Today was an astoundingly great day. The results were announced on the 4th Annual That Book Place Author Fair Story Contest. And guess what?! Missy and I scored a win in the screenplay category with our adaptation of my novella of the same name, City of the Damned.
How many days do you get to wake up and say I have two award winning screenplays? With the acceptance of Letters to Daniel to premiere at Imaginarium and the possibility of it screening at Cinema Touching Disability in Austin, TX I am over the moon. I wanted to go out to celebrate all of this. As it is we had chicken in a pot (a truly delicious simple dish to make) and my parents bought Dairy Queen blizzards for everyone. (Meaning me, Missy, my seven year old nephew Jonathan, and them.)
I am so on cloud nine. It’s not every day I win a contest. Or even final. It has been an auspicious start to 2014.
Words seem to fail me how hard I’ve worked, and the people who’ve helped me or believed in me along the way. Sometimes you make your heroes and in effect you were a shining light in many ways. I know I never expected this blog to take me where ultimately it has.
The gratitude I have for those who go unmentioned cannot be measured in simple words or gestures. Because the people who’ve inspired me have been many. But everyone needs a big break.
Along the way there have been those who have taken the time and the patience it takes to show a not so young writer the way in how to write a treatment. How to write a pilot. How to craft a story so that people will keep turning the pages until they reach the end.
I think in some ways I was fortunate that I was left to play in the creative sandbox without too much instruction as to what was the right way to write. My voice developed naturally and uninhibited.
But at some point I’ll be honest it seemed the screenplay success was never going to happen. So I stopped writing them. And focused solely on my books and my dreams of becoming a published author. I tried self-publishing back then and it just didn’t work.
However, it was three years ago in February that MuseItUp gave me my first big break. The editing was arduous. But I developed as an author there and found the small press a welcoming place for me.
Then last year Missy was watching Kevin Smith’s ‘Burn in Hell’ tour on youtube and we started watching it together. She wanted to revisit ‘You’re the Reason’. Which, if I were totally honest I wasn’t sure I wanted to do. But the more I watched Kevin the more I realized that the screenwriting and filmmaking dream wasn’t dead yet.
It may have been buried beneath an avalanche of fear of implosion between me and Missy, two Chiefs, not enough Indians. I don’t like to bend. And if she feels strongly enough neither does she.
But here’s the reality I have much to be grateful for. I am living proof, if you just work hard enough, long enough, good things will happen for you. *Don’t be afraid to ask for a little help. Because a little help, plus a lot of hard work can and will take you far.