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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Amy McCorkle

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dear Daniel,

Dear Daniel,

To be bipolar is no small fete. To be a functioning one in a society where you are dependent to some degree on others is a hard pill to swallow. Today and yesterday I went ring around the mental health insurance rosy to be told my mental health services were being cut because I was uninsured.

Let me lay it out for you. I have Medicare parts A and D. I do not currently have part B coverage which covers doctor’s appointments. I was told that the government in its infinite wisdom had cut dollars to Seven Co. of Louisville. And the first people cut were people like me. That the best that they could do for me was write me out a prescription for all of my meds for the next 30 days while I wrestled with a health care system that said the ACA does not apply to you.

On the other side is a group of politicians, that instead of working to fix the problems with ACA are just trying to deny me and others like me coverage. I faced the terrifying very real, and paralyzing prospect of being denied treatment, of being robbed my medication and being thrown back down a dark hole, only this time there would be no reprieve. No light to guide me out. Everything I’ve worked for would be for not.

But then this is part of the journey. Nothing is a smooth ride. There are always trials and tribulations. So yesterday I spent all day on the phone. Then I went to Seven Co. Then to the Cabinet for Women and Children. They gave me a wrong number. I called Social Security, again today. I was told enroll in Medicare part B in January. They sock it to me for 104 dollars and it’s not even active until next July.

Well uninsured I can see my psychiatrist for 15 minutes for 90 freaking dollars every three months and they’ll prescribe a three month supply of my medicine. Which Medicare part D pays for.

Grrr. Clock punching government workers who could give a shit about my mental health or others in my position. That’s why I do this blog even though I have ‘recovered’ and even though I have a book with a second volume on the way and have documentary based on it.

Okay rant over. Now on to sensational news! The news from Indie Gathering is in and it’s ALL FANFREAKINGTASTIC!

Let’s start with the main event itself. Short Documentary category. Letters to Daniel received an Honorable Mention Award! I couldn’t be more thrilled. This makes it its first award. And I can’t wait to collect in August.

I also entered 3 feature screenplays. Bounty Hunter finished second in the SciFi category. And City of the Damned and You’re the Reason received Honorable Mention Awards.

To top it off Bella Morte finished second in the TV Pilot category. Wow August 15-17th will be one heck of a weekend to remember.

Again, as with other awards ceremonies I have been blessed with I invite you and your lovely family to attend. But I also know you’re not aware of me, my blog, my books, or my film. But, your work and how you compose yourself professionally have had a huge impact on my life and career. Thank you even if you never see this or know it.


Amy McCorkle