Sagittarius 10° (December 2)
Got up so early. Stella was already awake as she has inherited my dreaded cold. We cancelled the lot and just worked as best we could for as long as we could in front of the fire. Word that another targeted editor took a pass. We are baffled since the praise was glowing. It went like this “My apologies for the delay in getting back to you on this one and thank you for keeping me in the loop. Starsky & Cox’s proposal is fascinating, fresh and has the perfect mixture of thoughtful advice, mystical thinking and emotional resonance. I hadn’t thought much on the ways that self-help and personal growth and astrology intersect up to this point, but astrology remains a thriving part of the zeitgeist and rightfully so as I found their theories incredibly interesting. And beyond the initial concept, the advice in the proposal resonates in a way that I think many people already seeking a more mindful life will come to. Nevertheless, I just didn’t connect with the more prescriptive tone of the proposal in the way that I’d hoped and felt that it was reminiscent to other projects on the market or soon to come. Without that clear vision for how to best to break this book out, I’m going to have to pass on this one on behalf of [redacted]. I hope you will find the perfect home for the book.”
Right cheers thanks alot. Rejection letters are never fun but especially not when they seem so, well, accepting! Anyway, onwards and upwards (yet another expression people say when they want to make it clear that the relationship/collaboration is over (even if before it began). Turns out that publisher is all up Gwyneth Paltrow’s behind. It is time to take full stock of who we are and what we’ve done. I think it will make a lot of sense to publish various books, going back to decide which books have had their [redacted] expire, so that we can publish them under our own steam. I can publish the complete works of Shakespeare I think. These are questions for our lawyer. Or lord Mary, I don’t know what to tell you. I’m just going to have to be brutal about all of this and let the chips fall where they may. It wasn’t a busy day per se. The weather is rotten. I made a fire so that we could work together in the living room for, at least, a part of the day. I am resisting all urges. I am doing what is necessary. I am drinking tea and sucking on cough drops and hoping for the best and preparing for the not so great. I aim to be in the ot room in the next two days. I think it might very well be possible. I would like to put down some minutes from our meeting with Tim today as I think it will be important to do. I am also having to write up some things for folks to enjoy while on their trip to gay Paris. I’m not really sure what it is I suggest these days. I will ask the expert and see what she comes up with. Some brief minutes from the meeting:
Hello I thought I would just jot down some highlight “minutes” from our meeting today so that we have a record. And so Stella, who was feeling poorly, can catch up on what’s what as she resurfaces. I thought of at least one thing I neglected to say so I put those thoughts in bold to fill in any gaps….
I launched into the chat today, saying that on the Starsky + Cox front that I would be leading on the jewelry initiative. And that there were two parallel avenues I was going to be spearheading, one being sussing out with Alice what would need to be done and info-gathering from her on what design and production might entail; the other avenue being the putting together of a comprehensive agreement between Starsky + Cox (Wheel Atelier Inc.) and Tim-Scapes that would emcompass what we were already doing together while covering all that we potentially plan to do. On the Alice front I reiterated that she had the design illustrations from Tim and she imagined a two-full-day process of turning the illustrations into viable jewelry design drawings. Also that she was thinking about a Turkish production facility where sterling silver (or gold plated silver or both) designs could be made; and that there was mention of 100 piece minimum per (twelve) design. I mentioned that we would have Alice explore more options, either with that facility or others, and try to work out the possibility of smaller minimum per design; and also to give us some kind of rough estimate of cost. For Alice to do pretty much anything more that what she’s already done (eyeballing the designs and making some inquiries) we would have to pay her a fee for this two-full-day’s worth of work, culling any and all information, and getting the designs in readiness for sampling. What I forgot to say (although Stella may have already mentioned this in a previous chat) is that rather than being paid beyond that two-day stint, Alice would prefer toreceive a small percentage of the business (profits) along with us. This would also need to either be worked into our agreement, or as an addendum to it, or as a separate agreement.
