How to beat me in the Mormon Lit Blitz

Friends of AMV: you have a singular opportunity facing you — the chance to increase my currently dangerously low levels of humility by beating me soundly in the Mormon Lit Blitz. Mormon Artist is hosting the contest this year. See all the details in the Call for Submissions.

I already have my story written. I’m feeling quite confident about it. That feeling must not stand. Really, you’ll be doing me a favor by entering.

HOW TO DO IT

All you need to do is find 4 hours between now and May 31. You could probably even do it in 3, depending on how fast you can write your rough draft. Here’s how:

  1. Spend 45 minutes coming up with ideas. Remember that you aren’t limited to flash fiction — poetry, comics, plays are all welcome. These 45 minutes don’t even have to be in a row. They can happen in the shower or as you’re driving or folding laundry. Just make sure you have something close to capture your ideas.
  2. Spend 2 hours (also don’t need to be in a row) writing your first draft.
  3. Spend 1 hour revising. It really doesn’t take long to revise 1,000 words (or less).
  4. Spend 15 minutes copyediting and then format and submit.

INSPIRATION

Have no idea what to write about? Here are some freely offered ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

  • The story of Balaam and his ass, except Baalam is a PR flack, Balak is a CEO, and the ass is an Audi TT.
  • Parley P. Pratt: Vampire Hunter
  • First line: The Bishop’s wife was worried that he was spending so much time on Pinterest.
  • Title: The Laurel Class President’s Lament
  • Comic: Nursery toys/books/activities through the decades
  • A story about a handsome, righteous, well-coiffed commercial pilot for Lufthansa who is inspired to re-route a flight to Istanbul thus avoiding a sudden deadly storm and the political crisis that would have ensued because one of the passengers that would have died is a moderate Turkish general traveling incognito.
  • First line: As far as she knew, Tiffany was the only Mormon female jockey in the world.
  • A pair of sister missionaries is contacted by the manager for a controversial female pop star who was raised Mormon and would like to be taught the discussions (and possibly re-activate).

That should be enough to get you started. Feel free to share more ideas in the comments section. But more importantly: get brainstorming.

Theric (and Monsters & Mormons) at SLC Comic Con Fan X

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I’ll be in Salt lake City this weekend for Fan Experience. I’ll be giving an updated version of my Mormons and comics discussion from the first SLC Comic Con which will, among other changes, mention Nathan Shumate’s Cheap Caffeine, incorporate information from a couple AML presentations (James Goldberg on The Garden of Enid, Stephen Carter on Book of Mormon comics), and the Kickstarter campaigns for iPlates and From the Dust. Mike Homer will give his presentation on representations of Mormons and Utah in comics over time. (240 seats)

Fifteen minutes before that rerun, a panel of Monsters & Mormons participants will be publicly talking about their work and what’s become of it. I’m a bit confused over the final makeup of the panel (this story is personally embarrassing, but that’s a story for another day), but expect at least seven people you definitely want to hear from. (220 seats)

Then fifteen minutes after the comics rerun, I’ll be on a Sherlock Holmes panel which I really really hope has no Mormon tie-ins. (400 seats)

Based on the numbers here, I think I should be able to take 10.75 days off teaching and still reach the same number of people. Sweet.

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AML Website Down

Hi folks,

The AML website is unexpectedly down (unexpected by me, at any rate), with a message that the account has been suspended. I’m not able to do anything about it (and don’t know the cause), but am attempting to draw it to the attention of those who (hopefully) can do something about it.

In the meantime, I thought it would be polite to let people know what’s going on — at least, to the degree that I know anything…

Love of Nature Nature of Love Month on Wilderness Interface Zone

WIZ Valentine6During February, Wilderness Interface Zone is launching its traditional month-long celebration of love and the natural world, Love of Nature Nature of Love Month.

To that end, we’re issuing an open call for nature-themed, love-laced writing and visual arts: original poetry, essays, blocks of fiction, art, music (mp3s), videos or other media that address the subject of love while referencing nature, even if lightly. By the same token, we’re interested in nature writing raveled up with themes of love.

If you’ve written artsy Valentine wishes to someone beloved–or perhaps created a video Valentine or made a live reading of a sonnet or lyric poem that’s original to you–or if you’ve written a short essay avowing your love for people, critters, or spaces that make you feel alive, please consider sending it to WIZ. Click here for submissions guidelines.

We hope you’ll join our month-long celebration combining two of the most potent natural forces on the face of the planet: love and language.

 

Wrapping up the #MormonPoetrySlam

In case you haven’t been following the Mormon Poetry Slam at home and have an interest in Mormon poetry (I mean, who doesn’t, right?), here’s an update (which I initially posted here):

The final performance in the slam—which I’ve been hosting on FireinthePasture.org and which as far as I know is the first online competition of its kind—posted last Friday. (You can find the event archive here). Now it’s time to determine the winner of the Audience Choice Award and we need your help with that because, well, the participants need the audience to vote. So, if you would: Take several minutes to consider the slam performances, then vote for your favorite before Wednesday’s end (voting rules are outlined below). For your consideration and reviewing pleasure, here are the fourteen entries, listed in order of appearance: Continue reading “Wrapping up the #MormonPoetrySlam”

Equal-time Doctrine

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As the iPlates Kickstarter draws to a close, that other Book of Mormon comic is getting into the action.

