Tuesday, September 30, 2008


A few days ago, maybe a week or so by now, a friend called who I don't often hear from but who knows that I had a long career in taxation. He had some questions about a situation

His wife had gotten into a predicament with her brother or brother-in-law. The man had been in prison for some kind of scam or fraud and had come up for parole, so my friend and his wife, the parolee's sister or sister-in-law, decided to help and provided money and resources so the parolee could get out and get going. So anyway, the man got out and seemed to be doing okay, and my friend and his wife continued to extend help and give support to him. Eventually, the man needed funds for his "business," and he apparently asked my friend's wife for an investment that would eventually, he said, earn beaucoup bucks for her. She extended the funds, and as it turns out, he ripped her off

Now my friend and his wife are out the money, are anxious to see the parolee receive justice for ripping them off, and will never see a return on their investment. It is lost. So, my friend wanted to know if he could do anything for tax purposes with the situation that would give them some immediate

So the question is, what are the tax consequences? Well, like so many things, it depends, and there are not enough facts at hand to be precise. It is likely that the "investment" is now worthless and that would make this year, 2008, the year to report the loss. But what is the nature of the loss? My friend mentioned that the parolee had made my friend's wife an officer in a corporation. So in all likelihood my friend's wife, as collateral for her funds provided to or advanced to him, received stock or ownership in the corporation. In all likelihood, what my friend and his wife have is worthless stock, at best a short-term capital loss. It is possible however that the nature could be something else, but I don't have enough factual information to conclude that.

We always want to trust those closest to us. I know I've done the same thing and continue to do the same thing all the time. You hope for the best and you make extensions of help based upon that hope. I hope I never have to give up on hoping, but sometimes you have to wonder.

Monday, September 29, 2008


It's hard to imagine that I've been retired going on two years now. Nonetheless, I guess it's true. When I retired, I worked on completing a tax book for freelancers. I thought it could be my ticket to getting published. I wanted to make it informative and entertaining. I had Lynne Truss's Eats Shoots and Leaves in mind.

I wanted to target the book at authors situated similar to me, who were on the cusp of making money from their writing --- at least hoped they were. So in those first few months I worked really hard getting a rough draft done and taking my work to critiquing group to get feedback. Everyone in the critiquing group seemed to like the book and when I went to my chapter of the League of Utah Writers with the idea, I got decent feedback about the idea. In fact, a friend there offered to send the proposal to his literary agent. She was enthused about trying to sell the idea to a publisher. However, shortly after all this transpired, the agent had a personal crisis and gave up her work as an agent. I continued to hone the book and began to pitch it myself to agents and at least one publisher, the group who does Writer's Digest books. I got some positive feedback but no takers. Eventually, I gave up on the notion of finding an agent or publisher. I decided it was the type of book I could publish and market best perhaps myself. Hence, I hired an editor, who went through the book and polished and cleaned it up. That took a long time because the editor gave me a good deal but put me on the back burner relative to higher paying customers.

Recently, the editor completed her work and I decided to proceed with publishing the book. In the past couple of days, I have made arrangements to have the book available on Amazon.com through createspace and Kindle books. It will take some time before it is available through create space, because I have to wait for them to send me an example of the printed document and review it before I finalize the deal. The book should be available as a Kindle book sooner, within the next three days.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Publishing a Book

It has been a busy Sunday, even though that didn't include going to church. (Can a person confess their sins in a blog?) I spent a lot of time on createspace creating a profile for myself and uploading my book block and book cover files for their personnel to review and to get back to me on. I received an account number and utilized their services in reviewing the other online groups talking about their business. I set the price for my book, Making Expression Less Taxing, at $15.95. I'm anxious to see how long it takes them to review it and get back to me on the files I uploaded. Once I get those files perfected to their satisfaction, I guess I can proceed to order a book to see how it looks in production. After that is completed and everything is worked out, I guess they initiate my account and I can actually start selling, including making links to my blog in my blog and on my webpage, WaltEddy.com.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Book Cover

CreateSpace is a company owned by Amazon.com. They do on demand publishing for authors. Basically, authors complete their books or publishers complete them for them and provide the documents needed by CreateSpace to create a book. Then Amazon sells the book and so does CreateSpace. Authors share in the profits, quite liberally. It facilitates self-publishing. Anyway, most of the day I have been working on creating a book cover for Making Expression Less Taxing. That is about all I have done today besides work on formatting the book block. Primarily, I have been trying to get it properly formatted into proper number of pages for the cover I did with a nice font other than Times new Roman.

