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Greetings and Wishes 2016

In sitting down to write this year's Christmas letter, I was having trouble figuring out where to begin. Do I begin with the positives? Do I sprinkle in some negatives? Do I run a poll to see what Christmas movie people like better?

The options appear to be limitless. 

Instead, I decided to start out with two questions on everyone's mind when they haven't heard from me in awhile: Do you have a girlfriend yet and Do you need more Christmas music on your iPod?

No, not yet, is the answer to the first question. But I'm always accepting applications.

And a resounding yes is the answer to the second question.

I begin listening to Christmas music usually in mid-November. I'd say about ten percent of the songs on my iPod is comprised of Christmas music. Five versions of Silent Night? Done. I have the classics. I have the local music. I have The Muppets and I have Tom Waits singing New Year's Eve.  

Do I get tired of it by this time? Not usually. I still tend to break up the listening with other music still. It's not a non-stop barrage of Christmas tunes. This year the holiday tunes were broken up a lot by the Hamilton soundtrack. (Of which I've been listening to for months now). In the end, I'm a sucker for Christmas music, even occasionally letting it play if pops up on shuffle on the iPod in the middle of July. 

It's all part of the Christmas tradition for me.

The year 2016 brought forth the usual array of highs and lows. A life would be easier by simply ridding oneself of the lows, but truly, where's the fun in that? The lows in life can build esteem, character, and help bring forth a strong foundation. Without the lows, we wouldn't know how great the highs truly feel.

I have been fortunate enough to be an actor, a director, a writer, and a dramaturg on various projects across the Treasure Valley over the past year. To learn more of those projects, updates are provided (semi) regularly over at my website. More than simply keeping busy, steady work feeds my creative soul. And I'm thankful to have worked and become friends with such wonderful people.

Sports writing was something I really never focused on much until the last couple of years, save for the occasional blog post. Now, I write about Boise State athletics at Bronco Nation News and contribute sports stories about the Celtics and Red Sox over at Chowder and Champions.

Plays, novels and the rest have, in a way, taken a back seat at times in 2016. I wrote a new ten-minute play for a festival over the summer at HomeGrown Theatre in Boise, but new works in the play world have not materialized. I am in the process of editing my latest full length, The Latitude of Life, and have continued to submit to various locations across the country.

The Dragon Princess is still for sale over at the Kindle Store and work on its follow,-up The Blue Gem, has actually picked up steam over the past few months. It is a goal to have that ready to go by this time next year, if not sooner.

This past fall, I was lucky enough to work on two shows with my Alley Repertory family. The first was The Totalitarians by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. I worked as an assistant director and dramaturg for this show, directing alongside my longtime friend Justin Ness. 

The second show, the recently closed Disenchanted! by Dennis T. Giacino, was an experience in and of itself. Working with this cast and crew as a dramaturg, I was not only able to do research on ten Disney princesses, I was blessed with watching a group deliver funny, empowering performances on a nightly basis. On top of that, seeing people come together to produce a musical with a strong message provided me with memories, and friends, to last a lifetime.

photo credit Chaz Gentry

Being a dramaturg requires tree climbing. Also pictured is Dan, the show's choreographer

I did make it home to see my parents and brother a few times this year. In between those visits--along with a few good friends--a trip to Vegas was also had. Traveling was light this past year, but it is my hope in 2017 a trip to Georgia to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and nieces and nephew is in the cards.

On a more somber note, I laid to rest my cat of ten years last May. A sad moment--as pets often become like family members--and one that has made the apartment a little lonelier, especially with the ornaments safely hanging from the Christmas tree.

I am blessed to have a lot of people to share my life with. Acquaintances, friends, and families have all helped mold me in one way or the other. 

To my family and friends, near and far, I am thankful to have you all in my life. I wish all of you a Happy Holidays, a Merry Christmas or simply a blessed Sunday. Here's to a much better 2017, one in which I wish for you health, happiness, and hopefully a society that won't take five steps backwards.

Be Bold. Be Merry. Be Kind.


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