Well, as the saying goes, where do I begin?
As you may recall, if you read this blog on a regular basis, I attended an indie film seminar this weekend. I arrived at the hotel on Friday afternoon and checked in without incident. I spent much of the afternoon reading a (multi-page) thriller I’m reviewing for Mystery Scene Magazine (yes, another! ). Then, after dining on a healthy room service meal of a Marriott cheeseburger with bacon plus fries, I took a cab to the seminar.
Now, back in the day, I might have walked the several blocks from 22nd and M to 19th and E. And, I suppose I could’ve walked, if I had to. However, when you’re a middle-aged woman and it’s night and you’re sort of a gimp, it’s usually best to cab it if you can, you know? Especially since DC blocks aren’t short and DC is not pedestrian friendly, right?
So, long story short, I took cabs back and forth the whole time, okay? And that was cool. I didn’t care about the money. It saved me a whole lot of wear and tear on my freaking body, let me tell you.
Not to mention my poor husband, the retired firefighter, who’s seen the unforeseen accident on more than one occasion.
Plus I used to be an EMT, so I can sympathize. Totally.
But I digress.
So … I arrived at the seminar by cab. And the first thing we did, of course, was introduce ourselves and talk about what we do and whether we’ve produced anything.
So, naturally, when it was my turn, I mentioned that I was a mystery author who had published (what will be) a series of novels. I mentioned that the first one had hit the New York Times ebook bestseller list last year, and everyone actually went “Oooh!” and applauded! I was SO
freaked out surprised, I nearly hid under my desk forgot what was I was saying. But, since I tend to be very focused and I’ve done this nearly a million times, I kept going and managed to tell them about how both novels had hit the Kindle Top 100 here in the US and the UK last year. I acknowledged that last year had been, to say the least, quite amazing.
I kind of left out the whole bit about how I have five blogs and the thing about dealing with a horrible movement disorder that makes you feel like you’re being tortured constantly. Ha ha ha …
Cue the laugh track!
This is so
horrible funny, it makes me laugh like crazy. Unfortunately, my ribs hurt so badly, this is both a good and a bad thing.
I’ll talk about that later. First, the seminar was fantastic. It was taught by the awesome Maureen Ryan. Here’s her website, where you can find her book PRODUCER TO PRODUCER. (Yes, it’s available on Amazon, of course, in print and e.)
You can also buy the book on Barnes & Noble, just so you know.
Here’s the link to the Nook version.
I can’t begin to say how happy I am that I decided to attend the seminar. I met some really awesome people. And I learned a whole lot about film production.
Film is a totally collaborative medium. I know this from reading books about screenwriting and taking a course on screenwriting. However, there’s no substitute for getting face time with a real life film producer.
Film is where art totally meets commerce and the two work together and can succeed, amazingly.
That’s why when I woke up on Saturday morning and took a shower, I had to ask myself if should I go to the hospital or not, after I slipped in the bathtub.
See, I was washing my foot. I lifted my right foot, so I was balanced on my left. The clenchy dystonia foot. Well, it’s even less reliable than I imagined. My foot gave way. I went down. My right side hit the tub. I slid down and my lower skull (beneath my ear, near my neck) smacked the side of the tub so hard, I heard a loud crack and thought something had broken.
So … I lay there, thinking, Don’t freak out. After a bit, I moved my hands and feet and gingerly tested the spot on my skull and my neck. Sore, but nothing seemed to be freakishly wrong. But neck injuries can be tricky. I know this from my EMT days. Yet, I couldn’t lay there in the bathtub all day.
After a few minutes, I worked up the nerve/strength/whatever to roll into a sitting position and hoist myself to my feet. So far, so good. I needed to rinse what was left of the hair conditioner from my hair. And I wanted to do it fast, because I was started to feel a bit dizzy. I think it may have been the steam from the shower. I like hot showers.
Well, I finished up and managed to get dressed. I called my husband (well ahead of schedule) and said, “Hey, guess what?”
I told him the whole story and asked him if he thought I should head to the hospital.
Because I was a tad worried I might have a concussion or a fractured skull or something. And this is the part of my skeleton that holds my brain we’re talking about.
We discussed the matter, and after my husband posed a series of questions that included the kind you’d ask someone who thought he was the real Santa Claus, we decided I was probably good to go.
Well, actually, he said he didn’t think I needed to, but if I felt bad at any point to be sure to go to the hospital and to let him know, etc., etc.
And, I figured I can do this. Of course, I can. And I’m not blowing this opportunity. No way.
