James and I are officially one year old!  We celebrated with a picnic lunch in Avondale Park consisting of cheese, cheese, and more cheese.  🙂  It was a beautiful day with temps around 70 and a breeze flowing through the trees.  Also over the weekend we have a reunion dinner with all of the Birmingham peeps who attended the Oxford Film Festival (minus Sam Frazier, who was in California with his short film at Cinequest!).  All of us brought an assigned course/dish around the theme Spaghetti Western (with some Italian thrown in).  Each one of us got to talk about our upcoming creative projects and we had mini brainstorming sessions throughout the evening.  It was such a fun night, thank you Vero for hosting!

I feel like I’ve been spending a lot of time lately with folks who have ideas and are actively making them a reality.  There is now a group of ladies in Birmingham who meet up fairly often for work sessions and/or discussion.  This is of course headed up by the one and only Sherri Ross, who if you don’t know, you must.  So last night was my second mini get-together with some of these ladies (holla Billie, Mandy & Abbey!).  Mandy and Abbey are both working on novels and talked to me for awhile about long-form techniques.  Two of the biggest things I took away from this were:  don’t write in chapters for your initial drafts (guilty) and be open to writing in a nonlinear fashion.  It never occurred to me to write scenes that I felt the most passionate/inspired by first.  I’ve always felt this pressure to write in sequence, scene by scene.  Last night after leaving them, I went home and worked on my own book for awhile.  It is still the highest priority of mine to finish it this year.  I also practiced my elevator pitch to them, which I haven’t done yet with anyone.  They were very receptive to my story and thought it was really interesting.  That made me feel so good.  Their stories were fantastic of course… I can’t wait to have more writing sessions with them in the future.

This is  a pretty big week for me, as we launch the fundraising campaign for my next short film this Friday!  It’s always super scary to put yourself out there in such a vulnerable way, but I hope I have proven my filmmaking capabilities with the last two projects.  Since we are going about our fundraising in a unique way, we’ve been able to get some fun media coverage that will soon be unveiled.  Not only will you get to choose the story that you want to see produced, but we will be giving away some amazing gifts to our contributors on a daily basis!  Stay tuned to those alerts here.  James (the producer) and Dan Gavin (the developer and wizard) have been working really hard behind the scenes to make this a fun and unique experience for everyone.  Please keep your fingers crossed that all goes smoothly, and we certainly appreciate any support  you are willing to give.  We can’t do it without you!

One quick note to my Nashville friends – we are heading your way with Twelve on March 24th!  If you want to be in on this supper experience with us, please shoot us an email here.  We arethisclose to confirming a pretty rad venue, and if it comes through, could be one of our most interesting dinners to date.  More on that very soon…

Film work over the weekend!

Film work over the weekend!

Anniversary cheese at the park! Photo by James.

Anniversary cheese at the park! Photo by James.

Amazing dinner with friends who attended the Oxford Film Festival! Photo by Vero.

Amazing dinner with friends who attended the Oxford Film Festival! Photo by Vero.

James the storyteller. Photo by Vero.

James the storyteller. Photo by Vero.