Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Monday, May 09, 2011

The Corner of Bitter & Sweet

This last weekend was absolutely amazing. Those of you who have not been to an LDStorymakers conference absolutely need to put it at the top of your must do list next year. It was an incredible time. So many great classes, wonderful teachers, and just plain good people. Both those who have published and those who soon will publish, rubbing shoulders, and talking everything from writing to families.

I have made so many good friends over the years through this conference. Then my wonderful wife and I had the chance to attend the Whitney Awards dinner. Again, just awesome people. Rick Walton is a stud, and I’d love to be able to say at some point in my career that I’ve helped a tenth of the writers he has. Susan Evans McCloud was so inspiring. In fact even before she came up to accept her award, I was in awe just from the incredible intro Michele Holmes gave.

I didn’t win any awards this year. But it was okay, because A) I had already told my wife I knew who would win in both of my categories and I was right. And B) The people who won were so deserving. It was such a thrill to see Annette Lyon, who I have known nearly as long as I have been writing, and who has been such an awesome friend win. Julie Wright, who is a pure sweetheart, and an awesome friend too, totally, totally, earned her award. And our very own Stephanie Black won for Cold as Ice, which is an absolutely incredible book. And she is the nicest person ever.

And in case anyone thought the Whitney Awards would only go to LDS publishers, or longtime Storymaker, or even only inspirational religious books, a 900 page epic fantasy published by TOR and a book about a serial killer tied for best novels of the year. Quote of the night goes to Dan Wells, who walked up to the podium after hearing his novel, Mr. Monster had tied for best novel of the year, and said, “What’s wrong with you people?!”

And that doesn’t even include my good friend Ally Condie’s novel Matched that won for best YA speculative. Or the many, many other incredible winners.

I am truly honored and inspired to see how many LDS authors are out there and all the great things they are doing. And to put icing on the cake, the very same Julie Wright who won for best romance talked up my horror novel so much, that an editor at the conference gave me her card and asked if I would send it to her. “UM, yeah.”

It was such a wonderful night that the next thing I have to say is so hard. If you haven’t noticed, the Frog Blog has become more and more hit and miss over time. Of course Stephanie and Julie have been total studettes, posting regularly and well. But we recently got together and decided that maybe after five years, we are starting to struggle for new things to say.

I personally have found myself searching old posts, sure I am repeating myself, or posting not because I have something exciting and new to say, but because I feel so guilty for not posting the previous week, or two, or three.

So after much discussion and soul-searching, we at the Frog Blog have decided to wish our readers goodbye. Oh we’ll still be around, twittering and posting on our personal blogs. But this week will be the last week of the Frog Blog.

I’ve loved being part of this, and I hope I’ve made you smile, or laugh, or think. I’m positive the others here have. And I’m proud to have joined them here. There are lots of other great LDS author blogs around, but this one will always be closest to my heart.

So farewell and ribbet. I hope all of your dreams, writing related or otherwise come true.    


At 5/10/2011 1:29 AM, Blogger Melanie Jacobson said...

Oh, wow.

This is one of the very first websites I found when I was looking for advice on publishing in the LDS market. I learned so much from combing through the archives and this blog has been a "can't miss" for me over the last three years. You have done a great service for a lot of people, I think.

You will all be missed!

At 5/10/2011 1:47 AM, Blogger Melanie Goldmund said...

*lower lip quivers*

My Frog, my Frog, why hast thou forsaken me?

I'm so sad to hear that there will be no more blog. I checked it every day, looking forward to new posts whenever they came. But I guess all good things must come to an end.

I'll miss you guys!

At 5/10/2011 7:34 AM, Blogger No Longer Blogging said...

Wow. A legend is dying. Or should I say croaking?

We'll miss you!

At 5/10/2011 9:39 AM, Anonymous Malibu said...

Sorry to see you go. You were part of my daily internet routine.

First Seriously So Blessed, now this! My internet world is crumbling.

