February? More like Filmuary!


library dvd
Shrek the Third (2007)

I'd heard (including from a source I enjoy) that the third Shrek was the least Shrek, and, yes, it was lesser than the last two, but it wasn't all that terrible. I didn't feel dirty or depressed, or anything.

But it's only been a few hours and already I'm forgetting it. There doesn't seem to have been anything that will really stick with me. The film lacked some of the confidence of the others, for one thing. For instance, Snow White was given a great scene, but the film was in a rush to move on and thus undermined the scene's potential.

Anyway. Now I'll know what's going on when we get to the fourth.

library dvd
Monuments Men (2014)

We wanted to see this in theaters and we've checked it out from the library a couple times, but only now have we finally watched it. And it's a strange movie to write about. It was well made, the craftsmanship was terrific, the cast was awesome, the mix of emotions was broad, the story was compelling, the history had weight---but, ultimately, it didn't come together as a Great Work of Art itself. This is a dumb thing to complain about, but I just wish it had been a bit better.

That said, the boys enjoyed it and it made us hate Nazis. So a winner!

And I'm glad they put the fan service (a clear Ocean's Eleven callback) upfront, like a Hitchcock cameo, so we could move on and enjoy the film.

The oldest is taking a WWII class now and that and this have made me hungry for more WWII films.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)

I was reading an interview and this movie came up like it's a movie everyone knows and loves but I had never heard of it before. I like to think I've heard of most things even though I certainly haven't seen most things but this one, not even a little.

So I watched it.

Unfortunately, my watching was broken up over three days so I didn't get the proper effect, but it's a good movie. And while it does things you might expect from a gangster movie whether that's a sudden outbreak of violence, doublecrossing, a twist, what have you, it's done so calmly and naturally that it never feels the list bit tricksy or intentionally entertaining. It is, as they say in the interview, naturalistic.

Compelling filmmaking.

La Strada (1954)

So...people like this movie.

Great. I'm happy for them. They can like it.

Lady Steed and I have just spent an hour or so reading appreciations. Some of them we were like, okay, sure. And others were were like, that's no excuse.

Not that the film was without anything to like. The lead played her role like Chaplin or Harpo and frankly would have been great in silent comedy. (I kept thinking, as I was watching, how I don't know of a female lead comparable to Chaplin/Keaton/Lloyd/Arbuckle. Someone like Sybil Seely was good enough for such a career, but she didn't get it. And if there was suchuwon, we don't remember her off the tops of our heads now.)

Frankly, the movie would have been better as a silent movie. Half an hour shorter and the sloppy foley work wouldn't have mattered. It's great, Fellini, that you are a creative genius with a spiritual connection to cinema, but basic craftsmanship still counts.

(And no, I was not persuaded by many of the arguments that the sloppiness was intentional and therefore a feature and not a bug.)

personal dvd
The Player (1992)

This was a fun ride. Only parts of it were obviously Altmanesque but there were enough simultaneous conversations to make it count.

Here's the plot. Tim Robbins is a movie producer getting threatening mail from some writer he blew off. He thinks he's figured out who it is and an altercation results in the writer's death.

Anyway, he tries to get away with it of course and he's being chased by the cops and the other writer and the vice tightens, with clever little switches and moments of identity uncertainty---as I type this, I'm watching a scene that would have set up a complete ruining of the fun-must-go-off rule. And meanwhile memorizing this movie's cast is a shortcut to winning the Kevin Bacon game because everyone from Steve Allen to Cher gets a cameo. And I had no idea Julia Roberts was ever so young! Or that she was so delightful at that age! Yet she barely appears at the end.

But the cameos set up the full going-meta of the ending. Which turns the movie from a good ride to a total trip.

As Altman himself says, the film, like a snail, "turns into itself and becomes itself."

library dvd
A Beautiful in the Neighborhood (2019)

Although I really loved this movie there is no doubt I will love it even more the next time I see it. But I loved its visual acuity, its chronal construction, the use of music and silence---

We live in a busy, noise world. Mister Rogers did not. And just like he did at the Emmys, this movie makes us slow down. I didn't time the minute of restaurant silence, but Tom Hanks spending such a big chunck of that time looking directly at you, at me, at whoever might be watching?

That's bold filmmaking.

library dvd
Shrek Forever After (2010)

On paper this sounds like a bad final chapter. You have a fine thing going, then you decide to bring in a new villain? who then introduces time travel (and all that that entails)? Oh dear. You stumbled a bit with three and now you're tumbling off the cliff.

But that's not what happened. This is a good movie. It's maybe not a genre recreator, but it's a solid entry into popular filmdom and uses all we know to make the film more emotionally resonant.

My main gripe is that the movie takes away our alternate universe just at its moment of triumph, but the denouement and credits do try to ameliorate that.

It was dangerous and they pulled it off.

But seriously: nobody else do this. It's not a great idea.

our dvd
Spirited Away (2001)

The 4yrold's memory has altered this from Chihiro's parents' porcine transformation being a terror-tinged memory to her "favorite part" and a reason to rewatch the film. After it started, Lady Steed wished we had put on the Japanese audio---which she has never heard before. We should have.

If the 4yrold had asked for almost any other movie following maybe an hour after we watched Shrek 4 I'm not sure I would have agreed. But Spirited Away's generosity and humanity and sheer beauty is something I have a hard time saying no to.

I always want to watch Spirited Away again.

our dvd
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

Maybe there are movies out ther somebody (not me) can in good faith argue are as good at showing us actual childood as My Neighbor Totoro, but there is no movie anywhere that one can legitimately argue is better.

How oh how oh how did Miyazaki do it? How?

In the Mister Rogers movie above, he said that the best thing parents can do is remember their own childhood---what it was like to be a child.

