I am honored to work with all these amazing women! Take a listen to this week’s Relentlessly Resilient podcast to learn more about the wonderful Amanda Dickson. Seriously, I had a hard time selecting the best-of audio for this one because she was just so insightful.

Relentlessly Resilient: KSL Newsradio’s Amanda Dickson on feeling hurt and loving anyway

KSL NewsRadio’s morning host Amanda Dickson’s cheerful voice and joyful disposition have made the radio waves along the Wasatch Front a welcoming place for decades. But behind that iconic voice, there is a story of resilience that many listeners have not been aware of. Amanda Dickson joins Jennie and Michelle today to share the story about her childhood as a student-athlete who went off to boarding school at the tender age of 12, the medical problem that stopped her from competing, her journey to Utah and radio, and the work it takes to create a loving blended family. For her, resilience is more than continuing the climb, it’s about pulling yourself up from wallowing in your trama, and even though you will still feel hurt, loving anyway. 

Even though we live in challenging times we can become Relentlessly Resilient as we lean on and learn from one another’s experiences. Hosts Jennie Taylor and Michelle Scharf are no strangers to overcoming adversity; Michelle lost her husband to cancer, while Jennie’s husband Major Brent Taylor was killed in the service of our country. Their stories bond them together and now listeners can join them weekly as they visit with others enduring challenges and who teach us how they are exercising resiliency, finding value in their grief, and purpose in moving forward. 

Listen to the Relentlessly Resilient Podcast regularly on your favorite platform, at kslpodcasts.com, kslnewsradio.com, or on the KSL App. Join the Resilience conversation on Facebook at @RelentlesslyResilient and Instagram @RelentlesslyResilientPodcast. Produced by KellieAnn Halvorsen.

Listen to the deep dive podcast now!

Encanto” is the latest Disney animated family-friendly film, but will it become another gem in Disney’s crown? Producer KellieAnn Halvorsen is joined by Natalie Mollinet from the Pop Knowlege Blog to dive into the magic of the new movie. After all, “Encanto” means both charm and charming and that is exactly what this story is as it’s poised to bring families together this Thanksgiving. As usual, the first segment of this episode is spoiler-free. 

Beyond Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Gaming and Tech, the brains behind Fan Effect are connoisseurs of categories surpassing the nerdy. Brilliant opinions and commentary on all things geek, but surprising knowledge and witty arguments over pop culture, Star Trek, MARVEL vs DC, and a wide range of movies, TV shows, and more. Formerly known as SLC Fanboys, the show is hosted by Andy Farnsworth and KellieAnn Halvorsen, who are joined by guest experts. Based in the beautiful beehive state, Fan Effect celebrates Utah’s unique fan-culture as it has been declared The Nerdiest State in America by TIME.   

Listen regularly on your favorite platform, at kslnewsradio.com, or on the KSL App. Join the conversation on Facebook @FanEffectShow, Instagram @FanEffectShow, and Twitter @FanEffectShow. Fan Effect is sponsored by Megaplex Theatres, Utah’s premiere movie entertainment company. 


The sad part is I won’t be able to go with him as his producer due to my Deseret News commitments. I have worked on and off with this inspiring man for a few years now and grown so much in my career and as a person as he encouraged his listeners and myself to “See something that inspires. Say something that uplifts. Do something that makes a difference.”

Right now I feel that bittersweet sadness that comes at closing night of a theater production. You are so proud of the stories you have told, the audience you have inspired, and the cast members that have grown to become family. And even though this production is coming to an end, you know you have grown from working with each other’s talent and there is a good chance you will be working with them again. 

I am lucky that I will still be working with our larger DMC family and I get to regularly check in with my radio friends. I am lucky I will continue to even work with some twice a year on conference specials. And there is no way I am stoping my Fan Effect podcast fun! In fact it sounds like I’ll have time to do more nerdly things I love with them, DNews, and more. 
It was scary learning to trust my media creation capabilities when I started this second career into the world of broadcasting. But man how I have grown! As a writer, creator, confident person, and more. It forced me to face my demons, medicate my anxiety, and love my own unique voice like never before. 

I am (nervously and joyfully) looking forward to the next step of my career, and will continue to declare my life motto; “Be Creative. Be Bold. Be Inspiring.”

Who has left their fingerprints on your life?: Knowing Grandpa Jack Halvorsen

I had the wonderful opportunity to share the story about my late grandfather’s life on “nside Sources with Boyd Matheson, ” the radio program i produce. I am so grateful I got to brag about this wonderful man! He has been one of the most influential people in my life and I already miss him dearly. For the podcast version of the radio segment, I got to add even more content from an interview i did with him a few years before he passed. I am humbled and grateful to get to share this with you at this time.

