A surprising number of times, writers have said to me, “work your magic,” and it always takes me to the memory of a coffee mug that I received as an office party gift some twenty-ish years ago. On the mug were lines of quotes, and I’ll never forget one in particular:
“Do what you love.” –Anonymous
I vowed to do just that to the best of my ability for the rest of my life.
Many years later and beyond employment, the household cash stash had dissipated and we (two bright but mildly dysfunctional creative types) were in need of maintaining basic necessities somehow. At some point I opened a book of quotes to a random page and read a quote by Aristotle:
“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, therein lies your vocation.”
I enjoy weaving magic into my existence and assuming a higher sense of purpose, so I took it as a guiding message. I decided to grow Middle Island Press which combines my inherited meticulous craft skills, an uncanny eye for spotting things that are “out of place,” and learned visual-spatial experience. It weaves these gifts with my love of poetry and my anti-tech love of books in hard-copy so I can turn pages and rest my eyes as I read.
Indeed, I understand why people choose the word “magic” in summing my craft of chapbook design and presentation. It is because I do it with my whole heart (in part because I am dealing with the hearts of others through their poetry). Many people believe that business and emotion should not commingle, and I understand, but I “do business” with my heart and it has spoken of its effectiveness in little luxuries not afforded in a few years until recently, so…
I again extend my heartfelt gratitude to the ambitious writers who have allowed me to create a vocation of “doing what I love,” and who have also allowed me to upgrade my coffee back to the original Starbucks in time for my 40th birthday.
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