Monday, October 28, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

Today is a good day. A little static from the mom, but other than that I have to say that I feel good.  I’ve been eating better, exercising, strict about my medicine, and been doing what I can to advance my career.
Yesterday was hard. And since mom had stayed home today because of my aunt’s major health scare (she’s a diabetic, and she went into renal failure after major heart surgery and almost died) now she’s heading home. At my weight and age I knew where my 301lb body was taking me. And it terrified me. So I’m back on the horse and I’ve lost 4lbs in the last week. So today is a good day.

My dream is to one day to be able share my life with someone who understands and gets me on a very basic level. Someone who supports me in action as well as word. Someone who loves me and can understand why some days might not always be the best for me and loves me anyway.

And to be 129lbs in a gorgeous gown on an awards show stage saying thank you to everyone whoever lifted me up to the sky whenever I fell to the ground unable to go on.
Today is one of those days I can hold myself help. Today is one of those days I can write and I feel the words as if they won’t stop. Today, at this moment I don’t need to be lifted up.
But there are days, like yesterday where I needed lifting every step of the way. While family provides me with a roof and supplemental grocery money there is little else they do. I love them for this. There are few families in this world who would let their 38 year old daughter pursue her passion without a timeline hoping for the big break.

Recently I wrote a television series treatment based on a series of books I’ve been contracted to write for a relatively new press. Hekate Press. I’m its interim marketing director and I would definitely say its owner/publisher Delilah K Stephans has lifted me up professionally and been a sounding board personally. I pitched the idea and she commissioned it.

Here is the television series (as registered with the WGAw).

 BELLA MORTE is in the vein of those great epic gladiatorial films such as GLADIATOR and the  successful television series REVOLUTION and GAME OF THRONES set in the not so distant future after political unrest and a second civil war.

Like those films and televisions series BELLA MORTE is an epic tale about shifting political and magical alliances and allegiances where family and old loyalties conflict with the demands of realities the heroes and heroines are faced with in the now.

BELLA MORTE is about a young woman hell bent on revenge, but a prophecy about her keeps getting in her way.

It is about heroism, integrity, and self-sacrifice in the face of temptation and evil.

BELLA MORTE is about a young woman, JUSTICE, a member of an ancient group of mystics referred to as the Order. Twelve years ago was forced to watch the brutal execution of her mother and father. Enslaved and brutalized from that time on she has been sold from owner to owner. Each time they fail to ‘break her’ they sell her off again. She lands at the plantation of Cyrus and STEPHANIE WILSON. During an especially violent encounter Justice fights back and murders Cryus, she manages to escape and runs to the point of exhaustion.

The queen, ELEANOR OF KE’LAN represents the worst of the Dark Forces. She is the most powerful magic wielder, she is evil in its purest form. When she is alerted to JUSTICE’S escape she dispatches her loyal savage mercenary, KRAVITZ to find her and bring to her.

The only thing ELEANOR desires more than to crush humankind, is to have the love and loyalty of her favorite enslaved gladiator, DUNCAN XAVIER. She appeals to his basest of desires and the two do enjoy a sexual affair, but for him it goes no deeper. He loathes ELEANOR and himself more and more with each encounter. When she comes to him with an offer of freedom naturally he is suspicious. When orders him to kill the possible prophet and go free or face death with her, he is left conflicted. He was once a good man, but fighting to the death has left him without a true compass. WILLIAM SHEPHERD a fellow gladiator demands that he save the young woman. That if JUSTICE is who ELEANOR believes her to be JUSTICE has the ability save the nation from the dark forces that eat away from its former greatness every day.

KRAVITZ is a monster who takes what he wants and destroys the rest. He is the man responsible for JUSTICE’S lot in life, and when he finds her collapsed in the desert he brutalizes her once more before brings her in.

JUSTICE is then thrown into DUNCAN’S cell and at his feet. Close to death’s door already, his decision is now. It is then and only then that WILLIAM reveals himself as a Conduit Warrior raised by a Crone who served the Order and that he has the power to heal her. DUNCAN relents and once she is healed she commands to the elements as he has only seen once before. His long missing and thought dead wife. They escape. Enraging ELEANOR OF KE’LAN and setting in motion a long constricted battle for JUSTICE, WILLIAM, and DUNCAN between the Dark Forces and the Order.

