Standing on Quicksand…which is very tricky.

Tom Petty sings that waiting is the hardest part and oh, man, was he singing about MFA programs. I think he was…he just didn’t know it. There are two women living in my apartment right now, the AEIC and me (and yes, it looks wrong, but it is the AEIC and ME and not I, which would be incorrect, because you wouldn’t say “I and the AEIC,” but you would say “me and the AEIC,” so back to what I was saying), who are so attuned to the faint vibrations of a phone that we could hear the phone ring in the apartment across the hall. AND there are two computers constantly refreshed in the hopes of an elusive email and we have kept a weathered eye (I used it, indeed, I can be as cliché as I want on my blog) on social media that showcases the happy/soul-crushing news (another one :)) of someone else taking your spot away from you at various dream schools.

In fact, so great is the sense of impending loss that I worry about the fallout from the Great MFA Battle of 2012. How does one recover from the trauma that is the rejection of your work, your precious? How do you look your computer in the eye and conjure up characters that live on the page if you feel that they look back at you from the screen in dejected silence? It is all so very bleak, un-delightfully bleak, utterly bleak, to the nth degree. So to cheer myself up I decided to look at some of my favorite authors and many never made it to the MFA level. Is it something I want…hell yes, I would probably explode into a quivering mass of persimmon colored mush that giggled uncontrollably for the next three years if I got in, but in the absence of that can I continue to be inspired? Can the casualties of this battle pick our broken, bloodied dreams up from this field of poppies and shamble home to mend…and then do we do it again next year?

I’m ashamed to say that my talent, while a large and majestic lion, lives in the confidence of a cub (a sad, doubting Thomas of a cub) and right now it feels as if I’ve put it in a corner for an extended timeout. But no more! I needed to vent, and so I have, and now comes the time to forget about licking wounds and use the pain to write. (I think I just lied to myself…I’m still all cub-like and terrified. Like the puppy that can’t stop shaking even though you’re being nice to it and holding it just right…how does anyone survive this wait?) I understand why some writers dug their graves with alcohol, and others with guns (the cub-like nature makes both these options impossible, but still, I have begun to feel the gnawing in my bones); the waiting kills. The doubt, the need for validation, the waiting for good news/the almost certainty of bad news, the fear of both, the wanting something so bad that you can almost touch it/feel it/taste it. It is almost enough to drive one into the abyss.

I think I just need a good dinner. I’m over-thinking it. I need more faith.

If you’re in the same boat with me, I hope you know I commiserate with you, dear reader. But rejection isn’t personal, we can’t all get in somewhere as the physics of that wouldn’t work and we should just keep telling ourselves that. Maybe we are just too awesome and have to go through this horrible, horrible, process in order to tap into the true writer at our core…we go in with our baby fat on and come out lean and mean (emphasis on mean) and ready to show those people why they should have picked us. That despite not getting into their precious program that we are intellectually on fire, creatively gravid, and destined to write the novel that redefines the genre (whichever one it is we choose). All it takes to go from bitter persimmon to unctuous food of the gods is a little time. So say it with me fellow waiting game participant — what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger (or maims you for life, but that’s not the message I’m trying to get across…is it?).

Enjoy a little Tom Petty with me 🙂 until then,

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


Even more goodness…?

Okay, so I know what you’re thinking…Twice in one night!!!! This is the equivalent of getting the girl of your dreams to go to the prom AND making it to second base all before you splurge for dinner. But, after I posted I realized that I had more I wanted to say, as usual, my everlasting mouth saves the day. So, here at WIRZ we’re interviewing and sourcing interviews for the summer horror issue and whilst I am not willing to sell my soul – I would be open to trading the AEIC’s soul however – for an interview with Stephen King. The loves I has for him knows no bounds and I would just about freak if we snagged an email interview with him. So, if you know him…tell him it would be the easiest way to make my 2012 and even though I am not terminally ill (I guess if I wanted to be technical, we are all terminally ill) it would probably still earn him some major good karma. Shameless plug for his new book is completely fine by us, but since we are no GRANTA…yet …I’ll not hold out much hope.

