35 Days to 35: Ye Olde Nemesis

It was today. Of course it was today. Today, the day after the national celebration of love, Rachael and I came face to face with our greatest enemy.

The air was palpable with tension. He (for it must be a him) tipped his hat, narrowed his eyes Clint Eastwood style and grinned at us, white teeth gleaming. He stood there, old west style, challenging us to come out to meet him.

We cowered for a moment, remembering all the havoc, all the tears, all the pain he had caused us in the past. And yet, we rose out of the corner and strode into the sun, blinking, but ready for the challenge.

It was him. Our old nemesis Audio.
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35 Days to 35: Have book, will travel

Turned in the book this morning to Jillian, copy editor extraordinaire. She is one of the major forces behind the copy editing/proofing of my Mom’s book, “One Life” (which continues to get rave reviews, to all our delight). She’s already contacted me about some minor details she’s noticed, so I’m confident I’m in very good, very meticulous hands.

While she is busy working on the final draft I thought maybe I’d put out some feelers for people/places that might be interested in our book once it DOES come out. Very interested, mildly interested, nothing better to do interested, I’m really not picky.
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35 Days to 35: Life advice from Meg Ryan

In the ‘no news is good news’ category, I don’t have much to report today. Completed reading the book, added a few names to the acknowledgment section and had to think about what to add to ‘the future’ part. As in, what do I have planned for the future. I won’t give it away, but I think I’ve got some ambitious things lined up; because that’s just how I operate.

I actually toyed a bit with the idea of adding an epilogue about our issues with the publisher. I don’t suppose they were issues so much as it was a separation of interests. It does go right along with the actual theme of our book, in that we ended up having to do things the long and hard way. Ultimately, I also feel it ended up being the right way for us, and things worked out better, and for the best, for all involved. That was the pro of including an epilogue.
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35 Days to 35: Why so serious?

Today, my goal was to spend a nice, leisurely day rereading the book, in one sitting, from beginning to end. I wanted to update all my sections and make sure the whole piece flowed. I turned on the instrumental movie score station on Pandora to allow Hans Zimmer the opportunity to give me some auditory company, and my furry supervisors soon took up their various posts.

I made it to the second to last chapter of the 168 pages before I had to leave for rehearsal. I have to say, more often than not, I was actually very satisfied with the content. It’s now been nearly fourteen months since I finished the final draft, and while the distance had been good for some real clarity and perspective, my memory of it wasn’t as positive as the content actually ended up being.
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35 Days to 35: Greyscale Gloom

In possibly my most boring blog post yet, I will update you on the book accomplishments for today. For today, all I did was book.

I finished two of the four items on my to do list from yesterday. Originally, I wanted all of the photos in the book to be in color, but upon investigation on CreateSpace (our likely venue for publishing) I learned just how expensive that luxury would be. So, I had to take my Mom’s adorable, brightly colored dinosaurs and turn their green scales grey. It felt criminal to do so. It’s just not the same. 😦

corner veloci_edited-colorcorner veloci_edited-1

She proposed I name him Arthur (or Author.) I like Veloci. Or Obby, for Obstacle, which is what he represents in the book. He is the illustration of the obstacles we had to overcome when completing our film.

What do you think? Any other ideas? Better ones?
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35 Days to 35: Weekend Plans

It is February 6th, so that means I have twenty more days to try and finish up the book. On one hand, I feel like that is plenty of time, but on the other, oh so familiar worried hand, that doesn’t seem like time enough. Especially given my work and theatre schedule during the week.

Therefore, my immediate weekend plans, beginning right now, are to work on the book. Specifically, I want to:

-Insert the new (utterly adorable) illustrations my Mom completed and turned in.
-Begin working on the edits that Rachael found when reading through the manuscript.
-Do some revisions of my own and update some of the information.
-Take the fantastic advice given me about my book cover design, tweak and refine it.