Watch Totoro. Watch Totoro again and again. And remember.

Selma (2014)

I didn't hear about this movie before it was suddenly in theaters and in my lack of imagination I wasn't sure what walking-across-a-bridge story could sufficiently cinematic. I mean, come on.

But what an incredible cast! Including some now much-more-famous faces like LaKeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson, but also a host of favorites like Tom Wilkinson and Oprah Winfrey and Tim Roth and Giovanni Ribisi and Martin Sheen and Stephen Root and Common and Cuba Gooding Jr and---in short, it wasn't hard to get big names in small roles.
The big acting story at the time, of course, was David Oyelowo as MLK. And he's great. I haven't seen him in many things (one scene in Interstellar, strong supporting work in Raisin, stunning roles in trailers to several movies I haven't seen).

But the most amazing thing about the excellent, complicated movie is how it predicts the future. This was an easy movie to discuss with our kids in that they've seen this playbook in the news over the last presidency. The past is now.

And when I think that John Lewis lived long enough to see the Supreme Court sunset the Voting Rights Act....

The Promised Land is still some sets away.

Previous films watched


jan feb mar apr may
jun jul aug sep oct nov dec










Dandelions, tangerines, and other such food


012) Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, finished February 5

A couple days before Orson Scott Card's short-story collection Keeper of Dreams hit stores, my copy arrived in the mail. It is a lovely volume, and enormous. I tore into it, excited to read it. And it starts off excellent, with two fine stories, the second of which I still regularly think about. But, somehow, my reading slowed down. And although the book has never left my bedside, I'm still not done. Before reading the most recent story, at least two years had past since I read from it.

But I finally did get it going again and tackled the long, next story, "Feed the Baby of Love." Card's note following the story reveals it is set in the world of Bradbury's Dandelion Wine, and so I pulled it off the shelf and read it next. Although I don't agree with Card that this is the best thing he's written, I did find it engaging and intriguing and I really wanted to see how it connected to its source-world while Card's version was fresh in my mind.

So the last two or three weeks I've read Bradbury's short novel while walking to and from school. It's very Bradbury---as much poetry as prose and as concerned with seeming as being. It is a lovely book, an idyll of a summer, the last great summer of childhood (implied in Bradbury, codified in Card), the summer Doug Spalding was twelve.

Much happens here and although every page is fully Bradbury, it flits from genre to genre, the utterly fantastic Happiness Machine and the top-notch suspense of the Lonely One. It's no surprise that chunks of this had been published previously, but its episodic quality is a feature, not a bug. This is absolutely a coherent novel.

And---as Bradbury says in his introduction (1975) and Card says in his note---this novel makes a strong argument for the lovely and the kind, the joyful and the desirable as worthy topics for high literature. The world is not all sadness and despair. This book sees all those things and retains its innocence and its optimism.

Anyway, good book! next up for me, Bradburywise, is probably either Something Wicked or  Green Shadows. (Although, I should note, although I do not own it, Bradbury did write a direct sequel to Dandelion Wine, Farewell Summer.)

two or three weeks


013) My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett, finished February 15

Another classic kids book I'd never read before. It's filled with the brand of nonsense you'd expect from, say,  a Little Golden Book, but it's spread out over ten chapters. And that's really only act one of the story! Even the baby could tell that was an odd place to end! So I'll have to hit up the library for the next two (presumably equally short) volumes.

about ten days

014) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, finished February 16

I'm not sure how many times I've read Gatsby---three or four? five?

Incidentally, this is why keeping track of such things is helpful. Eight years ago I claimed to be reading it for the second time AND that this read-go-round I found the novel pointless and hollow. And here I was prepared to say the novel's growing in depth and interest each time I read it!

Memory is a fickle thing.

Anyway, I enjoyed it. I'm preparing to teach it for maybe the first time, certainly the first time in AP Lit. And, following on the heels of Fences as it will, I can't help but to notice the many many many parallels---and how ironic and cruel they are, given the differences.

Recommended! You could do it in a day, if you wanted!

a week

015) Sisters by Raina Telgemeier, finished February 18

Although, allegedly, I will not read the same comic aloud to the same kid twice, quality counts for something.

under two weeks

016)  A Desolating Sickness: Stories of Pandemic edited by D.J. Butler, finished February 21

I wrote more about this collection in an earlier post. I hope they make it into an actual book because it definitely is worthy.

maybe two weeks


017) Nothing Very Important and other stories by Béla Petsco, finished February 22

I've been hearing about this collection for a long time (most frequently from William Morris) and in preparation for the 100 Great Works of Mormon Lit I finally got a copy and read it. And it was great! From the title you may be expecting a short story collection and, sure, it is, but you should expect a novel experience. Petsco is doing a lot of interesting things here. The stories orbit around Agyar, but the connections vary---sometimes it's not even clear until the next story. Plus there are interstitial moments between stories and illustrations by Kathryn Clarke-Spencer that create a lot of space for the reader to explore.

Upsettingly, my copy is missing pages 197, 198, 205, 206---out of 209. So that upset me. The anteanteantepenultimate story completely upped the book's game and the anteantepenultimate story carried on strongly. Then Agyar is home again (it's largely a missionary book) and the final two stories are each missing an entire spread.


So that wasn't great. Buyer beware.

(But seriously: buy one. You'll be out, like three books.)