One day Sir King, we will bond over our love of the macabre, the pleasure of a live baseball game and perhaps the dislike of bad writers (those with affinity for adverbs and allergic to he said, she said, dialogue tags) and I will try to be normal and not gush about how as an 8 year old reading Misery I felt as if time stood still until I read it from cover to cover in one afternoon…followed in short order by Pet Sematary, Christine, It, Cujo and The Shining until I hit the beast that was The Stand (Which I LOVED). But enough love. It’s enough to say I’m a fan.

The spring 2012 issue is a tribute to the spirit of adventure and features interviews with Ron Wallace, Daniel Alarcon, Patrick Somerville and Lydia Fitzpatrick. As usual it will be chock full of poetry (which came as a pleasant surprise) and some fun prose. The Summer issue is gearing up to be a work of art and I was momentarily so excited that I had to pop back on here to share it. Horror doesn’t get the love it deserve in Creative Writing circles as it’s labeled genre and cast aside, but I’m always and forever a fan because horror writers seem to remember the one primary thing about storytelling and that is that it has to have STORY! I’m willing to follow you anywhere, all I ask is that you take me somewhere when I sign up to follow you. Make the story primary and then all other things serve to enrich your work…but don’t kill me with character development with no story…again, that’s like getting to second base and then not being willing to pay for dinner.

Not that it ever happens to me. I don’t date and the only rounding of bases I witness happens at the Brewers games I go to…the better half would probably disagree, but doesn’t get to vote so that’s all I’m about to say about that dear reader.

Have a better night and I’ll blog at you soon-ish. I promise.

I remain, as always, your intrepid (fearlessly intrepid really) leader,
The Editor-in-Chief, Women in REDzine

MFA madness…or just general madness?

Welcome back dear readers, hopefully you are happily beyond the “Must-Have-New-Years-Resolution-Weight-Loss” period of the year and firmly into the “I-just-want-to-be-happier” mindset. I know mine lasted all of twenty minutes before I decided that resolutions are tools of the devil designed to make us regret lasting another year. Instead, I am firmly entrenched in a waiting period of a vastly different variety – to have my hopes and dreams mercilessly crushed by graduate school admissions. I am aware that there are many of us on this vicious cycle of the pseudo-suicidal endeavor for greatness/acceptance/mediocrity. I wish you (us) all the best of luck with your apps…but, I’m sure you understand I’d rather be sympathetic from my ideal program, rather than envious from rejection-ville. So, while I wait for the chips to fall where they will, it occurred to me that there is no better way to pass the time not writing AND writing at the same time, than to blog.

The new Spring issue is in the works…March 21st /22nd is the planned release date, but depending on how things shake out we could be a bit earlier, or later. The issue is shaping up to be a beautiful print issue with an adventurous theme to it, thanks primarily to the cover artist, Claire Menegatti. Her work is beautiful – but then again, would you expect anything less from us? The answer of course is Hell No, EIC! Nothing but EPICness! It’s a curious time for us, since I am simultaneously laying out the Spring 2012 AND Summer 2012 issues …which does not bode well for my sanity considering the other things percolating in this five month stretch. But, c’est la vie, please continue to send us your best work – those awesome poems, fantastic stories, and killer artwork out to us – we promise to continue to read them. But, alas, all I can handle at the moment is a brief post since my stress level is IQ restrictive.

Keep writing and keep submitting!

I remain, as always, your intrepid (and fearlessly insane) leader,
The Editor-in-Chief, Women in REDzine

The better half reports in…

Well, a semester of REDzine is drawing to a close…Oh, and what’s that? You can already tell these are not the fine writing styling’s of our beloved EIC? That’s true. This is the not quite as awesome AEIC filling in. It’s like a cross-over episode of your favorite cop show!

So, to continue…The first TRUE semester of our team making the kick-ass magazine is drawing to a close. We put out two amazing issues featuring interviews with some of the best writers going as well as poetry, prose, and art. We also had a great Gallery show featuring amazing artwork. And a release party with music by three tremendously wonderful bands: Hewn, Newport Jam, and Marc LaMere Trio (seriously these three bands were spectacular).

We’re all preparing to take a well deserved break…Or “break” as it may be. But we are also already gearing up for next semester: two more issues (including our HORROR issue for Summer), more art, and another release party. We will also be staying just, you know, awesome.