JUSTICE doesn’t quite have the control or experience over her powers that the QUEEN does, and when they battle sometimes it appears the all is lost, but JUSTICE always finds a way, even at great mortal cost to save her, WILLIAM, and DUNCAN.

BELLA MORTE is about what JUSTICE wants, which is to bring death to House of the QUEEN and KRAVITZ and all who ever wronged her. Versus what she has to come to grips with is that more than she can possibly imagine rests upon her shoulders. And what that is isn’t always quite as clear for her as it is as it is for those around her.

Action packed, and full of adventure and special effects,  each episode of BELLA MORTE will contain the continuing arc JUSTICE’S struggle to do what is prophesized for the good of the former United States of America versus answering her emotional need to quench her thirst vengeance. Layers of story of the supporting characters story will carry the weight of the self contained arc within the episode. i.e. the QUEEN has a son who may or may not be that of DUNCAN’S.

Other core characters of BELLA MORTE are:

QUEEN ELEANOR OF KE’LAN- Once a fierce and loyal member of the Order an unrequited love for Duncan Xavier led to her turning against the very Order that trained her to master her power over the supernatural. Beautiful, poisonous to everything she touches, she rules with an iron fist. Obsessed with Duncan Xavier she will do anything to destroy his first born daughter, the much prophesized about Bella Morte (Justice), and win his love. The only good that may remain in her is her love for her seven year old son Henri.

DUNCAN XAVIER- Justice’s real father. He just wanted to be left alone to live his life with his family. The second civil war didn’t allow for that. Strong, rugged, and resigned he’s the gladiator referred to as the Legend. He is undefeated in twenty years of battle. The queen is his release. The reason his wife, her sister, is dead. He wants to mend the rift between he and his daughter and teach her to battle with thought and skill and not just on raw instinct. He wants her to reject the prophecy and embrace a peaceful life. But when push comes to shove and they go into battle he is at her side, sometimes even if she doesn’t want him there.

WILLIAM SHEPHERD- a conduit warrior schooled by his mother, a crone who served the Order. Upon finding his mother murdered he learned that his brother and sister were complicit in her death. Beaten savagely by his brother he is sold into slavery. He escapes and finds love on to have it ripped away by Kravitz and a queen serving the vision of the dark forces. Enslaved as a gladiator he comes to be known as the Mad Hatter for his ‘insane’ fighting style. When Justice comes into his life he must decide, hold out hope for his wife, or do as he’s been raised, protect Bella Morte and teach her mastery over her supernatural gifts and teach her to embrace her destiny.

KRAVITZ- a violent savage warrior engaged in a lustful affair with the Queen. Drunk on his power and lust he enacts a brutal form of dark force justice. Raping and pillaging at will and doing whatever the queen orders. The only soft spot in his heart is for a mystery woman being ‘turned’ by the dark forces will. He will do anything to protect her, even from the queen, even at great risk to his own life. He is the one Justice seeks to make suffer the most as he has destroyed her life at every turn.

NERO- the head of the dark forces council. He seeks to control all women, even the queen, but finds out that perhaps he has bitten off more than he can chew.

CAREEN XAVIER- a powerful member the Order, Eleanor’s sister, Duncan’s missing and believed dead wife. She may or may not be alive.

LUCINDA SHEPHERD- William’s missing wife he cannot seem to give up on. May or may not be alive. May or may not be serving the dark forces.

THE ORDER- an ancient body of female mystics who have risen up in the darkness of the second civil war to save the former United States. They prophesized of an supernatural assassin whose beauty is rivaled by no one. Referred to as Bella Morte, it is believed Justice Xavier is Bella Morte.

THE DARK FORCES- evil supernatural entity embodied by men who seek to wipe humankind from  the world over and rule over an enslaved race. They fear the Prophecy more than anything, but want to see if the prophet can be turned to serve them.

