Bright Blessings, Readers!
This month, I was fortunate enough to review Kraft Paper Muse and score an interview with Ana Maria Selvaggio Renmeleon and I must say this is a great publication you can either read online for free or subscribe to and get the print copy for a small fee. This is what their site says:
“Kraft Paper Muse (KPM) is an independently published, bimonthly magazine centered on intentionally living a more cohesive, digitally-analog creative life while maintaining wellness and balance. We believe in diversity, the power of words, and the importance of play. Drawing inspiration from the global collective of creatives around us, we celebrate all mediums and seek to build a community of support and encouragement.”
The publication is a magazine and ezine that includes an eclectic mix of stories, interviews, and reviews of artists and merchants. They have several contributors, including Ana, or Ria Selvaggio, Fi Keane, M. Ysa Seaton, Val Michael Selvaggio, and Steve Stevens. There are three issues, all of which are available online, the first being published in 2006, the next in 2013, and the current one from 2020. The next edition is set to be published in September of this year.
A bit about Ana- she is Editor in Chief of Kraft Paper Muse, but that’s not all she does! She earned a Masters in Screenwriting and writes, illustrates, and designs, all while working in the publishing industry. She also teaches in a variety of settings. Phew! What a busy lady!!!!!! You can find her here to find all the other amazing projects she works on, and even buy her a coffee or a purchase copy of one of her publications here: Renmeleon
Before writing more about Kraft Paper Muse and including the interview, I will say that she has two novels, and a collection of short stories in the works, and she has a workbook called How to Design Your Own Sigils for Everyday Magic, which can be purchased online from Amazon.
The current edition of Kraft Paper Muse is 23 pages long and includes great material like an intimate interview with author and illustrator Nick Bantock, a lovely snack recipe, gorgeous art by Ana, a review of the game Shadows in the Forest, and even a column called Sacred Spaces, Everyday Magic, which talks about how to set up a Sacred Space. It says, “When you set up a space, you should ask your Self…a few questions…Why do I want this space…What is this space’s purpose or function…Now where…is it a physical space you can occupy…a cozy chair in a corner, a dedicated room like a studio? Or is it something that travels with you like a small bag or tray of items, an old cigar box, pockets of joy around your home?” The gist is that YOUR sacred space is the way YOU decide to have it, and the way you set it up all depends on how you want it. Instead of detailed instructions for setting up a sacred space somebody else’s way, this article offers things to think about when you are deciding how to customize a sacred space for yourself!
This is a good publication that creative and spiritual people will love. There may only be three issues- for now- but there is plenty more to come, fortunately. Ria, or Ana Marie Selvaggio was kind enough to answer some questions about her creative journey and Kraft paper Muse. Read on!
Interview with Ana Maria Selvaggio, Renmeleon
Saoirse- Tell us a little about your background and what got you into writing.
Ana- I had already been working designer professionally for 26 years when I went back to school for my Bachelors in Visual Communications specializing in Digital Design. I got my Masters in Creative Writing when I was 43 and specialized in screenwriting for gaming, film, animation, and TV. My thesis script has become my first novel, Stalemate, which is currently in revisions. It is a paranormal thriller.
Growing up, I knew I wanted to be a writer-illustrator. My mom could barely keep me in books. I dabbled in poetry in high school, later wrote and read at a local coffeehouse.
My more public work started in the md-90s but it was articles, columns or zines, almost all nonfiction. I was hired on as a software manual editor and later as a columnist and Art Director for a nationally distributed paranormal magazine.
I was heavily involved in LARP (live action roleplay) around this time which is essentially “interactive impromptu theater”. I started a zine (handmade magazine) for our Vampire LARP group with 7 staff writers. It ran for over a year. My very first interview was with author, Charles deLint. I was hooked.
My writing goal now is to hone my short story skills. I have four novels underway, 7 children’s books written and storyboarded that are waiting on illustrations – my daughter will be illustrating one of them – and a few short stories threatening to become novellas. I’m currently actively working on a poetry anthology on my weekly writing live stream.
My reading appetite always drove my desire to world build.
Saoirse- That’s amazing! Tell us about your publication Kraft Paper News that we get to view this month and what got you started doing that specifically.
Ana- Kraft Paper Muse began in 2006 as a culmination of all of my loves and a way I could lift up other creatives in the circles I ran in online. Today, Kraft Paper Muse is a focal point for all of my skill sets, a continued repository of all of my loves, and a way for writers to get their feet wet as columnists. Like my surface pattern design rabbit hole, KPM is where I can combine my love of writing with my illustration and design work. I have been working in and around the publishing industry since the mid-90s. I love well-crafted magazines that are artistically beautiful and have unusual content. Creating my own was a discipline practice and a personal challenge.
The long answer… Kraft Paper Muse started as a handmade zine in 2006. The first issue was a limited edition, half-sheet booklet with contributors from all over the world. There were 50 copies and it was stuffed, literally, with tutorials on everything from how to hand dye silk ribbon, soapmaking, and an article I wrote on creating your own postal issuing authority for artistamps (faux postage). Each tutorial came with samples in baggies, things paperclipped to pages, interactive pullouts and pockets. There was an interview with a Canadian graffiti artist who sent me 50 sets of buttons with his art along with several large wheat paste sticker-bombs. It was a lot of work to do by myself but I loved it.
