Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm working on my next project and I'm finding a lot of the stories I would normally use for "Hillbilly Debutante" I'd rather save for the next book - which I'm hoping to have finished by December.

Since that's the case what to do with the blog?

That's a good question.

For starters, there will be more pictures. Mr. T. just bought me a brand new camera and is taking me to Florida next week so I can put it to good use.

I am hoping to do a bloggie makeover late this summer so if you know someone that can 'purdy up' Hillbilly Debutante, please refer them.

Below is one of the reasons I've been MIA. I'm sure you understand.

(you're crazy if you think I'm taking a nap!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Yesterday I posted about receiving the book/life rights contract and a lot of you wanted to know how that works.

At the same time I received my publishing contract, long before the manuscript even went to editing, it was pitched to about 4 different movie producers. From the very beginning I never kidded myself about this storyline. I knew from the get-go that this plot was not 'cinema-type' material, but I did know that it would make either a great made-for-TV or pay per view movie. My agent went ahead and pitched it to about 4 different producers and some of them were 'big-name' producers, just in case. (No, not Steven Spielberg or James Cameron)

I never heard from the first three, but one of the producers I must say. really impressed me by e-mailing me and letting me know that he received the manuscript. He even e-mailed me about a month later saying that he just hadn't had time to read it. That was in October and I haven't heard from him since.

The 4th producer was the charm. She loved it and wanted to pitch it to this particular network. I think I might have mentioned the particular network before, however now I find out that I'm not supposed to mention them by name until they actually start the filming (oops).

To make a long story short, when 'they' decide they want to make your book into a movie, they offer to buy the 'book rights.' Since mine is based on a true story and my family are the main characters they also buy the 'life rights.'

If I'm not mistaken - don't hold me to this, now - but if I understand correctly I get to work with the screenwriter. I use the term 'work with' very closely, because keep in mind I have sold the rights to that book for a movie so they have the creative freedom to change/add/mixup a few things. I am A-Okay with that.

Then they start casting in which I have absolutely no say whatsoever. I did tell, Anne (the producer) that when I was writing this I always pictured Gail O'Grady and Thomas Gibson playing the parts of the lead character.

I am just like everyone else. When it comes to reading I want to picture my characters as being above average in looks/wealth/etc. And that's exactly the same when it comes to movies.

I hope that answered your questions and thank you so much for your interest.

Have a great weekend!

Until next time,


Thursday, March 11, 2010


Just so you know, I've got the movie contract in hand. No time now, but I'll post more later.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


City people shy away from crazy. When urbanites see someone that looks even a teensy-eensy bit out of the norm they'll cross the street to avoid 'em.

Not us small towners. Nope. We love our eccentric, colorful characters. The crazier the better and if that person happens to be in your family, then by golly, we wear it like a badge of honor. Why, I've known more than one normal family that has stretched the truth or outright lied just to stake claim to an oddball in the gene pool. It's really sad. But you can't blame 'em. Bless their heart, they've no stories to recite around the Sunday dinner table or pass down to grandchildren. They probably just eat in silence, talking about the weather, work or worse - politics. Poor things.

That's certainly not the case with the "G" family. Their family 'character' is enough to make anyne green with envy. You see, Uncle OG lived in his car for years and years. He had clothes pushed as as tight as a drum along the back dash into the rear window, dishes with crusty food, old coke cups and a cat in the front one. It wasn't until he passed over to that beat-up, rusted out Cadillac in the sky that it was discovered that he had more money than you could shake a stick at. Yep, he hid money in every nook and cranny of that vehicle. And if that wasn't bizarre enough he had money in banks all over Southwest Missouri! Best folks can figure is that he saved every pay check he ever had when he was in the war. It makes sense, I mean, what expenses did he have besides cat food? Certainly not laundry because he'd been caught several times washing his drawers in the city park spring.

Then there was old Mr. Knapp who used to sit in Betty's drive in, eating napkins and drinking coffee. No,"Napkins" is not the name of some exotic Ozark Hillbilly dish (like 'puppy chow'). He really and truly ate napkins.

But perhaps one of the most vivid individuals in my hometown just happens to be my very own brother, Chuck. (Imagine me, standing straight, chest puffed up - yes I'm proud).

