Four Centuries Contest Discussion: “Ruby’s Gift”
by James Goldberg
Everyday Mormon Writer’s “Four Centuries of Mormon Stories” contest features twelve very short stories depicting Latter-day Saints in the 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd centuries. Mormonism has a dramatic history, an exciting present, and many talented writers of the future. Our contest brings all these elements together in an easy-to-access public venue for the first time–and at a time when world awareness of our community is running unusually high.
Yesterday, we kicked off the contest with Melissa Leilani Larson’s “Little Karl” and a discussion on the Association for Mormon Letters blog. Today, we published the second of the twelve finalists: “Ruby’s Gift” by Emily Debenham and invite readers to join a discussion here on Real Intent.
1) What are your initial reactions to the piece?
2) We believe in a gospel that is eternal and inhabit a church culture that is constantly changing. Most of the setting and details of this story are specific to the 19th century Mormon experience. How does it speak to Mormon experience today? What might this story look like in a contemporary setting?
3) Our common idea of miracles is that they feel serendipitous, joyful, and well…miraculous. This story features an uncomfortable miracle, which upsets those expectations. While different miracles come with different emotional experiences, how would you describe the emotional experience of a miracle? And how does this story work for you in capturing one girl’s experience of the miraculous?