Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tell Me Who I Am

I know that it seems like I'm an open book -- kind of a 'what you see is what you get' sort of gal.  And I talk about everything.  Well, not everything. I've never been comfortable discussing golf.  Or one spouse making full use of the 'facilities' while the other brushes their teeth.  Blech.

But other than that, yes, I'm pretty much that open book girl.

Which is why it's odd to be telling you about a project that has consumed the better part of the last half-year or so, but about which I've said almost nothing until now.

I don't know why I've played this one so close to the vest. I mean, it's not like I make a secret of my writing projects.  If I were to link you to every post I've put up about my novel I'd likely refer you to a good third of my blog.  Heck, the month I did NaNo I posted about it every day, even when I had gall bladder surgery so I could suffer for my art.

But this one's ... different.  And it involves the writing of some of my favorite people, so I feel like it's as much their news as mine.  And I suppose I didn't want to say anything until it was really happening.

And now, I guess it is.  Really happening, I mean.

In a few weeks, a book called "Tell Me Who I Am" will be available for sale through this and umpteen other web sites.  It's a collection of nearly 50 essays, written by folks like Annette Lyon, Melanie Jacobson, Ken Craig, and ... well ... me.

Essentially, we talk about what it's like to be an everyday Mormon suddenly living in a spotlight we're not really accustomed to.  From Mitt Romney to Big Love to Warren Jeffs, it seems like there are a lot of definitions floating around out there of what a Mormon is or is not.  And folks are curious.

Given that there are 14 million of us worldwide, who could begin to define a religion that is at once global and grass-roots?  No matter how large any crowd is, it's still made up of dozens, thousands, even millions -- of ones.

So, here we are: sixteen ones, revealing a little about what it means to be us, through our stories and reflections.

I've taken the lead on this project, compiling the essays and overseeing the zillions of little details that go into putting something like this together, so I've had the opportunity to read each of these essays dozens of times.  And still, some break my heart and others have me doubled over in gales of laughter, every time I read them.

The complete list of contributors can be found here.  I was in awe of how many truly gifted writers agreed to contribute to this wonderful collection.  I don't know how it happens, but somehow I manage to rub shoulders with some of the finest, most talented, most generous people on God's green earth.

On that same page, you'll see that we're offering a special rate to those who pre-order.  That rate ends March 10, so if you're thinking about picking one up there isn't a better time to do so than now.

I'm confident that members of all faiths will enjoy this glimpse into everyday Mormon life.  I don't know if it will answer questions or raise them, but I do believe that our stories have the best chance of revealing just who we are and what we're about.

Not sure why I'm so shy about this book.  Maybe because I'm so proud of it, and so grateful to have been a part of it all.

Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy it.  For me, it's a treasure.



Lara said...

This looks amazing, DeNae! So many people I love all in one book!

Of course it is close to your heart...this is important stuff. It's been interesting to be LDS during this time, in both good and bad ways.

Melanie Jacobson said...

I'm so grateful you put the time and energy into spearheading this. I think it's awesome and I think it's going to do a lot of good.

Christine Macdonald said...

Soooooooooo happy for and proud of you!

I can't wait to soak up every word.




Scooby and Jon said...

It looks fabulous. Gold star for you!

Karen Peterson said...

This sounds like such an exciting project. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

AS Amber said...

Wow how exciting!!! I just know I'm going to LOVE this. Yay!!

seashmore said...

I'm looking forward to getting my copy, that's for dang sure! After all, who doesn't like getting something in the mail that isn't a bill or junk? :-p

Kazzy said...

Thank you for always wanting to be involved in things that matter. You are using your life and talents for some mighty good stuff.

Love ya.

L.T. Elliot said...

It looks positively wonderful. And even though you're shy about it, I'm so glad you said something. I'll order mine now.

wendy said...

Well, It totally sounds like a treasure.
Good all those who participated in the book.

Jessica said...

Very exciting DeNae! Congratulations!

Unknown said...

so proud of you mom!! :)

Kim said...

First off, you live in one of the best counties in Utah! I too live in Tooele County and love, love, love it! My children go to Stansbury High and love it.

This is my first time visiting your blog. It has been a pleasure and I plan on returning frequently.

I am excited to read this book. I follow both Kazzy and Steph(diapers and divinity). Can't wait to meet more wonderful women who help us understand ourselves and who assist us in becoming better.


Becca said...

Would you believe it if I told you I've been radio-silent on all blogs but my own? But you did good. Here, and there, and all the places you've gone about doing good. That's what we love about you. Among all those other things...