Say something…

So I should be working on my short story collection, but my splitting headache is motivating me to do otherwise and all the royal wedding mumbo-jumbo on my Facebook wall makes it an unlikely avenue for mindless time wasting….which is what I really feel like doing. I know that I need food and I need to stop worrying so much about things that take care of themselves….but again, as my tummy rumbles it’s deep baritone of complaint to me, I am struck by how utterly unmotivated I feel, even to get food…I’m anemic and so likely, this whole migraine-tired-hungry, thing is my body’s way of telling me I am in desperate need of iron.

But anyway, that’s enough about the feebleness of the EIC, why the new blog post you ask, well, dear readers, my AEIC, who I love and adore like a sister (one that you actually like, and who you have no bad memories of her having tried to kill you, or steal your favorite toy just so she could behead it) so, someone that I love like chocolate (trust me, that is bigger than sister love…I would be swimming in that Willy Wonka chocolate river, even if it had little chocolate sharks and chocolate crocodiles) that AEIC manages to get the EDITOR of ROSEBUD literary magazine to come and talk with our staff and it got me thinking. Is ambition a double-edge sword? In a time when everyone gets a trophy, why is it that AEIC and I can’t abide the thought of second place?

I know that the ambition that we both have as EIC and AEIC is pretty much phenomenal; we want that brass ring so bad we can taste it. But will all the work of building the brand, getting WIRZ out there, getting the reputable people in the business to be willing to meet with us, and our staff…will all that work be for naught? I can’t think that or else I’d be paralyzed by fear, but is being the group to beat, in this game called undergraduate publication, worth it when in a year someone else takes over, someone without your drive and determination to make it better than it was? It’s not just for MFA fodder, that we love this magazine. We love this magazine because we truly see it as an untapped resource for some of the best emerging writers, poets and artists to get to an audience that can and will appreciate their work….regardless of the caveat that we are just “an undergraduate magazine.” I think this university places an emphasis on the Arts (and that includes literary efforts such as our own), but until recently I don’t think as students we understood that. There are so many grants and sources of funding out there, just waiting for someone with the single-minded focus to go out there and get them…especially since our governor (yes, I won’t capitalize it) sees it fit to begin eradicating them. I think our ambition will lead to some heart-break…not many, and not big ones, but there will be a few. A few missed moments where disappointment will seep in and steal some of our happiness…but for now, we blaze a trail too amazing for anyone to ever really follow. I hope we maintain it. That surely will be the true test of our love for what we do…those days when the writing that we hope to get, is not on par with the stuff that we are getting.

I hope those days are far, far, far into the future and you, dear reader can help. Send us your writing! Your poetry that you keep locked away from the world; that short story about the summer you went backpacking across Europe and met the hippies who offered you pot; that flash-fiction piece you think is too weird for anyone to like. Send it to us. WomeninREDzine.com is live and beautiful and ready for you to talk back to us!

As always, I remain your intrepid (and fearless) leader,
The Editor-in-Chief, Women in REDzine.

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Common Sense is on hiatus…let us pray!

So I have a tendency to need to purge when I am angry…a deep-seated animalistic need that nests in the deepest, darkest, abysmal trenches within the bowels of my soul, that claws its way up to the surface, rips off the thin membrane of civility and niceness that I wear each day, like a death shroud and scream bloody-murder, until my lungs fall out in congealed globs of black bile and wet, red flaps of uprooted bronchial trees…you know, one where you could happily rip someone’s arm off and beat them to death with it…yeah, I am in one of those moods.

I won’t say all of what contributed to this dark mood, suffice to say that I would greatly appreciate an hour, or two, of stress-baby session, but alas the AEIC’s nephew (who is so adorable, and absolutely the best thing to cuddle with, when the beast from within threatens to go all hulk on me, is probably asleep in his basinet and his apartment.) It infuriates me too, to let the idiocy of people foul my mood, and so I am refusing to relinquish the things that made me happy today. They are my “totems” and I hold them in my mind like rosary beads, or like grains of salt that I can cast over my shoulder to rid myself of the residual anger.

Bead #1: The Special Staff Issue of Women in Redzine is at the printers, we hope to have them in our greedy little hands in a week or two. The SSI of WIRZ is exactly that, a special run of staff only stories and poems for the summer, so that we can do some distribution at the 2011 Summerset Festival of the Arts and…(Bead #2) something too awesome to say yet. When it is finalized I will share it eagerly with you, dear reader, but it is EPIC…as in, it has the word WISCONSIN in it…I KNOW, right!

