The earth is shifting. The sky is full of possibility. Things are happening.

Today we released our first original song (and accompanying promo music video) for Electric Bleau called Daggers, which was written by the talented and lovely AJ Haynes of the Seratones! Paste Magazine kindly wrote about our collaboration last week in anticipation of this news.

Watch Daggers on Vevo. Listen on Spotify.

The recording of Daggers, and the other four original songs we captured for Electric Bleau, was a very special moment in time. As we all sat there in the Magnetic Audio recording studio, it was palpable that what we were experiencing was pure magic. It’s probably my fondest memory to date on the making of this film. Thanks to all who were a part of it.

I spend my days somewhere between the realms of overwhelm and excitement. With each day that passes, bigger opportunities come our way. I eat, breathe, and sleep Electric Bleau. We also have a few other things up our sleeve.

We are now setting our sights to film next spring. If we had stuck to our original dates, we’d be filming as I type this!! I am so happy that we’ve been given the gift of more time.

This holiday weekend is going to be just what the doctor ordered. I’m looking forward to detaching a bit from the business side of things. We will be heading to Pine Mountain with my family to celebrate the 4th, as well as four birthdays in my immediate family. I want to hike, swim, relax, and laugh.

July is going to be another whirlwind month. We have a secret shoot that’s still under wraps, Sazerac will play at Tales of the Cocktail in NOLA, and some dear friends are coming in from LA to spend almost a week with us. On top of that, some significant film developments are underway. Lots of work to be done, and lots of fun to be had.

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In the last 30 days, I’ve attended two major events that were widely seen as potential terrorist targets – the Cannes Film Festival and Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Did the thought cross my mind that we were putting ourselves in harm’s way by attending? Sure. Acts of violence have been in the back of my mind no matter how far I try to push them out.

Then Orlando happened. James and I heard the news while at Bonnaroo, and we sat and watched the coverage on one of the only TVs in the nearby area. We were devastated, just like so many others. Our hearts hurt for our LGBTQ friends who were already living in fear.

Everyone’s Facebook feed has been full of confusion, anger, and infighting. I wish we had an easy answer as to prevent this in the future. I’m hopeful for realistic and rational solutions to come soon. One thing did strike me more than others as I repeatedly saw it popping up in comments and posts – that we live in a godless society, which is the root of our problems. That we as a society are failing because we don’t agree on a Christian belief system. That if someone has a religion or faith that you don’t approve of, then they must be a flawed, terrible person. I love my kind friends who believe in organized religion, and I love my beautiful friends who don’t believe in a higher power or structured system, too. Their capacity to love and show compassion are equal. My friends who are atheist, agnostic, or otherwise have proven to be a peaceful people. If you have a problem with this “godless” society, then you have a problem with me. I respect your beliefs as long as they don’t infringe upon my rights to believe what I choose in my heart, and as long as you are kind. You will never change my mind, and I know I will never change yours. If we can both be cool with that and not point fingers, then I’m happy to live in a society of acceptance and tolerance. If you aren’t able to emotionally handle this, then I’m also content to part ways. But know that every time you blame a person who doesn’t “believe in God” as being a part of the larger problem, then YOU are the problem.

I am so happy to be back home. We got in yesterday evening to an air conditioned house and animals that were happy to greet us. Bonnaroo was wonderful, with exception of news out of Orlando of course. No words can ever describe what the Bonnaroo experience is truly like unless you attend yourself. It’s not for everyone… in fact, it’s probably not attractive to most. What I love about it is the ability to escape the real world for a chunk of time, and enjoy an existence that can only be created under such rare circumstances. Everyone is full of peace, love and joy. Happiness abounds. So does the heat. I also enjoy the survival aspect to it all. Making it through a 99 degree day with a smile on your face is an art. We’ve mastered it somewhat. Sometimes while I am there I question my sanity, but all I know is that the second we drive out of the farm I immediately miss it. My soul needs the spirit of Bonnaroo.

Today I’m hitting the ground running on all the priorities in our world. Electric Bleau’s path is becoming clearer. Other smaller projects are boiling to the surface. Opportunities are knocking. Game face on.

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We went to the Cannes Film Festival. What does that mean, what was it like, how do we feel? Here’s how it all went down.

We had a fun pre trip to Paris and Cassis before our grand adventure to Cannes. While wonderful, I’d be lying if I said that our minds weren’t already at the film festival. It was kind of like pretending that a major life event wasn’t looming in the very near future. We were full of anticipation. So let’s jump straight to the big event!

