Guest Author: John Howell









Welcome to the first week of ‘It’s Reigning Men’ segment for March at AWWT!

This week, I’d like to welcome a very special friend of mine from Rave Reviews Book Club, John Howell. He is going to be sharing some daily writing excerpts and tips with us this week. Get ready to be entertained and enlightened. Welcome, John!!


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Thank you, Traci for having me on your site as part of your It’s Reigning Men feature for the month of March. Since this is Monday, I thought I would share one of the titles of my blog Fiction Favorites named the Top Ten Things Not to do. The list is a tongue-in-cheek view of life and how to avoid some of the problems in which we all find ourselves. This list is being semi-published on my blog as well today.


Top Ten Things Not to Do When Doing Your Taxes

10 When doing your taxes, do not rely on the brother-in-law advice of what is deductible. If you do, at best you may miss the audit lotto this year and be safe. At worst, you could be fielding a number of questions from several agents of the IRS and your brother-in-law has already received his whistleblower fee.


9 When doing your taxes, do not ask your spouse to find the receipts that you carefully put somewhere but can’t remember where. If you do, at best you will have to endure a lecture about organization. At worst, the ensuing argument will consume the next three days until finding the receipts in the back seat of your car.


8 When doing your taxes, do not think of waiting until the last-minute thinking there will be some miracle where the government will postpone the filing date. If you do, at best you will over stress your already limited schedule. At worst, you will be so rushed that you will leave off key required elements of the filing. For example, a missing signature. Forgetting essential elements will place you in the IRS slush pile of, “those we want to talk to.”


7 When doing your taxes, do not have large cups of coffee or a Big Gulp near your worksheets. If you do, at best you may only have rings from the containers on your return. At worst, you will knock over the biggest cup that will inundate the work and the result will not be readable. You will be forced to start over or estimate from memory what you had calculated with the chance your $10,000 refund might cause a tax fraud charge.


6 When doing your taxes, do not think all your expenses are deductible. If you do, at best you will not be audited and have missed a chance to lose twenty pounds in sweat. At worst, your case will be turned over to an agent nicknamed “Big House Harry,” for the number of convictions sustained with his investigative prowess.


5 When doing your taxes, do not think the extra cash you earned is not reportable income. If you do, at best if caught you can always cite your failing memory as the excuse. At worst, you and the head of a drug cartel nicknamed, “shive” will be prosecuted under the same money laundering statute.  You will be encouraged to make nice as you are transported to the federal detention center on the short bus while handcuffed together.


4 When doing your taxes, do not try to find the cheapest tax preparer who claims the largest refund. If you do, at best you may be disappointed when your refund turns into an amount you owe. At worst, you are watching the evening news to see your preparer being hauled out of his office in handcuffs. The newscaster describes the largest tax fraud scheme in the history of the city including millions in refunds being redirected to his offshore account.


3 When doing your taxes, do not fill in the boxes if you do not understand what is being asked. If you do, at best you may cause your return to do just that return. At worst, you may unknowingly set up a farm or other type account. During the audit, you will be asked to produce the cattle and chickens for which you inadvertently deducted the feed and vet care. Testing the sense of humor of the agent with a picture of your dog is a bad idea.


2 When doing your taxes, do not try to write off clothing donated to a charity when you are still wearing the items deducted. If you do, at best the agent will not notice during the audit that the fuchsia sweater listed on the return is the same sweater under your raincoat (which is on the return as well). At worst, the agent doing the examination of your return used to work at Ralph Lauren as an accountant and has noticed the descriptions of a few of your donations are still on your back.


1 When doing your taxes, do not spend your refund before you get it. If you do, at best it will be a little late, and you’ll be on the hook for interest charges on your card. At worst, the return magically turns into IOU when the government corrects all the math errors.  You now have a maxed out credit card and a bill collector named “Crusher” pounding on your front door demanding the keys to your car.



John W. Howell spent over forty years as a business person and in 2012 finally began his lifelong dream to be an author.  His first novel named ‘My GRL’ is published by Martin Sisters Publishing. It is a fiction thriller telling the story of one man’s efforts to save a symbol of America’s greatness from destruction by a group of terrorists and the first of a trilogy. It is available in e-book and paper.  The second named His Revenge is in line for May of 2015, and the third titled Our Justice is in the final editing stage with publication in 2016. In addition to his novels, John also writes short stories, and some of them are featured on his blog Fiction Favorites. John lives on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the southern coast of Texas with his wife and assortment of rescue pets.


Here is the trailer for ‘My GRL’!

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Leave a Comment


  • John W. Howell

    Thank you for having me Traci. it is a real honor to be here. Your Reining men feature is very creative.

  • Traci Sanders

    My pleasure, John! Hope it’s a good week for you, and I look forward to reading your posts each day 🙂

  • Traci Sanders

    #9 is hilarious and so applicable to me. I usually do our family taxes and my husband drives me crazy with his “receipts system.” LOL

    • John W. Howell

      I have the same thing going on. I usually have what I’m looking for and don’t know it

  • Beth Hale

    Love the list! I’m looking forward to reading more this week.

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