Contests, and Edits, and New Scripts – Oh My!

As we enter the mid-point of September, writing and everything writing related are still in full-swing here at the newly renamed Dragonfly Acres (formerly the Triple H Ranch).

I just entered Retribution (the latest screenplay) into two contests – fingers crossed that ‘they’ like it as much as my village does.

I’m meeting with an executive tomorrow to help me format and edit Worlds Away to be considered for the viability of a streaming series.

Finally, with all of the hurricane threats we have experienced in the last two weeks (Dorian and Humberto) it got the wheels churning for another script – The Storm…think the old board game Clue meets a hurricane where one of the evacuee’s is murdered and they must solve who did it before someone else gets killed!

Remember to always follow your dreams and never wait until you know what you’re doing before you start – make that leap and build the plane on the way down…that’s what I do!

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Retribution

I apologize for laying low lately…but between writing and editing the new script and school starting – things here have been crazy at the Triple H Ranch (which has been renamed to Dragonfly Acres now!)

But enough for excuses – Retribution!

The idea for this story came to me in the middle of the night years ago – Some kids had broken out of the Hastings Youth Academy and it was all over the news (we only live a few miles away). Helicopters were flying over most of the night too.

Well, about midnight, I woke up with helicopters flying over and seeing their spotlights through the window and was gripped with fear – what if they were in my barn or worse yet, what if they had done something to the horses!

Since that night, this story has haunted me. Yes, it has taken many different twists and turns from the original idea, but here’s what it’s about now!

Five years ago, Sloane was attacked by two thugs who took her gun, her jewelry, and her pinky finger. After helping to put them behind bars, she dreams of a quiet live with her husband Cole – teaching in a small rural school and raising horses.

Until the night her attackers escape from prison and hunt her down – blaming her for them getting locked up in the first place.

While checking on the horses late at night, the men come out the woods and take Sloane and Cole hostage in their home while they search for anything of value as payback, before discovering their locked gun safe.

Now that guns have been outlawed, the crooks motive changes from petty theft and tormenting Sloane to finding the key to unlock the arsenal of weapons using whatever means necessary.

Sloane manages to escape on horseback into the woods where they pursue her in a game of cat and mouse, intent on leaving no witnesses.

She must use the strength and determination she thought they took from her all those years ago to defeat her attackers again, save herself, and deliver a foal – all in one rainy night.

Here’s my inspirational poster – Thanks Internet Hippie!

 

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Kobi – The Wonder Mustang

Anytime it’s been WAY TOO LONG since I was in the saddle I am amazed by how truly magnificent Kobi can be – when he wants to be!

I’m not even going to say how long its been since I’ve ridden – but in my defense between the boys gnat allergies (which are already in full swing) and Kobi’s diagnosis of asthma last month, it’s been a little wonky around here where the horses are involved.

Anyway…I popped up on Kobi with just a halter (it bothers his ears to try and put a bridle on) and just walked/jogged all around. He was responding to me with just a little leg and voice commands. Let me say that again – VOICE COMMANDS!

Yes, this was the horse that when I first got him, I was scared to ride him  without someone walking beside him to get control if need be. This was the horse that taught me the benefits of wearing a helmet and for several years – body armor. This was also the horse that was so smart – and wanted to learn – that he became Reserve Champion in his Dressage tests.

Kobi – The Wonder Mustang – maybe I should write a book about him!

We’ve been through so much in our almost 14 years together, but I would trust that horse with my life now.

Which leads to my next writing project (you knew it was coming, didn’t you?!) A screenplay, currently titled Retribution – about a woman who manages to escape during a home invasion and makes it to the barn…to her trusted horse…and disappears into the woods.

It’s a work in progress and is challenging me on so many levels since it is unlike anything I’ve ever done before – but isn’t that what it’s all about…challenging yourself and enjoying the ride!

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Diving In

There are fewer things in my world more exciting than starting a new story – whether it’s a novel or a screenplay…the possibilities  of the blank page are literally endless…at no other point of a project will this happen.

Guess what? I’m starting another!

Not that a screenplay is ever REALLY done – there are always tweaks and edits to be made. I think that Worlds Away (1-3) and Murder of Crows are in really good (pitchable) places right now…so it’s time to begin something new.

What’s so exciting for me about this project is that it’s NOT based on one of my novels – so it’s something completely new and fresh for me! The idea came about in the middle of the night (one of THOSE ideas) and has haunted me for the past couple of years…just waiting for its turn to be told.

Now is that time! I’ll let you know when I come up for air!

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Improved Proof of Concept for Worlds Away

I listened and took advice. While the proof of concept for Worlds Away seemed to be a hit – it was the sound that was lacking…

I brought the short to Eclipse Recording Studio to see if they could clean up the dialog – WOW…but don’t take my word for it…check it out here: https://vimeo.com/316123625

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Worlds Away – Proof of Concept!

It’s here!

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Worlds Away – A Week Away!

Mark you calendars – in one week…January 21st  (during the full moon) at 6pm the link to the  6 minute Proof of Concept for Worlds Away will be released here, on Facebook, Instagram and on the website!

See ya soon!

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Finished Project

 

 

Today we wrapped up the final edits for the proof of concept Worlds Away. I must admit, it was bittersweet. While I am so grateful for everything I have learned over the past 5 months (wow-has it really been that long?!), I’m sorry to see it over!

We celebrated last Saturday with a viewing party for cast and crew – everyone even had a chance to make their own unicorn!

Grace Leary (the amazing editor) and I finished up the last of the nit-picky edits today! We’re going to leave it for a few days (to see if we missed anything) before it’s ready to be announced to the world!

So, stay tuned for the grand reveal – and in the meantime…enjoy some of the stills!

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Mermaids and Unicorns

I can’t even begin to explain how much I have learned through the process of creating the proof of concept for Worlds Away. It seems each day I learn something new from the day before.

Not only am I working with an AMAZING cast and crew, I’m also fortunate enough to work with execs from Hollywood along the way. Last week I shared with them the latest rough cut…they had some great suggestions for close-ups and reshoots as well as wanting more magical creatures! We reshot the mermaid scenes and pondered what other magical creature we could include…

Which led us to turning Kobi into a unicorn. Now he’s not typically my first choice for something out of the ordinary, but I had already used Midnight for a horse-washing scene…so Kobi won the honor by default.

He was a champ! He didn’t mind the horn or all the adjustments that went along with it. He didn’t mind being led around with the horn moving on his head…he really didn’t like the fog!

Since the scene wasn’t written into the script in the first place, we had the freedom to work it however we chose – so Tabitha took her unicorn for a walk! Click here for the raw footage – enjoy!

 

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Let the Magic Begin

As October wraps up and November is making a spectacular entrance, all of the filming for Worlds Away (short) is done – and the real magic, the editing, will begin today!

Aside from my limited experience with putting together clips of Kobi’s horse shows, I (again) have no idea what I’m doing – but am forever grateful to the amazing Grace Leary for her time and talents! I have no idea how long this process takes (of course I don’t!) but as soon as we have something jaw dropping, I will share it!

In other news, I finished the first draft of the screenplay for Murder of Crows and have a thriller rattling around, waiting for its turn to be told!

Send as many happy, healthy thoughts that you can share my way these next few weeks and we’ll see what we come up with!

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