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A Message from the Editor
:

Spring 2019: Our last issue was very well received, as usual. As I begin work on this latest one I'm pleased with the new submissions. And as always, I thank everybody who takes the time to send in a story that they would like to see in this magazine. Without you there would be no Clever.

The theme of this issue is: "Going to the dogs". As I looked over the array of stories that I've collected over the past few months, a theme emerged: dog stories. It's a popular topic for us. I was surprised to see so many of them.

The dog featured above is our adorable family pet, Barkley. He belongs to my daughter but he spends lots of time with me too. Barkley is a shepherd/lab mix of uncertain age with a checkered past. We think he may have been abused as a youngster. Karen coaxed a friend to give him to her, and after lots of work and love he has become the most laid back, unassuming pal a person can have. His name suggests that he might be a barker. Not true. I have never heard him bark or growl. He pants, slobbers, and occasionally his feelings get hurt to the point where he might give out with the tiniest whine. Sometimes he becomes afraid, which we can see in his eyes, but otherwise, he is silent sam, patiently waiting for the next walk, the next pet, the next treat. He loves to ride in the car, go to the dog park, run on the beach, and sleep. He loves cats and they don't mind him. He's the perfect dog. Long live Barkley.

Important note to contributors: Dog stories are sweet and non-threatening, something we rely on when the going gets tough. Our pets are important to us. I know that as well as you do. I get it.  However, isn't there something more interesting to write about? I've noticed over the years a certain phenomenon with writers. When you sit down to write, you have a hard time coming up with a topic. So you fall back on those creative writing classes that said choose an incident from your childhood, or write about somebody important to you. To that I say, can't you think of something a little more interesting? We are living in an age of chaos and uncertainty. Most of you have been around for a long time. You have suffered, done stuff, known people, been angry, frustrated, exhilarated. Could you draw on that? Can you comment on current events without turning it into a facebook rant? I would love to read something besides dog stories, and goofiness. You can do this.

In the meantime, I know you just can't wait to go to the dogs, so without further ado, here's the new issue!

Yours truly,
Diannek, editor

 

 



                                    The editor's desk when the fun starts. It gets messier...

Fall 2018 As we begin to assemble the new issue fall is in full swing. It's a beautiful day here in San Jose, California, as usual. The forecaster promises a little rain eventually, but we are ignoring him. It will be more of the same blue skies, moderate heat and soft breezes, until all hell breaks loose, if we are lucky. Other parts of the country are suffering from hurricanes and flooding, with so many various insults looming, and not just weather wise.

We are celebrating, it's the 20th anniversary of Clever Magazine! What an amazing run. If you notice carefully, there are no ads on Clever, there is no revenue production whatsoever. I do this as a hobby and it has become quite an impressive one, thanks to all the contributors and readers, and my family support and assistance over the years. 

Publishing Clever is an ongoing process. It is never really gone from my thoughts. The emails come in batches, the largest volume comes when a new issue is published. However, submissions dribble in all the time. So I'm always reading pieces and deciding whether to use them or not. If I can't decide, I have one of my volunteers read it and give me some feedback. What we consider: image, fit, sense of humor, seriousness. Am I getting a little too old (possibly cranky) for this job? Lots of stuff to think about.

Once I turn my attention to a new issue, I sort of drop everything else in my life, and go through the process of building the new issue. I do most of the work myself, but I have the crucial IT backup for any technical problems that might come along. I also have several volunteers that I call on for questions and issues that come up. You would be surprised at some of the odd conversations we have had over the years. With this issue, I'm also doing some housecleaning. In the process I've found some older stories that we have dusted off and are featuring in the issue. I'm going to continue with process for a while. Mostly the archived stories are being deleted, but once in a while, I find one I think we will all enjoy a second time. I do contact the contributor ahead of time to make sure it's still fit to print. But as a result, this issue has taken much longer to piece together.

Regarding the Clever guidelines: I suggested to several contributors that there might be some format changes to the magazine in the coming months. I have made a few simple changes to the guidelines. You can find them here.

The biggest change is that we are cleaning up the files and dumping the archives altogether as a database. I'm going to keep the old articles that are still being read but there won't be a database to search for them. It's about the future, not the past, as far as I'm concerned.

This current published issue did very well, as far as traffic is concerned. We are holding about 10,000 readers per month, and they are spending more than a few seconds with us, reading widely throughout the magazine. Some of the old stuff continues to be read over and over. I have no idea why but I don't give it much thought. The new stuff gets read too. The automated traffic monitor isn't as concerned about individual pages as I am so we just assume all is well.

As I look over the current submissions, I'm encouraged. You are in for a treat with this issue. Thank you to everybody who made the cut and is part of the fall issue. Good job!

Hang in there, better days ahead!

Diannek, editor
Clever Magazine


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

Wanna read archived messages from the editor? Click here!