WMBTSG Day Twenty (Comment to this post to enter today’s drawing)

Welcome to day twenty of the Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway. Today’s giveaway is ANOTHER double-header, which means another lucky person will win two great books on fiction writing Writing the Breakout Novel & Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass.

Writing the Breakout Novel Book Description:
A breakout novel is one that rises out of its category–such as literary fiction, mystery, romance, or thriller–and hits the bestseller lists. Maass explains the elements that all breakout novels share and shows readers how to use these elements to write a novel that has a good chance of succeeding in a crowded marketplace. They’ll learn to:

* create a powerful and sweeping sense of time and place
* develop larger-than-life characters
* sustain a high degree of narrative tension from start to finish
* weave sub-plots into the main action
* explore universal themes that will interest a large audience of readers

Then, using several of his clients’ experiences–including best-selling novelist Anne Perry–as case studies, Maass provides real-life, insider examples to show how this type of novel can generate agent and publisher interest, creating or enhancing a novelist’s career.

* Includes an introduction by best-selling author Anne Perry
* Maass’ insider examples lend the credibility and visibility necessary to attract a wide audience of writers –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook Book Description:
This powerful book builds on the success of it predecessor-Writing the Breakout Novel-and takes readers to the next level: improving their work with practical, hands-on lessons and exercises.

With patented techniques from his popular writing workshops, Donald Maass shows fiction writers exactly how to make their work stand out from the crowd. Readers will learn how to strengthen any novel-in-progress, with sections on: – Building Plot Layers – Creating Inner Conflict – Strengthening Point of View and Voice – Discovering Larger Than Life Character Qualities – Developing the Psychology of Place

Every workbook exercise is followed by examples from real-life breakout novels. This is one of the most accessible novel-writing guides available today.

About the Author


Donald Maass is a powerful force in the New York book community. As the president and founder of the Donald Maass Literary Agency, he sells more than 100 novels a year, teaches writing workshops across the country, and is a celebrated author in his own right. His personal writing credits include 14 novels (published under pseudonyms), The Career Novelist and Writing the Breakout Novel. Donald lives in New York City

***

Today’s question:

I feel like we need a “fun” question, don’t you? So here it is: You just wrote a breakout novel. Maybe Donald Maass himself even wants to represent you. I mean this deal is BIG. You are going to get a major advance. The one in Publisher’s Lunch they call a “major deal.”

Good for you! You must have worked your buns off. Maybe even for ten years like this guy Oprah just picked up for her book club. Now here’s the question: How are you going to spend the 500,000 grand? Please be specific.

We should all take the time to dream a little, right?

If this is your first post in the giveaway, please read “Da Rules.”

You may post your comments until midnight PST on September 20th.

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46 Responses to “WMBTSG Day Twenty (Comment to this post to enter today’s drawing)”


  1. 1 Meryl K. Evans September 20, 2008 at 6:28 am

    My husband was laid off right before we had our third child, so I’d donate money to several organizations that helped us out and reduced our membership fees. Some of the money would go into the kids’ education funds. Donations would go to organizations that we believe make a difference in people’s lives.

    Some would go into our retirement to get us caught up as we also had to take some out due to the layoff.

    We also would take a family vacation and put some money away for future vacations and big family events.

    Fix our front yard as we have no talent for landscaping.

  2. 2 Amber September 20, 2008 at 6:33 am

    Pay off my mortgage so I never have to worry about making that payment again.

    Take a year leave of absence from work so I can do a major book tour with only family obligations to stop me.

    During that year I would write the next book.

    Take a one week vacation to Sweden with my husband. I’ve been to Stockholm but I’d like to see more of the country.

    Provide some funding to 826 Valencia and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

    I should have between 100 and 200 grand left over so I would stick it in the bank to accrue interest for me. No matter how much money is in the bank account I couldn’t really see me changing my lifestyle and habits by much.

  3. 3 Eliza September 20, 2008 at 6:52 am

    After paying off debt and medical bills for both my family and the boy’s (I know, I know, but there’s got to be some reality to a dream for it to be a GOOD dream, right?), there’d be enough money to bank a hundred grand, fix the roof, finish this house, buy two newer cars (one for me, one for boy), and give a good chunk of it to BLOOD:WATER MISSION and the SOMALY MAM FOUNDATION. Because I believe in what each organization is doing far more than I believe in what I’m doing.

