Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I live in a house of contradictions. On the one hand my parents offer me a roof over my head, supplement my groceries, don’t ask me to pay room and board for it. This allows me to travel to cons, festivals, and signings. Enter in contests. Pursue my dream how I see fit.

But in the next breath the side swipe me and bloody my nose and knock the wind out of my gut with a one-two emotional sucker punch that leaves the most skilled fighter wobbling in the wind. The worst part of it? I know I’m stuck. Until next January I am official stuck in this weird halfway hellhole, where one day it’s all we go together like peas and carrots and the next it’s like they’re the tornado and I’m the house in their path. And now, all quiet on fucking western front.

I know, I know. I chose this. I chose to move into this house, with this dysfunctional lot. Today I made sure I took my meds on time. I didn’t drink copious amounts of caffeine. I got a chapter done. And I guess I should thank their fucking asses because now I have something to write about.

I know it’s lame to dream about a Prince Charming or a bad ass ready to whisk me away from all of this. I guess there’s this part of me that dreams of finding someone to share my life with. Someone who will come to my awards ceremonies (should I be invited) with me. Someone to celebrate how hard all of this really is in the face of emotional turmoil.

But here is what I have to come to terms with. I am enough. I am tough enough. And when my enemies who sometimes hide behind the masks of family and friends wound me as deeply as they do I have to know this Prince Charming thing is a frickin’ fairytale because my taste in men is absolutely horrible.

I pick intellectual and emotionally unavailable men.

So when my match comes, and even in times like these, when I doubt he will ever come, I’ve got to know to hold out for the best one. Someone who makes me their #1. Who will hold me when my parents let me down for the millionth time and let me cry.
My parents suffer from mental illness too. But this is what I’ve learned. Ultimately you are responsible for your own behavior.

They wounded me horribly last night. So I was horrible to them right back. This morning I owned up to it and apologized to both of my parents. Today they have been the tornado and me the house in their path. I didn’t want to up the ante, as my therapist would say, so I walked away and put myself in my bedroom.

Now I’m here. Talking to my silent witnesses to get this awful feeling out of me so I can feel better. I have finished a chapter on the Odd Ones. A thriller I’m having edited before I submit to a NewYork agent. Yes, that’s right I’m pushing myself to the next level. And when I get to the bookstore I plan on finishing this blog post and promoting it. And finishing the chapter I was working on last night of BELLA MORTE:VENGEANCE.

As for the documentary. Shoot date might be in March. And perhaps the editing will start in March and finish in April as well. Things are going good with a contact I’ve made that might be a grass roots fundraiser which will help with marketing and distribution.

So as tornadic as my family is. I succeed in spite of the chaos they often rain down upon me without much as a second thought as to how that might affect me creatively. Last night it made what I wanted to do impossible.

But with a good night’s rest, and a schedule to go by I’m getting plenty done. So to you Daniel, and my other silent witnesses, I thank you all.


Amy McCorkle

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dear Daniel Craig,

Dear Daniel Craig,

Holy. Fucking. Shit. Letters to Daniel the documentary is going to premiere at Imaginarium a Film Festival and writers con. Un-freaking-believable.

How does that happen? I mean I work to make something like this happen. I dream to make something like this happen. With Missy busting her ass alongside me the entire time.

I wanted something like this to happen. They’re going to highlight Letters… and I’m going to get to see my film on a movie screen. I’m going to get the word out about mental illness, getting help, and stamping out stigma to even more people than originally thought.

For the asshat I dealt with the other day, I had an angel open a door and make a dream come true for me last night.

I was so excited last night I could barely sleep. Here I was touching the fringes of something I had always dreamed of doing.

So how did I get from there to here?

How did I go from broken down and barely hanging on to my dreams and my sanity by my fingernails  to this? A thriving author, blogger, and screenwriter. A skilled marketing director. I still live with the diagnosis but I have it these days it doesn’t have me.

How I wish I could tell you just how much your work and how you handle yourself professionally has inspired me to do my best and how to carry myself in the hardest of situations.

The lesson I carry closest to me is it about the work. It is always about bringing my best, most authentic self to what I do. To be open, honest, and direct.

There may be setbacks. There may be people who rub you the wrong way. There may be obstacles that seem too big to climb.

But that is all bullshit in the end. Look inside yourself and hack your way to where it is to where you want to be.

When I was 21 I wanted to be a published author. I had no idea what a blog was. And I dreamed of making movies that would be seen by many. I also dreamed of seeing a film of mine on the silver screen. Of doing a Q&A. Of writing award winning screenplays.

When I was 23 I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and all of that seemed a million miles away. I’m 38 now. And to everyone whoever said I wasn’t legit. Or couldn’t do it. Or perhaps was reaching beyond my grasp. I have a big, resounding F*** Y**.

And to those who stood by side in the hardest of times and believed in me when it was not easy to do so. I want to thank you. Because there is nothing sweeter than premiering your film at a festival and showing the naysayers than nothing and no one can stand in your way.

And if you have a dream. An impossibly large dream. There are the three words I say hang onto because you never know what can happen.

Never. Say. Die.


Amy McCorkle

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

This blog is late. Very late. And maybe on a day like today that’s a good thing. Because I’ve had a moment or two to cool off and think twice about what I was going to write. But let it just be said, DON’T SHIT WHERE YOU EAT MY FRIEND, because once you burn a bridge you can never go back.

