Friday, December 29, 2006

New Year's Resolution

In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Fill my house with chocolate pudding.

Get your resolution here.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

In the interest of fairness. . . .

Alas, it seems that Jason Sizemore over at Apex doesn't think we're quite as friendly as I did. Jason, I have nothing but the depeest respect and admiration for you and your work, and I hope that someday, you'll be able to see past our editorial differences.

He posted one of my rejection letters to him. It's only fair, I think, that I post his submission - I just want everyone to be able to make up their own minds.

Here's his cover letter:

Dear Mr. Debbie Wodnizky,

Here is my story "Intestines On The Moon!" It is way better than the crap you usually print! My mom really likes it so if you don't like it you are STUPID and I will tell everyone on the interwebs that you are MEEN.

Jason Sizmore


And here's the story that accompanied this fine letter:

Jason Sizmore

Strong manly handsome Lt. Commander Jason Sizmore knew he was in trouble. "That's one big scary alien," he thought to himself in his head. Because the alien was really big. And scary! "I sure wish I was back in the hollers making out with my cousin right now. Instead of being here on the moon with an alien! Because she is really nice. And pretty! Like a dragon who has read the Kama Sutra! And not big and scary like this alien."

The alien growled. It was scary! Then it used its magic telepathy to hurl strong manly handsome Lt. Commander Jason Sizmore against the wall of the moon base. It hurt!

And then the alien ripped open his space suit and started to eat Sizmore's intestines. They were all slippery and oozy but the alien liked them that way! Yum, yum, intestines! said the alien, in his weird alien language, which sounded like this: Alskdhj 3hq65hdj asjjzzjgj jhadh hahshg.

"Ouch!" said strong manly handsome Lt. Commander Sizmore. Then he died.

And there were no more intestines! The alien was very sad. So he invaded Earth to get more intestines.

Yum, yum!


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Jason Sizemore Doesn't Really Think I'm Evil

The other day, Jason Sizemore of Apex Digest fame mentioned me in a blog entry.

It seems likely this princess of sweetness and charm [Mary Robinette Kowal] was tarnished by that evil editor lady over at Shimmer Magazine, but I won't say her name because she's likely got her name plugged into Google Alerts and Technorati.
This comment has apparently raised an eyebrow or two - and I guess if you don't know Jason or me, it's not entirely clear that he's TOTALLY KIDDING. Jason and I know each other well enough to indulge in cheerful mockery on occasion, but the truth is, we're friends, and Jason's been very supportive of Shimmer.

So relax; there will be no fistfights at the next convention where our paths cross.

(But if we DID have a fight, I would totally win.)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Shimmer Holiday Subscription Special

Hey there. Shimmer has a limited-time special offer for the holidays. Anyone who buys a subscription to Shimmer between now and the end of the year, gets a signed copy of our holiday chapbook. This year’s holiday story is Christmas Season by Jay Lake.

A subscription is only $17. Already have one? Send Shimmer to a friend for the holidays; we won’t tell them that you kept the chapbook for yourself.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Avast! It's Pirate Season!

Ahoy, landlubbers! 'Tis time to be submittin' your pirate stories to Shimmer. Cap'n John Joseph Adams is guest editing our pirate issue, and it's time to fill his chum bucket up with submissions. Check out the web site for details.

And yes, we'll continue to read non-piratical submissions; there's still some room in our Spring 2007 issue. Insider tip: I seem to be particularly fond of stories about birds these days; I don't know what's up with that, but if you have a strange and lovely bird story, please send it my way.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Shimmer Autumn 2006 Reviews!

Our Autumn issue got two great reviews this week. Woo-hoo!

Danny Adams at Tangent has nice things to say about every story.

Sam Tomaino at SFRevu liked it, too:
It was a totally enjoyable experience and all the stories got a Very Good from me.... Shimmer is one of the best small press magazines out there and you should all be subscribing to it!
I couldn't agree more. Why not head over to and grab a copy?

Monday, November 27, 2006

How the Other Half Lives

It's no secret that I am not a morning person. Through much of my life, I've been lucky enough to arrange things to accommodate my natural sleep cycle, more or less - I argue that going to work 9 am is still pretty damn early, but must admit that it's a reasonable compromise between 6 and noon.

But today my luck ran out. I had to be at work by 7 AM for a class. (Was the class worth such a sacrifice? No comment.)

It's still dark at 7; who knew? And there are LOTS of people awake at that hour. I knew that, but have rarely seen this behavior in the wild, so it has the power to amaze me.

