On Monday, we featured a book review of Dr. Christina Hibbert’s memoir, This is How We Grow, the story of how she and her family adapted and changed after her sister and brother-in-law died and the Hibberts adopted their two sons. Today, we’re resurrecting a feature we used to have in the print journal, the “Faces of Latter-day Saint Women” interviews, and I was delighted to be able to have this conversation with Dr. Hibbert:
Talk a little bit about the process of writing the memoir. When you were writing in your journal while you were going through the process, did you think that you might eventually turn this experience into a book?
I had wanted to write a book for many years prior to the experiences I share in This is How We Grow. I’d even begun writing a book about my little sister, McLean, who died when she was 8 years old from cancer. But then, my sister Shannon died just two months after her husband had died. I suddenly had six kids, and my life changed completely; I thought, “I’ll never be able to write a book now.”
A few months later, as I was journaling (I’ve been an avid journaler for as long as I can remember), I had a feeling, Someday, you will write this story. I didn’t tell anyone about it, but it was in the back of my mind with every journal entry from that point on. Even though life was too full to add any career pursuits, including writing a book, I soon figured I could at least write a little each day. Each night I’d write in a notebook (not my journal) for 10 minutes about whatever topic was on my mind at the time. Continue reading
You may be familiar with the beautiful writing of Maralise Petersen, who worked as Segullah’s intrepid blog editor for several years, but you might not know that she’s also an artist. Maralise, who now works as the Art Editor for the journal, had to have her arm twisted by the entire staff to allow us to feature her artwork in our anniversary issue. When you page through the journal or browse through this post, you’ll see why we’re glad we finally persuaded her.
Mara’s work has been featured in has been featured at the Amerikahaus in Vienna, Austria; the “Women of Faith” exhibit in Washington D.C.; and in the literary journal Irreantum. She lives with her husband and two sons in Tennessee. You can see more of her work at Reluctant Nomad.
1) How did you begin your work as an artist? It was a complete accident. I had worked in portraiture since 2005 and while avoiding work for a client, I began layering pictures on top of one another, changing the blending methods, and figuring out what came out of the mix. I was so intrigued with those manipulations that I kept exploring, usually in fits and starts. My work, unlike most artists, and probably to its detriment, is most often not premeditated. Although I would argue that the pieces I create have imbued meaning of some kind, that they answer a question or a series of questions that I pose while creating them, the answers are often delightfully unexpected. Continue reading
Segullah plans to feature more of our journal’s authors on the blog–not just posts responding to their writing, but mini interviews with the authors. To that end, I am delighted to introduce you to Krista Clement. She’s the author of Silent Season and Princess, and I lucked out when I met her. Our daughters are in the same dance class, and I found out that Krista had published with us. I was so excited to meet her. You can read her poems here and here, and you can read more about Krista in this interview: Continue reading
I recently reviewed a fascinating collection of essays called Quotidiana, written by author and BYU professor Patrick Madden. Such an interesting conversation with Pat ensued in the comments that I thought it would be a great idea to invite him back and interview him on the topic. Here at Segullah, we’re particularly interested in the creation and appreciation of good essays, so thank you, Pat, for offering your wisdom on the subject.
First, let’s make sure we have a clear understanding of some of the terminology we’ll be using. What is creative nonfiction?
I’m not sure it’s possible to be very clear on terminology, or, I suspect that the only people who are clear on such things are those who don’t know very much (Socrates: “I know only one thing, namely, that I know nothing”). Nevertheless, a simple, utilitarian definition of creative nonfiction is “literature derived from real events.” The term is a bit unwieldy, but it does serve to distinguish prose that’s made up from prose that’s true to reality. Continue reading
One of my favorite pieces we’ve ever published is “Dreams as Gifts of the Spirit,” an analysis of dream-related LDS history, doctrine, and practice. I have occasionally experienced powerful dreams myself, and I have always been grateful for the wisdom with which Barbara Bishop, the author (and also my aunt), helps me understand my dreams.
Barbara Bishop has an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Utah, a PhD in English from UCLA, and a master’s in counseling psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She taught English, using a curriculum that combined dreams and literature, for seven years at Marymount College in Palos Verdes, California. In addition to her work as a therapist, she is also writing a book about addiction dreams. She is married to Brent Pace and has three beautiful boys, about whom she dreams regularly.
As research for her book on addiction dreams, Barbara is seeking dreams from addicts and recovered addicts. If you have a family member who is an addict, she is interested in your dreams as well. Please email me –emilymilner at byu dot net–if you have an addiction-related dream you would like to share with her.
When did you first begin to pay attention to your dreams and what they might mean?
I first became interested in dreams while I was writing my dissertation for my PhD in English. I had a nagging thought, which I tried to ignore, that writing literary criticism wasn’t quite my bliss. I loved literature and I loved teaching literature, but I didn’t enjoy the lit crit industry. It seemed like literary critics wrote to other literary critics, and argued with and against their particular readings, and it seemed rather pointless. I had been writing down my dreams, trying to figure out why I was having these second thoughts now, when I was nearly finished with my dissertation. My sister invited me to attend a weekend workshop on dreams, and I immediately saw that studying dreams and writing about dreams had more relevance to the general population than writing literary criticism. Dream interpretation uses some of the same skills as literary interpretation, and dreams are as intriguing as literature. But everyone dreams, and each person’s dreams are tailor-made metaphorical stories about the dreamer’s life. I loved how the dreams could show my life in a symbolic way. Continue reading