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2014: Greetings from Segullah

By Johnna Ferguson

Dear Segullah Readers,

Welcome to our wrap up of 2014. We’re styling this as a bit of a holiday letter: a recounting of our big moments, better posts and personal favourites to make this letter better reflect the good seasoned writers who make this blog a delicious place to write and read.  Just to keep it real and because we got as tied up in the holiday rush as you probably did it’s also belated. Here we go:

Behind the scenes, Shelah’s responsibility load merited a shift in titles to full Editor of the good ship Segullah. On the blog Sandra got lonely, terrified or both as Blog Editor and was thrilled to have Segullah’s favorite ginger-tressed Aussie, Kel, join her at the helm. Together they’re collecting all sorts of beautiful, bright and peculiar treasures into our latest blog feature: the fantastic, the curious, the carefully curated Peculiar Treasures (featuring fantastic First Draft Poetry), replacing our once weekly book reviews.

Don’t be worried that we’ve fallen from the literary wagon, we still read and reviewed a healthy crop of books this year. Some of Shelah’s reading lead to writing this piece, that kept the comment section buzzing.

We don’t pretend we always write meaningful, multi-drafted posts, but occasionally we write things we really do love, that we are proud of for a whole host of reasons, and that startle us with the reactions they generate (staffers have been approached in real life by people talking about their Segullah posts, some even kissed and hugged to their great surprise!)

Segullah has mourned with Andrea, who lost her gorgeous Ethan in February and graced us by sharing her experience with the ugly grief linebacker. Topics of loss and letting go repeated this year, with Kel’s “When Life Is Burning Down” lament and invitation and “I Hope They Don’t Call Him On a Mission” wish. Catherine A. offered us a slice of her “Humble Pie,” and Karen relates learning in hardship in “Compassion: A Heavy Heart.” The messiness and seeking in a painful week for Saints was shared through the “In Response”, “Spiral,”  and “Promote Greater Understanding” pieces along with the balm we all needed in “Love Notes.”

The worldwide Segullah sisterhood also represented in discussing a huge range of topics, such as Michelle’s “Let’s Talk About The Money Honey,” Emily’s “God of Stories, God of Laws,”  Shelah’s questioning if blond or black hair is better, Hildie took on The Temptation of the Old Boyfriend  and a bit of politics in Rosalyn’s “Defending the Middle Ground.” Catherine A’s “All things in Wisdom and Order”  also resonated with so many of us following the Church’s release of this Mormon Message. But perhaps it was Heather O.’s short, sweet and hilarious question, “Does Everybody have their Crap Together Except Me?” that asked what we are all really wondering.

It was a year for stepping out into the new: Jessie tackled the boggart in her closet,   Jennie L. conquered the Book of Mormon her freshman year working from the “Inside Out,” Sandra started running without her shoes and thumbed a few rides as she’s tried to become more “Open” but  Melonie stunned us all as she proudly revealed more of herself in her Halloween costume and boldly raised her hand in a powerful #yesallwomen post.

Holidays and journeys also caused understanding, confusion and realization: Catherine A went on holidays and wowed us (and 7000+ other people on Facebook) with her sacrament experience. Heather O. travelled to Oman, talking prophets and faith under a gorgeous tiled mosque’s roof, and Lisa wrote of a course that involved a blindfold, a rope and an egg.

The Segullah journal also blossomed online this year. We’ve had shiny beauties blooming in both poetry and prose (and no, we’re not telling how often we were thisclose to getting them to their published shine in time for publication deadlines.) Mette Ivie Harrison’s essay “How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth” and “The Barometer” by Jennifer Quist (author of Love Letters of the Angel of Death that made us swoon during the Whitney awards judging). We’ve had fantastic poets on the Segullah staff over the years, but this year (and maybe in part due to the terror-inducing experience of publishing our “first draft poems” every week) we were happy to see some of our prose writers venturing into poetry. Kel’s “Valkyrie” takes on Emily Dickinson and her idea that hope is something feathered and insubstantial. In “Early Harvest,” Sandra talks about the passage of time and her particular passion for home-grown produce. We’re pleased to have the work of so many gifted poets, essayists and fiction writers to showcase each month on our journal.

And last but certainly not least we introduced a new feature with quarter themes. We opened with Kel’s selection of Passions. In response our writers offered so many of theirs. Christie wisely counselled us to check ours in her “When You Shouldn’t Do What You Love.” Linda opened our eyes to the “Windows of Agate.” If you haven’t caught more of the funny, fervent and fiery series read it all here. We can’t wait to start the new year with Surprise, our next quarterly theme.

All in all 2014 has been a fine, fast, and fabulous year at Segullah and the gateway to our tenth year. We are excited to start our second decade of good writing for us (and you too guest posters!) and good reading for us all.

Did you have any favorites from 2014 we missed?

About Johnna Ferguson

Johnna Ferguson joined Segullah in 2005 and designed and managed all its websites until 2010. Any day she rides her bike is a good day.

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