Crosstown Concourse, formally known as the old Sears building, has been rehabbed and remodeled! It has given life to the Crosstown area which businesses and neighborhood committees have worked tirelessly over the years to revive. They are still at it and we appreciate it because this is the inspiration Memphis needs.
The shell of the old Sears building, which holds memories for many Memphians, is still there in it’ massive form. The photos that line the building of the renovation are astounding. On level one there are shops and restaurants mainly. On several levels are businesses and health facilities such as the Church Health Center and the YMCA. There are dental offices, tech companies, educational and nonprofit organizations, and….residencies!
It’s an artsy building and that is one of many of Memphis’ niches. It is architecturally appealing and spacious. It has local bars serving beer and cocktails and a coffee shop for all of us coffee connoisseurs. So much more is on the way!
I still can’t put into words the “magic” or “amazing energy” that was in the atmosphere on the lawn of the Dixon Gallery and Garden yesterday. I was there almost two hours before the event started. I retrieved my lawn chair, a book to keep me company, and my snacks. I made a donation and I got my ticket. I got my eclipse glasses and now…where to sit amongst strangers?
I plopped down in the shade next to a young lady who seem to be there by herself, too. It was not moments after my settling in conversation began to flow, laughs, and the sharing of our lives. I knew I’d made the right choice when she offered to share her almonds…I love almonds! There were so many “Me toos” and so many things we had in common as two women, two different ethnicities, sharing an exciting moment in space and time. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease and she is a PTA in school who recently learned about about autoimmune diseases a few weeks ago. It was refreshing not to have to explain that it was “not arthritis.” Stories of travel, hopes of travel, life, gardening, family, and bugs! Lol! There was much encouragement to each other in our pursuits of happiness and to continue the journey.
We talked about how it was great to see the eclipse bringing the city together and sharing in the moment, the good vibes in the air, and people of all races, ages, backgrounds, careers, political parties, etc. in one place and not any of that mattered. How I wish that we could see how nature brought us together and that it’s only natural to work in unison as one. Anything else is disruptive not only to us as human beings, but also to nature.
Soon after the eclipse the weather changed. It became cooler and then we felt a rush of cool air. It gave me goosebumps. It began to rain…a cleansing rain I’d like to think. I sat my intentions as the eclipse passed (ancients say whatever you feel will be magnified. So I chose “good energy” and love of course!) and I think the rain was washing away the remnants of negativity that day.
I like to take a walk about town in a city and discover places and works of art. Local artists or not, I like art! I like architecture. Imagine walking down the street and suddenly you see this giant metal head. And yes, that is water flowing over the slabs of smooth concrete.
A few feet away was another interesting piece of art made of metal. I stood there for quite some time observing the different things I saw in this.
And on the way back from Sweetie Pies, a huge cathedral! I have more pictures of this, but I didn’t want to bore you!
As a writer and an author, if I were to be honest with you (which I choose to do because why not?), being a babe in this industry can be frustrating, confusing, challenging, discouraging, and frightening. Literally, for those of us who are starving artists and care more about the art than being fed at times, until you hear the growl in your belly or notice the negative sign in your bank account. We work, we hustle, we do whatever we can to produce the best work possible. Many of us don’t have big bank accounts to match our big dreams. At least, not yet. However, we will save, we will sell, we will do whatever it takes to see the pieces of works manifest.
I have two novels I need edited. I have learned the hard way, the hard headed way, I cannot edit my own books. So as I vet our editors, I also vet out pricing. In average I need about $350 per book for the editorial services I desire. I do some soft editing, writers organization and consulting, book formations (manuscripting) and etc. for a heavily discounted price. I’m like the blue collar consultant (lol). Right now my two novels are on soft release on amazon. Before I go full fledge promotion, I want them to be the best they can be grammatically. I have received amazing feedback and I know I have the gift.
I wanted to encourage some writers, artists, creators today because I had that tiny feeling that “things are not going my way as easily as I had planned! Not as quickly as I want them to!” When deep down inside you know this is like the artist “right of passage.” Your initiation into the creative world.
JUST KEEP CREATING! JUST KEEP SAVING YOUR COINS! JUST KEEP WRITING! KEEP COOKING! KEEP PAINTING! AND NOW I SHALL BREAK OUT INTO THE CHORUS: “DON’T STOP!…BELIEVIN! DON’T STOP! BELIEVIN!” #JOURNEY Sing along everybody!!!
What an amazing event I attended Saturday! It was a FREE event for authors or aspiring authors where three self published/published authors shared their journey, successes, failures, and wisdom for about 2 hours. They graciously poured into us and we were overflowing when we left. The authors Angela K. Austin, Laura T. Johnson, and Jae Henderson all have very different methods and I think this is what was so interesting and made for a buffet of information. They also from different backgrounds. All three of these phenomenal authors can be found on Facebook and other links to social media outlets can be found on their page.
The event was held at the Memphis Black Arts Alliance. It was my first time in the building (which is an old firehouse and still has the features of one. it was built in 1910), and I was floored with all of the beautiful art created by local artists. We were welcomed in with smiles. I have my eye on several pieces! And one I must have! I also learned they have classes there. Please, if you are from Memphis or in the Memphis, TN area this is would be a place off the grid to visit. It should be listed in things to do and would make a great trip for students.
One wonderful thing about authors and writers when they get together it’s a sharing of information and it is a meeting place. I met two published authors, Phoenix Rayne and Indiana Tuggle. I also met the head of one of Memphis’ well known book club, RARE- Reading and Rapping Experience. You can find all of them on Facebook and also connect via other social media outlets.
I could not have asked for a better way to end my weekend.
A few of my musings about Artists, Art, and the control of Freedom of Expression:
ALL gifts come with responsibility and NOT just the gift of being an ARTIST (of any kind). Here is the catch or the thing: You really don’t get to decide HOW or IF that person uses responsibility. You do get to decide how you RESPOND or COUNTERACT what you deem as irresponsible or offensive. -Nicole Jackson –#ART depends on who you ask
The conflict between religion, politics, and artists continues. Nothing new under the sun. We don’t want to be controlled. We don’t want to “submit.” Some of us don’t want to even submit to the rules of the category of art we fall under. Heavens forbid if you are a rebel by nature…-Nicole Jackson #ART depends on who you ask.