Thoughts on the 10-15 Panhandle Focus…

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 11.05.41 PMI just finished the fifth issue of the Panhandle Focus and it will be up on the website at some point today. This is the best issue yet.

The first papers were hurried affairs as I tried to adjust myself to the craziness I had started. I had new email to check while my personal email is usually more than enough to manage alone.

I started the paper and my once-a-month story publishing schedule at the same time. I fought with myself and my computer until I figured out how to publish the Square² paperbacks and lay out a design for the Focus.

During this time I managed to attend most of the local poetry slams, jams and a good deal of other events (Crestview Library, I will be there one day soon!) and work a new job. I have a patient family that I tried not to ignore too much and a dog who did miss a few walks—but never more then two a week.

It was a solo adventure in the beginning, but a solid team has been building steadily around this publication with every issue. The support from readers and the community has been far beyond what I had hoped for. I have been awed by the kindness and patience extended to me on this project, and the past few months.

I won’t lie. Most of the time I was afraid all of this was going to swamp me. Where I once felt calm and confident, the past few months have left me feeling flustered. I’ve missed a few appointments, been late to more than I’d like to admit and in general, have gone insane.

As I adjust, organize and prioritize I feel like this careening train is starting to stick to the track and move smoother. The core team that has formed around the Focus has been patient, kind and forgiving. Their support has has made the difference between collapse and progress. Thank you, you are appreciated.

There are four more issues for this year and I look forward to seeing the Panhandle Focus move from being the small paper it is now to being a genuine asset to our community. It’s a publication all about the good stuff we do—celebrating our creative endeavors, our giving spirits and our adventurous natures.

It’s October, the month for being spooked, and I find myself for the first time since I began this, not afraid. Looking forward!

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit SpaceandTimeMagazine.com or AngelaYSmith.com.
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