My former boss, Alicia Spooner, once said to me, “You know, Judy, your garden is your therapy.” She was right. This past week as problems cropped up on the Arcadia Press book project, I sought solace––and vented frustration––in the garden.
I discovered, on Tuesday, that the photos that I planned to use in the Arcadia Press book about the history of Florence didn’t fit their parameters. Most of the photos I planned to use are from the Fred Jensen collection, which cover the walls at the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum. These are photographs made from photographs that have been given or loaned to Fred. He has been the unofficial caretaker of old-timer’s photos for decades. I didn’t realize that they were photographs of photographs until Tuesday, and that makes them a no-no as far as Arcadia Press is concerned.
I went home and headed for the yard. There I weeded out my frustrations and tried to think of a way to use his photos anyway before I remembered the advice of four fellow authors who’ve already done Arcadia Press books. They all said , “Follow Arcadia Press photo guidelines exactly.” That was the one thing all four agreed on
I went through the various stages––disbelief, anger, sleepless night, and finally, depressing acceptance. I was just so bummed and didn’t know quite what to do. I need a minimum of 180 photos, and my main source was now off limits. But I headed for the museum to see Fred. He wanted to show me an album of his mother’s that might have some original photos that I could use. I went through it and found about 10. After he left, the research librarian, Adele O’Boyle, listened to my woes and told me there were other photos in the museum. Hello! She pointed to the photo files. She would help me go through them and maybe there would be some originals that I could use. We looked at hundreds of photos, and I found about 50 that I thought could work. That made me feel better. At least, I was doing something; I was moving forward on the project.
I even went to the nursery. That always cheers me up. I bought two barberry plants since two ferns were receiving too much sun and needed to be moved. I had to replace them with plants that could handle sun and that the deer wouldn’t eat. Barberry fit the bill. So Wednesday night with the help of a shovel, I manhandled the ferns out of the sunny flowerbed at the end of the driveway to a semi-shady area on the east side of the house where ferns thrive. I had to remove some daylilies that the deer had been eating to make room for the two ferns.
Later that evening, I contacted, Bill Tizzard, the volunteer in charge of scanning photos at the museum, and he met me at the museum the next day. He looked through the photos I selected from the day before and found several that he didn’t think were originals. I selected 10 that were and wanted him to scan them right away. I needed to send 10 test scans that had to be at Arcadia Press’s offices by next Tuesday, July 23. That’s the first deadline I have to meet. After he left, I continued working through the photo files. I found another 60 or so originals to use. Things were looking up.
As Bill made scans to Arcadia’s specifications that evening, I went around my yard and greenhouse and enjoyed the flowers that were blooming and the veggies starting to produce. I have had a love/hate affair with deer for years. They eat almost anything that blooms—daylilies, roses, primroses, hosta, crocosmia, as well as my beans and blueberries. I keep netting over my beans and blueberries to keep them out and simply enjoy any flower blossoms that escape their notice. So every morning and evening, I do a walk-about to enjoy the yard, since whatever is blooming may not be there long. I also open/close the greenhouse and water plants inside on every sunny day. Thursday evening, I was able to pick my first bush beans and had enough for one hefty serving. They were wonderful. The tomato plants in the greenhouse are filling with small green tomatoes, but none are red yet.
Friday morning, I watered everything on the decks and porch as well as what’s in the yard that has been planted this year. Although my soil has built up a lot of organic matter and is much richer than the solid sandstone that was here when we bought the place in 1984, the underlying sandstone is still there. Because of that, I need to water thoroughly at least once a week in July and August or once the rains stop. And the new stuff needs watering again between those waterings. Anything in pots needs watering even more often. I prefer using a hose and watering can over sprinklers. And I’ve never had a watering system installed because we have rain so much of the year.
After watering, I wrote captions to go with the 10 test scans and emailed them to my Arcadia editor. Then I went into town and picked up the disk with the scans that Bill had dropped off at the museum and got it mailed. We’ll see if the scans and captions pass muster.
The photos I ended up choosing should work as far as what they cover, but many of what I still need I did not find in the museum’s photo files. I still have the walls to check for non-Fred photos and many albums yet to go through.
I sent an email to my Arcadia editor explaining the situation and have not heard back yet. Not sure how this is going to turn out. But no matter what, I’ve got my garden in which to vent my frustrations and to find solace.
Updates on upcoming events:
On Wednesday morning, just when I was feeling so bummed, I had a phone interview with Deb Allen, the features writer of the NW Boomer & Senior News. We talked for 1 ½ hours about the Florence Festival of Books and my books. She will be writing a feature story primarily on FFOB that will be in the Lane County edition in September. That is wonderful publicity for our event. And it cheered me up for awhile.
And this next Saturday at the Eugene Public Library, I will be the featured speaker on Saturday, July 27, at 3 p.m. I will be giving my new PowerPoint presentation that will have 64 photos (instead of the 37 I had before) and be about what has happened with Crossings since it came out and how The Crossings Guide came to be. It will also be about the bridges, and I’ll share some hardcore bridge aficionado stories to liven things up.