Chuck could best described as 'rain man, but with a lot more personality'. Like Raymond, Chuck has this remarkable ability with numbers. If you'll recall in the movie "Rain Man", Raymond computerized numeric factors and sums in his head. Well, Chuck memorizes entire phone books. "Oh look! There's Jane Smith - her number is 555-6623. " Or "There goes Bob Jones. 555-1234. Or he'll just simply point at a passer-by and mutter, "555-3321."
He also has been known to put his knowledge into practice a time or two. Just a few days ago Mama saw Mrs. Forest, his first grade teacher (Chuck is 44), "I heard from Chuck a few days ago. We talked for a good 45 minutes."
Once when Jayand I (and Mama) were vacationing in Alabama we stumbled on a lady from Missouri who worked as telephone operator. She was entertaining the group with stories about all the wierd calls she'd gotten through the years....people dialing 'O' to ask how long to bake a turkey, or asking, 'what year did Elvis die?'

"But the strangest calls were from a guy that kept calling back 'just to talk.' He'd ask really wierd things, "do you have a dog? What's his name? How about a cat? You don't have a cat? How come? Don't you like cats?"

My mother turned white. "What was his name?" she asked, afraid to hear the answer.

"If I remember correctly, I think it's Chuck."

When he was 10 years old he bit a huge chunk out of the dash of Mama's brand spanking new car. Imagine the look on the dealership repairmans face when he saw a huge gaping whole in the console with bite marks circling it.

He's been known to swallow a car key, contact lenses and pull hotel fire alarms.

When he gets tired his autistic ways will set in and he'll lay in bed and rock back and forth, singing. This is a big problem when it's 3:00 am, you're desparately trying to get some sleep and all you hear is him singing every single solitary word of "Amazing Grace," over and over and over and over until he goes to sleep. Um, did I mention that sometimes he has a problem with insomnia? Yeah.

Every relationship I ever had with anyone my whole life was determined by how they treated Chuck. I watched with an Eagle Eye how potential boyfriends reacted to him. In my mind a guy that was mean or indifferent to someone who is retarded was not someone I wanted in my life.

When I started dating Mr. T and he insisted that we bring Chuck along at least once a month I sat up and took notice. When he didn't complain when Chuck cried and threw a fit about little things, nor did he get even the slightest bit irritated when Chuck insisted on sitting between us and wouldn't let him hold my hand, and yet he still wanted to bring Chuck along, I knew this was the guy for me.

Chuck could be a handful. One time when my oldest daughter was about 4, he came to stay with us for the weekend. For whatever reason he got mad at me and started calling me names. Mr. T promptly packed him up and took him back home. A few days later I overheard Rachael telling my mom, "Dad had to take Unca Chuck back home because he called Mommy an 'astrodog.' " (doesn't take much to figure out that, of course, is not what he called me. Ahem!)

In his old age, Chuck, like the rest of us has settled down. He still keeps us in stitches but he's a lot more mellow. He loves my children and I am proud of the way they treat him. Never have they ever been embarrassed or ashamed to be seen with him and they are incredibly patient with him.

I think Will summed it up best when at 3 he said to me, "Mommy, I wuv Uncle Chuck."

"I love him too, William. He's my brother."

"Yes, but he's my fwend."

I'm glad to see that 'badge of honor' passing to another generation.

Until next time,


Monday, March 1, 2010

Here in the District of Columbia it's a pretty day. You never really know what you're going to get this time of year. Today on this first day of March we are very blessed. It's mostly sunny, a bit of wind and about 50 degrees.
Two years ago on this day, though, we were living it up in sunny Puerto Rico marrying off our oldest offspring (or is it eldest offspring? Darn, where is my editor when I need her.)

Mr. T and I at the wedding reception. Look at that sunset.

Here he is being a smarty pants. Although he loves his minutes-away-soon-to-be son-in-law it's still hard to give up your little girl. Especially when the soon-to-be-son-in-law is a Redskins fan. So to get even the he wears his Cowboys polo shirt. The minister had his back to the audience so we could see the faces of the couple as they said their nuptials. When Dino glanced over, Mr. T opened his shirt so he could show the groom 'who's boss.' The look on Dino's face when he saw that Cowboy star was priceless.

However, Mr. T's mood turned a little more somber when he danced with his little girl to the song "I Loved Her First" by Heartland.
March 1st, 2008 was just the beginning of something wonderful. We not only added a new son to the mix, but 16 months later we welcomed Sophia!!

And I am all about Sophia!

Until next time,