Saturday, June 10, 2017

"Forty Years" by Jeanna Mason Stay

The last piece in this this year's Lit Blitz is Jeanna Mason Stay's "Forty Years."

What do you think?

Friday, June 9, 2017

"Daughters of Ishmael" Discussion

Today's piece is Annaliese Lemmon's "Daughters of Ishmael."

Scriptures tell us very little about these characters. What do we gain by imagining them in fiction?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

"Walking Among the Legend People" Discussion

Day 10 of this year's Lit Blitz is Marianne Hales Harding's "Walking Among the Legend People."

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"Valley 176th Ward" Discussion

Today's short story is "Valley 176th Ward" by Eliza Porter. 

Mormon satire can be tough to pull off in a way that's effective for a faithful audience. Since there are plenty of people who criticize Mormonism as a whole, some readers may react defensively to pieces that take a position of critique. 

At the same time, of course, Mormonism has a long tradition of encouraging self-reflection, from the scriptural warnings against saying "all is well in Zion" to the Council of Fifty obligation to share concerns and objections about a plan before a vote took place to more current concerns with separating truth from cultural habit. 

How does "Valley 176th Ward" work for you as a piece of satire? Do you have general thoughts on what can help Mormon satire succeed? 

We'd welcome thoughts on these questions as well as other reactions to the piece. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"There Wrestled a Man in Parowan" Discussion

Day 8 is Wm Morris's "There Wrestled a Man in Parowan."

What do you think of the story?

Are there other stories that share enough with this one to share a genre--what are they and what would you call it?

Monday, June 5, 2017

"Worthy World" Discussion

Day 7 of this year's Lit Blitz is "Worth World" by Tanya Hanamaikai.

What did you think?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

"On the Death of a Child" Discussion

Day 6 of this year's Mormon Lit Blitz is Merrijane Rice's poem "On the Death of a Child."

Craft question:
People tend to read poetry more carefully than other forms. Even live, people listen for the nuances of a poem in a way they don't tend to strain for detail in a fiction or essay reading. One way to use poetry, then, is to compress meaning: to evoke a lot of different memories and associations with a single phrase or line.
How does Merrijane do that?

Content questions:
What do you with pain that comes and sits on your chest and stays?
How do you help and stand by someone who is dealing with a major source of pain?

Friday, June 2, 2017

"Spurious Revelations" Discussion

Day 5 is Niklas Hietala's "Spurious Revelations."

This one dives deep into semi-obscure Mormon history and mythos and weaves it together with Western history. It's the kind of piece you're only going to find in a place like the Mormon Lit Blitz.

What do you think of it? And what might the existence of stories like this do for Mormon culture more broadly?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

"Pride" Discussion

Today's Lit Blitz story is Hillary Stirling's "Pride."

There's a lot going on in the piece. We've got an emotional see-saw between two sisters who know how to hurt each other. There's the use of sexting as a plot point, which fits into a tradition of fiction explicitly wrestling with current issues. And there's an ongoing moral/spiritual dialogue between the protagonist and God.

What for you, is the piece most about? And how do the different elements work together to serve a whole?


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