Please join the many hearts and hands that make The New Times possible in finding the myriad joys of this special season! Many will be celebrating a traditional Christmas this month with family and friends. Many will not. Some will be enjoying seasonal celebrations other than Christmas. Some will find this a particularly difficult time of year. Whatever your circumstances, I hope The New Times can help make a positive difference for you.
I have found that helping others often helps me to put my own difficulties into better perspective. On December 31, countless people across the globe will be joining in an hour of quiet to meditate for world peace. In the Pacific Standard time zone that hour is 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. I invite you to join in whatever fashion feels best to you and send healing energy to the wounded relationships that darken all of our lives.
A tool I use to bring out the best in any situation is to inventory the many blessings in my life. This past year I have been received many, many kind, supportive comments, which I deeply appreciate. The reader survey strongly validated our work and brought many great ideas and constructive comments to my attention.
On November 10, we drew the prizewinners for our reader survey drawing. To ensure objectivity, two clients who had come in to place ads were drafted to perform and witness the drawing. The first name drawn was Cat Saunders, frequent contributor to The New Times. Instead of feeling joy for someone whom I know and admire, and who has freely given significant amounts of her life energy to The New Times, I instantly found myself thinking of the potential perceptions of readers and wished someone else had been selected. However, there was no turning back. I had witnesses, and the only rule set had been that our employees could not participate in the drawing. Next, Nancy Lestishens name was drawn. She had been a winner in the advertiser survey drawing held earlier this year. What was going on here? Would everyone think the drawing was rigged? So much for my perceptions of how I thought the drawing "should" turn out! Finally, we drew Cynthia McGraths name. I felt a sigh of relief: finally, no prior connection! What I thought would be a fun break in the afternoon turned out to be a lesson in going with the flow. After sitting with the $500 prize for a day or two, Cat Saunders felt that she should give half away, and asked that we draw another name for her. We then drew Rahl Loomis name. Rahl told us that he has made donations to the work of The New Times in the past, and felt that it was "coming back to him" now. Nancy said that she had specifically wanted to win the $250 prize so that she could participate in Jo Chavezs training. She even made a special trip to the airport post office so be sure that her survey made it in by the deadline. Cynthia McGrath opted for an eighty-minute Soma Massage from Shelly Donovan. Other winners are still making their decisions.
Ill share with you a few of the things I learned from the survey. Book reviews are now the most read and highly rated feature. Followed closely in this order: "For Your Information" section, "The Publishers Page," "The Signs of the Times," the display ad index, "Emerging Woman," and "StarWatch." Among the many names listed as favorite writers, Cat Saunders and James Jarvis are most frequently mentioned.
Our readers continue to place a high level of importance on articles not being continued from one page to the next. Although theres a split between support of the newspaper- sized publication vs. a tabloid- or magazine-sized publication, the large size certainly best accommodates single-page placement of articles. Weve been asked to include cost and publisher information with book reviews, which we begin doing in this issue. Ill share more about the survey and how were responding over the next few months.
I write this at the end of 12 rewarding months of guiding the work of The New Times. I hope that you will receive as many blessings from our work as I have from you.