Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

As the second year of this blog nears its end I find healthwise I’m glad the year is nearly over. Mom’s health scare is behind us and Dad’s knee replacement surgery is done and now we are a week from Christmas. With everyone’s health accounted for all in all this has been an incredible year for this little blog and every form it has taken.

Two volumes of letters. The first volume collected as I have expressed has been named one of only four finalists in the non-fiction category for an EPIC eBOOK AWARD. It is the highest honor an ebook can receive.

This year professionally has truly been beyond any expectation I might have dreamt up for myself. First the fantastic sales at the conventions I attended this year. I thought FILM-COM would change things. Maybe it just changed my perspective on things. I attended nine events. On average I attend 1-3 and they’re all local.

I was financially strapped all year. But in the end it has paid off. 7 awards. 2 nominations. 3 finals. My screenplays, books, and documentary based on this blog all soared against the competition. And my first #1 Amazon Bestseller in Bella Morte: Beginnings.

November was relatively quiet only in contest news. I made 3 documentaries and one music video before Thanksgiving.

Then December. Holy. Fucking. Shit.

A television producer told me he was interested in optioning some of my titles. Told me to come back in 90 days with a literary agent.

That was on a Saturday. The following Wednesday I found out I was an EPIC Finalist. And signed with a literary agent.

Now news that I may get a response from a huge hero of mine. I started crying this morning when I got the news. It’s hard to process so much in so little time.

So many people helped me get where I am. And I’ve told them on several occasions through this blog and in person. By word and by action. They have my undying gratitude.

But this blog is called Letters to Daniel.

And when I talk about my career and crawling out of darkest of holes the turnaround started in May of 2010 when I wrote Another Way to Die. Honestly your work inspires me. Your activism where women’s rights are concerned touches me. I know our paths may never cross, but your films have been everything from security blankets (Cowboys & Aliens) to storyline inspiration, I can’t really narrow list down as one of my favorites is Mother and another is Casino Royale and those are very different kinds of films.

I know from interviews (which you seem uncomfortable with at best) that you eschew fame and live for the work. You love and protect to family and loved ones. You always fight for the integrity of the film you’re a part of and you always bring you’re A game to your performance.

I hope to be just as grounded as my career does what it does and takes whatever turns it will take. Daniel, I know you’re not reading this. But I can say this enough. Thank you for the work and being the kind of performer that you are. I admire you greatly. In as much I hope my work shines as authentically as yours has.

Sincerely,

Amy McCorkle


Friday, December 12, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I’m here, because things just, well they just keep getting better. I want to take a moment here to thank the people who saved my life. First, there’s Missy, if you follow this blog at all you’ve heard me mention her name a million times in a dozen different contexts. If I blabbed on about her I might bore you. But here’s the truth.

When we were in Texas and I was at my sickest, she was there. An overburdened psychiatric system that made the treatment I received at 7 Counties seem like the gold standard. And believe as good as it was, the system is made to keep people out. And there were times I cursed the day I ever walked through those doors. But Missy was always there. Always encouraging. Never judging. Sure she got mad. She we exchanged hurtful words. But the thing was she seemed to be helped by attendance to psychiatiric and therapeutic sessions. She learned what I did. 

Life with me was hard. No cake walk. I took my meds without question but there were days that I wondered if a magic switch would flip and life would get better. Would feel better. Not grandiose but happy, joy, the ability to concentrate.  And yes even pain and sorrow. As a writer I felt my story. I didn’t think it. So right before treatment bipolar disorder robbed me of my creative voice and all I did was write letter after letter, which I later learned was a form of hypographia that those with bipolar disorder are often afflicted with.

And then the treatment  seemed to rob me of any hope getting my voice back. And then there was GLADIATOR. I saw the previews and a story came to me. It was hideous. It was burn it away, use it as a table evener bad. I threw it away. But I was happy to be writing again.

Missy lived the hardest part of the journey with me. The wild mood swings, the eight hour crying jags, going to bed hungry, waking up hungry. Not even having pen or paper to write with at times. And we CHOSE to do this.

I can honestly say Maurice Benard and his wife Paula’s courage in sharing their story saved my emotional and physical life. He plays Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital. In October of 1999 nobody, and I mean nobody was talking about mental illness. But they were. And because of their fearlessness in sharing what their lives had been like I was able to see the symptoms in myself. Without their activism I may have lost my battle altogether.

And then there is someone who I usually say unkind things about. My sister Sara. I’m not really all that close to any of my siblings. Not my brother, and not my three sisters. If untangled that family tree that would be a blogpost all unto itself.

Sara was the one to tell me to ask to be evaluated for depression and manic depression. That’s right folks, I was diagnosed at a time when manic depression was the term for bipolar disorder. Honestly I think manic depression has a romanticism to it. Not I like the disorder, but it’s been with me all of my adult life. And while acknowledge the very desperate need for medication and treatment I don’t where I’d be without it. Without Sara telling what to do I may have languished to the point where the very tenuous grasp I had on reality at the time may have slipped away altogether and I would have done something stupid to myself that I couldn’t recover from.

Missy, Maurice (in sharing his story, I don’t know him), Sara thank for saving my life. Because when everyone else was looking away you were there at the most traumatic of moments doing triage in your own unique ways.  

