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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How Will You Spend Your Millions? LWC Writers Share Their Top Five

This winter LWC will celebrate five years of LWC. We are starting the celebration a little early by doing a weekly top-five series. Each Wednesday LWC members will post their top-five answers to a specific question. This is week five, and LWC writers were asked to be creative and fantasize a little with the question:

When you make that big book deal, how will you spend your millions?

Note: I told LWC writers that giving money to charities and putting money aside to prepare for their futures would be assumed, so this was all about having some self-serving fun.

Cece Dockins

1. Buy my dream home: an old farmhouse, lots of land, with a pond and creeks. Privacy! Privacy! Privacy!
2. Collect-to my heart's content-every rare/1st edition book, pulp, and comic. Quadruple my library and never feel guilty about it.
3. Hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
4. Hire a personal chef and personal trainer.
5. Have a bobble head made in my image, and own an ice cream, deep-fried Twinkie franchise.

Heather Clift

My husband and I have fantasized the Big Payout many times. Once all the do-good stuff is completed and cousins I never knew existed quit calling, here is what I'd do with the remaining money in no particular order, assuming there is enough money to spend:

1. New living room furniture
2. Hardwood floors installed downstairs
3. A two- week beach vacation
4. A new truck for my husband
5. Build the sunroom which will become my office

Trisha Petty

1. Buy an old antebellum home and refurbish it to bring it up to date, and yet have all the fun to learn the history of it so that we could do tours. The house could be used for meetings and to be able to rent for parties.
2. I would make a garden that would make a Southern Belle swoon. Lots of places to sit and read, think and pray. It would be large enough in one place to have weddings and garden parties. (the rentals and parties would sustain the house for the spring, summer and fall)
3. A portion of the expansive yard would be made with a huge covered area and bar-b-que, outdoor kitchen and plenty of yard to either have parties, rent for parties or just enjoy for wonderful spring and fall evenings.
4. The house would hold a place where I could write- with the office being off to the side, yet with large windows to allow light and a faboulous view to come and encourge my words.
5. And five: hire a staff to take care of the garden, cleaning, and catering so that I could be able to just do the fun stuff and write.

Karen Phillips

1. Buy a new house. One with a huge study with wall-to-wall bookcases on the other side of the house from the TV so I can write without constantly being tempted to go watch a movie with my husband. I want a bathroom that has a shower that looks like a rock cave and that has a door opening to a private covered patio with a hot tub. I want a workout room and an Olympic-sized pool, too.
2. Buy a new truck and a motorcycle trailer. So we can go on a trip and I don’t have to ride on the back of the motorcycle when my butt dies.
3. Travel. I still want to go back to Yellowstone National Park and to South Dakota. I want to go see Stonehenge. I want to go hang out for a month in Houston with some friends. I want to live on the beach for a whole summer and hunt shells.
4. Get a physical trainer who will make me workout.
5. This is a good sort of terrible….I can’t think of anything else.

Mary Ann Weakley

After all my favorite charities are fully funded:
1. I'm going to design and decorate a two-story condominium (like Taylor Swift) along Lake Shore Drive in Chicago overlooking Lake Michigan where I can watch the sail boats and the tall ships come in.
2. I'll design and build a comfy cottage on the beach in the Gulf or maybe the South of France or maybe both. This will be my favorite writing place.
3. I'll fund, design and decorate the perfect retirement home in Williamson County for retired LWC writers; it will have a 3,000 sq. ft. cozy unit for me. It will be near my riding stables in the most picturesque natural setting in the area. All my homes will have state-of-the-art facilities for senior afflictions, hot tubs rather than swimming pools.
4. I'll have a private Lear Jet to transport me to all my book signings and speaking engagements here and abroad. A fully equipped limousine will take me to the landing strips and anywhere else I need to go.
5. I'll have the latest electronic equipment for communication and I'll know how to use it. I'll dictate my writings which will be transformed into documents automatically spell checked, grammar checked, POV consistent, edited, critiqued and copy edited.

Sheryl Griffin

1. I am hiring a note taker and editor full time. That way someone is always near by write down any and every idea I have. I will need the editor to make the whole publishing process faster (after all this I will need more money)
2. I love my house so don't need a new one but I desperately need my kitchen updated as well as the master bath and some projects finally done
3. Since our summer cruise I have fallen in love with cruise vacations so I will purchase a cruise line that has an amazing owners suite so we can go whenever we want
4. I would also invest in several local organations that serve and help women and children
5. I have recently become very passionate about a local artist Kelly O'neill and I would buy several of her paintings and comission her to do many more!

