I received a phone call last week that brought tears to my eyes. The kind of tears that welled in my eyes twelve years past, when I got my first official check for a piece of work I’d written. I’d been working in the world of marketing, and been paid for newsletter content, copy-writing and the like – but when I held that first check in my hand, standing on the stoop of my apartment building with the bank of mailboxes behind me… I touched the publisher’s name on the stub and I nearly cried.

My first business card

I remember feeling as though my heart might pound right out of my chest. For weeks I poured everything I had into writing that article. And when she emailed again asking for my photo and bio to use on the Contributors page, I literally jumped out of my chair and screamed. Which, incidentally, was rather disruptive to the office full of marketing wizards with whom I worked at the time. But they were – and are still – wonderful people. They forgave me. And celebrated with me.

It happened again at my sun-soaked desk in my very first house, when I sent an email pitching a profile piece to Black Hills FACES magazine and Editor-In-Chief Beth Palmer replied; she was willing to take a look at my writing. The editor of one of South Dakota’s most loved and widely recognized magazines was going to consider my work for her magazine! Not just a marketing blurb, but a long-form, impassioned, piece on a person I knew and appreciated in my community. I might truly be a writer. An actual, paid, writer.

Last week, a writer contacted me about writing for my new magazine project; Melange. When I read her email using almost the same verbiage I had used reaching out to the editor of FACES all those years ago, I realized that I was now in a position to make those same dreams come true. And the tears came again.

Since the dawn of this idea, together with my dear friend and incredible designer friend, the passion of this project has stemmed from the idea of community building… the ways in which we can celebrate each other, and our magical little corner of the world, connecting through art, and food and that spirit of adventure that lives in all of us. But I hadn’t thought about what it might mean to other writers, other photographers, other impassioned creators of community.

My new business card

I’m honored. And thrilled. And terrified. And oh-so-excited.

Thank you, the Black Hills for all you’ve inspired and given me, and all that I’ll be able to share.

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