In 2013, Kraft Paper Muse was revived but came out as a digital issue. You can still view it via a link on the site here – https://kraftpapermuse.com/work – click the rocket ship. My daughter inherited my love of paper and made me a rocket ship once that I was so excited about I used it for the cover. Absolutely nothing to do with what was inside but. ha She was always making me things, you can see most of them on my YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/4rFFFUDtKnY?t=114 – it starts where the rocket ship is which is followed by the spinning wheel paper toy she’d made for that issue. Funny and slightly embarrassing story: I’d done an interview with Brian Kesinger for that issue. I am normally very thorough with research when I interview someone. In this case, I somehow overlooked a detail that he’d brought up – he’d worked on Tangled as an artist for Disney Studios Animation. It almost derailed me completely when he mentioned it because I’d picked him up as the artist behind “Otto and Victoria”. He’s also an artist with Marvel Comics. No guarantees, but I am hoping to catch up with him again in our Automata issue later this year.
So the “best laid plan” was that Kraft Paper Muse was going to be back as a bimonthly, digital-only publication. Since I was doing it solo with the occasional who-can-I-drag-into-this-with-me habit, I wasn’t looking to have any printed. I just couldn’t afford it out of pocket at the time and was too busy to try to formulate fundraising. The February “Textile” issue came out, complete with rocket ship cover, and then I got derailed by a combination of ADD and life. Fast-forward to January 2016. The next issue, “Written” came out in January 2021 as both a digital AND print edition.
A few copies of the limited run of 100 copies is still available in my Etsy shop at http://renmeleon.etsy.com and you can read it front page on the KPM site. For that issue I’d brought on two columnists for books and board games. And then we got Covid in February and I was derailed again, this time by 9+ months of massive fatigue which, as a long hauler, I still deal with though thankfully not as extreme. I tested positive for three months. The plan was to relaunch in January of this year, but we got our second bout of Covid (despite isolation and being vaccinated) so I put everything on hold. Eventually I decided that I was going to be gentle with myself, start where I was versus trying to “catch up”, and move forward.
The next issue of Kraft Paper Muse is planned to come out July 1st next week and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. If anyone would like to support Kraft Paper Muse, which allows me to pay contributors, there is a Patreon specific to it at https://www.patreon.com/KPMzine that is being relaunched with the new issue.
Saoirse- Where do you see Kraft paper Muse going in the future and what would you like to see it accomplish long term?
Ana- Long term, I’d would like to see a steady influx of paid contributors. My goal is to utilize Patreon in support of that. I had attempted a separate Patreon, but it became to much to handle trying to juggle content for two accounts. Reevaluating, I’ll be using my Renmeleon platform moving forward as it is the “uimbrella” for everything I do. Anyone at the $5 level and above will have access behind-the-scenes, but the publication will still be available online to read for free. I’ll be implementing that with the issue coming out this month. http://www.patreon.com/Renmeleon
There you have it, folks. Don’t wait, read Kraft Paper Muse today. Better yet, subscribe and join as a supporting member. Get it here: Kraft Paper Muse
Thank you Ana!
About the Author:
Saoirse is a practicing witch, and initiated Wiccan of an Eclectic Tradition.
A recovered Catholic, she was raised to believe in heaven and hell, that there is only one god, and only one way to believe. As she approached her late 20’s, little things started to show her this was all wrong. She was most inspired by the saying “God is too big to fit into one religion” and after a heated exchange with the then associate pastor of the last Xtian church she attended, she finally realized she was in no way Xtian, and decided to move on to see where she could find her spiritual home.
Her homecoming to her Path was after many years of being called to The Old Ways and the Goddess, and happened in Phoenix, Arizona. She really did rise from her own ashes!
Upon returning to Ohio, she thought Chaos Magic was the answer, and soon discovered it was actually Wicca. She was blessed with a marvelous mentor, Lord Shadow, and started a Magical Discussion Group at local Metaphysical Shop Fly By Night. The group was later dubbed A Gathering of Paths. For a few years, this group met, discussed, did rituals, fellowship, and volunteering together, and even marched as a Pagan group with members of other groups at the local gay Pride Parade for eight years.
All the while, she continued studying with her mentor, and is still studying for Third Degree, making it to Second Degree thus far.
She is a gifted tarot reader, spellworker, teacher, and was even a resident Witch at a Westerville place dubbed The Parlor for a time.
Aside from her magical practice, she is a crocheter, beader, painter, and a good cook. She has been a clown and children’s entertainer, a Nursing Home Activities Professional, a Cavern Tour Guide, a Retail Cashier, and a reader in local shops. Her college degree is a BA in English Writing. She tried her hand at both singing and playing bagpipes, and…well…let’s just say her gifts lie elsewhere! She loves gardening, reading, antiques, time with friends and soul kin, and lots and lots of glorious color bedecking her small home!
On the encouragement of a loved one several years back, she searched for a publication to write for, and is right at home at PaganPagesOrg.
She is currently residing in Central Ohio with her husband, and furbabies.
Saoirse can be contacted at [email protected].