What's the News?

Simon of Cyrene and the Legend of the Easter EggNews Flash! I am excited to share that Simon of Cyrene and the Legend of the Easter Egg has won the 2018 CPA Books Award Honorable Mention in the Children’s Books and  Books for Teens Division. CPA (Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada).

Chris Clancy, editor of the Prairie Catholic Newspaper of the New Ulm Diocese,  emailed me and said, “Terri. Congratulations! As a member of CPA for over 30 years, I do know that competition is steep. Well done!” It is always rewarding to have your book recognized but Chris’ words warmed my heart.

Sister Marlyn and Sister Julie at Pauline Press & Media, Kids Press, worked extremely hard to make Simon a reality. I can’t thank them enough for believing in me.

I would be remiss if I did not mention and thank the gifted artist/illustrator Gabho Utomo who shared his talents and made Simon come alive for young readers.

News Flash! I have experienced a name change! Change is not always easy and those who know me have often heard me say, "I love a good rut." I do prefer steady and constant, but I am so blessed to embrace this new change that I have been given.

When I met Warren, a widower of five years, I was told by the friend who introduced us that, "Everyone loves Warren." She was right and shortly there after, I fell in love with him! After two years of dating and engagement, we married on July 21, 2018. Since then life has been a whirlwind. Having been a single woman for well over a decade and truly settled into my routine, I now relish sharing a home, meals, prayer time, and friends with Warren. We bike, hike, travel, take photos together, and encourage each other to explore. As a couple we have experienced and enjoyed so many new life adventures that I have lost count.

The biggest and maybe toughest change and life adventure so far is changing my name. The change is a good thing, mind you, but not always so easy. The change started with making a list of places, groups, organizations, billing accounts, driver's license, Social Security, bank accounts, credit cards, tax returns, insurance, retirement accounts, newpapers, magazines, social media platforms, and a passport. Some of these changes were done simply over the phone, while others required a copy of our marriage certificate. Then there were the accounts that required the original certificate of our marriage that prompted the change, hence, why my passport was the last thing I changed.

Having completed almost all of the name changes on all of the forms, I must focus on changing me and how I introduce myself. "Hi, my name is Terri Michels." More than a handful of times, I've heard myself say, "Hi, my name is Terri DeGezelle, Oh, wait a minute, that used to be my name, I am now Terri Michels." This is usually followed by giggles from all who heard me. In my defense, I was Terri DeGezelle longer than any other name I had in my life. I am an author under Terri DeGezelle and I have two pen names, Sarah Heiman, my maternal grandmother's name and Theresa Longenecker, my maiden name as well as my paternal grandmother's name.

When I am old, I will be so confused when asked my name, that I am entertaining thoughts of tattooing Theresa Ann DeGezelle Michels to my right arm. First name, Theresa, Middle name, Ann DeGezelle, Last name, Michels and nick name, Terri.

Thank God, I can remember my birthday!

So this is my formal announcement: I have taken change by the horns, taken the plunge, and given change a run for its money. I am married to a wonderful, loving man and, proudly, I have taken his name … Terri Michels.

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