Bead #3: My Creative Writing Professor. He is the AWESOMEST (thanks AEIC for corrupting my vocabulary with this word). I am not ashamed to tell you this dear readers, I think I love him. He is like Gandalf the White, minus all the absurd facial hair and wig. I had a crisis…a somewhat existential crisis of the writer-ly type and he said the nicest things and I almost cried…but I didn’t, because everyone knows there’s no crying in baseball…or Creative Writing. I wanted to leap up and hug him, he is so nice, but again, I didn’t because thugs don’t hug, we fist bump and he didn’t seem like the fist-bumping kind, so I mentally hugged him and left. And yes, I know what you’re thinking, can I truly call myself a thug after referencing LOTR (Lord of the Rings, for the uninitiated, cave-dwelling readers of this blog still using an IBM 5100) and to you I say yes, I have not admitted to watching it, only knowing what Gandalf looks like and for all you know I could have been referencing the actor, Ian Mckellen, and he was Magneto in X-Men and that is a totally thug movie, but would have implied my Professor was thug-like, when in fact he is not, more angelic and grandfatherly, like Gandalf was when he took Frodo onto the boat and Samwise Gamgee started to cry and….well, I guess I would know if I watched it, which I am not admitting to, although if I had, the scene when Aragorn sees Arwen at the end of Return of the King and he kisses her with tears in his eyes would always break my heart and leave me in tears……so…. yes, my professor is AWESOME and on to bead #4.

Bead #4: I found my thumb drive, aka flash drive which I had lost two-weeks ago, and which has the past four years of my academic and personal life on it. I still can’t believe I got it back. I wanted to hug the lady when she said, “oh yeah, I saw it” and then when she gave it back to me… ah, so happy, no words can express. I think I’ll be writing a story about it…the beast from earlier will make an appearance mayhaps…

Bead #5: I made the world’s best hotdog ever today. Hot n’ spicy Cajun link, wrapped in a strip of thick-cut peppered bacon and then the whole thing is fried until the sausage is cooked and the bacon is crispy around it and delicious…topped with shredded mozzarella, chipotle mustard, garlicky-hot sauce and shredded lettuce all wrapped up in a freshly steamed pita….actually thinking about it is making me a happier camper than I was before Bead #1. I know my vegetarian AEIC would not approve, but I swear the pig could live without it’s bacon, and whatever was in my sausage 🙂 it’s like Stone Crabs and those claws.

I am sure there are other beads, but for now, these are enough for me to keep from going nuclear and taking out the whole neighborhood with me…especially since aforementioned stress-baby lives a building over and he is all right in my book. I think I’m ok. Gonna have a can of coconut-water and nosh on some baked über crunchy potato chips and work on my papers…which are all due in a matter of days. Let us pray for the dear EIC!

As Always, I remain your intrepid (and fearless) leader,
The Editor-in-Chief, Women in REDzine.

So it begins….

So here I am again, crouching on the edge of my seat and sipping a cup of coffee; I blame my amazing AEIC for my addiction to Iced Mocha, Cappuccino and Macchiato (I am not made of money, so I have an amazing coffee-maker that can make everything, from Hot Chocolate, to the delicately layered Macchiato and it makes me a happy camper…you’ll have to Google it if you want one, they don’t pay me to advertise for them :)) But moving away from the caffeine-rich deliciousness that is my beverage of choice.

Happy Easter to everyone!!!! I can no longer say “dear lone reader,” since I know there are a few people who read this blog now. To you, I say BRAVO for being willing to stick with me through this quagmire, I hope I always say enough interesting things to make the trek worth it. The reason for such a quick follow-up post is that I have RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING news. So earlier I gushed over my staff, and how because of them I can see that we will ROCK in the fall…well, I must say that the choice of the staff that we have was inspired. Their excitement is infectious…and now, the fearless and intrepid leaders also deserve mad applause…even from those of you in the back, who usually don’t clap, thinking you can get away with half-assing it.

