An appeal to artistic types.

So, I need a project to work on. Badly. Something to expend some energy and time on and break up the monotony of studying, gardening, and looking for a job. I'm open to all kinds of collaborations. Some things I'm good at or interested in: 1. Any sort of writing projects, especially essays. It might be interesting to work with an artist on a multi-dimensional project, telling a story through both visual and written or recorded mediums. 2. PR or event planning. I like media relations. I could help you work on fundraisers or PR events or whatever. Ive had pretty good success with this sort of thing in the past and would like more experience with it. 3. I'd love to work on any sort of small publishing project. I have a decent amount of experience in this stuff, primarily the editorial side of things, but I would love to work with someone that is more focused on the graphic design/art director aspect. I actually have several ideas, potential money makers, that just need the right partnership if you'd like to work on some great pieces for a portfolio with the potential of good payback. Is there any sort of artist collective, some group of people with a wide variety of interests that could work together on more ambitious projects? I mean, one based in Memphis, of course and one that isn't affiliated with "Free Love" movements. I have so many ideas that just require help from committed people with different skill sets than mine, and I'm sure there are others in the same boat. We just need to be able to get in touch with each other. If youre interested in talking, let me know.


Birth of a horticulturist.

I remember the year: My father spent hours at book stores and libraries and extension offices pouring over gardening information through the dreary months of January and February. He spent hours traveling to the far reaches of Shelby County looking for the best place to purchase fish meal and kelp meal and bone meal and then, later, to locate the healthiest seeds and seedlings. He spent hours over a pad of graphing paper in the empty lot next to our house, and at first, I was curious. Eager, even. I would flutter along beside him, doing the things 10 year olds do to busy themselves when they want to be good, but can't quite manage the idea of it. I grew excited when Mr. Jackson, the elderly neighbor with the big red tractor, came out and plowed the ground. I was thrilled by the mundane task of planting corn at just the right spacing along a straight line which must have run for miles. I jumped out of bed every morning at the first sign of light to see what had happened in the garden while I slept. At first. Then the tomato worms set in and I was suddenly responsible for squishing and slicing these little creatures which I found beautiful. I was suddenly expected to weed what surely was more than an acre of garden. The okra was scratchy, the corn sliced my arms, my neck and lower back peeled layer after layer from sunburns, and the ever-present layer of soil beneath my finger nails ruined the previously enjoyable habit of nail biting. By August of my 10th year, the urge to garden had come and gone and I blamed my father's over-zealousness for the casualty, thoroughly convinced I would never garden again. But something happened this year. Perhaps it was the casually interested boyfriend's budding enthusiasm in the pass-time. It was certainly strengthened by the early success of five tomato plants and the sole Japanese eggplant did in starter pots on my front porch and then by subsequent tending of the rather expanded (but, admittedly, no where near the discouraging 1-acre size,) garden. The break-up necessitated a replacement plot at my parent's to ease the twinge of loss (of the garden, of course). Just a few tomatoes, some bell peppers, a row of pole beans. Subsequent reconciliation (in the classic form of "just friends",) has me running back and forth between Midtown and Hernando, watering, blistering my hands with weeding, and not caring at all about the strata of filth propagating in my nail beds. Now, mid-July. I've spent all day reading gardening books, checking things online, and planting a fall crop of cucumbers and bush beans. Two cups of coffee and by 1:00am, having not spoken to another living soul for nearly 24 hours, I feel myself slipping into a familiar insanity. Not my own, but perhaps similar to that of my father. Planning cold frames and green houses, calculating dates for cold-weather plantings, researching the French Intensive method, looking up the cost of materials for raised beds, and fully intending to quit my job by early spring of next year because, (get this,) I'll be able to support myself from the revenue of selling seedlings planted in hot boxes in January and then later, from the revenue of selling fresh fruits and vegetables on the corner a la the 85 year old man in vintage trucker hat, aged cover-alls, and Buddy Holly glasses who sold me corn in Hernando 3 days ago. Sometimes it is good to be my father's daughter.


What Mama don't know.

It's 2:14 in the afternoon. Tuesday. After showers this morning, the sun is shining and the air is thick enough to drink. I got up at noon. Again. I straightened up the messes I had left the night before and I took care of the garden. Browsed real estate listings on Ebay. Posted comments on MySpace. Listened to new rock from Lucero and The Dears. Looked up the last frost for starting tomato seedlings next spring. Ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a tall glass of cherry coke sweating circles on the desk. What now. I could read. I could practice bass or harmonica or xylophone. (The xylophone is of the $1.99 car trip preoccupation variety from a gas station somewhere outside of Nashville.) I could go to the book store and read magazines except the car is sitting on empty and I have $2.34 in my purse. I could drink. I could sweep and mop the floors while I drink. I could take a walk. It's too hot for a walk. I could watch a movie while I drink. I could call someone to watch a movie and drink with me. Except all of my friends have jobs and are currently at them. I could study up for standardized tests. (One of my new preoccupations is tudying for standardized tests. I'm obsessed with the idea of acing them.) I could take a shower. I haven't had one of those in a few days. I need to get out of here. I think I have enough gas in the car to get me to the bookstore. If I don't have enough to get me back, well. I'll worry about that when it comes up.