I mentioned, in any case, that Marilyn suggests a simple two-page L.O.A. to replace the contract we now have in place as that contract is “overly complicated” and is actually more of a licensing agreement. And that I was thus going to lead on putting all the wording together, as best I can, in some semblance of would-be legalese, such that Marilyn could eyeball the agreement and make any changes without spending too much of her time (which is our money) on the document. As information came in from Alice, and based on our discussions together the three of us, here, on our end, I would be putting the pieces of the agreement together over time. There was talk of the new split for everything being 50-50 S+C/T-S (keeping in mind whatever cut we agreed on with/for Alice) to make the split uniform for all our collaborative projects/products. Whereas Tim spearheaded the tee-shirt collection, putting out $$ for production, we discussed the fact that Starsky + Cox would be spearheading the jewelry and funding the production of that. As such I mentioned that in that scenario we envisioned production costs being paid back first, off the gross, before the split would kick in—in comparison with the tee-shirt formula where the split happened from the first sale and production costs were deducted from the gross on a unit by unit basis. (We also reiterated the fact that the jewelry collection would have a double margin of wholesale and retail such that, even when sold direct to customer, it was at the full retail price, allowing us to wholesale the jewelry to other stores, unlike the formula we currently have in place for the tee-shirts.)
On that note we then discussed and reviewed the myriad aspects of the existing Astro-Scapes collaboration. We talked through the various scenarios of paying back production costs and aired our feelings and trepidations about the various methodologies. In the phone call (and subsequent email chats today) Tim decided he would continue to pay out 50/50% on the net as the intake for production cost per unit (@ $17 a unit) was indeed adding up to paying off (paying Tim back) what Tim paid out initially for production. But, in future, Tim will pay-off production first in the same manner as S+C would pay off production first in the manufacture of the jewelry. Doing things in like manner will help to streamline that bit of wording in what will be our comprehensive letter of agreement. In terms of the Astro-Scapes tee shirts, vis a vis other Tim-Scapes product in the Provincetown store, the tees aren’t proving to be as lucrative an inhabitant of the real-estate allotted them in the shop as other Tim-Scapes products are (at least at this juncture). So Tim will likely make some changes regarding display of the product in the store in 2020. We discussed stepping up the promotion of the tee-shirts, over time, online and via social media, which is happening in any case. And we also revisited the notion we had discussed all together this past Spring/Summer of creating more of an Astro-Scapes world to give in-store customers more opportunity, beyond tee-shirts to buy into the astrological product. In the end we seem to be in agreement that, though not selling like gangbusters, the tee-shirts are finding their way and with hardly any promotion as yet to speak of (beyond what little Q has done) they are still moving at a steady pace and that their appeal and success is enough to build on as we enter into their second six-months of existence. Tim is going to play with concepts of what additional product could be added to the “Astro-Scapes” world and S + Q will continue to outreach to influencers, bloggers and the like, along with traditional press focusing on the collaboration and the appeal, particularly, in the gift-giving season, etc.
We decided to put a pin in the jewelry (a bit) or at least to let it sit on the back burner, continuing to info-gather on the subject, while allowing some more comprehensive ideas concerning Astro-Scape world bubble up to the surface. We all agree that we are happy for the collaboration and that communication remains key in juggling the business partnership with friendship and letting the ideas come and the collaboration unfold without added stress or forcing any outcomes while making necessary adjustments (like it’s in-store presence) so that it doesn’t hinder other aspects of the Tim-Scapes product from selling. We agreed to go off and brainstorm a bit, to enjoy the holidays, and our trips away, and to come back together with some fresh eyes, new information and ideas and decide what the next best steps are for the existing tee-shirt line, for new product “ephemera”, and, ultimately (and hopefully) the jewelry collection, informed by more collection of data and more creative thought and a continued proliferation of promotional materials about the Astro-Scapes collaboration!
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree pointof the Sabian Symbol will be one degree higher than the one listed for today. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°, for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360 degrees spread over 365 or 6 days per year—so they near but not exactly correlate.
Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go!
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