Russell Crowe. He breathed new life into my writer brain and set the wheels a churning. Scripts. Books. None particularly good. But A Beautiful Mind set me free in ways this wonderfully gifted actor and director will never know. That movie and GLADIATOR and CINDERELLA MAN helped heal creative wounds. For that I will always be grateful.

Pamela Turner, yet another name you hear rung loud and clear and often. None of this happens without her. She suggested digicon. She told me about Fandom Fest. Where I met two of my publishers. Hydra and Blackwyrm. Where I met my publicist. Where I met my agent. She’s bought my medicine when I couldn’t afford it. She’s taken me to the hospital. She’s taken me to 7 Counties. She’s an awesome friend and has been there for through many of my crap sandwich moments.

And then there’s mom and dad. They give me shelter and food. And of course as dysfunctional as it may be, they give me love.

And finally, the man of the hour, Daniel Craig. I recently signed with a literary agent. There’s a television executive who wants to option some of my book titles. And I’m a finalist for a very prestigious ebook award for Letters to Daniel the memoir.

I just wanted to thank you for everything your work has done to inspire me in my own work.

Sincerely,


Amy McCorkle

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dear Daniel Craig

Dear Daniel,

Okay, so I said I was going to hand this blog over, but it turns out I’ve only had one taker and I’ve lost the gentleman’s very sweet account of how his wife inspired him to become a writer upon his return from war.
That being said, OMG! Letters to Daniel the documentary has achieved something I never dreamed possible. I entered it into the FREE FILM FESTIVAL and it has not only been accepted it has secured digital and theatrical distribution.

HOLY CRAPTASTIC!

If you could see me now!

It’s one of those full circle moments where everything. And I mean everything comes together. This film, the memoir, and really, this blog has been there for me in way that I used poo poo others about.

Yeah I’m journaling to some degree, but it’s not just a journal on display here, it’s my life. And how rapidly it’s changed over the last few years.

First came the books, then with the screenplays, now with the film. It’s hard to believe May 7, 2013 marked the beginning of this blog. And how now, even though I know you don’t see me, don’t know me, have never heard of me you and you work have inspired me to be my best self at such a point in my life when I thought perhaps it wouldn’t have happened at all!

Everything’s been moving fast this year. Not that it wasn’t moving fast before, but this year it seems to moving really fast.

And as time goes by it seems to go at breakneck speed. I find it difficult to just sit and relax and soak up and enjoy the moment. Some of that I’m sure is the anxiety from the bipolar disorder and the relentless need to always be moving forward to always be telling a story.

Even though I lost last night at the Louisville International Festival of Film I had the best time relaxing drinking ginger ale and chatting with Mysti Parker, my date for the evening. Missy couldn’t make it and Pam was wiped from physical therapy, Sisters In Crime and had projects to work on.

So it was me and Mysti, ON A YACHT! Talking, laughing, drinking. Watching awards going to people who weren’t even present to receive them. LOL. The awards were burnished mahogany glossed Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats with the category they had won and their project would be engraved and shipped to them.

I have never had such a good time losing before. Maybe because I didn’t think I could win, or I felt out of place with the people around me. People who were phony and fake and well very different from the crowd at Imaginarium.

Otherwise I had Mysti there and after the awards were over we retreated to restaurant and had dinner. The clam chowder was delicious and brownie sundae was just too big to eat between the two of us.

I soaked up the moment. Most people were disappointed they didn’t win. And there was a piece of me that was too. But I was able to soak up the fact there was NO PRESSURE on me or my film to do anything beyond screen at 11AM on a Friday morning in the basement of the library.

It was a lovely festival run by lovely people. And I take away the compliment one volunteer gave my film, that it was amazing. That really touched me. Because she meant it. Now my film has distribution on VOD, ISS, DvD, and theatrically. I am above all truly blessed. And  I found out tonight three of my screenplays have been accepted into the festival.

If only you could see me now.

Sincerely,

Amy McCorkle

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

So here it is. My last hoorah of Letters… in its current form. The premiere of the documentary Letters to Daniel was a smash. Among the films all shorts and all features it boasted to highest attendance rate. It received a rousing ovation. I crushed it in the moderated Q & A. I sold copies of the book. I received hugs from my heroes and those who confessed to be travelling the same path.

And in a way your spirit, as well as those of my other heroes were represented and felt in the audience as the movie played. I was emotional during the film and when the applause started I almost cried. The only thing that would have made it perfect would have been to have you there. As if that would ever happen. Still I sent the book and documentary where they were promptly trashed I’m sure. But at Imaginarium, in that moment I was the belle of the ball. And all the hard work both in my personal and professional lives came together and I got to share my story and give hope to others.

A feather in my cap was the appearance of Imaginator Maurice Broaddus fellow writer and hero. Who when I made a trade for his book Knights of Bretton Court: King’s Justice, personalized it with this: Thank you for being you. Bold. Brave. Honest. Here’s a picture of him. He is simply the most awesome person and author. 

He made it to my premiere! And when the fantastic Q&A was over the first person to my table to buy my companion books to the movie was the original owner of Hydra Publications, Frank Hall. He gave me my big break into print with Bounty Hunter. He gave me a huge hug and told me how proud he was of me.