Listen to the podcast at this link.

Multiple Meaningful Specials

Inside Sources tackled a lot of interesting topics in 2021, we put together a three-hour Pioneer Day special “Celebrating Utah’s pioneering legacy: Our past, present, and future” held numerous Candidate Conversations and hosted the “Utah’s 2020 GOP Gubernatorial Forum” with World Trade Center Utah.

Best of Boyd: Celebrating Utah’s pioneering legacy – Our past, present, and future

Developed a Brand Focus

Our job is to divide rage from reason, connect the dots, challenge current thinking, elevate the dialogue and provide perspective so our audience can make the news make sense…We are committed to transcending divisive rhetoric, creating space for critical conversation and challenging our listeners to engage with action – “in search of higher ground.” – Inside Sources Brand Charter

Even amidst a pandemic, we challenged “weariness,” reminded people that it is “Not a new normal, but a new now,” and explained how “history has its eyes on us as well.” We celebrated Utahans doing amazing things, our “relentlessly resilient” veterans, candidates who “unite to promote civility” and business leaders who are not afraid to take on the “critical conversations” of the day.

We should probably call out some of the unique conversations with guests like the late-great Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich from Rome during early days of pandemic, The Reverend Theresa Dear from the NAACP on racial compassion, Elder David A. Bednar apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on religious liberty, and even Rev. Amos Brown (last student of MLK) on a new word we all should learn.

We challenged our listeners to “Do something that makes a differencewith the 5 million mask challenge,
55-day moonshot challenge, and the Utah Refugee Connection’s virtual holiday drive.

Quotes from radio and Deseret News Articles that was on brand for Inside Sources

Launched Our Social Media


We launched and created a content cycle on our social media channels, shared stories about #WhatsBoydThinking, and cross-promoted with Boyd’s other content feeds like Deseret News “Therefore, What?” Podcast, weekly newsletter, Deseret News pieces, Boyd’s Twitter and more. We published our podcast with unique covers to make them stand out when we wanted to highlight them.

#WhatsBoydThinking? at the University of Utah, the Vice Presidential Debate

Unique Podcast Covers so highlighted segments stand out.

Still Found Time for Fun

We also found time to find inspiration in the playful, like the ‘Wisdom of Winnie the Pooh” and “Looking to OZ for why we do what we do.”  We took on national and international days, made Boyd read “The Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve, and celebrated some interesting #ThisDayInHistory moments like the day Francis Scott Key penned “The Star-Spangled Banner.

Best of Boyd: Christmas Eve with Boyd Matheson, a special celebration of the “Season of Belief”

With all the excitement and lessons learned in 2020, we are joyfully facing the challenge of 2021.

Featuring Salt Lake City Weekly’s John SaltasSpike150’s Max Chang, Utah Refugee Connection’s Amy Dott HarmerThe Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s Scott BarrickDays of ‘47’s Greg JamesThis is the Place Heritage park’s Ellis Ivory,  KSL Newsradio’s own Doug Wright, and from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, historian Rick Turley, General President of the Primary Sister Joy D. JonesElder Ulisses Soares, and Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles President  M. Russell Ballard.

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson,’ Opinion Editor at Deseret News, takes you inside the latest political news and current events, providing higher ground for today’s discussions. Listen live Monday through Thursday from 11 am to noon at 1160 AM and 102.7 FM, online at KSLNewsradio.com, or on the app. Listen on-demand as a podcast on your favorite platform or web browser. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Want more Boyd? Don’t forget to listen to his Deseret News podcast ‘Therefore, What?,’ sign up for his weekly newsletter, and follow him on Twitter.

I am honored to have the wonderful opportunity to uplift and inspire people on my radio show. This podcast was our special for Independence Day 2020 where we asked listeners to transcend history instead of chipping away at it.

This program was originally aired on KSL Newsradio’s Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson on July 3rd, 2020.

20 years ago George W. Bush stood at the NAACP convention acknowledging America’s faults and asked us to transcend this history, today a cry is uprising to obliterate monuments that reference this past. As Cardinal Dolan said, chipping away at memory is perilous. We must transcend not chip away history, and not let politics or elections cloud our vision of a better America. 

56 years ago today President Johnson signed the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark law against discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Bringing the Founding Fathers vision that “all men are created equal” into greater practice. The legislation was initially proposed by President John F. Kennedy but was not signed until after his assassination. It was only a few years later when his brother Robert Kennedy addressed a heartbroken crowd on the continuing struggle for racial equality as he informed them of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior. Months later, Bobby was assassinated as well. We cannot forget the long-standing struggle for civil rights, human equality, or the historical sacrifices that became the martyrs of this cause. 