The staff of Women in REDzine have been invited to the 2011 UW-Baraboo/Sauk County Summerset Festival of the Arts. You can read more about it here, http://baraboo.uwc.edu/?pid=1104. I am beyond excited that our team has been invited to this event. In a time of flux, when it seems so much about what makes the University of Wisconsin a multi-campus university is changing, it is a wonderful opportunity to showcase a unified student body and to be the only outside student group ever invited, (that I am aware of) is beyond AMAZING and we are truly honored; to have the opportunity to make such a foray into the world of literature and the arts, taking WIRZ further into the heart of Wisconsin! YAY!!!!! We cannot wait; readings from our staff are epic in their ridiculous awesomeness and the audience will not be disappointed. Again, credit for my love of the word “awesomeness” belongs entirely to my AEIC and any hate mail will be forwarded to her.

Ok, so I know what you’re thinking. “But, intrepid (and fearless)” – yes I know they mean the same thing, but it’s like that “this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl” joke that I love, so yeah, moving along – “EIC, how can you possibly top that?” Well, dear reader. I can top that. WE GET TO HAVE A PRIVATE DINNER WITH JENSINE LARSEN!!!! The founder and editor of the Portland-based international women’s magazine World Pulse, visit it here, http://www.worldpulse.com/. Yeah, the same amazing woman who delivered keynotes at Hewlett Packard, Bioneers, Bennett College, and the Boulder Conference on World Affairs and whose magazine World Pulse was nominated for “Best International Coverage” of 2004 and 2005 by the Independent Press Awards. See, I promised it was awesome. I will be sitting closer to her than I was to Billy Collins….I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!! (Quit sipping on that haterade! It’ll only make your lips green 🙂 besides, we do this with NO BUDGET. Imagine what we could do if we had money!

So, you see, when I tell you that Women in REDzine will be doing bigger and better things, both on and off the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, I was not just blowing smoke, dear reader. We love this magazine and take the responsibility of making it count for something, very seriously. WIRZ will be better than it has ever been and dear reader, that is exactly what you deserve…is a magazine that does EXACTLY what it sets out to do!

I love our staff, I love our readers!!! Stick with us and we’ll make it pay off.

As Always, I remain your intrepid (and fearless) leader,
The Editor-in-Chief, Women in REDzine.

We have the STAFF, we can rebuild it :)

So it usually takes me forever to write blog posts – they feel too personal, or they feel too much like I’m talking to myself – but I am too excited to even sit down and I am wagering that I can finish this one in the time it takes me to finish my cup of coffee…no it’s not morning, but I’m in college and it…wait, why am I explaining this … it’s 8:15 pm and I’m having a cup of coffee. Ok then.

Back to the exciting news. First I got an office for WIRZ and I was thrilled, then WIRZ was funded and I was ecstatic, now WIRZ is staffed and I think that words fail me to describe how much I LOVE our staff. You know the feeling you get when you hear that satisfying crunch when you break the top of great crème brûlée with your spoon?…or the feel of sun on your skin on that first REAL day of spring, when all you have planned is a good book, a cup or glass of something you like, and a comfortable place to lay and enjoy it?…or when you get caught making eyes at the really cute guy/girl who just happens to be JUST-YOUR-TYPE and they smile and you blush and look away only to catch them staring at you in the YOU-ARE-JUST-MY-TYPE way and you feel like you’ve been struck by lightning because your skin is tingling and then they come up to you and ask your name and you smile like an idiot and hold out your hand out and say K…? Yeah, that feeling is the one I’m talking about. When you find a team that is not just willing to work with you to achieve your goals, but rather, a team that is EXCITED to work with you to achieve a common/shared goal. A team of absurdly talented writers to begin with, who want the challenge of pushing not just themselves, but each other, to the next level….it just…makes me…makes me…(here is a classic example of a hole in the language – there should be a word that means exactly what I am trying to say…curse you (is there even a word for the “holes in the language” phenomenon I am talking about?) missing word) I mean, a one hour meeting was almost two hours for some and NO ONE wanted to leave…I’m just saying.

So dear, sole, lone, reader 🙂 the past few weeks have been fun! I sat TWO seats away from Billy Collins (no, not Phil Collins’ brother, but rather, the American Poet and Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003) at a special dinner. He is very nice, reminds me a little of Inspector Gadget…and waaaay funnier than I had expected…although, I will admit that I find it a tad bit weird that there is a Wiki page on someone I watched eat stuffed chicken and portabella mushrooms just an arm’s length away from me….hmmn. But his poetry is laugh-out-loud-funny and I felt the stirrings of a fan-in-the-making within me, listening to him read…alas, the fan died shortly after I remembered I could never write poetry and it was replaced with bitterness at his ability to do it so well. He is on my mind because he introduced me to a new word “azaleate” (which alas, may be spelt incorrectly, but since I can’t look it up) however, it is a word he joked about in his reading, which encapsulates the local phenomena that travelling writers always seem to have “just missed” in the various towns/cities that they visit. It is a word made to fill in one of these holes in the language…read his poem “The Sandhill Cranes of Nebraska” and you will understand.