Getting up that early went way better than I expected. And I have to admit that there are some advantages to getting an early start: I got to leave before most of my coworkers, and soon I'm heading off for a yoga class that I can't usually attend.

But, really. 7 AM? WTF?

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Apparently the blog police are going to arrest me if I don't write a long post listing all the things I'm thankful for. It's good to take a little break and appreciate all the things that are good about your life - I hope I'd do this even without the threat of jail time.

I'm thankful it's Thanksgiving, and not Christmas. Today I'm sleeping late and then eating a lot of really good food with friends - what's not to love? I am thankful for gravy.

I'm thankful I'm healthy. I'm thankful I can do a handstand and put my feet behind my head (not at the same time; I am not that thankful). I'm thankful that I haven't gotten the flu yet this year.

I'm thankful for my job, most of the time; it's great to be paid well for something you enjoy and are good at and that doesn't make you insane most days. I'm thankful for my coworkers Mueller and Mueller, who make it fun to go to work. I'm thankful to my boss for her brilliant advice ("Keep on wanking").

I'm thankful for my friends: Keri, for having such an interesting and dramatic life; Amy for keeping me informed about reality TV; Heather for being so cheerful; Tony and Wendy for martinis and years of friendship; Mary for being superhumanly amazing in all ways; Sean for millions of words of conversation and for his constant kindness and understanding; all the people who I am forgetting to mention for knowing that I love them even if I am not smart enough right now to put their names up here.

I'm thankful for Shimmer, which is growing into something more spectacular than I thought possible, thankful for Mary's incredible contributions to our success, thankful for Elise and Lisa and Cat and David and Susan and Cheryl and Sunil for the work they have done and will continue to do, thankful for our brilliant contributors who allow us to print their work, thankful for our readers and supporters.

And now, I think I'll go take a thankful little nap.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Belated Orycon Report

So either I'm a great big procrastinator, or I was just waiting to get some photos to post. You decide!

Orycon was a great deal of fun. I got to hang out with the usual suspects (Mary, Ken Scholes, Jay Lake, and probably a dozen others that I am shamefully neglecting to name-drop) and meet a bunch of great new people.

The highlight for me was the Shimmer party Saturday night. We decided to avoid the room party thing and held it in a spacious salon room, and laid out a lot of good food and wine. Mary and I got all dressed up, which was fun! Stephen Stanley brought the art he's done for us (including a piece I hadn't seen yet for our Winter 2007 issue), and Ken displayed the art Karl Kessel of Marvel Comics fame did for his story. Ken also brought his guitar and I finally got to hear him play! Jen West took a bunch of great pictures, but I haven't seen them yet - so get on it, Jen!

So now it's back to work, just in time for a little holiday break. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Autumn '06 Shimmer

It's here!

The Autumn 2006 issue features our interview with Campbell-award winner John Scalzi. We’ve got new fiction from Shimmer veterans Angela Slatter and Aliette de Bodard, as well as stories from Monica Eiland, John Parke Davis, Bryan Lindsey, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Kathy Watts, and Nir Yaniv.

Copies available on our web site.

I mailed the last of the copies out today; if you've already ordered one, it should reach you shortly!

In other news, we'll be at Orycon this weekend. If you're going to be there, be sure to stop by the Shimmer party on Saturday at 7 pm. See you there!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Back from World Fantasy

World Fantasy was a lot of exhausting fun. I got to spend a lot of time with Mary Robinette Kowal, who is an excellent driver, as well as meeting too many fabulous new people to mention here. I would surely forget several dozen and then feel bad for neglecting them.

The best part of the con for me was the Shimmer pirate party on Saturday; we had a really great turnout and everyone seemed to be having fun. Here's a lovely picture of me tattooing Jay Lake.

Still pretty worn out! It's good to be home.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Review of The Minotaur's Rabbit

Marshall Payne over at Tangent has some kind words to say about The Minotaur's Rabbit, in the current Apex. "I found it poignant and satisfying," he says. Can't beat that.

In other news, today was Day 1 of Nanowrimo, and I banged out 2011 words. Apparently they are less sucky than I thought, too, or so I am assured by a reliable source. Only 48k to go - but I think it's going to be a rough month.

And tomorrow I take off for WorldCon! I can't  wait. If you're going to be there, please hunt me down and say hi! 

Monday, October 30, 2006

It's almost November. . . .

That means two things: Nanowrimo is looming, and it's all Halloween songs on the radio.

We held our Nano kickoff meeting yesterday - about 35 people showed up for pizza. Overall, it seemed like a more confident group than usual. At least, they looked less apprehensive as they approached us, and all settled down for a jolly afternoon of pizza, novel talk, and door prizes.