    The “fun” stuff? I’d set aside some for traveling money. New York for a while, and I’ve always wanted to go to Austria and Greece, and take in Great Britain.

    I’d LOVE to live a winter in Albania or somewhere coastal like that.

    With my second million? I’m gonna get a pony. TO LIVE IN THE HOUSE WITH ME! I heart ponies.

  4. 4 delia boylan September 20, 2008 at 7:19 am

    For starters, I’m going to rent a small studio for myself so I can stop working at home. Nearby the home–to be sure–so i can still do pick ups and drop offs-but my own writing space. Some of it I’ll use to apply for/attend various conferences and writer colony type things that I’m way too poor to afford (or be bothered paying the entry fee for). Anything that’s left over goes toward affording private school tuition fees for my two kids once they reach secondary school (I live in London). I will need to go back to work to afford that last eventuality, so anything that can keep me focused on my passion-writing–and stave off high school fees would be most welcome. thanks!

  5. 5 Laura September 20, 2008 at 7:22 am

    Wow. How to spend $500,000 grand? It took a few minutes to wrap my mind around that number! However, spending it would be easy. I would make a reality those pictures in my ‘goals’ frames. These two frames hold 6 pictures that represent my goals. First I’d buy myself a condo within walking distance of Main Street. After furnishing it, I’d buy myself my dream car: a VW Beetle, convertible. Of course, I’d buy each of my kids many things that they need, and simply want.

    Then it would be the real dreaming time. I’d finally take that trip to Scotland. I’ve spent my whole life dreaming about going to Scotland, wandering the moors, sitting beside the lochs, and listening to the wonderful music of the brogue. I’d have to pay to bring my friend Connie along, so that someone could convince me to leave!

    Afterwards, I’d live out another dream…wandering the streets & bridges of Paris, stopping at various parks & cafés to write. (Read Writer’s Guide to Paris, you’ll understand).

    Finally, I’d come home, to my new wonderful condo, and put new goal pictures up, sit down, and begin writing again.

  6. 6 Rosemary Lombard September 20, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Ah, yes. An extra $500,000 would help—not to imply that there are similar fat hunks of money already in my account. So let’s see how far it goes. First, hire a qualified research assistant to help work with (and—shh!–clean up after) my animals. Create a trust so they are cared for and the work can go on if I step in front of that proverbial unnoticed bus—or, rather, speaking locally, MAX train. To the same end, hire some household and yard help so I can concentrate on my research and writing. Keep ahead on the maintenance of my little ’70s rancher. Finish its greening: solar panels, replace the rest of the windows, add a solar attic fan and some brightening tubular skylights, Trex the decks—I’m so tired of watching them peel–rebuild the deck overstructure that the DIY previous owner tilted toward the house . . . Is it spent yet? Replace my aging car when it’s pasture time. Oh, yes, and go to professional conferences and workshops again, to the occasional not-free event, and visit friends and family who aren’t clustered on the west of the Northwest—on my expanded book tours. Dream on.

  7. 7 rowena September 20, 2008 at 8:19 am

    I don’t know if that’s enough for my big dream, but let’s pretend it is.

    I would like to buy a plot of land in the country, not too far from a metropolitan city with a thriving art community, and start a creativity retreat/workshop/compound.

    Maybe that would be enough for the seed money, and I could get some friends to invest with me and we could open up shop together.

    Of course, this compound would have a main house for me and my family. And I would have my dream studio (for which I am already collecting inspiration pictures) with a place to write and paint and meet and relax and hold workshops. Sigh. I really want it. Wait… this is just a giveaway for some books, not my dream studio. Well, maybe the books will help me get that smashing book deal and the smashing book deal will help me get my dream studio. 🙂

  8. 8 KristyG September 20, 2008 at 8:34 am

    After receiving a check for $500,000 I would definitely quit my dayjob. I would pay off the mortgage and all the bills, invest some of the money, and proceed to use my new free time to promote the book. I also like the idea of building my own cottage for my work space. After things quieted down, I would start on the next novel. Hopefully that would mean another big fat check and then I could take a few dream trips with my family to faraway places. The baby would still be young enough, so that we could travel for an extended period of time, giving me even more subjects to write about.

