My editor and partner, Theric Jepson, who runs Peculiar Pages alongside my running of B10 Mediaworx, made some sort of joke on Twitter (don’t remember the joke), and Wm Morris of A Motley Vision (a MoLit blog) had an idea. And the idea was to skewer the 19th-century literary tradition of using Mormons as stock villains in pulp fiction by turning the Mormons into the protagonists instead of the antagonists.
Tag Archives: Lds Authors
Scroll down to #64.
My faith that I put in Moriah after reading The Proviso was justified. This book is good. Parts of it are excellent. And it’s still only a draft. It still has explicit sex (though not as much) but you should have no other qualms about checking this one out when it’s released in a few months.
The Actor and the Housewife
by Shannon Hale
Published by Bloomsbury USA
I feel like I just got jerked around in an extremely passive-aggressive manner by a narcissistic fuckwad.
I can’t tell you how pissed off I am at this moment.
Okay, I’m about halfway through The Actor and the Housewife and things have started to become a little clearer.
The actor is clearly in love with the housewife; I don’t believe he is in denial about this, although he puts up a good act. Because he’s an actor. Heh. He’s a nice man.
And I’m only 50 pages in.
Right now I’m reading The Actor and the Housewife, and I just don’t quite know what to think. Here’s the blurb:
What if you were to meet the number-one person on your laminated list—you know, that list you joke about with your significant other about which five celebrities you’d be allowed to run off with if ever given the chance? And of course since it’ll never happen it doesn’t matter . . .
I’ve been stewing about this for several months, but perhaps my problem could be alleviated by not hanging out on litrachoor blogs, where it’s the nature of the beast to say what you don’t like about a particular work.
Anyway, at one niche blog I hang out on a lot (but don’t post much because I have nothing constructive to add, whether positive or negative), there are a couple of posters who comment on each and every literary offering (whether they’ve read the work or not) with a *sniff* and variations on a theme of “I don’t like this.” Usually for weird X reason.
Not really. I’ll take Ludwig over Wolfgang any day. But I have not bitched in at least 1/2 hour; thus, I am overdue.
One thing that totally gives me an emotional wedgie is this: When you reply to a blog post that asks an open-ended question, and you put a lot of time and care and thought into your reply, and you’re not acknowledged by the original poster, not told that you’re brilliant, not told that you’re a fucking idiot. What I mean is, NO ONE who comments is acknowledged and the blog doesn’t have enough traffic (read: any personality) to generate its own activity.
I cannot believe a week has gone by and I haven’t posted. Tax Deduction #1 just went into kindergarten and I find myself being forced by the school district to keep a schedule. (Blech.) Being a WAHM is its own precious kind of insanity and my chaos is getting beaten into submission. Thank heavens I still have Tax Deduction #2 to keep my days a little off balance. I just don’t know what I’m going to do when he goes to school, too, and we’re all perfectly regulated and scheduled by default.
Thmazing posted this poem by May Swenson (1919-1989), Mormon poet, in April. I don’t usually “get” poetry, but I sure as heck got this and it is…beautiful. I’m going to have to invest some time in her work.
Little lion face
I stopped to pick
among the mass of thick
succulent blooms, the twice
streaked flanges of your silk
sunwheel relaxed in wide
dilation, I brought inside,
placed in a vase.Milk
I was over on Dear Author talking about Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, which I have not read. One commenter expressed disapproval of Meyer on the basis that she’s a Mormon mother and shouldn’t be writing stuff like that anyway. I will go so far as to guess this commenter was not Mormon because she spelled it “Morman.”
I could crack on Meyer for a couple of different things, but when the religion gets broken out as a generic weapon to say “You can’t write that because you’re a Mormon,” I’m on Meyer’s side. Period.
I am bored with the below discussion (but don’t let me rain on your parade, so carry on). However, I do need to use it as the springboard for what’s on my ADHD mind today: What, precisely, defines a genre?
We’re very specific in romance. Got an email yesterday from my newest BFF (kidding! but the offer’s open!) who said, “I know you don’t write romance…” Well, yeah, I do. It’s just got so much other STUFF in it that it can’t be classified, which is why I’m publishing it myself. In fact, it’s got THREE (count ’em, 1, 2, 3) full-length romances going on at the same time all woven together (which is why it’s going to top 700 pages and who-knows-how-many megabytes). And they have sex and there is no fade-to-black and they say the f-word and the c-word. They live a certain political philosophy (some more than others) that will probably be uncomfortable for other types of readers. The story takes place over the course of 5 years and oh, by the way, they’re all in their late 30s and early 40s and wow is that so not part of genre romance.
This post is for the non-Mormon readers of this blog who come from (most likely) the genre romance corner of the net.
Backstory: LDS fiction
(aka Mormon fiction)
is analogous to, say,
what Steeple Hill puts
out or any other run-
tional romance. No
swearing, no sex, very
clean. No taking the Lord’s name in vain,
no smoking, no drink-
ing, no allusions to any of these things. For all intents and purposes, the term “LDS fiction” has come to be defined informally in the same milieu as inspirational romance category fiction.
Perhaps I should admit upfront that I consider myself an undemanding reader. I’ll happily go wherever the author wants to take me as long as it’s logical, consistent, and interesting. Let me add that I don’t even particularly care whether a story is plot-driven or character-driven; give me something to chaw on intellectually and I’m good to go. Make me laugh and I’ll forgive almost anything.
This is one reason why, when I read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, I was highly annoyed. I like vampires. I’ve studied vampire myths since I fell in love with Vlad the Impaler somewhere in the early ’90s, so her inconsistent worldbuilding, her habit of telling rather than showing, and her mostly flat characterizations grated.
By contrast, Eugene Woodbury’s take is haunting. Poignant, even.
So I went a-seekin’ keywords for my website header information and, naturally, plugged “Mormon romance” into Google and what did I get? This:
“I realized that there was a big hole in the LDS market for women’s fiction and I felt like I could do better,” [author Anita] Stansfield said. “I couldn’t find anything to read that satisfied me.”
Several years ago Stansfield wrote about a woman recovering from breast cancer. An important part of the book was the woman’s relationship with her husband, which included their relations in the bedroom, Stansfield said.
The novel’s bedroom scene dealt sensitively and obscurely with the topic of sex, referring more to the woman’s feelings than the couple’s activities. And yet Stansfield doesn’t believe those scenes would make it through the editing process today.
“I know I couldn’t write that now. They have cracked down,” she said.