A Blessing for when Christmas is so heavy.

I was having a bath late last night, well past everyone going to bed. Sometimes it’s my favourite place to write, to dream… to feel.

The Christmas season brings up so many things, for so many people, including myself. I’m feeling a lot of heaviness with the world, with my friends, with life. It can become overwhelming.

I believe words can be healing. And I believe what we speak over people has power. What we put out into the universe, it matters. So my friends, if you are experiencing a heaviness in this season of life, this Blessing is for you. Receive it with love.

Text below:

A blessing for when Christmas is so heavy.

May you, my beautiful friends, be able to name what your hard is. The expectation of joy, the feeling weighty with grief, the desire to be truly seen.

May you put your warm hands on your tense belly, on your tight chest, and remind her – it’s okay to let go a little bit. You’re doing so great.

May your body even relax a little into the sadness, knowing that feeling is our only way through.

May you hold those arduous expectations out in front of you, and allow them to dissipate like stardust. See them even transform into dreams.

May you, when you feel the ache of want, be able to find your way back with renewed gratefulness to the steadiness of what you have.

May the what-was or what-could-have-beens find a place of solace and rest, deep within your heart. May that be the fuel to move you more fully forward.

May the tears that you let slip down your face, nourish your wounds like a dry, forgotten desert.

May you recognize that heavy grief, sinking in your body like a lead weight. Maybe it doesn’t need to pull you down – maybe it just keeps you grounded.

Amid your dark, may you discover unexpected twinkles of hope, quiet hums of beauty, and wondrous moments of light. 

The Journey to STILL STACE

I was really honoured to be asked by two very different places to do a talk on STILL STACE. They were both recorded and can be seen below. I shared about how/why I came up with the idea, a bit about my upbringing, the process of writing and the art, and answered some various questions at the end. So grateful for all of these conversations!

Saturday, Dec 11, 2021 – 8AM PST / 11AM EST – I was so excited to partner with The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, an independent, all-volunteer queer cultural center, bookstore, and event space hosted by The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City. (60 min video)

Saturday, Dec 4, 2021 – My presentation of “The Journey to STILL STACE” for the Fraser Valley Regional Library! (46 min video)

STILL STACE Book Interview

A big thanks to Brian Allain for this lovely interview about Still Stace, my work in animation, and some teases about my upcoming queer projects! 🙂 (24 min interview)

Check out all of Brian’s great work here:

Compassionate Christianity

How to Heal Our Divides

Writing for Your Life

Publishing In Color

STILL STACE Holiday Giveaway

HEY guess what? Books are GREAT gifts for Christmas! Even better? QUEER BOOKS! (Maybe I’m just biased. No, actually I’m def biased.)

Here’s the thing though – if you are planning on giving STILL STACE away as a Christmas gift, let me add to it! PM or email me the proof of purchase (or pic of you with the book!), and I’ll mail you a signed bookplate, bookmark, and maybe even a signed illustration. If ya want to add it to your gift!

OR if you just really love the book and you gave it to yourself as an early Christmas gift, lemme know and I’d love to send you some personal love.

Let’s make the Yuletide gay! 🙂

Growing Pains.

Photo taken by me whilst on my bike in Chilliwack, BC. Dec 2021.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but it’s on my heart, because it’s what I’ve been really learning lately:

Being a human in this pandemic/global warming/unsettling time is hard. Being a parent is hard. Being a spouse is hard. 

All of our hards are hard.

But like a tree tenaciously emerging from a forest fire, we will keep going. We will keep growing. In fact, we will flourish.

Because to be alive is to grow and change and grow again. And sometimes true growth is incredibly painful.

They are called growing pains for a reason.

Hold on. You will make it to the other side.

Do the hard, holy work of digging into yourself. Dredge up the lies you have believed, force them into the light. Find that shame you have swallowed. Cough it up. Gather the tender parts of you that are desperate for radical care.

Be still. 

Feel that pain/sadness/anger rise to the surface. Be with her. Welcome her. Speak kindness to her, for she has so many lessons she’s been dying to teach you. 

Just ask – what do you want to say? 

Listen.

You’re still here. I see you.

I’m still here. I see me.

Let’s keep growing together. We can do this. ❤️🌱

(Gay) Writing for Red Letter Christians.

A huge thanks to the kind folks at Red Letter Christians for asking me to write an article about my experience as a lesbian Christian. I will NEVER hesitate if someone asks me to write about my sexuality and faith, and I’m so grateful for communities like this who invite everyone’s voice to the table. You can read it here! (Also, SHEESH I miss writing and would love to write ongoing articles like this!)

Also I’m really flattered to be included in their Artists & Musicians Collective – I am a huge fan of many of the people on this page!

The Journey to STILL STACE

Are you free this Saturday, Dec 11 @ 8AM PST / 11AM EST??

I’m so excited to partner with The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, an independent, all-volunteer queer cultural center, bookstore, and event space hosted by The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City! Come join us!

About this event

Join author and illustrator Stacey Chomiak for a reading and Q&A about her new queer memoir Still Stace: My Gay Christian Coming-of-Age Story. In this young-adult illustrated memoir, Stacey Chomiak tells the true story of her teenage and young-adult years: of heartbreak, family conflict, trying to become ex-gay, wrestling with her faith, and finding love.