  9. 9 kmcdade September 20, 2008 at 8:48 am

    The answer is too easy! I’d buy a house. And with that money, we could probably buy a house and invite another family or two to live with us. We like the idea of communal or semi-communal living. And maybe, just maybe, one of use could stay home and write. Now who could that be?

  10. 10 Stefanie September 20, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Wow! What couldn’t I do with $500,000? I’ll start with the responsible answers: pay off debt, put some away for retirement and kid’s college, and buy the house we are currently renting from a family member. I would also spend some of the money promoting the book to improve my chances of similar book deals in the future.

    Now for the fun stuff: I would make a donation to my child’s day care center that provides excellent care for children with special needs, send my husband to play a round of golf at Pebble Beach, spend a weekend at a spa, build a studio that is set off from the house, take a killer vacation or two, make a bunch of loans to entrepreneurs through Kiva, and start writing that next book!

  11. 11 Cara September 20, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Only $500K? Hmm, hardly enough to touch even the tiniest, most rundown bit of real estate in the Bay Area. So I guess I’m staying put for now. Still…

    I would apply (and be accepted, of course!) to be a Stegner Fellow in the Stanford Creative Writing Program. With their stipend and my $500K, I would rent a lovely house (even dreams have to be grounded in reality, don’t they?) in Portola Valley or Los Trancos Woods, and for two blissful years, live the life of Riley. Then I would come home, completely rejuvenated and crank out a best seller every few years, each one in a totally different genre. I would blow the critics away.

    Over the years, I would attend writing retreats and workshops all over the world… wait, I’ll be leading them I’m so successful now! The money is just rolling in at this point, so I’m not limited to my mere $500K. My husband and I retire down somewhere in California, perhaps Carmel or just good old Palo Alto, I generously endow a chair at Stanford, and maybe even get my name on a building. As long as we’re dreaming, why not go for broke…

  12. 12 Ruby September 20, 2008 at 9:15 am

    I would definitely put a good size down payment on a house and give my parents about 20 grand for just always getting me out of one jam or another and for just believing in me. Would buy a nice car, something my children, hubby, and I can fit comfortable in (would love a new charger). That might just take all of it, but if I did have a bit left over, I would treat all my friends and family who believed in me to a NICE dinner.

  13. 13 Chris Clark September 20, 2008 at 9:51 am

    First, I would pay off the house just so it’s taken care of. Then, I would put aside money into my emergency fund. And my IRA. Then… I would take my husband and go spend a month in Europe, wandering about, seeing whatever we wanted to see.

    If we still had money when we got home I’d put in a solar hot water heater, solar panels on the roof, etc.

    By paying off the house, building up the emergency fund and putting in money saving measures like solar my husband could take a less intense type of job and we would have lots more time to spend together and travel. 🙂

  14. 14 elizaj September 20, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Christine? Is this your round about way of saying the prize for today is Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass AND $500,000??

    Cool.

    I’d give 20% away to environmental organizations and to people I know, and don’t know that could use a hand up.

    I’d buy a quaint writer’s window-walled cottage on a small private acreage with trees, gardens, creeks, an every window view and “lots of scope for the imagination” as Anne of Green Gables would say.

    And with the leftovers I would buy a year’s supply of yummy, yummy organic freezer food (many different soups, (even seaweed) bean dishes, dahls, stir fries, chocolate fruit bars etc.) from my friend Sigrid, Chef extraordinaire!

    And with what’s left over of the leftovers, I’d hire a cleaning lady to come in 2x a week at least.

    Well. You did ask.

  15. 15 nathalie September 20, 2008 at 10:17 am

    I don’t even know where to start … I would stop pretending my husband was going to finish our remodel and hire people to GET IT DONE. Then I would pay off our mortgage and other bills that make me want to barf every month … I would buy a crapload of office supplies just because I like them. What’s funny is that my shopping spree would probably still be at Target.
    And how sexy is this? I’d finally buy some underwear that fits as my body has … uh … shifted since having a baby and it doesn’t appear to be going back.
    I would set up weekly massages for my husband and me and take my son to some sleep specialist. Pay for The Dog Whisperer to help me get a handle on my lab, hire a cleaning service, join some kind of gourmet meal delivery program for the perfectly capable and donate a significant amount of money and time to my local domestic violence shelter. I’d encourage my husband to find a job he loves. Also, I would see if I could pay off the networks to make Oprah on at a time that is convenient – 4 p.m. are you kidding me? I guess I could just splurge and get a DVR or whatever it’s called … is that specific enough? 🙂

  16. 16 Laurie Thompson September 20, 2008 at 10:20 am

    $500,000? Wow! Does that ever really happen, to anyone?

