I have been thinking about this note for quite a while now, wishing I could take the time to write and catch up. And this morning is perfect. I have started setting aside a couple of days each week when I don’t write, even in the middle of a new first draft, which in the past I have pushed through with an almost grim determination. But my creative energy tends to flag, and my output becomes a struggle.
So even when I am facing a crucial juncture and don’t know what to do, like today, I force myself to take a day away and work on other things like taxes, administrivia, and this blog. To my amazement, my overall output has actually risen, and I can occasionally glimpse the bottom of my in-box. A first.
We returned to the US on June 24 and had less than a week at home before I left to speak at the largest mainstream writers’ conference in the world, ThrillerFest. Three thousand authors and agents and publishers and LA types. It starts with CraftFest, for would-be writers, which I taught at, then the main event. Seven extremely busy days ended on the Sunday, and I flew straight down that morning to begin the Christian Bookseller Convention’s annual gathering, the first we have attended in six years.
Isabella drove over and joined me. We had so many meetings scheduled that we had morning coffee together, and then would meet up again only for conferences which were so important we felt both of us had to attend. Otherwise we split up, it was the only way to get everything accomplished. We met again for corporate business dinners on Sun and Tues, the other nights we kept to this split-apart tactic.
We drove home, had less than a week here, then left for Chicago. Isabella attended the ABA leadership conference, then the full ABA annual meeting. I spent the first day in a Chicago suburb meeting with a publisher. The other days I wandered, researched, wrote, fielded conference calls resulting from the convention, and attended evening functions with Isabella as the designated ‘spouse’. Which I have to tell you was a lot of fun.
We have been back home now for ten days, long enough to get used to waking up in our new bed. We only had five weeks in our new Florida condo before leaving for the UK in early May, and this really has been special. We are so loving this place.
There have been moments when we miss the view out our back windows of the ocean – we are across the street from the Atlantic now – but today the first feeder bands (trailing-edge storms) have arrived from Hurricane Irene, and all of a sudden the logic that pushed us away from oceanfront living comes back to the fore. As does a very deep appreciation for the triple-pane semi-bulletproof windows and doors, guaranteed against winds up to 180mph, and the solid poured-concrete steel-reinforced construction. This place is really special.
As for California and the film side, here is how things stand. All hype aside, which is something we are taking as our theme in dealing with possible new projects. There is a lot — a whole lot — of possible activity. But there are also a number of hoops that have to be jumped through between initial conversations and seeing something on the screen.
So let me begin by saying everything I’m going to talk about here is small budget, and intended for the inspirational market. This is the growing section where we have been approached and invited to possibly participate. With one possible exception, all the projects belong to this new and growing arena.
We finished filming my first screen project, Unlimited, in May. As you may recall, I co-wrote the screenplay last year. The final cut with soundtrack and voice balancing should be done by early September. We have seen a rough cut and really liked it. The trailer should be available next week, and I’ll post it on my blog as soon as it is released.
I have finished writing the novel, and we are working on putting together a distribution deal and marketing budget. This second tranche of investment capital, called P&A, is proving intensely difficult. We have some really good initial indications, including the following:
Sony Provident has indicated they are interested in negotiating for US rights; Lifeway Films (the Southern Baptist Convention) has indicated they want to help promote; Fox’s new Spanish language arm has indicated they are willing to negotiate for the those rights; the group that backed the Veggie Tales has signed on to help with marketing. But none of these deals are signed, and we are still hunting for that marketing budget.
There is one bit of news that really does need to be shared now. We have completed work on a new mission video, which is intended to clearly state the Unlimited film’s underlying message. Once the final polish is completed in early September, this will go out to church leaders around the nation.
You are among the first people to see this anywhere. Go to the Dropbox website over the couple of days, and click on THE TOP RIGHT PHOTOGRAPH. The ministry video is seven minutes long. It is, in my opinion, the finest of its kind that I have ever seen. I hope you enjoy it. The website is: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jm1xip53q44gfci/mF12QZQqpv#/
Your prayers would certainly be appreciated.
Very warmest regards to all,