Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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On Section 9006

OK, you can probably guess that I’m a fan of health care reform. What I’m not a fan of, though, is putting an unreasonable paperwork burden on small businesses and small corporations, and exposing those entities to identity theft.

Here is the CNN article on the health care bill’s Section 9006. In essence: a little-known addition to the health care bill did two things, and they are major: If you spend more than $600 at any vendor for anything (goods or services– doesn’t matter if the vendor is a corporation like Kinko’s or an individual freelancer), you will issue a 1099 to that vendor.

Most of the coverage for small businesses has been about how this means small businesses will have to issue hundreds of 1099s to entities, like corporations, which are already obligated to report their taxes anyway.

But the coverage doesn’t discuss how this essentially removes all advantages to having an S-Corporation. An S-Corp is a corporation in which there is only one shareholder. Mortaine Publications is an S-Corp. Although corporations enjoy some liability protection, the reality is that if the shareholder of an S-Corp screws up, they’re going to be held personally liable. How do I know this? I know this because if I apply for any credit or open a bank account under my corporate name, the bank demands my personal information, social security number, etc. They wouldn’t need that if I weren’t on the line.

But I have always said that one advantage to a client considering hiring me is that, at the end of the year, they don’t have to file a 1099 because I’m a corporation. I’ve paid handsomely in corporate taxes and filing fees for that privilege. And now, in addition to giving me the added burden of having to issue a 1099 to Apple the next time I replace my computer, I will also no longer have that little bit of advantage in saying “and if you hire me, you won’t have any extra paperwork to do!”

The identity theft issue comes in with the fact that, when you issue a 1099 to a vendor, you have to have their Tax ID #. Now, a tax ID is a number the government gives you so you don’t have to give out your social security number to clients. However, the reality of the situation is that your Tax ID is tied to your SSN, and if someone has one, they can probably find out the other.

Way to go, Washington. You just exposed every small business owner to identity theft.

There is no longer any advantage or protection for freelancers. Quick, everyone– find a corporate job (perhaps filling out tax forms)…. oh, wait. There are none.

What the heck?

OK, I’m out of the loop, and I’ll admit that, but what the heck is going on in Albany?!?!?

Also, dear media: Please learn what it actually means when a “coup” has taken place. Also, “insurgent” and “beseiged” are not good descriptors of a non-violent political process, however controversial and/or illegal it may be.

I’d like to reserve those words for actual seiges and insurgents, since they do appear in the context of the world news already.

Kthx.

Tonight’s convergence

If you didn’t make it out tonight, about an hour past sunset, to see the amazing dance between the moon, Venus, and Jupiter– be sure you get out tomorrow night and check it out!

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Super awesome secret superheroes are coming to town!

No, not Santa Claus. It’s the awesome superheroes who grace the pages of my new (first ever) comic book, Handknit Heroes! It’s also the first graphic novel for knitters. Each issue features a knitting pattern and an awesome story, illustrated by a terrific comic book artist named Marc Olivent.

Issue #1 has an excellent pattern by Erssie Majors, a very talented and professional designer. I’m grateful to have found (or been found by!) two very creative and easy to work with people at the start of this great adventure.

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The comic officially releases at the TNNA trade show in San Diego in January, 2009, but I’m reserving a limited number of issues to send out to bloggers and other folks to review in an advanced-copy Sneak Peek. Folks will be able to buy it at local yarn shops or through a subscription available online. The comic will be published 4 times a year (at least until it takes off like hotcakes).

This is a major project I’ve been working on since last December, and I’m very excited that it’s almost done and ready to go. Please do sign up at the website for announcements or the Sneak Peek program, if you’re interested.

Oh, and yes. There will be crochet.

Some Changes

Lots of change and upheaval lately:

Personal Changes

My sister and her kids came to visit last week. It was tons of fun, spent a lot of time at the pool and beach, and went to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory with them. They’re great kids, and I’m soooooo glad they were able to come see us!

Unfortunately, our grandmother died on Wednesday while sis was here, so John and I left our campsite yesterday and drove to a campground outside Boston. Services are this week, and we plan to stay for an extra week, to visit friends and also so we’re not just pinballing all over the Northeast again. We’re also re-designing our travel plans for the rest of this year.

Alladin is doing well, still in recovery. We had to change his vet appointment to Friday because of the funeral, but his bloodwork looks good and he’s continuing to get better.

Blogging Changes

Meanwhile, I’ve started a new blog. You probably noticed some cross-posted travel-related posts (and for LJers, some cross-cross-posted; sorry, I really can’t make those any less ugly without completely removing them… which I could do, but I thought you all would enjoy reading those). I’ve joined the today.com blog network with http://ustravel.today.com, a new blog I’m writing about our travels and life on the road. I try to post daily, but the cross-posting hasn’t been automatic the way I want it to be, so it ends up cross-posting in batches whenever I remember to do it manually.

I’m also writing articles for Suite101, and if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook (I’m mortaine at both places– add me!), or if you visit my blog directly, you’ll have seen an update in the sidebar when I write a new article. I mainly write about technical writing, so if you’re a tech writer, or want to be one, you should definitely read the articles (RSS).

Writing Business Changes

More changes: I’m starting a corporation, Mortaine Publications, Inc. It’s an umbrella corp to handle my writing businesses. I’ve now fractured into enough directions– web/blog writing, technical writing, training development, comic book development, etc., that it made sense to create a corporation for the taxes and billing, the professional image, and streamlining business-to-business arrangements.

Why am I suddenly fracturing my writing? Well, I still don’t want to put a bunch of annoying ads in my blog. BUT, I’m getting to the point where I want to get paid for blogging. Today.com pays $1 per post plus ad impressions for the first month, which is pretty sweet. Suite101 pays for pageviews, but gets a lot of traffic, which is also pretty cool.

Look forward to more changes to the blog and website layout coming up as the corporation gets going and as I streamline my content propagation and feeds and whatnot. Remember you can always subscribe to a specific category feed. Just visit the home page, select the category, and put “/feed” at the end of the category URL to subscribe to it. The USTravel.today.com posts get posted into the RV category– a little help and extra content for those who’ve subscribed to that feed already.

New Projects

The novels are on hiatus for a bit. I’m pursuing some new creative projects. You may have seen “comic book development” in my list of reasons i started the corporation. I can’t really discuss it, but I’m working with an artist to put out a comic book early next year. It’s very exciting, and I think people who read this blog will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the comic.

I’m not really starting any new knitting projects lately (this week, anyway). Still have to take photos of the blue sweater and post them, and I’m just working on TKGA, the stormy shawl, and a knitted kitten for a swap that I’m really far behind on finishing. I have 2 pairs of socks on promise that I haven’t even designed yet, but at least I have the measurements waiting to go for them.

My to-do list is currently 60 items long.

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