I have been severely bitten by the Inland Revenue, the bastards. My accountant, with a glorious swish of his sword and his lance, and a glorious clank of his tin-plated pants, has sailed in to do battle. What is so annoying about the situation is: 1) I have NOT earned any money to speak of through my writing for about five years, in keeping with the general mayhem which has descended upon the the fiction market. 2) a sum of money bobbed up I should have had a decade ago. I was, naturally, very pleased to see it, especially since it came as a complete surprise, but the dewy-eyed naifs of the Inland Revenue promptly said — hey! if you earned this much in 2010-11 we may reasonably assume you’ll earn the same in 2011-12!!! As if. Therefore, they merrily concluded, you can pay half up front for moneys which, in fact, I have not the slightest reason to believe will, or even might, exist. This is what you pay accountants for. I hope that in the next day or so, he will be sitting the Inland Revenue down upon his knee and explaining to them that no, Santa Claus does not exist. Nor the Tooth Fairy. Nor, at present, my ability to earn five figure sums by making things up.