Featured New Scare: Susan’s Car


After my announcement of a rate increase starting in January, I’ve gotten a lot of mail from clients. Some are panicked. Some are happy to reassure me that they love me so much, they’ll pay that little bit extra. And really, it is a little bit extra. Twenty-five cents for every 250 words. Is that so horrible?

I know: many of you live as close to the edge as I do. And yes, it sucks.

But here’s how it goes on my end. Most of you know I’m a single parent. I said when I announced the rate increase that I’m not going to survive the winter without putting new windows in my office, and I sorta need to survive the winter. See above about being a single parent and all. My kids need me. So do my clients.

Throwing a monkey wrench into my budget is that not even an hour after getting home yesterday afternoon, I headed down to my car for the monthly Costco run. Had no reason to think anything could be amiss (although in hindsight? Maybe), so I get in the driver’s seat, put the key in the ignition, and … my dashboard lights up with blinking lights. And the engine won’t turn over.

Now, this is my baby, my car. She survived the night of broken glass. Hell, according to my body shop guy, she saved two lives that night — mine and my daughter’s. If I didn’t love that car before that night, I’m in her debt forever.

But she’s also going to turn ten this summer. While I have my mechanic keep up with the scheduled maintenance, sometimes, an aging car… you just can’t predict.

So… I’ve got a dead car in the garage that’s probably going to need to be towed.

Now, the good news in all this is that, unexpected maintenance aside, I am a Boy Scout. Be prepared, right? Last May, my Mother’s Day gift was … a second vehicle. One that can handle snow and gravel roads leading to Boy Scout camps (and the driveways at the archery ranges). One I can pack like crazy for a camping trip. One that came with a trailer hitch so I can use a bike rack without damaging the finish on my beloved baby. One that, right now, is running. (knock on wood)

Back to editing. Yes, my rates are going up as of January 1. Windows. Car trouble. We all have these problems and yes, I hate to squeeze my clients, but like I said in my last post about the rate increase, there are people who think nothing of telling me that even after a rate increase, I’m simply not charging what I’m worth.

It’s a fine line, a balancing act between what I need to survive, what I need to keep myself happy (which is steady editing work; I simply adore what I do), and the finances of my clients. But I gotta have windows, and I gotta have vehicles that do more than sit in my garage and taunt me with their refusal to start.

That’s my story, and hopefully, it’s one that’s not going to change again, unless it’s change for the better. My best friend is going to come over today and we’ll see if a good old-fashioned jump start will solve anything. Cross your fingers ’cause I’m afraid this may be the end of the road for my beloved car, the one that saved two very important lives a couple years back.



  1. Dana Griffin

    December 16, 2014 10:29 am

    Good luck with the boost. When was the last time you had the battery replaced? You haven’t lost me as a client with the rate increase.

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