Wowzers! A huge thank you to Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) for putting both “Rainbow Boy” (Picture Books category) & “Still Stace: My Gay Christian Coming-of-Age Story” (Young Adult category) on their recommended reading list for Pride month 2021! (Four months today until Still Stace comes out!!)
Thanks to pre-recording my messages, I was able to speak at two churches today! (Thanks technology!)
The first was at Harcourt Memorial United Church in Guelph, Ontario, for their Affirming Sunday Service! With everything going on, it felt most appropriate to share about the challenge of balancing both grief & joy. My message is about 12 mins long, starting at 14:37 on the below video. Feel free to enjoy their entire beautiful service, though!
They also asked me to write a blessing for them, as part of being the guest speaker. I thought I would share the text of that here too. (It’s at the end of my message.)
May you feel warmly supported
When you relax into grief
May you wrap your arms around yourself
In loving kindness
Knowing you have been doing your best
And you have been trying so very hard
May you envision our Mother or Father God,
Wrapping their all encompassing arms around you
In your pain, in your sorrow, and in your joy
May you have the courage to feel the pain
To really feel it
But in doing so, also be filled from a deep well of hope
In life’s endless possibilities, in the triumph of love
In the beauty of the small moments
In each deep healing breath
And may you feel God’s love gently pursuing you
Shining warmly upon youLike the fresh morning sun
May you place your hand on your heart, and feel the soft, strong beats
And know you are not alone
And you are loved.
The second was sharing my message at my home church Open Door Church here in Maple Ridge, BC. I was so excited and honoured that they invited me to share on the first Sunday in Pride month! I originally recorded this message in Nov 2020 for a conference where I got un-invited, and it was wonderful to finally share it with my own beloved community. We gathered on our Facebook page to be together live, and here is the archived service in its’ entirety. (They read Rainbow Boy near the beginning too, which was so fun to watch! Thanks ODC friends!)
It feels like yesterday when my agent Claire sent me the first email about Rainbow Boy. Beaming Books was publishing it, and looking for an illustrator – and they were hoping I would be interested in doing it. A picture book about a gender non-conforming boy who loves tutus AND basketball? What’s not to like?!??!
I’m so grateful the author Taylor Rouanzion wrote this story – it is so needed! It publishes one month today on Jan 19, 2021. (Eeeeeek! Starting 2021 off right!) I can’t wait to hold it, and even more exciting – to see my kids hold and read it. First of many dreams to come true. Did you order your copy yet?? 🙂
I did something fun with OutChristian – an awesome organization that works to connect LGBTQ people of faith!
They asked me if I would want to design & draw some queer-themed colouring pages, to remind us all that we will once again be able to gather with friends in our communities. Of course, I never say no to drawing for a queer Christian cause!
They’ve done a great job of making the pages downloadable on their website, but I will post them below as well. ALSO. Even if you’re straight (or of a different or no faith), I think you could still have fun colouring these! 😀
Hang in there, friends. Sending love to all!
Yesterday, I turned 40. I’m not sure how that is possible, when inside I feel no older than 14!
Life is (real) messy right now, but I woke up feeling stupidly grateful to be alive, and convinced myself to take my first selfie ever because WELL WHY NOT. Are bathroom selfies still a thing?! (Revealing my age now.)
I know this:
I am loved.
My mind is smarter and clearer than ever.
My body is strong and healthy. (Working out almost daily is the best thing I have ever done for my mental health and self care.)
I am the closest today to who I was made to be, and I’m excited about that. I have screwed up big throughout my life, but dammit, I really like me.
I’m not certain I deserve this beautiful life I have, but I am trying hard to grab hold of every day, stay present, work hard, dream harder, and make the most of it.
40 is also the age I will be when books are published with my name on it. (Actual books! I still don’t fully believe that until I hold one.) So many of my dreams are yet to come true, so bring it on 40’s!!!! 💯🎉🌈
Yesterday was filled with my fav things – kitchen dance party with my kids, swimming in my fav lake and breathing in deep the mountain air, sneaking in a workout, and enjoying my fav foods with a few of my people (in our Covid bubble). Man, I am so damn lucky to be alive. I don’t want to waste this breath in my lungs.
“I am a human being, meant to be in perpetual becoming. If I am living bravely, my entire life will become a million deaths and rebirths. My goal is not to remain the same but to live in such a way that each day, year, moment, relationship, conversation, and crisis is the material I use to become a truer, more beautiful version of myself.”
– @glennondoyle “Untamed”