LDSfic1stlines

Back in 2005, I posted a semi-humor piece called First lines for Mormon fiction. Back in June or somewhereabouts, it occurred to me that that same concept would be fun to use the motleyvision Twitter account for. I created the hashtag (a way to tag posts in Twitter) #LDSfic1stlines and started posting. A couple of other Twitter users thmazing (otherwise known as Theric Jepson) and chosha also got in on the act.

Twitter’s search functionality is kinda messed up (a bit ironic since the service just signed real-time search deals with both Bing and Google), but I was able to painstakingly grab most of the LDSfic1stlines that have been posted so far and have reproduced them below (not necessarily in chronological order). Here they are for your enjoyment — feel free to post your own in the comments or on Twitter (just make sure to use the hashtag so I’ll see them — or direct them to @motleyvision):

Wm: One fateful year, the Nielsens, as a show of solidarity with their Lutheran neighbors, gave up Jell-O for Lent.

Th: Porter Rockwell took a swig of his nonalcoholic whiskey and shyly waved at a lovely (yet modest) professional dancer. Continue reading “LDSfic1stlines”

The essential Mormon short story collections

Laura’s excellent post on Benediction got me thinking about Mormon-themed short story collections. Specifically, the relative paucity thereof, but also the fact that even with the few that have been published there are several that I consider the essential starting points (rather than novels) for anyone seeking to understand (or produce work in) the field of Mormon literature.

By essential I don’t mean the most literary or the most Mormon or the most well-known or even the most influential. Rather I mean that if they were to disappear, they would leave the most gaping holes in the field.

Here, then, are my nominations for the essential Mormon-themed short story collections*. Continue reading “The essential Mormon short story collections”

How to follow AMV

The great yet often bewildering thing about how the Internet has evolved is that there are now many more ways to deliver and receive content. I thought it would be useful for readers to present all the different ways to follow AMV, including comments, and analysis of the merits and limitations of each method. Even if you already have a method you like, consider reading through the whole post — you may just discover something you like better or learn something you didn’t know.

Continue reading “How to follow AMV”

Mormon fiction recommendations for LDS book groups (updated April 18)

Chris Bigelow, founder of Zarahemla Books, recently published a guest post on Blog Segullah on Mormon literature’s middle niche. In the comments, author and blogger Angela Hallstrom said that she’d like to see Deseret book develop this Mormon niche and market it to all the LDS book clubs. That seems unlikely, but it occurs to me that there is something that we can do. Plus I have been itching to trot out this really cool Google application as well as launch AMV projects*. So I respectfully request your help in creating a list of middle niche novel (or short story collection) recommendations for LDS book groups.

Updated 4/7/08 to add this point of clarification — Titles should significantly feature Mormon characters and/or themes. For example, Saints by Orson Scott Card is fine. Ender’s Game is not (even though Ender’s mother is Mormon). /update

Here’s how this is going to work:

I have created a Google Docs spreadsheet that can be fed through an online form. I want all of you to submit your recommendations via this form. I will then crunch/format all the data and post it in some sort of usable way on a static (i.e. non-blog post) page here at AMV and announce the finished list with a blog post. All of us will then forward the page link to people we know who are in LDS book groups as a resource for them to use when considering what books to read.

UPDATED 4.20: The form is now closed. Give me a week or two to crunch the results. And, thanks again. Continue reading “Mormon fiction recommendations for LDS book groups (updated April 18)”

Ideas for the field: Poetry chapbooks and PDFs

A reader recently wrote in to LDS Publisher asking, “Is there any hope of selling a poetry collection to any publisher?

The answer, of course, is: No.

LDS Publisher puts it more diplomatically, of course:

The only way you’re going to sell a book of poetry to an LDS publisher is if it’s a gift book, a children’s picture book, or part of an anthology (like Especially for Mormons)–but even those are tough sells.

In my comment, I point out that even though Signature stills publishes about one volume of poetry a year, if you are simply looking to publish Mormon poetry, then Dialogue, Irreantum, Sunstone, Segullah and BYU Studies are really your only options.

This brought to my mind Kent Larsen’s posts on poetry chapbooks — News: Poetry Chapbook from MAG and The Importance of Chapbooks — both are must reads for Mormon poets. Continue reading “Ideas for the field: Poetry chapbooks and PDFs”