Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Fear I'm Going, Going, Gone

by Kerry Blair

There are things about this Church the missionaries don’t tell you. This is a good thing.

Oh, sure, they’ll tell you everything they know about the Plan of Salvation. They’ll recite Joseph Smith’s first prayer by heart—and maybe even sing a few bars if you happen to get a BYU music major like I did. You’ll be fully informed of the importance of tithing, and exhorted to give up iced tea and an over-abundance of red meat. But ask them just how many meetings a ward Young Women’s president attends and they’ll suddenly remember a pressing engagement on the other side of town.

There are some things it is better not to know before baptism.

I knew nothing. When I joined the LDS Church as a young adult, I was the only member in my extended family, the only member in my circle of friends, the only member on my block. In fact, I could name exactly one Latter-day Saint—and that was Donny Osmond. Perhaps if I’d moved a little slower, investigated a little more, and taken time to observe Mormons in their natural habitat, I might have thought to look before I leaped into the font. Alas, the testimony was there. All I lacked was any knowledge whatsoever of what I was getting myself into.

Does anybody else ever wonder what Methodists do with all their free time? I try not to dwell on this overmuch, but it has occurred to me that being LDS is as exhausting as it is exhilarating. While the gospel of Jesus Christ is simple, some of us manage to magnify our “discipleships” all out of proportion.

By “some of us” I mean me.

I figure that since joining the Church I have spent fifty full days of my life writing scripts and making costumes for various ward and stake productions. (Oh, wait! Fifty days would only be 1200 hours. You’d better double that number; square it to be sure.) I’ve spent eight or nine days putting up and/or taking down folding tables and chairs. I’ve made enough funeral potatoes and baked enough rolls to invite a small third-world country to a sit-down dinner. If you took all the yarn I’ve used to tie quilts, weave hats, and teach Beehives to crochet and stretched it out while walking backwards . . . I have no idea how far you’d get, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if you ended up back where you started—at least once.

I try not to dwell upon how important any of those things will be in the grand, eternal scheme of things. Rather, I keep pressing on because . . . well . . . I figure that if you can’t do great things, you should at least try to do the mundane things with great dedication. Right now, the black hole into which I am casting every spare minute of my mortality is a quest to bring to pass Apostle Orson F. Whitney’s prophesy regarding great literature by members of the Church. No, I’m not writing it! (I tried that once and it didn’t exactly work out for me.) I’ve turned my attention instead to encouraging and supporting the rest of you in your quests. (And I mean you, Julie Coulter Bellon!) Specifically, I am trying to run the online Whitney Benefit Auction.

Like baptism, this was my idea. Once again, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Let’s just say that if I took all of that aforementioned yarn and used it to lash together all of those aforementioned chairs to build a tower from which Robison Wells (in the regrettable absence of Elder Whitney) could preach, it would be easier—and certainly more eye-catching—than this auction.

Where is everybody? We should be doing way better than we are. We’ve got incredible stuff: Autographed books and gifts, valuable editing packages going for a song, designer clothing, home decorating accents, silk ties, massages, handcrafted note cards, food items, fine art, gorgeous jewelry, book publishing packages, children’s clothing, a family photo shoot, and much, much, much, much more. (We have, in fact, several things you can't buy anywhere else.) Fortunately, we have several loyal customers for whom I’m eternally grateful. But, people, Deb and Stephanie can’t buy it all! (Although they do seem rather determined to prove me wrong.)


If you haven’t seen the site lately, you haven’t seen it at all. Several auctions are ending very soon, so I put up more than a dozen new items and services yesterday. I’m putting up a dozen more today—including my own packages of baseball tickets, Hopi jewelry, prickly pear jelly, and an Official Nightshade Ghost-Hunting Kit. (Just where else do you think you’re going to find that?)

So . . . yes, you caught me. For the third or fourth time, my Friday blog is nothing more than a thinly-disguised ad for the Whitney Auction. There are two Fridays left in the month, but I’ll make you a deal—you all go bid your little hearts out for a very, very worthwhile cause, and I’ll promise to change the subject next week. If you’re really good, (and we raise at least $500 this week) I could probably even come up with a celebrity guest blogger!


26 Comments:

At 11/14/2008 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerry, are you nuts or something? The more people who bid on the items I have ... well, the doggone big goes up! That means that I have to plug in a ... gasp, a higher bid. Now, I'm just waiting for the time to expire so I can win my books and art pieces. Please, stop all this advertisement or others will know what great things are on your auction site. Gheesh, I mean, what kind of a friend are you?

Deb

 
At 11/14/2008 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, correct use of the word mundane.(ie... practical everyday life)

Deb

 
At 11/14/2008 11:33 AM, Blogger LC Lewis's "Hear Ye, Hear Ye" said...

Kerri, I think all that chair folding, quilt tying and costume designing is preparing us for something deeper on the other side. Remember the Karate Kid and "wax-on, wax-off? Think about it. . . . Hmmm. . . .

 
At 11/14/2008 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerry, you are definitely my hero - and hands off everybody - that ghost hunting kit is mine!
Pat

 
At 11/14/2008 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you guys should branch out and ask bloggers outside of your group to post about it. I'm sure they'd be happy to do it.

 
At 11/14/2008 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People who come to mind: Amy Lawson, Azucar, Daring Young Mom, Mary, Sue, TAMN (ok TAMN might not read, but the girl behind TAMN does), Kacy and the Light Refreshments Served group. Bloggers like that, who each have hundreds and in some cases thousands of readers might be willing to pimp it out for you. Make it easier for yourself and send a few emails.

 
At 11/14/2008 12:23 PM, Blogger David G. Woolley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/14/2008 12:25 PM, Blogger David G. Woolley said...

