January – the first month of the year, and for most people the month to initiate great change in their lives. January can also be a very sad time as some of your expectations either don’t start off or gain momentum as you had hoped. It’s a month to keep your wits about you, as it will test you more than any other month of the whole year. As a serial and experienced January goal-maker, I have started to redefine how I look at a year. I’ve also come to realize that almost any goal will need to be reevaluated and redefined multiple times before the final outcome occurs. The real question is – are you going to stick with it? Is it important enough to ride the roller coaster for? All big dreams and goals take sacrifice, usually more than you could have originally imagined. But you wanted it for a reason, so don’t give up under the pressures of a moody month!

This month for me is the equivalent of being poked continuously in the ass by pins and needles. This month will set a tone for Little Cabbage, especially in the few weeks to come. We’ve had a few big wins already – we are a finalist in the well-respected Hammer to Nail competition for the winter quarter (huge!) and we’ve already gotten our first festival acceptance (to be announced very soon). We were also nominated for the “People to Watch” category for the Georgia Entertainment Awards. With that being said, there are a handful of pending festival notifications that are hugely important to us that should arrive before the beginning of February (and a few after that). Please please please send us all of the posi vibes!! I know we will need serious momentum going into the feature Electric Bleau later this year.

I am happy to report that James and I started eating better in late December, and continue to follow through with that commitment. We both cut out alcohol until James’ birthday (which is this Thursday!). I might go even longer as my skin is looking really great, and alcohol is an eating trigger for me. I’m pretty sure that I will cut out red wine forever from my diet because of the reaction it causes to my rosacea. This is a sad, sad fact in my life. However, I look forward to finding other drinks that my body agrees with more without the negative consequences. :)

In other news, I’m keeping busy with a lot of great freelance work and writing. My freelance mostly consists of design and video work for some amazing nonprofits here in Atlanta. I am looking to add a client or two potentially in the coming months, so keep me on your radar if you hear of something fun! I really, really want to have a solid second draft of Electric Bleau finished by the end of January/early February…so that’s high on my radar. Once that’s complete, then I can start getting some notes from a few respected peers as well as starting the conversation about how to get it funded. I also want to start early this time around on casting. I already have some big ideas!

Special night out with some long-time best friends - Jenny Faye @ Susan!

Special night out with some long-time best friends – Jenny Faye @ Susan!

My mom having a tasty beverage in Destin!

My mom having a tasty beverage in Destin!

Family pic for 2015! I need to photoshop Amber's head in. :)

Family pic for 2015! I need to photoshop Amber’s head in. :)

Welcoming in a new year surrounded by peace & love.

Welcoming in a new year surrounded by peace & love.

Happy Birthday Jeffrey!

Happy Birthday Jeffrey!

A slumbering BK.

A slumbering BK. Photo by James.

Sunset

Sunset

The Bean has endless energy.

The Bean has endless energy.

Happy New Year from Abigail Rose!

Happy New Year from Abigail Rose!

Annual cornhole tournament.

Annual cornhole tournament.

We live the best neighborhood full of amazing murals.

We live the best neighborhood full of amazing murals. This one is by our friend BlackCatTips!

Georgia Entertainment Gala

Georgia Entertainment Gala

Walk on the beltline w Pam, James & Cilantro!

Walk on the beltline w Pam, James & Cilantro!

2014 was a daring, rewarding, and fun year. There were certainly challenges and sad happenings, but overall it leaves me with a sense of pride and gratitude. I will attempt to name some of the high points:

On the passion project level, we killed it. I finished (for the most part) a feature script that I hope to start making in 2015 called Electric Bleau during a creative residency with the Cucalorus Film Festival. I spent 2.5 months in another city focused on this alone, leaving my normal day-to-day life. James helped make this possible – and for that I can never thank him enough. Speaking of James, together we made a music video for St. Paul and the Broken Bones (was it a dream?) and we tackled the massive short film project that is Little Cabbage. We learned lessons that we will take with us into 2015, and shared experiences that we will remember forever. Damn – we are a good team.

Professionally I took some risks. I left my 9-5 in January for the creative residency, then relied on freelance for the remainder of the year. I’ve done fulfilling marketing/design/video work for places like Piedmont Park, Historic Oakland Cemetery and Zoo Atlanta. I also did some writing that I am proud of. Because of this freedom and flexibility, I was able to step back and take a look at what I really want in the short-term and long-term. There are still questions that need answering when it comes to money-making possibilities in 2015, but I am actively pursuing several options. Ultimately I want to do work I love, that financially enables me to keep following my dreams in film.

