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Friday, October 6, 2017

What Did I Do This Summer?

It's hard to believe it is October and I haven't posted here all summer. It has been a busy summer and I frankly had too much to do. So when someone on my publisher's thread said she had a new blog I realized I hadn't said anything about my summer here.

So for all those who have been waiting to hear and have not found out through Facebook or Twitter, my summer was fabulous! It started with my winning the award in the photo above at IndieGathering a film festival in Hudson, Ohio. I didn't go, but my dear friend and mentor, Amy Leigh McCorkle, picked it up for me there. She had her own awards to gather too. She is an award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker. Her films have also won awards. So here is the story of how I, a young adult author, decided to write my first screenplay.

For anyone who has read my poetry book, You'll Probably Forget Me: Living With and Without Hal, you have read my story of how I met my husband. I told this story to Amy and she said that it would make a great screenplay. I should write it. She urged me to write it and then enter it into a couple of film festivals. I did write it and Amy was kind enough to help me learn how to format a screenplay. With her help I found the entrance to all the film festivals and I entered my short screenplay, "The Kiss" into two of them: IndieGathering and Action on Film. I also tried entering it into a film festival close to me. So with my screenplay in three film festivals, I was sure it wouldn't be accepted into any of them. Imagine my surprise when both IndieGathering and Action on Film selected my screenplay. That would have been enough for me, but my film was nominated by both film festivals. IndieGathering nominated it as a short Romantic Comedy and Action on Film for Best Dialogue in a short screenplay. Ecstatic over these nominations I wanted to go to both film festivals, but finances were a problem. I felt sure I wouldn't get an award, but Amy kept assuring me I would place. So I was thrilled when I got FIRST PRIZE!!! at IndieGathering!!!

Not believing that Action on Film would even give me an award, I decided to prepare to go to Las Vegas where the festival was being held at the Palms Hotel. What clinched my decision to go was the film in which I was in was also nominated. Not sure if I talked about this film when it was done, but it is called "Remembering Hal". It is based on my book: You'll Probably Forget Me: Living With and Without Hal. Again, Amy loved my poetry and wanted to do something to help me remember my husband. So she picked out five poems and I read them interspersed with answering her questions. My daughter interviewed me and filmed it on the IPad and I sent it all to Amy. She put it together and this film was nominated for Best Short Documentary at Action on Film. It was supposed to screen there, but unfortunately, there was a problem with the DVD and it never screened. You can see it here on YouTube:

This movie was done last year and I had thought it was just a fun experience. But when I heard it might be screened in a Brennan Theater, which has reclining soft chairs and a large screen, I wanted to go. The experience in Las Vegas was fabulous and I met some amazing people including celebrities. But the best part is my short screenplay, "The Kiss" won RunnerUp for Best Dialogue in a short screenplay. I went to two awards dinners, met a few actors and an actress, and had a meaningful conversation with a director about his new film just screened.

The Palms was an awesome experience and it's sad to think that on that Las Vegas strip just outside our hotel the vicious actions of a deranged gunman caused so much pain and sorrow. Having been there so close to the time of the shooting, I felt it very strongly. My time in Las Vegas consisted of partying and dancing and having a good time. That is what people go to Las Vegas for and I hope that with this terrible tragedy, it won't affect the spirit of that place. You can see it even in the cab drivers, who were very courteous and informative. My heart goes out to this city that has suffered so much strife and my hope is that somehow we can stop these awful things from happening again. My deepest sympathy to anyone who lost a loved one or friend there and for all the hundreds of people who have been injured by the diabolical plan of that shooter.

There you have it, why I didn't blog all summer and I promise you I will try very hard to bring you special guests and authors.

Until the next time, enjoy the Fall weather and try to listen to my radio show this month. It will be on the 4th Thursday of October - October 26, 2017 at 4pm EDT on Blog Talk Radio. It is called: Red River Radio Tales from the Pages. I will have Amy Leigh McCorkle on the show talking about her long-planned project, "Letters to Daniel" the movie. She and her co-writer, Melissa Goodman have written the screenplay and it has also won awards. The next step is to film it and she is in the process of gathering her team together for this venture. Please join us as we talk with Amy and her team to find out more about this exciting project!
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