35 Days to 35: So many, many shades of grey

Yesterday, I said that it was the most boring entry thus far on my journey blogging about the creation and distribution of our book.

I was wrong.

Today. Today is bound to be the most boring. It was all shades of grey. Not the naughty kind, the literal kind that come from turning about a billion color photographs taken during the filming of No Lost Cause to ‘black and white’ or, more accurately, ‘grey and less grey.’

First, I had to locate all the original photos used in the book. Thankfully for present me, past me had sorted most of those away in a folder. For the benefit of future me, present me then re-saved all those same photos in a different folder, optimistically labeled ‘black and white.’
Continue reading


I interrupt this ongoing blog about the book to say:


I’ve heard it’s been on the Parables Network before, but tonight it’s on Directv on the upliftv channel. (379 for those who have it) My cousin was kind enough to let me know it came on at nine. She also took some screen shots for me.

Thank you, Stacie, for absolutely MAKING my night.

Guys, this never, ever gets old, or less exciting than before. It’s incredible. What a gift of encouragement (straight from God) while working on this book.

Never give up, friends!! I’m going to go squeal some more now. 😀

Photo by Stacie Stivers

Photos by Stacie Stivers

35 Days to 35: Six Toilet Day

There is a saying that goes, “Never ask God for patience.” I would like to amend that to say, “Never ask God to help you become more humble.”

He will. He totally will.
There is absolutely nothing more humbling than cleaning a toilet.

No, wait.
There is absolutely nothing more humbling than cleaning a toilet that isn’t yours.

Hang on.
There is absolutely nothing more humbling than cleaning a toilet that isn’t yours in three separate locations. Six times. In one day.
Continue reading

35 Days to 35: Beginning the Journey

It was a terrible day to begin work. I was numb with sleepiness. Literally, mind-numbingly numb. I thought I had gotten plenty of sleep the night before. I’m not one for napping, but my body was begging me to put it down. My maroon and cream Sherpa comforter and cream colored flannel sheets were like a siren on the rocks, calling to me, luring me to their cloud-like comfort. “It’s chilly in the house and the bed is a warm, soft, haven of happiness,” they cooed. “Just close your eyes for a minute. You won’t sleep long.”

Instead, I marched myself out of the bedroom and into my office, put Pandora on the “Mumford and Sons” station, selected five novels to use as a guide, fixed a giant cup of caffeinated Vanilla Caramel hot tea (with NO sweetener, lest I be lulled into a sugar coma) and spread out my printed manuscript.

The novels I chose were the novelization of a film and a fiction manuscript from our previous publisher, my mother’s self published novel, “One Life,” the book I’m currently reading, “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, and my mascot novel, “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.

I pulled up the file for the book on my computer, noting ruefully that it had last been edited on July 7, 2014. I consulted each book by opening it to the very first page. I had assumed the title page would be the first thing I’d see. Actually, it universally seemed to be the page consisting of reviews and snippets of praise for the book. No problem! We already had that, only ours was called ‘Endorsements.’ I carefully copied and pasted the endorsements we had gathered and put them ahead of the table of contents I had already listed in the book. First step, done!
Continue reading

35 Days to 35: Betting on the Impossible

Now that we’ve fully accepted the rejection of our manuscript from the printer by eating our comfort food, venting our true feelings, and staring numbly into space, we need to move on.

Rachael and I exchanged a flurry of phone calls and text messages when the news broke, culminating in a two plus hour meeting going over the manuscript and discussing our options. There were several on the table, but only one that we both felt comfortable with.


Not that we don’t want to send off the manuscript to other publishers, or that we think it will get turned down. We do, and we don’t know. It might get turned down, it might not.

Mostly, it comes down to timing. If our last experience is any indication, if we sent the book off and got accepted by another publisher this very week, it could be a year to eighteen months before it is actually printed and released. This September, it will be the five year anniversary of the start of filming “No Lost Cause.”
When we penned the book, it had only been three. If things don’t happen soon, our cute little “Behind the Scenes” companion piece to the movie is going to be better categorized as a memoir.
Continue reading

The Coldest Day

“If ever we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed; you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.”– Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest.

Today’s weather has been a gift.

Four years ago, on October 2 and 3 of 2010, I was part of the production team shooting two scenes for my very first independent feature film, No Lost Cause. The weather was abysmal. Overcast skies tinted everything a pale blue-grey, and the air had moved beyond crisp and autumnal into the slicing cold of deepest winter.

The scene called for our actors to play basketball, while wearing shorts and sleeveless tops. The crew was in heavy overcoats and wrapped in layers and these two men were left with the acting job of their young lives: warm.

There were many shooting days, but these two stand out because they were the absolute worst weather we experienced, and October 3 is my Grandfather’s birthday. Which is why I notice the weather today and why I am particularly reveling in it’s balmy breeze. I’ve left the window open nearly all day, and I’ve made the time to sit on my front porch and read…soaking in the last possible heat before another rumored long and difficult winter begins.
Continue reading