Posted in Goals, The Coffeehouse

The Coffeehouse Magazine – Take Two

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 staleybooks@gmail.com 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!

 

Posted in Goals, The Writer

Have I lost my mind? Yes, yes I have

In the past month, I have started so many posts only to abandon them after the first paragraph.  It has been one of those rare events when I have been unable to translate my thoughts into words.  Or at least words that are worth reading.  It’s nearly as if once I start writing the ideas dry up and leave me with nothing to say.  And I feel like I have plenty to say, just no words to express my ideas.  I know it all sounds just plain crazy, which is why I opened this post by saying I have lost my mind.  Well that and for obvious other reasons.

So, as always, I’m way behind schedule.  I was hoping to have The Sun Rises published already, but it’s still sitting in the same form it was when I last spoke of it.  I have edits to make and formatting to change.  It’s just a matter of taking time to complete the project and stop procrastinating.  The new goal is to complete this book and all its glorious formatting issues by the end of the month so it will be available prior to Christmas.

While I haven’t been doing too much writing lately, I have been doing my fair share of planning and thinking.  The problem with thinking is you come up with marvelous ideas.  I feel like my plate is already pretty full with The Sun Rises, Reverie, school papers, and work, but I am now spending a time planning two new projects.  Some days, I wonder if I am too optimistic about how much I can get done, then I realize it’s all about steps towards goals and organization. [If you know me well, you know that last part is a hard task for me].

I realized early in the year, I was having a much easier time accomplishing my tasks and making time for me.  I was planning, tracking, and keeping an extremely loose schedule.  So, I have gone back to using my calendar and even ordered a new one that will help me track my progress a bit better.  I’ll let you know more about it once it arrives in the mail.

So you might be asking, why I am, a person who prides herself on her adaptability, worrying so much about getting organized?  Well, my current class right now is on general management principles following the planning, organizing, leading and controlling (P-O-L-C) framework.  Not to bore you with the academia side of this, we have been talking a lot about goals, objectives, missions, values, and leadership qualities.  I have been taking those business ideas and theories and applying them to what I want to do with life.

Combine the academia stuff with writing The Sun Rises and all the thinking I have been doing, and I came up with a wonderful new project.  I am working on developing a customer focused (individualized) mentoring, coaching, project management, and/or self-discovery program that I hope to be able to roll out first quarter next year.  This program will initially be geared towards writers (budget friendly) and eventually spread to others.  Right now, I have at least one interested person to help me beta-test this project, but I’ll keep all of you up to date with the progress we make.  I’m really enjoying researching for this project.

My other new project is I have agreed to become a contributor for a new website mytrendingstories.com  I am not sure if or how this will help grow my readership, but I thought – why not at least try writing some articles?  The only thing wasted (if it doesn’t work out) is my time.  But that’s not really wasted because it will be developing my skills.  In addition, you never know when a new opportunity could become the best decision you’ve made, unless you give it a try.  So, look forward to seeing some articles posted there pop up on my social media feeds.

I’ll leave you with a photo I took last Monday walking through Cool Creek Park.  Enjoy your days and take time out for yourself.

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Posted in Goals, The Writer

New Projects / Project Update

 

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It’s been a while since I have given you an update on my projects. Until I started listing them all out, I had no idea I had so many things going at once.

Reverie

Reverie is book 2 of the Malcolm Stone series and at this present moment I have written 20 chapters , sort of….  Since the USB drive is currently missing, I have started over.  As I stated in my last post, I have seven of the original chapters backed up.  However, due to the amount of frustration I am feeling over the lost chapters, I have started the book fresh.  So, currently we are back to the drawing board, so to speak, redrafting the book to be better than it was.

The Coffeehouse Magazine

Yet another project draft that was “lost”, but on the bright side the only thing lost on this project was the draft formatting of the zine.   I am currently working on an interview for the featured artist section of this issue, but otherwise we are on track for having the first issue published (in full color) by the end of the month.  The next issue shouldn’t take as long to produce, as I have a better idea of what it will take.

