Posts tagged cascadia
Independent Publishing Frustrations + Successes

Well, we got sidetracked. Diverted. There was a fork in the road and we took it. We’re writing this from Fes, Morocco. Currently, we are thinking back on the processs of building issue no. 1, Cascadia, while compiling issue no. 2, Tallinn, and taking a quick break (the diversion) from our time in Andalucía (issue no. 3). What we want to discuss in this post is some of our very real struggles with the creation of the the first issue, and how we’d like to improve and facilitate the development of future issues. The creation of any new thing is bound to be fraught with unexpected challenges and hindrances, some disappointments and frustrations, but also pleasant surprises and impromptu successes. 

+ Our mission, and its statement:

Our mission statement is intentionally vague, as is our call for submissions. We aim for Calliope to be a piece of art to cherish. A tactile pleasure to hold (we love fine paper) - while both visually and intellectually stimulating. Candy for both eye and brain. Able to arouse discussions among intelligentsia, look good on a coffee table, and perk the imaginations of even the most casual of toilet-seat browsers. We hope to satisfy both the pretentious dilettante and shallow debutante simultaneously. All while recognizing, of course, that we cannot be everything to everyone. It is woefully ambitious, yet makes the commonest of sense.

+ On gathering contributions:

One of the reasons we chose to start with an issue based in Cascadia was because we thought, knowing creative people like we do, that collecting submissions would be simple. That struggling and not-so-struggling artist friends would jump at the chance to get published in a quality print publication with an international outlook, and get a little money as well. Oddly, as it turns out, we were not overwhelmed with submissions despite many of our friends saying “Oh great! Yes! I’ll contribute!" Friends will be flakier than professionals, no matter how talented. While in Tallinn, we placed our call for submissions all over the city, took down names at galleries, contacted writers directly, and, in short, tried to create a ‘buzz’ in the city's creative spaces. This approach seems to have worked, as we’ve had very little trouble gathering contributions (early even!), and are more than happy with the results. Also, being a tight community, most everyone we contacted also recommended other people we should reach out to. (We are still taking submissions for issue no. 2 - Tallinn until 21 May.)

+ On printing + shipping:

Delivery of our first issue to the U.S. is approximately four weeks late due to complications during our first print run and shipping experience. In pre-press, our final files had formatting issues that had to be addressed multiple times between waiting in the queue. Printing was then delayed when we realized that our U.S. bank did not allow international wire transfers. Once issue no. 1 was finally in production * sigh of relief *, we were only a few days out from our pre-announced release date. 

Of our total print run, we sent half of a pallet back to the states, while retaining four (very heavy, mind you) boxes with us for European distribution.  Our printer set up the shipment back to the states and just when we thought they had been delivered into Seattle, we received notice that the transportation company hadn’t even picked them up from our printer in Tallinn. The story then goes on, to the shipment getting stuck in customs and awaiting customs payment and clearance.

The magazines will finally find their way to our home office in Port Townsend, WA this coming Monday! Orders that have been placed with us will finally be shipped out to their new homes. (For all who have ordered and supported us, we are ever so grateful for your patience). 

+ On issue no. 1:

We are very happy and proud of our first issue. Of course, there are things that we wish to do differently in regards to our personal contributions to the magazine and the process itself. We would have liked to have a variety of written content, some journalistic, some more abstract, strange, creative writing pieces. Cascadia has been our home, so it’s more challenging to be objective. Our focus has been more  on the bioregion and the invoked moods. Of course it was incomplete - we didn’t cover music, local cuisine, didn’t include much about Portland or Oregon in general, and included very little history.

Is the pricing fair? While we are a high quality print publication operating on a budget, we want to remain accessible to everyone. Many of the new, fancy quarterlies are charging $15-$30 per issue. They are depicting themselves as luxury objects for international, well-read, and travelled elite. Where do we fit in?

+ Looking forward:

We will be defining more pointedly who we are. We are location-based, but we are not a travel magazine - you won’t find in our pages recommended places to stay, dine, or shop. We want it to be a bit weirder, a bit more “what the hell is this thing?” than “oh, this is nice”. We’re determined to get that reality-warping, transformative sense of “huh?” in subsequent issues. 

