Category Archives: Exploring LDS Lit

The Year My Son and I Were Born

320-yearAbout two years ago, I started trolling around various LDS blogs.  Some were interesting, some were funny, and some were heavily doctrinal.  There was one author I came across a number of times, and I was impressed with a number of things about her:  she used her full name (a rarity in the world of anonymous posting), she was intelligent, articulate, and sensitive, and she had a disabled son.

As the mother of a disabled son myself, I was immediately intrigued and sought out her personal website.  I spent an evening reading her blog and weeping.  Here was someone who thoughtfully and intelligently articulated exactly the feelings that I had but was unable to express in such a thoughtful and intelligent manner myself.  Over and over as I read, I thought, “YES!  I feel exactly the same way!”  I never realized that there was anyone else out there, LDS or not, whose experiences mirrored mine in so many ways. Continue reading

Whitney Award Predictions

In the spirit of all those Oscar articles right before the big night, I’d like to offer a few Whitney Award predictions. I had a great time being on the Whitney Academy this year. I have read all the finalists, and I was tickled to discover some fabulous writing that I would not have looked at before. I wish that I could attend the Whitney Awards Banquet, which will be held April 25th, but I have an unavoidable scheduling conflict. Sigh. I hope they do liveblogging again this year so I can read about it later.

Before I tell you my predictions, a bit of perspective on judging LDS fiction, and a disclaimer. Continue reading

Can Creative Writing Be Taught?

Here’s your answer: yes, creative writing can be taught. Kind of. Except when it can’t.

I’ve asked myself whether or not writing can be taught many times over the years. I asked it when I was an undergraduate English major and couldn’t figure out how in the world to get my pioneer novel off the ground. (It was called Exodus, my friends. I’m not kidding. And no, it never did arrive at the promised land.) I asked it when I started teaching high school English and wondered how in the world to grade the heartfelt and mostly terrible poems that landed in my assignment basket. I asked it when I enrolled in a graduate creative writing program, full of crippling self-doubt mixed with the tiniest flicker of hope that I might someday write a short story that came to some sort of satisfying conclusion instead of wandering off to curl up in a corner and die. And I asked it again when I was hired to teach creative writing to the bright and motivated students at Brigham Young University. Continue reading

Enjoy It!

Ah, we Segullah girls always have something up our sleeves and this is a good one. Available for purchase, right now, right here is Enjoy It!

“This collection of 137 witty/sassy/sexy/crazy blog posts will convince even the crustiest of souls that Courtney Jane Kendrick delights in daily life. Even when she can’t ovulate, and Target is closed, and the pumpkin tarts are sold out at the bakery. Join c jane as she dazzles her way through infertility, pregnancy, and brand-new motherhood with a cast of characters that includes one husband, two parents, five brothers, three sisters, dozens of nieces and nephews, several dogs and celebrities, various disembodied voices, and a nicotine-addicted ghost thrown in just for fun. Because this is her one and only life. And GREAT GRAVY! She’s enjoying it.”

Compiled and edited by the staff of Segullah, with fabulous cover design by our very own Maralise, Enjoy It! is a work of love to benefit Stephanie Nielson. The book is a very hip square paperback that will be shipped 3-5 business days after you place your order.

Courtney hardly needs an introduction around here, but you may recall that she started her blog as a response to well-meaning people who told her to enjoy her years of being childless. And she did. As we read through the last three years of blog posts to choose the very best ones for YOU, we found ourselves giggling and crying at c jane’s unique brand of humor and pathos. She is truly one-of-a-kind.

I have no doubt that Courtney will go on to publish many books, but this is the first. And it’s for the best cause. Enjoy It!

The Internet is Killing Me

Six months ago, I decided it was about time to start my new novel. I had some ideas, some characters, some themes to explore. I was excited about it, even. Ready to dive in! And after six months I am thrilled to report I have written a grand total of twelve pages.

Yes, thank you. Thank you very much.

I have a number of excuses for my failure to get my butt in gear. First excuse: life. Kids, homework, church callings, actual paid work (70 freshman comp students last semester, give me strength), freelance editing, PTA, laundry, etc. etc. Second excuse: legitimate writer’s block. Writing is hard and, for me, beginning is the hardest part. Once I get going I have some momentum, but starting something new can be almost painfully difficult.

But it’s the third excuse that’s the topic of this post. It’s the Internet. Continue reading