As BELLA MORTE unfolds we will learn that the path for Justice is not always clear, and those she thinks she can trust sometimes let her down at the worst of moments. But it will be in these moments that she finds her true strength, her mettle, and what she is made of. Most of all Justice will be forced to learn how to forgive those who truly love her. And by the end of the series true love will have found our heroine, evil will have been vanquished, and a sense of family, which at the beginning had been in tatters, will be formed and in place, although loss will be faced, her family will be stronger than ever.

Whoever is reading my blog if you like the treatment and wish to read the pilot, please contact me through my contact form or at I hope you like it.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

If there was an immediate escape hatch to this house I would access it and use it at this very instant. I know my ship will come in, but waiting for it is painful, hurtful, and sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in the sea of my mother’s judgment, her need to control, and her shocking lack of empathy at times.

No, Amy, you’re eating well, you exercised? Well, you didn’t do it right. Can you afford those calories? Did you walk far enough? Is your corner clean enough? No, Amy, no gratitude for you eating your own dinner and cleaning up after yourself.

I know I’m an adult and reinforcement for this shit isn’t really needed but complaining about your life to me when you’ve kind of made that bed for yourself does little to make me feel bad for you.

Yes, I know your sister came closer to death than any of us are comfortable with. It shook me to the core too. Only I got the message. The road you’re on leads to the same place as Debbie’s. Heart attack, diabetes, insulin, poor kidney function, flirtation with death. I don’t want that. I’ve started on the path back several times since our initial heart to heart over this, Daniel. Yet I’ve never been more determined to stay the course.

I don’t want the health complications before 40. As for that I already suffer from acid reflux. I’m 38, I weigh 299lbs. I may not have the health problems but I’m certainly at risk for stuff that will kill me sooner rather than later.

As for my mother, she’s at risk too. Maybe more so now than at any other time in her life, but as much as she wants to lecture me and Debbie she is in as much denial telling me why she can’t do anything about her weight just yet. And why she’s not as bad off as me or her sister.

You can’t make people stop doing something they are getting a payoff from. It took my aunt almost dying to get the message, you’re on a dangerous path. Your dreams you so aspire to? If you don’t change your ways that television you want so much to create and write for? Will never happen. Those trophies you covet so much from the Emmys, the Golden Globes, and the Oscars? You will never have a chance to dress for them, get an invitation from them, be nominated by them.

And lastly, those heroes you want to thank in person, you’ll be six feet under and they’ll never know just how much of an impact they made on your life.

So here I am, at day four, hoping my family does not sabotage me in my attempts to take control of the one part of my life that seems to have eluded me. My food addiction. Because when I do finally take that stage I want to be Cinderella at the ball with her significant other on her arm and writing partner at her side, triumphing over every bad thing that has ever happened to me in my life and be able to smile and feel joy instead of the pain that sometimes suffocates me in my present day life.


Amy McCorkle

Dear Daniel

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,
Sometimes even adults get too big for their britches. Now I say this with the caveat that my mother is one of the world’s worst customers. I say this because I’ve been in more than one place with her and seen her pull some serious attitude on some poor hapless worker just trying to get by and doesn’t deserve the bullshit she’s about to dump on. I think identify with them because my mother has dumped on me like that for no apparent reason and I think no one deserves that kind of abuse from anyone.

Well today got off to a rocky start. I had breakfast. A good healthy one. Multigrain Cheerios and 1% milk. Measured out of course. I tried to write this post before leaving but I had no energy or focus to, then parents mention they’re going to get their hair cut. I ask if I can go along.

Listen, I know a 38 year old grown ass woman riding around with her parents seems childish at best but I needed to get out of the house. And since all my money goes to my career and building it I have no car. (I have never owned a car) But I got static, they assumed I wanted them to pay for my hair cut, which couldn’t have been further from the truth. I just didn’t want to be alone, although, after what happened at lunch I questioned myself as to why I wanted to be with them in the first place.

