Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Nerves and Jitters

The Kyphi workshop is coming up quickly and I've had little time to prepare for it. I have all the materials together (I think), and I've made Kyphi before (obviously) -- many, many times before, and I know that building Kyphi in a group makes the process a thousand times more spiritually infused than building it alone, though alone has its reverential perks too. There was business in Fresno Monday, nothing I can talk about, but stuff that puts a person on edge, makes them jumpy and uncomfortable and fearful of what the future may hold. I think a lot of my insecurities from all these non-related-to-Kyphi-building events is leaking into the Kyphi event. I have all of tonight and tomorrow to really prep and print out anything pertinent for the class, then it's on a bus/train Friday to set the whole thing up. Oh! And I was invited to do a podcast interview with a local Fresno TV/radio celebrity who wants to promote the workshop, but I can't make it because I won't be back in Fresno until Friday . . . it seems like I always miss these opportunities to educate people about natural perfumery and its related aromatic fields. It is ironic that I lived in Fresno nearly my whole life and I begin to get local recognition only after I've moved away! For two years I busted my bum trying to get the community interested and involved in natural perfumery and Kyphi and distillation and perfumed food with little (call it zero) results, but now -- now that I'm two hours away, I'm getting requests for interviews and local people are signing up for the classes and workshops I present over there. Funny how life works out. I guess in order to get folks on the coast interested, I'll have to move somewhere else. The desert maybe. Alaska. The moon.

I'm jonesing to build soap again. It's soap season and I'm behind right now. I'm waiting for the workshop to be done with before jumping into soap making for the holidays. I've already got some projects going for holiday gifts for family and friends, perfumed wines and whatnot -- homemade rootbeer, perfumed goodies, and soap and perfume and incense. I guess this could be considered incense season as well since it's when I'm most inspired to create incense. I'm ready to get some incense sticks going again. I've been getting requests for them, which always surprises me. I sell direct from Etsy and I do a brisk business from September to January, then things settle down to a more plodding pace, and surprisingly, as much as I do during the holidays, only about 50% of sales (perhaps a little less, maybe 45% or even 40%) receive feedback -- so what surprises me is that people who aren't leaving feedback on previous purchases from the apothecary are usually the customers who want to know when something will be in stock again. And here I thought you didn't like what you got.

Writing in the book has become mostly red notes again -- brief outlines of what I want to write about -- ideas that come in and need writing down before they're forgotten. I've woken up in the middle of the night to rush down to the computer and jot things down in red, so that when I'm more caffeinated I can flesh it all out. I'm up to just over 43,000 words now and still (and I say this all the time) no where near close to done. But I'm getting there! Slowly. There's just so much to impart and I'm not even scratching the surface because it can be overwhelming and some of it is just bull pucky anyway -- mostly in the gadgetry department. Must have this _______ (fill in the blank) machine or your perfume won't be good, or must have -- you get it, right? Magnetic stirrers and ultrasonics and vacuum filters and -- geesh, how can anyone just learning stick with it with all the 'must haves' when we all know perfectly well that it can be done simply and effectively (and inexpensively) the old fashioned way -- by waiting, by taking time and allowing the art to come to light on its own. Can you tell I've scaled way down in my own production and attitude about natural perfumery? Anyway, that's just my way and not everyone agrees with my attitudes about natural perfumery. I'm not into the commercialization of my art anyway. Do I want to sell it? Sure, it feeds my obsession and keeps me experimenting; do I want to sell cases of my art at Barney's? No way. I've done production before and it totally sucks the life out of the work because it all boils down to costs. They want it as cheaply as they can get it, and I want to get what it's worth, and those two concepts rarely match up. Years ago when I was selling cases of soap, I literally made something like .02 per bar because I refused to compromise on the quality of the raw materials. I could have made a dollar fifty a bar if I'd used cheaper materials, but I couldn't make myself do it because it wouldn't be my work anymore, it would be me trying to make money and not presenting the customer with a quality product. That's not what I was in it for (well, at first I was, then later I wasn't). So commercialization and mass production of anything I make these days isn't even a consideration.

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