I think I've got my Nano project picked out. I'd hoped to have a detailed outline and such - but no, it appears that I will be winging it again this year.

I'd hoped that I would be the kind of blogger who could come up with something entertaining every day - but alas. No doubt I will have more to say in November, as I am diligently procrastinating on my nano project.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Rough Week

This has been a tricky week. My head feels like it's full of pudding, and all I want to do is sleep. Getting out of bed has required heroic efforts this week - waking up when the alarm goes off has never been one of my strong points, but this week, it's been nearly impossible. And once I did get up, the next steps seemed way beyond me: making coffee, getting dressed, etc. I probably would have called in sick at work a few times, but god, I hate phones, and it was easier to just get dressed and go in to the office.

Good things have happened this week, too, and some awareness of them has even trickled through the pudding in my brain. Some interesting possibilities developed career-wise (though it may take months for anything to be decided). I got a nice letter from a reader who liked The Minotaur's Rabbit in the latest Apex. (Read something you've liked lately? Send the author a message. Make someone's day.) Sean, who is turning out to be the nicest person in the whole world, sent me a bunch of music and an IGMS gift certificate. Despite myself, I made good progress on my mountainous pile of Stuff To Do, both for Shimmer and at work. And it's a lovely crisp fall out there.

Life's good. I just need to stay awake long enough to notice.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Today I started out by making a list of everything I need to do today. This was very easy, because I mostly copied over yesterday's list, and added a few things that came up last night and this morning. Last night, not so productive, except in the taking a nap and watching TV kind of way.

More interestingly, today I received my contributor copies of Apex Science Fiction and Horror, #7. You can grab a copy from the Apex web site, or keep an eye out in your local bookstore. It's got some lovely art by Sandro Castelli (we love his stuff over at Shimmer, too!), and plenty of stories and interviews. I'm looking forward to settling in to read it, once I've made a sizeable dent in my List.

My story is The Minotaur's Rabbit, which was written for the Apex contest at Liberty Hall. It is a jolly tale about a bunny, and I hope you like it.

It's one of those stories that I wrote for my own reasons, and never really expected anyone else to like or even pay much attention to. In part, it was an exercise: I wanted to see if I could Apex up a story but still have it be mine. I almost never write SF or horror, so I was skeptical, but the experiment went well, I think. It was also part therapy story; let's just say that the week I wrote that was a very bad week for one of my cats.

So I wrote it for those reasons and a few more besides, and did my best with it. And I was content that I'd done with it what I set out to do. But I truly never expected other people to like it so much; it's a wonderful bonus.

Seems that I have more and more stories like this - things that I write as an exercise or a game or therapy and never intend to think about again - but people keep liking them. I think I'm going to start trusting my readers more, and sending more of these odd bits out.

And now, back to the List. No matter what else I get done this weekend, I swear I'm going to get the laundry out of the dryer and put away. No Matter What.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Halloween Songs? Bah, humbug.

So it seems some readers of this blog love their Halloween songs. All I can do is shake my head and make myself another olivetini.

Every Halloween, at our independent radio staton (KRCL, which is very cool), the programmers indulge in themed shows and play plenty of Halloween songs. It's better than Christmas music, I guess, but let me tell you: "Werewolves of London," not fun on endless eternal repeat.

Why are some holidays celebrated (overcelebrated) with music? Seems like the programmers throw together themed shows for all possible holidays. Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, Halloween, Election Day, Valentines Day.

And is it any coincidence that the holidays with the most songs are also the most commercial? Nothing says "I love you, Dad!" like a new weed whacker. Nothing tells your mom how much you care like a blender. And what better way to tell your brother you love him than by buying him the election in Florida? Ho, ho, ho.

There are a few holidays associated with big sales at discount furniture stores. Want to remember Martin Luther King, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington? Celebrate Memorial Day? Relax on Labor Day? Buy a new couch. But at least there aren't very many songs for those days.

Columbus Day, now that's a holiday. No songs, no Columbus Day decorations in the stores for two months before the big day. No need to buy a gift, and Hallmark doesn't make much money off Columbus. I just get the day off from work to peacefully contemplate European imperialism and the devastation wrought upon native populations.

That's my kind of holiday.

When I go home to New York for Christmas, my sister and her husband usually come, too. They bring a puzzle with them, a giant difficult 1,000 piece monster. While my father's in the kitchen drunkenly roasting a goose and preparing six other exquisite dishes for our feast, the rest of us hide out in the living room and work on the puzzle and listen to Christmas music and try to think of errands that will get us out of the house for a while. Finishing a puzzle means we can go buy another one, so we work fast.

