2013 was a great year on a number of levels. Yes, The Brother roars and more. This short film, that I co-wrote and co-produced with Michael Stevantoni, my grandson, had its premiere in January. After that, it was selected for a number of film festivals. Michael won the Director’s Prize at the Green Mountain Film Festival in Vermont. He also won Best High School Drama at the Independent Student Film Festival Hollywood and received a Film of Merit at the Route 66 International Film Festival, Springfield, Illinois
This past year, we worked together on another short film, It Is What It Is, currently in post-production, meaning Michael is now busy editing. Anyone involved in film-making knows producing a film is not a smooth road. There are unexpected bumps along the way. Lighting issues, location headaches, and human error
can cause many a sleepless night. But you don’t give up. You find a way. Passion keeps a project afloat, even when unexpected problems surface.
Which brings me to my novel. For the past year or two, I’ve been pitching my novel to various agents—and tweaking it as well—while trying to get it out the traditional way. For those of you who know, I’ve been agented before for my screenplays, so I know the value of having an agent, even though none of mine ever sold. This time around though, I got some interest in my story but no bites. So, after much agonizing, I’ve decided to self-publish. My novel is currently sitting on a copy editor’s desk in New York and I’ve put out a request for a book cover design from someone highly regarded by a number of authors. My plan is to publish this spring. So, within the next month of two, I’ll let you know my progress, title, etc. It’s a story I’ve labored over, a story I fell in love with as I wrote it.
As well, I’m only a couple of chapters short of a first draft of my grandmother’s story, a chapter of which has already been published in Escape, an anthology. And I have plans to revisit an earlier novel, set largely on a psychiatric ward. It was one that I adapted from a screenplay I wrote, one that got me an agent.
As usual, I have many irons in the fire…from poetry, to a stage play, to short stories and children’s books. Daughter Karen and I also hope to write a book together about her incredible and courageous journey, not to be divulged just yet. All I need is time and the will to persevere.
Again, I’m reminded of how one gets things done by watching my grandson at work. It’s the fire in one’s belly that keeps projects alive. So far, mine is far from being extinguished.
Wishing you all a joyous new year! And may you be surrounded by love and the promise of better things to come.
- Counting My Blessings
- Philip Seymour Hoffman – A Brilliant but Tortured Artist