A Fond Farewell

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to leave A Motley Vision for the foreseeable future. After this post, I have one more essay I want to write for the blog as my last entry, but first I wanted to clarify the reasons why I am leaving, so that there is no room for speculation. Chiefly, it is because the focus at A Motley Vision has recently narrowed and focused on Mormon literary theory. I think that is a very good thing. It brings a much tighter and disciplined experience to the readers of A Motley Vision. However, much of my work here in the past has consisted of looser reviews, personal perspectives, and other kinds of blogging that don’t fit into the new paradigm. Also, my interests in blogging are extending very much to the Mormon theological and historical fields, which obviously don’t have a place here either.

My work has always been more centered on a creative, rather than an academic style of writing, with a very personal perspective. Literary theory is something I find very interesting and like to dabble in, but it really has never been my focus, although I’m certainly pleased there are many talented people, including those here at AMV, who are doing that kind of excellent and much needed work.

It should be made clear that no one has asked me to leave. There has been no “drama” to speak of among the AMV members that has precipitated this. I’ve always felt very welcome and included here and consider the writers at AMV to be my friends. They have made clear that my account will remain open if I ever want to return and post (even if it is only sporadically), which I may take them up on someday. But, as it is for now, I’ll mainly be contributing to AMV as a reader and in the comments boxes. This is a community I very much value and I still would love to hang out in that capacity. But I feel that recent changes are not personally conducive to my style of work and it would be better for all involved for me to bow out.

For those who want to continue to follow my blogging exploits, I will still be posting my monthly contribution at the Association for Mormon Letters’ Dawning of a Brighter Day (mainly to get at least a Mormon Lit fix, albeit a less constant one); and my personal blog And My Soul Hungered. I have also been tentatively invited to another blog which may or may not be starting up soon, depending on whether its proprietor decides to go forward with it. That remains to be seen.

I would like to give my warm thank you to all of those who have engaged with me in this wonderful forum, have been patient with my flaws, and have shared with me their wonderful writing and thoughts. It’s been a pleasure and an honor to be invited and included, and I will continue to hold a place of fondness for this site and its contributors.

I should have my final essay up before too long. Until then, again, my most sincere and loving thank you.

Author: Mahonri Stewart

Mahonri Stewart is a national award winning playwright and screenwriter who resides in La Mesa, CA, with his wife Anne and their two children, where he teaches English and Humanities at High Tech High International. Mahonri recently received his MFA from Arizona State University's Dramatic Writing program and received his Bachelor's in Theatre Arts from Utah Valley University. He currently teaches Written Communications and Humanities at Provo College, and Playwriting/Dramatic Literature at Pioneer High School for the Arts. Mahonri has had over a about 20 of his plays produced by theatre venues and organizations such as Utah Valley University, Zion Theatre Company, BYU Experimental Theatre Company, Art City Playhouse, the Little Brown Theatre, Arizona State University's Binary Theatre, and the Off Broadway Theatre in Salt Lake City. In addition to the Arts, Theatre/Film, and Literature, Mahonri also loves superheroes, board games, lasagna (with cottage cheese, not ricotta!), and considers himself an amateur Mormon History buff.

12 thoughts on “A Fond Farewell”

  1. I’m quite saddened, but always wish you well.

    And, now I’m trying to imagine what “drama” among AMV bloggers might be like. The idea is almost laughable from an insider’s perspective. I can’t remember a cross word ever being said among the AMV bloggers!

  2. Best of luck with your new projects, Mahonri!

    (I suppose this means no more hipster-dipster Mahonri Bitstrips. Drat!)

  3. I’ve always appreciated your work here, M, and gobbled is up quickly. Good to know you are not going far.

  4. Hi Mahonri,

    Good to know that you’re continuing over at the AML blog (as you had assured me previously). For what it’s worth, I view this community and that one to be largely overlapping, with no clear delineation between the two…

    I hadn’t personally seen the shift to more literary theory here, but that’s probably because I’m only able to read (let alone contribute) sporadically. In any event, I do understand the need to prune one’s time commitments. The focus of youth (I find) is on learning to choose good instead of bad; but then after we become adults, we discover that we have to choose among many competing goods.

  5. Thanks, fellas!
    @ Lee: I’m planning on continuing my bitstrips in other places once I garner the time to engage in them again and/or have some compelling ideas that need to be expressed in that form. My other projects have put those on the back burner lately, but I had tons of fun making them.

    @Jonathan: Those competing goods get me every time.
    The shift to more literary theory came when Wm called for us to write less loose reviews and similar material and to focus on a more academic approach. I think that’s spectacular, but my work has been often purposely more informal in this forum. Although I enjoy writing the occasional academic essay, that kind of writing is not my focus enough to allow my voice here to quite fit that specific, worthy focus.

  6. If this blog were to become less heterogeneous — either by going toward a 99% academic approach or 99% non-academic approach – then it wouldn’t be a Motley Vision anymore. It would be Monochrome.

    Mormon literature needs the cross-fertilization between creators and scholars. Neither side should hinder the other from bringing tasty dishes to our cyber-potlucks.

  7. Oh, I don’t think anyone was trying to hinder me nor anyone else. Remember, I stepped down voluntarily, with nothing but the kindest feelings and warmest regards to everyone here. I don’t think there was anything wrong with a tighter focus, and I think there’s still lots of room for the creative types (the recent additions of Luisa Perkins and Sarah Dunster is more than enough proof of that).

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