I’ve always liked a good conversation with smart and insightful people. It almost doesn’t matter what the topic is. All the better, though, when we share interests and concerns that are near and dear to my heart — such as Mormon letters. (For a great example of what that can mean, see the vigorous discussion launched by Scott Hales’s post earlier this week.)
We’ve had a good run here at Dawning of a Brighter Day. With any luck, that will continue. Thinking ahead to 2013, I’d like to share some of my thoughts about how that will go — and the role that you (yes, and I do mean you) can play in making that happen.
First, I’d like to say that I value the tone of the conversation here: intelligent, informed, mutually respectful. Sometimes (very occasionally) I feel the need to jump in as moderator to maintain that respectful tone. Sometimes I do it badly, and I apologize for that. Going forward, I’ll try to be more up-front and transparent about my interventions.
We have a group of insightful regular contributors. That will continue in 2013, though due to the natural processes of attrition we will, alas! lose some regular voices that have been part of the discussion in the past. I hope that even though they (you) may not be able to contribute regular blog posts, they’ll (you’ll) still join us here as part of the conversation.
I’d like to see more guest posts. Part of my vision for AML as an organization and for the AML blog in particular is that it can be a place where people from many different parts of the world of Mormon letters get together to see what’s happening in other parts of the vineyard/garden/bazaar/whatever metaphor you want to use. Whatever your project in Mormon letters, we’d love to hear about it! Please email me at jonathan AT langfordwriter DOT com to find out more.
I’d love to get an online AML book club started, focused around this blog — one that would tackle a variety of different kinds of titles: old, new, realist, genre, famous, neglected. So far, the best idea for this seems to be one book every other month, with someone volunteering to lead the discussion and posts spread out over the 2-month period. Details to be developed. The main thing I need in order to launch this is volunteers to lead a discussion about a particular book. Contact me with your proposal at the same email address I gave in the last paragraph. (Are you starting to see a trend?)
I’d love to find a way to increase our active readership. Maybe it’s unrealistic, but I’d love for this to be a place where people hang out, whatever the nature of their interests in Mormon letters, simply because they find out such interesting things here (and meet such interesting people). Please feel free to make suggestions by — wait for it — posting your ideas in a response to this blog. (Hah! Got you that time.) Or emailing me. Whatever.
I’m open to other ideas and directions as well, especially if they’re accompanied by an offer to help with any work involved. Inherent in the idea of a conversation is that it has to belong to everyone. A conversation with just one person… isn’t.
Finally, thanks to all of you who do read, who contribute, and who make evident your interest in Mormon letters in a variety of ways. That’s what AML, and its blog, are all about.