Each Monday, we are posting a blog to help our readers get to know the media just a little bit better – and this week we head to the Southeast Valley of Gilbert, Arizona to profile Michelle Talsma Everson (or just “Shelly” as her friends and family call her), who is the associate editor of Go Gilbert! Magazine as well as a regular contributing writer for So Scottsdale! and Scottsdale Health Magazines.
So, Shelly, time to share!
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
That I think it’s hilarious that I have a hard time writing about myself. I think perhaps it’s a print journalist’s version of preferring to be “behind the camera”—I much prefer to write down other people’s stories than my own.
Funny thing is that personal writing—poetry—is what started my desire to be a writer. I won a second grade poetry contest, became “serious” about it in 6th grade, and then it was all uphill from there. I was on the high school newspaper (The Paw Print to be exact), was on my college newspaper at NAU before I even started my first class, then became obsessed with internships, adding a second major—public relations—and almost added a third, advertising, but didn’t want to take the added math class and capstone.
I’ve written for everything from local arts and entertainment magazines to a parenting magazine based out of Florida. I’ve had great public relations internships and my first post-college job was as a PR assistant at a local community college. In May 2008 (when I graduated, go Lumberjacks!) I started out as an intern for So Scottsdale! magazine (I remember leaving class to listen to the message saying that I got the job!), then wrote for its sister publications Scottsdale Health and Go Gilbert!. I’ve been the associate editor for Go Gilbert! a little over a year now—I can count the months exactly because they almost coincide with how old my son is!
I’m a firm believer in hard work and being grateful for your opportunities. I’m extremely grateful and proud to be part of an emerging generation of moms who attempt to have it all—they go by WAHMs (work at home moms). I’m lucky to be able to telecommute, which gives me a chance to do what I love—write and stay at home with my son. Like most busy moms, it’s sometimes a struggle, but I’d never take back the memories. For example, until he was mobile, if I was on deadline, I’d write while he chilled next to me in his car seat. He went to his first photo shoot when he was just a couple weeks old and he can now entertain himself during phone interviews like a champ!
Another funny thing—I grew up in Gilbert and the East Valley areas, so a lot of people I went to high school with see the magazine and tell me on Facebook. My aunt gets a copy at the doctor’s office she works at. It’s a small world… and I’m so grateful for it!
When I’m not writing, editing, interviewing, or bugging people via e-mail, I’m unbelievably normal—and love it. I’m the proud first-time mom of a busy 14-month-old, I married my college sweetheart (he’s an engineer by the way, opposites do attract!), and I live across the street from my in-laws; which actually isn’t as weird as it sounds! I hang out with friends when I can, visit my own family who still live in the East Valley, and go on occasional reality TV binges. I guess the only thing that sticks out about me is that I see stories everywhere and always carry my card “just in case.” Eventually, I see myself getting a master’s degree (I started one, but never finished), being a part-time teacher or career counselor, and maybe even adding one more bundle of joy to my little family. But, for now, I couldn’t be happier to be living my dream—something that I never actually expected to do. (Come on, who majors in journalism and actually expects to get a journalism job?) I love it and wouldn’t change a thing.
P.S.—Two more quirks: “Talsma” is legally my middle name; I was so attached to my maiden name since it was always in my byline, so I couldn’t let it go. And, I edit resumes for fun. Yes, fun.