Sunday, March 09, 2008

AML-Fest

Yes, yesterday was another of those semi-annual highlights of my life, AML meetings. I don’t have the time or energy to give you a minute-by-minute rundown (sorry), so I’m going to skip over the clandestine political strategizing by Utah County legislators-to-be (not mentioning names, Boyd), the hostile takeover of the AML leadership, the swarm of angry househusbands chasing down their Segullah wives, the mission-statement-destroying revolutionary speech by our president, the highly questionable standards (someone actually said “boob job”!!!!) at the reading, and the underhanded food-stealing by perpetrators from my own table who brazenly went back to the buffet line after being asked not to.

Nor will I mention how Brandon Sanderson swept the awards show; how Mark managed to use the word palimpsest in his paper without blinking; how Harlow Clark managed to discuss everything under the sun (as usual) and somehow tie together the works of O. S. Card, Margaret Young, Scott Bronson, C. S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling and Dave Wolverton; Marilyn Brown’s discussion of her epic struggle to understand just one line of a Clinton Larson poem (and finally getting it in the middle of the night); my desperate plea to Jim Faulconer to read his entire paper one more time so I could really get it; the mysterious spy (from Deseret Book?) masquerading as Chris Bigelow’s son (yeah, sure he’s only thirteen); and the way people kept insisting on jawing on about the Scriptures as Literature while I was trying to schmooze.

Nay, I will leave all of that unmentioned. Instead I will just say that once again I returned home refreshed and ready to hit the trenches. I love all those guys and can never overemphasize the ways that AML has enriched my life. Particularly this weekend I was grateful for Harlow Clark, who first dared to publish my very beginning-level poetry in Irreantum. His support encouraged me to keep on trying. When I write, I write for my AML friends (and now my Segullah friends). Without them, I would have produced nothing. Thanks, guys!

12 comments:

Patricia Karamesines said...

Darlene, I had fun, too. The first session I attended with William Brugger, Donald Parry, and Neal Kramer was a pleasure to attend, and Harold Rawlings' "History of the Bible" plenary lecture gave me several new frames of reference for appreciating the Bible. I'll probably write something up about some of the sessions over on AMV.

One complaint: Scheduling Jim Faulconer's lecture at the same time as the Clinton Larson panel was SOOO not fair!

I really like the AML and owe it a lot. As long as I can, I'll do my best to support it. Thanks to you and others for doing all that hard work so that slackers like me can sit around in chairs listening to some pretty decent presentations.
Please pass my thanks along to all others involved.

Darlene said...

Your paper, Patricia, was one of my favorites, and probably affected as a writer the most. Thank you for it. (For those of you who couldn't make it, she spoke about nature writing, and encouraged me to examine what keeps me from reading and writing more of it. Very enlightening.)

Angela H. said...

I, too, had a ball. So many fun people to talk to, and some great sessions, too. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the keynote speech on the history of the English Bible, and the luncheon was great fun. And no fajitas!!! (Although I did miss the churro that the UVSC food services people used to throw in for good measure). I probably talked too much, but I always have motormouth issues when I'm having a good time and have so many people I want to talk TO. But you, as always, are my AML anchor . . . without Darlene I would be adrift . . . you're the cool kid that I keep my eye out for and hope will let me sit at her table, so thanks for saving me a spot :-). And you looked so cute in your red jacket.

Thanks again to all the AML board members who worked so hard and pulled off a great event. It seemed to me better attended than some in the past, which bodes well, don't you think?

Darlene said...

Um, that was supposed to say that Patricia's paper affected ME as a writer, not that she, or her paper, are/were in any way affected. (Oops.) And it looks like I misspelled Jim Faulconer's name. I'll go back and fix that.

No, no, Angela. YOU are what made the table cool, as the best-selling author there, I'm sure. Although I was happy to hear Chris get some applause at the reading for what he's accomplished.

Patricia Karamesines said...

Thanks for the kind words about the paper, Darlene. I'm learning how to talk to people about the subject.

As for the AML, I wish I could be more deeply involved. When I go to the meetings I feel welcomed and, in a way I can't explain, at home. I would like to participate in the organization in more useful ways but can't, something I very much regret.

Patricia Karamesines said...

Oh, and I second Angela on her "no fajitas!" remark.

Mark Brown said...

D,

It was awesome to see you at the conference and my only regret is that I didn't schedule time to stay for the reception afterwards so I could have more time to talk to you and Angela and Eric and Stephen and Scott. (But especially you, natch.) The 30 minutes we spent talking Dutcher in the hallway was by far the best part of a really good time.

Johnna said...

It was my first ever AML conference and I think I may now be addicted.

Your summary is better than a minute-by-minute, since it conveys the kind of good time I had. You poet, you.

And to think I was wishing for a mission statement, just the night before.

Th. said...

.

Wow. Never have I so regretted being too, too far away.

Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury said...

I enjoyed the conference as well, though I would like to have heard more of the presentations, and I would like to have had more time to talk to you, Johnna.

As for Eric Samuelsens' address, you can read it on the AML website at http://www.mormonletters.org/events/AMLprezaddress.htm

Katherine Morris said...

I for one missed the fajitas, though the food at the luncheon was quite good. :-) Thank you, Darlene and Kathleen, and others, for putting the conference together. It was lovely, as always. I too wish I'd had more time to talk to people. Hopefully we'll all be able to meet again at the next annual meeting.

Darlene said...

I missed the fajitas too, although I was beginning to feel rather sheepish about the tradition. Theric, here's looking forward to the day you make it out here. And Mark, what can I say? You seriously shortchanged me and I might forgive you sometime. (And by the way, I am SO JEALOUS you got to see the U2 3D show while you were here, which I am dying to see and haven't been able to get to yet and I think it's closed now.)