Experience-wise, 2014 was full of new places and people. Bonnaroo remains a high point for us each year, and we plan to go again in 2015. My trip out to California in April for the Sonoma International Film Festival was a remarkable one, and just so happens to be where I met our Executive Producer on Little Cabbage. James and I have met & made so many new filmmaker friends this year…and each one of them inspires us to be better. Speaking of friends, my pool in Atlanta continues to grow. I feel like I am part of a community here of like-minded folks, which is more than I could have ever asked for after leaving Birmingham. I really, really miss Birmingham. I see her growth from afar, and it makes me proud. I go back as often as I can, and it fills me with a happiness like nothing else. Several dear friends got married this year, too. Those were very special moments for us.

In 2014 we lost and gained some people in our lives. My remarkable Aunt Shirley passed away in January. She was a strong woman who always stood up for what she believed in, and was a true fighter for love and life. I remember seeing her last Christmas, and our final hug goodbye. It was as if she knew. The service was packed for her life celebration, there was a special magic in the air. She is missed and remembered by many. In July we welcomed my newest niece Abigail Rose, born to my sister Rachel and brother-in-law David. A highlight from this year is playing future game for her on the beach the day she was born, predicting all of the wonderful things she will do in her life. She is a sweet little girl full of hope & promise.

This is my last paragraph, I swear! I do want to state a few of my intentions for 2015. I know not everyone believes in resolutions, but I thrive on visualizing the future. I want to make my feature in the next 365 days…at least have it in the can. I want to do more short form pieces – maybe another music video, maybe a commercial or two, maybe an actual short film. We will see what opportunities present themselves. I want to be healthier, and in a weight range I am happy with. We’ve already started making steps towards this. I want to spend quality time with my family and friends, creating more memories and appreciating them. I want to keep exploring, keep having fun, keep dreaming even bigger. I want to take challenges, failures, and disappointments with grace and turn them into something positive. I want to embrace being in my mid-30’s. I want to release hate, fear, anger and resentment when they arise. I want to forgive easily….including myself. I am ready for 2015 and everything it brings.

Dad & Owen

Dad & Owen

O'fella's first birthday!

O’fella’s first birthday!

Lily loves James' snowman cheese ball.

Lily loves James’ snowman cheese ball.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones in Atlanta, playing at the Fox ballroom!

St. Paul and the Broken Bones in Atlanta, playing at the Fox ballroom!

Christmas selfie.

Christmas selfie.

Sloss Furnace + James

Sloss Furnace + James

Sloss Furnace

Sloss Furnace

Anna & Lucy at ZOO Atlanta!

Anna & Lucy at ZOO Atlanta!

Hanging out with cute animals.

Hanging out with cute animals.

2014 selfies in print form from James.

2014 selfies in print form from James.

Cilantro has a new best friend named Cincinnati Fred.

Cilantro has a new best friend named Cincinnati Fred.

Lots of amazing food explorations with James' family! This is an awesome burger joint called Terry's.

Lots of amazing food explorations with James’ family! This is an awesome burger joint called Terry’s.

Brainstorming 2015 dreams & goals with James.

Brainstorming 2015 dreams & goals with James.

Eeks! It’s been a hot minute…and you know what? I’m ok with that. Four years ago I posted every day for over a year (I still don’t know how I did that) and have consistently managed to post on the regular ever since. Actually… my blog will be five years old in March! I am quickly approaching 1,000 posts to The Jen West Quest. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but when I think back on everything I’ve written about since then I realize it’s been quite a quest indeed. There have been major life changes across the board, multiple times. A lot of you have been reading from the very beginning too. I know who you are. Thank you for your friendship. 2014 has seen a shift in posting less often, but I anticipate that changing in the new year. I have new goals and new journeys to share. I wouldn’t want to embark on anything significant without including you.