We arrived by train around 2 p.m. to Cannes on May 15th and met Vero and Clint at the station who had arrived just 30 minutes before us. Vero’s film Bottomless was also an official selection of the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase, so we had two projects to celebrate. Seeing them was a big turning point in the trip for us.

The four of us traveled immediately to our apartment rental about a 15 minute bus ride away in La Bocca. We were VERY fortunate to find a place so close that was affordable for us. Turns out the property owners are from Birmingham, and Vero is 100% responsible for us finding that spot. I won’t say how much it was, but it was about half the amount of the discounted filmmaker hotel. Not only that, but the apartment was so amazing!!! It had two bedrooms, a big living room/kitchen, and a wrap-around porch where we had breakfast al fresco every morning.

On the way to the apartment via bus is when we got the first glimpse of the festival. We saw a huge red sign covering the front of a building marking the central area. White tents and red (well, more like orange) carpets covered the sidewalks. We got a surge of adrenaline for what was to come.

Later that day we ventured back to the festival campus and took in our first up-close experience. Fancy people. Fancy yachts. Insane, but warranted, security. Beautiful sights. Film everything, everywhere. Our first destination was the American Pavilion where our screening would take place in a few days. The pavilions line the coast where the festival campus is located, and a lot of countries are represented there. The American Pavilion is known for hosting some of the best parties, panels, and screenings (including the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase).

After we entered the American Pavilion, we saw seven people that we knew immediately. One of those was Eliza Hajek of SAGindie who proved to be a great friend over the next five days. This was her 10th year at the festival and she was a wealth of information. We loved hanging out with her. She also got us an invitation to the official Sundance party at Cannes, which basically blew our minds.

Our first Cannes Film Festival experience was one of learning and trial and error. It’s really, really, really hard to get into screenings that have the red carpet. There are basically levels of credential importance, and we were not near the top. But on the flip side, WE HAD A CREDENTIAL to the Cannes Film Festival!! Wow. There were plenty of people who would have given an arm just to have access to what we did.

It’s easy to judge the success of your trip by how many meetings you had, how many important people that you met, what parties you were invited to, and what high-profile screenings you were able to attend. And while we had a few of each of these, we mostly spent our days exploring and just getting to know our surroundings. When I say that learning the ropes to how things work around there is complicated, that would be the understatement of the year. Even people who have been to the festival for years and years don’t quite understand the system. If we get the opportunity to go back, I would do a few things differently. It’s really important to have a plan and agenda before you go. What are your goals? If you think that you can figure it out on the fly while you’re there, good luck. If you are a filmmaker, this is basically a work trip with a lot of fun mixed in. Plan big, keep expectations low. Enjoy every minute regardless of where you land.

The Emerging Filmmaker Showcase was so very special. It was an intimate experience with about 150 people in attendance. We were able to serve Sazeracs beforehand and attendees sipped on it while they watched the film, which was first in the lineup. We won’t soon forget it. Bottomless screened about halfway through the block to rave reviews. We also learned that I am the first producer in their 19 year history to have two films in the block within the same year.

Without our trip sponsors, we surely wouldn’t have been able to make this experience possible. Major, major shout-outs to Airbnb, Bourbon Columbia, Lucid Absinthe, and a few dear friends for making our first trip to the Cannes Film Festival a reality for us. Be sure to check out all of the images from our trip on Instagram here: @iamjamesmartin @thejenwestquest

We finished everything up with a few nights in Amsterdam. It was the perfect cap to a whirlwind two weeks. I adore that city. I love the bike culture, the architecture, and the general attitude. I can’t wait to return when we have more time to explore.

Now that we are back stateside, we are hitting the ground running. Electric Bleau is generating some activity and we have a few more smaller projects up our sleeve. We also have the pitch/lookbook complete for James’ cocktail series on city drinks. I’m ready to make some big things happen.

 

James and I are in full “we’re going to Cannes” mode trying to nail down final details and work before we take off next Monday (ah!). This trip is being made possible by some great partners – Airbnb, Lucid Absinthe, and Bourbon Columbia.  As I wrote in my last post, Airbnb invited us to participate in their “Live there.” campaign (which just so happened to have a focus in France) and in exchange for posting our experiences daily on social they’ve helped with our flights and some Airbnb housing credits. Lucid Absinthe and Bourbon Columbia are proudly displaying their logos on cups that will be serving the Sazerac during two tasting events in the American Pavilion, which is also a huge help with funding our trip. A million thanks to these great companies! Be sure to follow me and James on Instagram for play-by-plays: @thejenwestquest and @iamjamesmartin. We will be posting A LOT.

