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!)
Wow, what an incredible day today. I am buzzing with gratefulness after spending an hour sharing my story with this beautiful community at SheLoves. I felt celebrated, supported and safe. I could not have asked for anything more! This was also the same day I was meant to share the original workshop, so it felt extra liberating for me.
I really wanted it to be public and accessible for anyone afterwards, so they graciously agreed to post the entire webinar to Youtube here: (it’s just over an hour including the Q&A at the end)
If you just wanted to see the workshop itself (which is about 27 minutes), that video is here:
Please, if there is someone you know who needs to hear this, share this with them. I want us to keep talking, keep sharing, keep trying to love each other better. And please reach out if this touched you in some way! I would love to hear.
Thanks friends. I continue to be amazed at this life that I get to lead.
SHEESH this was so exciting to open with my kids! My #illustrator copies of #RainbowBoy came today! Can’t wait for the world to get theirs Jan 19th!! 🎉❤️🌈 @BeamingBooksMN @TaylorRouanzion #kidlit #queerkidlit #picturebook #lgbtqartist pic.twitter.com/qCEm78GQI1— Stacey Chomiak (@stacerchomiak) January 9, 2021
THIS was a GREAT. MOMENT. I received my illustrator copies of RAINBOW BOY, and my kids helped me open the box and see it for themselves. These illustrations have lived on my computer for a while now, but it was so surreal to see them printed. IN A BOOK. AN ACTUAL BOOK!
The book is dedicated to them, and they thought it was super cool that their names are both in the front of the book. (I think it’s super cool, too.) We cuddled together on the couch and they each clutched their own copy tightly as I took turns reading their copy. At the end of the book there’s a little picture of Taylor (the author) and me (the illustrator), and my kids said “Hi Mommy!” and kissed my picture.
And that is what I will remember as a huge WIN in my life.
Get YOUR copy on January 19th! Order or find wherever good books are sold!
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?? 🙂
Friends, I have some exciting news!
With the help of my agent Claire at The Bent Agency, I’ve been hired by Beaming Books to illustrate a really adorable picture book entitled “Rainbow Boy” (written by Taylor Rouanzion)! I’ve been working on it for a little while, but it was officially announced this week in Publisher’s Marketplace!
Here’s the official announcement. Stay tuned for updates!
UPDATE JAN 5, 2020: RAINBOW BOY is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca (for my Canadian friends)! It releases in September – and I am working hard now on the rest of the illustrations! Until then, here is the cover and a sample spread of the inside. 🙂