What followed was more sales and hugs even from other filmmakers in the competition. But as I’ve said all along this blog was initially about catharsis and giving hope and shining light into the darkness as others have done for me.

I sold 30 books. Blackout:An Aurora Black Novel, Letters to Daniel, Letters to Daniel Vol. 2, Bounty Hunter, and the Gladiator Chronicles. I am now out of Letters to Daniel and copies of the documentary.
The triple booklaunch for me, Missy, and Rebekah ( my cousin who also struggles with bipolar disorder, who sold out of Gears of Golgotha, her debut novel) rocked the house made people laugh and sold copies of our books. Rebekah’s book sparked a bidding war between three houses (I say somewhat egotistically here that I mentored her and am rejoicing in her success).

I sat on 7 panels. Had dinner with Jay Wilburn, sat on a panel with the infamous Armand Rosamillia and had quite the adventure when the fire alarm went off right at the beginning of the first panel.

And then the cherry on the top of a very big sundae was winning getting to hear Letters to Daniel called up as Runner Up for Best Documentary. My family was there to see it. The important ones anyway.

And to the announcement I am starting a new blog to cover my journey to the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon. The letters appearing from henceforth will be about others and the journey to the impossible.

As it is, may we never meet, may you never know of me, I want the world to know your work inspired me like few others have. And as I bid this blog or at least my regular posting to it adieu I feel as if I might cry. Few things have meant as much to me as the joy of sitting with a book or in a darkened theater and watching a movie. And to think it all started with the viewing of Casino Royale. Thank you, Daniel Craig, may my work reach others as yours has touched and reached me.

Sincerely,


Amy McCorkle

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

All good things must come to an end. And I believe this blog in its current conception has served its purpose. I have shared my story of trial and triumph and this Friday night I will achieve something I have always dreamed of, a world premiere of a film with a Q&A moderated by a good friend named Tim Druck whom I have a great deal of respect for both as a human being and artistically speaking as  a musician.

As I’ve shared with everyone who has bothered to stumble across this blog I am a survivor childhood sex abuse and have travelled a long road in healing and recovery from a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

I’ve not always been at my best on this blog. Sometimes venting, other times simply sharing what I did, what it took, to travel that long winding road to mental health wellness and to make my dreams come true. I huge nod to the head to the Daniel of Letters to Daniel, Daniel Craig, whom without perhaps I would have never had the courage to write the kind of books I write and bust the glass ceiling of publishing and eventually the courage within myself to self-pub.

This Friday marks a culmination of a lot hard work and serendipity of dreams coming true. Winning an award for your work is one thing. Getting to speak about my healing process through the medium of film is something I never thought I would be in a position to do. Let alone do it in depth before an audience of my peers.

To say I’m excited is an understatement. To say I’m scared to death about facing that audience is also true. Every artist sees themselves in their work to some degree. This blog is my life in all its good and bad glory. The same with the film. I feel like I’m baring my soul in an effort to keep my sanity.

Daniel Craig, a few words about you. I don’t know you. You don’t know me. Chances are we will never cross paths. But the memoir and documentary I sent to your publicist are meant simply as thank you tokens for what your work has inspired in my own creative life. This blog was born as initially an open letter to you and to give me some sort of framework to make it easier for me to tell my story. Of the interviews I’ve seen or read with you, you strike me as an extremely private person. And for that reason alone I highly doubt I’ll ever meet you. This blog has misinterpreted on more than one occasion and its left me raw and angry at times. Essentially isn’t really about you at all. It’s about me and my journey. And it has been a long and arduous one.

I never expected the blog to take on the life that it has for me and for those it has touched or helped. And now with the biggest moment of my career before me I’m scared. Not in a bad way, but the film is so personal that I fear rejection of it will be a rejection of me. I simply have to let go and let what is meant to be happen.

So this week and Imaginarium Weekend is Letters to Daniel’s current incarnation’s swan song. I will be sure to post video of the Q&A and lots of pictures and possibly, if I’m blessed this way I will have video of maybe even an acceptance speech. But that’s getting ahead of myself and really if I don’t win that was never the point of this blog, memoir, or documentary. It has always been about sharing my story, getting better, and helping other people facing obstacles in their own lives.

And hence that is how Letters to Daniel will continue, with authors and readers and filmmakers all sharing their stories once a week to whomever they feel has helped them the most.

Thank you Daniel, Tony Acree, Lea Schizas, Frank Hall, Dave Mattingly, Delilah K Stephans, Stephen Zimmer, Mom, Dad, Aunt Debbie, Uncle Frank, Aunt Jan, Aunt Sue, and special shoutouts to my inner circle Pamela Turner and Missy Goodman. And therapists and nurses and psychiatrists I’ve had along the way. You all have, in your own ways saved my life and made my dreams come true.

Sincerely,


Amy McCorkle

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

This is one of the saddest days of my life. I talk of unsung heroes a lot of the time sometimes naming them, sometimes choosing not to. But I’m a single gal without a partner and I’ve never wanted children. But for the last 13, almost 14 years I’ve been the proud and happy owner of Chyna. A neurotic and smart tabby who was the runt of her litter. I’ve always been a cat person as opposed to a dog person. And now, as I grieve tremendously for her, it’s important for me to honor the animal that I actually reluctantly took into my home over a decade ago.