    Well, first I’d hire a weekly housecleaning service. Then, I’d hire a personal organizer to go through my ENTIRE house. Whew! That feels good doesn’t it? Then, I’d hire an accountant and a personal assistant to help run the business side of things. There, that pretty much takes care of me.

    I’d put chunks into the kids’ college funds. I’d put another chunk into my mother-in-law’s bank account. I’d pay off my brother’s mortgage. There, that pretty much takes care of my family.

    The rest would be divided across my favorite charities and causes. I’d give to the Nature Conservancy and Youth Venture, and I’d have a blast providing microloans on Kiva and fulfilling teacher requests on DonorsChoose.

  17. 17 Renee September 20, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Money is really tight around here right now, so I’d love to pay off the mortgage, our home equity loan, my car and the credit card. I’d still have plenty left over so I would most likely stash that in the bank to accrue interest until we had a stable enough income to build our lovely, yet modest dream house on two acres of land.

    Now if I didn’t have debt to pay off, we’d definitely do some traveling. We’d probably stick mostly to fun U.S. places while the kids are still small, and venture off to Europe and Australia once the kids got older. We’d also use some of that money so my husband could finally start his own consulting/branding business and he could get out of the rat race of corporate America!

  18. 18 Jaymie September 20, 2008 at 11:13 am

    $500,000? Wow! I would give 10% to my church, and make a few other charitable donations first. Then I would pay off our debt and fix or replace our old, worn-out cars. Then I would invest some for retirement and set some more aside in savings for my son’s schooling and future appliance needs (we have several that are 15 years old and a furnace that is over 20 years old). For fun, I would have a little bookstore shopping spree and buy some of the writing books and reading books that I have on my list and do a little clothes shopping to update my mama-wardrobe! And we would definitely be planning a family trip to Disney World, staying in one of the more pricey hotels for a change!

  19. 19 Angie September 20, 2008 at 11:13 am

    First I would do the practical thing and pay off all the bills so we could debt free: The house, my husband’s
    car, the medical and credit card bills.
    Then I would buy myself a car (because I am without one at the moment)one of those eco friendly cars that is big enough to fit the whole family; the kids, all my crap, the hubby and the dog.
    I would set up a savings account for he kids.
    I would help out my mom who is having health problems.
    I would donate some money to help foster kids and abused children.
    And finally I would reward myself and my family with a vacation- somewhere sunny where the kids could run naked through the water, all slathered up with sunscreen.
    If there was any left I would
    put it back into the business:)

  20. 20 Cathy September 20, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Hmmmm. First, I’d say, “Here’s 500 grand! So there,” to my husband who always asks, “When are you going to write that best-seller?”

    Then, I’d check the calendar for the first free week or two that the whole family can take off and plan a trip to England or Alaska, depending on the season. After the trip, I’d make some house repairs, PAY a landscaper to fix up the yard, put the house on the market, leave the suburbs and move closer into Atlanta. But I’d just help with the down payment on the new place. Because with the 300 grand or so that I had left, I’d buy a place at Tybee Island. And then I’d probably say, “So there,” once again to my husband who always complains when I drag him to the beach 🙂

  21. 21 Celestial Goldfish September 20, 2008 at 11:51 am

    First priority is bills. Pay off both car loans and any other outstanding balances. With that much money, we’d probably put some towards our brand new mortgage so we’ll have less interest later.

    I would then arrange for home speech therapy for my son. He’s three and autistic. The state repeatedly lost him in their system so he wasn’t able to get the therapy he qualified for, and our insurance won’t cover it. I want him to get the help he needs.

    A big chunk would be set aside for our son’s college and our savings.