I bartered my three books in print for a cut and style. I love talking to Keith, although as long as we stay off the topic of politics we’re fine. He’s like one of my biggest fans so it was awesome to catch up with him while he snipped and cut away.

So far, so good, right?

Then dad asks do you want lunch now or do you want to wait? Well, my seven year nephew said now and since my parents let the grandchildren make the decisions we were off to Wendy’s. Which is where everything turned sour.

We go in and stand in line forever. It’s lunchtime so that’s to be expected, but given it’s right off the interstate people stop there too.  We order. My mother wants a skinny vanilla latte. It’s on the menu on the wall, but it had been taken off the menu where they make drinks, sandwiches, whatever so they charged my mother for the latte and give her a small regular coffee. Did I mention she ordered a medium?

Since my mother can be a real bitch when it comes to getting things right when they charged her for the latte and gave her the coffee you can imagine the eruption. My dad, who counts his calories religiously was ready to eat.

So, like in the film Gravity the incorrect order created a catastrophic like chain of events which resulted in a yelling match, first between my mother and father and then between my father and the rude cashier behind the counter.

The cashier was clearly in the wrong, but having run into that problem before my mother would have been better off just not ordering the damn drink.

I will admit, I’m a high maintenance ordering kind of gal, but only at sit down restaurants. And as long as my food is hot and my drink stays full I’m pretty easy to please. I admit I’ve had my moments, where I’ve been tired or hungry and the service hasn’t been bad it’s just not been all that great and I had a shameful moment or too. But nothing on the level of today. Of course my Aunt Sue brings shaming the server to a whole ‘nother level.


Amy McCorkle

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I’m proud to say my memoir has garnered bestseller status. It hit #2 on the Amazon Bestseller List and that makes three bestsellers in just under three years. To say I’ve been fortunate in my profession in the last two and a half-three years is an understatement.

Of course over the last few weeks I’ve been struggling with the ups and downs of my mood fluctuating. I see where the stress of living with other adults who are not my friends or significant others makes it difficult to cope when my mood does go off track.

They take it personally and have no way in which to gage it against normalcy since they’re broken too and when I’m depressed or off the tracks they do things they don’t realize just how much damage they do when they yell at me.

Of course I don’t think at 38 I should be scared of my family but the reality of the situation is I’m terrified of them. Not that my mother is going to punch me with her fists or my dad (John NOT Jerry) is going to truly abandon me. But they sold me on the idea that I would have use of the car and I wouldn’t be alone as much.
Which has all pretty much born out to be a lie. My mother takes care of my baby sister’s kids and is so afraid she’s going to boomerang back into this house she’ll do anything to keep her and her boyfriend together. I.E. the man who doesn’t want my sister to leave him but refuses to put a ring on it.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t be bitter, I shouldn’t judge. It’s just that it gets lonely sitting in the house by my lonesome. But as I write I know I’m writing my way out of what can be my own personal hell.
Whether it’s those around me who are unwittingly inflicting it upon me or my own mercurial nature where I can be as high as kite and irritable or depressed and blocked as a writer which in turn makes me irritable I know I’ve been through a lot.

Which makes watching your movies such a pleasure. Some I would like to view for the first time. I’m going to send your management team a copy of Letters to Daniel in hopes they get a grasp of what this blog is all about.

Sometimes I think I wander off topic. But then, what are blogs for. These last few weeks have been productive writing wise. I wrote a treatment and character bios for a television pilot, a drama. I wrote the pilot. I added ten pages to an award winning screenplay, Bounty Hunter. And I’ve started the adaptation of Gemini’s War to screenplay and am prepping for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November with a piece called Tragedy Square.

But I’ve struggled with my mood. One minute I’m fine and the next day I’m sleeping all day long. The weather has been known to affect all of this.

I think it’s odd that at this time last year I was writing You Know My Name, which eventually had its title changed to Gemini’s War. After NaNo I think I’ll take Avenging Gemini, the conclusion of the trilogy. Now I’m writing the film so that I can enter it in the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition.
I plan on entering 5 screenplays total into the competition and also into the Indie Gathering in Hudson next year. Wish me luck,


Amy McCorkle