7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 3

007) iPlates: Zerin's Sacrifice by Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood, finished January 21
iPlates: Alma in the Wilderness by Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood, finished January 24
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard, finished January 27
Served edited by Theric Jepson, finished February 4
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, finished February 4

003) Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, finished January 6


001) The Sun Has Burned My Skin: a modest paraphrase of solomon's song of songs by Adam S. Miller, finished January 3
002) You're a Pal, Snoopy by Charles M. Schulz, finished January 4

004) Served edited by Theric Jepson, finished January 9
005) Served edited by Theric Jepson, finished January 17
006) Shem in Zarahemla by Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood, finished January 19


Pandemic fiction from the BYU library


D. J. Butler
Last year I was invited by the inestimable Dave Butler to write a story for a pandemic exhibit at L. Tom Perry Special Collections. They'd recruited him for the task and I was honored to be included. In addition to writing a tale, we also made an audio recording of us reading and video of us answering interview questions.

The exhibit is now visible (by which I mean it's up---I've no idea whether the library is open) but much has gone wrong with the rollout. HOWEVER, you can read the stories online and I highly recommend doing so. None of them are bad and many of them are truly excellent. And mine's the only one with a bad word! So check it out!

Here are my brief reviews:

A Desolating Sickness: Stories of Pandemic


He Gave Them Bread From Heaven for Their Hunger

This is some more Jonah bar Amittai fiction from Mattathias Westwood and, for my money, his most successful foray yet. I think what makes it stronger is Jonah steps back from the ranting and actually engages with another human being.

Corona the Thief

Sian Ann Bessey's story reads like a slightly wordy picture book. Corona has come and it steals away school and birthday parties and trips to the beach. The story leans a bit bourgeoisie, if you will, but it's charming and speaks directly to children.


What an exquisitely Mormon story! It has pandemic, yes, but also polygamy and both deseret and Deseret. This is one of my favorite alt-history Mormon fictions, and I've read a few. Props to Emily H. Butler!


This well-written piece flirts on the edge of satire, but never quite accepts that label, making is all kinds of depressing. Michaelbrent Collings is best known as a writer of visceral horror, but this is all the more horrifying for being at the edge of probability---social media as social apocalypse.

Between Glory and Ruin

The closest parallel to James Goldberg I can think of is that of Ted Chiang, and this story is a good example of their similarities, although the timing of this story makes is feel heavily allegorical---it might not feel that way in another year.

Shelter Together

This is the longest one so far and it might also be my new favorite. I don't know anything about Christopher Husberg but he has chops. Using first-person plural was a brilliant move (tied with one of my favorite stories: original, available) and it's one of the finest looks at religious community I've read.

The Turning Scourge

A well written piece of YA fantasy by Charlie N. Holmberg. For a moment I really thought it was going to trod the path of the Incarnations of Immortality, but it had something more (?) cheerful in mind. Although it's a complete story, it tastes like a dry run for a novel.

Blessing the Sacrament in My In-laws’ Garage

Let's count this among my favorite Lance Larsen poems. I think the straightforward prompt is part of what makes is accessible on a first read. Although, I should mention, I haven't actually held any of his recent collections---just the occasional poem now and then of uncertain vintage.

Over the Rooftops

I don't suppose we can blame Heather B. Moore that the set-up to her story reads a bit on-the-nose---history does echo, after all. It's hard to read this as a stand-alone short story. It feels more like test run for a possible second Chinatown novel. And, frankly, why the heck not?

Safety Check

Scott Savage earns his last name here. I went from thinking it was a side-eye-at-the-elite story to an even-the-jerk-is-a-good-person story only to have it end up being a ha-ha-ha-NIHILISM!!! story. I think. I think that's where we ended up. Anyway, I was startled.

Early Retirement

I don't know, if this story weren't by Robison Wells, that I would have arrived at the mental-illness key to this puzzle's lock quite as quickly. It doesn't require that key. Even without the pills, it would be an effective story. The most pandemic-lite of the stories so far.


Something I'm noticing about many of these stories is that they are about us, now. Or even us months ago, in the early portion of our pandemic. These stories aren't about processing what happened but what is happening. Brandon Mull's story's ambiguous end drives right to that point.


Classic William Morris tale. Interweaving structure, past present and future, subtle commentary build into the form, anonymous narrators, ambiguous but potent moral lesson.

Bless & Sanctify

I had thought about writing a second story and letting the editor choose, but I never got around to it. William Morris did and they published both. This one is more contemporary. It's a good story though not formally exotic like his first one. A quarantine family's sacrament crisis.

West Covina

This is my story. I actually wrote it in 2018 and sent it along to see if it was acceptable before writing something new. It was, so I never got around to writing something new. Although my disease is quite different from COVID-19, Covina is such a similar word, this seemed like my only chance to publish it. Plus, it has 😀.

The Real Danger

Okay. No question about this one. This is the beginning of a new Traci Hunter Abramson novel. It's only nod toward shortstorydom is reducing four chapters to 1000 words. But it's still four chapters of a novel. A real thriller. 100% paranoia.

That State of Awful Woundedness

This one, by exhibit editor D.J. Butler, takes place in the world of a novel series of his, but not one I've read. It does read like it anticipates us knowing the world, but it's a coherent tale. I do wonder if it will slot into some future book.

Triple Sonnet in a Season of Pandemic

Michael R. Collings has written something dense like The Nephiad but accessible like his science-fiction poetry. I thought it would follow the trend of several of the stories above, turning toward some of the political angling of 2020, but no---he turns to nature for hope.

A Fresh Start

This is fun. Jessica Day George starts us off with a straightforward satire of A Certain Type of American. And because no characters have names, identities sometimes muddle. But as it continues, bread slowly brings some sort of redemption. Dunno if it will stick though....

Partially Submerged Dog

I can say with a high degree of confidence that Gabriel González Núñez has provided the least plainly obvious pandemic-themed work I've read so far. It's the story of a dog in trouble who continues on in optimism. You can see it, right?

