Thrilled to kick off the month of March and Women's History Month by announcing the launch of my very first WRITER'S RETREAT here in Santa Monica. I've always envisioned bringing together a group of heart-centered women and supporting one another in sharing our transformational stories with the world. In June I plan to do just that, and hope you will join me.
2019 San Francisco Writers Conference
This year's conference was more than I could have ever hoped for. It was my 7th year attending and I had a blast. After serving as a volunteer, program designer and speaker over the years, this year I was given the task of leading a new track called BOOK-SCREEN on screenwriting and filmmaking. It was a huge success and I'm thrilled with the response we received from those in attendance. I'm so grateful to my colleagues who joined me on the panels and the wealth of information each shared to those just starting out in publishing/filmmaking.
It was such a huge success that I've been invited back next year to expand the track and teach a masterclass which I'm super excited about. I feel blessed to be able to pay it forward, and grateful for the opportunity. Special thanks to SFWC Director, Laurie McLean and SFWC Marketing Director, Barbara Santos for their continued support.
It's Simply Publishing Masterclass
During the conference I announced the launch of my new online masterclass, It's Simply Publishing. The course is being offered through Teachable and I'm so excited to reach a broader audience and support writers across the globe.
To learn more, click HERE.
It's Simply Screenwriting - Book Two of the It's Simply FILM Series
With the success of the screenwriting/filmmaking track at the San Francisco Writers Conference and the invitation to return next year, I figured it's the BEST time to launch the second book in my FILM series.
It's Simply Screenwriting will be released in January, 2020 and feature valuable information from top female screenwriters as a guide for those just starting out. I'm currently recruiting those to include in the book and excited to share their stories with you.
If you know of a female screenwriter who you would like to see featured, drop me a line with her name, website or IMDB page.
VIP DAY Santa Monica
One of my favourite things to do is host a fellow writer in my hometown of Santa Monica, California and guide them throughout the process of creating a strategic plan for their book project while also showing off what makes SaMo so special. Beginning this month, I will be offering TWO (2) VIP DAYS each month to writers who hope to add AUTHOR to their names in 2019.
Are you one of them?
If so, click below to learn more. I can't wait to connect and support you every step of the way.
And the OSCAR goes to?
Did you watch the Academy Awards broadcast?
Did you love it as much as I did?
I have to say it was my favourite Oscars of all-time. I've watched the awards show year after year for MANY years, but I'll have to admit, I usually channel surf while watching. THIS YEAR however, I was glued to the tube and didn't change the channel once.
Of course opening the show with QUEEN & Adam Lambert
on stage was HUGE!
It was wonderful to see all the first-time winners and so many independent films receiving recognition. It was truly inspiring and gave me hope as a filmmaker that one day I could indeed grace that stage with my own work. It also inspired me to work even harder and create a piece of work that has substance and will truly move people. As an artist, that is my goal, to create a piece of ART that inspires and brings hope to others.
It was also such a thrill to see people I know WIN and listen to their words as they took the stage. Huge congrats to Paul Massey and John Ottman on their work for Bohemian Rhapsody, as well as Peter Farrelly and his work on Green Book. Two spectacular films and well-deserved wins.
What was YOUR favourite part?
Leave a comment below and share. It was such an exciting year for film, and I can't wait to see what 2019 brings.
2019 has certainly started off on a HIGH note and I'm super excited to see what March brings. I have so much I want to do, so many I want to support, and I'm grateful to wake every day and do just that. If I can support YOU in any way, please feel free to leave a comment and reach out. Taking that first step is the key to success and making your dreams come true.
Until next time, onwards and upwards.
TOWER 15 is OFFICIAL
A few days after my last update I received the start-up funding for my production company. It's amazing how things can change overnight. On Christmas I was wondering if I'd have to put my dream on hold or even if I'd have a home come the New Year. Then on January 2nd I was registering my business with L.A. County. I felt like the miracle I had asked for was fulfilled, and it was such a blessing.
My mission for Tower 15 Productions is INSPIRING CREATIVES THROUGH EDUCATION & COLLABORATION. It is my dream to collaborate with and support other creatives in the areas of publishing, photography and filmmaking so that together we can share our creative projects with the world. I have learned so much from amazing mentors over the years and now it's time to pay it forward. I can't wait.
A CHANGE OF HEART
As mentioned, I was supposed to be in Park City attending the Sundance Film Festival. I had booked the accommodations and made all the arrangements last JULY. Yet last week as I was preparing to get everything set, I just didn't feel like going. For one, temps are in the 30s and I just don't do COLD anymore. Having lived in California now for over a decade, my body has acclimated and I panic when it's 50F. Haha! So I asked myself, do I really NEED to be there? Sure it would be fun and a great opportunity to network, yet I've been working non-stop the last few weeks getting my production company up and running. So when I asked, the answer was NO, and the moment I said no, my entire body relaxed. I knew it was the right decision.
