A few personal projects/things I want to brag about

Isn't bragging what blogs are for, anyways? In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, here are some projects I've worked on in the past, as well as some other fun things I've done recently:

Ink and Ash

When I decided to pursue firefighting last summer, I started a casual blog to relay my experiences to family and friends. I'm proud with how it's come along, and happy that I have something of an online "diary" from last summer to look back on. I will continue updating this blog as often as possible through my coming fire season.

Writers on the Fly

For years I've wanted to attend a Writers on the Fly event — I mean, it's writing and flyfishing, in one event, with a bunch of other people who like both of those things as much as I do. I reached out to WOTF organizer extraordinaire Jason Rolfe about what stop he'd be able to fit me in to during the fall WOTF tour, which started in Bend, Oregon and ended in Vancouver, BC, stopping in five Pacific Northwest cities along the way. After years of wanting to simply attend a WOTF event, Jason invited me to read in Bend with a collection of writers with resumes far more interesting than my own. As far as cold-emailing goes, this was a great success. 

In early November, I drove seven hours from Spokane, Washington, to Maupin, Oregon, where I spent the night drinking Coors, eating cheese off a Tupperware lid and practicing my reading skills on the Deschutes River with the Flyfish Journal editors Steve Duda and Copi Vojta, as well as author Brett Gaba and Rolfe himself. We woke up early and tried our hand at some Deschutes steelhead before pointing er to Bend, where we read later that evening. 

Me avoiding eye contact and also wishing I'd brought more beer onstage while reading at the Writer's on the Fly tour stop in Bend, Oregon.

Me avoiding eye contact and also wishing I'd brought more beer onstage while reading at the Writer's on the Fly tour stop in Bend, Oregon.

I was able to read two of my pieces — Another Roadside Distraction and Home is Where the Hex Is — while trying my best to talk slow and not stutter and also not sound as buzzed as I was. After the event I had a number of women tell me how refreshing it was to see a lady in the mix of older fishing dudes reading their work. Having never read my work in public ever, I was stoked that people even appeared to enjoy hearing my pieces, and getting this kind of feedback from some of the female anglers in the audience was exciting. That all said, I'm looking forward to attending (and maybe reading) at another WOTF event soon. 

Mama Planted Sunshine

Mama Planted Sunshine, while written back in winter 2015/2016 as a Christmas present, remains one of my most valuable personal projects. Not only was I finally able to write my little sisters a book (a goal of mine for years), but I was able to write it about their mother who had recently passed away from cancer. Even better was that I was able to collaborate with my friend Kelly Peters in illustrating the book. It came together well and just in time to give it to family members for Christmas, which means I've probably peaked as far as giving gifts goes. You can check the book out here. (Click the 'Preview' button to read the book in its entirety.)

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