thrummed between peddlers and merchants. Trade towns were famous for both hawkers and shopkeepers, and little as they cared for each other, neither would have celebrated the demise of the other. As long as the barter war remained in full force, the powers of trade remained balanced.

Telyn drew her mount closer to Nacaris’, to be heard above the din, as she jerked her chin toward an inn at the end of the street. “There’s where we want.”

He eyed the non-descript building warily. “Are you certain?”

Her grin flashed, wide and wicked. She knew what he thought, but was too diplomatic to say. It looked like a swill house. But she knew that appearance could be deceiving, and this little inn was testament enough to that. “Trust me.”

He cast her a long look, then surprised her by nodding. She’d expected more of a battle.

Telyn turned Bloodcloud toward a stable a few doors up from the inn. She knew the stablemaster, and trusted him to take good care of her horse. She grinned at the man in question as he stepped from the livery doors at the sound of horses outside.

“Ho, Carmyd!”

He blinked into the sunlight, and a wide grin split his scarred face as he swiped a hand over his bald pate. “Well, bless my silver shoes, if it ain’t a grand sight for old eyes.”

With a laugh, she leapt from her horse and into his waiting embrace, breathing in the familiar, comforting scents of leather and horse. Unwelcome tears swelled in her eyes as memory washed over her. Carmyd was an old Gildgard — one of the few that actually managed to survive to a respectable old age and retire gracefully. He’d come to her mother, bleeding and near death from horrific wounds on his face, when Telyn was a mere babe, and his long recovery had made him a semi-permanent fixture in her young life. From Carmyd, she heard the old legends, and learned to ride her first horse. Under his tutelage — and despite her mother’s disapproval — she’d learned to handle blade and bow, though others were responsible for honing her skill.

“Here, now, girl,” he muttered, holding her away to look into her face. “What brings the tears?”

She blinked them away and shook her head, smiling. “It does me good to see your face again.”

He glanced beyond her, and his shaggy brows lifted curiously. “Who’s the stallion?”

Telyn laughed, but couldn’t contain the flush that crept up her neck. “A friend.”

“I see.” He frowned, and then, as if reaching some inner conclusion, shrugged. “What brings you to my fair city?”

She sighed. “Business, I fear.”

His gaze flickered to Nacaris again. “His or yours?”

“Both. I came to see Seoman.”

That gained her a piercing look from her old friend. “What kind of business?”

She batted him away and turned toward Bloodcloud as Nacaris swung down from his own mount. “Don’t pry, Carmyd.”

“I see.” Those two words carried a wealth of meaning, and Telyn sighed. She wasn’t about to explain herself to anyone — especially not Carmyd.

“We need lodging for the horses for the night, at least.”

He nodded, and gestured toward the stable. “You know the way. But, Telyn, a word of caution…”

She turned expectantly. There was something about his tone…

“Aye?”

“The boy you knew is long gone. Have a caution with the man he’s become.”

As she walked Bloodcloud into the stable, those words travelled with Telyn, and concern knitted her brows. What, exactly, did Carmyd mean?