Pandemic Superhero

Honestly? I think this is the best work of Mette Ivie Harrison's---at least of what I've read. It's shaped like a sentimental story about parents finding their way with an autistic child, but it's so honest and lived-in it earns every beat.

One Step Enough

Although I had a hard time following it (it really deserves a second read), Josi S. Kilpack's poetically designed tale kept touching me in little ways. The snippets of lives and relationships felt so true---and a little painful even in the good moments.

Amy Youngblood’s New Best Friend

It would be easy to dismiss the pandemic as incidental to this story, but although it's barely mentioned, Allison Hong Merrill has interwoven it in interesting ways---the inability to sully see the acupuncturist, the daycare masks, the very fact that the doctor is Chinese. Plus, it's just wonderfully human.

The Last of It

The images of melting snow and a fallen leaf are beautiful, and the final irony is sharp---but words like creepazoid and Zompocalypse inject too much silliness into what is an excellent story by J. Scott Savage. Is this a MG technique to keep tensions from running too high?

The Brazen Serpent

You can argue the conclusion lays it out too plainly, but this is a solid piece of satire and it takes a stand on the right side of history, which is nice as well. I didn't know Dan Wells had sustained humor in him, but he nailed this. Funniest piece here.

The Upland Road

This is the best example yet of how hard it is for some novelists to write short stories. David Farland has created something so complex, with so many moving parts---too many to fit together. Why is London in Italy, for instance? Or even is it? It's hard to tell. Which is a shame because the core story is beautiful and shines through the noise.

Angels of Pleasant Grove

What is the deal with Steven L. Peck? How is it he can enter a one of my favorite genres (example, example) and just write a completely fresh version that immediately qualifies as one of the best? It's incredible and I refuse to get over it.

Walking Through the Forest of Your Mind

So this little cyberpunk tale by Kim May is great fun. It taps into the tradition nicely while somehow feeling more like a nature fantasy ala Narnia. Plus, it has an "'I can’t believe it’s not Soylent' nutrient solution," so yeah. Nice.

Still Here

I love this final story. Christopher McAfee has taken the mirror image of a pandemic and, with a light hand, explored the problem of immortality from multiple perspectives. The lightness goes a long way in making this story work, but the glories and tragedies still walk together.


Unfinished book: Shit, Actually


I didn't not finish this book because I wasn't enjoying it, not at all. It made me laugh consistently and Lindy is a smart and friendly guide through the movies she's writing about. I got this book from the library solely because I admire its title essay which I tweet out every other Christmas and anticipated these pleasures.

The reason I did not finish this book is because it included writing on a couple movies I intend to watch or rewatch and wanted to do so before getting her opinions. And also because my antipathy is so great re the American Pie universe that I couldn't bring myself to read that essay.

Her break-everything style can make it tough to tell whether she likes a movie or not until you get to the ratings at the end, but irreverence is fine, isn't it? Even if I think Back to the Future Part II is better than she says, it hardly deserves a hearty defense. They are movies. They'll be fine.

And you deserve a laugh.

Have you looked outside lately?


God Bless the Wayback Machine


I've been looking at archival version of the lost, former version of thmazing.com. Specifically, I wanted a specific list of links I'd left there, but unfortunately, that doesn't seem to exist anymore.

What I did find, because it has been archived, is Thnews. I've copied it and pasted it below, as it stood in October 2017. Any further updates before the fatal crash have, alas, been lost forever.

= = = = =
= = = = = =
= = = = = 





Wow but have I not been updating.

Anyway, remember a couple years ago when I lost my mind over winning an AML Award? Well, this year I'm shortlisted for two: short story and criticism.

The short story is "The Naked Woman" (which I apparently never mentioned here, but which you can still buy). The other stories are by Spencer Hyde, Scott Parkin, and Eric James Stone.

The criticism award is not me alone, but the whole Dorian crew. Being editor though, they list my name first. By that criteria, the competition is Terryl L. Givens and Philip L. Barlow. So, you know, I'm kind of a big deal now.

The awards will be given out next month in Hawaii at the AML Conference.



"Angry Sunbeam" is now available to read. Check out the other stories while you're there. http://lit.mormonartist.net/2015/05/angry-sunbeam-by-eric-jepson/



I'm delighted to have made the cut for this year's Mormon Lit Blitz. What James and Nicole Goldberg have made is nothing less than THE yearly event in Mormon literature surpassing, in my opinion, even the awards. Mine will go up Monday, May 18th, and is, I feel, a likely crowdpleaser. Get pleased first! http://lit.mormonartist.net/




Earlier this week, Perky Erect Nipples (which I've usually referred to, for obvious reasons, as PENny) became available for purchase on Amazon. It will be an Amazon exclusive until May.



I know, I know, I know. I'm terrible at keeping this page up to date. But it's not like you're reading it, anyway.

Here's the news of note today: My poem "If I had a Book of Mormon Broadway show" is in the running for a poetry prize anyone can vote for. Check it out and, if anyone else's work strikes your fancy, vote for theirs as well. You can vote for all fifteen poems should the Muses seem jealous.



Things have been going live all week long!



Because Snow white was not unpleasant enough, I wrote this.



A lot has been happening at the end of the year, with the release of new anthologies including my work (the teddy bear with the candy cane in its eye is about a budding young serial killer after Santa; the lady dancing in darkness is a hymn to Heavenly Mother and a personal essay about the writing thereof), and my latest collaboration with Antemoff, my short story "The Great Mormon Novel of the 21st Century " as a Kindle exclusive. All well worth your time, I assure you.



I suppose I should point out the new additions to the biblio page. I haven't in a while. I suppose because nothing truly thrilling has shown up there.



