First I want to thank you all for all your emails and friendships… new and new again from long ago. If I haven’t gotten back with you, sit tight. I get many many emails and I do return each and every one.
With that being said many times folks will ask me questions, questions that are actually answered on pages of my site that are not my blog… so to try to answer some of the emails through my blogs I have decided beginning today I will post in order my journey of becoming a novelist, pretty much from the beginning.
Many of the folks that have read what I am about to re-post here have sent me numerous emails about how much they thoroughly enjoyed this tale of mine… so grab your coffee, hang on to your seat and enjoy the ride… and hey, if you want to leave me comments about your journey all the better! You know how much I love hearing about your lives.
Are you ready? Lets go then…
From Oklahoma to Hollywood
All rights reserved. No form of this article may be used or copied without permission from the Author.
A brief, and if I say so myself, interesting bio of a girl chasing a dream.
First I must take you back to a little girl who grew up on the New England coast. The imagination of that spoiled little brat was her very best friend, which basically is a very colorful way of saying she was a liar… and not just a little bit, in a very strong, big, fat way. . . oh the stories she could weave.
Later in life, and a whole shit-load in-between, she became one of those tragic teens who found themselves a runaway and yes, pregnant. So now we have a big fat liar with a big fat belly. . . and at sixteen, her mother taken by cancer much earlier, everyone thought the big fat liar should lose the big fat belly… save it for another time in life. Like many story-tellers, her determination only heightened.
Later in life, and a whole shit-load in-between, she had the baby; her name after a baby food commercial, Jennifer Rebecca. Jennifer became the main focus of the story teller’s life. After all, the story teller would only be 34 when the Minnie-me went off to college. With little education the shit jobs with long hours (and many drinks) were high on the priority list. After all, there were cloths, electricity, housing, food, involvements in plays, dedication to proving society wrong that single parents rear the worst stock; barby dolls, Nintendo games, stereos, fancy dresses, limo rentals for proms, automobiles, field trips (as simple as the zoo, later escalating to trips to Washington to explore how real journalism was done)… then came the time when the story teller was under the impression that motherhood was about over. Her baby almost ready for college (which of course there was no other choice for the story teller’s single parent child.), what would she do with her life?
It was at that point where I began to read anything and everything there was available about screen writing. I swear I read, even studied the good ones, any book written prior to 1993 on the subject. I would read in the library. I would read in my home. I would read in my car. I would read at the book store. And all the while I was writing that master script. I kept reading, writing and studying for almost a year; even took some classes at a local community college. My daughter went off to college. I closed shop on my business and took a counseling job in another state… all the while writing, rewriting, studying, planning for my future in California.
Then the day arrived, two years later, the script was done. It was a masterpiece. Hollywood would welcome me with open arms and praise.
I threw all my belongings into storage. A two bedroom house full of twenty-two years got locked away for my daughter’s taking. I gave her the keys to the storage, loaded my cougar with my dog, my cat, my guitar, my CD’s, my pillows, my computer, a few cloths and headed out to chase a dream long abandoned in a lost youth.
I took my time driving to California, enjoyed my new-found freedom and the bliss from the terror. Oh, we are truly blessed people, those of us that live in this country. It is so big and so incredibly beautiful; different parts like different kingdoms.
Once arriving in California I began to meet as many people as possible. I started to use every outlet imaginable to learn how to get my script seen. Again, the libraries and the bookstores were my best friend. I even took a job as a clerk in Barnes and Noble when my savings got low, just so I could read and be around readers. (I would like to share what a wonderful experience that was, but it sucked. When I was reprimanded for saying god-bless to someone I started hitting the pavement for an office job.) I spent many spare hours in LA meeting people. EVERYONE there was in the business, even when they were not in the business. Los Angeles and the surrounding towns (Hollywood, Santa Monica, etc) were eclectic Mecca’s… way different than anything I ever experienced in Kansas or Oklahoma.
My first day out, I found an agent. She took my script with much enthusiasm (translation; I did all the work.) I continued to read everything I could to educate myself. I researched production companies that did movies similar to my script. I researched reader’s names and contact information. I talked about my story and shared it with anyone that would give me the time. I sent out multiple copies, promising myself I would take my time to accept just the right offer when all the offers came back.
And then they came, rejection after rejection after rejection after rejection… and some, thank the good lord, with great words of wisdom and feedback. Two more years had passed. My law school student daughter and her husband secretly thinking me insane. I was not discouraged. The big fat liar, who once had the big fat belly, got big fat determined. I did what any writer would do, I wrote another script.
Now that script, a girly flick, started to get some attention. My agent was calling me asking questions. Where I was like, “ah, I don’t know. That’s why I have you.” Ron Howard’s partners wife’s assistant called asking me for more pages (they liked what they saw, but didn’t think I sent them an ending… of course I had, yet I claimed blonde) Many other companies called. My agent called with more questions. Time for a new agent I surmised.
I research the hell out of agents. I needed one who would know the ropes, yet have a charitable heart in the community. Someone I could trust. I found just the guy. He and his wife did major work with autism’s in the community, he had been around forever in the business, and represented the likes of some major players (now, don’t misinterpret that. I am not one of those people who goes ga ga over entertainment folks. Having been a model for a bit, that kind of thing didn’t and never has impressed me.) Yet this guy, in my opinion, was perfect for me and for my work. I sent him the screenplay with a letter summarizing the story, only to have it returned weeks later unopened with a nice generic letter talking about unsolicited material.
Well. I just couldn’t have that! I prayed. I asked for forgiveness ahead of time. I plotted. I planned. I prayed. I thought, thought, thought… how was I going to get in to see this guy? He WAS going to see me. He WAS going to read my work. IT was going to happen. And then, it hit me.
THE PLAN: . . .
Have a grand day all!