I’m putting my plans on here to force some accountability to myself. The weather is supposed to be lovely this weekend, and while I’d like to be outside enjoying it, there is much to be accomplished. That is part of the price you pay for ardently pursuing a goal. Perhaps I will compromise and open a window!

Sometimes I get cranky and feel like I’d rather go watch a movie, but then I remember that no one else is going to do this for me, and putting it off doesn’t make it happen. I have to make it happen, and the ‘sooner I get to it, the sooner I can get through it.’


Hmmm…it appears that’s the best encouragement I have for you today. Something that reads like it would be better on a tee-shirt. :/

We’re all allowed off days, right?

Right at 35 days before my 35th birthday, Rachael and I found out that a book we wrote about our experience making our first film “No Lost Cause,” was being returned to us by the publisher after a year of waiting for it to be printed. Instead of wallowing in our collective misery, I committed to blogging every day while I searched for ways to overcome this perceived rejection and obstacle to our goal. I currently also have about three other projects brewing at the same time, and write about the progress of each of them. This is part of that series.

Read the first entry here: https://ashleyraymerbrown.com/2015/01/23/35-days-to-35-dealing-with-rejection/

35 Days to 35: Harper Lee Prints Again


“Stand up, Jean Louise. Your father’s passin’.”

Atticus Finch is number one on my list of perfect fictional fathers. When I wrote the script for The Hepburn Girls, I wasn’t sure how to write an older, male, father figure for the main character, Katherine. He needed to be someone who dispensed wisdom with a firm, yet kind demeanor. Even though they aren’t related by blood, he effectively has a heavy hand in raising her, and shaping her future. I just wasn’t sure how to approach it until…Atticus. I just thought to myself, “How would Atticus handle this situation? ” That was the foundation that I built an entire character on.

Today, news was released that Harper Lee, Atticus’ creator, and author of To Kill a Mockingbird is finally, finally publishing her second book. Really her first book. According to reports, she wrote Go, Set a Watchman first, with a grown up Scout and older Atticus.  During flashbacks in the novel, her publisher was enchanted by the young version of Scout, and encouraged Lee to write a prequel.
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35 Days to 35: Super Book


After the nail biting incident last night, I went to my room with a queasy stomach and a headache, drained and frustrated by the lack of ‘fast enough’ results on designing the book cover. I am decidedly from the “I want it now” generation.  Last night, I dreamed about the book cover and woke up still feeling exhausted and physically ill.

This. This is what I do best. Worrying. Did it help the book cover magically materialize? No. All it did was make me feel sick, cranky, and distracted.

Today, I sat down again and decided to do some research. While most of America is gearing up to watch the Super Bowl, I was determined that Sunday would come to a close without a book cover.
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35 Days to 35: Back Story

If I’m chewing my fingernails, it must be a day for design. I had the bad habit of chewing my nails when I was a child, but managed to break myself of it long ago. That is, unless I’m designing something. As I stated before, I don’t have my Mom’s talent for illustration. I have to make do with a limited computer program and a stunted artistic mind. I started off today with nice long(ish) nails. No longer.
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Happiness is Cake

“Good things come to those who wait.”

That’s a very encouraging sentiment, and could even be considered words to live by. I could also guarantee you without so much as a second of research that the above is a string of words first uttered by someone whose mouth was packed full of freshly baked cake. The extra ten pounds I’ve been carrying on my thighs for the past ten years is evidence enough of my own personal belief in that statement.

Think about it; has their ever been a more perfect moment than when we first partake of this warm, confectionary burst of happiness? Such simple ingredients; eggs, water, butter, cake mix (let’s be real) a dash of vanilla and a pinch of love, poured in a pan and baked to 350 degrees of golden joy. Roughly 30 minutes later, after a slathering of chocolate icing, and a scattering of sprinkles (for whimsy) the final result is a nigh on guarantee to cure any ill.

Now that we’re all hungry, what’s the point?
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