On October 29, November 5, and November 12, I will be speaking and leading discussion on, respectively, Mormon poetry, Mormon literary fiction, and Mormon sf/f at the Berkeley Institute of Religion. Details on their website. Readings to be posted on A Motley Vision.



In two days, I will be appearing with Mike Homer on a panel at Salt Lake Comic-Con on Mormons and comics. He'll be speaking on the history of Mormon images in comics---especially European westerns---and I'll try to cover everything else. That's this Saturday, noon, room one. Don't miss it.



When Quantum Fairy Tales asked if they could publish "Sponsored Funeral" immediately instead of for the issue I submitted it, I said sure. Then I never heard from them again. I finally got around to looking at their site tonight and hey! there it is! And it's been up over four months. So hilarious. I suppose it's not a universal truth that sites and rags let you know when you can send people their way.

Anyway. Not too late to check it out now: http://quantumfairytales.com/2013/05/tjepson/sponsored-funeral/



I wrote it about two years ago, but it's finally in print! My review of Fantagraphics's first volume of Gottfredson Mickey Mouse arrived in the mail today in the latest issue of DialogueGo get yourself a copy.



I wrote it about two years ago, but it's finally in print! My review of Fantagraphics's first volume of Gottfredson Mickey Mouse arrived in the mail today in the latest issue of DialogueGo get yourself a copy.



"God" has finally found a home.



Just placed a poem and an essay with a new goddess-themed anthology called A Mantle of Stars. One could say that "A Hymn for Mother's Day in Common Meter" is merely part of "Our Mother Who Art in Heaven" or that "Our Mother Who Art in Heaven" is merely an introduction to "A Hymn for Mother's Day in Common Meter" but either way, they are, in truth, only one publication. I tried to note that on the biblio page, but the html code kept disappearing. I really need to move to a new system. . . .

In other news, Byuck the film is indefinitely delayed. I'm a real movie person now!



Finally! I've seen one of my poems published with a voluptuous nude for illustration!



On Sunday, Byuck received its first in-print review in which it gets compared to a Pulitzer Prize-winning classic American comic novel. Not bad. Click on the image to see it in context of the original print page.

Byuck review

(read the interview too)




Just placed another poem! I am celebrating National Poetry Month in style! Should go up April 30 or May 1 (depending on your timezone) at Quantum Fairy Tales.



I just placed four (four!) poems with Psaltery and  Lyre, one of my favorite online sources of poetry. That, like, doubles my poetry credits. Plus, one of the poems is from my Rifflections series. Stoked to place one of those. Consider the concept proven.

In other news---and I'm mostly putting this here because I want to note it but I don't really want anyone to know about it yet and, let's face it, no one reads thnews---I'm selling a film option on Byuck. Should be signing paper some time this week.



Just learned that Pill Hill Press called it quits in January which is why the volume "Man Talking to His New Love About What Happened to His Old Love" and "The B.O. Movement" were supposed to appear in never worked its way into reality. So I've removed them from my biblio page. Which has the added affect of leaving no "forthcoming" credits under fiction. I cannot remember the last time I didn't have forthcoming fiction listed. It's a bit unnerving, to be honest. I'd best send stuff off to some not picky presses to keep my ego high while I'm trying to persuade more picky presses to publish me . . . .



A few items of business:

First, the BYU Memes contest garnered tons of eyeballs. In retrospect, I could have structured the contest more to my benefit, but I suspect it was a huge boon to the BYU Memes folks. Bully for them! I mailed inscribed copies to the winners today.

Second, I've put up "Maurine Whipple, age 16, takes a train north" here at Thmazing.com. With EMW apparently permanently infected, it needed to be up somewhere. I have an invite to place it elsewhere as well (and may) but here first.

Third, alas, is a secret. But, should it come to pass, it shall be very big news indeed.



We're live! The hottest dang giveaway contest on the planet is on BYU Memes. Go now. Get Byuck.



Last week, this story went live:

If the collection is as good as my itty bit, you're making a wise purchase indeed.



Okay. I'm a bit behind on stuff I should be announcing here.

Scott Hales interviewed me.

There was a contest connected therewith.

He later posted the entire interview.

And reviewed the book (lots of money quotes).



Just learned that Scars Publication is including "The Legend of Boitown" in another collection, but it's being delayed until Februaryish. You've been warned!



It's finally out in paper! And---act now---Barnes and Noble is selling it for half what Amazon is. This won't last.



My part of a panel (and the panel as a whole) has been accepted by the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study. We'll be talking about Nephi Anderson, natch.



Got the latest issue of Deakin University's Windmills in the mail which features my story "The Dancing Monkeys of Blackpool."



I didn't make the print issue, but SF Weekly included my comic "Mormons by the Bay" in the online version of their first-ever comics issue. No money for online-only, but still: first legit comics publication. Pretty cool.



I received my contributor's copy of Mormons and Popular Culture: The Global Influence of an American Phenomenon today. Pretty exciting lineup of essays. Little bummed to see that none of my illustrations were included (actually, one of the John Held one was, but it was stuck in a different article), so I'll throw those up online somewhere. Like here maybe. The book's release date is New Year's Eve. Currently it's for sale on Amazon for a mere---choke---$122.66

In other news, Byuck's in the Kindle store.



Of course, no draft is ever "final" but done it is. With some caveats that will be discussed on Thutopia.

The big news of course is that, as of today, you can buy Byuck. Only on Smashwords, but everywhere else is coming soon. 

But why wait! Enjoy now!




I have submitted the (presumably) final draft of Byuck to Strange Violin. We're still looking at (at least the ebook) being available for Christmas. So save your pennies!

Matt Page is working on the cover. I should see a draft of that by early next week. I'm excited. I think he's the perfect fellow for the job.



