Wednesday, December 3, 2008



I'm serious, people, in case you weren't sure. I want to see your work published in the Mormon literary mags. Trust me when I say they are anxious (desperate) for your submissions. If you want me to do it, I will, in thy name, etc. Just let me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Feeling guiltyish


I am a writer of Thimprovs & Abstructs. To the layman: I make crap up without forethought.

Then, occasionally, people think I've made logic puzzle or a political commentary and they're enjoying themselves so much I hate to disabuse them of their notion and, who knows, maybe deep down inside it was intentional.

What's the ethical thing to do in this situation, Fobs?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Behold! The Trinity!

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl.
Moe, Larry, and Curly.
Star Wars*, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.
Red, Yellow, and Blue**.
Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Tom, Steve, and Ted.
Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.
Earth, Wind, and Fire.
Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial.
Monson, Eyring, and Uchtdorf.
United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Simon, Randy, and Paula.
Mr. Fob, Theric, and Queen Zippergut***.

Possible comments include:
  • Other trinities you can think of.
  • Peircean analysis.
  • Compliments on our good looks.

*Yes, I know Episode 4 has its own title, but that wasn't until later.
**Yes, I know that's not the order Peirce puts them in, but it's the order the song puts them in.
***But not necessarily in that order, so as to preserve their secret identities.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Marilyn Brown (update)


84. Between printing, binding and shipping, this entryfeeless contest cost me about forty bucks. Plus, they've never picked a comedy before.
    a. foolishness
    b. hubris
    c. hearty self-regard
    d. stupidity
    e. quixotism
    f. heroic forewardity
    g. none of the above

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What, no one likes sex anymore?


I can't figure out why my eros posts attracted so few comments. It's mystifying.

The Marilyn Brown Novel Award


I've decided to submit this year (why not?). You all should too.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Change of plans


So my dear friend and expert came over today to help me with my LaTeX problems and he was astounded at their number and magnitude and, although it pained him greatly to say it, he recommended I use Word to typeset the Fob Bible. The certain disadvantages brought by Word will remain, but I think we can overcome or minimize them.

What this means for everyone else, mostly, is that the proofreading job will change. Instead of checking for wonky punctuation, wonky pagination (for instance).

Fun fun fun!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Charlotte and Eugene England Personal Essay Contest Winners Announced


Third Place: ($100) "Confessions of a Secular Mormon," by Ryan McIlvain of Florham Park, NJ.
    "This essay was a pleasure to read for its voice and its intellectual prowess. I admire it too, because there's an element of sure-footed humor at work here that wins over the audience. But most of all, I was compelled by the close and sharp observations that resonated on both the personal and social levels. If you can imagine a conflation of Will Bagley and David Foster Wallace, you might get a sense of the richness, insight, and intellectual play at work in this piece."

(I look forward to the day when I run across something like this about someone who actually reads this blog.)

Friday, July 25, 2008

On editing


I get why editors are paid for this. Editing The Fob Bible is a complicated and involved process. Add to that that I am also the de facto designer and I got decisions up the wazoo. What verse, what image, what order, what, what, what.

Big shoutout to all you editors out there. You're great.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Holy crap, you guys have no idea how hard this is


It has taken me days (days!) just to get the typesetting program (and ancillary programs) installed and running.

Assuming it's running.

I'm going to take it out for a test drive tomorrow.

Pray for me.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Th'editor-in-chief's to-do list.


    Finish Ezekial short
    Try and finish writing a polishing my Jeremiah story
    Gather in all remaining rewrites
    Reedit and proofread entire book
    Petition foreward from Almighty God

    Select illustrations for each piece
    Edit prescanned illustrations
    Order missing illustrations from either the library or Dover
    Scan needed illustrations
    Choose captions

    Finalize on book dimensions
    Purchase Tyndale
    Select other font (or fonts--there may be three total)
    Figure out how things will be layed out and spaced and use of white space (etc etc etc)

    Learn XeLaTex
    Typeset the entire book
    Make sure it actually works
    And doesn't suck
    Save as pdfs

    Come up with a Lady Steed-approved concept
    Check with subeditors before finalizing
    Trick Lady Steed into doing it for me

    Figure out most economical way to obtain ISBN
    Send to POD

    Distribute pdfs to wiling reviewers
    Sit for interview
    Get Costco to purchase 10,000 copies

Tuesday, June 10, 2008



Holy crap, you lazy bastards. According to the blog reader to the right, I written eight of our last ten collective posts:

    * 10
    from Thmazing’s Thmusings
    * So I lied
    from Thmazing’s Thmusings
    * Svithe: Sacrament-meeting talks, beginnings thereof
    from Thmazing’s Thmusings
    * WALL·E
    from Thmazing’s Thmusings
    * Curse you, Asmond.
    from Thmazing’s Thmusings
    * Finish Line in Sight
    from The Fobcave
    * Something sensible
    from Thmazing’s Thmusings
    * The first seventy-five words of The Old Curiosity...
    from Thmazing’s Thmusings
    * Darbled Dinz
    from Thmazing’s Thmusings
    * Here's this...
    from WEED

Let's hear your pasty excuses.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


We speak, mincingly, of Names as if we could be bullied into them, as if labels were coercive. We are now on this subject, showing ourselves to be pleasant petulants, mild mendicants, such benign bums. If God could spare a Name for a cup of coffee we would not blush to ask him for it, we are bloodless in our need.