Let’s just say today was the best of times it was the worst of times. Let’s just get something off of my chest. Don’t ever tell me how to do something and do it in a patronizing, condescending tone. Don’t call my dream ‘not real’ and imply that my vision is not good enough in your opinion to do the job that I want it to. I know 5 or 6K is probably enough to get it down.

Don’t assume I’m stupid because I’m not following your plan.

People have told me this ‘person’ who’s rubbed me the wrong way was a jerk, an asshat, and myriad of other words. But I always said, I will wait and see how he or she continues to treat me.

In this person’s defense, I think they were trying to ‘help’ me. Instead they left a bad taste in my mouth. They asked if they could ask me a question but I was away from my computer. Honestly I don’t want to know what their question is.

I don’t think my vision for my work (Letters to Daniel) fits their con. I do believe their heart is in the right place however.

Their con, in the past has been very good to me. My first panels. Two publishers found. A breakthrough screenwriting award. A valuable connection in one of their goh’s.

I try to stay positive about them, because you never know about the don’t shit where you eat my friend clause. The bridge you burn today is the one you may need to walk back across tomorrow.

But I’ll be honest there are other cons I want to attend more so. Cons that would treat me better. And treat my work with more respect.

So here is the tentative schedule:

March: Author Fair
April: Nashville Film Festival
          Documentary Shoot
May: Various Bookstores for signings
          Documentary Edit
June: Various Bookstores for signings
August: Indie Gathering
September: Imaginarium
October: Austin Film Festival (maybe)
November: Author Fair

Perhaps I will sell well, and win some awards. And the documentary will take flight.


Amy McCorkle

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

You may notice some changes happening to my blog. What started out as a simple gratitude blog and grew into a memoir, and ultimately as an outlet for my frustrations as I coped with my bipolar disorder, has grown into something of an outreach campaign.

You may notice two new tabs at the top. So far the pages are empty. The team of Healing Hands Entertainment is coming together nicely. But I don’t have the pictures and bios of everyone just yet, so I don’t want to unveil it until I am ready. And the documentary won’t show until it is completed. So far it will be carried by HULU and will be available for viewing online at NAMI of Louisville for free. There’s also a possibility of That Book Place and Karen’s Book Barn carrying a few copies a piece. I will be selling the dvds at Film Festivals and Conventions.

I want people to know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. That finding support in friends and family is a needed component, but when all else fails treatment with psychiatrists, therapists, support groups with other people who are traveling the same path is key to recovery. My lifeline was lithium in the beginning. But not everyone reacts to the medications in the same way. I want people to know that the road may be dark and  rocky in the beginning, but that there is hope to be  had and that as they feel their way in the dark to that pinpoint of light.

It takes work to recover. But hope is there. And sometimes you find it in the strangest of places. I found it in books, music, television, and film. I found it in your work.

In September of 2009 I saw Casino Royale on dvd and changed my career. I found a hero prototype. Here was an a hero who was strong, with something of a death wish, not caring whether he lived or died and only answered to M. James Bond has always been a bad ass. But your James Bond is the baddest ass of them all. Yet, he is not invulnerable. He falls in love. He is always driven by duty, but also by how he feels for a woman. He does everything he can to save her, even when it’s been revealed it is she who betrayed him. What a character, what performance.

I wanted to write something that would leave me as exhilarated as the Casino had. It took me awhile to summon that character and story. But in May of 2010 I wrote Another Way to Die. It became the first of 28 publication contracts I would sign between February of 2011 and this year. The next one was No Ordinary Love, a scifi romance, signed in April of 2011 and the third contract was for GLADIATOR:The Gladiator Chronicles, signed in December of 2011. All of them went on to become award winners, and GLADIATOR went on to become an Amazon bestseller.

In 2012 I wrote Bounty Hunter, which would become my first print book, it hit #9 on the Amazon Bestsellers chart, and a screenplay Missy and I adapted from it went on to win Best SciFi Screenplay at the 2013 Fright Night Film Festival. I also wrote ORACLE:The Gladiator Chronicles, Set Fire To The Rain, Gunpowder and Lead, and Gemini’s War:Gemini Rising. The latter winning two awards and going on to be an Amazon Bestseller.

2013 was even more insane. In February I wrote City of the Damned, March through April I penned Gemini’s Legacy:Gemini Rising, and co-wrote with Missy When Doves Cry, and screenplay adaptation of City of the Damned. And the original screenplay You’re the Reason.

After Fandom Fest/Fright Night I wrote CORNBREAD, October Missy and I penned the pilot Bella Morte, adapted from the contracted series for publication of the same name. That fall I also penned Bella Morte:Beginnings and Bella Morte:Devil’s Backbone.

And in May of 2013 I started this blog. In September it ran as book that went on to become a #2 bestseller on Amazon. And in May of 2013 I graduated the therapy portion of my treatment of the bipolar disorder and have been asked to participate in the Moth style story slam by Seven Counties and to be a part of their Night of Celebration and Recovery.

2009 marked a real turning point in my recovery and my life. And I have your work to thank for that in a way. So I know if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again at some point. Thank you, Daniel Craig. My professional life wouldn’t be what it is if today if I had never seen Casino Royale.


Amy McCorkle