Boyd’s hope for America’s future is grounded in the idea that when we look to people instead of politicians, community instead of Congress, and culture instead of government control – our future looks very, very bright if we remember and transcend our history. So, while politics has failed: America will not!

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson,’ Opinion Editor at Deseret News, takes you inside the latest political news and current events, providing higher ground for today’s discussions. Listen live Monday through Thursday from 11 am to noon at 1160 AM and 102.7 FM, online at KSLNewsradio.com, or on the app. Listen on-demand as a podcast on your favorite platform or web browser. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Want more Boyd? Don’t forget to listen to his Deseret News podcast ‘Therefore, What?,’ sign up for his weekly newsletter, and follow him on Twitter.

I purchased an Apple Ipad and the Procreate App in early Spring to prepare myself for the #MerMay Challenge. My first venture into using my new toys for digital art was the #SixFanartsChallenge where tyou draw six pieces of fan art of favorite characters.

Of course I choose some kick-butt-hero-babes to feature! I present to you my #sixfanarts post! #hermionegranger #HarryPotter #Leela #Futurama #WonderWoman #LoreOlympus #Persephone #BobsBurgers #Tina #StarWarsRebels #Hera

MerMay 2020

A magical break amid the 2020 garbage fire

Note: I literally got an iPad and Procreate in April to do this years challenge justice. (I might be driving my family nuts with the constant drawing

So… What is MerMay?

MerMay is a month-long celebration of creativity, community and above all… MERMAIDS. During the month of may artists of every age, talent, and capability are challenged to draw a mermaid everyday from a list of prompts given by the creator of #MerMay, Disney animator and artist Tom Bancroft.

#MerMay2020 Prompts

Tom Bancroft's official #MerMay2020 prompt list
Tom Bancroft’s official #MerMay2020 prompt list

MerMay 2020 day one: #Celebration

I am so excited for this year’s MerMay challenge! We need a virtual vacation where we #celebrate #creativity and come together with something that is fun and magical. May the mermaids flooding our screens bring you joy and whimsy in these hard times.

MerMay day two: #Warrior

Of course my warrior has to be my favorite princess #WonderWoman. Her example of power, intelligence, kindness, and beauty make her my absolute favorite super hero of all time. One day, I want to work for her.

MerMay day three: #Sunset

I have been lucky enough to grow up in a place where we have beautiful mountain trimmed sunsets. But with my mermaid living on the ocean I had to create a different scene for her.

This was my first time really experimenting with the procreate brushes abilities. It might not be perfect. But I am excited for the possibilities the brushes represent for my artistic future.

MerMay day four: #StarWars

You know this nerd girl was excited for this one! I decided to draw #TheMandalorian’s Cara Dune in what I feel is very on brand from this awesome lady. …
I had so much fun drawing this and love the details; The sneer on her face, the tattoos on Cara, and #BabyYoda showing her his toy ball.

MerMay day five: #Royalty

For today’s royalty prompt I choose to illustrate a ‘mermaified’ scene from Disney’s #Enchanted. Giselle’s curtain dress. I honestly think this film is Disney at its finest! …
To make the dress more #SeaWorthy, I switched out the floral motive to shells and such!

MerMay day six: #Tsunami

I had such a hard time figuring this one out, so I went simple. I always loved the scene in Prince of Egypt, when the Red Sea parts and you see the whale silhouette. So, I that a shoal of mermaid silhouettes in a tsunami would be cool and a good exercise in making identifiable shapes.

MerMay day seven: #Tranquil

I love hammocks and know a mermaid friend would love them also. There is nothing more tranquil sounding to me (particularly right now) then lightly swaying in a hammock, over gently murmuring waves, and soaking up the rays of the setting sun. *Sigh*

MerMay day eight: #Heroic

Supergirl is a great example of a heroic character that has risen from being in the shadow of another, to her own powerful and complex character. I am happy to be able to be a fan of hers.

Yes, I drew another #DCcomics hero. Don’t be surprised. I decided she needed a different tail because she was an alien. I am very happy with how this turned out.

MerMay day nine: #BestBuddy

Of course I had to draw my best friend Yvette and I as mermaids for this prompt today! She is my #MinnieMouse and I am her #DaisyDuck; best friends with drastically different personalities and similar hearts. I am such a better person because of her influence and am proud to be her families adoptive aunt and sister. Thanks for twenty years of friendship!

MerMay day ten: #Ashamed

For today’s prompt I created a piece depicting the shameful way we treat our oceans. I hate that something as commonsense as keeping the world clean is politicalized. It’s a false fight and false choice of division. We all have stewardship over earth and need to find ways to come together and take care of it. *End Rant*

MerMay day eleven: #Outcast

Sometimes being an outcast is just a result of being true to yourself. Figuring out who you are and what brings you joy! That is more important than just trying to blend.
I had fun playing with patterns on this one and was so happy to do a double tail mermaid.