So, we speak of Petra, as if to say here is a subject more pleasant. Beware her: she is everything scrubbed and energetic, as though the maid had left her starched and ready at the foot of our beds, ready for a day at the beach. Her strength is that she does not equivocate, does not shrink from the crystallization of the Naming tongue. Inherency is her gift, and in the beginning, her Logos:

1. Flint. Crackling like sugar pastry, aspark with interest. Cro-Magnon man may have conceived of her such, may have seen in her his own nature, sharpened, the inchoate passion of his genius lasered—the first wobbly wheel, the first ablative absolute. She is, indeed most definite in the ablative: vivo petra, pacem petiverunt.

2. Granite. Iron and gold in rough stone, cemented in cheerful certainty. Do not be deceived, however, that there is no join, no seam. She is made forever flexible by doubt, can stand among the warping winds. Consider, then, the sillies of the field, and know that she toils, grinding step upon step. She is—as all things are—astride eons, but she—unlike all things—plays the Stockholm Syndrome on seconds.

3. Marble, and schist. Everything fine, everything robust, until the world splits at its corners to make room to include her; pebbles and pillars, parkbenches and priories! Queen and Quasimodo, as we all are, as we all are.

Upon these rocks will we build our kingdom. —

(how dangerous that man was! It is no wonder that the Pharisees looked askance: vulpine, ferrety, erminine. No one ever dropped a pun prudishly) —

Queen Zippergut. Judith, draped in golden silks. Upon closer examination we see it is her own blood, not Holofernes’, that enriches the weave. This, the secret of her rule: sympathy. How rare the tenor of this tone, the viol and the harp!—lost but for a few in this country of chatterers. How rare, too, to sway the hearts about you by stringing out your own intestines, a clever sewing of heart to heart to stomach to sex with this living, blood-rich thread. Generations will, with no reluctance of knee, arise and call her blessed.

Ginsberg. Adrift in a sea that stings and swoons and stirs him, he is always more than he seems to be, a cool crag above the slurry. He skims the sour surface, in hunt for the canny Titanic. He will bring her down one day, swamp her with his spirits, and we will watch and say, “Oh, how the mighty have fallen!” He is our David, our Absalom. We sing in rough iambs that we would God to have died for him, sing we wished to have made complaint to comfort his shaking upon the shifting Jacobean ladder.

Edgy Killer Bunny. Long and leanspeaking, his observation exact, acerbic. The gift of his hands to take the low mean truth of the world and turn it again cuddly and kind, fit for a child’s bed, and a brothel’s. Who does he slay but those soldiers who walk the line between those who are not for us are against us and those who are not against us are for us? The coney, we remind ourselves, is kosher.

Our Lady Jane. Would she have taken the brocades we threw at her as rebuke? Never. Had she seen we crafted for her a silk noose with our critiques? She had. Did she wear these richly-woven tapestries when we bid her to? She did not. She is a simple girl in a white shift, poised eternally with one foot over an open dress. So attired, she could feel each princess-pea lobbed at her, could keep her wary eyes awake. All the better, my dear, to see you with—and eat you with, too.

Weed. To be as noble as a million stalks, to be ever on the edge between Van Gogh's aureate hills and the stickly sweet rank of the unchristened “cool”! Do we dare write the mystery of his life, its utter triumph, its utter misery? Who, we ask you, could bear the register? How the outside world howls to place him, to root him up from his cool green garden with its granite walls! His lesson: Master the Name and the world cannot touch you, cannot break you from the hearth you hallow out of insistence. This, the two-line poem of him—Behold, he is brave. Stand, and bear witness.

Sir Jupiter. If it were enough to be the universe’s greatest sphere, he has not recognized it. The active word of this century, then—privatize. He has a mastery of sale-floor salvation in its genuine article, gracious and granting. To add this nobility to nascence is to be born in Bethlehem, to be shifting and colorful with one red eye. What immortal storm can frame that awful seeing, Blake frets in a dim corner, what dares shrink from the searchlight’s gaze? He is enough, enough, and more than enough to cause our spines to straighten, to still our unrighteous spleen.

It is, perhaps, time to admit that none of us fully new what Men think, what Men want. But we are willing to try, to find, to seek. We can chop liver (an ugly swan, his vital organs strewn upon the board, searching for Caesar’s ides), we can mask cures, we can prate over co-meants. Just this one thing we cannot do, we cannot stay silent, cleaving our lips together.