Speaking of 2014 – she has been very kind to us. I know it’s been a rough go for some, but when you get the good you have to recognize and embrace. We’ve made some big projects happen and I’ve taken some significant risks that were impeccably rewarding. The biggest one being jolting off to Wilmington, NC for a creative residency where I spent 2.5 months writing Electric Bleau (companion feature to Little Cabbage) and living very minimally in order to make it happen. I’m so glad I took advantage of that opportunity. I consider Wilmington a home away from home, and the people there have supported me as an artist in ways that I can never repay.

2015 brings challenges that I can’t wait to take on. I am chomping at the bit to start preproduction on this feature (but taking my time polishing the script, first) and I also want to reclaim my health. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I fluctuate with my weight…but that never means that I’m ok with being complacent. It’s time to get moving again. I will not let my knee be an excuse anymore for abandoning one of my greatest loves – exercise. I miss miss miss endurance challenges like triathlon and longer runner events. I know I can do them all if I put the strength work in. As my brother-in-law says (PT pro), I will have to condition and train in order to run again. I am also going to focus on bringing my weight back down a bit. I’ve decided to not be ashamed about this, but to be excited. Only positive things to look forward to! I’m ready to put the work in.

This weekend we are heading to Birmingham for my family Christmas celebration… PLUS the private screening for Little Cabbage! If you were a part of making this film happen in any way and haven’t gotten the details, please let me know. We hope to see all of you there so we can thank you in person.

We got some big news recently that was announced yesterday: James and I, as a duo, were nominated for the “People to Watch” category for the 2015 Georgia Entertainment Awards! This made my brain explode. What a huge honor to be recognized in a city that houses so many types of filmmakers and creative innovators. We hope to continue to make our communities proud (including my hometown of Birmingham) as we go forth and make more films. Looks like James will be taking on his first directing project soon, too…

Bubbles, blue skies and Brandi Baker in the ATL!

Bubbles, blue skies and Brandi Baker in the ATL!

Me & Vero in Miami - enjoying her success! Congrats!

Me & Vero in Miami – enjoying her success! Congrats!

Thanksgiving in Cincinnati! Always a fun time.

Thanksgiving in Cincinnati! Always a fun time.

Dipping our toes in the Miami scene.

Dipping our toes in the Miami scene.

Vero and her dream avocado!

Vero and her dream avocado!

James made me a surprise 6 course dinner one night. <3

James made me a surprise 6 course dinner one night. <3

Fish fry in Cincinnati. I live for this!

Fish fry in Cincinnati. I live for this! Photo by James.

Private screening of Little Cabbage in Atlanta at the Plaza Theatre. Amazing night!

Private screening of Little Cabbage in Atlanta at the Plaza Theatre. Amazing night!

Vero and me in Miami! She won a free trip as a winner of the Seagram's calendar art competition. Thanks for inviting me to come along!

Vero and me in Miami! She won a free trip as a winner of the Seagram’s calendar art competition. Thanks for inviting me to come along!

Where to start? I feel so fulfilled, inspired, energized and emotional…in the best possible ways. James and I just returned from the 20th annual Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, NC, where I was fortunate enough to spend a 2.5 month residence earlier this year. There isn’t anything else out there quite like Cucalorus. It’s hard to explain, and can only truly be understood once you are deep into its web of spectacular weirdness. I saw so many amazing pieces of work over the course of four days – filmmakers who covered a broad range of talents and voices. I also finally watched Joy Kevin after missing it at Indie Memphis, which turned out to be one of my favorite films of 2014. As luck would have it, it’s been released to the public as of this week! Carve out a few hours in your schedule ASAP and then click here to watch. It’s the story of two married creatives, navigating the ever-changing balance of art and co-habitation. It’s funny, real, dark and magical. Beautifully written, and brilliantly casted. Go, watch!

I am so proud to say I’ve witnessed the birth of a powerful filmmaker this year – Mandi Edwards. She was my Cucalorus creative residence partner in crime, hailing from England. She created a short documentary called Guns in the House – a statement piece about violence and the surrounding politics in Wilmington. It’s so good that a local paper named it the #4 short film to see out of a pool of 140 short narratives & docs. She bravely stepped into a controversial conversation armed with definitive research and questions for the community. Remember her name in the years to come!

Our screening for Call Me went amazingly well – we had the honor of opening up for Leah Meyerhoff’s I Believe in Unicorns! Ah! I’ve been dying to see her feature, and it was well worth the wait. It’s identifiable, haunting and visually stunning. A huge heartfelt thanks to everyone at Cucalorus. Speaking of which – CONGRATS to several in our festival family who made a very important list this week! Flyway Film Festival, Sidewalk Film Festival, Indie Memphis and Cucalorus all made MovieMaker Magazine’s 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World. That’s pretty amazing.

