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Turning Five

By Kathyrn Lynard

I SHIFTED MY TODDLER’S weight a little higher on my hip, pulled the heavy glass door open, then followed my four-year-old into the restaurant, eyes scanning the lunchtime crowd for my friends. There they were, Justine and Kylie, waving and smiling from a padded vinyl booth across the room. This was a big day: after months of tossing around the idea of launching a new literary journal for LDS women, we were finally gathering for our first business meeting. At McDonald’s. With a half-dozen preschoolers in tow.

You can picture the scene: three women in spirited, weighty conversation about religion and art and gender issues and dozens of related matters, surrounded by strewn French fries and the usual PlayPlace cacophony. Interrupted every two minutes by our various offspring (either directly or via mom radar), we somehow managed to get a few things straight regarding this journal we’d decided to titleSegullah: It would feature high-quality creative writing that celebrates and explores what it means to be a Mormon woman. It would maintain a stance of loyalty toward the LDS church and its leadership. And at the same time, its scope would transcend the boundaries that keep sisters in the gospel hiding safely behind our Sunday faces. Excited by our shared vision, we divvied up responsibilities, gathered our troops, and headed back toward our minivans, wondering what would really come of this crazy yet compelling endeavor.

Five years later, I pulled open the door to Zupas Café (next time you’re in Zion, try their awesome Nuts About Berries salad) and scanned the lunchtime crowd for my friends. There they were, crammed into an oversized booth in the corner, a waving and smiling bunch of my Segullah sisters. Our original staff of three now numbers over fifty, all volunteers who spend rare and precious discretionary time (okay, not ALL of it is discretionary) bringing great things to pass according to the mission we outlined from the start. Those of us lucky enough to gather for lunch enjoyed an hour of speed-talking about everything from poignant personal losses to custom bra fittings, occasionally pausing for bites of baguette and, for a few minutes at least, some matters of business—spring 2010 marked Segullah’s five-year anniversary, and we had revels to plan!

You’re holding one big piece of the celebration: the thirteenth issue of Segullah, a special double issue we’ve been slaving over for the past year, determined to produce something extraordinary for this milestone marker. We’ve given away a thousand copies to readers old and new, excited to share this collection of personal essays, poetry, feature articles, and (for the first time) short fiction that illuminates the concept and experience of marriage from dozens of different angles—some from within the bounds of its rewards and challenges, and some from without.

And that’s just the beginning. Our blog and journal sites have fresh new designs; we have a second motherhood anthology hot off the press; and over the summer we hosted our very first community event—a day-long writing retreat chock-full of what we love best: writing, talking, and eating. Check our website for all the latest information on Segullah merchandise, submission deadlines, and upcoming events, and please help spread the word to family and friends—we hope to stretch our umbrella wide so that more women can enjoy our unique brand of conversation, creativity, and community.

I don’t want to boast, but Segullah just might be the most successful endeavor to originate in a McDonald’s PlayPlace. As our five-year anniversary lunch drew to a close, Justine and I recalled that chaotic first meeting which seemed so recent and yet so far in the past. “We’ve come a long way,” I said, unable to avoid the cliché.

“Yeah, from McDonald’s to Zupas!” one of our editors broke in.

We all laughed. “That’s definitely a step up,” Justine said. “Where do you think we’ll meet for our ten-year anniversary? And what do you think we’ll accomplish between then and now?”

I can’t wait to find out.

Enjoy these next issues!

Kathryn Lynard Soper

 

Table of Contents:

“Legacy of Hope” by Veronica Kingston

“Saturday, Waking Up Beside You” by Angela Hallstrom

“Figs” by Julie Nelson

“Love Story” by Melissa McQuarrie

“Tabernacles to Temples” by Melissa Dalton-Bradford

“Mourning” by Kellie Purcill

“Second-Round Fight” by Jenna L. Consolo

“To The Plastic Saints” by Sarah Colby

“Sexuality and the Mormon Marriage” by Natasha Helfer Parker

“Baklava” by Michelle Lehnardt

“Shall We Dance?” by Jerie Sandholtz Jacobs

“Slow Dance No. 1084” by Sharlee Mullins Glenn

“On Small Classes” by Kerry Spencer

“Hapily Ever After?” by Guest

“Unbound” by Ellen Kartchner Gregory

“In Situ” by Ellen Kartchner Gregory

“A Bed of Your Own Making” by Angela Hallstrom

“Enough” by Darlene Young

“The Black Truck” by Shelah Miner

“Living Single” by Ashley Stolworthy, Sheryl Garner, and Julie Rowse

“Amputee of the Red Sea” by Melissa Dalton-Bradford

“The Dot and the Line, United” by Linda Hoffman Kimball

“Your Shirt, Our Shirt” by Johnna Cornett

“Lunch at Romano’s Grill” by Lorraine Jeffery

“Hannah” by Melissa Dalton-Bradford

“Portrait of an LDS Marriage: An Interview with Tom and Louise Plummer” by Shelah Miner

“The Difficult Part” by Tessa Meyer Santiago

 

About Kathyrn Lynard

(Founding Editor) is the author of the memoir The Year My Son and I Were Born (Globe Pequot Press, 2009) and the editor of four published anthologies. She contributes to Mormon forums from Meridian Magazine to Sunstone on a variety of topics including gender issues, disability, mental health, sexuality, family life, and spirituality.

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