Category Archives: Storytelling and Community

Reader’s Corner: That One Story…

I want to ask you to tell me about that one story—whether novel, TV show, song lyric, short story, poem, oral tradition, folk tale, or true-life experience—that has stuck with you far beyond its telling, that fired your imagination and made you either want to read or write more.

It’s often not the best told or generally approved story you’ve read or heard, but it is the one that simply won’t leave your head. The powerful ur-story that changed the way you thought most profoundly. It may be inspirational or banal, famous or obscure, true or fantastic, uplifting or condemning. Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Storytelling and Community | Tagged | 13 Comments

Discussion: Your take on the Four Centuries contest stories

James Goldberg’s Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest was a fantastic opportunity to get a look at twelve excellent visions on Mormon short-short stories told from a wide variety of viewpoints and structures. Each story was posted online, and open … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Storytelling and Community | Tagged , | 20 Comments

Violence and Veterans Day

With Veteran’s Day less than a week away I have been thinking about books about war. War and violence have been a part of human life from the moment that Cain slew Abel, and depictions of war are as old … Continue reading

Posted in Storytelling and Community, The Writer's Desk | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Mormon Culture and Les Miserables

Everywhere I go, people are talking about this. Yep, that’s right. Les Miserables! The Movie! This Christmas! Oh!  My!  Heck! But here’s a confession: I don’t care. Not even a bit.

Posted in Mormon LitCrit, On-screen, Storytelling and Community | Tagged | 15 Comments

Mormon Literature and the Anxiety of “Passing”

In literature, a character’s ability to move unnoticed from one social group to another, often more privileged group is called “passing.” In Disney’s Mulan, for example, the title character “passes” for a man so that she can take her aging … Continue reading

Posted in Mormon LitCrit, Storytelling and Community | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Windmill Variations: In Defense of Message-Driven Fiction

I suspect inopportune literalism is the primary limiting factor in my confusion as to why good fiction must not, dare not, shall not contain a message. I read the books that others tell me are “good” and I see messages aplenty, and more often than not I see aggressive arguments for particular viewpoints. Scout may pretend to be unformed and open-minded, but “To Kill A Mockingbird” leaves no doubts about what the author believes are better (and lesser) moral conclusions through her voice. Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Storytelling and Community, The Populist's Soapbox, The Writer's Desk | Tagged | 3 Comments