    Some money for a vacation would be nice, because we never get to do things like that. (Last vacation was March 2005 when I was 9 months pregnant.) We would love to see Europe, but even something like going to LA and doing Disneyland and studio tours would be fun. Right now, if we travel it’s just to see family.

    I would also like to go back to school for a master’s degree, but that would depend on my contract for future novels.

  22. 22 anniegirl1138 September 20, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    $500K U.S. could go a long, long way depending on the state of the loonie up here, but if I had that kind of money, My husband – who totally supports me pursuing my writing dreams full time – would get a chance to take a leave from his job. I would love nothing better than being able to support him in a dream too.

    I am sure that a bit of the money would go towards purchasing land for our forever home. Where is still up in the air. Here or in the U.S.? Really haven’t settled on that. Husband wants to eventually go into sustainable housing and would use the building of our home as his training ground. He is a man of many talents and one happens to be the ability to build a house.

    I would like to take a trip off the continent to Europe. Take our girls along perhaps. I worry that with the way things appear to be headed oil wise that we may never have a chance to see other parts of the world again at some point sooner than we all think.

    I would put money away for our youngest daughter’s college and help the two older ones finish up their degrees.

    I tried to think of something to get me, but I have everything I need.

  23. 23 Erika September 20, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Wow, my first book deal and $500k. Life sure is good…

    1) Vacation with my husband… Dream destination – Reunion, a tiny island, off the coast of Africa. Sun, sand, surf…

    2) Vacation with the whole family… maybe, the giant Orlando trip. Since this is a dream, I’m sure Harry Potter World is open by now which would thrill my boys and inspire me to one day be in the category of JK Rowling!

    3) Offer some substantial support to my favorite organizations – my church, my local Center for Battered Women, American Red Cross, Oprah’s Angel Network and the World Wildlife Foundation

    4) At the risk of sounding too political on a writers blog, I would take the leftover money and see what I could do to help Obama win the election!!!

  24. 24 Judy September 20, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    If the kids were through school, I would take some of it and spend time with a service organization, like the Peace Corps, giving back to those not as fortunate as me. I would find my husband a clone so that he could travel with me for about six months and not have to wrooy about his business affairs.

  25. 25 Katrina September 20, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    First, I’d pay off all debt. What a giddy feeling that would be! A chunk to retirement and a chunk to child education, and my husband is wanting to start his own business, so a chunk to that as well. Then I’d take two trips. One slow vacation as a family and a second one where I rent a cottage that has a lovely view as a writing/sleeping/vegging vacation. Oh, and I’d add on to the house a “man cave” for my husband, and maybe a reading room for me. Ooooh……this was a fun question, Christina!

  26. 26 Pam September 20, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    I would make sure I didn’t have to work a 40 hour a week job ever again if I won $500,000! I would pay off credit cards, mortage, car payments and buy a vacation home on the beach and one in the mountains. I would start a Christian Day School (preschool and Kindergarten). It is badly needed in our area.
    I would spend many hours writing, drawing and making music with my family.
    I’m ready!

  27. 27 Kathleen September 20, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    As anyone who has ever rented a home can tell you, it’s discouraging to have to come home to someone else’s property after a long day of work. With my half million dollars, I would buy a chunk of property and build a house and a stable out in the country where I could start enjoying owning horses again after all these years. Anything left over would go into investment to help sustain the place.

  28. 28 LaNeta Crighton September 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    First of all, I’d donate a percentage to a deserving charity so that I wouldn’t feel quite so guilty about spending the rest!

    Next, I’d set aside enough to finishing paying tuition for my three children who are all currently enrolled in college. This would definitely eat up a large portion of my prize!

    Finally, I would selfishly buy a fabulous laptop that I would carry with me to an exotic location where I would no doubt create memorable literary works.

    Oh yeah, I would also use my new laptop and a portion of my prize money to purchase Christina’s new book on Amazon and to enroll in another one of her incredible classes. (Please remember this as you critique next week’s work.)

  29. 29 TammyE September 20, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    I’m going to Disneyland!!!! Isn’t that what all winners say? Yep, I’d start off by taking my husband and son to the wonderful world of magic and eerily swept streets. After that, I’d sit tight for a bit and really think of things in these two categories: 1. what I should do with the money and 2. what I want to do with the money. Then, I’ll prioritize the lists and put the top priorities into the third category of what I’ll really do with the money.

