This is what I use when coming up with a cost estimate for you.


Believe it or not.

This really has nothing to do with writing, but today, a friend stared down at my desk and picked up my old Canon calculator. “How old is this thing?” he asked as he turned it to inspect each surface. I was taken aback. I tried to remember when I bought it but couldn’t recall. I only knew that I’ve had it for a long time. And that I still have it because it works great.

It’s solar powered and works well even in dim light. What’s not to like?

I put the model info into Google but couldn’t locate a year of manufacture. Needless to say, it’s no longer made. I poked around some more and discovered that calculators like this with low-power LCD screens (black numbers on a gray background) and solar panels came out around 1976. I gulped. Really? I’ve had that thing since around 1976?

Well, I’m keeping it. When it gets grimy I just spritz Windex on it and wipe it clean.

So when you call and ask how much to write your screenplay or book or speech, I hit its ON button and figure out the price. You know the price will be accurate because it was determined by my trusty Canon LS-81Z calculator from 1976.

It may outlast me.


About Michael McKown

Avatar photoJournalist, specialty magazine editor/publisher for 22 years, entrepreneur, co-founder of America's largest working dog organization, producer/director, and co-founder of Ghostwriters Central in 2002.