Monday, March 02, 2009

AML, Schmay-ML

Well, we pulled off (sort of) another one (I’m talking about the AML Annual Meeting). I’m not extremely satisfied but, considering the, well, adversity, we did pretty darn well.

I have some mixed feelings about AML these days. I have always loved it and its mission and still feel it is in the best position to do for LDS literature what needs to be done. (That is, recognize and encourage great things that are not getting recognized in other ways, foster interesting and helpful critical discussions, foster networking among producers of LDS literature and those interested in studying it. Oh, and provide me with some amazingly interesting friends.)

But I’m getting tired.

Every year I tell myself, “This year we’ll get things fixed up. For sure this year we’ll improve. Things are looking up.” But there has been so much blankety-blank adversity! Our presidents keep getting ill! (The degeneration of things began, in fact, when a president-elect died suddenly.) Board members have huge family emergencies and need to drop out. Etc. Etc. Kathleen and I have been the only consistent “board” members (and we are not even board members) for the past four years, and we both feel underqualified to take the leadership. So we scramble around to beg and plead for someone to step in and give us orders. It’s frustrating. It’s tiring. Not physically, but emotionally.

I’m tired of caring so much.

Yet, once again, I feel hopeful. Boyd is taking over this year and he is energetic, wise, connected and, most of all, CARING about AML. We drummed up a few more board members who might actually come to board meeting (James Goldberg! Scott Bronson!). And Eric, in his heroic final act as president managed to finagle Margaret Blair Young into agreeing to be president elect! (And I do have to say that pulling off this meeting was truly heroic for Eric, who has some major health issues going on. I am so grateful to him.)

So, once again, I am full of hope, and will plug on. I do so love AML!

P.S. A very huge thanks to the valiant souls who showed up and presented papers, etc. to the nearly-empty rooms. I enjoyed every session I attended. Terryl Givens was, unsurprisingly, amazing and I’m glad we managed to fill the room for him. And the award for novel went to the most deserving book by far (I’m sure you can guess which that was—if not, check out the AML website at over the next few days to find out). And thanks to Kathleen who keeps on keeping on.


William Morris said...

I appreciate what you and Kathleen do even if I can't take advantage of much of it.

And: I can believe you won't spill the beans on the AML awards. If somebody leaks a hasty news release to me (e.g. just a list of the winners), I'll slap a preface on it and post it on AMV right away.

Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury said...

I know we need to get that information out quickly, but we're trying to catch our breaths here.

I'll see if I can find someone who actually has the information who will send it to me and I'll get it on the AML list and the AML news list and eventually on the website and so on.

Thanks for your support, William.

And thanks, Darlene, for all you do. You've helped me remain as sane (which isn't very) as I have been able to remain through all of this.

Andrew H. said...

Thanks so much to Darlene, Kathleen, Eric and Boyd. I wish I was there too.