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Tuesday, February 2

getting going, going indie

So, I ventured up to the unnatural disaster that is my home studio because I actually have a gig this weekend. I dug down under the layers of desperation that represented the last few weeks of last season and found enough table space to begin again. It made me very tired and I wondered if I should have taken more of a break.

Then I went over to the venue to scout the space and got energized by the founder of Buffalo Indie Market, Mary Stephens McGinnis. She has been promoting her market for a few years now in a city that does little to support its entrepreneurs. She is happy to be hosting her market on Elmwood this weekend, on a Saturday, instead of the Main Street location on a Sunday. She has the use of one of the newer, trendier restaurants on a street that prides itself on trendy. The area bustles on Saturday and she has 22 artists signed up to fill the two glass-walled levels. This could be good. The weather may even be decent.

This will be the first of this year's marketing experiments. In March there is the book fair, which I've done before, and a Women's Conference that will be new to me. A photographer friend approached me about an artist collective and there are some shops I'm thinking of consigning to. I don't want to do a whole lot of Spring stuff because I need to get ready for the season. So, I'm doing some sampling, I guess. To grow a business, you need to plow further afield, right? Or something. There were sadder growth metaphors I could have used, trust me.

But first, another afternoon with Mom and assorted doctors. We are lucky. Since she's been out of the hospital, all of her appointments have been "good, see you in a few months". This, of course, irritates her, as so many things do now, because they have wasted her time. Time she would have spent glued to the game show channel, smoking menthol cigarettes and reading tabloids. But, to each their own. She would not understand me being addicted to Facebook and Rosie's blog. Tomorrow we visit the podiatrist and eye doctor, leaving little of her that has not been examined, diagnosed and/or medicated over the past few months. If she was under warranty, we'd be good for another year.

I will spend the morning in my colorful chaos, waking that part of me that imagines and creates. At some point, after a couple of coffees, the enthusiasm will return. The air will smell of glue and paint. There will be humming. I will spend the afternoon with someone who used to do that. Mom went through phases of embroidery and cross stitch, framing the ones that came out really well. She was meticulous and disciplined, learning any stitch that she needed to complete a project, having the pieces professionally stretched and framed. I have one here somewhere. I really should hang it. Because now all she can stitch are plastic canvases with big holes. She makes coasters with Christmas Bells or initials in them. Piles of them.

Suddenly that messy studio seems like heaven, the piles of applications are fun. Because 25 years from now, my son might be saying "Mom used to make things" and I am so blessed to be in the artistic present tense.

Somebody remind me of that sentiment Friday night, OK?

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