Hear me out. This post isn’t about religion, but I want to explain some of the background that brought me to this thought.

In the Mormon culture there is a strong, I don’t know, vein, maybe, regarding music that goes far deeper than the Mo Tabs, Donny Osmond and David Archuleta. There’s a reason why the greatest number of pianos sold each year is in Utah. There are many great musicians that create and perform their music for the Mormon culture and many that cross over into public awareness in Christian popular music and ‘New Age Classical’. Many such as Jenny Frogley, Mercy River, Paul Cardall and The Piano Guys on Youtube, have broad appeal. (In fact, if you haven’t seen Cello Wars on youtube you’re missing one of the great videos it has to offer. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgAlQuqzl8o .)

There’s a podcast call “The Cricket and Seagull Fireside Chat” http://skperry.libsyn.com/ Where Steven Kapp Perry interviews different artists. I usually imagine myself sitting there with them as he interviews Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, Michael Wilcox, Sherry Dew, etc and I’m somewhat envious of him. These people are so human, interesting, brilliant and fun. (Watch Jon Schmidt play ‘All Of Me’ and you’ll see what I mean by fun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fAZIQ-vpdw&feature=relmfu) I want to be in their company sharing what I have with them, and learning and growing from what they have to offer.

But I’ll never be there. These people way far beyond me. They’re out there in the star forming regions and even if I traveled at the speed of light, they’re in an expanding universe and moving away from me at an increasing rate. As this impossibility weighs me down, I have a redeeming realization: my co editors at Flying Island Press.

Zach, Scott, Jp, Jeff and Laura Nicole are the super massive black hole at the center of my creative galaxy. They are my “Fireside Chat” that I get to interact with once a week on our conference call and they motivate me to create and expand my ideas and my potential. Each is brilliant and creative and talented in their own ways. If you haven’t followed what they have done and are currently doing, I recommend you look them up.

In conclusion, though the ‘greats’ are far away in the star forming regions and galactic nebulae, and I am often inspired by their brilliance and beauty, I am most grateful to my friends who allow me to hover on the edge of their event horizon and catch what bits I can that they blast back out into the galaxy.

Philip ‘Norvaljoe’ Carroll is a staff editor at Flying Island Press and has currently chewed off more than he can bite, (having NOT learned from the past), with the second edition of ‘Pieces of Eight’, our benefit edition from Flying Island Press. This issue will be dedication to Teen Suicide Prevention.

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