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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Sneak Peek of Swampy

Here’s the first glimpse of Swampy coming out of the woods for a nighttime drink! It hasn’t been edited at all yet – but I was too excited not to share!

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Day 1 Filming – complete!

I know more now than I did yesterday – with MUCH  help from my friends! I was blown away from the support – thank you!

I felt pretty confident in my ability to gather snacks and drinks (both for kids and their parents) but aside from that, I had no idea what to expect – the kids playing the lead roles had never even met each other! None of them had any acting experience nor really even a burning desire to do something like this – they just thought it might be fun.

They were AMAZING! Even out of 300 hundred, I couldn’t have picked 3 better kids!

We weren’t able to finish – it was just too hot  (over 100 with the heat index) and took too much out of all of us. We’ll finish up the end of October – working on the hard parts between now and then…editing and see what’s a keeper and what needs to be reshot!

Thank you for being part of this journey!




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Filming officially begins TOMORROW!

While shooting the short for Worlds Away officially starts tomorrow, we took advantage of the full moon last week to shoot our only night shot – complete with fairies and Swampy (look very closely).

I know, she’s kinda hard to see – which is how she’s evaded us for all these years. I plan to post pictures and hopefully footage for the next few weeks – stay tuned!



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Lifelong learner

My senior year of high school, I had a teacher- Coach Bryant, who taught Government and Civics. Our first day of school, he told us that we needed to learn one thing every day…and if we didn’t learn that one thing in his class, on our way out when class was over we were to tell him that he owed us two things tomorrow.

Why THAT stuck with my from high school, I have no idea.

Anyway, flash forward 30 years (gulp). I still feel I need to learn something every single day. I must be banking a few ‘new things’ at this point though! As some of you know, I’m working on a Proof of Concept video for Worlds Away…think of a movie trailer BEFORE the movie’s made.

I have no idea what I’m doing!

But that isn’t stopping me…I’ve written the short script, cast it and found an amazing crew to help me. I’ve got this…I think! I have to swallow the doubt and insecurity every day – I don’t know what I’m doing…but I’ve never let that stop me before!

Without knowing what I’m doing, I wrote and published 9 Middle Grade novels – creating my own publishing company along the way…without knowing what I’m doing, I’ve written 5 screenplays and without knowing what I’m doing, I’m shooting a short film.

Call it what you want: learning something every day, fake it ’til you make it, or having faith that everything will work out – whatever it is, that motivation gets me out of bed every morning and gives me the courage to try something new.

What about you? What did you learn today?

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Casting Call!

As I’m gearing up to create the proof of concept for Worlds Away, I thought once I had the kids cast, I was done…apparently I forgot about the evil fairy queen – Tatiana! If you know someone who would make a great fairy queen and is willing to work for food and bragging rights…let me know!

Just to get you excited – here’s the latest poster (check out the fairy queen’s ever watchful eyes on the top!) with the kids!

Thank you Jen for all the amazing work:) and Caroline, Sidney, and Owen for already signing up for the next round of the journey!

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The last few days have been an emotional roller coaster – which is saying something for a writer since everyday is an emotional roller coaster!

I ran into a former student yesterday who was doing several amazing things with her life – making me reflect on my life choices and if I’ve made the best ones.

Then I ran into another former student today. She’s a senior in high school, works, run cross-country, is taking a couple of dual enrollment courses and is one of the happiest people I’ve ever met. I worked with her in elementary school and she was one of the hardest working kids back then, instilling in her a very strong work ethic. Reading was SO HARD for her – but she never gave up on herself.

We started talking about the books I’ve written (specifically the crypto series) and why I started writing them: for my students who needed something they could read, but also wanted to be seen reading.

She flipped open Under Sapphire Skies – saw the larger font, more white space on the page, and the easier language…she looked up at me, “You wrote this for me.” In middle school she WAS the girl who had to read ‘elementary’ books that her mom highlighted…but wouldn’t be caught dead with.

Tears popped in my eyes – she’s the reason I wrote them (even though I wasn’t teaching her at the time) – and everyone else who has ever struggled to read. I asked her if reading was still hard and she said it was, but she still used every single strategy we ever taught her and was making straight A’s!

So, thank you to everyone who has ever put a book into the hands of a child – you never know where it will take them or what something ‘for them’ means.

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It’s not what you think – or maybe it is…but a nemesis wasn’t what I thought it was!

On this screenwriting journey that I have chosen to take – I learn something new almost everyday. This lesson started one week ago when I was getting some thoughts from an executive on Worlds Away 3 (Into Amethyst Mists) – based on the novel of the same name.

He had two major notes for me: 1) what to the kids learn/get from their adventure collectively and 2) the creature Deimos they must battle which is the god of terror sounds too much like Pennywise from It.

So, I had to do more research to find something ‘different’ and include a life lesson…It’s amazing when things fall together when they seem to be falling apart.

This past week I started back to school, my father’s been in the hospital more than he’s been out (it seems), and I heard that a friend’s house burned down – losing everything. WOW! My first thought was that I needed to find some balance…we all need to find some balance…

Nemesis – the winged balancer of life, dark-faced goddess, daughter of justice. She is the distributor of fortune (both good and bad) as no one should have too much of either.

So not only was I able to find my balance and put everything back into perspective, I discovered the ‘creature’ the kids must battle and their life lesson that for every good or bad thing, try to find balance.

So my wish for you is may you all have balance and find your Nemesis!

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Legend of the Three

Legend of the Three (Fairy Lore) from Worlds Away

In the Legend of the Three

Human children they must be.

First of blood, they must share,

Single goal, they must care.

Something broke shall be made whole,

In order for them to gain control.


Only the first draft of the ‘legend’ but too excited not to share!


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