Help!

I need help creating, tweaking, rewriting, and rewriting again the perfect logline for The Vortex.

The screenplay is based on the first three books of the Cryptozoology Series: Within Emerald Forests, Under Sapphire Skies and Beneath Diamond Waters.

 

 

Here are the two leading loglines:

  1. After three siblings are dropped off at their aunt and uncle’s for the summer, the oldest sister must rescue her siblings when the cryptozoological vortex opens and her brother is kidnapped by a maternal Bigfoot and a kelpie offers her sister as a sacrifice to a dangerous sea monster.
  2.  With fears of spending a long and boring summer with their slightly eccentric aunt and uncle, Addeline, Fiona and Ian end up experiencing an extraordinary adventure in an amazing cryptozoological vortex complete with the Florida Skunk Ape, mermaids, and a hornless unicorn.

Please let me know either which you prefer or create your own – I’d love to know how you’d describe the series!

 

 

 

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Spring has Sprung

Chuck Wills Widow – one of the world’s most annoying birds, seems to announce the coming of Spring here at the Triple H Ranch. From the time it starts looking for a mate until the hatchlings leave the nest, nighttime sleeping is somewhat scarce for all of us.

Time to write!

I just completed a very rough draft of the 2nd screenplay: Beyond the Vortex – based on book four of the Cryptozoology series: Across Ruby Fields. So now it’s time for edits, edits, and more edits.

The 1st screenplay: The Vortex – based on the first three books of the Cryptozoology series, his entered in contests at the moment and I will soon be searching for a manager to help give it a life of its own.

So even running on very little sleep (thanks Chuck!) and tons of caffeine, life moves on at the Triple H at an astounding pace!

Happy Spring and may you get all the sleep you can!

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Screenwriting Baby Steps

Thank you to everyone who sent in suggestions for loglines – you have no idea how helpful it is – just one word can spark the imagination!

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I have found myself in a strange, new world – stranger than my imagination and with more rules than the Vortex – Hollywood!

I had a phone conference with my amazing new editor, Amanda, yesterday and have my next steps for editing, improving, and hopefully eventually selling The Vortex. She kept telling me the next step is the ‘fun’ part. I tend to look at edits more like a necessary evil instead of ‘fun’ – but I’m trying to put myself in her mindset. In her 7-page script analysis, she was very through as to what edits she saw the script needing – the phone conference solidified everything.

  1. Create ‘rules’ for the vortex to everyone understands the stakes and why things are happening.
  2. Edit for dialogue, action, descriptions
  3. Check the structure and beats
  4. Start working on the next one (seriously)

When I’m done with steps 1-3 (hopefully in the April/May timeframe) it’ll be time to submit to one of two contests that offer managers as the top prize (gasp!) as well as shop for one myself. They want to know that I’m more than a one trick pony and will want to see others…thus the need for #4.

It’s time to settle in and get cracking again! I’ll let you know when I come up for air.

 

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Logline Help!

This amazing journey from novel to screenplay is filled with so many twists and turns it’s difficult to know where it stands from day to day. The editor returned the full screenplay with lots of comments and suggestions – enough to keep my busy for quite some time!

Book 1

Book 1

But you know my mind is ALWAYS one step ahead of the rest of me. The Vortex needs a logline – a one line summary to answer the question: What is it about? I’ve come up with some half decent ones and some really bad ones, then Les reminded me that most people don’t work in a bubble. Most great ideas come from brainstorming.

Book 2

Book 2

 

That’s where you, my brilliant village, come in! I need loglines or just phrases that can be turned into loglines for The Vortex. This is the best of what I’ve come up with so far:

For three kids, their summer vacation into the country leads to a Skunk Ape kidnapping, mermaid sacrifice and goblin wars when they find themselves in an active cryptozoological vortex.

Now I want to know what you can come up with!

Book 3

Book 3

 

 

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The Vortex Update

Things change quickly here at the Triple H these days. It seems as soon as I get one blog out, there is more news to share. This week is no different.

Last week I sent the first 15 pages of The Vortex to an editor in LA. She responded very quickly and very positively! I’ve had a busy weekend making the suggested changes to the first 15 pages and placing them throughout the next 75 pages before the next round of  edits!

Speaking of edits – when is the next round? Now! I’m submitting it back within the next half hour for a turnaround time by Friday afternoon – more to follow!

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Literacy Week Reflections

What a week! Last week was Literacy Week here in Florida and I was fortunate enough to speak to over 300 children about reading, writing, and of course, my books. So many amazing things happen when you share a passion – any passion! One student even wrote a note telling me they want to be just like me when they grow up…I hope I was able to inspire at least one of those 300 into writing. If I can do it – anyone can!

