Writing begins with Noticing

Writing begins, I think, with the art of noticing. One of my earliest memories is this: I am standing at the end of a peach orchard in Farmington, New Mexico, in which my parents have cleared spaces to make a trailer park. Many of the trailers sit on blocks because their tires, along with the women’s wedding rings, are visiting a hock shop until payday. The peach trees are at the end of bloom, filing the air with a stinging sweetness and the ground with pale, brown-edged petals that swirl around in the wind.  Down the row of trailers are cars and trucks, and men’s legs sticking out from underneath them, this way and that.  Above them, the automobiles’ hoods are open, making them look like birds lined up, waiting for someone to feed them. This is a sight I...

Reason #123: Eternal truth is…always true

About two months ago I sat at a restaurant with a college student who had grown up Mormon as she recounted to me her growing doubts about Mormonism. I shared that when I was an LDS college student, I also had to make some decisions about Mormonism. But things were very different, because the Church’s doctrines had changed so much – what with the ban on black men in the priesthood, the fact that all American Indians were no longer considered Lamanites… Her face went completely blank. “What do you mean, about blacks and priesthood?” She had grown up her whole life a Mormon and never knew. Her skepticism of my account was patent, even when I told her, “I was there. I believed.” (from The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition:  A Former Member Looks at the...

Believers’ Verse — and win a book

I bemoan the fact that if, as often said, poetry is the “stepchild of the arts,”  then Christian poetry is the stepchild most readers would like to disown.  I don’t blame them. But I still write poetry. Joseph and Nicodemus (John 19:38-39) What a disheveled heap This bled-out bone bag makes Crusted with spit and sweat Entrusted with threats to the two of us The workman’s wiry muscles, now slack Are pitiful as they break through the flayed skin But the blood – it is all gone, tired of flowing Clotted and forgotten at the dirt footer of The flogging pole And of course That cross We avert from each other But we cannot stop our own tears Squeezed out between our eyelids That should shield us from what we see here: The candlewax pallor The...

Latter-day Cipher AND Mormon Mirage Giveaways

Easy way to get a free copy of my controversial novel about Mormonism: Go to Moody Fiction’s new blog, and make a comment. (You may need to refresh the page to make sure you’re commenting on my book.) They’re giving away ten copies tomorrow, Saturday, January 9. UPDATE:  Zondervan is giving away 10 copies of The Mormon Mirage tomorrow too at the Moody Fiction blog!  Go sign up!