My short short story “Maurine Whipple, age 16, takes a train north” is now up on the Everyday Mormon Writer website. I'm thrilled to add that a discussion on the story is being hosted by fellow MoLit nerd Scott Hales. Check that out as well. Conversations never die on the web.



My short short story “Maurine Whipple, Age 16, Takes a Train North” was selected as a finalist in the Everyday Mormon Writer Four Centuries of Mormonism contest.



After a couple days short of a month since GoDaddy screwed up everything in the entire world and did nothing to help me, Bryan Catanzaro swept in again. After at most an hour on the phone, he helped me bring thmazing.com back to life. And to make an html copy thereof. Before this happens again, I need to ditch Etomite and probably GoDaddy as well. Anyway, the site's about due for a facelift anyway.

To celebrate this return to life, I'm posting my short story "The Dead", inspired by another that recently entered the public domain.



Scott Parkin just said something very nice about me:

It seems to me that we are in the midst of a rather startling expansion of our traditional concepts of Mormon literature. As I’ve been reading Monsters & Mormons off and on over the last two months, and some of James Goldberg’s and Theric Jeppson’s short fiction over the past month I’m struck with how very different some of that work is from the traditional canon and assumptions I’ve had about Mo-lit over the last twenty years.

It does my heart good to know that I have failed to crush the weird out of myself, no matter the attempts. Long live Baizzerizm!



Finally! Thnews gets the news first!

If you look at thbiblio you'll see that we're up to five forthcoming works of short fiction, three forthcoming works of short nonfiction, and a forthcoming novel. How about that, huh?

May December Publications gave me a scare, though, last night, first telling me "Laurel Wistian" had been accepted for the anthology I had submitted it to, then writing back to say We sent you the wrong email!, then clarifying they wanted the story, just for a different anthology, Midnight Movie Creature Feature Vol 2. Man alive. I may be too old for such rollercoasters, methinks.

Anyway, I'm delighted they took it. It's had a funky path to publication. Can't wait for the ole royalties to start supporting my sock habit.



Another embarrassed update from me. Why is this page always the last to know what's going on in Thericville? It's ridiculous.

Anyway, just added tons of stuff to the previously publisheds on the previously-published page. Definitely check that out.

Also, I updated my Bloggernacle list.

Also, Monsters & Mormons is officially out and starting to garner praise, while Fire in the Pasture is now firmly established as the best book ever. I'll keep links to the praise flowing through Peculiar Pages's Twitter feed.

Also, big news, someone's publishing Byuck. No! Really! This time I even signed a contract! Strange Violin Editions will be publishing this mysterious volume circa summer 2012. Is it strange that my predominant emotion is relief?

At any rate, things are proceeding apace (as they say). Check in again sometime! Though if you're at all paying attention, you'll probably already know all about everything by the time it's here, grumble grumble.



I am so desperately behind where I should be in keeping this page up-to-date. In brief, starting today, my short story "David Dow and Lala" is being serialized on Wilderness Interface Zone.

As for Peculiar Pages, Fire in the Pasture is out now and available for purchaseMonsters & Mormons promotion begins in earnest with a Monsters & Mormons Inktober! Check it out.



Life goal accomplished this month: winning an AML Award. I received the award in Editing. It was a good year to receive an award. Other notables include Brady Udall, Angela Hallstrom and Jack Harrell. Here is the citation:

2010  AML Award: Editing

Presented to: 
Eric W. Jepson

Comics! Sunstone #160

For decades the comic form has languished as a derided genre, seemingly fit for only the fantasies of adolescent boys. But recently comics have come into their own, winning awards such as the Pulitzer, the National Book Award, and the Printz Award. In the hands of dedicated storytellers and artists, comics have become a potent medium for exploring what it means to be human in fresh, invigorating, and insightful ways. Art Spiegelman gave a startling new voice to the Holocaust in his gritty graphic novel Maus, where he portrayed Jews as mice, Germans as cats, and Americans as dogs. Marjane Satrapi made Iran’s Islamic Revolution relevant to the Western world by drawing her girlhood lived beneath the shadow of fundamentalism.

Though they are many, today’s Mormon comic artists have had few venues that encouraged them to draw creatively on their Mormon roots. No discourse had been established to nurture the creation and sophistication of Mormon comic narrative. Theric Jepson changed that when he guest-edited issue 160 of Sunstone. Drawing on years of research, networking, and interviews with Mormon comic artists, Jepson brought together a landmark collection of Latter-day-Saint-penned comics, most of them created especially for the collection. He gathered representation from all comic genres—from mainstream to underground to manga—highlighting the diversity and excellence of Mormon comic art. He also gathered articles covering past Mormon comic artists, portrayals of Mormonism in mainstream comics during the past century, and the effect of comics on the lives of everyday Latter-day Saints.

Like A Believing People, the first collection of Mormon literature, this is the first publication to establish a discourse for Mormon graphic narrative art. It has created a foundation we hope will initiate a legacy of quality comics that takes Mormon literature in new and exciting directions


Getting compared to a landmark like A Believing People is humbling. And totally hardcore.




I gave a presentation on Mormon comics at the Sunstone West Symposium. The best part was hanging our with my copresenter Brad Teare. Terrific artist and, as it ends up, great guy. Extra nice to be able to introduce him to Korean food.



My interview with Orson Scott Card is up on Mormon Artist (I'm the one asking the questions).



I've further updated the bibliography page in large measure so it reflects the work I did on the September 2010 issue of Sunstone Magazine. I guest edited their special comics issue and it's terrific and you should really check it out (click on the image to buy a copy). A comicsized interview I did for the issue got bumped, but now appears here on this very site. And, since I mentioned it last time, I was cited for Found again.



