Monday, June 30, 2008

Am I Officially a Writer?

I received my first rejection letter last week. It wasn't too horribly devastating as I thought the first one would be. I suppose, I had prepared myself for it, so much for positive thinking. I've heard so many terrible stories of writers being rejected dozens of times, but persevered until they are now successful authors.
Even J.K. Rowling had her share of rejections.

I've been absorbing the letter for the last few days and have had great words of encouragement from family and friends. Everyone who has read my manuscript thinks IT'S JUST COFFEE needs to be published.

Two people in particular were very helpful.

From Lynne:
You ARE officially a writer. You have finished a BOOK. A book that is a very good read. KEEP TRYING!!!

From Marcy:
Peter Bart, editor of Variety:
The Art of Facing Upward. I thank my colleague Anne Thompson for blogging J.K. Rowling's brilliant commencement address at Harvard. In it Rowling described the value of failure - and the message is relevant in a town like Hollywood, where rejection is a day-to-day experience.

Having become the richest non-royal woman in England, Rowling recalls what it felt like earlier in her life to have a marriage implode, to be jobless, a lone parent and a failed writer.

In retrospect, she says, "Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. I discovered that I had a strong will and more discipline than I had suspected. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity."
Read that again, folks, next time a casting director says "you're wrong for the part" or a development dweeb tells you your script sucks. You, too, could become a billion-dollar novelist.

Along with the encouragement, I received a suggestion from my boss at school.
She said, "Why not write about your Hollywood adventures?"
I had thought about that before, but decided against it at the time. They have been too personal, but since some time has passed-- almost two years, I still talk about the stories with friends and laugh out loud. Meeting celebrities, going to movie premieres and pre-screenings, having a car towed, going to the Jay Leno show, and meeting interesting women in a fan club -- None of the stories could be made up, so I spent the weekend outlining the new manuscript, could be a hoot of a book! We'll see...

So now I'm off to sending out more query letters and starting the process all over again.

Thank you everyone for the love and support,

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Meeting James McAvoy

I went to the Jay Leno taping on Thursday, June 19th. We (two friends and my daughter) were sitting directly in front of the band, high in the risers, 2nd row from the back. It was obvious we were the only James McAvoy fans in that area of the audience, mostly tourists to see a taping of the show.

When James was about to come out from back stage, we saw him in the wings and waved frantically at him. We didn't think he would see us because it was dark. To our surprise James waved back enthusiastically. Of course we were thrilled and waved even more. He pretended to hide behind the wall, then jumped out, and then began waving enthusiastically again with his arms high above his head. We couldn't believe it, we were waving and laughing. Then he began dancing! I can't tell you how happy he made us.

After the show, my daughter and I made our way to the gates where the guests and Jay Leno normally come out of the parking lot. When we arrived, there were three autograph hounds waiting too. After waiting a few minutes, in the distance we saw a black Cadilac Escalade pulling up to the security/guard house, exiting the parking lot. It slowed down as it approached us with the window being rolled down. IT WAS JAMES!

The three autograph hounds made it to the car before my daughter and I. James signed their pictures and then it was my turn. He signed two pictures for me and two pictures for my daughter (the extra pictures were for our friends). I thanked him at least six times, while he signed my daughter's, he said, "I have to go. Sorry." About that moment two girls I had seen in the audience of the show came running up. James told them he was sorry he had to go. I thanked him again, I don't know what compelled me, but I told him, "I love you." He smiled and said something like. "Thank you." LOL!

I have to say, he has the Biggest, most amazing blue eyes, they are NOT color enhanced for the movies! James was wonderful to watch in person and even more wonderful to meet up close and personal!

A Perfect Night

My friends and I had a perfect night. We began the evening with dinner, a special prescreening of WANTED at the Archlight, and then a special Q&A with the one of the screenwriters, Michael Brandt.

Now, I have to admit, I'm biased when it comes to James McAvoy's work, he's my new favorite. James McAvoy was perfectly cast, I enjoyed Angelina Jolie, no other actress can do what she does, and only Morgan Freeman can make you believe there is a fraternity of assassins that has existed for a 1,000 years. The movie was great, I hadn't known much about the story before hand other than the trailers. So the twist hadn't been expected.

I couldn't wait to see the movie so the added bonus of Michael Brant speaking about how he and the other screenwriters had created WANTED and his upcoming projects made the night even better. Listening to Michael speaking about writing, rewrites, fighting to have lines included or excluded in the final cut, had been a great experience for me as an aspiring writer. He mentioned he wished one of the lines hadn't been in the final cut, "I'm the man". It worked for me mainly because of James. Had one of the usual manly-action-hero-movie stars been cast, the line wouldn't have worked, but then again the whole movie wouldn't have worked.

Michael was gracious to spend time to talk to us after the Q & A and asked our opinion if we enjoyed the movie. Of course we told him what we thought. I don't know what he thought about us, we're not the usual comic book to film, action adventure, movie goers, definitely out of the demographic. LOL! Far from!

The Q & A after the screening
Michael Brandt & Me