Between client work and my own manuscript, I put in a good 20,000 words last week. My fingers are tired. The bulk of the work is for a single project I was hired to write.

The project gives me some concerns.

It was advertised as a short story. Discussion with the client revealed that “short story” was actually a 20,000-word novella, which then morphed into a 100,000-word novel spread across five installments. Um, folks, anything beyond 10,000 words has long since passed the definition for “short story.”

Anyway, I agreed to do the project and settled on a delivery deadline that the client kept trying to shorten. Um, no, that’s not the way I work. If I agreed to a delivery date, then you’ll have the completed document by that date. I will not and do not promise earlier delivery, even if I make a habit of early delivery, because life happens. That’s all a part of managing client expectations.

I acquired the project through, which is yet another freelance platform that caters to low-bid projects. I did not submit a low bid for this project, which also makes me wonder if the client understands that professional quality commands professional rates or if he intends on scamming me, taking my work without any intention of paying the agreed-upon fee. Unfortunately, I’ve become so disillusioned lately that I strongly suspect the latter.

So, the story … I didn’t sign any confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll blab about it either. I will say it’s not in a sub-genre I typically write, although I do believe it’s better written than most of what one finds in that sub-genre. My name will not go on the byline: this is a ghostwriting project.

That said, if this client tries to stiff me (which I expect), I’ll publish the story myself under a new pseudonym. So, let’s have a little fun. I once suggested a pen name to a fellow author who raises chickens: Buffy Orpington. Anyone possessing a light acquaintance with chicken breeds will get the pun. (For those who don’t, there’s a heritage breed of chickens called Buff Orpingtons.) She didn’t take me up on it.

Anyway, that’s just the silly, fluffy type of pen name that I’d use for that type of book. So, join the fun and suggest a pseudonym. Maybe I’ll use it. Maybe not. But that’s all part of the fun, right? You can go searching Amazon for it and then you’ll know who wrote the book.

Speaking of chickens, the two black silkie roosters have settled in nicely.