She was so tiny that she fit in the palm of one hand. We suspected wasn’t fully weaned but she was, not in the entire time Missy and I had her a burden in any sense of the word. When she was little she would climb into bed with me and sleep on my chest. She passed away Saturday, August 30th, 2014.

She leaves behind an owner that owes her tremendously for being not just a pet, but as a friend and therapeutic animal she was a key component of my journey back from the bipolar breakdown.

Chyna came into my life in early July of 2001. As Missy and I left that month to see Maurice Benard and give him our screenplay You’re the Reason, yes, the script that recently won an honorable mention award and Indie Gathering is that is an adult in age.

I was so fragile at the time struggling to heal mind, body, and soul. Attending group therapy, seeing a psychiatric nurse, and a psychiatrist. My dreams seemed so far out of reach. Yet every day I sat at the computer writing. Hoping one day to become a bestseller, an award winner, a filmmaker and everything else ever dreamed.

One nurse told me I was being grandiose in my aspirations. And while that is a symptom of my disease I was serious about becoming a writer and filmmaker. It destroyed me that someone who was supposed be helping me get better seemed to be circumventing the very thing that made me hang in there for so long.

Yet Chyna, as my pet and therapeutic companion was like my silent cheerleader. She loved me and I loved her. And animals don’t judge. Chyna was neurotic as hell to the point being feral. But she always snuggled with me at night, especially in winter time when it would get cold in the apartment. And when she was little she curl up on my shoulder and keep me company. When I moved into my mother’s and father’s she stayed in the room with me and took to draping herself around my neck.

I should have something was wrong with my baby when she stopped coming to me at night, perching up high and her food seemed to never empty. I remarked to my now on vacation best friend that I felt Chyna wouldn’t make it until she got home from Florida. Saying it is one thing. Having it happen the very next day was something altogether.

I was caught out in the middle of a severe thunderstorm, a treat I would have well passed up on just to have her here again. You always think you have time. But nothing is a guarantee.

She watched me go from a shattered human being to a thriving one under her watchful eye. She watched as I went from a very sick and fragile human being daydreaming about life, to one who is now watching the fruits of her labor come in.

She watched me graduate from therapy. It’s been a rough few days. I said her name in place of one of the other cats and started crying again today.

It’s hard at night because I’m so used to her coming to me for love and attention. And I just used to her presence in my life. I know it sounds weird that I miss her and have struggled more with the loss of her than my own grandmother, (I miss her too, but I got to say goodbye to her before she passed on.) With Chyna she couldn’t wait for me. Perhaps she knew how devastated I would be and quietly went so that I would suffer less.

I hope she knows just how much she was loved and appreciated by me. And that she will always hold a special place in my heart.

Dad placed her in a box and waited for me to get home. I pet her one last time and cried. I cry even now as I am the classic cat lady and she was my mascot. Then dad buried her under the tree in the back yard. I wave to her every morning as I set up to work and drink coffee to start my day. I know it’s a little wacky. 

But I still miss her and the loss of her in my life is still raw and fresh.
If you have pets shower them with insane amounts of love and affection. They deserve it because that’s what they give to us and that’s what Chyna gave to me. She will always be missed.

Sincerely,


Amy McCorkle

Friday, August 29, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I just want to take a moment and thank everyone who has helped me reach this stage of my career. I do this from time to time but this year has been especially huge. There are the usual suspects Missy and Pam. And while I mention them often it bears repeating that it wasn’t just a miracle that I got here. It is due in no small part to Missy’s never-ending source of compassion, steadying hand when I might fly off into the ether and creative collaboration that I survived the past, stayed with treatment and sat my butt down in the chair to write every day. Some it crap, some of it promising. All the while developing my voice away from the prying and unforgiving eyes of the world. To Pam who opened my eyes to the world of ebook publishing and introducing me into the world fandom and conventions. Plus always being there for me when I either needed this or that for my films. She’s filled in the blanks when Missy was unable to. Both of them taking me to doctor appointments and paying for medication whenever I couldn’t. Missy is the sister I never had and always wanted. And Pam the kind of friend I never expected and perhaps didn’t deserve. But these equally talented writers and filmmakers have been the source of healing and though not every day with them is perfect it is that imperfection that I find the strength to sit down and write.

Then there are my publishers who have supported me and had my back from the beginning. Starting with Lea Schizas who gave me my big break with Another Way to Die and accepted my second and third stories in 2011. All of which went on to be award winners. And GLADIATOR going on to be my first Amazon Bestseller. Then Frank Hall, formerly of Hydra Publications ed who gave my first break in print, Bounty Hunter. It became my second bestseller and screenplay Missy and I have adapted on it has gone on to win two different awards so far. Dave Mattingly for publishing Gemini’s War, my first 60K book. Which went on to become my third betseller. And back to Hydra and it’s new publisher, Tony Acree, a brilliant writer and marketer, whose business acumen rewarded my faith in him when Bounty Hunter returned to print, and my three shorts two of which were co-written with Missy went on to become my 4th, 5th, and 6th bestsellers.

And finally to my long time editors and cover artist, Greta, Tanja, Ana and Delilah, you all made me look very good and helped my books become what they have while building me a small, but very loyal readership.

