I Am a Magazine Gal

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            I am adapting to the writing style of blogging.  Since starting my blog, I have studied it as a writing genre.  I like some of it, but I find a lot of it falls short as completed pieces of writing.  Not that mine always is either.  Obviously, the problem isn’t actually the writing of the bloggers, it is that I have the incorrect expectation.  I am a student of the magazine.  In my adult life, magazines have had a profoundly formative affect on my life and lifestyle.  I should have some type of degree or at least a certificate of participation from a publishing company so systematic and thorough has been my study. 
            I am at Charles de Gaulle airport on my way home to Tunis and I saw a woman just flipping through a magazine, hardly taking time to even register a photo and certainly not reading any text.  I was a little shocked; I truly couldn’t imagine doing such a thing.  I READ magazines.  I read them cover-to-cover, including the advertisements, which feed into the concept of the publication.  I read them and then I save them and I have renovated and decorated many homes and designed carpets and furniture from the pages I have dog-eared along the way.  When I am moved by the photos or descriptions of a room or even a recipe, I want to make my life not just look, but feel the same way.  I don’t want to only make the recipe; I want to make it in a kitchen that has a similar feel to the one in the photo shoot, so I work to transform my living space similarly. 
When three of my dearest magazines went out of publication last year:  Gourmet, Metropolitan Home, and Western Interiors, it really did leave a hole in my life.  Just months later, I moved to Tunis where I can’t buy English literature and don’t have a means of importing foreign goods so I have really weaned myself from my small addiction to print stimuli.  I am doing more visual exploration, from my own perspective, with my camera and attempting to write about the small ideas I am moved by.  I am also reading magazine websites, but they aren’t the same.  I can get an “idea” from a website, but I can’t get the mood. 
When you make a big move, like from Nepal to Tunisia, you go through all of your belongings and make excruciating decisions about what is important enough to you to pay to ship to your new home and what you can be finished with and leave behind.  I went through my entire magazine collection, every page of every magazine, about 15 years worth.  I didn’t take this decision frivolously.    I could remember exactly where I had been living, and how old I was, and how old my children were when I had first studied the various spreads of rooms or pieces of furniture that I tried to imitate or incorporate in our home.  I have Martha Stewart’s inaugural edition and the final copies of both Gourmet and Metropolitan Home.  I decided I couldn’t be without this collection because I continue to need those references and so they came with me and I am glad to have them. 
            The editors of my favorite magazines have become like older sisters or aunts to me: Ruth Reichl, Donna Warner, and I would be dishonest if I didn’t give tons of credit to Martha Stewart.  I have evolved my own life beyond Martha, but she introduced me to a new world. As these editors focused on a theme for the monthly publication, they also integrated personal stories and anecdotes so I learned content from the magazine and gained insights into their lives, simultaneously. 
                 I know that this is the model I am following with my blog.  I am actually writing a five paragraph Editor’s Page with each entry and I like changing the title photo as if creating a fresh magazine cover.  I am aware that I am doing this, but for now, I like it; it feels good and familiar to me and maybe I’ve always wanted to give it a try.  Eventually, I might become an actual blogger, but for now, I am Editor in Chief. 
            I’ve got a couple of hours till my flight and the bookstore had a treasured American publication and so for awhile, nothing else exists.

3 thoughts on “I Am a Magazine Gal

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