Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Come on, Let’s Blitz Again

- a post by Jeanna Mason Stay

It’s that time again! Time to spend a few minutes reading some fun, interesting, thought-provoking, and beautiful short Mormon fiction and then vote on which you liked best. Yup, it’s Mormon Lit Blitz time.

For the past several years, the Mormon Lit Blitz has presented an array of short fiction (less than 1000 words) on a wide variety of Mormon topics. With the exception of the first year (in which I competed, so I’m not exactly unbiased), this year has been my favorite. There are some really wonderful pieces in this year’s competition.

Lacey talked last week about condensing your writing (even if you don’t write picture books). If you want to see this in action, the Blitz is a great place to witness how much meaning and power you can pack into a very few words.

For me, Adams’ “Faded Garden” was the most powerful for imagery and sheer visceral-ness (can we pretend that’s a word?). Plus, I think it perfectly captures an idea that is hard to put into words—and I have a soft spot for anything about Eve. Young’s “Best Wedding Advice Ever” was hilarious. And also, the best wedding advice ever. Jepson’s “Angry Sunbeam,” Cowley’s “Five Year Journal,” Young’s “Echo of Boy”—all of these captured moments and events that were both moving and very, very real.

In fact, I think perhaps that is what made this year so good, in my opinion. Just about every piece touched on a universal experience or feeling in a way that made it very real and very close. No, I’ve never hurt anyone as much as the character in Hales’ “Child Star,” and my husband has never turned into a giant rabbit like in Lemmon’s “Disability, Death, or Other Circumstances.” I’ve never made beaded lizards to “decorate someone else’s service” (Parker). But I have certainly made mistakes I regretted, struggled to find the blessings in a terrible situation, felt frustration at not making a difference.

So I encourage you, if you have just a minute or two and want to be touched by a feeling of connection to others, if you want to laugh or smile or just think, give those minutes to this year’s Mormon Lit Blitz. You won’t regret it.

(Also, vote! Voting closes at the end of the week.)

Here’s a handy list of the stories, essays, and poems in this year’s Blitz. You can also find voting instructions here.

Eric Jepson, “Angry Sunbeam
Heather Young, “Best Wedding Advice Ever
Tyler Chadwick, “Three Meditations on Fatherhood
Scott Hales, “Child Star
Emily Harris Adams, “Faded Garden
Katherine Cowley, “The Five Year Journal

Annaliese Lemmon, “Disability, Death, or Other Circumstance
William Morris, “The Joys of Onsite Apartment Building Management
Darlene Young, “Echo of Boy
Lehua Parker, “Decorating Someone Else’s Service
Julia Jeffrey, “Should Have Prayed for a Canoe”
Merrijane Rice, “Mother”


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