Outside of the film universe – my parents had their 36th anniversary this week, and The Bean turned 4! We head to Jacksonville, FL this weekend to see my sister Rachel, David and baby Abi-do. I can’t wait. We have a tremendous amount of traveling coming up in the coming weeks, which is a tad overwhelming but also exciting. Each trip has an important purpose. I am grateful to have the opportunity to do so many beautiful & amazing things.

Happy Birthday Bean!

Happy Birthday Bean!

Happy Anniversary to my mom & dad!!!

Happy Anniversary to my mom & dad!!!

Mandi in Q&A for Guns in the House.

Mandi in Q&A for Guns in the House.

Happy!

Happy!

Cucalorus funny faces.

Cucalorus funny faces.

Reunited with Hannah Cheesman, and new friend Mackenzie.

Reunited with Hannah Cheesman, and new friend Mackenzie.

Sitting with the filmmakers of Joy Kevin for their screening, along with my friend Stephen Cone.

Sitting with the filmmakers of Joy Kevin for their screening, along with my friend Stephen Cone.

Joy Kevin Q&A

Joy Kevin Q&A

Cape Fear

Cape Fear

Hannah & Mackenzie Q&A with the fabulous Ingrid Veninger

Hannah & Mackenzie Q&A with the fabulous Ingrid Veninger

Mandi & James

Mandi & James

Hannah & Mackenzie during quick beach trip!

Hannah & Mackenzie during quick beach trip! Check out their new web series Whatever, Linda – their trailer went live this week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guabFCtG9qQ

Special female filmmaker friends.

Special female filmmaker friends.

Airport shenanigans.

Airport shenanigans.

My dear friend Mandi Edwards.

My dear friend Mandi Edwards.

Play-doh at Jengo's.

Play-doh at Jengo’s.

At the screening for Call Me before I Believe in Unicorns with director Leah Meyerhoff.

At the screening for Call Me before I Believe in Unicorns with director Leah Meyerhoff.

At the Cucalorus secret screening closing film.

At the Cucalorus secret screening closing film.

Film Fatales Wilmington

Film Fatales Wilmington

I can’t believe Halloween 2014 is already behind us! I made my way over to the Indie Memphis Film Festival over the weekend where I met up with several filmmakers friends for a few days of fun. And it was absolutely freezing!!! I caught a few features that really inspired me – their programming is always spot on. I also sat in on some fascinating panels/talks that really fueled my fire. Next year will be even better I’m sure – and fingers crossed that we will be able to attend with Little Cabbage!

Today James and I head a few hours north to the mountains to write and create. My mom & dad were kind enough to let us use some cabin credits, and they will be joining us as well in their RV down the way. During my 8 hour bus ride to Memphis (ack!) I came up with a really solid concept that I’d like to develop for a series and/or film. It’s very me – while allowing the opportunity to explore a decade that I really love and write about a lifestyle that lends itself to all sorts of changing circumstances. It also incorporates an idea I’ve had in the past, which I mentioned in my last blog post. I am also going to officially reopen my Electric Bleau script and devise a game plan to polish it up for presentation. I honesty don’t know what my next big project will be yet, but I have a feeling it’s soon to reveal itself.

This week I had the amazing privilege of interviewing Ms. Lillian Deakins Timberlake (along with my work wife Hella Pamela), first cousin of the late Margaret Mitchell (author of Gone with the Wind) with Oakland Cemetery for their new series called Living Links. The amazing guys at Mixed Bag Media helped us capture this magical moment on film forever. I knew it would be special, but little did we know how wonderful it would be. When we first walked in the door of her 1916 home, she was just coming down in her little wooden elevator. It was the best entrance! When the doors opened, this beautiful smile greeted us that never left her face for the next two hours. She talked all about her 92 years on this earth, her family, her cousin Margaret, and a lot about how Gone with the Wind impacted their lives. When the video is finished next week, I will be sure to share a link. I’m not in it at all… just off-screen asking questions trying not to geek out.

