Positive in the Negative

It feels like it’s been a while since I last wrote.  Has it been that long?

McKraft’s Literary Magazine is still a working progress.  I was able to finally connect my cover art to the magazine content in order to send it digitally as a single link.  I’m pretty happy about that.  I also decided that due to printing cost being too pricey for my purse, I’m keeping it digital.  It’s cheaper, it’s smarter, and using color doesn’t cost.  I want to make the magazine available in print as well as digital, but that’s down the road a ways.

Last week I was dealing with my daughter’s school.  An RTI meeting.  Georgia Cyber Academy is an awesome school, and it’s really changed our lives for the better, but some of their staff are almost ‘pushy’.  I’ve dealt with a few staff members, who I swear, they spoke as if they were more concerned for my daughter receiving the proper education than I am.  I know they mean well, but I’m not some parent who sees education and schooling as a daytime sitter.  The teachers teach the courses, I sit in to refresh my knowledge of the course, and then I teach her the homework.

I’m working on rewriting what I thought were previously completed, well-written stories.  It turns out they weren’t.  They were nice attempts at first, maybe, possibly second drafts.  In rewriting them, I’ve realized something spectacular… I’M IMPROVING!  When you let go of the negative, and see the positive in every rough situation, things are bound to improve.  Whether things improve in your life, at work, in writing, where ever… it’s good.

Yesterday I took an even bigger step in my writing.  I started a gofundme page for the magazine.  Here is where you can donate and receive your own digital copy of McKraft’s.

gofundme.com/mckraftsliterarymagazine

I create the cover art for every issue.  The playful additives, like my #hashtagable calendar, word of the month (some words are made up), and a page of ‘fun facts’.  Every issue includes a recipe, a nonfiction short story, and a chapter of fiction.  This month we debuted my husband’s unsuccessful published book.  Read chapter one of Elemental Magic; Sorceress of Shadows by making a donation.  I send you the link.

I promise you, my magazine is at least fun to look through!

Moving Forward

I’ve spent the last few weeks cleaning and organizing my home office because, well, I needed to.  I needed to get myself completely on track which is why I wrote an itinerary.  Instead of working on a 4-burner stove, I’ve got 6-8 burners going, or it seems like that at times.  Keeping lists has improved my organization skills and switching to a 4-color Bic pen made a difference.  When I organize, I really organize!  Call me OCD.  I promise, it won’t hurt my feelings.  Plus, you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes to merely ‘dress the part’ for your business because it’s made a big difference for me.  When I’m writing, or creating the month’s magazine, or even sitting through online Class Connect with my daughter as her Learning Coach, I may be doing all of these things at home, but I like ‘looking the part’; dressing for the office.  It’s a self-motivator; to take myself serious.

We went back to school this week.  It’s a blessing because I’m able to watch my daughter educationally grow in online school, but it also means summer is officially over.  This year is her last year in middle school, so it’ll be a little bittersweet, but like every year before, I’ll have fond memories to reminisce on and write about in my memoir series.

Speaking of going back to school, I’ve started using social media to converse with other parents and Learning Coaches affiliated with Georgia Cyber Academy through a closed Facebook group.  Maybe, as the year progresses on, I can introduce my magazine.  Maybe they’ll sponsor our magazine!  I don’t know how exactly it works, but I won’t know unless I inquire; and research.

I noticed, I’m growing as a writer.  I’m busting through that final brick wall of self-doubt, allowing myself to write with a creativity that scares me.  I was writing a nonfiction piece for the August issue of McKraft’s Literary Magazine, about school cafeteria food.  I wound up titling it Smells Like School-Made Spaghetti.  The way I described some of the foods I wrote about, not only did I laugh at my own descriptive writing uncontrollably, but I also hesitated because I worried my descriptive writing would offend a reader, or readers.  My hubby is a big help in that area because he does all my proofreading.  We make the perfect team because of this.  He proofs my writing and I proof his.

As for my magazine; we’re still creating it, and it’s building per monthly issue.  I’m no longer printing them out because cost became entirely too much for our extremely limited budget, but I think I prefer going digital where this is concerned.  The cost comparison is definitely persuadable.  The August issue of McKraft’s Literary Magazine I created as I said before with ‘Back to School” in mind.  From my nonfiction piece about school food in the 90’s, my daughter’s essay about her love for GCA, to the cover art done entirely by me. I also included a very simple recipe for manipulatable no-bake cheesecake that makes for a nice slice of tasty, sweet after-school snack.  Yum!

Since creating a working itinerary, my manuscript is beginning to come along again.  Slowly build.  I just finished writing a story piece about my experience on September 11, 2001 for our upcoming issue of McKraft’s.  When I originally wrote the story, I was writing to submit it to Chicken Soup for the Soul- Spirit of America.  No success.  I thought about it again while brainstorming a theme for September, so I grabbed it up and rewrote it.  It’s going in our September issue of McKraft’s, but I’m also including it in my manuscript.  I’m pretty proud of my rewrite.