    I can tell you top contenders would be: pay off the house, pay off debt, get two new reliable and environmentally friendly cars, set out to adopt a child to add to our small family, start college accounts for kid 1 and potential kid 2, retirement accounts, help husband start his own business, and donate to Emmanuel Children’s Hospital. Depending on how much is left after all that – put a chunk away to grow for the future to buy property nearer my son’s school (and okay, get a horse – yippeeeee), and perhaps buy a RoadTrek (or RoadTrek like vehicle) and spend time during the summer taking the family across the country. Okay, it would be lovely to take a wine/cooking tour of anyplace in France or Italy, or Flamenco dancing in Spain if money were left, or maybe I’d have to save that for the next advance.

    I think I spent more than $500,000. Oops – I left out my extended family…………..eek. They can come to Disneyland with us!

  30. 30 Elizabeth September 20, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    The first thing I would do is replace my 1994 car, which has stalled out about five times this past week, and pay some bills, including my student loan.
    Second and third things I would do is build a top-notch play set for my kids to play on while I write and watch them from my newly built office space in the back yard. (The office space would have a segmented area that would allow my husband practice yoga in peace.)
    I would put money into a retirement fund.
    Then I would donate money to my kids’ school so they could replace some of the windows that have been causing problems for the school. And I would donate other money to causes dear to my heart.
    I would take my family to visit my siblings so they could see their cousins. Then I would set up a fund to take our kids to a new place each year.

  31. 31 Desire September 20, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    First, I would do a happy dance and treat myself and my kids to a really great brunch, because that kind of news rarely comes early in the morning in my experience. Then, I would treat myself to a spa day, and begin to plan a vacation overseas somewhere–the coast of Italy sounds good–cheap eating and great scenery–not to mention a historical backdrop any writer, worth their pen and paper, would find inspiring. I suppose the remainder I would set aside in an interest bearing account toward the day, when my writing supports as well as sustains me.

  32. 32 Amie H September 20, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    After drinking responsibly and paying off family, friends and enemies, I would… Go on a “family friendly” version of the Eat. Pray. Love. world tour. Turn a retired weinermobile into a mobile office. Buy a Keith Haring. Take flying lessons. Support Kids with Cameras. http://www.kids-with-cameras.org/home Start a writing scholarship. Make a documentary. Hire an on-call skywriter.

  33. 33 Cat September 20, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Hmmmm. I have at least five different scenarios floating around my brain–I’ve had this daydream before. Today, I think I’d pay off my debt, get someone in here to fix up this house, so I can sell it and move out of the suburbs to some more land. I’d set aside some of the money in retirement (boring, I know, but I haven’t done this yet), and then we’d take a vacation–a big one, or maybe a few! We’d go to India, and Hawaii, and South America. I think I’d also look at the money as time–more time to write what I want to write. I love this exercise!

  34. 34 Pattie September 20, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Half a million, huh?

    Ten percent would be split among churches that mean a lot to my husband and were influential in his ministry.

    Then we’d pay off our house, and my car.

    We’d invest half of it, most likely, for our daughters’ college expenses.

    I would want to give some to my mother. She lives alone and has struggled with money since the divorce. I would want her to feel more comfortable financially.

    The rest, well, I’d probably upgrade my computer and get a better printer!

  35. 35 Melissa September 20, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    The first thought that pops into my head is: Vacation! I’ve been busy writing a killer novel, right? I’d need a little breather! Then I’d probably realize I had bills to pay, and getting rid of house payments sounds like a very good idea… I’m guessing there are enough practical needs to account for most of that money. Maybe I’ll have to settle for a quiet local vacation. 🙂

  36. 36 Jennifer Wright September 20, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    300,000 in the bank.

