So Cal

I’m back home in California at my parents’ house. It’s always strange coming back to my childhood home, especially as a middle-aged father of six, but it’s good to be home.

We arrived at 2:00 in the morning the night before last, and my dad and I ended up talking for a good hour about life and love. We talked about the tension in my house regarding my disbelief in Mormonism. Although my father chooses to stay in Mormonism, he understands where I am and why I have left my faith behind. “Religion is a philosophy by which you approach life,” he said, “but Mormonism wants more than that. It insists on a rigid set of rules governing how you live your life. That’s never been for me.” Nor for me. I’m glad he understands me and doesn’t judge.

On the subject of my book, he told me that I shouldn’t budge on letting my wife edit out the “offensive” parts. “The book is what it is, and letting someone else take out what you wrote would be a crime.”

Yesterday we spent the day at Zuma Beach, and it was perfect. It’s Santa Ana wind season, when hot winds push southward from the Mojave Desert into the city. The winds bring high temperatures and dry conditions perfect for brush fires (hence the big fires earlier this week). But when it’s this hot (96 yesterday) and dry, the beach is marvelous: 77 and clear. It felt so good to dive under waves and bodysurf to the shore. Today we’re doing the “tourist” things that I hate, but my kids want to see “Hollywood,” whatever that is or used to be. My oldest daughter is headed with Grandma to the Getty Museum. I’m so jealous.


9 Responses to So Cal

  1. aerin says:

    Glad to hear your Dad is supportive of you. It’s a rare thing for a parent to be able to vocalize and express – especially for some LDS parents.

  2. Lamanite says:

    Hey, I’ve got to tell you that all me relatives check out your site. after they go to my lamanite blog. Half want to convert you and the other half hates your guts.

    I want to qualify that this is not my Tongan side of the family.

    Anyway, I love open dialogue and appreciate you and who you are!

    Big UP and Selah!


  3. Your wife wants you do edit stuff out of your book? NO WAY! You better not even consider that!!!! Your writing is awesome, just as it is. What is she afraid of?

    I must say, I’m completely jealous that you are in CA. (‘m a CA native as well…yeah, the whole parallel lives thing again…LOL)

    I was in CA in August, but I was taking care of my Mom after a surgery, so I didn’t really get to do anything fun. 😦

  4. MNS says:

    Supportive family can make a difference, even if they are a thousand miles away. I’m glad for you. Enjoy the trip.

  5. Simon says:

    I’ve recently finished reading all the posts on your blog, and I think the posts on your missionary experience are compelling well written. They leave me wanting to know more of the background and context of the whole mission experience.

    As such, I would suggest you definitely not excise the temple sections and might embellish further the pre and post mission thoughts and experiences (if you haven’t already done this…)

    In any case, please let us all know how we can order signed copies once you get it published.

  6. MK says:

    i guess that would be why you wouldn’t answer your phone

  7. GBSmith says:

    FWIW, don’t leave something in that at will lose you the chance to tell your story. If some sections have to be there to make your story complete, that’s one thing but if it’s going to be a retelling of something people all ready know and will just piss them off, that’s another.

  8. mcarp says:

    Your father’s advice that “a book is what it is” made me think about your wife’s editing request. (And, yes, I have been following the discussion here and elsewhere.)

    If she edits the book and it fails (heaven forbid), then you’ll likely claim it was her edits that killed it. If she doesn’t edit it and it fails (again, heaven forbid), then she’s vindicated.

    Now, all you have to do is figure out some sensitive, loving and understanding way to explain that to her. Good luck.

  9. Jill says:

    As a middle aged “grew up in So Cal” girl (La Jolla) I melded right into your visit. There is just something about seeing the old neighborhood where I now know no one except my parents, going body surfing, the Santa Ana winds and all that they mean. A visit home always calls for a bit of a retrospection. And always there is the disappointment that I’ve aged, and my parents have aged, and I wish they wouldn’t because I really like how they were when they were thirty, and fifty, sixty…but eighty is so unfair of an age to their bodies, even though they still are quite physically well.

    Being new to SLC, I appreciate your candor and insights. Thank you.

    As a librarian I say only allow a professional editor edit you. That is difficult enough to endure, but at least it is done impersonally, and rare is the book that really couldn’t stand a bit more editing to improve the work.

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