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Beyond My Comfort Zone

I took a huge step earlier this week; made a move very similar to applying for a job.  I sent a proposal letter to Mrs. Ainsley Earhardt of Fox & Friends with a copy of each magazine issue we printed–May, June, and July.

When did I gain the nerve to make such a bold move?  Well, it was a bold move to me; compared to others–not so much.  However, you must understand the amount of discouragement I’ve listened to through the years.  Said by people I thought were my friends.  Friends are supportive, these people were not.  It has taken a significant amount of effort to get over them and move on.

I truly believe in my magazine as I’ve never felt this sure of any project idea I’ve ever had.  I know that by sending my work to Ainsley (or anyone at Fox), I’m taking a chance, a risk, that she’ll share it on live national television.  It’s both scary and exciting to consider, but I also know there’s a heartbreaking chance Ainsley won’t be phased at all by my magazines.  The truth is, my heart knows what it wants; to see my creation on television so millions of others can see it.  As the founder and creator of McKraft’s Literary Magazine, I am an entrepreneur with a skilled talent to share with the world.  I want it to work for me and my family.

I’ve learned in life not to get my hopes up, nor cross my fingers for good luck.  It’s childish encouragement.  I thought about our odds the other night while I was watching a movie with my hubby and concluded that I deserve this.  I’ve done all the work to obtain the skills to write and create our magazine.  I took English and layout design in high school working on the yearbook, then I went to college for English and Literature, and to be a writer.  I’ve lived a life full of experiences to write about, and hubby and I want to travel and see Americana.  That’s something else to write about, and who doesn’t want to read about experiences if not to be inspired?

The best place to begin our writing is in our own McKraft’s Literary Magazine!

I’m currently working on our August issue with a cover design theme ‘Back to School’.

Discouragement and Persistence in a Literary World

It is so hard to concentrate and get things done at the office when your entire body feels like ‘poo’.

I’ve also felt a little discouraged because my literary magazine isn’t kicking off the way I thought it would.  The reality is that I’m not doing my research and reaching out to the right places to show off my creativity.  So, both yesterday and the day before, I did do some reaching out to a couple of places, mainly libraries and ‘mom and pop’ bookstores, but I haven’t yet heard back from any of them.  That’s the hardest part of being a writer, having enough patience to play the waiting game.

On a more positive note, I can finally share our company logo since I finished coloring it in.  I still think the pink needs to be a shade darker, but this is only the beginning.  20180620_090103

For the rest of the week, I’ll be putting as much time and energy into finishing up our July issue.  Then come July, I’ll have copies of May, June, and July’s magazine issues available for purchase.

I believe in this magazine and I want to see it succeed.  If I didn’t, I would have stopped after May, but I didn’t.  I continued on, creating a magazine issue for June, and now July.  I’m going to keep creating them because it’s something I love to do, and one day it’ll happen.  One day they will sell.  Until then, persistence and patience is the key.

Milestone Testing, Magazines, and Talladega

Last week was the epitome of busy!  It kicked off with Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday testing, in-town, onsite, for GCA Middle School students.  For three days, my husband and I were driving our daughter into town, hanging out in a huge college auditorium while she completed her Georgia Milestone testing.  Two to three hours a day.  By Wednesday, we were more than ready for it all to be over.  I got a lot of reading done, finishing one book and beginning another.  I also used the time to color in my sketch for our magazine cover.

After milestone testing ended, our magazine deadline jumped into full gear.  We needed to have our first issue of McKraft’s Literary Magazine ready to print before our end of the week event.  Talladega! The good news is we made the deadline and the magazine looks great for a first edition made from nothing more than an idea and some basic materials.  Arthur Ashe says, “Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.”  Well, I took it literally for a change.  There is no bad news.

Sunday, I spent the day in beautiful, sunny, 70-80 degree weather in Talladega, Alabama at the race watching the Geico500.  I encountered several interesting characters.  I shook hands and thanked a retired U.S Army Veteran, I was approached by a couple of drunk people complimenting my western hat who then made a show of trying to kick each other in the butt, and I met a young lady in college to be an elementary teacher.  She was having car trouble and her boyfriend was drunk because he was at the race.  She was his designated driver, but then her car died, in the parking lot.  I met her after the race when she approached me needing to use my phone.  I didn’t even give it another thought.  She was having major car trouble, her phone was dead, her car was dead, and she needed to call her mother.  She was such a sweet girl, and her mother just as sweet.  I didn’t meet her mother, but she thanked me and my group for helping her daughter in a text message after we’d left.

Joey Logano won the race!  I don’t personally root for him, but I loved the victory burnout he did in his car after taking his full victory lap around the track after crossing the finish line.  This year was my first experience seeing a burnout in person because the two years before, my group was seated either in the Anniston section, or the Lincoln section.  This year we sat in the Talladega section.  The only downside was the one and only wreck that wasn’t on the backstretch happened right in front of Anniston and Lincoln.  Go figure.

Finally, I mentioned before that we completed our first issue of McKraft’s Literary Magazine.  Copies are available upon request for $5.  Message me for more information on how to get your copy!

Thanks for reading!20180502_110204