I've received an honorable mention in the Irreantum Fiction Contest. No money, but tons of prestige. From the email sent notifying me of my win:

Our contest committee thought the piece was startlingly original and moving without being trite--in fact, as we sat around the table discussing it, a number of us admitted that it had moved us to tears. The language is beautiful and the content is faith-affirming in the very best sense.



Holy moly but I've not been updating this thing at all regularly. I'll try to do better. Know that a) Monsters & Mormons is accepting submissions, b) I've updated (or begun to) the bibliography page so that it actually tells useful truths (I've also added a weak Peculiar Pages page to this site), c) my suggestion was ignored in such a way that I got my name attributed to the latest of Wired's "Found" series.



My column " The Ambiguity of Excellence: Kazu Kabushi’s Daisy Kutter" is up at Fantasy Magazine.



I gave a lecture on Mormon short fiction at the Berkeley Institute of Religion. The examples we discussed were Jack Harrell's "Calling and Election" and B.G. Christensen's "Abraham's Purgatory" (from The Fob Bible).



The poppy version of "Saturday's Werewolf" that will be out in December's Sunstone has been released in an abridged form online. Read it here.



Happy Halloween!



I was profiled in the high school's newspaper (scan).



Baby boy born to the Jepsons.



The Fob Bible now available in paperback for $15.99.



My essay "Communion with the Small" is posted at Wilderness Interface Zone. Curiously, this is adapted from an essay I wrote for a freshman Biology class at BYU I should not have been forced to take.



Chanson reviews The Fob Bible: "A Great Riff on "The Good (??!) Book": The FOB Bible". She is not the first person to like "Ezra's Inbox" best which is further evidence that including it was not a mistake. Phew.



Another excerpt from The Fob Bible, this time B. G. Christensen's "The Changing of the God", is available to read at Main Street Plaza.



An excerpt from The Fob Bible, "Abraham's Purgatory" by B. G. Christensen, is up for discussion as part of Short Story Friday on A Motley Vision.



Tyler's The Fob Bible continues: "Re: The Fob Family Bible, Part II" on A Motley Vision.



Excellent first review for The Fob Bible, "Re: The Fob Family Bible (Part I)" by Tyler Chadwick on A Motley Vision.



The Fob Bible goes into general release.


The Fob Bible




You may now read "Happy St. Patrick's Day" at Arkham Tales.


Arkham Tales #3




It's long overdue, but I've finally updated the blogs and AMV pages here at thmazing.com.

And I might as well mention that if you haven't been following my Couples-Creators series at AMV you should start. I've got some humdingers on the way.



My first "official" AMV post is up: The Hero’s Journey of the Mormon Arts.



I'm now one of Motley Vision's official contributors.



"Saturday's Warrior: Vestiges of the Premortal Romance in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Novels" now available online at Reading Until Dawn.



My poem "Morning Walk, Spring 2009" appeared today at Wilderness Interface Zone .



Today I delivered my paper "Saturday's Warrior: Vestiges of the Premortal Romance in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Novels" at Sunstone West in Cupertino.



Today the newly rechristened Thutopia celebrates its 1000th post.



I've finally updated my hideously out-of-date bio. Although the new one isn't useful. I plan on updating it again as things start happening. Which they are about to start doing. Oh baby are they.



I will be presenting my paper "Saturday's Werewolf" at Sunstone West. More details here.



I've added a page under Thworks for keeping my Motley Vision links.



It might be a little overdue, but "The Oracle" is finally also available here on thmazing.com. Or, you can still read it on the excellent Nossa Morte.



I assume having an ISBN assigned makes it official? Yes? Then it's official.

B10 Mediaworx is publishing The Fob Bible, that storied collection that's been, oh, eighteen months in the making (or so). Watch for more details as more become available.



I'm not going to get into why I'm irritated about this reason, but my "Sleeping Baby" thvlog has been yanked from YouTube. I haven't decided how I'm going to host this one anew yet (Photobucket is out), so for awhile it will be absent. When it goes back up, it is likely this will be its only home.



New thvlog up.



After a somewhat unusual rejection history, "Happy St. Patrick's Day" has been sold to my acquaintance Nathan Shumate's online zine Arkham Tales. I can't tell you how happy I am to be finally able to stop shipping this thing around. Or that it will be one of the first publications in what's looking like a topnotch outlet.



Okay. It's back up.



Nevermind. YouTube won't allow that video to be on their site (!). I'll see about bringing it in from somewhere else.



New thvlog up.



I'm back on A Motley Vision. This time read my survey of Mormon comics.



I guest blogged on the fabulous A Motley Vision.



There will be more official announcements later, but as of now, PL&G is finally live and available. Let me know if you find any bad links. Also, those who signed up for the RSS feed, please let me know if you received this notice. Thanks.



Once again, I think I have RSS working.



Levi Peterson referenced "The Widower" in a post today on By Common Consent.



I have (again, I think) enabled RSS. Please try to subscribe and tell me if it works.



I have (I think) enabled RSS. This post will actually be checking that.



"The Oracle" is up at Nossa Morte:

Abandoning the car had been a good idea. It was still cruising down the road and they were following it, slowly. He would have a great headstart. Running through the woods was smart—his best chance. And besides, now he was free. He could escape. He could be safe. He was safe.

For now.

 Now it's time to read the whole thing.....



I signed a contract with Nossa Morte today. They will be publishing "The Oracle" this February. More on that as it happens.



New thvlog up.



New thvlog up.



I did some minor cleaning and repair work today, as well as laying some groundwork for later content -- much of which is now available, but I'm not announcing it yet. Also, I've added Chores to the already published stuff.



New thvlog up.



