Given that the Governor declared a public health emergency and the ASD suspended schools for the next week in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Jordan and I have made some amendments as well. We posted a video on instagram explaining that we are going to take these uncertain times week by week. This means that we may not publish issue 5 this spring, as planned. Although, printing the magazine is not completely off the table yet, we want to be flexible and sensitive of what we are all facing.
Everyone is under extra stress of figuring out work schedules, telecommuting, and childcare, and a submission deadline may be the furthest thing on your mind. But we also know how isolating this time will be, and we want to offer a space for us to come together in a time when we are not allowed to come together. Stories will be born out of the simple act of social distancing, and hearing how you are creatively facing the challenges that present themselves each day may be the balm we need to heal.
When we chose courage as the theme for issue 5, we had no idea that that we would contend with a pandemic, but now it seems like we could not have chosen a better word. We are opening our journal to post what you send our way (stories, drawings, paintings, photos of how and where you are finding courage) to become a respite from the impact the coronavirus is causing, and to remind ourselves of something that you continue to imprint in us every time we publish the magazine: we are not alone, we can do this together.
Issue 5 will publish if we have the necessary content to do it. In the meantime our site is open, our hearts are open. We want to hear from you.
There’s a distinct feeling of relief that comes after mailing pre-orders of a new issue of Wildheart. I watch the last one fall through the mail slot and, there, it’s out of my hands. After molding, shaping, editing, writing, organizing, reorganizing, emailing, coordinating, photographing, designing, discussing, proofing, redesigning, drinking coffee at 6am, and printing shipping labels at 10pm, it’s out of our hands.
When we started this journey, I knew it would be a lot of work…I just didn’t know what it would look like. It’s not constant. We have a few months of rest in between each issue, blessedly, but when it’s go-time, it’s pretty all-consuming for about two months. We work our day jobs, confer via text at night, meet for coffee early in the morning, and generally just fit it in where we can. A Sunday evening at Fernanda’s house here, a Wednesday morning at Rustic Goat there.
This issue, I spent a fair amount of time wondering if all of this extra work—this side hustle—is worth it. It would be much simpler to just come home from work and not have anything else going on, after all. These thoughts came after a long, hot, smoky summer. Was it exhausting for you too? I had lots of house guests, and work was crazy…and even though it feels like we should be tucking in for winter, the lack of snow and extreme darkness is disorienting. The usual organic cycle of tuning into rest hasn’t happened yet, just like the leaves took so much longer than normal to burst open this past spring. Things have felt a little…off.
And somehow, while I was having these thoughts, we made the issue that feels the “truest” yet. I’ve been saying this to people, but haven’t been quite sure what I mean by it. I’ll attempt to explain:
This issue required more of me than the others have—physically, mentally, and emotionally. It forced me to be extra creative when I didn’t feel I had any creativity in me at all. The written pieces we chose this time stirred my soul, and I took their words to heart. I placed more of myself around them. I don’t like the term “writers block,” but I was STRUGGLING to write a piece of my own this time. I knew I had something I needed to say—for me and for you—but it was buried deep and I couldn’t seem to access it. I started probably half a dozen different pieces, and none of them were what I needed to say.
It wasn’t until my friend Tanya looked at me and said something to the effect of, “We [Alaskans] need Wildheart. We look forward to it,” that I blinked out of my emotional tornado of working like crazy/not really sleeping/not really taking care of myself in general. (Did I mention that this issue’s theme is Wellness? Yeah, the irony is not lost on me.) I had been trying desperately to finish the magazine—the last 10% of anything seems to be the hardest—and it took that one moment, a day or two before I sent it to the printers, to snap out of it. It took that moment for the reason I’m doing this, for the words of our writers, to really sink in. I had appreciated their words, but I hadn’t absorbed them. It took until that moment for me to see the forest for the trees.
I’m doing this for you, but I’m also doing this for me. I need Wildheart too. It’s why I wanted to create it in the first place! I needed to be shaken awake and reminded to take care of myself (I think many of us need this reminder again and again and again). All of the stories in this issue are about the ways these Alaskan women have taken care of themselves, and they are so encouraging. They’re inspiring. They’re what I needed to read right now, and I didn’t even realize it.
We could not be more excited to see our work and yours in the first issue of the print magazine. The last six months have been a whirlwind of editing, designing, and creating a space that didn’t exist before–a space that we could not have brought to life without the support of this community.
From our contributors to our advertisers and stockists, Wildheart Magazine is a reality because you believe in us, and you put your trust in this community and what we can become. For this, we are sincerely grateful. Know that every word, photo, and design element was chosen carefully, stylistically, and personally with love.
Now for the fun part.
Wildheart Magazine is available for pre-order from now until Monday, June 18th. Those of you who pre-order will receive the magazine directly in your mailbox before it releases to the general public. Click here to pre-order the first issue.
The official release date is June 30th. On that date and beyond, you will be able to find Wildheart Magazine stocked around town at Second Run Consignment, Dos Manos Gallery, and AK Starfish Co.
Lastly, we want to hear from you! Don’t forget to tag us (@wildheartmagazine) in your photos and comments on Facebook and Instagram. Our hope is that you find yourself lost in the pages of Wildheart, that the words and the art in it resonate with you, and that in its stories you find a “me too.” This magazine is for you. Thank you for allowing us to bring it to life.
A quick note to keep you up to date on how the magazine is progressing. As of this week the majority of your submissions are edited and ready, we arranged their order, and Jordan is designing the layout. We should go to print by the end of May. It’s all so exciting!
I want to thank everyone who made a submission; you trusted us with your work and we do not take this lightly. Know that we put care, effort, and time not only in the process of making this dream real and tangible, but also in the details. From the fonts, the look, the content, to the feel the pages will have when the magazine is in your hands, it is all heart work.
This magazine would not be possible without our incredible advertisers. By placing an ad in Wildheart Magazine, these women operated businesses are not only casting a vote of confidence in us and our vision, but also in you.
We are currently looking for stockists in Anchorage. If you are interested in selling Wildheart Magazine in your store please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, a reminder that our advice column does not have a deadline for submissions. Your questions about human connections, creating community, friendships, and life in general are welcome any time at email@example.com.
Thank you for sticking with us this far. The inaugural issue of Wildheart Magazine is just around the corner.
Before Jordan and I ever thought about Wildheart as a print magazine, we talked over coffee about the stories that women carry with them and the power that those stories have when someone else hears them. Not just because in them we may find ourselves and the realization that we are not alone, but also because storytelling pushes the writer and the reader to step outside themselves and see things from a different point of view, to question the status quo. In doing so, they create connections and–even better–awareness of someone else’s reality.
The submissions we received for the upcoming summer issue are proof that you don’t have to be a professional writer to exercise the creative muscle within. Some of the stories did not fit in the issue’s themes, but we thought they still deserve a place where they can become catalysts for deeper thinking and radical feeling…so here we are!
This will be the place for you to engage with Wildheart content in between print issues. Think of it as your own, an online space to publish those pieces that are already written (whether on paper or in your head), learn something from your neighbors, and hopefully, have a good time all the while. This is your space.
Check back for our first journal post in the coming days. Thank you for your support this far, we are humbled and happy to be a part of your story.