Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My First Reader Photo for Saving Grace

This week - I received one my first submission from Saving Grace cover shots.
I love getting creative photos from my readers from all over the globe and am so blessed to see where they come from.

Thank you, Chicago!

Friday, October 09, 2015

What is a weed?

From time to time my kid and I have heart to hearts. We've done this since he could speak. He's always had a wise soul and mind. The other day my 12 year old kiddo was comparing a dandelion weed to how faith works. 

He said, "When you blow on the seeds that are carried in the wind - well that's like the holy spirit carrying the seed of faith that gets planted who knows where and grows a flower."
I thought it was a beautiful sentiment. We didn't discuss the fact that it was a weed, as we're just a gangly group of ragamuffins, weeds, and mutts just trying to make it in a big bold world. And as such we all have our beauty as we grace the world with our differences, by showing others how our differences make the world a better place.

After all it was Ralph Waldo Emerson that said, 'What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.'

I think he and my kid would have had some deep conversations.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Finding Kylie - the Script

This past weekend we finally wrapped up the reading for FINDING KYLIE.  Working with these actors at Oklahoma City University School of Theatre was such a unique and amazing experience.  For years my writing partner, John Schwab, and I have been working toward the hard read in order to edit our final draft of the screenplay for Finding Kylie.  This step was supposed to give us insight on what needed to be tweaked, added, or changed to take our script to the next level.

And now that it's over - all I have to say is WOW.  The kids did a phenomenal job in portraying the actors and their personalities, quirks, and insecurities.  Thanks to them - we were able to see what worked and what needs to change.

Some people have asked me - 'what's next?'.

Now - we continue work our script from across the globe with the updated edits.  We Skype and FaceTime to discuss potential changes and put the work in.  Once the story progresses the way we envision - we'll hit the film market.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Happy Birthday Babe

My husband and I just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary this past summer.  Since today is his birthday, I thought I'd post a few things about him that make my heart smile.

  • Anytime I'm grouchy or in a bad mood - he always finds ways to make me laugh.  
  • He always drops whatever he has going on to spend time with our son, even if he's pressed with a million deadlines at work.
  • Anytime anyone needs anything - help moving, an extra hand, an ear - he's the first in line.
  • His heart is so tender.  He is a man of faith, who understands that life is short and a gift.
  • When he can beat our neighbors outside on the weekend, he mows and edges their yards along with ours.  He's that guy - the one to work on your yard.
  • He's the last to tell anyone about something he's done - because he's humble.
  • And he's always got a song lyric or song to go along with any conversation.  
In short, life is never ever boring with this guy.  And I'm so blessed that God saved him for me.  I know it's his birthday today, but he's my gift every day.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bar Fight Anyone?

The things my kid comes up with amaze me on a daily basis.  His little mind spins with humorous quips and quirks.  

Today (after church) he pulled me aside and said in the most funny voice, "Hey, mom! Want to know a really good line for when you get in a bar fight?"

I'm thinking - just when does he think I'll get into a bar fight? But whatever ... I'll play.  So I say, "Um, sure."

He then held up his fists and took a defensive pose, and said, "I'm gonna knock your Bud Lights out!"

I cracked up, to which he said, "Yeah, I know. Right?  My brain comes up with the most interesting things."

All I could think of was that might have come in handy in my 20's. Hopefully, in my 40's, I won't need his comically sage advice. 

Have a great day!!

Okay - Pinch Me!

In seven days, the hard read for my first book is happening! If you've not read any of my earlier blogs, the script for Finding Kylie has been funded for a hard read.  Film producer, John Schwab, and I have been trying to get to this stage for a long concentrated time  - but the stars hadn't aligned until recently.

A nationally renowned drama department has agreed to work with us to do the hard read so that we may see the fruits of our work on stage versus just on paper.  This will allow us to see what truly works 'off the page' and what needs to be tweaked before talking to investors and hitting the film markets.

On the 24th, at 2 p.m. CST, I'll be in a theater with a cast, a set director, and director to watch 'Finding Kylie' dramatically unfold.  I've tried not to think about it as I'm not usually the type to really start getting the jitters until right before an event.  To get ramped up days in advance is just going to draw your attention from the present, which always is chocked full as it is.

BUT - today, I met one of the drama students, who will be there, in an off-chance meeting.  She was super excited for the opportunity and couldn't wait for next week.  It hit me then - that this is bigger than I originally thought.