Free registration is required in order to gain access to the event on Zoom.

More about this amazing place, BGSQD: We aim to foster a community invested in the values of mindfulness, intellectual curiosity, justice, compassion, and playfulness. The Bureau seeks to excite and educate a self-confident, sex-positive, and supportive queer community by offering books, publications, and art and by hosting readings, performances, film screenings, book discussion groups, and workshops. We provide local and visiting queers and friends with an open and inclusive space for dialogue and socializing. The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division welcomes you.

I hope to see you there!

Dear Younger (Gay) Stace…

October 19, 2021 was truly an extraordinary day. My book “Still Stace“, my heart, my journey was published and went out into the world.

I’m still catching up on all the wonderful messages, because I try to put my phone away for chunks of time to breathe this fully into my body. (Also I’m still working on book events, working full-time, and we have two very loud and boisterous kids!)

On publication day, as I had deeply hoped, I went on a solo bike ride to help me process. Bike rides are one of the few things in my life that’s ONLY for me. I stared at the mountains and allowed myself to be incredulous. (I don’t slow down often enough for that.)

I wrote these lyrics in my #sketchbook from the song “Bigger Than” by Justin Jesso. I listened to this on repeat when I was scared to keep writing.

“I wanna be remembered for what I did, not what I had. I wanna life that’s bigger than the fears I have.”

I also wrote a letter to younger Stace, whom this book was truly written for.

“Dear Younger (gay) Stace –

Today’s the day. Our story goes out into the world.

We did it! You and I, together.

Thank you for being brave with me. Thank you for showing me how your hurt could be used to help others. Thank you for trusting me, crying with me, and celebrating with me. Regardless of what anyone says, I am SO proud of us. It’s time to let our story go, and take it’s own flight.”

Also – I left a copy of Still Stace in Fairfield Island park with a special message inside. I’m gonna believe that it’s going to get to the person who needs it. Because that’s the universe I want to exist in.

Be vulnerable.

Take up space.

Tell your stories.

*Also I’m overwhelmed at the kindnesses, so thank you for each and every ONE.

My short message on my very own book’s birthday!

STILL STACE Instagram LIVE Videos

I had some AMAZING conversations for my Still Stace Instagram LIVE Book Tour – so thought I would post them here for anyone to see. Scroll down to find your fav person, or watch ’em all!

I am posting them in order of date recorded.

In order of appearance: Taylor Rouanzion, Kevin Garcia, Ward Jenkins, Kathy Baldock, Amber Cantorna, Justin Lee, Marla Taviano & (my brother!) Cody Chomiak.

Day 1 – Oct 18 Taylor Rouanzion! This was an awesome conversation with Taylor Rouanzion, author of RAINBOW BOY. We chatted about Rainbow Boy, which I illustrated, Still Stace and why queer kidlit is important! ❤️🌈 @taylorayne

Day 2 – Oct 19 – STILL STACE PUB DAYKevin Garcia! This was an amazing chat with Kevin – we even did some queer PREACHING! Share it around friends! ❤️🌈🔥 @thekevingarcia ❤️🌈

Day 3 – Oct 20 Ward Jenkins! It was such an honor to chat with the amazingly talented artist Ward Jenkins @wardomatic! We chatted about animation, books, vintage art, animation and all things inspiration! Thanks for geeking out with us!

Day 4 – Oct 21 Kathy Baldock! WOW this was a great conversation! We covered A LOT – LGBTQ history, Kathy’s amazing books & important work and how queer friendships change us. ALSO I am floored at how much @kathyvbaldock loved Still Stace – that’s a HUGE compliment coming from her!

Day 5 – Oct 22 Amber Cantorna! It was so great to finally connect and have an awesome conversation with @amberncantorna! We chatted about her work, being a fellow queer person of faith, and why connecting with each other is so important. Thank you, Amber! 🌈💃 ❤️

Day 6 – Oct 25 Justin Lee! What an awesome chat! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight @geekyjustinlee! Also appreciate the energy to try and get Still Stace in the frame! 🤣❤️🌈

Day 7 – Oct 26 Marla Taviano! This was SO fun!! My new and brilliant friend @marlataviano joined me to chat about Still Stace, her important account @whitegirllearning, her beautiful new book “Unbelieve”, and how she became an affirming Christian! Listen and share! ❤️🌈✔️

Day 8 – Oct 28 Cody Chomiak! (The audio track is a bit off here, but if you listen like a podcast you won’t notice!) OH MY WORD! No one makes me laugh harder than my brother @codychomiak! It is a special thing to be gay siblings! We shared, we laughed, we high-fived. And I asked him if he liked how I drew him in the book 🤣 This was a great way to end my Still Stace tour!! Love you Brotherrrr! 💃🤣❤️🌈

STILL STACE Instagram LIVE TOUR

This week for the launch of #StillStace (which officially publishes TOMORROW!!!) – I’m going to have some fun Instagram LIVE conversations with some awesome peeps! Jump over to my Instagram @chomiaks to join in – times posted either the day of or evening before!

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