When I saw the e-mail, I was annoyed. You see, the sender’s name was Nicholas, and the only Nicholas on my mind was the one at work — and it was just too early in the morning to think about work. But I groaned and looked a little more closely.
It was not Nicholas from work.
It was Nicholas Whyte, writing from Ireland. Nicholas Whyte, the 2019 Hugo Administrator.
Nicholas wrote with the news that Shimmer had been nominated in the Semiprozine category. I was still in bed, so stayed there and sobbed for a good while, certain I had read wrong. When I thumbed out of the e-mail, I saw that there was another one. Also from Nicholas. Nicholas, it’s not even 7am here, what could you possibly…
Nicholas was also telling me that I’d been nominated as Best Editor (Short Form). WELL.
Only my pillowcase knows how much I cried. (Here’s the whole list of Hugo awesome!)
Even as I work on this post, I can’t quite believe it. Surely they miscounted. How could it be? But it is. As writers, we’re supposed to always have the words, but sometimes you stare at that blank page for a long time, wondering if they will ever come. Blinking cursor, blinking cursor…
First, the thank yous, to Matt Dovey, Wren Wallis, Maria Haskins, Alex Acks, Suzan Palumbo, Lindsay Thomas, and Alexis A. Hunter who instigated the #AHugoForElise hashtag and made this a thing people were talking about. If not for that, I’m not sure either I or Shimmer end up on the ballot — but they did, and we did, and I can’t breathe right when I think of all the kind things they said, and the love they all showed me for the work we and I did at Shimmer.
Shimmer was the magazine of my heart, but I never expected it to be that. I came to read slush and learn stuff, and then go on my merry way. Only, my merry way turned out to be with Shimmer, and Beth and Mary Robinette, and Sean, and I’m so glad it did. I met so many fabulous people, who taught me about fiction, about this genre we all love, and about myself. I learned what I was capable of, but also what our genre was capable of — and both are pretty damn great.
That hashtag was hard to follow in the beginning. In the early days, I muted it, but then a wise voice said “hey, they love the work you did, enjoy that.” So then that imposter part of my brain said “yeah, this could be it — enjoy what’s there.” I couldn’t allow myself to believe that anything more might happen. And then it did.
For everyone who thought of Shimmer, thank you. For everyone who thought of me, thank you. So much of the work editors do goes unseen and is lost in the rush to get a new issue done and out before we have to do it all over again. Much creative work is done alone, be it editing or writing or drawing, and it is a good and necessary thing that we lift our heads up every now and then and hear everyone who has said “your work matters.”
We heard you. Thank you for honoring everything that Shimmer was.