This hole in the language theory is haunting me now…if only I could use it as an excuse on a paper or exam… “See Professor, I meant to write you a thrilling nine page paper on the merits of Dante’s Divine Comedy in the twenty-first century, but the holes in the language rendered me speechless and dumbfounded at 4 pages.” I don’t see her falling for it, so I am off, besides, coffee is cold. YAY!!! Spring in Wisconsin and I am still having to wear my socks….che schifo!!

As always, your intrepid (and fearless) leader,

 The Editor-in-Chief, Women in REDzine.

So We Meet Again…

The SECOND POST– the elusive and much awaited sequel to the first post. I know it felt like it would never come, but here it is…don’t believe the naysayers who pontificate that the sequel is never as good as the original. With this, as with most things, seconds are better 😉

Again, dear reader, I would like to begin by thanking you for reading this. I wish I had a way to give you a little hug for taking this second step on the road with me. Alas I don’t, but if I could I would. Well let’s get you caught up on the almost 4 week absence of your intrepid Editor-in-Chief (EIC). Btw, the soundtrack of this blog post is decidedly Techno-esque and right now, “Dance Like Michael Jackson” by Far East Movement is bumpin’ out of my speakers, so bear with me,( it seemed appropriate “…it don’t matter if ya black or white, everybody get down when I’m on the mic’…”)

Ok, so back to the initial thread, the past four weeks have been intense. Sifting and winnowing has never been so painful and I am now firmly entrenched in my belief that some college classes are designed by the devil and administered by his minions. I won’t name names *cough* Zoology *cough*…had something in my throat there for a minute. WIRZ’s fearless (no clowns though…have you read Stephen King’s “IT”) EIC has been outsourcing her endless energy and party-planning skills to three other campus publication. The results of said labor:

  • The Madison Lit Fest Commemorative Collection –Best Student Writers 2011 online and limited release print issue. (I now officially kick butt at InDesign software. YES, a fist bump here is entirely appropriate, but alas, lacking, as my vigorous head nodding is scaring the uninitiated onlookers.) The main reading and cocktail party will be on Wednesday, April 13th and is the kick-off event for a week of literary-themed events. [check it all out here http://www.madisonlitfest.com/]
  • Souvenirs magazine release party on April 17th, 2011, the party planning was fun, come on, it has BELLYDANCERS…yeah, it’s gonna be awesome. 
  • The Illumination magazine – poetry reviewing almost cost me all my hair from the stress…but it got me an AWESOME Assistant Editor-in-Chief (more on this later) and the planning of the Illumination new issue release party on an-as-yet-to-be-announced-date in April (very low stress).

If I am forgetting any non-WIRZ ventures, please forgive me. But this is the WIRZ blog though so… Now to WIRZ ventures. (ooh, new song, “Let it Rock” by Kevin Rudolf) Back to WIRZ. The Madison Lit Fest beckons and we were invited to the Pub Me fair on Monday, April 18th, 2011. It promises to be fun and a chance for us to do the meet-and-greet and brush up on our social etiquette after the long hibernation of winter. The budget hearing happened. It went well…but no news yet so intrepid leader may either be happy or very bitter in a few days, hence the need to post now 😀

***UPDATE: We Were funded!!!! Yay!!!!I am beyond happy and may have strayed into ecstatic territory***

Hmmn…once I write it all down it doesn’t look so much as if my sanity was being tested…I must be forgetting something. Well, I guess the rest of it was simply my life getting on my nerves (car trouble, taxes, college paperwork, work, blah blah blah.) On a happier note, the planning of the WIRZ Fall 2011 bash is in full swing, I will update you as that information becomes more available. So in related news of what WIRZ has been up to, I have planned our three fund-raisers for this year so be on the lookout for us. We will come bearing FOOD…cupcakes, coffee, tea, and complimentary reading materials. A T-shirt is in the works, not sure yet if it’ll be for general sale online, or only staff, but you can at least feast your eyes below. I love Raglan sleeves and the cut is not overly feminine…or masculine, so win-win for everyone. Off to the land of learning…or something like that.

As always, your intrepid (and fearless) leader,

 The Editor-in-Chief, Women in REDzine.