A Compilation of her
Letters from the Editor
1998 through 2000

From Radiance Winter 1999

Dear Friends,

I sit here writing this editorial in late October, having to imagine myself in January of 1999. So, the winter holidays have come and gone (I hope we all had some great moments), and I and many others will have taken some time to think about what we want for ourselves in our lives in the new year. Ah, the joys of a quarterly magazine. So much for being in the present!

Last weekend, I spent Friday night and half of Saturday with my art director, CT, at her home twenty miles north of Oakland, working on the final designs for this issue. I really enjoy our time together. We sit in her office in front of her big computer screen and go through each page’s design, trying various touches until we’re both happy. It’s a creative process that is totally satisfying. I love the views from the room we work in; we look out over one of our Bay Area bridges and waterways.

We take turns choosing music. CT’s cats join us for some love and attention, and use us for furniture as they romp their way around the room. I pick up a CD jacket for a classical album and read, “Concerto for the cello and the obese.” What?! The obese?! Oops. The cello and the oboe. Been working too long. Time to take another break! So we sit and sip our tea and talk about what’s going on in our lives. Refreshed, we get back to the business of designing the magazine. Thanks, CT, for all you bring to Radiance and to me.

I love this issue. I am so pleased to introduce you more fully to longtime size-acceptance activist Lynn McAfee. You’ve heard her mentioned in Bill Fabrey’s column for years. She’s represented fat folks, speaking for our cause nationwide, at conferences and meetings with healthcare and obesity researchers. Our well-being and health care, such as it is, would not be where it is today without Lynn’s work. My hat is off to her. We can look forward to more from Lynn in upcoming issues of Radiance

And for fun: writer Jane Stern, the food critic whose specialty is diner reviews, and cookbooks, cookbooks, cookbooks! Don’t you just love ’em? I so enjoy looking through them, taking in the scrumptious photos, finding out new ways to season or cook or bake. May the recipes and reviews you find here spice up winter meals for you and those with whom you share a table.

Coming up in Spring we’ll focus on teens. Do you remember your own teens years? Do you have a teen at home? Are you the aunt, friend, teacher, or neighbor of a teenaged girl? We all need to hear these young voices, so full of potential. We need to remember that each one of us, as we go about our daily life, is a role model for the young women around us. And some of us need to heal from our teen years or to rediscover the adventurous sense of possibility we might have felt back then. Also in Spring, tales from biking enthusiasts, personal essays, fiction, and fashion. Watch for us at the end of March.

As we head into 1999, I want to remind you that we need you, dear readers, in many ways. First, please share Radiance with others in your community. Help spread the word about our magazine, and the ongoing support we provide. Bring Radiance to your doctors and therapists and hair stylists and librarians and invite them to subscribe for their clientele. Buy a gift subscription for them if you can. Bring Radiance to your local high school or junior high school libraries. Show a copy to your local bookstores and large women’s boutiques and ask the managers to order  Radiance for their customers (they can call us directly). Visit us online at www.radiancemagazine.com, and tell others to check out our web site,  where they can read celebrity interviews, health articles, personal essays, and support materials on raising children of substance.

Send a donation our way when you can. If we mean something to you, if we are helping you, moving you, touching you, or inspiring you to live more fully and with more self-love and self-respect, send a thank you our way in the form of a financial contribution or gift. We have no major backers (or minor backers). We have no corporate sponsorship. Please do what you can.

Write to us, call or with feedback. Tell us how how we’ve helped and what you’d like to see more of on our pages. Give us interview or story ideas. Remember, you are our sponsors. You are our backers. You help keep us going and growing strong.

Now I want to tell you about some new growth in my life. At the end of October, members of my family gathered at my sister Amy’s (and Bill’s and Joe’s) new home for a reunion or sorts. My parents came from Wisconsin, my brother flew out from Colorado, and cousins drove over from San Francisco. One evening, my brother Michael and sister-in-law Molly invited me to join them for a long-running show, Beach Blanket Babylon, in San Francisco’s Italian North Beach. I really wanted to go, but I had my usual hesitations about where to park, the comfort of the theater’s chairs, and the amount of walking (up how many hills?!). I even found myself worrying about whether Michael and Molly would be comfortable with my size.

That evening I dressed and drove over the bridge to the theater. I parked right across the street and waited in line for Michael and Molly to join me. From the moment they arrived, we talked nonstop and had a great time. I felt seen, loved, and appreciated. After the show we walked down the block to a delightful Italian restaurant for a meal of pasta (with lots of garlic) and even had a view of Coit Tower, a landmark in the city. Everything was wonderful. We said our good-byes and I started home. As I drove down Columbus, a main street in North Beach, I tried to take in everything around me. I saw people dining at small candle-lit tables in funky little second-story restaurants. There were people everywhere, walking, laughing, and sight-seeing. Bookstores were open and full of customers, and music drifted out of supper clubs. I was ecstatic. I felt totally turned on to life and to the hustle and bustle of the city.

I felt alive in every cell of my being. When I got home, I ran into the house and immediately called a few friends and left messages: “We’re gonna start going out again on Saturday nights. We’re going to the city. We’re going to eat in small, rowdy little restaurants, see the sights, take in concerts and shows. We’re gonna drive to nearby towns and explore. We’re not gonna stay home anymore!”

My evening in the city helped me see that my life had narrowed during the past few years. (Was it just me getting older, coming to terms with being single again, or the physical discomforts that sometimes slowed me down?) Well, now I’m up and out again! I’m swimming at my local outdoor pool weeknights, and I’m gonna play as often as I can! Thanks to Michael and Molly for encouraging me. See what you started?

So fellow readers, what will this new year bring to you? What will you give yourself? Remember that there is a whole person inside you wanting to feel alive. Tune in to her. Give her the safety and the love she needs. And she will awaken you to some delightfully wonderful new experiences.

With this, I welcome you to our Winter 1999 issue.

With love,

Alice Ansfield
Founder, Editor, Publisher ©