February, 2009 Archives


Team Work

by Pj in Film Production, Screenwriting

Yesterday we had a business lunch. I always get a little quiet during these little meet and greets. I think it is warranted. There have been so many times that we have met with someone and shared our ideas and plans and then find they have taken our idea, knowledge or connections and have used it to benefit their plans leaving us in the dust. So I watch and observe and keep my mouth shut and listen.

While we were at Sundance this year I watched the different filmmakers as they cautiously networked with one another. Never quite sure who would be their friend or next business opportunity, they knew they had to be vulnerable because they can’t do everything themselves… well some can, but I believe the work suffers. Another story!

So back to lunch. Cyndi was quite in her element, asking questions, getting answers, providing comic relief, being her intelligent self. I guess the man couldn’t take it anymore. He finally looked at me and asked a question. I began talking to him about our stories and plans and hopes. I mentioned several of our projects and there was one that he latched onto and confirmed his belief that it was a great story.

As we said our farewells, His comment was something like, “You need to talk more.” I told him that if I talked more I couldn’t be listening. I think he got it, but so did I.

There is something wonderful about having our story ideas validated. Who knows, he might be calling one of his writer friends and telling them about it. Or maybe we found another team player. Sure hope so. If we have learned anything we have learned filmmaking is a collaborated effort with people you can trust. And being able to express myself without judgement does build trust. We don’t all have to agree, but to be in a space of mutual respect and consideration made me feel good about me… and about him.


BanJoe’s Birthday

by Pj in Family


Today is Ben’s 23rd birthday. As I was putting this together… I cried. These moments are my moments. These images brought back so many memories and times. Hugs with chubby little fingers and wet snotty kisses. Who’d of thought one would miss that?! Now when my children hug me, it is my chubby fingers (sort of) and snotty kisses that they have to deal with! Well, Benjamin, hope you know how much you are loved. Your life is moving in a good direction. Now that you are 23 … know that I am still the boss! Love you!
Click here to see a memory flash of Banjoe!


Baby’s Gone

by Pj in Family


This month is crazy for Ciera Jo. Every week she has another performance, activity or SOMETHING that makes her feel just a tad stressed out. This week was no different. We didn’t think she would make it to this performance because she had that cold/cough thing and well, I hear that when you have one of those one can not sing. Never stopped me, but my children often remind me that I can sing, but no one wants to hear that kind of NOISE. So, let me introduce you again to Ciera Jo. Glad she enjoys the participation. I believe that is what makes life more fun.

On a side note, Ciera…. Do what makes you happy and remember when you are laying in your bed looking at the stars at night it is ok to wonder… where the heck is the ceiling?! love ya! — Mom

Click here to see Ciera Performing My Baby’s Gone


Dig up the Dirt!

by Pj in Random

Have you noticed…

That when you read other people’s blogs everyone looks like they are having a really good time, all the time?

Now, don’t get your hair in the air! I am not suggesting that everyone become morose… but maybe a tad more real would be nice.

I am in the midst of writing a couple screenplays. One is based on two women born in the early 16th century. As I read the journals and histories and even the trial transcripts, I am faced with a dilemma. Those people understood the power of the written word. They knew whatever was written would be read. They appreciated that the histories they were exposed to, mostly religious texts, dictated most everything in their lives. They knew what they read influenced the individual and eventually nations, cultures and the future.

I believe, they slanted the truth as much as their conscience would allow to tell the story they wanted told and the histories they wanted remembered.

So, the next time you blog, try to remember to throw in some of the hard stuff because besides influencing future generations…

You are depressing the heck out of my everyday ho-hum life.


Father Daughter Duet

by Pj in Family


Ciera is trying to earn money for her choir school trip to California this Spring. She participated in the talent show and so of course we filmed it. Actually Ben filmed this. I need to talk to him about filming, shooting, lighting… Anyway, enjoy this girl! I know I do!

Click here to see Ciera and Chris Performing You Raise Me Up


Writing is Hard

by Pj in Random

Writing is hard.

Sometimes I feel like, what the heck am I doing? What makes me think I can write? I crawl up into a ball, well, actually I can’t really crawl into a ball anymore, but I can still handle the fetal position… So I lay, tightly, in fetal position and feel pretty worthless.

Then, I start reading. Lately I read my friends blogs, and then I jump to their friends blogs. It’s kind of like leap frog, but it’s leap blog. I find out how small the world really is when I find I have leapt on a blog of someone I know and I didn’t know it was them!

I see pictures of them with their families and friends and sometimes I am in there somewhere. Or I listen to their choice of songs or they share ideas or memories and I don’t feel so worthless after all.

I eventually get back to writing… and it is still hard.



by Pj in Random

I love the writing process. We are in the middle of writing the amazing story of Anne and Mary. As we started the research we kept uncovering little nuggets of information that enabled us to get to know these women. They died over 300 years ago, but sometimes I feel like they are so alive.

I love discussing the story with Cyndi. We explore different scenarios and sometimes, like today, I will ask her, “tell me all you know about Vane.” And as she did I realized that she sees him differently then I. She gave me insight of him through her eyes and then I shared my view of him. Just the conversation made him more dimensional and in the process I believe the story will be richer and deeper and more real.

It is wonderful to be able to spill out ideas and thoughts without judgement or ridicule. Neither of us say, “well, that’s dumb or lame.” We just keep exploring and uncovering possibilities until that moment when we both can feel the truth in the plot or story or character.

Today, Cyndi was reading the first 10 pages. She looked up at me and said, “We are brilliant.” Wow, amazing. We all know Cyndi is well, over the top when it comes to brains. For her to include me in the statement was wonderful and validating and reassuring.

I love the writing process, I believe because I discover more. I discover the possibility of me… and the possibility of you.


Tax Man

by Pj in Random

It’s tax time. For most of us that means doing an inventory, gathering information and filing. For others… well I don’t know what others do. Oh wait, I think they ignore them and hope they go away. Well, they don’t. So, please take the time and just get it done! Taxes and death, you know one of those will come once a year. The other might come, but the odds are death will still not get you out of paying.

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