Last night I got the idea that the guest room just wasn't gonna cut it for me.
I looked for a space to rent in the neighborhood and I found one for $625 a month.
Very pretty storefront first floor in an charming old building walking distance from this house.
That would be cool.
I could make myself more of a business that way.
It would be my artist space, my office, my sort of retail space.
It would allow me to sell cool stuff, have cool meetings, consult with other artists, hold evening wine gatherings, readings, discussions.
I could have hours there by appointment and also have all day Saturday be open to the public.
It would have a record player and there would always be awesome records playing.
It would have a small refrigerator filled with a case of cava.
Every Tuesday night there'd be a gathering where you could play us a new song or read from your screenplay, your novel, your new poem.
But I'd have to make the $625, and really, at least $1000, just from that place and just to pay for that place.
Which means I'd still have to make another $1500 for the rest of my monthly stuff.
Could I generate $2500 from this place?
Would this place wreck my touring plans?
Could I just lock it up when I'm on tour, put a little sign in the window like the Parisiennes do, "See you in September"?
I'd have to consistently bring in $600 a week at the very least.
I usually made nearly that much during the past year I'd say.
I was starting to make that much with some consistency, without having a space like this.
But in our new economy, temporary or permanent, I may not be able to earn money the same way.
And I sort of don't want to anyway.
Driving a lot, all over this region, several times a week, at night, hauling my own PA system and setting up and playing for several hours.
Some of my concerts were exactly what I want to do going forward, bigger and better concerts.
But many of my small gigs were not as rewarding and more for the money.
They were like manual labor.
Drive, carry stuff, stand and sing and play until my hands were sore and my throat was sore, then carry stuff, then drive back.
Those gigs were a total of one hour prep time, one to two hours each way driving, an hour to set up and another to tear down, and a three hour performance.
That's a total of eight to ten hours.
The shows would pay around $300.
And I didn't have anything else to do and I made a lot of new fans.
But....those kinds of shows aren't good for my newly acquired acclaim.
They give the impression of desperation.
My son said he saw someone playing at a bar in the airport when he was flying into Minneapolis last year.
He called me and asked if that was the airport bar I sometimes played at.
I was paid $250 to take the train out to the airport, go through airport security with my guitar and merch suitcase, set up and play for three hours, and go all the way back home again. Let's add in another $100 in tips and merch sales.
My son said, "Mom, you can never do that again. That is the most sad desperate gig in the world."
My son was twenty-three years old at the time, is not a musician, went to NYU, landed a prestigious design job right out of college in Laguna Beach, California.
I told him that he had no idea what the most sad and desperate gig looked like, but I did and that wasn't it.
Okay, fine, but the fact remains, I don't want to go play at the airport ever again.
So, maybe paying the rent for a destination creative space that allows me to provide some community and some consulting for other creative people would be a good solid replacement for the shitty gigs.
One more thing, some of you know that I've done a lot of home decorating work.
Well, this space would give me a chance to exercise those creative muscles again as well.
I'd love to do some consulting that isn't home decorating, but instead is like coaching a client to put their rooms together themselves.
Help people find out what they want to do with their house, their apartment.
Charge an hourly fee, go look at their spaces.
But then help them brainstorm and create lists and pick out actual stuff and just do it themselves, but with the extra assurance of my experience.
I'm happy to do that for people.
I love the decorative arts and I've had a lot of success in those endeavors.
Did I already tell you that my house and my rooms were the cover and the feature in Better Homes And Gardens in the year 2000?
I think it was either the September or October issue.
I still have one copy of the magazine.
Eight pages about me being an artist and a mother of three young children with a handsome doctor husband.
It wasn't fake at all, we really lived like that and it was pretty fun during those years.
Anyway, think about this if you'd like, and give me your opinion.
Should I go tour the little storefront space?
There are three for rent so I'm sure there's plenty of time to mull this over.
In the meantime, I'm fixing up the guest room today.
Maybe the guest room will be good enough once I get it made into more of a "study".
But I would never be able to bring other people there.
And I don't really like bringing people into my home either.
So, this is a new thought and it just needs to percolate.
Happy day to you.
All things are bright and beautiful in God's creation.