It is fitting that the topic we are choosing to tackle on OTV in October is “Identity”, as we are going through an identity shift of our own. I was thrilled when Shareen first extended an invitation to guest on the magazine late last year and more than flattered when she and Shawna welcomed me to their table as a regular contributor in May. Now, as Shawna is spreading her wings to pursue other ventures, I will be trying to fill her very large shoes as Managing Editor.
Both Shareen and Shawna have been generous with their time and energy in helping me to make a smooth (we hope!) transition into this role; but as with any shift in identity, there are nerves to deal with, questions that have no immediate answers and of course, excitement. There are members of the OTV community that are well known to me and I am excited to be working with them; there are those of you with whom I have not yet crossed paths and I am excited now to have the opportunity to get to know you.
My experiences with the magazine have been 100% positive from day one; I was warmly invited and graciously welcomed and have found nothing but support from every single person I have come in contact with through OTV. This is the environment Shareen and Shawna have meticulously cultivated and that I hope to seamlessly continue. That doesn’t mean there will be no changes as Shareen and I conspire for our future together; it does mean we are committed to continuing to provide a safe space for artists, writers and readers to connect.
I already know there are ways in which I will not be able to measure up to Shawna’s expertise and nurturing; however, I do believe that I am bringing my unique gifts and perspective to the table, and I am eager to share these with all of you. As I look forward to many new creative relationships, Shawna wisely suggested I share with you some of my work in an effort to help you get to know me!
Anyone who is a regular reader of OTV has probably already seen what I describe as “the best approximation of what it is like to be inside my head I have ever written”. In Why I am Starting a Religion Called WTF, (OTV May issue) you will get a strong sense of my humor, values and thoughts on both God and guys who light their farts on fire.
Another piece of my current identity is my weekly column on The Good Men Project; when I was first began writing for them, I had some understandable anxiety—as a woman, where will I find my voice in speaking to the plight of modern men? Not surprisingly, it turns out I have a LOT to say and feel very blessed to have such a platform. I had the great good fortune of being raised by an extraordinary man; even though I lost my Dad 10 years ago, his wisdom and lessons still inform me every day of my life. To know him is to know a lot about me, so I will include this piece, 6 Ways I Know My Dad is a Good Man
Of course no discussion of me as a person or writer is complete without mentioning my own personal blog Your New Best Friend. I called it that when I first started posting back in the fall of 2013 because my husband has so frequently told me, “You don’t know how to be someone’s friend. You only know how to be their BEST friend.” Apart from being a Mother, “friend” is the part of my identity that is most sacred to me. I have been gifted with the friendship of so many amazing people that honoring those connections feels like a marquee-worthy mission in my life. In that spirit, I invite you to read my defining blog post to learn why you shouldn’t go to the hardware store for milk, Why You Gotta Have Friends
Last but not least in the ever growing part of my identity as a writer is my work on The Huffington Post, where I have both been cross publishing and writing original articles since April of 2015. For those of you who know and love Shareen’s “Mother Dick” posts, I will include here a link to a rant I wrote exclusively for them last fall that will give you keen insight into why she and I get along so well, Why I Am Over It
Speaking of the Huffington Post, without a doubt the MOST asked question I get as a writer is how did you get that gig? So now I will tell all of you what I have told so many before—I got my work published there the old-fashioned way: submitting and being rejected a billion times before the day I finally got lucky. In getting to know me you will quickly realize persistence is a linchpin of my personality. And like that ant that tried to move the rubber tree plant, not only do I keep trying, but I have high hopes.
So I know there will be times in my new role that I try and fail; never fear, I will try, try again. I feel safe to fall with Shareen and Shawna at my back and knowing what a warm and gracious audience I will be flat on my face in front of, so thank you in advance for your patience. Let’s work together now to grow our identity as the OTV family as a team!