Saturday, June 2, 2012

Writing Updates

It's been a surprisingly busy week in my writing life, and I thought I'd share three pieces of news.

1. A James Goldberg play reading will take place this Wednesday:

It's sort of strange...I used to be known in Utah Valley primarily as a playwright. But then I got married, moved to Pleasant Grove, had small children, and decided I needed to take a break from a theatrical schedule of rehearsing during evenings all the time. I think I've only had one ten-minute play produced during the past three years (after having several produced each year in the three years before that).

This Wednesday, though, in the Storytelling Wing of the Orem Public Library, there will be a 7 pm reading (with some minimal props and movement) of my play The Valiant Chattee Maker, which is written for young and old audiences alike. It's one of the few pieces I've written with no theme whatsoever other than fun. And I love it for that--it is a lot of fun.

If any of you, my blog readers, are close to Orem and able to make it to the reading, I would love to meet you there. Please introduce yourselves to me--I currently look like my photo on this blog (minus the hat), so I should be easy to find. You can read a little bit more about the play and/or invite friends to the reading on Orem Library's Valiant Chattee-Maker Facebook event page

2. I am currently leading in an online poetry contest by a margin of three votes. I'm not terribly experienced as a poet, so I don't know whether my current first-place standing has more to do with the quality of my poem or with the quantity of supportive relatives I have. But I do like the poem, which features both my son and the garter snakes who hibernate under our driveway in the winter.
The main character in my poem. Photo by Vilo Elisabeth Westwood.

The contest rules are that you can vote for your favorite three poems. Please consider doing so (at least if you like what I wrote...)

3. My very short story "Rite of Passage" is up this week on Everyday Mormon Writer. The story was indirectly inspired by my good friend Kayela Seegmiller, who encouraged me to think and write about Mormon masculinity, and by the "What did you learn in Mezeritch?" passage from Elie Wiesel's Souls on Fire: Portraits and Legends of the Hasidic Masters

This story may be too didactic or apologetic for many contemporary readers' tastes, but I feel like we emphasize the role of a writer as a critic of his/her community today so much that we sometimes forget that writers have also long had a function of articulating their communities' values.


  1. I voted. I really enjoyed your poem. There really is nothing like parenting and discovering with your child! (I even obeyed the rules and read through all of them and voted for 3... yours was definitely my favorite).

  2. Funny, James, that you almost seem to apologize that your story on Everyday Mormon Writer is "too didactic." I think our culture has re-shifted from thinking it's scary or inappropriate for writers remind us of our values--as evidenced by the popularity of blogs. People are here on your blog to think about and listen to sound reasoning for what they value. :)

  3. Updates:
    My poem won the contest.
    The play reading was so awesome we're hoping/planning to do it again within the next month or two.



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