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Letter from the Creator #1

Kathryn Jones
I took this photo of some of the wildflowers I saw in the Austin, Texas area when I was on vacation last week.

I am a big believer in matching energy. Especially when it comes to the Universe. If you have the guts to tell the Universe your greatest desires, and if you are willing to put yourself out there, it will have the audacity to answer you back. These last two months have been just that. I don’t know why I ever doubted. The ways in which my family and friends have shown up for the Elysian Stories are tremendous. My sister alone has carried our stories over the finish line every single week with magazine worthy images.  I have seen all of your views and read your comments. I have been overwhelmed with the support. What can I say? I have great friends. Launching the Elysian Stories has been a major affirmation that I am doing exactly what I should be in the moment. All those months of writing for other publications were not simply a fluke, this type of writing does, indeed, bring me great joy. We are six stories in and I have enjoyed every moment of getting to know these people.

Not everything has gone to plan. That’s to be expected. We are still trying to figure out a posting schedule, trying to decide what works best for us and our personal lives. These last couple of weeks we have used the time to take a breather, refocus, and recharge our batteries. But we are looking to return strong next week. We are continuously tossing around ideas and giving life to new prospects along the way. The response to the Stories has been amazing. To those that have come forward to participate, to willingly share themselves with us, we cannot wait to introduce you. From behind this keyboard there is so much that needs to be done and so much that is to come in the future, it’s massively overwhelming. But it’s exciting as well.

Very soon we will be adding to our Elysian Team with photographer, Madison Ducote. We are so excited to welcome her and to have her work featured on the site. We are very much looking forward to the extra set of hands and a new artistic eye behind the camera lens. It is so overwhelmingly exciting to have other creators reach out and want to be a part of growing this project. When I first conceptualized The Elysian Stories, it was supposed to be a print magazine. I envisioned different pieces spotlighting the things that we value in Louisiana. Good food, good music, a good time, but with a heavy personalized focus. I wanted the average bear to have his voice and his say in this project. That was always the point. To be very candid with you, I don’t know how to make a print magazine. Yet. That is something I am perpetually working on. But this website was such a free and open space for us to post and share and get things started. Now we are cruising along, building our content, finding our groove, and truly making this up as we go along. Can you tell? I hope you cannot tell.

As we brainstorm ideas to add more and more building blocks to the Elysian Stories, we’ve come up with a few things. The first idea to roll across our minds is focused on something that I, and many people in our area, hold near and dear to their hearts. In fact, the experience of home cooked meals is something that is undeniably human, but it is definitely a part of our values here in the South. I have always been fascinated by family recipes and the origin stories that they so often come with. Every family has their dishes, passed down from generation to generation, that become sacred and special and memorable as the years go on. These recipes are often associated with loved ones that may be departed from us. They are portals into the past and the keys to our histories. There is so much identity there amongst the weathered recipe cards or cookbooks on our shelves. I’ve always wanted to tell those stories specifically. Of course my family has plenty of these types of recipes. We are, after all, food people. But it would not be interesting in the slightest to write about my own family each and every month. So, I was hoping that along the way, our viewers would submit those stories to us. That if they were willing to share their family recipes and traditions and photos, that we could create a common denominator in us all; the love of a good meal.

It’s an idea that is freshly off the printing presses and we look forward to demoing that with our small but faithful audience.  Every week we have watched the numbers climb slowly but steadily and this is great news for us. We are happy to have your attention. We hope that you enjoy and anticipate our hard work each week going forward, and of course we always love to hear from you in the comments. If you or anyone you know would like to be a part of the Elysian Stories, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your support!


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