Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 Christmas Newsletter: Smithnado!

What we've been up to in 2015:
JANUARY: New York, New York! 
I was in town for a grad school mid-year shindig. We sat down with some agents and editors and visited all the cool sights. 
I fulfilled my life long dream of seeing Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. 

Then I fulfilled Cole's life long dream of visiting the library from the opening scene in Ghostbusters. 

Had to stop by NBC.
"Jimmy, cut. Cats rescuing firemen?! Somebody get me Tina on the horn!" 

March: Gavin turned 7.

You want a Kirby cake? You got it. 
APRIL: Ran a 5K with the kids.

After the first 1/2 mile, we walked. Medals were for participation. 



In the Publication Primer class, I presented the first chapter of my memoir, A BIRD IN MY HEAD. My mentor writer loved it. Said he wanted a copy so he could get it signed by next's year's conference. Anyway, this picture is a one-in-five stat representing how one in five women are victims of sexual abuse, which is one of the topics of my memoir. 
This is a quote from her new book. I finished A BIRD IN MY HEAD last year, and it was quite a mental struggle to delve into the memories I worked so hard to forget and work through my trauma. Because of this, I gained a lot of weight last year. I'm a stress eater. 

Our relationship in a nutshell. 

JUNE: Layne had a piano recital.

Good job, sweetie! I love "Chopsticks!"
Layne learned a cheer and performed on the football field. She was fantastic! 
Y Mountain in Provo, UT
We hiked the Y for the first time as a whole family.

JULY: Hello, Vienna! 

For my second grad school residency, I spent 2 weeks in Austria. 

Two weeks of writing, listening to writing lectures, workshopping manuscripts, and touring the city. 
The monastery in Melk, Austria. 
Love the architecture. At night the skyline is scalloped in places. 
The canal that runs through the city. 

Castle in Bratislava. 
The Prater in Vienna. 

AUGUST: Summer hiking adventures. If you live in Utah, you take advantage of its beauty.

Capitol Reef

Chimney Rock

Fruita, Utah

First day of school. Gav - 2nd grade, Lane - 5th. 

Segullah published an article of mine. 

SEPTEMBER: We got rid of the chickens. They went to live on a farm.
No, really.

Beaka lives with grandma in So. Utah. 

Gavin played on a community fb team. 

I'm so proud. 

Comic Con 2015. The best time of the year. Layne and Cole loved zombie laser tag. I loved the Animanics panel and the nerd poetry slam. Gavin loved his Sonic the Hedgehog hat. 

 OCTOBER: Publications, birthdays, and Halloween!

Wahoo! Another publication! 

And more hiking in Capitol Reef.

Cassidy Arch

This was a scary one for Layne. She has a fear of heights. 

Layne turned 11 during the month.  

Halloween. Gavin was Sonic.exe and Layne was a mermaid. 

Layne won first place in the PTA Reflections contest for her artwork. The theme was "Let your imagination fly." 


I wrote all month, except for a week when I was sick as a dog.

I've been writing my second memoir, Bigfoot & Me: A Memoir of Marriage and Mental Illness.
I have 62,000 now, but it's still not done. I'm close. 

A nasty habit of mine.
Gavin suddenly grew some sort of an artist gene. 

Where did this talent come from???
He's been watching tutorial after tutorial. 

Cole and I refurbished this hutch. It belonged to my mother, and I'm pretty sure it's at least twenty years old. 

Bought these at DI when we moved into our home 6 years ago. I added these letters so they would look a little like typewriter keys. 

DECEMBER: I published another essay
My article in Superstition Review is out! It's been a good year for publications.
AND (spoilers) I had another one accepted for publication for January. More on this later.  

The Praterstern that I wrote about in the first bit of the essay. 

Still teaching. Still loving it. Life is good. 

Merry Christmas, friends and family.
Love you all!

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