MerMay day twelve: #Fury

I really enjoy greek mythology, so I had to draw a Fury or Erinyes for today! These deities of vengeance punished those who broke oaths. I see this fury as Tisiphone, punisher of murder. I still struggle with facial expressions, but love how this turned out.; She is so done with excuses.

MerMay day 13: #Alien

So, I actually have a love-hate relationship when it comes to a the idea of extra territorials. But luckily my love of mermaids outweighed the fear for this post. I had a lot of fun with colors on this one. I just wouldn’t want to come across her in deep space.

MerMay day 14: #Adrift

Oh my goodness how relaxing does this look! I can’t even begin to describe how much I miss swimming and lounging about in the pool. This was such a fun mermaid to draw. I love how the details turned out with the water and her freckles.

MerMay day 15: #Rescued

Ok, this is a bit of a stretch but it’s what came to me. An Arctic mermaid rescuing the Heart of the Ocean necklace. It has always bothered me that she dropped that beautiful jewelry into the water. I don’t care if it’s was symbolic, that was just selfish.

MerMay day 16: #Deity

My deity for today’s prompt is #Artemis from @usedbandaid’s #LoreOlympus. It is the best comic on @webtoonofficial and free to read unless you “fastpass” the most recent episodes (which of course I do). It’s a beautifully stylized and epically written retelling of Greek mythologies. I am constantly amazed at the creator Rachel Smythe’s skill for storytelling and beautiful art work. It was an intimidating challenge trying to translate her style to my own.

MerMay day 17: #Crustacean

Just a voice lesson from our favorite crab. #LittleMermaid was my favorite as a small child as I also loved to sing and felt like a fish out of water. I had a plastic fork I would comb my hair with as my Dinglehopper.

MerMay day 18: #Wreckage

Sometimes we can explore wreckage and find the treasure of direction. It can be scary facing the negative, but worth the discovery.

MerMay day 19: #Wrath

Oh, she mad. Now it’s just a guessing game over why.

MerMay day 20: #Ancestors

Family history can be an important part of understanding who you are. From cultural heritage to inspirational stories, learning about those who went before you can help guide you in life.
This was a fast one today, hopefully I will find more time for tomorrow’s prompt.

MerMay 21: #Futuristic

I really love the hopeful optimism of retro-future style. I was so excited to incorporate the look here. I have also been learning so much from tutorials and am pleased to be learning so much.

MerMay 22: #Ablaze

I had fun with this one. I really wanted to experiment with color layers and brushes. I couldn’t figure out the flame brush, so it will have to be added to my ’must learn’ list.

MerMay 23: #SirenSong

I love singing. Music is an essential part of my life. I loved the idea of a mermaid just swimming in music

MerMay 24: #Treasure

Pirates of the Caribbean has long been a favorite of mine. And each time we float past the treasure room scene, Dad tells us how as a kid he thought it was real, and if he could just reach out and grab a handful he would be set for life.

MerMay 25: #shark

I just think whale sharks are neat. (But I totally had to trace it)

MerMay 26: #Shore

I ran out of time today, so you get simple style. Just a mermaid on shore building a sand castle. But the question is, does the sun in the corner need sunglasses?

MerMay 27: #Punk

She might look spiky, but she is actually really warm hearted.

MerMay 28: #Bestial

I love the look of the #HarryPotter mermaids. The lake folk always interested me, and how book 4 had some of them with grindylows as pets. Had to draw it.

MerMay 28: #Orphan

Little Orphan Annie, everyone’s favorite orphan. Even if she has creepy pupil-less eyes. Simple style today.

MerMay 30: #Pirate

We want the redhead!!! I had to draw Redd from Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s my favorite drawing this year.

MerMay 31: #Smartphone

Smartphones are meant for selfies! Final mermaid of 2020. Wow did I learn a lot. Basically I need to learn to draw men.

THANK YOU! I am now looking forward to MerMay 2021!

January’s trending art challenge is the #ToonMe challenge. It’s where the artist creates an image that is half photo, half cartoon, and all themselves.

So, for the first time in ages I dusted off my digital drawing skills and participated. I choose an image from 2019 that meant a lot to me, since it was my outfit for the Disney 101 panel, and I felt wonderfully playful in it.

I opened the image in Photoshop and started drawing in layers (realizing for the 100th time I need to learn Illustrator or another better tool.) It was difficult, awkward, frustrating, but oh so rewarding!

It took a few hours but I am very happy with the result and look forward challenging myself more in my art this year.

Halvorsen’s #ToonMe challenge. January 2020.