This is a screen shot of the homepage of www.wichitafamily.com, which is the magazine I am now the publisher of.

This is a screen shot of the homepage of www.wichitafamily.com, which is the magazine I am now the publisher of.

It has been far too long since I darkened the doorway of this blog, and for that I am full of regret. A blog is like a plant. It must be fed and watered to be kept alive. The difference is instead of plant food and water, a blog is sustained by carefully crafted posts.

Well, with the close of the year fast approaching, I am going to resolve to improve upon that. I’m not going to let this blog go the way of the actual plant I have in my kitchen.

However, this post isn’t about New Year’s Resolutions. No, it is a much-needed update on what has been going on, which is the reason for my blogging neglect.

That reason is simple. I bought a magazine.

I am now the publisher of Wichita Family Magazine, which is a monthly publication serving families in the Wichita (Kan.) area. I, along with my good friend Jerod Horchem, established Lucky 7 Publishing LLC in May, and our first action as a company was to purchase and take over operations of Wichita Family Magazine. Our first issue came out in June 2014.

This was a big move, and it has kept me exceedingly busy. I am now spending a majority of my waking moments thinking about the magazine. Sometimes I am worrying about getting enough ad sales to cover costs for the month, and other times my mind is focused on what content I will have in the upcoming issue.

Sure, sometimes it is a bit stressful, but journalism is in my blood. Despite any negatives, I love being the publisher. Seeing all my hard work come out as a beautiful magazine is truly rewarding.

This is a screen shot of my students' Issuu site, which hosts the digital editions of the monthly newsmagazine they produce.

This is a screen shot of my students’ Issuu site, which hosts the digital editions of the monthly newsmagazine they produce.

As you may know, my full time job consists of being a journalism and English teacher (this year I became the National Honor Society sponsor, continued as the Career and Technical Education lead within my building, and I still drive bus from time to time . . . among my other duties). With my newly found company, I was able to bring something new to my class. My students now produce a monthly newsmagazine. It is awesome! The students love seeing their work produced each month, and the student body is hungry for each edition.

Because I am so busy with Wichita Family and my full-time job, though, I did not get to take part in National Novel Writing Month this year. I wish I could have. I miss writing creatively, especially under the exhilarating timeline of NaNoWriMo. However, as I promised after I finished the contest in 2013, I did finish the sequel to “Murder at St. Alfanus.” I am currently in talks with a publisher to get it produced as my second book. I’m pretty excited, and I hope you all are too!

Another activity that has been keeping me busy is the American Legion Boys State of Kansas. I’ve written about my involvement before, and I have been moving up within the ranks. Last year I was the Curriculum Coordinator, which meant I was in charge of the curriculum of the entire program. At the end of last summer’s session, I moved out of that position and became the Media Coordinator, which is more inline with my previous role as the Head Media Counselor. As the head counselor, I oversaw all the media produced by the program delegates. As the coordinator, I will do the same thing, but now it is in a more official capacity.

However, that isn’t the only change I experienced within the program. I am also now the Marketing Director of the entire program. I am in charge of all aspects of branding and media relations and anything else to help increase the awareness and image of the program. It is something I am so grateful to be doing. It fits perfectly within my skills and interests.

Other than that, I am still the Director of the local American Legion Riders chapter, and in November I celebrated my one-year anniversary of dating the girl of my dreams (now that I think of it, she should probably read this post about dating a journalist such as myself).

So, as I said, I have neglected this blog, but I feel it hasn’t been for nothing. I have been busy embarking upon new adventures, continuing to follow my passions, and living a full life. I do plan on making more of an effort to post here more often. I think I might start commenting more on news events (such as politics, technology and sports) and journalism-related topics, as well as sharing insights into writing and my creative process.

I’m looking forward to getting back into writing here at The Voice of the Vogts. I hope you will enjoy it as well!

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