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Editor's Corner

By Mary E. Adair

April 2003

Here we go with Volume 6, Issue 3 of Pencil Stubs Online! Well into our sixth year with the ezine. Our experience in magazines, however, extends further back in time. The precursor of this art and literary ezine was done in newspaper format, welcomed by subscribers in seven countries and 42 of the states here in the USA. The name then, was Hobbies, Etc. and featured all types of hobbyists and their stories. The hobby of writing had become an adjunct of most of those craftspersons, and for some had become the major avocation.

It was through Hobbies, Etc. that Michael Craner became acquainted with the Adairs, Mary and the late A G Adair, who admired both his poetry and the character he portrayed in his writing. His poems filled the central two pages of one issue, prompting him to tease that he had never thought of himself as centerspread material. He brought other writers to our attention, not the least of which is his sister, Debi, whose work was also published in Hobbies.

After Mr. Adair's death, Mary continued with the publishing until such time as costs began to outweigh income. She made the decision, with much sadness, to publish one last issue, January 1998, notifying the list of contributing authors so they could submit at least once more. Mike, of course, was one of those authors. He, however, felt so strongly about the good that Hobbies was doing in encouraging people to do something exciting and constructive with their talent, that he was upset at the pending demise.

He contacted Mary, suggesting that he set up a website to continue to publish there, if she would continue to receive, edit, and prepare the content for at least one more issue. Ironing out the details became the new project for both Mike and Mary, and with the fresh name of Pencil Stubs Online, the first ezine issue was published

February 1998.... Volume 1, Issue 1
Although there have been setbacks such as hosting failures, and other delays, the ezine updated almost every month since, has continued to be well received, recognized as one of the foremost art and literary, non-commercial magazines.

Much of the success belongs directly to those authors who have submitted their compositions through the years, and to those new authors just finding Pencil Stubs, as well. We are proud to have such distinguished columnists (many who have other published works in the 3-D world) as these:

    Denise, "Alas, To Muse And Ponder"
    Cassandra, "Cassandra's World"
    LC Van Savage, "Consider This"
    Leo C. Helmer, "Cookin' With Leo"
    Mattie Lennon, "Irish Eyes"
    pbobby, "Provocations"
    Phil Miller, "Stellar Notions"
    Gerard Meister, "Thinking Out Loud"

Although we are not solely a poetry magazine, where would we be without our poets? We have, over the years, encouraged several authors in their work, and been rewarded with them continuing to grace us with their special insights and visions carefully set into verse form. Unlike some magazines that only accept rhymed OR free verse, or set limits on length of poems, we feel the poet should know how best to say what is in their heart and mind. We do not hesitate to assist them grammatically, with their permission, but strive to maintain that most important quality of creativity, their own voice.

April has brought poems from various perspectives on the current world affairs. From the days of wandering minstrels, history has been portrayed in verse and song giving not only facts but viewpoints upon that history. The hopes and fears and agonizing is apparent in the poems sent in by Phillip Hennesy ("I Hope") Clara Blair ("Pieta," "Shock and Awe,") John D. Strain ("Pain") and Bruce Clifford ("Piss Poor Iron Clad.") Clara also offers more hopeful and serene poetry with her "God's Rat," "High School Sweethearts," and "Goldfinches." Other such pleasant themes follow with six of John I. Blair's poems: "Cat," "Comfortable With Myself," "Irises," "Listening," "Sparrow Nest" and "The Wild Swans of Arlington."

Judith Alexander brings her reflections to bear with "Don't Think About Yourself," "It Must Be Nice," and "Just One More Day." Judith Issette brightens her expectations with "The Year of Tears," and John D. Strain appears more relaxed with "Teddy Bear," as does Bruce Clifford with "The Real Heart In Me." Two poets new to our pages, are Noreene M. Bailey with her cleverly penned "Migraine Hell," and Jiv who submitted the poignant "Southside."

We encourage you to read the two articles, the well-written "Embryonic stem cell research and the modern teen," by the writer known only as Susan, and "Just One Guy's Opinion," from Erick S. Van Savage. Yes, he is kin to LC... her son, but his forte is in political essays - smart, satirical, witty, and with a cleverly disguised punch to the midriff.

No stories for April, but there is the tale about who won the Pencil Stubs Online contest for the columnist and other-categories author chosen by their peers as the Favorite Writers of 2002 . The columnist is none other than Cassandra, who won with an overwhelming lead -- everyone loves Cassandra! The author winning in the category for other segments regularly carried by the ezine, is John I. Blair, a most prolific and obviously popular poet. The two authors will each receive attractive, framable certificates for the honors, plus the bit of further enforcement consisting of the total amount of funds collected as votes in their category. Meanwhile, the staff heartily congratulates both authors, and wishes to express appreciation of their skill and enthusiasm for writing that leads them to share their art with our readers.

We remind you that bio's and pictures (for most authors) can be found by clicking their bylines. The clickable list of their published work will be found on their bio page. Good feedback is the stuff of future ideas and such encouragement is ordinarily the only "reward" our writers receive. Why not let them know how their work impressed you? Constructive criticism and praises are welcomed.

See you in May!  

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Reader Comments

Name: Mary E. Adair Email: marbety@pencilstubs.org
Comment: *Smiling* Call it progress, LC ... Mike has been working on the site, and our emails have had an overhaul as well. The May issue will be released on the first, and it should keep everyone busy reading for a couple of days, at least. Thanks for your concern.... we are well and happy!!!!

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Name: LC Email: lc@vansavage.com
Comment: Hi Mary--Hi Mike----I'm getting very worried about you guys. All submissions and emails have been returned for 2 weeks. Are you OK? Have you shut PS down? This silence is really scary. I hope you're getting this---I've sent a snailmail to you also. What's going on? Please tell me if you're OK and well. lc

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