Mary E. Adair
Being the month of her birth, in a way the year starts for your editor in May. Chronologically, and physically, another year being added at her revered age (might as well revere it, there's only one alternative) barely makes the proverbial ripple on the simple pond of her life.
It is, however, a part of the year in western Texas when the temperatures are once again heating up, getting all the gears in order for a scorching summer. We like the heat, so that is fine with us. Out here in the sand dune area of the state, we have low humidity - so low that the newscasters are likely to exclaim in amazement about it being "so high" when it gets up to the high forties or low fifties. Only when it is actually precipitating does it go much higher, contrary to the humidity in the eastern and northern and south eastern, well, just about the rest of the state, where it can be muggy enough that one never feels dried off after a bath or shower.
All this may seem beside the point for a literary ezine, but it seems that our writers are heating up also; getting back into the swing of penning their thoughts, exploring new themes, sharpening their wits. As the temperature rises, so does the number of submissions to the ezine. If you don't see your latest composition in our pages this month, and are concerned that it didn't reach us, you can ask by clicking the contact button on the sidebar and send your question. Some work is being held for later issues and your own might be among those submissions.
We welcome back to the columns category, Connie Anast with her "On The Other Hand." Another column, "Provocations" re-appears from pbobby aka Robert Beaty. "Mike's Place," by Michael Craner who is also the co-founder of the ezine, and the webmaster, touches on the scams via spam mail we all seem to be cursed with these days, along with other internet abuses. Gerard Meister, "Thinking Out Loud," is into fashion statements, while Cassandra in her Cassandra's World takes us trekking through May's delights. "Taming The Beast," Dr. Sam Vaknin's column brings forth the fifth in the current series on Narcissists, which is a much more serious condition than I had realized. In "Consider This," LC Van Savage sees faces; Darren Bardsley discusses our identities in "Ever Increasing Circles;" and Leo C. Helmer gets us started making vacation treats in "Cookin' With Leo."
Our newest columnist, Mattie Lennon, helps us remember that May is also a month to commemorate our loved ones lost in one conflict or another while striving for a more peaceful world. We continue to enjoy our lives that were rendered safer by such conflicts, and it is fitting that we recall those who didn't survive the struggle. His "Irish Eyes" also adds the sparkle we associate with him, from his previous articles for the ezine, when he discusses business - unfinished business. Welcome to the staff of PSO, Mattie! We look forward to a long and informative association.
Articles for May include the following: "Perceptions" by Michael Craner; "Power of Addiction" by Paul Leadem; "Jesus is the New Age" by alremkin aka Robert Whitney; and anonymously carried as a public service, "Stalker!!" Remember to check into these essays - you may be surprised at the info.
We're delighted Cayce B. Shelton sent some new stories (one with a "Strong Language" warning) for May. "Mulberry Worms" just sounds like May and young boys learning to 'swear,' and the first part of his "The Sighting" should leave you anxious to hear the rest of the tale. Another story being carried in parts, is "Affair With A Gambler" submitted by an author known only as deacon. Subsequent parts have been received and will duly be carried in the following months; however, this is one story that carries a !WARNING! because of adult language and theme.
A dozen poems round out the issue. In the table of contents you'll discover three by M. Jay Mansfield ("Poison Lament," "Devil's Isle," "Never Sleep"); three by John I. Blair ("Daffodil," "Old Friend," "My Old Cat"). Returning poets showing one title each include Bruce Clifford,"When I Move To Mars;" Rochelle Hope Mehr, "How Much The Turmoil;" Ronald Kevin Dean, Jr.,, "So Little Time;" and LSeeker, "Find Myself Believing." Two new authors, Gene Mansfield with "The Young Warrior," and Jodi Hall with "Re-Birth" add thier talent to the list. We heartily welcome both of them.
The new area for reader participation is the Recommendations form which allows one to tell about the neat new novels they've read which they think will be enjoyed by others. We are anticipating this being one of the favorite areas once people start using it for theirselves.
When your editor was growing up, books were "THE" entertainment. Not only did one read for their own pleasure, but the family often shared books simultaneously by reading aloud. It was a great way to learn to read and enhanced not only our pronunciation, but our discernment about life because of the reaction of our parents to some of the characterizations. Being a small sheltered community, we were spared many of the experiences in the real world that some learn from, and so the books were a lesson in living we found ourselves needing in days to come. The best thing you can do for your children and grandchildren is to see that they have books to read and time to read them. Barring that, see that they have the opportunity to read online, for most of the classics, and tons of good general literature are available on the internet. Personally, you can start with this issue of Pencil Stubs Online for you will find great variety this month.