The last few weeks I've been getting everything organized, the legalities in place and the business side of things taken care of to create a strong foundation. I created the website which should be completed in the next week or so. I'm now working on the educational portion which will highlight the mediums of publishing, photography and filmmaking. I've created new social media platforms and a new YouTube channel as well. I have so much I want to do and create, and can't wait to share all of it with you. I feel so blessed for all I've learned over the years and can't wait to pay it forward.
FULL SUPER MOON LUNAR ECLIPSE
Did you happen to catch the Super Moon Lunar Eclipse the other day? It was spectacular. I was fortunate to receive my brand new Canon camera earlier in the day so I could capture this photo. I was so pleased. I'm amazed at what I can do with my cell phone in terms of filming and photos, but nothing like having a great camera.
I love the moon so much. I feel such a strong connection to her. Her energy is powerful and days before the eclipse I had a migraine and just wanted to sleep. I listened. After she rose on eclipse day, I felt much better.
Do YOU feel her? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
WHAT'S ON TAP?
My next BIG event is the San Francisco Writers Conference next month where I will be leading a new track entitled BOOK TO SCREEN which will focus on screenwriting and filmmaking. I'm so excited to support those writers interested in a film career and share panels with my fellow screenwriters and filmmakers.
In developing Tower 15 Productions I'm eager to learn what other creatives are desiring in the industry. My plan is to offer classes, workshops, networking events, and resources in the areas of publishing, photography and filmmaking.
Is there something ELSE you would like to see? What is missing for the artist? How can I serve YOU?
Eager to hear your thoughts.
Until next time,
Hello All! Happy Holidays!
It's hard to believe another year has gone by and as we approach 2019, I'm excited for this new chapter. 2018 was quite the year, and as I've mentioned before, not one I expected. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I will say however, that I'm grateful for 2018 because it was yet another year of massive GROWTH!
I learned a lot about myself and those around me. I learned about the life I was living and the one I choose to create. That's the BIGGEST lesson learned, that we all have a CHOICE. Despite the fact that we live in various places around the globe and under various circumstances that comprise our lives, we each have a choice as to how we live our lives. It starts from WITHIN!
The last few weeks have brought massive clarity which I'm also grateful for, and I have BIG plans for 2019. Below you'll find all the latest details. I'm so grateful for your support of my work and my dreams and hope to connect with you in the New Year. Here's to dreaming and dreaming BIG!
RETURN TO SUNDANCE!
2019 kicks off on a great note as I return to Park City, Utah for the Sundance International Film Festival. I first attended Sundance some 13 years ago and it was magical. There's something special about the energy of Park City, walking down Main Street and taking in all the action of the films, events and gatherings. THIS year I'm super excited to announce that I have been selected as one of the official VOLUNTEERS for the festival and will be working mostly in the Press Center supporting the media covering the events. I'm so excited and grateful for the opportunity to lend my skills and expertise to an industry I love and be of support any way I can. I'm also looking forward to catching up with my fellow filmmakers and soaking in every minute of my time there. If you will be in Park City during the festival, let me know and hopefully we can connect. Should be a fabulous time.
DREAM BIG and don't be afraid to put in the WORK!
In 2012 I began the year with a clean slate, or blank canvas as I like to refer to that period of my life. I had just experienced the most transformational year of my life in 2011 where I lost a LOT including a child and my home. I needed an outlet for my emotions as there was so much inside of me that needed to be released. That outlet was WRITING. At the end of 2011 I released my first book, IT'S SIMPLY SAUSALITO which was a combination of my writing and photography, but I wanted more. I wanted to learn everything I could about book publishing and the publishing industry as a whole. That's when I discovered the San Francisco Writer's Conference.
That first year in 2012 I decided to sign up to volunteer even though the conference was about a month away. As it would be, there was ONE slot available, and I was offered the opportunity. I loved every moment and learned so much. I was also able to meet the conference director, Michael Larsen. I expressed my dream of learning about the industry even though I was homeless at the time. He took me under his wing and taught me so much. Each year I would return to volunteer at the conference and learn. Soon I was publishing book after book of my own and then invited as a SPEAKER sharing my own journey and success to those just starting out.
In February I will be attending again, but this time leading a new track on Screenwriting & Filmmaking. I can't tell you how excited I am to share this track with those in attendance and connect with fellow screenwriters and filmmakers who I've called friends over the years. We're hoping this can be a track that grows each year so that we can support another crop of screenwriters and filmmakers and support them on their journeys. To learn more about the San Francisco Writers Conference, click HERE. I can't wait to meet you in February.
MY BIG DREAM!
In 2019 I plan to officially launch my production company, TOWER 15 PRODUCTIONS and set it up as a 501(c)3 non profit organization to support creatives through education and the arts. I have a passion for the arts and for creating. It makes me feel alive and I want to share that with others.
I have so much I want to share and have spent 2018 putting all the pieces together. I'm still working on securing the start-up funding to get this project off the ground, but have faith in doing just that and living the life I'm meant to live. Stay tuned for some exciting ways to help over the next month, and for an opportunity to be a part of the film projects I currently have in place. I can't wait to share this journey with you.
