Mary E. Adair
Must be a sign of the times or the level of stress. Here we are in February the traditional month for love and valentines and not a valentine in sight for this issue. Of course, the ezine itself is a labor of love, and each month very loving and lovely people contribute to its content, but this is the first time the second month of the year has rolled around without a tender, wistful seasonal query, so for old times sake, dear reader, Wilt Thou Be My Valentine?
Say "Yes," and we'll begin our special time together browsing through this month's twelve poems, the six articles, five columns, the conclusion and epilogue of the serial, and part one of a new continued tale. Oh, you'll be pleased! We'll sit in the recliner built for two with our feet up, sipping hot tea, and nibbling on cinnamon toast and immerse ourselves in words of imagination, recitation, comtemplation, exageration, commiseration, agitation, commemoration, meditation, and let our minds soar to the heights.
We could begin with LC Van Savage's column "Consider This" and her take on bread. Or perhaps we can travel to Ireland with Mattie Lennon in "Irish Eyes," then chuckle as Gerard Meister mentions an inexplicable event while he is "Thinking Out Loud," and we'll plan for Super Bowl guests since Leo C. Helmer shares another of his innovative and simple recipes in "Cookin' With Leo."
Or, we could bounce right over and stroll into the world of poetry. John I. Blair faces reality with "Acequia" and "This Is January;" reminisces in "Red Bluff" and "Sunbonnets," then lets his ever optomistic side show with "Giving Up On Life Is Not For Me" and "Imagining Spring." Doesn't that last one chime in your heart, dear valentine? But Shell Heller's exquisite "Brittle" and the chant by M. Jay Mansfield, "Empty," tell about emotions turning in the other direction.
Then the young writers come center stage to perform: Brooke Clifford with "I'm Me," and "Dear Mr. President Bush;" and Mark Goldstein, new to our list of authors, sums up his year in "Mark's Poem."
Bruce Clifford (Brooke's father) rounds out this segment singing "Rest in Peace."
Now we can tackle the articles! Letting our eye roam over the titles, we see a "Tribute: Here's Johnny!" and feeling comfortable with that, we jump in to read this concise and complementary piece by Thomas Love. That was nice... so we trail upward and choose "Rant of the Day: Defective Products" by Gregory Hargrave aka Yopo. Giving it a laugh and a 'been-there' nod, we go on to that really long name. Yes, that is all one article: "How to Clear Your Mind, Achieve Razor-Sharp Focus and Control Your Thoughts Forever!" We learn some facts from Jason Mangrum about our own brains in a well constructed and informative help-yourself essay and will have it handy for future reference.
Alright, dear valentine, let's be orderly and go right up the row to Mike Craner's "Have You Been Saved?" Thought we knew what to expect but got a bit of a well-written surprise...one to ponder on and perhaps mend our own approach to people. Surely "Dream, And It Might Come True" will be just what we think it will be...but hey! as usual, LC Van Savage puts the laughs in all the right places. Now we are ready for "About Passover." Oh good! It is by Leo C. Helmer and he always finds the most pertinent but little known facts on the calendar event he chooses to research. And this is a long one, but filled with all those things we never heard about before, but now we know. Great! Thanks, Leo!
Ready to wind up the serial "Hybird - The Green Cloud" that Alan Moseby has been spinning for us? This is the conclusion and the epilogue so, if you've been waiting until it was all printed, my valentine, here it is for you. You remember what was said about being able to click the author's byline and get the clickable titles of what has been published in Pencil Stubs Online? Well, that is the handy way to start with this serial. It really doesn't take that long to read right through, and personally, we found the Cast of Characters and their little bio's added a lot to the storyline.
Now we can start the fantasy "Teen Titans - My Own Story" and find that it is also by Brooke Clifford. This intrigued us so we went right to her bio to find out what else she has in pencilstubs. This bio is good and should be read.
Now, dear valentine, ready for another cup of tea? Some more toast?
As for me, I can hardly wait til March. See you then!