Stephen Zimmer, who made my dreams come true by making Letters to Daniel the documentary its premiere event at Imaginarium. Who allowed me a place at the Con Community table in 2011 at Sweatfest. A person who still amazes me with his energy and ability to write, promote, run a publishing house, help with literary tracks at other Cons to creating Imaginarium, a literary con with a film festival that honors its screenwriters. I thank you as a lot of these things come to me as a result from attending that first Con in 2011.

And finally to Ray and Kristina at Indie Gathering where biggest breakthrough in my film career yet has come. 4 screenwriting awards. 1 film award. A connection to Brian Boyd a talented actor producer who I hope to be able to afford one day which led me to John Iwasz and a paid screenwriting gig. Chance encounters with Nicholas Mackey the actor wearing the dude abides t-shirt and JoAnna Lloyd and Tim Hale actors that came by my convention table. All of whom are going to be in my short film Rain Down On Me. One of which has provided the budget for the film to get made.

I’ve got a TV Pilot and Web Series pilot written. I’m working on the Gladiator Chronicles adaptation feature screenplay. Plan to write a TV Pilot based on Gunpowder and Lead and a feature adaptation of Gemini’s War.

My current novel is The Power of Goodbye. All good things come from a lot of hard work, helping hands and a pinch of luck, or as Missy puts it, the golden horseshoe shoved up my ass.

And of course your work inspires me to do my best work. I don’t know if our paths will ever cross, but as you know I will be here at this blog telling my story in hopes that it will inspire others out of their darkness and yours did me. Oh and special s/o to Maurice Benard you inspired me to walk through that mental health care clinic and get evaluated. A move that in no small part saved my life and made this life possible.

Sincerely,


Amy McCorkle

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I come to you bursting at the seams with joy and pride, first of all, the proof of my triumph at The International Indie Gathering. A film festival and convention that for me, at least lived up to all the hype and made the desperate struggle to get there completely worth it in the end.

I have worked hard for a moment like what IG offered me. The only drawback was Missy was not there to network and revel in the success like I was. Right down to the moment where I was interviewed by the Reel Network’s Kristina Michelle and felt ‘discovered’ by independent producer Brian Boyd at my convention table where I was selling copies of Letters to Daniel Volumes 1 & 2 and the documentary.

I scored a scored a short film screenwriting gig out of it. The same producer is looking at all of my scripts. I found a pool of actors to possibly work with for my short film Rain Down On Me. Still another director there asked to see You’re the Reason. An actress wants to work with me.

People wanted to talk to me after the awards ceremony. It was crazy. I even sold 13 copies of Letters to Daniel the book and several of the documentary.

Talk about a film festival that delivered on every level. I can only hope I can repeat the fete again next year.
Being paid to write has always been a dream of mine and 500 dollars equals my monthly income, well almost monthly income.

And right before I jaunted off to Hudson, OH for my trip to Indie Gathering I sent your publicist my documentary and memoir. Those things scored me the screenwriting gig.

I wouldn’t have had as much fun as I did if it weren’t for my Aunt Sue. Aka Brenda Sue Duffey. She did the heavy lifting of that Missy and Pam usually do. She loaded the carts pushed them to the room and car. We sat up the table together.

While the convention itself leaves much to be desired the fact I moved as much as I did lets you know I really worked it to move the copies. I pitched to everyone who listened I had a guest of honor’s guest turn his nose up at me and give me 30secs to pitch Letters to Daniel to him. He was a total ass. But I figure by pitching I just got practice in and it tortured him a little bit in the process. Win/win. LOL.

I met a really nice couple Rich and Jodi whose film Confidential won 1st place in their category. They even bought my books and documentary and my aunt’s book.

I really wish perhaps people could have seen all that I did, experienced all that I did. Having never received hardware for my creative work it was nice receiving it and applause for the work I do with Missy away from anyone’s attention.

Making connections was fantastic. The only thing better will be Imaginarium, when the film premieres. I have three free badges. I know it’s corny and I know you have no clue I exist. Or even that this blog exists but those badges are going to waste. I’d like to invite you and your family to Imaginarium to see the film and be special guests at the Convention and Film Festival.

I know you have a million things going on in your career and life but I just wanted to put that out there. Because it seems your work has inspired me to breakthrough not just in my literary career, but to start busting through in my screenwriting and filmmaking career as well.

Sincerely,


Amy McCorkle

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dear Daniel,

Dear Daniel,

I have returned from Fandom Fest. Was it as huge as last year was for me? Yes and no. Yes because I had double digit sales overall, 22 books. I sold out of two titles and almost a third. I sold one set of my Gemini Rising series books. And a copy of mine and Missy’s When Doves Cry.

Nice.

We lost the screenwriting competition. Not so nice.

The panels went well. Nice.

Sucky sales Friday and Saturday. Awesome sales Sunday. A man from Bayou Con committee took my card for possible inclusion as a guest at their show. Very nice.

Being out of shape and being forced to walk all over freaking creation and having my leg cramp up on me? 
Not so nice.

But all in all the show ran smoother. It was nice and cold in the vendor hall. The set up was better and at least there was an awards ceremony this year even if Missy and me didn’t win.