We will be in Paris from May 9 – 13, Cassis from 13 – 15, Cannes 15 – 20, then finally Amsterdam 20 – 23.

We are all set with Electric Bleau pitch materials, as well as for a new project that we’ve started developing called The City Cocktail Series. It’s an expansion on The New Orleans Sazerac with an additional five cocktail profiles all under the umbrella of a unique city in the United States. James has been working hard on the lookbook and it’s finally all ready to go. A series like this could potentially find a home in all sorts of ways – streaming, TV, web, etc. It’s fun to have two very different projects to pitch, both equally strong and thought out.

Electric Bleau is moving along great. My original hope was to film this summer, which was a very ambitious goal to have (but could have been possible). That window is no longer an option, but I’m honestly kind of relieved. I still feel very strongly that we will film this year, and if nothing else, find full funding. 2016 will be the year that Electric Bleau gets the green light. I know it in my bones. There are many benefits to waiting too, even if we had found funding in time. With every passing month the project becomes stronger by way of team, marketing, opportunities and script. In this development phase we are really getting to make a stamp on the world while putting it on the radar of some big folks. Basically we are getting a grand opportunity to set it up for success by giving it a little more time.

James and I are really excited to spend our time in Cannes with Vero and Clint. Vero’s film Bottomless was also a selection of the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase (that I also produced), which just makes the whole thing even more extraordinary. We will be sharing a flat that’s about a 28 minute walk from the Cannes Film Festival (aka a great distance to walk off cheese and wine in). It also looks promising that our dear friend Jeff Hallman will also be in attendance from Germany, as he is one of our stars in The New Orleans Sazerac.

Someone gave us some great advice – don’t put too many expectations for professional meetings on our Cannes experience. It’s going to be a busy trip with a million people all around, and we should just be grateful that we are there. We should enjoy every second of just being at Cannes. If we score a few meetings, then that’s the cherry on top. If nothing else we plan to network the shit out of it.

Other things in life – families are good, pets are happy, house is wonderful and Eldon the Bus is almost a real live boy. I am so looking forward to when we can travel around in the Eldon… I just feel like it’s going to be a new layer of freedom. We are going to start introducing him to the cats soon so they can become comfortable with being on it. Cilantro already loves being on the bus. I’m really happy that we decided to take this project on. Cheers to James for leading the charge!

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Things are moving. Life is happening. Dreams that I’ve been working most of my adult life towards are starting to become realized. The birth of my first feature film. Success of shorts that I had a big hand in making. A home that I love. I know that I am lucky. I also know that I’ve worked really, really hard to start seeing things come to full bloom.

Yesterday we were able to announce the acceptance of The New Orleans Sazerac into the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the American Pavilion, as part of the Cannes Film Festival. It is described as a “festival within the festival.” Another film I produced, Bottomless, was also accepted into the same program. They are only screening ten films this year in this category. The odds of this happening, twice in the same year, are very slim. Congrats to James and Vero!

The first question we’ve been getting, after a congrats, is – won’t this be a super expensive trip? Yes, it indeed will be. Luckily, the second that we found out about TNOS acceptance, we approached Airbnb about a potential collaboration and it just so happened to align with their new “Live there.” campaign. In exchange for regular social media posts on our end documenting our experience and trip, they are covering our flights and providing some housing credits. This will be so very helpful. It doesn’t cover all of our expenses, but it’s a great start. We also have some other ideas for sponsorship that align with the screenings that we have out in the universe, and if that comes through then most of our trip should be taken care of. Vero is working on her own efforts to get overseas with Bottomless. If you feel so inspired, you can help her voyage to Cannes here.

With this acceptance all of us receive official Cannes Film Festival credentials. We don’t know yet what color, but we will have them nonetheless. While we are there James and I plan to pitch a series expansion based on The New Orleans Sazerac, and I of course will be talking the hell out of Electric Bleau. Hopefully our funding will be in place by then, but if not, there is no better time or place to make big things happen.

