Authors and freelancers live on hope, but Monday served up a heaping bowl of discouragement.

Blow #1: The book tour for Focus ended on June 30. I can’t complain about the company’s performance, because they did what they promised. Unfortunately, Amazon records only a single copy sold during June. One copy. One. With book sales being dismal, I know something has to change. I received some suggestions, but dislike them all. Maybe I’ll just have to grit my teeth and do them anyway.

Blow #2: The trainer sent an update on Teddy, the pony I rescued from the kill pen. He’s not nice. He beats on the other horses. The trainer tried giving him a lesson in manners via the “donkey solution,” which is usually effective in teaching ill mannered horses to behave in the herd. Donkeys don’t take any guff. The donkey solution failed. I authorized the trainer to have a veterinarian administer a blood test to see whether Teddy has more testosterone than a gelding should. If so, we’re likely dealing with a bad situation called cryptorchidism, meaning that he has a retained testicle. Surgery to find and remove the offending testicle is expensive–and that’s assuming the veterinarian can find it. In the meantime, the trainer has confined Teddy to a stall.

Blow #3: That hit this afternoon, quickly dashing hopes. I submitted a bid for an editing project. The prospective client responded with a request for an immediate interview. OK, I can do that. I got on Skype as instructed. Then the discrepancies began to pile up. While asking and answering questions via Skype chat, I called the company the interviewer supposedly represented. Boy, did I get an earful! The company does not need an editor, they are not hiring, and they’re really mad about someone using their company as a front to deceive people. I appreciated their candor, but am disappointed by another possibility crushed.

It’s difficult enough to make a living as a freelancer; that does not help.