I’m a little late to share this news. I found out Friday night while celebrating my nephew’s sixth birthday that I am one of the three winners of the 2015 VirginiaScreenwriting Competition.

This is one of those things that you didn’t realize you really wanted it until you actually got it.

I needed this because somewhere along the line I lost that belief in myself that I could write something worth filming. Though it is a small competition it is still a good barometer of sorts that I can write a great story. I can compete with my peers and I can see that when stacks against them…I can hold my own as a writer.


While On The Plane To New Orleans…

new script

I had an idea creep up on me. I lowered that plastic tray off the back of the seat in front of me, pulled out my notebook and pen, and began writing. I hand wrote only a few scenes but really may have stumbled upon a good story. The story came to me while listening to a Lucinda Williams song called “Get Right With God.”

I’m not a religious person, far from it. Perhaps that’s why the scene came to me and is severely so far from getting right from God that a character could get. Opening scene is a character living in a desolate area, obviously not having a pot to piss in so to speak, who is confronted by his past in the form of a pistol at the back of his head. We know not what he has done, we know not of what the person holding the pistol is there for exactly…but I can see this scene so clearly in my head playing with this song kicking off the opening credits after the short open.

I’m piecing together my handwritten story now and I’ll transfer it soon to MM and post it here. Maybe I’ll get lucky and get a comment on the style and the story and see if this thing could have legs.

My Fiancée…

she finally read my script the other night (the one that made it to the finals). She loved it and even had some great notes/ideas for me that I’ll try out when I crack open the re-write. 

It’s nice having a partner who bounces ideas back with me while laying in bed. She’s not a writer and I think that’s more helpful. She sees things as a viewer…as one of my audience members. That’s probably more valuable than most notes I could get because she’s the singular version of the masses I want to write for. 

Anyways, it was nice to talk about my script with her and get her reaction to it. She tried to talk to me about it the other night when she first read it but I was in the midst of being asleep and being awake and was completely useless. 

She said she got goosebumps and even cried at certain points. That’s a good thing! 



No matter what size the validation is…it’s enough to get me going again. I recently found out that my screenplay was selected as a finalist for the Virginia Screenwriting Competition. The short bit of notes I received for the submission were spot on and now I can’t wait to tackle a re-write of the script. I’m not sure if I will do a page one re-write, but I know that there’s quite a bit of room for the story to grow some more for at least two characters that could really add to the overall story at hand.

I’ve been neglectful of writing in general. I have recently found some strong footing in life that I’m more hopeful about the future and what it holds…and getting this email just piled up on top off all the good fortunes being tossed my way that I absolutely can’t ignore it. I can’t ignore what it could possibly mean. That maybe I really CAN do this screenwriting thing.

So here’s to attempt number 198274124970746…hopefully I can make it count.

New Script Started…


I usually HATE writing outlines. I hate them with a passion. I hate them like I hate blankets for our blankets (duvets, I guess is what they’re supposed to be called). I hate them like I hate wasting a glass to pour one drink from a glass (okay, soda can) into another glass. I don’t like writing before I’m writing. But, I guess it’s a necessary evil and it actually has proven to be useful in the past for me.

There’s a lot of writers out there that can’t stand any kind of “book” on writing. They turn their noses up at what the book may have to offer. I’m not saying I love everything a “guru” may have to offer… but if they’ve produced/sold a script then I’m thinking maybe they may have something to offer to help me grow as a writer.

I LOVE Blake Snyder’s (rest in peace, sir) “Save the Cat” and more importantly I love his “beat sheet.” Let me tell you what… a beat sheet is almost like a cheat sheet for outlining. It’s very basic. It allows a writer to get the main ideas, the solid chunks of meat of the story, out into the open. So that’s where I begin my journey after that quick and short free write.

I’m wondering if any of my followers have a system in place to foster success in completing a piece of writing… what’s your go to tool to get the job done?


I wrote this for class an hour before it was due after putting it off for too long… procrastination is my life.