Compared to iPlates, Michael Mercer’s From the Dust is as equal in ambition as it is different in intention and execution. Michael’s also set a waaaay more ambitious goal. Will it work? I don’t know. I do think the Kickstarter model makes more sense for them than their previous model, and I do think From the Dust is likely to be popular with a larger group of people; however, I also suspect Mercer’s built-in network is smaller and less familiar with the Kickstarter model. So gathering in almost ten thousand more dollars strikes me as an iffy proposition.

Best of luck, though! I’ve pledged my $25. I would love to own the books.

Mormonism and the Arts at the Berkeley Institute: Fiction (sf/f)

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[background]

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Today’s readings are:

“The Class That Wouldn’t Die” by Joe Vasicek

“Three Different Mormon Futures” by Eric James Stone

“Avek, Who is Distributed” Steven L. Peck

“Release” by Wm Morris

“Waiting” by Katherine Cowley

and, if we have time, “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone (free audio)

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Please feel free to have your own seminar in the comments to this post.

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Other posts in series:

Poetry

Fiction (lit)

Mormonism and the Arts at the Berkeley Institute: Fiction (lit)

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[background]

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Today’s readings are:

“Why Mormon culture is important to the future of Mormonism” by Wm Morris

“Name” by Heidi Naylor

“A Visit for Tregan” by Jack Harrell

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Please feel free to have your own seminar in the comments to this post.

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Other posts in series:

Poetry

Fiction (sf/f) — forthcoming

Mormonism and the Arts at the Berkeley Institute: Poetry

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[background]

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Today’s readings are:

“Wrestling with God: Invoking Scriptural Mythos and Language in LDS Literary Works” by James Goldberg

20 Poems from Fire in the Pasture edited by Tyler Chadwick

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Please feel free to have your own seminar in the comments to this post.

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Other posts in series:

Fiction (lit) — forthcoming

Fiction (sf/f) — forthcoming

Mormonism and the Arts at the Berkeley Institute

Mormonism and the Arts

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Today at the Berkeley Ward we had a visitor from the Graduate Theological Union. He’s taking the class on Mormonism Bob Rees is teaching and part of the homework is watching a session of General Conference and attending a local ward. It was, I admit, a bit strange to have someone take notes as I taught high priests. That isn’t the sort of thing high priests usually do. Especially when I’m talking.

Anyway, it’s an exciting time in higher ed for Mormon Studies around here, in my opinion. Besides the growing interest at GTU ( where I once had the pleasure of being on a Normal Mormon Panel for a class taught by the Bloggernacle’s own Lynnette), there’s also the everfun activities over at the Berkeley Institute.

Sharpminded remembers and Theric completists may recall a few years ago when I gave a lecture (or, rather, led a discussion) on Mormon fiction at the Berkeley Institute of Religion. Happily, MJ Pritchett is running the arts series again with a slightly adjusted list of topics (and they have been adjusted again since the poster to your right was created, though I don’t know all the alterations).*

I’m making three visits this time around as the closest-thing-available-to-an-expert. In order, I will be discussing Poetry, Fiction (lit), and Fiction (sf/f).

Tomorrow is my first visit and I will be visiting each week for three weeks. Each of those Tuesdays I will post the reading assignment so you can pretend that you’re in your late teens or early twenties and as lucky as these kids. (Don’t try to be as cool as them though—seriously: don’t even try.)

For future dropbys’ sake, the links are (will be): Poetry, Fiction (lit)Fiction (sf/f).

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*Because I know you can’t read that poster image too well, here’s the series as originally announced. I wish I felt comfortable crashing every single week.

1. Introduction:  Mormonism in the Arts vs. Mormons in Arts

2. City Planning:  The Plan for the City of Zion, the Mormon Village and Suburban Mormons

3. Architecture:  19th Century-Iconography of Early Temples

4. Architecture: 20th Century-Period Revivals, International Style and Standard Plans

5. Poetry:  Mormon Women Poets:  From Eliza R. Snow to Carol Lynn Pearson

6. Literature:  Mormon Fantasy Writers in the Mainstream:  Orson Scott Card and Stephanie Meyer

7. Literature:  A Short Look at Mormon Short Stories

8. Visual Arts:  Visualizing God:  Mormon Images of Jesus

9. Painting:  Two Visions of the Book of Mormon:  Minerva Teichert and Arnold Friberg

10. Dance:  Dancing with the Saints

11. Music:  From MoTab to Motown:  Music and Missionary Work from the Tabernacle Choir to Gladys Knight

12. Music:  Music in Mormon Worship:  God’s Music and the Devil’s

13. Drama:  Roadshows, Pageants and Plays

14. Film:  From Provo to Sundance:  Cipher n the Snow, Tom Trails and Napoleon Dynamite