2018 was a very interesting year and one I really didn't see coming. I was so excited to kick off the New Year and had such high hopes for what this year would bring. Yet it turned out to be one of MANY lessons and LOTS of growth, all of which I believe was for my own benefit and soul's evolution.
2018 was also a year of REFLECTION, looking back at the last seven years and being so grateful for everything I overcame and how much I accomplished. One thing is for sure, I couldn't have done it without YOU!
Being able to share my creative gifts with the world has indeed been a dream come true, and one I hope to continue into 2019 and beyond.
So happy to have you along for the ride.
During the month of December I'm supporting the Echo Park Film Center with producing a documentary to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Camera Obscura here in Santa Monica. We're going old school shooting with both the Super 8 and 16mm cameras. It's been so much fun and I can't wait to see the finished product at the end of January.
Writing for Television
So did I mention I'm completely addicted to watching Hallmark's collection of Christmas movies? So much so that I've decided instead of just watching, why not WRITE one of my own, so that's precisely what I'm doing. I'm currently working on a script entitled A QUEEN'S CHRISTMAS that takes place on the RMS Queen Mary. I'm taking part in a 30-Day Screenwriting program this month in hopes of having the first draft completed. Super excited.
Shuffling The Tides - Book Two
Also this month I'm continuing to work on the second book of my TIDES series. Once this is completed, I can send the two books to a screenwriter to have the story adapted for film. Shuffling The Tides will be released on May 27, 2019. I've already begun scouting actors and it's been a fun process. Love how the storyline is coming together 24 years after Titanic.
Back in the day before I decided to pursue my creative passions for writing, photography and filmmaking, I was actually an athlete, a figure skater to be precise. After 12 years and a realigned spinal column, I hung up the skates to pursue journalism and event management. But I'll always cherish those 6:00 am ice times and that beautiful clean sheet of ice. In this photo I'm pictured with World Champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist, Brian Orser. We skated for the same club in Ontario.
So when fellow skater and filmmaker, Sharidan Williams-Sotelo asked for support with her new project, GO FIGURE, how could I say no? I'm thrilled to support her and fellow skater, Randy Gardner with this film. We're currently one week into the crowdfunding campaign on Seed & Spark, and just selected as the Staff Pick.
You can learn more HERE and many thanks for the support.
New Moon Intentions
As we welcome the final New Moon of 2018, what are you currently looking to manifest in your life? What areas of your life do you need to find some clarity? What do you need to let go of that is no longer serving your higher self? Take some time to think about these questions as you wrap up 2018 and begin anew.
Over the years my key to success has been to always begin with a clear intention. Stay focused on the end result. Do your part by taking inspired action, and then watch the magic unfold.
2018 has been a year I honestly didn't see coming. LOTS of pain, yet lots of growth....and a little bit of sweet bliss thrown in for good measure. I began the year with such high hopes. After all, it was an "8" year, and each one in my lifetime has been pretty amazing, so why should this one be any different? Can just imagine God looking down and smiling thinking "Silly girl...still so much to learn".
This year has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride and most days I'm not even sure what side is up. I've felt more in limbo this year than any other, and lately I've been going through a MAJOR Identity Crisis. People I thought were friends showed me a side of them I would have never fathomed. Yet those I met for the first time came into my life precisely when I needed them, even if just for a moment, to LISTEN. I have learned a LOT about PERCEPTION and understand why I chose that title for the final book in my Memoir Series. Although the book is on hold for a bit, I feel it was necessary. I've gained such a better understanding of perception over the last month and still learning.
I've become quite distraught when it comes to social media. I don't watch the news for a reason. It's so negative, and yet social media has become the same. What started out as an easy information source has turned into a platform for hatred, and I've HAD ENOUGH. Plus, anything GOOD that seems to make its way onto social media these days is all but hidden to the masses due to the ever-changing algorithm. Over the next month I will be deleting my Facebook account and perhaps some others.
I miss the days of one-on-one FACE-TO-FACE conversations. I miss sharing the good, the bad and the ugly and being compassionate for one another and supportive. I miss the encouragement and cheering one another on as we attempt new projects and set new goals. I miss the HUMAN connection.
Therefore, I've decided to go back to old school, the blog and the email.
There's SO MUCH I want to do as I work towards building a successful production company to collaborate with and support other creatives. TOWER 15 PRODUCTIONS is my baby and I have BIG DREAMS of what I want to accomplish and how I can give back and pay it forward. I'm a life-long student, but also love to teach and that's why I released my 9th book, IT'S SIMPLY FILMMAKING. It's the first of a 7-book FILM series that will serve as the basis to the educational component of my company.
I have three film projects in the works with SAVE ME SAUSALITO, PEARL and TIMING THE TIDES. I'm also writing a script for television. I feel I have a lot to offer and I know I will connect with those I'm meant to share my gifts with.
If YOU would like to follow along on this journey with me, please click on the STAY IN TOUCH button to the right and you'll be updated.
I thank you for your continued support and excited to see what we can create together.
Until next time,