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It’s been a few days since I’ve checked in on my blog! To say I’ve been busy would be the understatement of the existence of time. First and foremost – WE REACHED OUR FUNDRAISING GOAL!! Holllllla. Thank you so very, very much to all of you who contributed or shared our project to your friends. In case you didn’t know, the story Bubble won over all the others. I am very happy about this, however, it would have been an honor to make any of the three. Bubble will be thrilling, beautiful and haunting. We plan to post a lot leading up to production next week to keep you all in the loop with our process.
Other things have been going on behind the scenes which have been making this April busier than usual. James moved into a new house last weekend, so we spent the better part of Saturday and Sunday getting that done. This week there has been a lot of preparation for a big event related to my 9-5 which took place last night, and was a big hit! So glad it is now in the books and will be remembered fondly. Tonight- I am doing absolutely nothing nothing nothing. Just going to sit back and kick it with the Baby Kitty!
I am honestly surprised that I could even do a blog post today due to exhaustion. But all I could think about this morning was writing, as it was very high on my list of things to do today. I love that my blog is so important to me, and is ingrained in my daily thinking.
And last but not least, Crush will be screening this weekend at the Ozark Foothills Film Festival! It will open for the feature The Romance of Loneliness, which Rebecca and I are both so proud of. We wish we could be there!!
So much to report this Monday!
First things first – Crush has a mini website! Also, James and I have launched a blog to keep you guys up-to-date on our upcoming short film – check it out here. In just a few weeks we will be launching an interactive fundraising campaign that I think will be a lot of fun. More very soon on all of that after our first production meeting tomorrow night.
We had our third Twelve yesterday in Atlanta, this time all vegetarian. They just keep getting better and more delicious! We will be posting photos and recipes tomorrow on Pinterest, so stay tuned. We will also be announcing our upcoming Twelve in Nashville in the next few days. If you are interested in attending, just sign up via the website.
Vero came up to Atlanta with me, which was a real treat. We went running every morning together, both days in light snow. I was very proud of myself for A. getting up early to exercise, and B. braving the below freezing temps. The second morning I came really close to bailing, but I powered through! My knee has been giving me trouble lately… but only after I go certain distances. 4-6 miles seems to be high range before it starts to get aggravated. In all honestly though, I am happy to just do that. That is long enough to feel like I’ve done a solid run. I can also keep challenging myself with various terrains and time goals.
This week I am going to focus intensely on personal projects. I want to pour energy in creating and checking things off the master list. I am feeling energized and inspired… might as well take full advantage.
Today I blog as a 34-year-old for the first time! I had the best best best birthday weekend, with everything I could have hoped for – time with family, delicious food (thanks Pushstart Kitchen and Rawle Fraser!), time outdoors, adventures and an abundance of love. Throw in a little Valentine’s Day celebration and you have the perfect weekend. Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday!
Birthdays are the start of a new year in a lot of ways, so I thought I would spend a little time updating you all on my 2013 goals. My writing is going very well… I’m not writing an hour every day as I hoped I would, but I’ve made more progress than ever before since the beginning of the year. Not only that, I’ve taken on a new short story goal for the next week or two. My plan is to write three short stories (one of them already done), then possibly choose one to make a short film out of over the course of the next 3-4 months. I feel like waiting until I have a finished novel is just too long before tackling another film project. After talking with Rebecca about the success of Crush (which is showing no signs of stopping), we both feel that independently we should be keeping the momentum up. This weekend at the Oxford Film Festival we plan to do a creative brainstorming session to see which individual directions make the most sense. We will also have Vero & James with us on the trip, so that will double the creative energy.
James and I are still doing really well with our weight-loss. I am down about 13 pounds, and he’s lost 18! I know I’ve said this about 20 times already, but it is so helpful to have him on this journey with me. Mostly because we both get “hangry” at about the same times (a fierce combination of anger and hunger), and we also hold each other accountable. Usually I am a loner with it comes to physical initiatives, but without a doubt we are better as a team.
I have found a significant key to life happiness – and that is doing. Talking and dreaming have their rightful and rewarding place, but actually taking the steps to achieve is where the joy lies. In some ways it’s even better than the final product of your actions. I love being in an active state of doing at all times. There is a thrill in problem solving, a mystery in the unknown and a fulfillment in the tiniest steps along the way. As long as I’m doing, I’m happy.
Good news: We found out on Monday that Crush was accepted into the Portland Oregon Woman’s Film Festival in March! That makes nine acceptances for our short film. We are nearing the end of our festival run, so Rebecca and I are both very proud of the success it’s had. I wish we had the means to attend them all, but we were fortunate enough to at least go to most.
Today will be a snow day for some of us in the Southeast, a rare occurrence indeed. It’s only a matter of time before my Instagram feed is covered in white…which will be really fun to see.
As of yesterday at my two-week weigh-in, I’ve lost 5.5 pounds! It is a reminder of how much work it takes to lose, but I’m well on my way to my goal. James has also lost close to 7, thanks to our calorie counting efforts on LiveStrong’s MyPlate. We have a few food events to navigate in the near future, but I feel very confident that my overall health goal will remain the most important focus.