For—if we were to try, heaven help us—the very stones would cry out.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


It is difficult to write about the Fob, current or incurrent, partly because the passing of time has shattered some of the sense of solidarity that this website provided (this is, perhaps, simply my perception in being away from the medium for so many months), and partly because I am completely at a loss to define, in tones of symbological cuteness, the new members of Fob. Microsoft Word, which is rapidly supplanting King James as the ruler by which rhetorical brilliance is measured, suggests that “symbological” should be “hymnological”—there is, of course, an argument there, but I suggest that Word content itself with the mash that exists on the Ugly Swan blog and be content. Hymns there aplenty, and see where it gets us.

Where was I?

Ah, yes. Nattering. I want to say that our two new members need their own monikers, but at the moment the process of assignation seems overwhelmingly exhausting. I say this because I suspect that the most easy way to define them is in relation to me—I make this descent into solipsism because (let’s face it) I’m pretty Big Cheese in Ottoro, and anyway I was the point of articulation for their entrance into Fob. (“Point of articulation,” said my theory professor last year, over and over again, shearing the words uncleanly with her concave teeth. You may note that there is a lot of articulation in the word articulation, and a sound of pointing in point. This is theoryspeak; what I’m saying is that I invited my friends to a writing group and that a phrase sounds like what it is. Brilliant in its simplicity, and the man behind the curtain—Foucault, perhaps—takes a bow. Pay no attention to him.) Still, make no mistake—if we insist on a history slapped on a nametag for this new-timed twoesome, as long as we’re willing to allow for an initial lassitude, write one I can.

Canapés. Cannabis. Canopies. Cantaloupes. Can-cans. Cans of soup. Can-do attitudes. Cancers.

Naming is virulent, metastastic. No one—I am being frank, severe, playful—will read this save Mr/Master Fob (and every point of articulation in his progress from this space to that), The Th. That is (is That The Th.? That is The Th.), and me. I am, tonight, simultaneously brilliant and aching—the ligaments in my shoulder crack when I write this, like camera flares, like cereal; calisthenics or percussion. Percussion, doubtlessly—“through the cussing”.


Melyngoch is Cerulean, flames on the range (bluer for having heard—against all representations!—a discouraging word; bless her).

Jeph is only what he is not. Write him, then, as not. Lower-case his name; make him mere (not)ation.

Ryan is a stair-railing with no stair, well-sanded pine. It’s the grain that you care about in a bit of wood, the grain and the cut. Almost, he convinces me to be a Christian (but without these chains, these chains).

editorgirl (write small letters large) is always to me a square of fine pink silk, rippled like a patch of healing skin.


Ahem. What more could we have done for our vineyard?

1. Play. When it was late in the evening, we should have bartered for five more minutes, for three, for one. We had a shocking disregard for the Rules of Existential Economics; we pinched our pennies. For what? Poetics? No one has yet, says the insomniac sage, written an opus on an early bedtime.

2. Fought. History slots its Greats with fighters; Ivan was Terrible on the field, not the meadow. There is a law written that we may bless the soldier’s sword more than the surgeon’s saw, and the pike more than the plow. Gather ye rose-bloods while you may, and make foray while the sun shines.

3. Struck, and struck often, when the irony was hot.

This business of naming those who will never know they’ve been named. It seems precious somehow, a bit disingenuous. Melnygoch Named me. There is that. Master/ister FOB Named himself, gathered into his name this circle, these other names. Thmazing Theric Named, Named, and Named again—he is also not, but the not is in what you think, his (given) Christian name insufficient for the task, needing fricative to frame it.

He will read this and say I am obscure. And so I am. An oblong, misshapen cure of the cancer of Names.

Tolkien. Boy. Youth of Fantasy. Delusional ingénue.

procussive, adj. Toward the cussing.


Monday, March 24, 2008

An important announcement....:


A Quorum of Fobs met today at the Thteed household.

Roll Call:
    Theric (founding member of Fob Almighty, charter member of Fob East Bay)
    Tolkien Boy (second-generation member of Fob Almighty, charter member of Fob Seattle)
    Petra (Official Fob Mascot)
    Ginsberg (FOFob extraordinaire)
Expected but unfortunately not in attendance was Jane Dough, the third charter member of Fob East Bay.

Before the normal sort of "expected" fobbery and during the bagels, Fob Bible Project Chair and Head Editor Theric officially proposed his schedule for completing the much ballyhooed Fob Bible. As seen above.

The quorum accepted the proposal and it has since been made so.

To explicate:
    The Fob Bible is once again open to new work. Please submit. We desire each to have at least one piece in the finished whole. You have until June 20.

    July 10 will be the final day for rewrites or illustrations to be submitted. On this day, design will begin in earnest.

    By July 31 the finalized, designed manuscript will be ready for publication. Only glaring errors can be considered for repair at this point.

    The book will be available for purchase by August 15 through one POD or another.
Again: we want everyone to participate. It is not too late.