Selected Bibliography [Cascadia Edition]

Our personal, selected bibliography of Cascadia. It is as much a thank you note as a list of recommendations. You'll see that it contains no books.

Kept Us Knowledgable:
+ The Dirt Rich School at Compass Rose Farms - run by a goddess gardener, teacher, and mentor, Compass Rose offers the opportunity to earn a permaculture design certificate, intern, volunteer, care for animals, garden, and live in the forest. We can attribute CR as the reason Calliope exists. Lauren moved to Washington for six months of volunteer work and permaculture teachings at Compass Rose. The end result? Meeting Matt + starting Calliope. 

+ Jefferson Clemente Course in Humanities - provides humanities education to individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford it.

+ Legalize Survival - human rights movement based out of Eugene, OR that is fighting for the decriminalization of homeless existence in public.

Kept Us Sustainable:
+ Organic Seed Alliance - "leading education, research, and advocacy to advance organic seed."

+ Jefferson Land Trust - jefferson county conservation organization that aims to protect land and habitats.

+ Wild Olympics Campaign - protecting the wild land of the olympic peninsula.

Kept Us Caffeinated:
+ Better Living Through Coffee - many coffees were put into our mouths here.

Kept Us Grooving:
+ KEXP Seattle - one of the best radio stations, worldwide streaming at

+ Capitol Hill Block Party - 3 day summer festival. Rad tunes and grooves in central Seattle. 

Kept Us Social:
+ Cellar Door - our go-to space for nights out. Typically showcasing stellar (lots of local) musicians, dance parties, otherworldly conversations on the back patio, photo booth sessions, and craft cocktails. Always familiar faces.

+ Finnriver Farm + Cidery - beautiful outdoor summertime social scene located on a farm with orchards, sheep, and geese. A place to drink, eat, dance, and play.

Kept Us Inspired:
+ TK Artist Lofts - apartments in Seattle that house artists. We made connections with many superb artists, a number of them are featured in Issue No. 1 - Cascadia.

+ Thuja - a curated lifestyle shop in the heart of historic Port Townsend, WA. Run by a bad-ass husband and wife team, Thuja carries beautiful handmade, small-batch, and selected vintage items, many of them locally-made. 

Kept Us Working:
+ Washington State Library Olympia - spent a glorious day here working on issue no. 1 + pretending that we were state workers.

+ Seattle Central Library - futuristic multimedia public space with BOOKS and a confusing/never-ending red hallway.

Kept Us Exploring:
+ Washington State Parks - waterfalls, mountains, trees, beaches, moss, coastline, trees, trails, mountains, beaches, rivers, mountains, trees, logs, moss, rocks, etc.

+ Washington State Ferries - these puppies got us from A to B with great ease. The most extensive ferry system in the world.

Kept Us Fed:
+ Port Townsend Food Co-op - self-explanatory. We procured every one of our grocery hauls from the PT Co-op. Holla!




Happy Day of Publish

Happy Birthday Calliope! With any big project, comes unexpected delays. In working with our printer and analyzing Calliope in prepress, we ran into a few slight difficulties that needed adjustment, along with international banking complications. But guess what, IT'S ALL GOOD. We have now passed the prepress phase and our beautiful publication is currently in production. We know, we know - today was Calliope's official due date, but she wished to stay in utero for just a few days longer than expected.

You'll now find Calliope - Cascadia spinning into real tangibility on 27 March 2018. The anticipation is REAL. You can preorder here.

Honestly, perfect planning isn't reality in this bizarre world. Talk to you soon. :-)

- L + M

Cascadia Playlist

What's good, friends! To partner with our coming issue release, here are some tracks from artists specific to the Cascadia region. These tracks have helped to keep us alive (along with copious quantities of coffee) as we've been working through our creative process. There are some expected names here (Odesza, Shabazz Palaces, Manatee Commune), but also several lesser-known (as of yet) artists which we’d like to share with you.

Enjoy - please & thank you.

- L + M