Kerry:

If you auction off a future Kerry Blair blog post, all buyer rights reserved, all copy rights in the name of the buyer, no reproduction, copying, transmission or use without written consent of the buyer, and I will for sure buy it!

Dave

 
At 11/14/2008 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Pat! I'm afraid that we're going to get into a bidding war over Kerry's Ghost hunting basket. I want it, too.

This is going to be fun.

Deb

 
At 11/14/2008 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring it on sister - that baby is mine! (with all respect and sisterly love, of course) :D
Pat

 
At 11/14/2008 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, dear sister.

Deb

 
At 11/14/2008 1:47 PM, Blogger Kelsi Rose said...

Kerry, tempt me not. I have no money, otherwise, the ghost hunting kit and several of the books would be mine (maniacal laugh inserted here).

 
At 11/14/2008 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fun indeed!
Tee hee...

Pat

 
At 11/14/2008 3:19 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Pat, Deb & Kelsi Rose: You are so funny. Do you all live in haunted houses, or what?

Dave: Sold! Send in your donation then give me a topic and word count. I figure my musings are worth about a buck fifty on the open market...

Anonymous: You're so right. Many of our terrific donations came from the blogging community -- Scribble It Online, Jill's Crafty Covers, and many more. Additionally, many authors (like Jennie Hansen) are sending out the word to their massive fan bases. Word of mouth will get us further than anything. PLEASE tell all your friends and fellow bloggers. Thanks!

 
At 11/14/2008 4:57 PM, Blogger David G. Woolley said...

Kerry:

Could you at least post the sale of your post on the website. I really want to do this the right way.

Dave

 
At 11/14/2008 5:09 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

DGW: This is a ploy to make me look stupid, isn't it? (Not that I suspect you of ulterior motives.) But what the heck. Not only can I seldom resist a dare, but I'd probably auction off my sainted grandmother at this point. I'll put it up later today and let you know. You'd better bid fast, Buddy, because I probably won't have the nerve to leave it up more than an hour or two.

 
At 11/14/2008 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could use a grandmother - do you take visa? :)

 
At 11/14/2008 7:04 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

Why is the Massage (from a certified therapist) under Fun Stuff for Kids?

Now, if it was a Master Therapass...

 
At 11/14/2008 8:10 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Et tu, Jon? At first I was as baffled as you, then I remembered that I put it there because this therapist is one of very few who work on infants and children. I know a few kids who'd think a grown-up massage is a lot of fun. So there. :)

As for Master Therapass...are you ready? J. Scott Savage has donated an autographed copy of Farworld: Water Keep AND the chance to name a character in an upcoming book in the series! (Yes, really.) It goes on sale Monday, November 17. You'll want to be the first to bid.

In the meantime, anybody want to buy a cheap blog? I'm putting that "service" up right now. (So there again, but to a different smart alec.) :)

 
At 11/15/2008 12:22 AM, Blogger Christopher Bigelow said...

Well, Cedar Fort is having an emergency liquidation sale at their warehouse right now because they've received so many returns from stores because people just aren't buying. My own book-selling website, which usually gets a steady trickle of orders, hasn't had one order in a whole month. People just aren't spending, so it's probably almost the worst time in 50 years for you to hold such an auction...

 
At 11/15/2008 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes an auction is more than just buying or selling items and services, Mr. Bigelow, especially if it is to support something you care about. As far as I'm concerned, if Kerry was mowing her grass and selling the clippings for the Whitneys, then I would buy a bag full. I just wished other people looked at it from the same perspective as I do.

Deb

 
At 11/15/2008 3:56 PM, Blogger Cheri J. Crane said...

Deb, you rock, as does Kerry. (this is a compliment.) =) I've been bidding away. I have yet to win anything, but I plan to do so in the near future.

 
At 11/15/2008 11:02 PM, Blogger David G. Woolley said...

Say it isn't so! You actually did it. You're selling your blogness. I can hardly wait. And if anyone outbids on this one. I will shut down the Top of the Morning blog forever.

The first every guest blogger (and likely the last) and we paid premium bucks for it.

I got the email. I also got some problems with my computer so I haven't responded. I'll send an email with answers to all your Blair questions sometime this weekend.

Keep up the great work. Author's are miserly folks. I should know. I'm the most miserly. If everyone followed my buying habits there would be no malls. No downtowns. No retail anything. They entire economy would grind to a hault. Maddison Avenue would cease to exist. I am the NON buyer. This is a very huge thing for me. The death of a miser.

Dave

 
At 11/16/2008 12:48 AM, Blogger MainTour said...

If you are not having fun then you are not living the gospel right.

Being Happy is hard work sometimes.

 
At 11/16/2008 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You better check E-Bay on Kerry's offered blog, Woolley. You aren't the first, second, or even the seventh bidder. Beware. Maybe you should have accepted her first offer.

 
At 11/16/2008 7:39 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Chris: You're absolutely right, of course. Fortunately, we're doing pretty well thanks so the generosity of so many. It's true that many of the people who are bidding are people who would probably give us money anyway at some point down the line. But, hey, they're getting some great stuff for their donations. Doesn't that make it a win-win?

Deb: Alas, I'm in Central AZ -- My grass died weeks ago. How much will you give me for a bag of leaves? (Sorry, I couldn't resist. What I SHOULD have said is thank you so very, very much for your loyalty, generosity and undying support. I mean that.)

Maintour: You are also absolutely right. I'm sorry I came off so whiny or crabby or whatever in the first of the post. If you knew me you'd find that I'm actually a rather cheerful Do Bee most of the time -- even when taking down chairs. Thanks so much for comment! If Scribble It ever puts it in vinyl, I'll paste it on my wall. So true.

 

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