Speaking of Electric Bleau, we recorded five original songs at Magnetic Audio in Birmingham and filmed a promo music video last month with AJ Haynes of the Seratones. MAGIC. These songs alone warrant a major success on the making of this film, which was made possible by funds from our development campaign. We haven’t decided yet how to release the piece that we filmed… but some big creative ideas are simmering. More than likely it will be released in late April or early May as part of a campaign we are putting together.

Last but not least, The New Orleans Sazerac won big at the Atlanta Film Festival, taking home the WonderRoot Audience Choice Award and Best Crowdfunded Film Award (along with Eat White Dirt) presented by Seed&Spark.

Eldon the Bus is on his way as well. We are bartering with some local suppliers and artists to build out various parts. James got all of the electric done (a big deal!) last month, so all that remains is building the top deck and woodwork on the interior. Then of course painting, decorating and registering it as an RV. Then we will be hitting the road!!

That’s it for now. I’ll definitely write again before we head to Cannes next month to give all the information necessary to follow us along on the trip.

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Last time I wrote we were about one week out from wrapping our Electric Bleau crowdfunding campaign, which was a success! As usual, the day after it ended I came down with a nasty cold. It’s as if my body fought so hard to make it through those 30 days, sometimes with very little sleep, then completely collapsed upon completion. Even though I was under the weather, I was still on cloud nine. THANKS to everyone who got us across the finish line! We reached 101%. Special props to James for being my teammate in all things.

This is only the beginning. Now the big work starts… if that’s even possible to imagine. A pretty significant script revision (that I’m really excited about) is taking a lot of energy and focus. Every time I make a risky story decision I have to remind myself that it’s just a test. It can always be changed back if it doesn’t work. I find more often than not though that taking the instinctual risk usually pays off. Since I have taken a short break from writing, it’s been a bit of a balance trying to squeeze it back into my already packed schedule. Other areas are still demanding a lot of attention: growing our team, seeking full funding, inviting potential talent to attach, planning, and endless details details details. Things shift every single day and you have to stay on top of it. My hope is that in the near future that 80 – 90% of my focus can fully stay on creative elements. We are getting there.

To break away from Electric Bleau for a moment, The New Orleans Sazerac has seen some great success of late. We just celebrated the world premiere at the Oxford Film Festival where they did two special events surrounding the film. One was the inclusion of Sazerac into a Southern Foodways Alliance event where people could eat and drink samples of what they were watching on the big screen. That was so very special. Second was a Sazerac speakeasy in the basement of a mansion party where folks had to use the codeword Faulkner to access. On top of all that, we have a bunch of filmmaker friends present who were screening their own films. It was a fantastic five days.

Next up for The New Orleans Sazerac is the Atlanta Film Festival and the Chattanooga Film Festival. There will be accompanying Sazerac events for both of these fests as well, so more good times are ahead.

NON FILM NEWS: We’ve had a little something up our sleeves for the past few months! James and I came into possession of a short bus (for real) and are currently converting it into an RV. We are doing it all by hand. The bus is in great shape and our plans for it are so very exciting. Not sure if The Ferris Eldon will be ready by Bonnaroo 2016, but we are going to try our best. You can see what we’re up to and follow our progress here. Turns out there is a whole subculture of folks who convert skoolies.  When all is said and done we’ll have about 123 square feet of space behind the driver’s seat to build our tiny house on wheels. Also it’s worth mentioning that James is the champion behind this effort.:) I’m just lending my brain and body as needed. It’s nice to have such a rewarding offline project.

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It’s birthday month! On the 17th I will turn 37 years old. I expect big things out of this next year of life – first and foremost to make my first feature film. I want to blow it out of the water. I can feel in my bones that this is going to happen. We are hovering right over 60% as we enter our last week, so there’s still work to be done. You can check out our campaign here.

I won’t linger to long on the film as I know it’s all I’ve been sharing for the last three weeks. There is big news on the horizon though and I can’t wait to share it with you all. In fact, several things could be coming to fruition by the end of the month. Please send all the posi vibes – we are giving it our all.

In my 37th year I’d like to write another feature-length script worthy of being made into a film. I want to enter into a whole new realm of my career as a filmmaker. I’d like to keep my freelance game going strong too, for that allows me the financial freedom and flexibility to pursue my dreams no matter where I am. I’d like to take advantage of the ability to work from anywhere by going to as many places as I can. I work hard, and I want to play hard.