Nora Ephron. Callie Khouri. Leigh Brackett. Tina Fey. Victoria Nye. These women are all screenwriters. Okay, so the last one might be a screenwriter… she just isn’t paid like the others, or dead like some of the others. That last on the list, that’s me!

Screenwriting found me when I was fresh out of high school. The format of it, the seduction of it, grabbed a hold of me and never let go. I always had a passion for writing short stories. I have been writing stories in some shape or form for as long as I can remember being able to write a complete sentence. I spent all four years of high school involved in theater where I gained experience in writing stage plays for class. Being able to see my words on paper come to life in class with students acting in them opened me up to a whole new world of bringing the written word to life! That’s when my mind started coming to life about film and writing for film.

My parents never forced us into a church. My dad was a non-practicing Jew. My mother was a non-practicing Baptist. I might have completed one whole week of some sort of vacation bible school at one point. I can’t really recall what happened there and the only proof I have of ever being there was a butterfly cutout that was pasted to a clothes pin that my mom used for years to hold the bottom of her calendar together. Instead our church was the movie theater. My mom would take me there just about every other Saturday. We saw every kind of movie. When we weren’t at the movie theater she would bring me to the video rental store. Movies have always been a solid part of my life. The fact that there was someone who wrote these movies wasn’t something I had ever considered. The moment I realized that screenplays where the thing the ball rolling for a film to be made, well, there was no stopping me.

There’s been a mostly dry spell that has continued for the last six years. Not without reason though! I went through a metamorphosis when I was 28 when I came out of the closet. The years before that, though, I discovered a never ending well of ideas within me. Ideas that came to me in what I called the “movie projector of my mind.” When a character comes to me while I’m sleeping… or a scene comes to me when I’m driving, that moment of conception just plays over and over in my mind and I build backwards and forwards from there. When I can actually sit down and write I feel at home. I get in a zone where the world around me is a blur and people can come and go and ask me questions and I don’t hear any of it. I’m in a world all my own with a character telling me their story that I’m typing out with great care so as to not miss a beat in this character’s life.

My experience is limited with screenwriting. I have more half written ones that completed ones. Grand total completed is three. Force Majeure, the very first screenplay I ever wrote, was submitted The Virginia Governor’s Screenwriting Competition 2005 where the screenplay made it as a finalist (http://www.film.virginia.org/for-virginians/how-to-get-involved/virginia-screenwriting-competition/screenwriting-competition-2005/)! This was a huge win for me personally as it gave me the confidence that maybe I did have a talent for screenwriting after all. My second screenplay didn’t achieve as much as I wanted but I enjoyed writing it and thoroughly enjoyed doing the research I needed because it was a period piece. My third screenplay I am most proud of. That one is my baby. It needs a lot of more work on it, don’t get me wrong, but for a script that was cobbled together in just a week it has a lot going for it. I submitted it to Amazon Studios first screenwriting competition in 2010. Far From Home made it to the semi-finals! A script that was just a rough draft and was submitted on a whim made the initial cut! (http://hollywonk.com/post/2716349695).

My greatest challenge now is to overcome this dry spell. I had a brief come-back with a short screenplay. I wrote up a short just four hours before a deadline and submitted it to the Blue Cat Short Screenplay Competition 2012. Sunrise on a Cloudy Morning made it to the quarter-finals (http://www.bluecatscreenplay.com/short-screenplay-competition/). A short that was created from start to finish in the writing process made the initial cut! I decided then that I really did have a talent for this but I needed direction and stronger foundation. This is why I am here, enrolled in classes, with Southern New Hampshire University. I need structure and I need outlined goals in order for me to make this a success. I know I will achieve success. I don’t want the money or the fame within the film community. I just want to create these stories and have these stories connect with people the way other’s stories have connected with me. I want to be on that list of names for some other writer who adds theirs next to mine because I inspired them. One day… that is exactly where I will be.