These young actors have their SAG memberships with many projects under their belts, but are still fresh faces, ready to take on new projects to learn and grow as actors.  They're going to learn a lot about the development of script behind the scenes.  I am honored and blessed to give them the chance to be a part of the beginning stages of a project that could make a definite impact on society.

Alright - I'm done for now.  Just pray for this project if you're led to.  I have a definite sense of peace and after today - it's going to be hard to clamp down my excitement over the next seven days.

Have an AWESOME Sunday!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Meet the Set Director For Finding Kylie

Okay - I admit - this is a hhhhhooorrrible photo of me, but I had to introduce you to my set director for the reading of Finding Kylie.

The date is set for October 3rd, and she has such vision and passion that I know it's going to turn out great!  We met for lunch today and she (upon meeting me for the first time) enveloped me in a huge hug.  I knew I loved her ... she has heart and a bright smile.

We talked about the visuals she's going to put in place and then in turn asked me about who each character was.  Not just 'what does Timothy look like?' but 'Who is he and what makes him tick?'

This way when casting they would put the right actor in place to make each character as authentic as possible.

By the questions she asked I could tell she'd poured over the script, not just perused it.  So I had to ask her ... what she thought.  Her words blew me away.  In essence, she loved it.  This is a well versed professional, who knows her stuff, and she loved the message and the writing of our script.

Now - I know it shouldn't matter if she loves it.  The project will happen with our without her approval, but to know she has put heart into it because she loves it means a whole lot more.

On Oct 3rd, we'll be filming some of it, periscoping, and taking a ton of pics.  I'll keep you posted as time draws near.

On a side note - SAVING GRACE is doing very well.  I'm blown away at the response.  So thank you to each one of you who has taken time to read it.  Heres a lovely review I received on GoodReads.  I don't know she is but she is one of my new favorite people.  If I ever meet her, I'd love to give her a big hug.  Kind words ...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

When Readers Talk Back

From time to time, someone will leave a review stating what they didn't like about my books.  Hey, it happens.  No one is going to like the same thing all the time.  And even when I get a review that is less than stellar, I'm still honored that someone has taken time to leave their opinion, as that is just what it is.

Recently, I got a review saying there were typos in one on my books, which happens.  Unfortunately not every proof reader will catch everything.  Even James Patterson will have a typo or two.  What I found hilarious is that when this person left her comment on my book - she had a typo in her review.

The last sentence in her review read like this: I will not be reading the remainder, nor will I bother will the follow-up. 

Hmmm - is it just me or shouldn't that read - 'nor will I bother WITH the follow-up?

Comments like this make my day.  Not just because they help me get better, but because it's humbling.  Those that choose the author path and actually write often get harsh critique from those that really want to - but don't follow their dream. The phrase arm-chair quarterback comes to mind.    It reminds me to always be understanding and never criticize others, as we don't always know the full story.

For example -  the version she was talking about did have quite a few errors, as my computer crashed and the wrong version was uploaded.  Since, I changed computers midstream it left me with a formatting nightmare.  Even after an editor had finalized through the original, the new version on the new computer had a ton of random characters kept popping up within the manuscript.  We didn't catch it all obviously, so I was happy to receive this review so I could fix the last few issues.

All day I've chuckled over her review though ... if you're going to review something that talks about typos -- make sure your words are not misspelled or phrased incorrectly.

SECONDLY - I got an amazing review today - which happened to be on the same book.  From time to time, I'll receive feedback that Christians have issues about my talking about sex.  

(WARNING! Side note and soap box coming up) Well,  I believe Christians are sinners and we're saved by God's grace.  We're NOT going to be white as the driven snow, and if you think Christians should be you're kidding yourself.  HOWEVER, I believe by accepting Jesus - that God gives us the strength and desire to be more like Him when when we're searching for His influence in our lives.  We're not all going to be there out of the gate and even when we do finally reach that point -  we're going to fall and stumble.  Why?  Because we sin.  It's human nature.  Even if we don't want to - we're going to mess up.

SO, I write about characters that struggle with real life issues.  My characters, to date, have never done the deed.  In fact they've chosen the right path with abstaining from their desire for the right reasons.  THIS IS A GOOD MESSAGE!  If anything, I'm the anti-50 shades of grey, but there are some that see it differently.  And that's okay.  They have a right to their opinions, just as those who misspell their reviews do can't get past a couple typos (which are fixed now by the way).

However, today I got another review that not only stated her love of my books, but it started with a line of defense speaking to those who have commented on such things in the past.

To whomever you are ... thank you for talking back and bringing me an exciting afternoon!