On that note – The Vortex is currently being reviewed by an editor in LA. It’s pretty exciting to think that something I wrote is being reviewed and edited in the movie capital! Of course, this is the first step of many…like the quote by Lao Tzu: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

I’m hoping my journey won’t be a thousand miles – but I’ve already taken the first step!

This keeps me going when I want to stop…

 

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With a Little Help From My Friends…

I feel as if I’m channeling that amazing Beatles Song: With a Little Help From My Friends today.

I held the first reading of the screenplay for The Vortex today, based on the first 3 books of the cryptozoology series.

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There were six readers while I took notes (mostly on my misuse of apostrophes!). There was much wine, much pizza and much fun to be had!

I was nervous at first, sending my story out into the world to be read. Thankfully I had planned ahead and invited kind, gentle people who want to see me and this screenplay succeed. After my first glass of wine and the first 30 pages, all of my anxieties were set aside.

It was fun! It was such an amazing experience having my words, my thoughts brought to life through the voice of others. It’s difficult to explain the feeling of having other people laughing at the jokes and little comments I included. They got it!

I had intended to take pictures of this great event, but became too caught up in the moment (and misused apostrophes) to take a break for pix. Know that it was amazing and I wouldn’t be where I was now, except with a little help from my friends!

Thank you all!!

Les Clements, Lila Sleeper, Sandra Oja-Dunaway, Jodi Lanford, Brenda Bennett, Debbie Wicker and Katelyn Maloney (here in spirit and edited before it made it to this point)

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The Vortex

The screenplay has an official working title: The Vortex!

It’s based on the first 3 books of the cryptozoology series: Within Emerald Forests, Under Sapphire Skies, and Beneath Diamond Waters. The story lines are inter-woven again as Addeline attempts to reunite her siblings when Ian is found by the Florida Skunk Ape who wants to raise him as her own and Fiona is given to the underwater land of Mer as a gift from a kelpie, all the while from keeping the goblins from taking over the entrance to the Vortex.

The screenplay is written and edits have begun…If you haven’t had a chance to read the books yet, now is your chance before the movie comes out! We all know that books are better than movies!

the-cryptozoology-series-by-award-winning-author-heather-hamel

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2016 Reflections

What a year…Between Christmas and New Years is the time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next. What an amazing year 2016 has been.It started off nearly the same as any other year – working full time for the school system, but I was also finishing up Yoga Teacher Training and decided to work on an adult novel and a screenplay.

So what happened??

I am now a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher (&  teaching several classes a week), only working part-time for the school system as a 4th/5th grade teacher for students with special needs, teach Chinese students English from home, released two Middle Grade novels, am in edits for both the screenplay (based on the first three books of the Crypto series) and the adult historical romance, and have started giving riding lessons here at the Triple H.

WOW! I’m so fortunate and blessed to have such an amazing support team to keep things running.I’m thankful that everyone here (human and animal alike) have been healthy and happy. We were incredibly lucky when Hurricane Matthew tore up the East Coast, we were far enough from the destruction and were able to help out several other families (and their furry friends) escape the storm.

What will 2017 hold? Who knows – but you’ll have to check back next week to at least see what the plans will be!

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Twas Kobi’s Night Before Christmas

A favorite and a classic here at the Triple H!

This is an adaptation of Twas the Night before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore to fit Kobi and the Triple H Ranch:

Kobi’s Night Before Christmas Poem

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the barn
All the creatures were stirring, but they meant us no harm.
The stockings were hung on the stall boards with care,
In hopes that Santa Horse soon would be there.

Daisy was nestled all snug in her bed,
While visions of horse trailers danced in her head.
Midnight’s snug in his blanket, and I’m in mine too,
We settled down for a short winter’s snooze.

When out in the pasture there arose a great fuss,
I sprang to my feet to see what was up.
Away to the wall I flew in rush,
Went on alert looking towards the brush.

The moon on the breast of the newly grown rye
Gave the illusion of summer to my wandering eye.
When, what to my startled eyes should I know,
But a miniature sleigh and eight mini burros.

With a little old driver, so lively of course,
I knew in a moment it was Santa Horse.
More rapid than hawks his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Blossom! now, Bloomer! now, Sugar and Achey!
On, Cricket! On, Cuzzin! on Jasper and Jakey!
To the top of the barn! to the top of the stall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the barn-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of treats, and Santa Horse too.

And then, a twinkling, I heard up on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I spun in my stall, and was looking around,
Down the barn isle Santa Horse came with a bound.

He was dressed in all red, from his head to his toe,
And his clothes were all rumpled from being on the go.
A bucket of treats he carried in his hand,
Looking just like a beach dweller carrying sand.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His quaint little mouth was drawn up in a grin,
As he dropped some alfalfa in the bottom of my bin.

The stump of a toothpick he held tight in his teeth,
And wiggled it around in some amazing feat.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I nickered when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Filled both our stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up to the rooftop he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas all horses, and to all a good-night!”

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