About a year ago, I had this crazy idea of creating a magazine for creative people. The goal behind the project was to have a regularly published magazine that was full of real works by indie or small publishing house authors. I envisioned fictional works, along with advice columns that were full of what worked for them without the pretense of being an elite club. Essentially, I wanted anyone feel like they had what it takes to become a writer if they wanted to and allow writers to find a new audience to distribute their works.
I received several submissions for the magazine, while most were great stories, it was not quite what I was looking for. I wasn’t sure how to proceed with the project, so I set it aside for awhile with the intent to pick it back up once I figured out how to move forward with the idea. After a lengthy time thinking about this project, I have decided to split the magazine (at least for the time being) into two separate, yet related publishings: Coffeehouse Stories and Coffeehouse Writers.
The Coffeehouse Writers will be a regularly published zine with advice for new and seasoned writers. Featuring articles about how writers got their start and what has worked for them in regards to schedules, marketing, platforms, or audience growth. The publish date is to be determined.
The Coffeehouse Stories will feature short stories, serial fiction, poetry, and other works of fiction. This publication is designed to broaden writers audience and introduce readers to new talent. I decided to start by publishing a mini zine for the stories submitted from the original call for submission last year. This zine will be available soon and will feature stories from Paul Magnan, Nikki Crutchley, Christopher Mahan, Jo Carson-Barr, Francis Franklin and Sarah Northwood.
The first official issue of The Coffeehouse Stories will be available this summer. This issue is now open for submissions with the theme of Summer. All submissions must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 05/31/2017. An author bio must accompany all submissions. Selected contributors will receive a free contributor issue of the zine and retain copyrights to his or her work. I look forward to reading your stories!
This past December, I quietly published The Sun Rises: Using Nature as a Foundation for Happy Living, my first non-fiction book. The idea came to me after several people had commented on how inspiring my photos and messages were. So, I decided to make a photo book of inspiration.
At first, the it seemed impossible to write. I picked out images I liked, enjoyed, or found inspiring myself, but I just couldn’t come up with anything to say about those images that didn’t seem ridiculous. To conquer this writing problem, I started writing in journal style why I wanted to write the book and what was holding me back. I discovered my biggest issue was I didn’t feel inspiring or knowledgeable enough to write the book.
After that realization, I decided to change the premise of the book and make it about what I do maintain my positive attitude including meditations, thought exercises, my inner thoughts and photography. Once I got over my fears, by rethinking the project and making it manageable, it became a very enjoyable book to write. I wrote most of the book in journal form while I was outside daydreaming. I am looking forward to writing my next short non-fiction this year. I’m still in the brainstorming the theme for the next book, but I will start working on it soon.
Please check out the video Zee Southcombe posted on YouTube about the book (below) and her posts. The Sun Rises is currently only available in print, I hope to have a digital version available by late spring. You can purchase a The Sun Rises from Amazon for $13.00 or on the Store page on this website for $12.00.
This past year seemed like a non-stop roller coaster. Very few things went as planned, and the year just seemed to zip past along with any plans I had made. Reverie didn’t get written or published, the Zine plans were dropped like a brick, my blogging schedule went to hell, and instead of adopting a workout routine I tossed fitness right out the window.
But, I’m not one to dwell on things that went wrong. So, what went right in 2016? I did a lot of soul searching. I discovered a direction for my creative works and resolved to make some changes. I published The Sun Rises: Using Nature as a Foundation for Happy Living. I was amazed at how much fun writing that small 60 page non-fiction book was. I’m looking forward to writing more in the future.
Onward and upward to 2017.
Each year I develop a theme or focus for the year. Last year was Organization. I’m not sure I succeed at that one, but in a way I did. I spent the past year focus on what I needed to do to organize my life, even though no actual organization happened. So, what do I plan on focusing on in 2017?
Patience, Understanding, and Flexibility
If 2016 taught me anything, it was to roll with the punches. I have always prided myself on being adaptable, but sometimes I’m still too hard on myself and forget I need time out to relax and recover as well. I have a hard time remembering my time is limited and I can’t always get everything done (it’s not always a time management issue, sometimes it’s actually a time issue).
My broad goals for 2017:
- Write more frequently – try to set aside 30 minutes twice a week to focus solely on writing
- Plan a new photo inspired book
- Reorganize and relaunch the Zine projects
- Pick up a couple clients to beta test creative business coaching
- Branch out in my creative endeavors
- Try hand at visual arts outside of photography