The Pay Check
It arrives in the mail - the pay check for my first novel. I knew it was coming, but my heart still races as I tear open the envelope and allow my eyes to feast on the number there. More than I had ever dared to hope for.
I've dreamed of having a home for so long. One where I can paint the walls, knock in nails to hang paintings, really settle in, without the threat of ridiculous rent rises, or sudden evictions. I'm exhausted from having to move all the time, tired of the uncertainty, of packing all my belongings into cardboard boxes and having to haul them to somewhere new. I want a garden that can grow over time. A modest house, with a timber frame - one that can last for generations. On a piece of land that is big enough to welcome any family who might wish to live there with me.
My best friend is struggling after having her baby. She feels like her body is a warzone. I want to visit her, pamper her, lift her out of the struggle. Stay with her a while as she recovers from the physical and psychological rollercoaster that is new life.
I have four brothers, each who I would like to help. A cash gift, to allow them to fulfil some of their dreams. One is living on a boat, his bank account is empty and he can't work until his visa is approved. The cash would ease some of his stress for a while.
Another is about to embark on a pilgrimage in Japan. Perhaps he will use his gift when he returns from his healing journey.
A third is managing the family farm, desperately trying to crawl out from the oppressive control of our father. Perhaps this would help him a little in that endeavour.
The fourth, just eighteen, is travelling for an undisclosed period of time. I'm sure he has a thousand ways to spend any extra money.
If the windfall is enough, I'd like to invest some. Having a guaranteed stable income for the future would be such a comfort.
But I'd also like to give back. Having prompts such as these has really helped encourage me to write, to practise my craft, to hone my skills. On days where I sit, staring at the blank screen, feeling empty, it's such a source of inspiration and comfort. I'd like to create a quarterly writing competition, with a generous prize, but also perhaps weekly competitions, with more modest prizes. Both are helpful for aspiring writers.
Lastly, I'd probably take a little holiday, possibly to the north of France. I've been learning the language and it would be a wonderful excuse to go there and practise for a little while. The beautiful thing about writing, is you can do it anywhere.