But, next semester will also be bringing some bitter-sweetness as it will be the last when all of our staff members are in the same city. Over the time we’ve known each other, I feel that they’ve all become true friends of mine (and I know our darling EIC feels the same). While we are looking forward to grad school (and again I think I need scare quotes, so here: “looking forward”) and the new experiences that brings, I also know that we will miss this wondrous staff. I’ve never before been a part of something which I really feel is this special or had this sense of camaraderie with another group of people. The staff of REDzine is comprised of some of the best people I know and I would totally put them on my survival team in the event of a Zombie apocalypse.

So, yes, it will be bittersweet. But we will also be going to be putting out two kickass issues! So I hope you will stick with us for what will be a tremendous continuation of the great Year 1 of REDzine.

Your not so intrepid and definitely not fearless,
Second-in-Command (but TOTALLY AWESOME) AEIC

This is NOT how the world ends…

So it’s time to get on the crazy rollercoaster for the last time this year and while it’s been fun, I can’t say that the six, or so, weeks between December 23 – January 31st aren’t going to be heaven; because they are and I’d be lying if I said anything to the contrary. It will be six weeks spent in bed with copious amounts of coffee, ramen noodles, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood and my personal favorite, the significant other. That’s all, no great plans to do anything; it will be the epic Winter 2011 undertaking of doing nothing! The next two weeks will be sheer hell and I think I deserve to relax if I survive it. It is chock full of nightmarish things to do, including, but not limited to, one massive paper; three beastly final exams; numerous graduate-school application things — including the dreaded personal statement and statement of purpose; the printing of the Winter 2011 issue (our SECOND this semester); the Redzine Gallery Show and Artist Reception on Friday, December 9th; and the magazine issue Release Party (with readings and live music by Hewn, Marc LaMere and Newport Jam) on Saturday, December 10th. You’re probably tired just reading that, well, imagine doing it with one of the smallest staff on any campus literary journal and a budget of about 1/10th of anyone else and you’ll see why we kick ass.

Starts at 7 PM, runs until Midnight!!!!

We’re truly starting to get the magazine out there and I was tickled to see mailing addresses in Wisconsin (naturally), Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Arizona, Utah, California, Colorado, Texas, Oregon, Montana, Pennsylvania, Florida, Puerto Rico AND —since we are now officially delivering magazines internationally— we can count Jamaica, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Turkey and Switzerland as places that get Redzine!!!! WOOT!!! The love has been wonderful and the numerous nice things said about the Autumn 2011 issue was heart-warming to hear. A big shout out to you and your state…if you don’t see your state on here…maybe you should do something about that! You can still get your hands on your very own copy here,!__mag-swag; Autumn 2011 won’t become an official “back issue” for another week or two, so get it now, while supplies last. The new issue is at the printers as I write this and it looks phenomenal. So much prose…I’ll be spending some of my winter break reading it — for fun this time! Alas, copyediting is always a pain in the butt. But we rocked out TWO issues this semester, still in shock at that one, and they are each a massive 80 pages of full color!!! You should get yourself a copy if you have not already done so.

Come check out the AMAZING originals of the images you've seen and loved!!

Hmmn, I just realized The Great Winter 2011 of Doing Nothing will not happen quite that way and words cannot express my sadness. But after the planned re-haul of the website to include an online magazine section, the research and implementation of an online writing group feature, the revamping of the Mag Swag store and the launch of the Team Red gear and the creation of the Kindle magazine files etc for our online Redzine presence…then it’ll be The Great 2011 Winter of Doing Nothing? Oh wait, gotta finish up the THREE in-progress collection of short stories I’m working on and for those of you keeping count that’s 39 short-stories (13 stories each). Plus the novella…FML. Curses the AEIC and her assertion that I can’t write short, I will one day write a 10-page story, I don’t know when, but I will.

Maybe there’ll be a Great Summer 2012 of Doing Nothing…oh wait, I’ll be moving to a new state then…ok, so the great time off to do nothing is elusive, but I’m patient and I’ll get it, eventually. Le sigh.

Until such a time as we meet again, dear reader, I wish you a wonderful Holiday season and hope you get to celebrate it however you choose to, with those you love and call family. Season’s Greetings!!