With that being said, I am looking for submissions for the next issue.  I am looking for journal type entries as always and for creative projects this issue will be themed around suspense, horror, and winter stories, poetry, art, etc.  Look forward to the submissions.

Writers’ Coffeehouse

I had talk about expanding the Google+ Writers’ Coffeehouse community to it’s own website for some time.  Last month, I finally got around to investigating forum websites to host the new and expanded community.  I finally found a free forum location and opened a Weebly website to host The Coffeehouse.  We are still very much in the infancy stages and the Google+ community is still active, but eventually I would like to see the new forum take shape and grow to a larger community of support than we currently have on Google+.

Please jump on over to the new forum at: http://writerscoffeehouse.freeforums.net/ and introduce yourself and start some conversations – ask any questions you’ve ever wanted to know.  This isn’t just a place for writers and artists, but also for our audience to ask us questions they may want to know.

The website, which is still being fine tuned, but will include articles and blog post of interest along with advertising upcoming and available creative works: http://writerscoffeehouse.weebly.com/   This website will soon be where you will be able to find more information about The Coffeehouse Magazine along with purchase copies or subscriptions.

Saturday Spotlight

I am really looking forward to getting this project off the ground.  I have somewhere around 10 interested writers or artists, but most are wanting some sort of interview, which should be fun, but I haven’t taken the time to customize interview questions for each one. Next week, I am on vacation from work so I hope to find some creative time to get this project organized and interview sent out.  Within the next couple weeks you should see the first Saturday Spotlight post.  I think this will be a fun way to feature other creative people and help spread the word about their works.

Becoming a Writer

This series of posts has actually be a lot more rewarding that I ever thought.  The feedback I have received on and off the blog for this series has blown me away.  I’m glad I am helping inspire and motivate people to create and follow their dreams. This is one of my favorite things about choosing this creative path, knowing that I am helping!  Those first few steps can be intimidating and it’s great to know someone is there to support you.  I plan to continue to run this series until the ideas run out.  So with that being said do you have any suggestions for post topics?

100 days project

This project was brought to my attention by ZR Southcombe (no surprises there).  The goal of the project is to participate in a simple creative project everyday for 100 days.  Day 1 is August 24 (registration to participate closes on August 20th).

I am doing a project on self exploration through journaling and photography.  I will attempt to cross post on twitter / facebook / instagram, but otherwise all 100 days will be available here: http://100daysproject.co.nz/projects/100-days-2016/amanda-staley

Depending on how the project evolves,  I plan to use the photos and journal entries and publish them into a book.  This will be similar in nature to the photo book / journal that I am currently working on.

Photo book/journal

This project is complicated, though not as complicated as I have been making it.  I have selected several photos I have taken over the years and now I am in the process of writing captions and narratives.  (No surprises this project was also on the USB drive).  With the 100 days project coming up that is similar in nature to this one, I have found new motivation to finish this one up quickly and get it ready to publish.  Essentially, I have decided to treat this book much like I treat my photo posts on instagram and combine some narrative journaling into it in hopes to inspire.

I am hoping to have this book published by the end of September.

Art / Painting

A few months ago, I picked up doodling.  I have never really explored visual arts outside of photography.  I have enjoyed the cathartic feel you get by putting a pen or paint brush to paper/canvas.  Recently, I have been thinking more about my own creativity in both written and visual forms.

I have a few ideas for paintings and doodles that I will be working on soon.  So look forward to seeing more posts on social media on my new found artistic side.

Imaginarium

This topic will soon be getting it’s own full post, but Imaginarium is a three day writing, film-making, gaming, music, graphic novel, etc conference in Louisville, Kentucky.  The conference is at the Crown Plaza Hotel on Oct 7-9 (registration is cheap $65 for the whole weekend!)  I will be there selling my book in the expo hall (which is free to the public).  So, if you happen to be in the area that weekend stop by and say hello.

And to top it off classes start at the end of the month!  I am going to be a busy fall, but I absolutely love that I have so many creative projects to look forward to.