Monday, March 29, 2010

Life To-Do List

It's time for us to hear from YOU. Do you have a Life To-Do List - otherwise known as a "bucket list?" Are there things you want to accomplish or experience in your life? I've thought quite a bit about this, and realize that my own list has two problems: it's vague, and focuses on what is known as the "tyranny of the urgent." I'll give you two examples. Traveling is on my Life To-Do List, but I haven't quite narrowed it down to an exact location. My life is so hectic at the moment that I'm anything but particular about travel destinations. I told someone yesterday that I'd take a weekend in the woods with a tent if I could just wrestle myself away from the constant obligations that keep me here. But I'm determined to get more specific with the list, choose some places, and start planning. The other problem with my list: I've included things that "must" be done. My list includes, "finish graduate school." Since I'm already two semesters in, that should be a given. It's a bit like filling a daily to-do list with entries like "brush teeth" and "feed dog." A Life To-Do List should force us to look past the moment, and dream about something outside of the urgency of everyday life. What are your deep-down desires? Where do you long to go? Whose life do you want to influence? How can you make the world a better place? This is an opportunity to make a list of what you want to do, rather than scribble yet another list of what you need to do. I like that idea.

I'm curious about your list. Or maybe just nosy. But at Mia, we believe that when we share our stories - even the small stories - we gain strength for our own journey. Is an entry on your Life To-Do List a story? I believe it is. Here is what we would love to receive from you: tell us one thing that is on your Life To-Do List, and why it is important to you. You don't have to write much - only 50-100 words. We'd like to publish a collection of these small stories in the Summer issue of Mia. You can send yours to In the meantime, if I can find that tent and scout out a place in the woods, I'm going to work on my own list. I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What We Believe In

We've been asked several times, "Why did you decide to start a magazine when there are so many out there?" We've also been asked, "Why start a print magazine? Why not an online magazine?" Here are our answers:

Everyone loves a good story, and that's what we publish. That's ALL we publish. We believe in the power of stories. Journalist Alex Tizon says this: "Stories give shape to experience and allow us to go through life unblind. Without them, everything that happens would float around, undifferentiated. None of it would mean anything. Once you have a version of what happened, all the other good stuff about being human comes into play." When we share our lives with one another, it makes us feel more human - more connected. We're all longing for stories that help give meaning and perspective to our own experiences, and each issue of Mia introduces you to women who tell these kinds of stories. So that's why we started this magazine, even though there are many magazines out there to choose from. We believe in storytelling.

Why a print publication? We don't deny the lure of the Internet, and we love having a complementary website where the magazine is uploaded in its entirety. But we also love holding our magazine and looking closely at the beautiful photography. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing our work come to life when its delivered from the printer and we open it for the first time, then seeing the faces of women we hand the magazine to as they open it for themselves. There is something about reading a publication that you can hold in your hands. That's why we started a print magazine, and that's why we'll continue to publish it. We believe in print media.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dreams Do Come True

It was about a year ago that four of us sat at Juli's lake cabin and envisioned a magazine for women that was unlike anything we had seen. We agreed that the checkout stands were filled with magazines that told women what to wear, what to eat, how to decorate, how to please men - or how to snag one. We wanted to offer a magazine that didn't tell women what they should be doing, but instead let the voices of women be heard through the art of storytelling. The magazine we were dreaming about could be a conduit of encouragement, healing, hope and community. When a woman picked up our magazine and began reading, we wanted her to feel like she was sitting around a table listening to the stories of other women, and finding the strength and courage to tell her own. We agreed that the big issues of life can often be most clearly seen through the seemingly small stories that we share together. Life has a way of coming into focus when we listen to the experiences of others, and then add our own to the mix. We believe that every woman has a story, so we knew there would be no shortage of content. It's been one year, four issues, and 47 stories later. Everything that we envisioned has come together in Mia magazine, and the positive response has been overwhelming. It has proven to us that stories - and the sharing of those stories - is good, and necessary.

We are hard at work on the Summer 2010 issue. It seems like not so long ago that we were at the cabin, dreaming and brainstorming and thinking about the stories we could share through our magazine. And now here we are preparing to publish our fifth issue of Mia. Yes, dreams really do come true. We're glad you're along for the ride!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our Newest Team Member

Michelle Presley is our new Advertising Director. Welcome aboard Michelle! Advertising is such an important part of Mia magazine. We do not publish advertorials or self-promotional articles about products or businesses. We depend on paid advertising to make the publication of Mia possible. We're adamant about this, and so we treat our advertisers very well. Michelle is such an important part of our team because she has direct communication with our advertisers - first and foremost sharing with them why their presence in Mia is a huge benefit to their business. Then she makes certain that they are taken care of all along the way, from the signing of the contract to the final product. Now that she is part of the Mia team, we're wondering how we were able to live without her! We know our advertisers are in good hands, and that makes us breathe a little easier. Thanks Michelle!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

International Women's Day Fair: We're There!

Mia magazine was invited to participate in the International Women's Day Fair held at TCC South on Tuesday. The fair was organized and sponsored by Phoebe Baker's Women's Studies class (an amazing group of women, and one brave man.) The purpose was to highlight International Women's Day, and to offer the women at TCC a look at the many and varied services, organizations, businesses and groups that are geared toward them. We were honored to be there, and were thrilled to hand out over 150 magazines. More importantly, we met and talked with many women with incredible stories to share. This is our FAVORITE thing to do! There are so many courageous, determined, creative, smart women who walk through the doors of Tulsa Community College, and we were privileged to meet a few of them. And we learned some things as well:

70% of those living in poverty are women.
80% of the world's refugees and displaced persons are women and girls.
70% of the illiterate people in the world are women.
Each year of school can boost the future earnings of a girl by 10%.
Women produce 50% of the world's food and own 1% of the earth's land.
Women do 2/3 of the work in the world and earn 10% of the pay.

Amazing statistics. Mia magazine loves to highlight women who have overcome, and are living life fully, deeply, and with creative purpose. Thanks for letting us join in on a wonderful event.