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Winter 2017:
As I write this it's raining buckets. It's supposed to be the storm of the decade. I believe, I believe. But I haven't been out much so I don't know what's really going on. No flooding here, just the steady plop of rain, and some wind. Other parts of the country are much worse off. Heavy snow where none should be. That's painful. Hope everybody is holding up just fine.

To be truthful, I haven't been feeling great these days, I'm horribly depressed with the state of the world. Trump has not surprised us. If you were looking for something more presidential from him, you are out of luck. I'm laughing, but it's gallows humor. I don't know how this disaster could have happened. We certainly didn't deserve it. I only hope that we survive it.

As a result, I'm not too motivated to work hard at anything. But I should be because this issue of Clever Magazine is huge. I'm calling it The Reading Frenzy because I don't think I've ever accepted this many submissions. And quirky, yes, you bet, we've got quirky this time. Thanks to all contributors, both the new ones, and my old stand by contributors. We are all going such great work.

Happy New Year everybody. Let's hope for the best and prepare for the worst!

Diannek, editor        
Clever Magazine


Fall 2016: as I finish up this issue of Clever Magazine, I'm getting ready for our latest Sweet Adeline chorus competition. My chorus will soon be heading (ha ha: "beheading") off to Sacramento for our send-off pep rally, and then next month to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the big show. We are once again revved up and ready to go. This photo shows part of my costume. For our second act, should we make it into the finals, I get to wear the bird hat. We will all be wearing different costumes that we have created ourselves. Shocking, I know. Adelines are known for unity and glitter. We do that too.

Our chorus pushes the envelope a little, singing rather edgy music for barber shoppers. We are singing Gimmie Gimmie from Thoroughly Modern Millie, and At Last, for our ballad. Big songs, nothing to lose! That's show biz. Hold good thoughts for us, we are definitely the longest of long shots.

Otherwise, I'm doing the usual stuff for a retired woman of a certain age. I spend lots of time in coffee houses, and restaurants, chatting with my very amusing and interesting pals. Combine that with small adventures like heading off to Santa Cruz for a look at the ocean, or prowling the Goodwill for undetected, probably priceless, artwork. I have found such treasures. One of these days I'll do an art piece and show off all the wonders that I've found. I make up little stories to go with the foundlings. Some are just small dramas: like grammy finally died, and look what ended up in the Goodwill. Shame on those rotten kids! Or, this piece was obviously stolen and the Goodwill sorters have no idea what they are dealing with. And my favorite: this painting was covered with so much exhaled smoke that nobody but me could even bare to bring it home.

I also check the thrift shops for first editions. Found a pristine 1st of Wild,  by Cheryl Strayed worth about $60. And just yesterday I got a Forest Lover, by Susan Vreeland, also a 1st and worth about $20. My combined cost: $3.30. I do hope my rotten kids know enough to get a book dealer in here when the time comes to get rid of this granny's things.

Now a word about the latest issue: it's great as usual. Some extremely accomplished writers have submitted charming stories that I take great pleasure in presenting to you. And don't skip the humor section. A big thank you to all contributors. You are wonderful, as ever.

We are rolling into fall and then winter. It happens so quickly. I do hope you all have survived the summer heat waves and rains, the fights, slander and bickering, the tornadoes and hurricanes and the near misses. So much for politics. When next I talk to you, we will know who the next president will be. I will still be here in San Jose or packing up for Canada. With fingers firmly crossed, which makes it hard to type, I send you all my love until we meet again,

Diannek, editor
Clever Magazine




Here's a rose from my garden. It's the first time in years that the roses
have looked
this good. It's the rain, of course.


Summer 2016: I was disappointed at the number of submissions for the spring issue, but there were loads of them for this one. I guess winter is the best time to whip up those short stories and send them off. Thanks for thinking of us when you are looking for a home for your writing. I do have to reject some material.  If you get rejected, send it somewhere else. It might be perfect for another ezine. We are always looking for the light touch, or a quirky sense of humor, even in the serious pieces.

Weather report: Northern California is still getting rain off and on, which is lovely for our gardens, and the watershed, and the thirsty reservoirs. The gloomy folks who try to predict the way-future weather are saying that this El Nino is gone and we are going back to drought conditions. Sigh. It's hard to think that we still have to (really, really) save water, after a nice rainy season. But it could be our new normal, as they say. Sure hope not.

Update on my postcard collection: I was looking through some old postcards the other day when I found one from WWII. It was one of those soldier comic cards so popular back then. It was from a soldier in boot camp at Fort Sills, Oklahoma, and addressed to a friend in the Bay Area. I don't remember where I got it, probably in an antique shop.

I could barely make out the soldier's name and address but I got to wondering if he still lived in that area. A quick google search led me to a funeral home website. Apparently he had just died a few weeks earlier. There was a condolence box on the site so I wrote a short note to the family, telling them I had the card and would send it to them if they wanted it. I heard back in a few days, from a cousin. He was delighted to hear about the old postcard. So I sent it to him. I'm sure it will mean more to the family than to me.

Now I'm wondering just how many more old postcards I could reunite. Might be a fun project.

Life goes on: I'm getting ready to make a quick run up to Reno with my chorus. It's competition time again. We aren't competing because we are going to the International competition later on this year, in Las Vegas. So we will be anxious to find out who the lucky chorus will be for next year's international. Lots of fun, but it's hard work too. Still loving it.

Hope this note finds everybody in good health and enjoying a pleasant spring. Check out the latest issue, and pass the word to other potential readers. Clever is ever so much more interesting than those ratty magazines in the doctor's office. And we are a friendly size for iphones.

Sincerely,
Diannek, editor
Clever Magazine


Spring 2016 The sun just peeked out through the rain clouds. Lovely. It's been a rainy month, which we appreciate very much. No huge storms, not too much damage, some downed trees and a little flooding, but nothing to really get down in the dumps about. I'm actually enjoying the bad weather.

Unlike this little owl. I do feel sorry for all the urban wildlife during the winter. It must be tough out there. This little owl image and many of the others throughout the issue come to us as a gift from the New York Public Library free digital image collection. What a lovely gift. The website comes with a search feature. I never know what might come up but I have had a great deal of fun finding old illustrations for this issue. You will see more of them in future issues. They seem to strike just the right note for Clever Magazine.

I'm doing well these days. No complaints. I'm getting fewer submissions these days, so more time goes by between them. But I'm still pleased and surprised to receive them. Our readership is not growing much, but we still have a very good readership. We have lots of competition from all the interesting social media these days. It's a changing world, and there are so many sources of amusement "out there". The world is a most interesting place.

Thanks to everybody who submitted something to Clever Magazine. Keep it up. We are always looking for what's coming round the bend.

Sincerely, Diannek,
editor, Clever Magazine

 


To contact the editor, email: dianne@clevermag.com

To see some of the old messages, go to Archive of Editor's Notes