Consumer book and magazine publisher with a wide variety of content.
MUSTARDSEED & MOONSHINE
Coordinating a B2B website with a new catalog designed for dual purposes.
Adding life to an aging international book distributor.
Sales and marketing enjoyed a complete re-design at a venerable reference publisher.
MULLICA HILL GROUP
An elegant, small French restaurant in Portland, Maine.
Electronic marketing for an electronic marketer.
Helping to rid the universe of death through improved reincarnation.
The following is an example of Peter's monthly editorial, normally either sentimental or goofy but sometimes serious.
Plants go on and on, suffering under the misconception the contest is fair. They struggle as though the arena made sense, as though they belonged in it. As though escape were out of the question.
Cacti, for instance, are like village idiots, sitting in the noonday sun, unaware of shade. Not only are they immobile, they rarely blink. Or perhaps they are forgetful geniuses, mathematical, obtuse, enthralled—relentlessly and awkwardly puzzling a predicament that has no easy solution. Plunked down and stuck with it. They are so cumbersome that they seem to be counting on their fingers in an age of computers.
Cacti are as patient as things written down. Never as elegant as their botanical names. All ribbed and spined and areoled. They are like turtles. Like turtles in a shoebox, bumping the sides. Or like elephants, clumsy pachyderms, laborious, oblivious and old. Or like beaten taxicabs downtown. They work well enough but are heavy and slow. Like a cab, a cactis is worn but immortal, it ignores abuse but has been scarred by it.
Which is why their minuet amazes me. Though the tick of a cactus' metronome, the measure of its music, is outrageously slow, it does move. And the flower on a cactus often dances in a stately way, like a butterfly perched in the sun.
Consider their endlessly difficult problem. Cacti are bent on evolving and thus on moving the pollen of one plant to the stigma of another. The tactic is slow but proven. And so these plants contrive to avoid pollinating themselves. For selfing, as it is called, almost always produces replicas, unchanged from their single parent and so rarely attempting new solutions to the problems of their environment. Natural variation, mutation, especially from natural crosses moves evolution along and thus such reproduction is favored by plants working their way through hard times, trying to create solutions to spectacular dilemmas.
And so the flower on a cactus dances. Though twirling is a delicacy, an apparent extravagance, it dances just the same. Petals open bright and thin. And, at first, the flower spreads only stamens into the dry air. At this point the blossom is functionally only male. It only offers pollen to insects happening by. The female stigmas are held closed, unreceptive, waiting.
Once the stamens have had their day with pollinators, they move slowly aside, deferring to the stigmas which open, dancing, hoop-skirted and obvious. Then, for a while, the flower is female, accepting pollen from other blossoms.
Finally, as the petals close, the stamens stand again and meet the stigma. What pollen remains on them falls to the center of the blossom and offers the stigma a chance to gather whatever remnants have been left behind. If pollen from other flowers has not arrived, selfing occurs. But if the dance has worked, the pollen grains from distant plants will have begun to grow their fertilizing tubes and will outrace the selfing pollen. The effect of this patient, delicate dance is straightforward enough. Crosses are favored but the more immediate problem of producing seed, indeed any kind of seed, persists.
It's a delicate dance. Purposeful, even brilliant. And it amazes me that such a thing should happen atop a cactus. Cacti, after all, are like turtles, slow and worn. Or like taxis, dented and serviceable.
Prose that appeals to mildly sentimental tastes.
DIRECT RESPONSE MARKETING
Getting librarians to pay attention.
Absurd, arching hyperbole.
A professional sample.
Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies.
A GARDENER'S THOUGHTS
House plant whimsy.
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