Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What Does The Fox Say?

You may not guess it from the crap I spew forth on this blog, but I'm actually an aspiring author. I've taken just about every creative writing course in the English department, I'm applying to BYU's creative writing MFA program, and I'm part of a writing critique group. It's a small group--just me, a married guy who graduated last year (let's call him Chenry), a girl I worked with at the CougarEat my freshman year (Galadriel), and a woman I met at a writers' conference who works in the Wilk (Tara). For the sake of preserving my anonymity (which I'm starting to question, as you'll see below), I'll call this group FOX: Friends Of X. We meet on Tuesday mornings at Tara's office in the Wilk.

Photo credit: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/speciesinfo_fox.htm
I've been toying with the idea of expanding my first blog post into a personal essay that I could publish. If you're a Mormon then you've probably seen the anonymous "I struggle with unnatural power proclivity" articles in the Ensign. You know, the ones where the accompanying image is a man hidden in the shadows, angsting over his Very Big Problem. Yeah, that's not what I want to do. I want to publish an essay that is faithful and uplifting, but at the same time direct and honest about what it's like to be a Latter-day Mutant.

And I want to publish it under my real name.

The thought is terrifying, of course, so Jan suggested I test it first with my writing group. So this weekend I threw something together (it was easy because the essay was mostly composed in my head already), shared it with my Foxes on Google Docs, and this morning we discussed it. Chenry didn't show up today, which is a little unnerving (have I lost another friend?), but it went well with the other two. At first there was a bit of nervous laughter as everyone tried to gauge whether this was for real or I was just messing with them. Once we established that the essay was indeed non-fiction, Tara crossed the room to give me a hug. Galadriel joked about how she must be some kind of mutant magnet because I'm like the tenth of her friends to come out to her. And then we proceeded to critique each other's writing, as usual. No big deal.

So I passed the first test. Next I'm thinking of bringing the essay to my creative writing class. It's technically not against BYU policy to be a mutant, so long as I don't use my power, so I don't think I'd get in trouble with the Honor Code Office. And these are English majors we're talking about, who tend to be a little more open-minded than other BYU students. But still. I'm not sure I'm ready to open myself up that much. What do you think? Should I do it?

(...aaaand I'm going to be late to the UUPP meeting.)

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