Speaking of team efforts, it’s been really nice to have other friends preparing for the Florida Half Ironman in May. I get regular check-ins from my friend Lauren, which I greatly appreciate. She and I will probably put our names in the hat for the October Ironman Lottery in Kona…I might as well since I’ve built up the momentum with prior year submissions. With each passing year, your likelihood of being chosen grows by your number of annual entries. Scary and awesome thought all at the same time. One of these days they are going to draw my name from the hat, and I am sure I will freak out accordingly on every level.
My writing has been going good as well. It is a definite challenge on a daily basis, as it takes a lot of willpower to move forward. I can clearly see myself with a finish book in my hands… so I know it is going to happen for me. Once it’s finished, I predict that I will say it was the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do. I’m sure tackling a feature film will be just as hard, but I am very familiar with the production world. Writing a book has been like being dropped off in the middle of Antarctica with only a pair of shorts and a tank top. But even the smallest successes are hugely rewarding, so I can only imagine the feeling I will have once it is complete.
December and January are probably the most interesting pair out of all the months of the year. December is mostly about endings – things slow down… yet we have to get our boards ready to hop the wave known as January as to not miss the tide. December is about reflection and preparation, January about action and the beginnings of momentum. Why do we place such enormous focus on starting over? Out of all the time oriented goals I have and keep, my yearly ones are the most significant to me. You can do a lot in 365 days. You can make a movie, write a book, change the way you look, change your direction in life, go from being single to having a family… almost anything. It’s as if the universe knew the importance of the calendar year on human life. We only get so many – and you never know which one will be your best or last. To me, a year falls somewhere in between a short-term and a long-term goal…the foundation of what dreams and hopes can be based on. You can break a year down, and you can look at them in blocks for the future. I am a super goal geek, so December ends up being one of my favorite months of the year. I love to look ahead and think of all the possibilities for my life that I have control over. It’s a challenge of sorts, really. In x amount of time…what can you achieve? By the end of the month I will have my new resolutions – some of which will turn into new opportunities and others which might not take off at all. Next December, I will see what worked and what didn’t and change my path accordingly. Honestly, I couldn’t have predicted what an amazing year 2012 ended up being for me. There are so many wonderful things that I can’t wait to recap and share in the coming weeks. 2011 was much different, very hard but necessary in many ways. That’s how we grow though, through the good and the bad. As I get another year under my belt, I feel like I am even more prepared to run out of the gates with a clearer path. Obstacles that would have grounded me in the past are easier to fly by. The course is more challenging, but I am more prepared. I’m excited to see what 2013 has up its sleeve…
A quick note, Rebecca and I learned this week that Crush has been accepted into the Oxford Film Festival in February! We are rounding out our festival year, and Crush has had an amazing run. We couldn’t be more proud of our short film. For you Birmingham folks, stay tuned… looks like there will be a screening of some local shorts (including Crush) in mid-December at The Edge theater in Crestwood. More info soon!
I’m a happy girl. Things may not always go according to plan, but I am so very grateful for my life right now. I feel alive, proactive, loved, optimistic, hopeful, content (well, as much as I can be) and full of joy. Amidst the happy clouds there are still moments of frustration and other fleeting negative emotions, but they move through quickly. There are times in all of our lives where we inevitably ask the question: is life worth it? Is it worth the struggles, pain and heartache that we all experience from time to time? I believe the answer is yes. My own life has gotten better and better with age, too. I’m not rich, I don’t have a big fancy house or a super nice car. But I feel emotionally aware and thankful for the experiences that make my life worthwhile. Good things happen to me everyday, if I choose to notice. I have a body that works well, I have people who love me, I am capable of feeling happy emotions…and I do so as often as possible. Sometimes when I feel unhappy, I think about the things I’m able to do at that very moment. I can see, touch, taste, hear, smell, stand, type, talk, understand, feel empathy…I am literally alive – so many things that can be taken away at any moment. I don’t know, but sometimes that is more than enough for me to take notice of how lucky I really am. It just makes me want to say thanks to the powers that be.
This weekend we had a great screening of Crush at the New Orleans Film Festival. On the walk to the venue with James and my parents, I kept mentally preparing them (and myself) that the turnout could be low… after all, it is a big festival spread out over eight days and multiple theaters. Upon arrival to our screening, I was pleasantly surprised at how modern and cozy our little venue was. It held about 100 people, and filled up completely before our shorts block started. There were 7 short films total, all fairly long (10 or so minutes in length, some even more). The films that we played with were all very high-caliber in quality, and a handful even had name actors. I felt really good about how our film stacked up to the rest. It got really great responses and I could tell that the audience enjoyed it. Nothing beats that feeling!
Tomorrow morning we will be NOLA bound! For any of you in New Orleans, our film screening for Crush will be Saturday at 2:15 in Canal Place 1 (333 Canal Street, 3rd floor). We are playing in a shorts block called LOL, which looks really fun.