I realized that last month marked my one year anniversary in Atlanta – isn’t that crazy? Just when you think time is flying by… all you really need to do is think about where you were exactly one year ago today. We’ve done two big productions (Call Me and Little Cabbage), I did a three-month creative residency in Wilmington, I’ve moved to Atlanta to live with James, we’ve added a cat and a dog to our family, and a niece and a nephew were welcomed. Not to mention countless other things if I really sat down and thought about it. Yet, it seems time is slipping through my finger tips. Maybe that’s an illusion of my own making – and honestly I think it might be. We fit every ounce of happiness, joy and experience we can into our days. I really miss living in Birmingham for a multitude of reasons, but I think Atlanta is where I am supposed to be right now…and she treats me very well! Happy to have these two southern cities to call home.

James as Young Santa. ;)

James as Young Santa for Halloween. ;)

I got to interview Margaret Mitchell's first cousin, Ms. Lillian, for Oakland Cemetery's new series Living Links.

Interview with Margaret Mitchell’s first cousin, Ms. Lillian, for Oakland Cemetery’s new series Living Links.

IMG_0836

Ms. Lillian

Indie Memphis!

Indie Memphis!

Saturday crew at Indie Memphis

Saturday crew at Indie Memphis

Azza & Cilantro

Azza & Cilantro

My soul sister, Baby Kitty.

My soul sister, Baby Kitty.

Meghan & Hella Pamela!

Meghan & Hella Pamela!

Oakland Butterflies

Oakland Butterflies

Sunset walk with my parents, the Bean & pups.

Sunset walk with my parents, the Bean & pups.

The Bean!

The Bean!

This morning I sit with all of the doors open to let in the cool 50 degree weather, with the floor heater blasting on my feet. It’s a comfort that I love so much. Baby Kitty sits right next to me soaking up all of the extra warmth. It has been a perfect fall so far here in the southeast – highs in the 70’s for weeks with lows in the 50’s/40’s. This weather could only be sweeter with someone to snuggle with, but alas James is in his own personal heaven at Portland Cocktail Week adventuring as The Sipologist. :) He is missed by me and all of these animals. We can’t wait for him to come back on Sunday!

Speaking of those I love, I had several special treats this week! Rebecca Pugh (co director of Crush and a long-time best friend) passed through Atlanta and stayed the night with me Tuesday. It was like old times – we watched horror films, talked and drank bubbles. We caught each other up on all of the life events we’ve missed, and talked about our dreams for the future. Much to my happiness, Rebecca decided to skip out on her flight up north the next day and followed me back to Birmingham where I got to spend time with my family and another fun-filled night with Rebecca & Vero. We realized that the last time all three of us were together was exactly one year ago, the evening before Rebecca and I flew out to the Flyway Film Festival (which I am so sad to miss this year!!!). The whole thing felt written in the stars.

Since I last wrote, Little Cabbage was submitted to its first film festival! It’s about 95% complete… soon to be even closer on the next version. It was a BIG moment passing it off. You always feel a little naked showing those first few folks what you’ve spent the better part of a year working on. Feedback is critical, but you have to use a keen sense of judgement to know what to take to heart as something that could improve the film and what to interpret as someone’s personal taste. It’s something I still struggle to master sometimes. With that being said though, it’s damn good!!! I wish we could just show everybody now. :D

I am excited about several things currently – polishing up my feature Electric Bleau (of which Little Cabbage is a prologue to) and starting on a completely separate concept for another feature (or possible series that I can pitch). It’s based on an idea that I had 4-5 years ago…if I choose to go in that direction. I also have project with a friend here in ATL that I hope picks up steam soon, it’s a beautiful concept that I feel could be loved by many. Most of all – I’m just ecstatic to have things in the pipeline baking to perfection for the years to come.

As always, the coming weeks are full of activities and travels. First on the docket is attending the Indie Memphis Film Festival (as guests!) next weekend. We have nothing screening this time around but will be making the journey to be present at this awesome fest. The middle of November is the Cucalorus Film Festival, of which we have our music video for St. Paul and the Broken Bones screening, and something super secret on top of that. It’s going to be very special, and we can’t thank them enough. In addition to all of the film happenings in Wilmington, I will be reunited with my spring creative residency roomie Mandi Edwards!!! Plus all of my other amazing friends that I have in that town, who I miss so much.