Even though, in the back of my mind, I was wondering if I was running a risk to life and limb for the sake of this opportunity.
Thing is I learned so many new things.
We got to review the script of Torte Bluma, an indie short film on which Maureen Ryan was co-producer and line producer as you can see here.
I now know way more about what those terms actually mean.
And I also know that “most favored nation” has nothing to do with the State Department.
The film itself was quite moving. And it takes a lot to move me deeply these days. When you’re in terrible shape, it’s hard not to look at actors and say, “Well, they’re just acting.” Unless, of course, the show is really great. And the show consists of more than the actors, of course. It’s a collaborative effort. A seamless joining of creativity and commerce to produce great art and/or entertainment. Whatever.
I couldn’t find Torte Bluma on YouTube, but it was very oddly similar in theme to this film, which Paul Downie posted about on Nik Nak’s Old Peculiar over the weekend. Isn’t that
weird odd interesting?
And I actually got to meet some really awesome people.
I would be totally remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to Flora Nicholas, the former Londonite (is that the correct terminology? ) and CEO of Bra!nwave Productions in Reston, VA. And, of course, I’m now following Brainwave on Twitter now.
Flora kind of stood out for me, because she mentioned something at one point about how America always comes in late, “but you come in and that’s what matters.” And she was laughing and I was laughing. And it made me think about the first part of this post I’d written about Stephen Leather’s post.
It’s funny how mixed my feelings can be about my own country. I love it when we help others, but I hate it when we tell everyone else how to live. So, when Flora said that, I wanted to give her a high five or a hug or something.
Not only was Flora great fun and easy to talk to, but I told her all about how I’d gotten to know a reader in Brentwood, England via my blogging. And she said, “Oh, that’s in Essex County!”
So … right away, there was a connection, face to face due (ironically?) to blogging and social media.
Well, we got to talking about all sorts of things. Doctor Who, Terry Pratchett, the Hitchhiker’s Guide, etc., etc.
Anyway, I was having a great time, even though I was in pain and dealing with the usual constantly twisting body parts, etc.
Long story short (too late for that — hardy har har), I was sitting in the class, when it hit me. That movie about the girl boxer. Million Dollar Baby.
Never mind that I could have broken my neck and died. I might have severed my spinal cord and become a freaking quadriplegic.
Mind you I was still palpating the tender spot on my skull, now and then and wondering if I might have a hidden problem.
However, the sudden realization of how close a call I’d had was so alarming, I tuned out completely for a few moments.
But then I came back. I took a deep breath. Well, not really, because a deep breath made my ribs hurt like crazy.
They provided sandwiches for lunch, which this
beat-up, slightly gimpy author really appreciated.
I ended up sitting with another seminar participant, whose name I didn’t catch. I mentioned that I hadn’t been quite sure I was going to make it to the seminar that day, and I told her why. Then I recounted the moment of realization about the movie and how weird that was.
She looked at me and said, “You think too much. You seem to be doing fine. Don’t worry.” Or words to that effect. Then, she left. I wanted to say, “Wait! You don’t know that I had a stroke seven years ago, and everything seemed fine after I recovered, but then it wasn’t fine at all. And it probably never will be. I guess. Who knows?”
Anyway, other than Flora, there was the nicest Scotsman, whose name I can’t freaking remember. Dammit! Forgive me, sir. You are awesome.
There was also another really nice woman (whose name also escapes me) who suffers fibromyalgia. Knowing that made me want to cry. Pain is a horrible thing. Inexplicable pain is even more horrible. Fibromyalgia totally sucks ass.
lady woman gal awesome person with fibromyalgia was so nice and even bought me coffee from Starbucks. I wish I’d gotten your name! I’m so sorry.
I’d be most remiss if I didn’t say how pleased I was to meet Maureen Chappell Offutt, who was kind enough to share an awesome potential contact.
Thank you, again, Maureen!
Word of advice: get a website and/or blog, and get on Facebook and Twitter.
PS: Someone inquired as to why I wasn’t adapting my NY Times bestselling book into a screenplay. You know, I hadn’t really thought about it that way. Isn’t it interesting how differently things look from other people’s points of view?
So … maybe someday, huh?
PPS: To Lisa Tuvalo, I’ll be emailing you links to the various self-publishing platforms, okay?
PPPS: On a lighter note, I didn’t fall down any escalators.
PPPPS: For the first time ever, I’ve turned a (small, but growing) net profit on my writing business from the very start of the new calendar year. Now that’s a miracle.