Also in the nice category, Pam sold out of her The Ripper’s Daughter paranormal, historical, mystery with horror elements novel. And Missy and I managed to move one copy of When Doves Cry.

I came to the conclusion Saturday night that perhaps Fandom was getting to expensive for me. Which puts me on the line about attending as a participant next year. I wonder if I go next year it will be as a spectator. What with the film taking off to some degree it makes me think that festivals are more of a fit. But then, Fandom Fest is home. It’s where I got my start, these last two years have been breakthrough on the sales front. To abandon it would be ridiculous. To stay without some need being met is no better.

I’m used to traveling with Pam and Missy. Having one chair means I have no back up crew where it comes to setting up. I know that sounds selfish but it keeps the event from becoming too much. Being crammed in at a six foot table doesn’t sound all that fantastic but if I could finagle an extra chair next year I would have at least Missy to help me.

Which makes me feel bad about Pam because we’ve become something of a traveling trio. Seeing two of us without the  third is odd.  

But coming up is Indie Gathering. I am forced onto a Greyhound because no one really wants or can make the trip. But that’s okay. That’s life. Missy was disappointed at Fandom. She wanted  to hear her name called. She wondered what I was going to say. I figured out how to work the camcorder on the phone so I will record the awards ceremony, or at least the portions where our names are going to be called. And that night I will put it up on the internet so that Missy can wake up to five awards being awarded to her.

I think for me, the Fright Night loss put Indie Gathering into a whole new light as to just how special our accomplishment at IG is. 5 out 5 awards. 4 screenplays and 1 film, the documentary all scored a win of some sort. Two second places and three honorable mentions. Awesome. Two trophies. Three medals. Even better. Say a prayer Missy gets Sunday off so that she can ride up to Hudson and accept the awards with me and hear her name called for herself.

Anyway, Fandom is ground zero where this stuff is concerned and I guess I will always have a soft spot for it.

Sincerely,

Amy McCorkle

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dear Daniel Craig

Dear Daniel,

I come to the page tonight both scared and happy. Letters to Daniel has been accepted into its third festival, Louisville’s International Festival of Film. To take place October 9th-11th in Louisville, KY.

I  got the news at Moe’s restaurant after leaving my mother’s hospital room via the phone from Carol Hamilton. Normally I would have jumped up and down exhilarated that Letters to Daniel had just powered its way into another film festival. And don’t get me wrong, I am over the moon thrilled that this unexpected success has come my way for a project that means so much to me.

But with Mom in the hospital I find myself in close quarters with people who tend to just rub me the wrong way. My sisters and cousin were all we’re going to come clean the house and Amy you better clean your room. And Amy and Sara you need take care of everything on that end when your mother comes home.
I find it ironic that I did clean my room. Have all but one load of laundry done. And believe me, my room was a disaster! I’m not a hoarder, but believe me, you could see the road signs from there. It’s just me and the kitty, Chyna who reside in this room and when it’s a mess it’s a claustrophobic feeling. With mom in the hospital it was especially so.

Seeing her so frail and small makes you take stock of your own mortality. I’m sure she was facing her own. But my sister Brandy who is the biggest follower on the planet there ever was, and my cousin Jill, who seems to think she’s Lord God over everything was barking out orders left and right. Then she was preaching about the lord saving mine and everyone else’s soul.

I cleaned my room. Guess who’s cleaning my mom’s house? Missy. That’s right. All hot air and nothing of substance. They think they know fucking everything.

Brandy likes to be seen as the big dog on campus. She’s sleeping up at the hospital with mom tonight. Dad usually does it but he needs knee surgery that he put off so mom could have emergency surgery. So what do I do? Go up early in the morning, stay till early in the afternoon. I clean my room, which I rarely do but I want mom to be comfortable when she comes home.

I feel like it’s wrong to be so happy that my career is flourishing while mom is recovering. A little recognition would be nice but then, I’m thinking, I’m wrong to be doing anything to promote my career.

I feel like I’m in a black hole and it’s hard to see my way out of it. But then, I haven’t been writing either, not consistently. Not in a way that would say this passion fire and grit the way I usually do. This last month has really knocked me for a loop. I wish I could say to hell with familial obligations and bull head on into my work. But that’s not reality.

It’s not responsible either. Tomorrow I’ll be up at the hospital until around lunchtime. And then I’ll head on out back home. Missy is taking me to the grocery tomorrow. And helping me my clothes away.
And I have a screenplay I’m working on. And I just got the first image in my head for a novel. I think I’ll go write on both of them. And I’ll outline the idea for the season 1 finale of Darius & Anastasia, my web series. I’ll write my way out of this funk if it kills me.

Sincerely,


Amy McCorkle

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dear Daniel Craig

Dear Daniel,

Emotionally speaking it’s been a bumpy time. Mom is sick and  is due for major surgery. Dad is due for knee replacement surgery. And recently a friend of mine passed unexpectedly. I made friends with her via facebook and my one of my publishing houses. She was also an actress and had worked with you on Skyfall. She remarked that you were private and tended to keep to yourself and although this blog might suggest otherwise often when it’s hardest for me I don’t have any desire to come on here and blast my troubles. But I realize sometimes there’s a bigger picture. That there are others out there who might take something away from my words forces me to write when I am sad.