Jennifer Ballard

1. Travel.
2. Pay off mortgages, medical bills, etc. for my family and friends.
3. Support animal rescue organizations - Dog breeds, Pegasus Foundation (horses), Elephant Sanctuary
4. Get a vacation home - in several parts of the world.
5. Get my husband a boat and all the other toys he's done without to support my writing.

Alan Hooper

What I would do with all that money when Wilbur and Charlie come through for me?
1. Buy a Bugatti Veyron automobile (Its about two million dollars)just to carry my golf clubs to the golf club. (I think the Veyron miles per gallon is actually gallons per mile, so I could not afford to go far at today's gas prices.)
2. Buy the latest and greatest set of Taylor Made golf clubs, built to my specifications.
3. When the guys who know my game laugh when they see my new clubs, I would buy the golf club and throw them out.
4. Have my own personal caddie to carry my bag at the golf club.
5. Commission a real artist to build me bronze statues of Wilbur and Charlie in rocking chairs, to sit on my front porch.

Mike Hudgins

1. Meet with my CPA to calculate federal income tax liability.
2. Pay the tax.
3. Pay off mortgage balance of two daughters homes.
4. Put balance into American Funds With instructions to pay qtly. Dividends. and purchase more shares with cap. Gains.
5. Sleep in the next day, then go back to work!

Ross Martin

1-2. Well after paying off bills and establishing a nest egg, I would invest a lot of it.
3. If it was a large amount I would even build a building for the LWC to meet in with a smooth paved road.
4. I would probably take a vacation to somewhere I had not been, might be difficult finding one.
5. I am sure I would give some to my favorite charity, the Shriner's hospital.

Karen Aldridge

1. Buy a convertible Mustang Shelby GT500 in metallic blue with silver racing stripes.
2. Buy a medieval castle in Ireland overlooking the ocean with lots of land. Nothing obnoxiously huge just clean and cozy and with an ocean-front writing office. I'd divide my time between the US and Ireland.
3. When my boys are old enough, we'd white water raft all of the best rafting rivers in the world and scuba dive all of the world's best dive spots.
4. Hire a housekeeper, chef, and life and career manager and assistant to make sure everything gets done.
5. Build a home on the lake - of course with a lake-front writing office. And buy a collection of matching boats (maybe metallic blue with silver racing stripes to match my Mustang) - a houseboat, a ski boat, Jet Skis for the boys.

Doug Johnson

1. I would make a substantial monthly support payment to Steve Hawthorne, a medical missionary in Bolivia.
2. I would set aside funds to educate my five grandchildren covering tuition, room and board and associated expenses at a State University for four years.
3. I would insure my son and daughter-in-law were funded for a moderate monthly income with health insurance for retirement age.
4. I would set aside a certain amount of money to give individuals in the form of cash envelops. I would set aside a day each week to frequent thrift stores and places like Dollar General and Food Lion to scout out these folks. Once I observed them, I would approach them and have the promise to not open the envelope until after they leave the establishment. Then I would disappear and not come back to the place again for at least 6 months.
5. I would purchase property on a lakefront. The lake would be on the western shore, so as to have the sunset over the water. I would want the property to slope gently downhill to the water. The property would not have to be huge, say maybe 5 to 10 acres with substantial forestry on the North and South sides.

I would build a modest size lodge up the slope from the water, so as to have a nice view of the water. The rear of the structure arranged with dining room and bedrooms facing west. I would like a rustic exterior, likely using cedar siding with lots of large windows. The lodge would not have to be all that big, say 6,000 square feet. The three floors of even size would have fireplaces on the North ends and covered screen porches on the South for floors two and three.

Sleeping and living accommodations would be situated on the top and bottom floors. The middle floor would be for formal and informal meetings with lots of leather couches.

I would expect to use the lodge one week each month for special needs ministries. I would allow other qualified ministries to utilize the other ¾ of the time.

I would host selected individuals and small groups of in peer-professional support sessions for those who have lost a love one to suicide. There would be no charge to anyone for food or lodging. Each individual could stay a day or the entire week – depending on what strides they were achieving.

It is hard to find help in this area and I would like to change that.

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