One more last thing – CONGRATS to our friends Wendy & Jeffrey on their marriage! It couldn’t have been a more perfect day. Thanks for letting us be a part of it.

James taking video of ATL from Marta.

James taking video of ATL from Marta.

Rebecca with her morning cup of coffee before our Birmingham adventures.

Rebecca with her morning cup of coffee before our Birmingham adventures.

My mom and the Bean at McWane Science Center!

My mom and the Bean at McWane Science Center!

Bros with bubbles.

Bros with bubbles.

:)

:)

Rebecca reunion

Rebecca reunion

Fortune!

Fortune!

Jeffrey & Wendy's wedding

Jeffrey & Wendy’s wedding

Me and Hella Pamela

Me and Hella Pamela

My BOO

My BOO

Atlanta friends <3

Atlanta friends <3

Me & Wendy on her wedding day!

Me & Wendy on her wedding day!

October is always a busy month – events, work, Halloween, fall happenings, weddings… you name it, we have it going on. This week I made a short visit to Columbus, GA to see my sister Christy & her family! It’s a wonderful reality check for me to experience someone’s life that’s vastly different from my own routine. Christy’s days are full of endurance training and caring for three little ones (all under 5). When I go to her house, I feel like I enter a real home. She has all of her awesome Halloween goodies up (she is the best holiday decorator!) and her walls are full to the brim of life & love. I would call it simple joys, but it’s so much more than that. She has chosen to take her life journey with four other souls in a unique way that I so appreciate. I am also grateful that she lets me come and enjoy what she has created whenever I want. A visit with the Schrecks reminds me that there is so much more to living than deadlines and reaching the next big milestone/accomplishment. It’s about everyday love… and just being there with those you care about.

This afternoon James and I are heading to Birmingham for a quick visit, before all of the real October craziness sets in. I am hoping that some Sloss Fright Furnace is in my future this evening! I hope to also make it down to see my sister Rachel soon in Jacksonville… as I haven’t seen baby Abi-do since she was born in July! That breaks my heart. However, I can look forward to seeing her family in November for a pre-Thanksgiving family get-together, and then again for our annual family New Year’s trip. You can bet your booty that I will be giving that baby some serious love.

Next week we are going to see Little Cabbage for the first time with ALL components – sound design, score, special effects, color correction and title sequences. That was fast, huh? We have a lot of people to thank for the speed – especially Mr. Joe Walker. We have also started talking about our cast/crew/supporter private screenings for early December in Atlanta & Birmingham. If you helped us in some way along the line you can expect an invitation. James is spearheading these events, along with our dear friend Meghan! Our friends at the Cucalorus Film Fest also have something special up their sleeve for those who plan on being in attendance. That’s all I can say about that, though… :)

This coming Monday – Wednesday I will be in Rapid City, South Dakota to speak at an AAF meeting on how to use social media and crowdfunding to fuel your projects! I’ve never considered myself an expert in either medium…but I do have experiences worth sharing and I certainly know a thing or two about finding creative ways to make your passion projects come to life! Excited to meet new friends and to explore a new city.

Cucalorus!!

Cucalorus!!

The Schreck crew!

The Schreck crew!

As fall moves in like a giant overstuffed pillow, I am feeling the excitement that the last half of the year always brings. In the coming weeks Little Cabbage will continue to grow into a finished film, thanks to the many talented hands that are very busy right now sculpting it into something special. Captain Joe Walker is navigating this ship to shore with determination and fierce ambition. I know it’s in the capable care of Joe, Jim Roberson, Anderson Alden, Paul Williamson & Clint Jones (as well as James Martin, who is managing the overall schedule & creating the art/credits). It’s incredibly humbling to know that others feel equally passionate about making it the best that we can.

Since I last wrote, James and I have been lucky enough to see two rough cuts from Joe Walker – both of which were very promising on all levels! Not a viewing goes by where I don’t scream out of excitement. If you haven’t seen them already, you should check out our full behind-the-scenes photography on FB (thanks to Matthew Wong, our official photographer, and others who took the time to capture their experiences).

While we are in the post production phase, life continues to happen all around. Last weekend I got the opportunity to celebrate my dear friend Wendy Rutherford at her bachelorette weekend in Asheville, North Carolina! It was an amazing time – food, wine, fall weather, friends, laughter, chocolate…all the things that make life happy. This weekend James and I head to Louisville to celebrate one of my oldest best friends – Lee Ann Massey. She asked me to be in her wedding party… I haven’t been a bridesmaid since college (where I’m sure I reached a world record of being a bridesmaid 6 times in one year)! I am so happy for Lee Ann and can’t wait to watch her marry the love of her life. We are about to walk out the door and head that direction.