I know I’ve said it before, but the mountains call my name. Something about being in a quiet place surrounded by trees, serene landscapes, and endless beauty grabs at my soul. I am attracted to opposites however, as I also love the vibrant energy of people and never-sleeping cities. In the end, I guess it’s about balance. If I were to paint a picture of myself in the perfect setting, it would be in a warm RV overlooking Mt. Hood covered in snow, but with a laptop within arm’s length to stay connected to the rest of the world.😉 I can’t live without the internet. I’m a true Aquarius in that respect.

I feel like a lucky human. But as a mentor and friend told me this week, the secret to good luck is hard work and perseverance. The more opportunities that you line up to work out in your favor, the more likely that a few will strike gold. It’s all strategy, determination, passion, and hope.

We leave for our first film festival for The New Orleans Sazerac on my birthday. I think that’s a great way to kick off my 37th year. Thanks to all of our supporters who came out to the secret screenings that we recently had in New Orleans, Atlanta, and Birmingham. The feedback was very promising, and we are hopeful for a strong future for the film.

Hopefully by the next time I write we will have had a successful crowdfunding campaign for Electric Bleau! Thanks to everyone who is joining us on this journey.

In case you missed it, I am documenting weekly project updates on the official Seed&Spark blog. Here are my posts so far:

Puzzle Pieces
Moving Forward with Mentors
Ride of your Life
Eye of the Beholder
What is the color of Electric Bleau? Identity and beyond.
Electric Exposition

In parting, here is a happy moment from last weekend.

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Happy 2016!

I’m feeling good in my bones, y’all. With each passing week my life gets busier, but I know in my gut that I’m cruising down the path of my dreams. I know what lies ahead is a tremendous challenge, one that I can only imagine the size of at this point. As I put one foot in front of the other, I know I’m on my way.

Not to say things aren’t scary as hell. This Thursday (tomorrow!) we launch our development funds crowdfunding campaign for Electric Bleau on Seed&Spark. We need to raise $28,500 to get us on our way to the bigger next steps. That’s an ambitious number, and that fact certainly isn’t lost on me. We’ve been working for weeks to make this a fun process, so hopefully it will at least be interesting… and of course successful! Also, if you wanted a sneak peek at our campaign, there might just be a soft launch link in this week’s post from Seed&Spark.:) If you’ve supported us in the past you will also have an email today with everything you need to know (if you have gmail, it will prob land in your promotions tab b/c it was made in MailChimp). If you’d like to receive emails, then join in here. We aim to make everyone proud. As most of you know our ultimate goal is to find funding for 1.8 million, but that larger component will be done through private partnerships. UPDATE: The campaign is now live: bit.ly/electricbleaufilm

This week we also wrapped production on Within Grasp, a short film that I was invited to write and direct by the Atlanta Film Festival, which will play for a year starting in April in the Atlanta Airport International Terminal. Be sure to swing by to see all of the artist’s work next time you are there, as I was part of a collective asked to participate in this.

For those of you who helped us make The New Orleans Sazerac, be on the lookout for an invitation to the Atlanta and Birmingham private screenings this week! Those will be a lot of fun, and we can’t wait to hug your neck in person. These events are meant to celebrate those who made the film possible. James should start hearing back from festivals in February, but in the meantime he’s already gotten two acceptances from the Oxford Film Festival and the Chattanooga Film Festival! We can’t wait to enjoy the life of this project.

I think 2016 is going to be a positive year. I fully expect that obstacles will come our way, and that there will be sad times. However, I’m ready to charge head-first into the chaos and make the best out of these opportunities… with a big fat grin on my face in the process.

Lastly, if you haven’t had the chance to like our Electric Bleau Facebook page, please consider it! That’s a very helpful way for us to start showing that we have an audience. I’ll give you guys another update next week.

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The end of 2015 is upon us, and while it certainly had its difficult points, for the most part it treated us really well. Here are a few quick things for which I am grateful:

  1. The welcoming of Dorito the kitty into our home.
  2. The completion of The New Orleans Sazerac.
  3. The strong beginnings of Electric Bleau, my first feature.
  4. The partnership with Seed&Spark to document my journey of making Electric Bleau.
  5. Winning an award for Little Cabbage at the Flyway Film Festival.
  6. The overall good health of my family and friends.
  7. Claiming our home as our own with James.
  8. Enough (great) freelance that allows me the flexibility to pursue my dreams.
  9. Being an integral part of the formation of New Mavericks here in Atlanta.
  10. Invitation to create a short film that will play in the Atlanta Airport International Terminal from April 2016 until April 2017.