I just posted Pargruffa in plays. I wrote this Aprilish with the idea of posting it immediately. Whoops.



New thvlog up.



New thimprov up.



From the Asylum surprised me with a nice gesture that ought to tide me over till that National Book Award comes through:


Honorably Mentioned




Culturologists will want to note that thmazing.com was pulled up on an iPhone today. Assumedly for the first time.



New thvlog up on the Thvlogs page.



New bio up. In the old one, the new kid was just an eventuality, so I decided to just rewrite the whole thing. There is also a new page to host old bios no longer in use. Also, I've stopped using Site MeterStatCounter has more information and doesn't require the display of its logo, so I'm going with it.



Nelly, but the news just keeps on coming! So this evening my legendary friend Bryan came by to help me with a couple things I've long wanted to do, but couldn't manage without someone devilishly clever to help me. I love sitting behind a programmer and watching him work--it's like some strange alien poetry that I will never understand but whose beauty is evident. Anyway, if you look up at where your browser puts this page's URL, you will notice that it is not that php jumble anymore, but a nice, clean http://thmazing.com/thnews. Much better! He also pulled off an element I have long wanted for Thmazing.com, viz, a random front page. Now, when you go http://thmazing.com/, you will get one of twelve possible fronts. Hit refresh! Get another! How cool is that?



Hoo! Lots to report today! First, I did some things that don't normally get noted here, like changing the homepage, minor spacing issues, correcting a code error, etc. Exciting, but not noteworthy. More noteworthy are the following: 1) New Thvlogs page up. 2) New play up --first in over three months. And this one's a good one, so if you've been annoyed by storyless plays, you might give this one a try. 3) Living Literature is now available through the Formerly Published page. 4) LOST , created last night and scanned in this morning, has been added to the Thimprovs & Abstructs page, which has been altered to recognize there is now actually content there. LOST is a short comic. If there end up being many comics, they may get their own page. Who can say? ¶ So I think that's it. If you didn't notice the news from earlier this week, however, keep reading.



"The Widower" is now available from Dialogue Paperless . This tale of Torrance and his racking guilt has always been a crowd pleaser. You're encouraged to join the crowd posthaste.



Way back in midMay, I learned that I merited an honorable mention in From the Asylum 's "What My Sweetie Wears..." contest. It was to then be published in the June issue of their online zine, which has now, as of today, finally arrived online. Viva My Sweetie!



It's a boy!



Coca-Cola got CafePress to shut down my Thenjoy! shirt. The redesigned version is now available (f,m). You can read all about it here. I sure wish I wasn't too busy to harass lawyers just now....



The latest link in my Online Entertainment Empire fell into place earlier today with the posting of my first ever thvlog . (Also on YouTube. )



I finally added a photo to the bio page--one taken by my dear wife. People seem to like it, and you are certainly welcome to as well. With the birth of baby two coming up, I'll need to revamp the bio itself soon as well. I'ld prefer just writing an entirely new one, but oh heavens! but I'm a busy lad!



Annoyed by the lack of information in my current stats, I added Site Meter to Thmazing.com. Several hours later I also added StatCounter , which I am not familiar with, but offers a few features I've always been sad Site Meter does not offer. I'll try them both out and see what I think.



Added a couple more pictures, once again from Liam's Pictures from Old Books.


I just did rather a large reorganization. I moved Plays and Columns off the main menu and placed them instead inside a new menu item, Thworks. Also part of Thworks are (or will be soon) previously published works, unpublishable works and other stuff as defined on the page. Thenjoy!



I suppose I should link to this, since I was part of it.



Two new plays up. These two were both written pretty recently. I had time to type and all I had were my current notebooks. So there you go. 



I just posted the first new play since the official launch of this site. It is also the first play to have been written specifically for inclusion here. Why, one might reasonably ask, when I have so many nonsensical plays floating around would I bother to make up a new one? I don't know. But I will tell you this: it is also the first time I have posted a play with a justification error during a moment of too-lazy-to-fix-it-ness. Further evidence that you are better than me. But I've been saying that all along. (Save for when I'm going on and on and on about how awesome I am, which is kind of a lot. Sorry about that. Not sorry enough to stop, but you know how it is....)



I just put up a contact page (finally) and it seems to work. And it's only 2:20am....



Now up at flashquake:


Living Literature by Eric W. Jepson



The existence of this site announced at Thmusings .



The definitive biography of Eric W. Jepson just published. 



Bryan was just here (again) doing his computer-guy magic and now the future has finally arrived: Thmazing.com is live and available on an internet near you. Dig it.



Go Daddy is now my daddy. I purchased three years of hosting from Go Daddy today and as soon as they are ready for me, Thmazing.com will go live.



The first anniversary of svithing was commemorated on Thmusings and The Weekly Svithe.



Friend Bryan again swoops in to help here at Thmazing.com, resulting in us ditching Nvu and Lucid and other portions of our former plan and switching both over to Etomite, which (so far) seems pretty amazing. But let's face it: Thmazing.com is pretty much Bryan's baby. Which doesn't mean anyone should blame him, but it does mean he should be thanked.



I sold what was once a grad school application essay to flashquake. Hooray for it finally doing me some good!



At this moment, Thmazing.com sits gutted and ready for the magician to provide it with some content. The design was lifted without shame from Theric's friend Bryan Catanzaro and manipulated either by hand or with the free WYSIWYG editor Nvu. The image of the jester (and others, no doubt, as time goes on) is from Some British Ballads, now in the public domain and kindly scanned for public use by the kind folks over at Liam's Pictures from Old Books. Special thanks also to the author's wife whose design sensibilities keep him from going too far astray. Although his inability to do exactly as she says should not be blamed on her.