Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The writer chics

This is my gang of writer chics. I have to say that I am very, very proud of them. And although I don’t measure up to their great accomplishments, I still hold my head high when we are together because I brought them together, and they are very good for each other.

Don’t believe me that I don’t measure up? Listen to their resumes:

Kathy Soper (far right) is the editor-in-chief of a little magazine called Segullah, which I think is revolutionizing Mormon periodicals and literary communities. The whole Segullah concept is amazing and catching on like hotcakes. If you haven’t checked out their site and you are an LDS female, you are MISSING out, babe. Trot on over there and see what I’m talking about ( But we’re not done with Kathy’s accomplishments yet. She has edited two books, one that has been published (Gifts, a collection of essays about having a child with Down Syndrome) and one that is under contract with Deseret Book (The Mother in Me, a collection of writings by Segullah authors). And she is also in the process of finishing her own memoir that has already sold to a publisher (The Year My Son and I Were Born). Besides all this, she is the mother of SEVEN and a fantastic, loving and wise friend. I can't begin to tell you the ways knowing her has changed my life.

Sharlee Mullins Glen (next to me on the other side)writes for children and has published (forgive me—I’m not sure of the number) at least three picture books (Keeping Up With Roo, One in a Billion, Just What Mama Needs) and one YA book (Circle Dance). She has taught in the honors program at BYU and is the mother of five. In fact, she is one of the most amazing mothers and homemakers I have ever known in addition to remaining cute, young, hilarious and happy through it all. She has also been published in Segullah and Irreantum and probably some other places I don’t know about.

Angela Hallstrom just changed the face of Mormon literature by publishing Bound on Earth, a novel in stories that is insightful, fascinating and the most true-to-life about the faithful LDS women’s experience that I have ever read. She is also one of the editors-in-chief of Irreantum magazine. She has an MFA and teaches writing through SLCC. Besides all that, she was a cheerleader in high school and continues to be a personal cheerleader to myself and many other would-be writers. She’s also a fantastic conversationalist and hilarious.

Do I not have the coolest chics ever in my gang? I am seriously, seriously out of my depth with these guys but I'm selfishly continuing on in the group because of everything I learn from them.

These pictures were taken at our first annual publication celebration outing. We were celebrating Kathy’s memoir contract and Sharlee’s and Angela’s book releases. And we know how to do a celebration in style. First we went to Sharlee’s book-signing party at Barnes & Noble and hobnobbed with lots of cool children’s book writers. I had a good talk with Rick Walton, who is one of the most charitable artists I know (besides being one of the very few who actually makes a living at writing for children).

Then, as no women’s outing would be complete without a stop at Café Rio,

we had a great early dinner and solved the problems of the universe over our salads and chips (Sharlee is taking the picture). Then we hit a chic flick (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day—a cute show but the men in our lives would have hated it), and finally dessert that was heavy on chocolate. Lots and lots of talk, lots of good food—-what could be better? (And what a great way to prepare for Mother’s Day!) I love these women and continue to learn from them every time we’re together. I consider them one of the greatest blessings in my life.

Only problem is that our outing has spoiled me. I want to do it again. Every week.


Zina said...

*All four of you* make an amazing, talented, beautiful, and inspiring group of women.

Roger said...

You mentioned the celebration about the books they published or are getting published, but you neglected to mention your contribution for celebration of winning the poem of the year in Dialog magazine.

By the way, you look so smart (and sexy) in those glasses.

William Morris said...

Good on ya, Roger.

You know, I dare say you all have a scene. And that is very, very cool.

Melinda said...

So, how can I apply to your group? :-)

I'm neon green with envy! Sharlee's poety makes me weep, I just got Angela's book, but haven't started it -can't wait! and Kathy has been my hero since I discovered Segullah and I wish she hadn't taken her blog private.

Maybe you could just tell them hi for me. :-)

Darlene said...

Your comment made me laugh, Melinda, because I had a flashback. I had just moved back to Utah and my friend Cheri was telling me about her fabulous writer's group. I was burning with envy. I wanted to ask if I could join, but asking such a thing is so awkward--what if they don't think you're good enough? What if they're just the right size already and don't want any more? So in the end I didn't dare ask. Instead, I found someone whose writing I liked and asked her if she wanted to join me (Angela). Then I asked if she would mind if I invited Sharlee, too, since I wanted someone else who wrote for children. Then I asked them both if we could include Kathy, my dear friend.

The point is that I made my own, and I personally think it's lots better (for me, anyway) than the one I would have had to beg to join. (Not that I doubt yours is good, Cheri!) It's strange to be on this side of things now.

Ang said...

I am amazed at how you brought us all together, Darlene. You truly are a conduit, a facilitator, and bringer-abouter of so many good things.

And you are too humble. We were ALSO celebrating your Dialogue Poetry Award, which is a big dang deal. And you are a fantastic writer and critic and one of the most insightful people I know. Whenever I write, I have you (my perfect reader) in mind.

And that was an exceedingly fun day.

Melinda said...

Yes, yes. I'm in the wannabe stage.

Eventually, I'll find the group for me. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the amazing writing of you four women (I am not even CLOSE to your level!).

But, maybe we could meet at the BYU Writing for Young Reader's? Lunch? Are you going the entire day? If so, which class are you taking? I'll be in Janette Rallison's.

PS-Congrats on your poetry award-that is awesome!

Sharlee said...

Darlene, that was the greatest day, wasn't it? It spoiled me too.

Thank you for bringing the four of us together. I, too, feel so blessed (and humbled!) by the association.

Melinda, you made my day by saying my poetry makes you weep. Of course, that could mean a couple of different things . . . :-)

But have you read Darlene's poetry? Now *there's* a poet. If you haven't already, go to and read "Since You Were Born."

Darlene said...

Cool, Melinda! I'll be in the VERY SAME CLASS. (Originally I was going to be in another, but I think fate is conspiring to throw us together!) See you there!

Sharlee said...

I wrote:

"If you haven't already, go to and read 'Since You Were Born.'"

Er . . .

Or you could just scroll down to Darlene's last post (Mother's Day) and read it there. :-)

Melinda said...

Sharlee, I meant that in the good way. Last year-or longer you published Blood or Milk. I copied onto my hard drive so I could read it over and over and took it to my creative writing class to share. Wow. I love it.

And yes, I read Since You Born and LOVED it, too. I didn't mean to skip over Darlene. I think she is amazing.

Darlene-I'm so glad that we will be in same class! Having you there-with your talent-will make it that much better.

Sharlee said...

Melinda, you are very kind. Thank you.

I'm jealous that you and Darlene get to be in the same class at the Writing For Young Readers conference.

Zina said...

I assiduously avoided mentioning envy, but it is true that I am (literally) wearing a green shirt today. In truth I'm not sure I'm ready to try to make a published writer of myself, but I envy your all's creativity and sociability, and the envy is starting to push me that direction. Maybe sometimes soon I'll be stalking you all at writers' conferences. :)

Mindi said...

Sounds like an awesome day and wish I could have joined in on the fun. And I'm not even a writer...or a resident of Utah!

Queen K said...

Darlene, I love you, girl. And would you quit with the "out of my league" crap, Ms. Poem of the Year winner?

It was a perfect celebration! And I'm wishing we could do it again, like, tomorrow. You three are the ultimate sexy-brilliant Mormon writer-housewives.

Melinda, you're a dear. I do have a private blog now, but I still have my public one as well--it's just not active at the moment. But once I finish this book, I'll be back in the loop.

Queen K said...

p.s. Roger, I love D. in her glasses too! What a babe.