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Last year, I said I'd be back. I was only half right. While I didn't attend the 2018 Beverly Hills Film Festival, my revised screenplay did. Did I say revised? I meant overhauled. With a new title, Reason to Live, it was in the running with many of the same characters and a similar story, but a much different approach to the way it is told. So much so, in fact, that I have written a book under the new name to closely follow the screenplay.

I plan to replace A Lifetime Last Night with Reason to Live when it's ready for publication. Having them both out there doesn't make sense. I'll self-publish it with the intent that the book and screenplay (when it's made into a movie) will feed off each other.

Stay tuned...

Updated: Jun 15, 2021

I spent five days in LA LA Land. I visited the Santa Monica Pier, Paradise Cove in Malibu, and the Griffith Observatory. I cruised Hollywood Boulevard and watched some very good indie films. The highlight of the trip was the black-tie Awards Gala. Surreal. Although I went home without an award, inspiration was my prize.

It was a great opportunity, the kind a writer dreams of, but this was well past the edge of my comfort zone. I’ve always been the guy behind the camera, not in front of it. I called my ex-wife to share the news. She was very enthusiastic. When I told her that I wasn’t sure if I could go, she said, “You’ve GOT to go!” She was right. What was I thinking? When you’ve asked the Universe to provide the opportunities to fulfill your dream, you don’t turn the other cheek when it obliges.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve balanced my novel writing with a screenwriting skills upgrade in anticipation of a summer re-write. The festival provided some serious validation as I placed in the top 10% of over 5000 screenplay submissions.

In the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator, 1984), “I’ll be back.”

It appears that I haven’t posted here in over a year. Shame on me. In my defense, many things have been competing for my attention. After a frightening incident last January, I realized that my parents’ physical and mental health was failing to the point of no longer being able to live on their own. At the time, I’d been juggling several balls—job, writing, book publication, volunteer work. Taking on my parents’ finances, medical management, and household duties felt like throwing a chain-saw, a bowling pin, and an egg into the mix. I struggled to keep them all in the air.

In April, my sister and I moved both parents into an adult care facility, and my load lightened a bit. In May, Broken Angels was released by Pegasus Books. Over the summer, as I continued to work on my third book and began promoting Broken Angels, Dad’s health deteriorated. After several visits to the ICU, we had to face the inevitability of a nursing home for our broken angel.

I finished the draft of my third book, Don’t Curse the Rain, in August, and shipped the manuscript off to my editor. September brought legal counsel and Medicaid applications. Dad was admitted to The Commons on St. Anthony on September 16th, the day before I began a two-month odyssey to rehab my parents’ house for sale. Spending 20-30 hours per week with paint and power tools, I was knee-deep in the renovations when Dad passed peacefully on October 6th.

Friends and family gathered to celebrate Dad’s life and say a final farewell. The following day, our lives went on without him. Gone but certainly not forgotten. As work continued on the house, a deluge of postmortem paperwork landed on my doorstep.

By mid-November, with the house renovations nearly complete, I felt life returning to a state of equilibrium. We’ve decided not to list the house until after the holidays, so I have a little time to check off the remaining items on the final punch-list. I am grateful for the family and friends that offered their physical and emotional support.

As I bounce ideas around in my head for book four (a sequel to Don’t Curse the Rain), I am crafting query letters and identifying potential agents to represent me. This is one of the not-so-fun parts of writing, at least for me. But I’ve been told by people, including my editor, that Don’t Curse the Rain is my best book yet (and that’s saying something after the overwhelmingly positive feedback for Broken Angels), so I’ve decided to reach for the brass ring.

What did you do on your summer vacation?

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