    The rest would go to vacations. All over the place – Tokyo, Ireland, France, Peru, Canada, Hawaii – all over the world. I’d splurge until I ran out of money, writing the whole time, then go sell my new book and make 500 grand again. 🙂

  37. 37 writerinspired September 20, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Wonderful and fun question with equally inspiring answers! My initial answer was quite lame, but these fine ladies gave me ideas that were brewing beneath the surface:
    Replace my 96 Saturn with a Mercury Milan (two-tone interior)
    Buy a modest home with an art/writing studio attached where I would hold writers’ retreats and classes for kids and teens and adults, separately
    Pay my husband’s tuition so he can go back to school to be an art therapist and share the new space with me as he treats his clients
    Use the proceeds from that new biz to give back to families struggling from work related injuries or other financial grief
    Take the family on a cool trip to visit my brother in Nicaragua and finally ride a zip line through the jungle!
    Use all this new experience to pen my next novel

  38. 38 Stephanie Craig September 20, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    I am going to pretend that this money is after taxes. I would give 10% to ministries including my local church. My family would probably take a trip to Disney World to relax. I would pay off my house and any bills (credit card, student loan, car loan, medical bills). I would give some more to the cancer research and charities that help families with cancer pay bills. I would paint the inside of my house and get new windows. I would save the rest so that I can work on my next novel without having to worry about paying the bills. And I would buy a new computer.

  39. 39 Kristina Seleshanko September 20, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    I’ve never had much money, so I imagine I’d have to let it sit in the bank for a while before I did anything with it. Then I’d invest some. Pay off our debt. Buy a slightly bigger house in the countryside; nothing fancy, but a place where our children could run and play outside–away from the street. I’d make sure I had a well-equipped office, decorated nicely (for once!). I’d buy my hubby a special gift (maybe that expensive BBQ he’s been drooling over). And I’d make sure we had some tucked away for the kids, should they wish to go to college.

  40. 40 marnini September 20, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Ooh $500,000 that’s a pretty big dream. Hmm, I would definitely put money in a college savings for each of my kids (4 kids).
    I would gut my house and start all over(my husband would love that)
    Definitely donate money for sick children.
    Give money to my church to have the church bills restored.
    Maybe I would splurge on the midnight blue jaguar I always dreamed of having.
    I would have to definitely take care of my mom, sisters and brother somehow (slip them a few bucks).
    I think I’d be going to Disney (never been there).
    I bet it would go a lot quicker than I could ever imagine.

  41. 41 karen September 20, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Woooweee! I like it! After appearing on the news and at all the local bookstores answering questions such as “Where on earth did you get such inspiration for the book the nation is raving about?”…and after coming home from the finest spa Milan has to offer, then I’d invest, save, give, pay off, and then re-invest in my blossoming writing career by starting on my next book immediately in my new home office. Thanks for asking.

  42. 42 Jennifer September 20, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    We’re awfully stretched so paying off debt would be the biggest priority and chunk of the money. But how lovely would that be? No more mortgage payment? That’s a reality I can’t even imagine! My husband’s student loan would be next. I’d set up education accounts of each of our kids.

    Not much left after that but I’ll dream a little. Sell our cars and buy a hybrid or look into converting a car to electric–I hear it’s possible. With gas prices the way they are, finally give the okay for my husband to have a motorcycle and buy one for him. Give to Mennonite Disaster Relief or local NGO of my choice. Start greening the house. Finally rip up the yards and yards of berber carpet that cover our floors and refinish/put in hardwoods. Aah. With the money we save by not having a mortgage, do my dream remodel including an official office space for writing. Sounds so, so nice.

  43. 43 Sarah K. September 20, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    If I received 500,000 the first thing I would do is utter a huge sigh of relief. Then after taking in the fact that I actually had that much money, I would start spending. The first thing I would do is donate a very large percentage of it to local charities because I often see so many people that need help and wish I could make a difference in their lives. Then I would love to buy a house, especially now that my husband and I have two kids. It would be so nice if we had our own yard for them to play in! The next big thing I would do is help my mom pay off her mortgage. (She has been struggling to keep her house since my dad died.) Also, I would buy a car for my family as ours is running on its last leg. Then, I would put money away for my children’s college.

  44. 44 Travis September 20, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    With $500,000 I would pay off our house and then spend some time traveling. I’d take my husband and kids to Hawaii for about a month and then we’d drop the kids at their grandparents and I’d take my husband to Italy for another 4 weeks. Then, after we came home I’d spend time doing whatever I wanted to until I HAD to go back to work. I figure I’d be good for about a year with the house paid off and my husband still working — after his long extended 2 month vacation of course 😉

    I love dreams.


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