It’s easy to write when I’m angry or happy, the energy is there and the words often come fast and furious. But at times like these, when someone has passed, my loved ones are ill, or if events seem to conspire to rob me of a moment in the sun it’s embarrassing to come on and talk about how I feel like no one understands where I’m coming from, because the reality is, someone, somewhere reading this will understand and it will help them. Just as writing this is cathartic to me.

Let’s start with the seemingly petty. Large sums of cash, a lot of incredibly hard work went into the results I got at Indie Gathering. Suddenly people and things started either letting me down, going seriously wrong, or backing out of making the trip with me. I won’t say their names. They know who they are, and although I’m working on forgiveness and resentment it’s still hard if I allow myself to think about it too much. So I don’t. 

However, things have worked out. Mom fronted the cash for a Greyhound Bus ticket, the hotel will allow me to ship books to them directly for sales at my vendor table, and Pam will be making the trip with me. Problem solved. Although the person who I expected to make such an auspicious journey with me picked another con and a family vacation over Indie Gathering. As is her right. And it still burns that she did that, for the second time. She doesn’t understand why I feel this way. She doesn’t get as excited as I do. Doesn’t need the trophies, she’s content with the win. She’s more mature than me in this regard as I worked hard and I want to celebrate.

Moving on. Mom is sick. How sick? Her diverticultis flared. I believe the abcess was there in her colon in May and these much vaunted doctors she believes in without question fucking failed her and fucked up so that now she has to have major bowel resection surgery. Thanks for nothing Dr. Sasser. And with knife happy surgeon ready to slice and dice her I’m nervous and scared. And the surgery is scheduled for the third week of next month. Which collides with Indie Gathering. I pray that the surgery is at the beginning of the week. Since Mom has been home from the hospital Brandy and Sara have been scarce. Figures. During the day I take care of Mom. In the evening Dad does. But next week dad has knee replacement surgery. I wonder where the darling younger siblings will be then. Nowhere I suspect after the hospital stay.

Now to my most serious news. I mentioned a friend of mine had passed that you worked with on Skyfall. I knew her as Victoria Ley, author of the Darkseed Series. You may have known her as Victoria Shellie on the set of Skyfall. She was also in Les Mis.

She loved talking to me about her times on set and although she didn’t understand why I admired you so much she didn’t judge me for it. She didn’t understand the point of this blog either. But even so, I loved talking to her on Facebook as neither of us really had the kind of money that would have supported transatlantic phone calls.

We talked frankly about our publishing careers and where they were at and where we wanted to see them go. She wasn’t always happy with the status quo and although I love writing screenplays she found it to be a soulless experience, but she was really good at it. And there were people who wanted to turn her Dark Seed book into a film. How I hope her family pursues that in honor of her.

She let me talk about your movies to a point I think others would have thought I was a nut job, but really she understood what you meant as a source of inspiration to me and my success.

A bright star has truly gone out in the night sky. I for one, will always remember her and our long talks, which because of my career I had let wane regrettably. Her death came as a shock. And while she will no longer be a part of my life, my life is truly better for having known her.

Sincerely,


Amy McCorkle

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dear Daniel Craig

Dear Daniel,

I heard back from Gary Baddeley and TDC. It’s a no go on distribution through them. Which frankly to even be considered by them was incredible. But I have been given advice by two people now that I have tremendous respect for. Tour, speak of your experiences, screen your film that way. Sell your books Letters to Daniel Volumes 1 and 2.

All I’m waiting for now is the introduction from Tony Acree. I already have one from Susan H. Roddey. They were kind to do so. FILM-COM taught me a lot. Made me some invaluable connections. Garnered a mentor. Figured out how to distribute Letters to Daniel and to grow it organically.

Right now I’m having a hard time concentrating. My mom is in the hospital and has been for the last week. She has an abcess in her colon and has to have a bowel resection six weeks from now. It’s been hard on this end. I want her well and home. I miss her. I don’t know what I’d do without her. She isn’t my main source of support but her and dad are right up there on the list.

Here’s the irony, dad has to have knee replacement surgery next week. I believe in Western traditional medicine. But I also believe that surgeons are quick to cut. I know both of my parents need this surgery but it also terrifies me. I’ll have no one to depend on with the exception of Missy and Pam if something happens to them.

I mean, I have sisters, but neither of them are dependable on a consistent basis. And my aunts and uncle who are wonderful will be swimming in the deep end too since my mom and dad help them on a regular basis too.
So my creative efforts are struggling. I feel like Land of Fire and Ash is slipping away and staying focused on my web series is hard. But I’m determined to do so.

That and Con season is in full swing! I’m anxiously awaiting the results of the Fright Night Film Festival Screenplay competition results in two categories and I have spread planned at Imaginarium. And to all the awards I’m going to be receiving at Indie Gathering all on top of my parents health issues seems to be conspiring to keep me from being able to write the way I want to.

Of course, sometimes blogging unstops me. Makes working on the  other projects easier. Makes me raring to go on all the other things I’m juggling seem like butter to work on. Like since I’ve talked to my silent witness and confessed my fears and insecurities they up and vanished making me brave once more to charge headlong into the fray.

I’ve been called a force of nature by some individuals, just plain crazy by others, or even just a plain pain in the ass by some. Whatever you call me don’t call me finished because in the creative world I’m not nearly done.