I feel like I had a stroke of luck today. While getting my oil changed, I asked if they could also top off the air in my tires. The guy came up to me after filling them up and said that I had a bubble on the outside of one of my front tires. I’m sure there is a more technical name for this…but that’s the only adjective I remember. He advised that I get it checked out before driving a long distance (aka, New Orleans). So I drove down the street to a tire shop, and they confirmed that my front tire would have blown out hitting even the smallest pothole. And lord knows that New Orleans have the worst streets on the planet. I thanked my lucky stars today that I more than likely avoided a very nasty situation. Now I know what to look for in the future in case I ever get a tire bubble again. They are dangerous because they let air seep into the outside rim of the tire, which eventually bursts.
Rebecca and I got some more fun news for Crush that we can announce on Monday. It’s so awesome to have a film that’s doing well with festivals…it gives you many opportunities to network, see new places and get inspiration from others. The first film I made in 2006, Piece of Cake, had a harder time getting accepted for several reasons – most likely length and genre. Which is why I am even more grateful to finally experience what it’s like to have your work viewed by so many audiences!
There is nothing better than a cool fall breeze. I adore things that make you feel warm inside when it’s chilly outside. A bath, hot chocolate, decaf pumpkin spice lattes, blankets, soft fall clothes, winter boots, fuzzy socks, floor heaters, etc. I could literally go on and on. It’s a wonderful sensation to feel cold, and warm, at the same time. Does that even make any sense? It makes my brain tingle on the back side, like taking the first bite out of something really delicious does. Speaking of food, my mom invited us all over last night for a shrimp boil…and it was mind-blowing good. Someone from my dad’s shop brought back some fresh Gulf Coast Alabama shrimp, which my mom cooked up with some spicy sausage, corn and red potatoes. OHMYGOODNESS. Heaven in a bowl. It was so hot and steamy that my nose started to run. It was the perfect dinner to get our minds right for New Orleans this weekend! Crush will be playing in the French Quarter this Saturday as part of the New Orleans Film Festival. I can’t wait to be in Cajun country…one of my favorite places on earth.
Another thing that I love about the fall are festivals. There are so many free community events to attend on the weekends, no matter where you are. Festivals encourage a unique sense of unity, among people who are strangers and friends alike. They also offer opportunities for small business to reach out in an effective experiential way. James and I went to Atlanta Streets Alive on Sunday in the Old Fourth Ward area, and my favorite part was seeing all of the different food trucks lined up in a row on an overpass. I always wonder about the food truck owners, as they probably all have their own interesting start-up stories and relationships with the types of food they serve. Small initiatives, businesses and nonprofits are the creative backbone of our culture. The fact that they can exist and thrive means that we still support individuality and new ideas. Sometimes hand-made, home-grown is best…don’t you think?
Happy Sidewalk! Today’s post will be short, so I will see you all again Monday morning. If you are in Birmingham this weekend, please come out and see our film Crush play tomorrow night at 10:30 p.m. at the Alabama School of Fine Arts as part of a local short film block. Also, here is a great write-up by my friend Christy Turnipseed on Crush that you should read if you have the time.
James shared an image with me this morning that I want to leave you with below (if it isn’t clear, click on it for a better version). Have a wonderful weekend!
My weekend activities crossed the spectrum, and it seems like Friday was more than just a few days ago. First and foremost – Rebecca and I found out Friday night that Crush got into the 23rd annual New Orleans Film Festival this October! My heart almost jumped out of my chest when I heard the news, as I love NOLA more than words can say. It is so hard to get into film festivals, even with a good movie, so each acceptance letter/email we get is a significant victory. Also the Sidewalk Film Festival here in Birmingham, AL is only 2 1/2 weeks away… so if you are local please come out to watch our homecoming screening! We could use the support & would love your feedback.
Saturday I got to see my brand new niece Lucy Bug again at her Sip & See in Columbus, GA. She is such a sweet baby, good-natured and laid back. She even inherited my sister Christy’s red hair, which is so precious. We knew it was only a matter of time before she had a carrot top clone. Anna (2.5) and Lily (almost 2) were also pretty adorable running around together yelling each other’s names. It’s going to be a fun Christmas this year with those three.
After all of the family festivities I headed over to Atlanta to see James and to meet his two friends from Ohio who were in town visiting him. They were both really sweet and a lot of fun to hang out with. I think one of the best highlights of the weekend though was when James and I explored the neighborhood bright and early Sunday morning. For some reason we woke up at the crack of dawn so we put our tennis shoes on, walked to get coffee (decaf for me, please) and went on mini adventures. We ended our little excursion by feeding the turtles in James’ little hiding spot near his house. The heat quickly caught up with us though within an hour or two, so after that we escaped back to the air conditioning.
It’s been exciting to split my time between two southern cities – Birmingham & Atlanta. They are fairly different, but equally as lovable in their own ways. For now, I will enjoy having the best of both worlds.