It's taught me a lot about teamwork.

Speaking of puzzles, here's a terrific one. It's the cover of the Autumn Shimmer. Keep an eye on Mary's blog; she's got lots of goodies up her sleeve.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Ho ho ho

Shimmer's fabulous art director, Mary Robinette Kowal, has set up a wordsearch using words from the Autumn issue. Check it out!

Then I found out that a friend of mine is listening to Christmas music. Already. It's not enough that Christmas is inescapable from November 1 on? It's not enough that some stores already have Christmas merchandise up, even if they haven't switched over to the Christmas muzak yet, or put up the giant animatronic reindeer that sings "Jingle Bells" every time you walk by?

It's just a matter of time. Christmas will be here soon enough, and then all you Christmas-music lovers can just wallow in it full-time.

In my family, when we all get together (which isn't very often), we do a traditional Polish Christmas. Christmas Eve, there's a traditional meal, served when the first star comes out; there's a ceremony where we go around and wish each other well; there's lots and lots and lots of good food.

And there's Christmas music. We've got a CD or two of Polish Christmas carols - they're lovely, really, the first several hundred times you hear them. It doesn't take as long as you might think to hear a song a hundred times - just put the CD player on endless eternal repeat, crank up the volume, and settle back to enjoy your holidays.

Christmas music. I feel so betrayed to learn that this friend has such unspeakable interests.

Busy Sunday

I spent a lot of time today proofing the Autumn issue of Shimmer. I really love this issue. I mean, I love all of our issues, but I really love this one. I'm looking forward to the day when I get the copies back from the printer; I will probably just sit and admire it for a while.

Then I did the flash challenge at Liberty Hall. Good luck recognizing me, my LH friends; this one is not like anything I've ever written before.

Beautiful fall day, good for raking leaves and snuggling with cats.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The List

...of what I should do today:
  • Read 6 slush stories and decide whether to reject or pass on to the board for further consideration
  • Read or reread the 9 stories already before the board and figure out what to do with them
  • Obsessively proof the Autumn issue
  • Sign contracts for the Winter issue and pay the authors
  • Catch up on accounting and other record-keeping
  • Catch up on miscellaneous e-mail
  • Do a revision pass on a story
  • Laundry and miscellaneous other domesticities - at least it is raining, so I don't feel obligated to put any yard work on the list
  • Read a few books and magazines from my looming "to read right now" pile
  • Return library books
  • Go to Ben Bova's reading
If I were superhuman, I'd also be trying to do some edits on the Winter issue stories, so that I'm not frantically doing those at the last minute - but I think the list is long enough already. And I have to do it all with a kitten on my lap or sitting on the desk in front of me - she's fascinated by the monitor and the way text scrolls, and keeps trying to swat at the cursor.

Reading the slush stories is pretty easy; all I have to decide is if the story merits another look. Making final decisions, though, is tougher. The stories that make it to the board all have some really good parts, and usually some weaknesses; it's a matter of deciding if the weaknesses are fixable, and if they are fixable, is it a story that we'll love?

Maybe I'll get lucky and find something in my slush or in the board stories that I just love unconditionally. It happens.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Lazy evening

Today's a rainy fall day, orange leaves against a gray sky. So after work I ignored the large piles of work I need to do for Shimmer (catching up on my slush pile, making decisions about the stories that have cleared the first reader, proofreading the Autumn issue) and the large piles of work I need to do at home, and just curled up in bed with a book and the cats and fell asleep.

Now I'm half-awake and stupid with sleep. Trying to figure out what to have for dinner, something easy enough to make without thinking. Too hungry to go back to sleep, too slow and thick to put any energy into food.

Well. Tomorrow I'll wake up and be frighteningly productive. Just you watch.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sonnets and Toe Stands

First, from the Department of Shameless Self-Promotion, check out the latest issue of Ray Gun Revival. Why? Because they published my sonnet, "The Evil Robot Monkey Chronicles: Sonnet XII." The issue's a free PDF, so take a moment and download.

What, you didn't know I wrote poetry? Either did I. It started as a complete joke, but the Evil Overlords liked it, and presto. I've had a lot of fun with it, and hope you enjoy it too.

The most fun pose we worked on in yoga tonight is the toe stand, padagustasana. Here's a picture if you're not familiar with it. I was very wobbly. We also did kurmasana for the first time in months; felt great.

And now, I think I'll go watch tv.