Sincerely,

Amy McCorkle

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dear Daniel Craig

Dear Daniel,

It’s the middle of Con season. Three separate awards ceremonies. Three vendor halls I’ll be seated at. Panels to be sat upon. Books to sell. A film to present. And waiting to hear back upon acceptance to five film festivals.

I’m waiting to hear back from my cover artist on the print version of Letters to Daniel print cover. Honestly I wanted them for Fandom Fest. Then do a huge launch at of Letters to Daniel Volume 2 at Imaginarium.

My plate is full to overflowing. I have 2 books coming out this summer. 2 novellas coming out this fall/winter. And I am writing on Land of Fire and Ash, an upmarket dystopian novel which I plan on submitting somewhere, and Life After Death: An Aurora Black Novel, the second in the continuing series after the bestselling BLACKOUT, the kickoff of the series, which continues to sell.

FILM-COM was mind blowing. But as great as all of this is until this morning I haven’t felt like myself. I felt like there was a hitch in my giddy-up so to speak. Which meant I wasn’t writing. Honestly, when I’m not writing I don’t feel well. I feel cranky and just plain ‘off’ and it makes me a bear to deal with. To borrow a term from Maurice Broaddus I grind on everyone around me. I don’t see it or feel it but they sure as hell do.

And let me just say sorry to everyone I came into contact with yesterday I was in a real FUCK YOU kind of mood. Irritable, the slightest thing setting me off. Today I’ve had plenty of sleep and woke-up at 5AM and have accomplished more like a normal schedule. One chapter each on two separate books. Now I’m working on the blog. And tonight I will be at Barnes & Noble working on the web soap series. Now that’s a day that makes everything seem good and right.

I feel like I accomplished something. I only wish I had the dues to pay for Toastmasters and I would start on getting over my fear of speaking in front of large groups. That way I could make money, distribute my film, and promote my memoir, all while advancing a cause that I care about very much, raising awareness of bipolar disorder and showing how you can come back from it.

Today I feel good, maybe I’m feeling a little bit up, a little hypomanic. I didn’t feel ten feet tall and bullet proof which would be an indication my medicine was off. I just feel happy. Good. Even.

Being creatively productive is the only way I stay sane. What looks crazy to some, the impressive workload, the insane release dates, is my rock. It’s what keeps me from going over the edge of mania. And when I’m depressed I know I can watch movies or television or hang with my friends.

Con season is great but it often messes in a big way with my writing routine. Right now I’m waiting to hear back from Zharmae Press and Mocha Memoirs on my Bella Morte books.

I’m waiting to hear back from money people, distribution people. It’s insane in my professional world but for a long time I was sick and could not function properly. But in these last 3 to 4 years my career has blossomed in a way I could have never imagined happening. And the screenwriting world where me and Missy work together opening up as well I couldn’t be more thrilled. Winning a contest is always a crapshoot anyway and to have our scripts and our film doing what they are is very sweet for us. After 17 years of friendship, battles, scrapes, and hard times our writing partnership bearing this kind of fruit is extra special.

Sincerely,


Amy McCorkle

Friday, July 4, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

Having a mentor focus you and send you in the right direction is absolutely wonderful. Someone who cares to take the time to help you find your way. Someone who can see the situation objectively and who isn’t invested even though they’re in the industry. Someone who sees talent and value in what you do. He sees a future for Letters to Daniel the documentary.

He recommended that I join Toastmasters to get over my fear of speaking in front of large groups and start speaking about my experiences with bipolar disorder and in the process screen my documentary.

He said to put the other stuff aside for now but honestly I couldn’t stop writing if I wanted to. It’s just very much a part of who I am. I write like a faucet it’s where I find my healing and safe place.

I’m working on two projects right now outside of Letters to Daniel. The second volume of Letters is due out in September as is the film at Imaginarium.

The others project are the book Land of Fire and  Ash and the web soap pilot script Darius & Anastasia.
All the while I wait to hear back from Zharmae publishing and Gary Baddeley about distribution I push ahead with the writing.

I’d like to return to FILM-COM next year with the web soap series, perhaps with the pilot shot, a sharp trailer thrown together and 12 additional episodes penned looking for completion funds.

Big dreams. Of course with the dreams in place it’s nice to have a plan in place. Writing a web episode has proven to be easy. All I have are nine more pages and the pilot is written. I know my audience. 18-34 year old women. Young people get their entertainment online. I even have the theme music selected for the web soap series.

An ambitious project I know but I’ve always dreamed of writing for a soap. Why not write for one I created. Especially in an atmosphere that is wide open for this kind of content!

Of course I’m driven to get Letters to Daniel out there as well. But Toastmasters has to wait until after the summer is over. But I think it would help immensely with my return to FILM-COM with Darius & Anastasia in tow.

But I’m focused and ready to take on the world. Sometimes a kind word or a suggestion by someone in the industry who cares can set you on the right path to getting your film seen and helping you get over the anxiety it takes to getting you the rest of the way there.

Thanks Joel, I can’t thank you enough. And thank you Dave for the support. A shoutout to Pam Turner and Missy Goodman. And of course, a special thanks to you. All of the above have left their mark on me for the better.

Sincerely,


Amy McCorkle