At 5/10/2011 9:50 AM, Blogger Emily M. said...

I totally understand blog burnout. But this is very sad. This is a great blog, and I'll miss you guys.

At 5/10/2011 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't croak. You can ribbet once a month if you like. Just don't croak.

At 5/10/2011 10:38 AM, Blogger Jennie said...

I'll miss the frog blog too, but I have no intention of losing contact with any of this group of writers which includes some of the best in the business. You're great people and friends too. I absolutely understand blog burnout. If you ever feel an urge to blog beyond your personal blog, I'm always open to guest bloggers. And Jeff, check out the picture of you I posted on my blog this week!

At 5/10/2011 3:40 PM, Blogger Michele Holmes said...

You're making me cry, Jeff! You've inspired, taught, and in general kept us all going with this blog. Many, many thanks.

At 5/10/2011 7:27 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

Well, dang, Jeff, you're making me cry. =(

It's like coming back to your childhood home and finding it demolished. You look back where you came from, sure you made a wrong turn somewhere along the way. But no, there are the familiar landmarks, but the important one is missing.

How are we ever going to get Kerry to blog now? =)

At 5/10/2011 7:39 PM, Blogger Debra Erfert said...

I feel like my long-time best friend/next door neighbor just told me she's moving away. Your blog has been a companion to me over the past three year. While there may be many more writers websites lurking in cyberspace, the Frog Blog will always have a special place in my heart. I came away with so much more than mere knowledge of writing. I found my passion here. I will never be able to delete Six LDS Writers and a Frog from my Bookmarks. It will be remembered--you all will be remembered. Aw, sheesh, now I'm crying. . .

At 5/11/2011 1:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“I don’t believe after reading such fine blggers as Jeff, Rob, Julie, Kerry, Sariah and Stephanie, I will be happy to read again Miss Amanda Gillyflower’s post: Ill-Used by Candlelight. Reading good bloggers ruins you for enjoying bad bloggers.”

At 5/11/2011 8:01 AM, Blogger Tamara Hart Heiner said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/11/2011 8:03 AM, Blogger Tamara Hart Heiner said...

conference was AWESOME. I loved Dan's quote. cracked me up. Also I loved both of your books. Competition was stiff. Everyone's books were so good.

And it's a shame to see this blog end! I hope some of you contributors will be starting your own blogs!

At 5/11/2011 11:19 AM, Blogger Chantele Sedgwick said...

You will all be missed! You were actually one of the first blogs I started reading when I made the decisions to write. I wish you all good luck, and can't wait to read all your new books that come out! :)

At 5/11/2011 1:27 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

I'm all verklempt too.

Thanks for your sweet words, Jeff.

The Frog blog is an institution that will be missed.

At 5/11/2011 1:30 PM, Blogger Steve Westover said...

Your blog will be missed. Well done and thank you for sharing.

At 5/11/2011 2:26 PM, Blogger Heather Moore said...

Bummer. But I totally understand. I'll be checking archives still for some of the "greats" ;-)

At 5/11/2011 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This keeps happening to blogs I follow. Is my image on the sidebar a harbinger of doom? Beware, fellow bloggers--I might follow YOU next!

At 5/12/2011 11:22 AM, Blogger Krista said...

Echoing a few other comments, this was one of the first writing blogs I found when I started writing seriously. I didn't know who any of you were, or much of anything else, and I want to thank all of you for your examples and encouragement through ups and downs in writing and in life.
Jeff, I really wanted to meet you in person at the conference and though I think we stood near each other once it never happened. Next time!
Thank you, Frog Blog!

At 5/17/2011 12:57 AM, Blogger Charlie Moore said...

Good luck with your future writing endeavors, Jeff. Stay strong in the gospel.


At 5/26/2011 7:50 PM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

I go out of town and everyone calls it quits while I'm gone??? This will truly be missed, but wow am I grateful for what it was while it was here and I will check back through the archives for information so please keep the site open.

And I love you guys.


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