This year also saw the passing our sweet Azza kitty. She will always be missed.

What do I want in 2016? Glad you asked.

  1. I want to find funding for Electric Bleau (1.8 million) and make it. There are a million goals I could add on to this, so “making it” will have to suffice for now.
  2. Beyond making this film, I want to pioneer a new kind of transparency behind the process of making such projects. I feel like there is so much people don’t share, especially the hard lessons.
  3. I want to train to climb a mountain. Not just any mountain… Mt. Hood. It’s actually a goal for spring of 2017, but I would have to start preparing in 2016. Did I mention that I’m also addicted to mountaineering movies on Netflix? I might need an intervention.
  4. I want to continue traveling as much as I can.
  5. I want to write another feature script to have waiting in the wings once Electric Bleau is completed.
  6. I would love to make a music video for a band that I feel passionate about.
  7. I want to have a style.😀 I feel like I’ve said this before in prior year-end goals. I am oftentimes so focused on my career and creating things that I don’t pay as much attention to my visual identity. Does this even make sense?
  8. I want to OWN IT. I want to be proud of who I am, what I am doing, what I’ve done, and where I’m going. I want this to beam through me like a bright light.
  9. I want to take time to explore and just be in places that make me feel alive, especially in the Northwest.
  10. I want to go camping and hiking more often. I like the simplicity of surviving and being on your own.

I’m excited about the year ahead, and honestly a little bit scared. I think that’s a good sign that I’m moving in the right direction.

Happy New Year to all of you!

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Life is happening hard and fast these days. I’ve realized that our timeline for Electric Bleau is quite ambitious (surprised?), but I think we will get there. As Stacey Davis, our entertainment lawyer, said, “You can do this, but you don’t get off days. Not even holidays. Every day there will be work to do.” She was speaking to the fact that we’ve gotta put our serious pants on and start as many conversations as we can to locate funding. We’ve got all the resources we need to make it happen. Since so much of my life right now is this film, you can read more about Electric Bleau on a weekly update through Seed&Spark, which they are pushing out to their entire audience! This is very gracious of them. I will work hard to make those posts as insightful and fun as I can. I’m excited to expand our audience!

There’s been a lot of traveling lately. We went to Cucalorus in mid November, which was a grand time. James organized the first-ever Cuctales event which was a big success. It’s a division of the film festival where attendees can explore and try a variety of cocktails. We also had a secret screening of a short doc you might have heard us talk about this year.:) It was thrilling to show it in front of an audience for the first time.

We also just got back from New Orleans, where we had a private screening of The New Orleans Sazerac for everyone who helped us make it in town. It was super fancy! Thanks to Ann Tuennerman of Tales of the Cocktail for organizing the event at Arnaud’s French 75. A very special weekend for us. We hope to do our Atlanta and Birmingham private screenings in January.

This Thursday evening through the following Monday we will be heading to LA to start pitching Electric Bleau. I haven’t been to LA in soooooooo long, and it will be James’ first time! Dear friends of ours are also shooting a feature film during that time, so it will be fun to visit them on set (go Jason & Annette!). We have so many people we want to see. First and foremost though is nailing down some meetings. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

I’ve started doing some writing and social programming for the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Access Atlanta (a division of the AJC), which is really exciting. It’s a freelance ongoing position that requires 4 – 6 hours a day at the moment, and I can do it from anywhere. The flexibility is a dream come true. Thanks to those of you who helped me get this opportunity (you know who you are!).

Thanksgiving was wonderful. We spent it a week early with my family at Callaway Gardens. We ate well and loved on each other… just what I needed. I wish we had gotten a family photo! Luckily the gang will be together again for New Years, so there will definitely be the annual beach pic. James’ parents came down from Cincinnati for the actual holiday. We made a big bird, sat by a big bonfire in the backyard and played disc golf.

Last bit of news – one of my dearest and best friends just moved to Atlanta! Rebecca Pugh will stay with us for the month of December as she looks for a place of her own (hopefully nearby). She starts work at The Weather Channel tomorrow. It’s so great to have her in the same city.

As most of you know from my last post, we are still very sad about the passing of our sweet Azza. In her honor I am writing a short story in the AJC on services that help with the passing of a beloved pet. I will be sure to share once it’s up.

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