This weekend my sister Christy competes in the Augusta Half Ironman! She is such a BOSS. This will be her second Half to compete in, and she’s worked very hard to get there. I really miss my triathlon days. It’s hard to describe the joy of crossing an endurance race finish line… in fact, it’s a lot like the milestones while making a film. You go through all the same phases – the dreaming, planning, fear, confidence, moments of doubt, moments of triumph, exhaustion and hopefully success. It’s like a mini version of life, condensed into a short amount of time. I personally love the roller coaster of emotions that lead to accomplishing important life moments. You feel like you’ve really done something significant in your own timeline. Christy – you inspire me!

Speaking of people who inspire others – HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mom!! I was able to spend it with her last week in Birmingham, which will always be one of my favorite places on earth. I got to have lunch with her, my grandmother and the Bean overlooking the city. Four generations together on a sunny day, all for my mom. While in town I also got to see Vero & Brandi – a mini reunion over veggies, wine and porch time at Casa de Loco.

This fall I want to finish script revisions on my first feature film, Electric Bleau, and also start brainstorming other babies. In the past few years I’ve become interested in scripted series, similar those found on Netflix. The way in which we watch content is in a very exciting phase right now. It might be fun to brainstorm what a non-film project would look like in our future. Another thing I want to focus on is developing multiple projects at one time. As I start to evaluate what 2015 looks like, that will be a high priority on the list.  I can’t believe it’s already time to start planning for a new year.

I should start writing more often… this post was entirely too long. My apologies. :D

My mom & grandmother <3

My mom & grandmother <3

Four generations.

Four generations.

Escape into the clouds.

Escape into the clouds.

Cilantro loves grass.

Cilantro loves grass. Photo by James Martin.

Bachelorette weekend!

Bachelorette weekend!

Heading out to Asheville in the Atlanta Movie Tours bus!

Heading out to Asheville in the Atlanta Movie Tours bus!

Post chocolate smiles.

Post chocolate smiles.

We discovered an amazing Speakeasy in Asheville called the Thirsty Monk.

We discovered an amazing Speakeasy in Asheville called the Thirsty Monk.

Exploring the Biltmore!

Exploring the Biltmore!

Just a small sample of the chocolates we at at French Broad Chocolates.

Just a small sample of the chocolates we at at French Broad Chocolates. Photo by Wendy Rutherford.

Tour at French Broad Chocolates in Asheville!

Tour at French Broad Chocolates in Asheville! Photo by Wendy Rutherford.

Cheers to Wendy!

Cheers to Wendy!

First Falcons game of 2014 with Greg & Krista!

First Falcons game of 2014 with Greg & Krista!

Joe Walker working his usual magic.

Joe Walker working his usual magic (with James on Skype!).

Happy Birthday Jamiejean916!!

Happy Birthday Jamiejean916!!

Love & limoncello.

Love & limoncello.

My apologies for not posting sooner – but I’m very proud to say that Little Cabbage is a WRAP!!! We shot last weekend (Friday – Sunday) in Atlanta with a 50% Birmingham, 49% Atlanta, & 1% Wilmington crew. :D It actually just occurred to me that each place I’ve called home in the last year was represented in some way. That’s a very special thing!! I’m especially glad that folks we’ve worked with time and time again were able to join us once more. While we had our ups and downs (way more ups), the entire shoot was a pure joy and we couldn’t have done a better job. The footage is absolutely breathtaking, while the actual story still breaking through as the hero of it all.

Independent film is just one big collaborative effort. Sure, I had a story and it always starts with that. James was there from the very beginning as a sounding board, then shared the reigns through crowdfunding and preproduction. One by one, critical folks are added to the process bringing their own form of badassery. Our magic trifecta was complete when Joe Walker agreed to be Director of Photography, as well as the editor. That’s when it started getting real for us. Actually…when all of you decided to support us in our crowdfunding campaign – that was the real green light.

