I think he asked because I had approached him about us, my wife and I, possibly doing a comics story for Popcorn Popping. We hadn’t started working on it yet, but I thought PP might be a venue for such a work, if the work tasted Mormon enough. William then had the grim responsibility to tell me PP had been shut down (two days later, the announcement appeared on the site).
Everyone has a list of someday-I-wills and one Lynsey and I share is creating a graphic novel together. But as William hinted in his suggested topic, things like family (to say nothing of desperate poverty) have prevented some of our more ambitious planned projects.
But you can’t take a born visualist and a born fictionist and not expect them to create something. You can’t stick them together and expect that. And so create we do. Lynsey has made the most amazing birth announcements. We do complex and beautiful postal art for our family newsletter, the LDotFMotNY. Lynsey is our ward’s bulletin specialist and, under her creative direction, those have ranged from gorgeous covers using photographs from the early days of the Berkeley Ward to the oh-so-witty speaker bios I’m writing for inclusion now. We have outlets, even if we’re not yet accomplishing the great things we intend to.
Because, let’s be frank, having kids makes it hard.
Yes, yes, yes. That’s an excuse and only an excuse and I admit it readily. Anthony Trollope wrote from 5am to 8am every morning before he went off and invented the modern mailbox. What makes my excuse any good?
Yes, it is true that I have a novel I’m trying to sell; I’ve edited an anthology that’s coming out June 1; I’m working on some other anthology projects and critical editions; I have two novel-length projects I hope to finish before the new school year starts; I’m doing some editing for other people’s projects that are coming out in the next year or two; I blog—- So I am working on thing, I am I am.
But these meager accomplishments come with a large dose of guilt. Because while I’m scraping minutes to get things done, I’m preventing my wife from similarly scraping. Her charity in letting me string words together has the direct result of minimizing her own time spent creating. It makes me feel unpleasantly patriarchal.
What I’m getting at is that we Jepsons still need to find a better balance.
As part of my pursuit of a fair balance, I am beginning a series of interviews with Mormon husband/wife artist pairs. I have an excellent one lined up for our first entry and am working on arranging more. (If you have suggestions or can help me contact artsy couples who have found success, please let me know so I can start tracking them down.)
My father-in-law says that being an engineer is godlike because it is creation and God is a Creator. This aligns with my thinking. Granted, after this life ends we will have a lot of physics to catch up on, but Lynsey and I, wife and husband, are creators. A husband and wife creating, together. What could be more Mormon than that?