Anyway, it's 11:31 PM and I'm getting tired and I'm very hoarse. I don't know why that is, for I haven't been talking today hardly at all. I think I'll go to bed and hopefully I can sleep well until tomorrow.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rolling Along

I completed another story in Everything's Eventual last night and started still another story. The story I completed is entitled "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away" with a protagonist named Alfie Zimmer. Zimmer, a traveling salesman of sorts, checks into a Motel 6 in Nebraska where he plans to commit suicide. Over the years, Zimmer has collected graffiti from bathrooms throughout the nation in a spiral bound notebook. He is dreamed of writing a book from such graffiti. As it turns out, he is conflicted as to how to dispose of the spiral ring bound notebook, not wanting his collections from over the years to fall into anyone else's hands. As a consequence, he never can pull the suicide off, and the story ends in doubt as to how it turns out relative to the suicide.

Of course King is a master of horror. That goes without saying. What I must state however is that most of his offerings in horror don't taste that well to me. I would like to think I have a more "refined" taste. More likely, however, my taste is just "different."

A year or two ago I decided that I was going to down size relative to my books. I couldn't dispose of the contents so I decided I would scan each of my books. I purchased a Kodak high-speed scanner --- well, relatively high-speed, a guillotine paper cutter, and software to process the books in a format that was suitable and started in. To date, I have scanned over 250 books going on 300. I haven't thrown away the old books but have stored them away in plastic bins for easy retrieval -- perhaps not too easy -- if I need them. So in essence the scanned books are my backup. I have also acquired an e-reader, that is, an e-book, a Kindle. I love it. It is so convenient to carry my library with me. And I don't mind from time to time reading on my computer or having the computer read to me as I read along.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I read or I bleed.

For many years now, my wife and I have gone to a reading group at our local Barnes & Noble. As a consequence, a lot of my reading material has been selected by somebody else. That has both an expansive quality about it and a limiting quality. Overall though, I am very happy to go and associate with such fine people who are well read and versed in society and life.

This month, our reading selection is Everything's Eventual, a Stephen King collection of short stories. Short horror stories, that is. I am not generally much for horror. I have enjoyed some of Stephen King's horror, but other selections of his favored genre, not so much so. My favorite selections that I've read so far from Stephen King include Misery, Dolores Claiborne, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and On Writing. So far, I have fully read two of the fourteen short stories. The first one is written from the point of view of a dead person in a morgue who doesn't believe he is dead. It is pretty interesting at first, then it wears on a bit, but eventually it turns gross in my estimation when King has the doctor, a woman, supervising the autopsy grab the guy's penis for leverage just before they slice him open and the first discover that he is still alive but has been bitten by some unknown snake, rendering him dead-like. After reading it, I felt like I'd been bitten by some unknown snake. The second story is about a boy who encounters death when he goes fishing. It, too, seems a little fishy.

Anyway, I enjoy reading. I wasn't much of a reader when I was young. There weren't any readers that I know of in my immediate family, or for that matter in the extended family that my family associated with. I suppose the kids I hung out with in the neighborhood probably did more reading than I did as a youth. As I grew up and started college, I began reading more and more. I still don't read as much as I probably should or as much as I think I would like to. However, I find myself often choosing to do something other than read. At least books. I do find myself reading news reports and blogs on the Internet probably more than I read books.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


What does one say on the precipice of a new adventure? I'm a beginner? I've never done this before? Maybe I won't want to do this again after I try it?

I suppose here I will be able to say things that are on my mind and get practice putting it down in writing, something I haven't consistently done before. I have never been much of a journal keeper or a diarist. Furthermore, I am not savvy relative to all the nuances of the Internet and all the bells and whistles that can be used to do this. So in some sense this really is me standing on the precipice where I might fall off and hurt myself. Oh well, I'm getting old and like they say, never ventured, never gained.

When I was a youngster, I suppose like most other youngsters, I played hide and seek with my friends. After the person who was it counted out loud to the required number, he or she would inevitably say, "Ready or not, you shall be caught." So here I embark on my seeking of those hidden ideas that I consider friends lurking in the dark that I must find. wreddy or not.