Each person that touched Little Cabbage left a special mark. The chemistry of the entire team was dream-like. Our house was transformed into production office/makeup/hair/costume headquarters. I loved loved loved having that life inside every time we opened the front door!! At night it was like an adult campground, with folks on air mattresses downstairs and each room occupied. It was so much fun… I want to do it all again! THANK YOU to each and every one of you who helped make this film happen. There were also several businesses that helped in key ways, of which we will give shout-outs to very soon!

As with any film or large project, after the big wave has passed you are left in the wake with only your memories. James and I are feeling the impact of a true once-in-a-lifetime event that passed faster than we could have ever imagined. While it’s a little sad, we are so grateful for it. It only makes you want to start your next film stat! But as James likes to remind me, we need to enjoy this one for a little while first.

Little Cabbage

Little Cabbage

Lindsay makes an impact.

Lindsay makes an impact.

Playing with fire.

Playing with fire.

Wizard Joe

Wizard Joe

channing

Sneak peek.

Sneak peek.

First still frame from Little Cabbage.

First still frame from Little Cabbage.

Eleanore Pienta

Eleanore Pienta

Cheers to wrap!

Cheers to wrap!

Pianos are heavy.

Pianos are heavy.

Brandi & Jim - dream team!

Brandi & Jim – dream team!

Shelby, Hair Lead from Beauty Shock in Birmingham. We should have been helping with that piano behind us. :)

Shelby, Hair Lead from Beauty Shock in Birmingham. We should have been helping with that piano behind us. :)

Shelby & Eleanore

Shelby & Eleanore

James made it on camera! :D

James made it on camera! :D

As most of you know by now, we did it!! We reached our fundraising goal on Seed&Spark, thanks to YOU. Thank you thank you thank you!! It’s not quite time to let loose yet…as we are officially two weeks out from when our cast & crew will be arriving in Atlanta, GA to start filming this project. That’s equally scary and exhilarating. There is so much to do, so it’s buckle down time. All good things.

Today we travel to Birmingham, AL for the Sidewalk Film Festival – literally one of my favorite times of the year! This is when we celebrate all we’ve done in the last year to the highest degree. Maybe even more importantly, this is the time of year that we celebrate film in general and all of those who create in this medium. There are several festivals close to our hearts out there, but this one is always a homecoming. If you live in Birmingham (or somewhere nearby) I hope you consider attending to see what it’s all about. A good test is to attend the opening night film, which will then lead into the biggest block party/low country boil on the Birmingham streets that you’ve ever seen. Our music video Call Me (for St. Paul and the Broken Bones) will be playing in a shorts block Saturday night at 9 at the ASFA Black Box. I hope to see you there!

Another note for Birmingham folks: I am honored to be speaking on Friday at the AAF luncheon about my experiences with crowdfunding, while also hitting on some of my favorite aspects of the Sidewalk Film Festival. Please join me.

I feel like there are so many things to share at the moment, but I’m drawing a complete blank. Every day is full of excitement of some sort, whether scary or thrilling (usually both in some capacity). I think the key word in that sentence is “full”… my life is full of wonderful. Right now full for me means satisfied with forward progress, creativity and activity. Sometimes full means overcome with quiet and time to reflect. Other times it means full with the love that surrounds you from family, friends and furry babies. I’m far from empty and refuel often on the things that keep me going. 

Thank you for having interest in my personal journey all of these years. That also energizes me beyond words. I hope I’ve shown many of you the same support you’ve shown me.

The set construction and design for Call Me (done by Jason & Andrea Richardson) is featured in a cover story and 8-page spread in this month's Fresh Style magazine!

The set construction and design for Call Me (done by Jason & Andrea Richardson) is featured in a cover story and 8-page spread in this month’s Fresh Style magazine!

Location scouting for Little Cabbage with Joe Walker.

Location scouting for Little Cabbage with Joe Walker.

AAF Luncheon

AAF Luncheon

Oakland Cemetery friends.

Oakland Cemetery friends.

I met this lovely lady at the ATL Zoo!

I met this lovely lady at the ATL Zoo!

Sidewalk 2013 Flashback

Sidewalk 2013 Flashback

Too many photo grids with Joe Walk & Paul Williamson.

Too many photo grids with Joe Walk & Paul Williamson.

Wendy is sunshine.

Wendy is sunshine.

Birmingham's Best Blog 2011

Birmingham's Best Blog Finalist 2012

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