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

Farewell To Autumn…

Dear Reader, October has passed away and as November prepares to whip us into shape I am feeling a bit of the old joy for those first crisp days of winter. The days where it’s still too warm for gloves, but still your fingers burn, ever so slightly, from the cold as you rush to your favorite coffee shop eager for the feel of the hot cardboard against your palm. It’s always weird in this in-between time, but still its nice when you stop to take the time and really look at how things are changing and that the changes are some of the most beautiful (except, of course, for spring when that blanket of white gives way to the exhilaration of GRASS!!!) There is a tree by my apartment, I don’t know what kind and really, why should you expect me to 🙂 but anyway, all the leaves…yep, every single one has turned gold. The gold that almost hurts your eyes when you’re looking up at them and the sun is shining directly through them…so fun to be in this in-between place right now.


The Autumn 2011 issue had its first (limited run) and now we wait for the campus busy bodies to get the second printing done so we can get that wave of the magazines out. I thank ALL of our contributors for their patience, believe me, I have been trying to light a fire under the powers that be…but to no avail; things at the University of Wisconsin-Madison sometimes move at their own bewildering pace.

Speaking of things moving — I know you liked that segue — the Winter 2011 issue is currently being put together. We have some more amazing interviews for you (hopefully you are as excited about the INPERSON Nathan Englander exclusive interview as we are! It was an amazing time all-around and I believe that the AEIC will be floating on that particular high for the rest of the academic year :)) and an abundance of prose for you for the holidays. There are short stories aplenty; including some to scare you and some to break your heart…we temper them with some lovely poetry and a few short, almost-but-not-quite flash fiction and an interesting mix of art. Submissions are still open and I encourage you, as always, to submit your work to us. The magazine really is a thing of beauty — and at 80 pages of 8 ½″ x 11″ full-color glossy text and all — quite a bit of substantial literary distraction/entertainment.

So, support us by getting a subscription and support your local library by gifting them a subscription and, while you’re at it, get a beautiful new centerpiece for your coffee table…one that you’ll actually want to read 😉



Until we meet again! I remain, as always, your intrepid (and fearless) leader,
The Editor-in-Chief, Women in REDzine

Elation…or fever high

Dear Reader, I’m still floating on the high of having our Autumn 2011 issue be so well received and look so damn good at the same time; it’s a sleek, glossy, black cover with…(cheese warning) a woman, in red, on the cover…both front and back — which the back has to been seen…it’s completely and utterly brilliant and awesome! I love our first issue of the year…actually, our first real issue ever. There are interviews with Benjamin Percy, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Sean Bishop, Nick Lantz and an artistic feature on body artist, Dawn Marie Svanoe and Photographer, Colm McCarthy. Suffice to say that it’s worth the money to get your hands on a copy. I’ve included the cover image so you can see what I mean. You should get it! Website…Mag Swag…boom and it’s on its way to you.!__mag-swag

The Kickass Cover

It’s a big thing for me to still be happy, since I’m gotten the mother of all colds and another reading to do today…but, ok this is where it gets weird, I’m looking forward to today’s reading. I know, right! But it’s like Cheers and going back to a place where everyone knows your name and most of the people in attendance like you…and like your work. The cold just seems to melt away and I’m hoping to bring it for these people since they deserve a great reading. Poetry is the order of the day…we’re taking a lot of prose with us…who apparently put the pro in prose (that’s our prose editor talking and all hate mail will be forwarded to him 🙂 )

But I told myself this would be quick…just a quick ‘how you doing’ and bustin’ out and I think I will stick to the plan. Come on out and see us at the UW-Baraboo/Sauk County if you’re able to, support us by getting a couple copies of the magazine (remember, as a non-profit all money goes back into printing the magazine…do you recall the “we are all volunteers” conversation we had?), pick up a bottle opener and keychain, listen to some young (and between you and I, soon to be famously awesome) writers read their work for free at the T.N. Savides Library. You know you want to…besides it cold outside and I’m running a fever so you’re at least guaranteed a warm cozy space to pass an hour or so. So be there…or have a really good excuse!

So, until we meet again, I remain, as always, your intrepid (and fearless) leader,
The Editor-in-Chief, Women in REDzine