Soooo I wasn’t planning on sharing this (because I don’t want to jinx myself), but my adoring wife convinced me that I should, *ahem*, “Share it while you still have the opportunity.”
Translation: “Are you freaking kidding me, hubs? You haven’t told anyone yet? Share that letter now before you get cut in the next round and this news doesn’t mean diddly squat!”
Side note: She really does believe in me, people. ;)
At the heart of my screenplay, The Grave of Lainey Grace, there is a writer who lost his passion for creating stories after the death of his daughter from illness.
I came up with the idea for this story a couple of years ago after my own daughter, who coincidentally enough is also named Briar Ann, was diagnosed with kidney and failure-to-thrive issues shortly after she was born. (Side note: If you haven't read my book of the same title, you can check out 'The Grave of Lainey Grace' and its reviews on Amazon.)
As you'll see in the Academy's congratulatory email below -- yes, I fully intend on saying 'the Academy' as frequently as possible before I'm found out as a charlatan and cut from the competition -- I received this crazy awesome news back in July.
My only excuse for not sharing the news then is jinxes, people. I'm a conflicted Slytherin/Gryffindor. I know such things exist.
Anyway, Briar and I had just spent a long day in the ER where she was poked, prodded, and had things shoved in places that no one should have things shoved, (let alone the most beautiful little two-year-old you’ve ever seen), before being admitted for yet another hospital stay.
Unfortunately for Briar, she had me as her guardian that night instead of her much more knowledgeable and patient mother, who was out of town on a work trip. So, after rocking our little girl to sleep, I took out my phone to text my wife with an update and saw that I had an email notification from the Nicholl fellowship.
Naturally, I quickly opened the email and so it was, there in that hospital room, with my daughter sleeping in my arms, that I learned my screenplay 'Salem’s Vengeance' had been rejected for the Nicholl fellowship.
Fortunately for me, there was also a second email...
I still have trouble trying to find the right words for how much it meant to me to receive this fantastic news, but it was definitely surreal to get that email when it was just me and my little Briar Ann at the hospital. Here's hoping we're only a couple months away from even bigger news. :)
I don't know when the Academy makes the semi-finalist announcements, but, I think it should be in the next couple of weeks. I'll keep you posted. Also, for anyone interested in learning more about the Nicholl competition, you can find more information on the Academy's website and also check out reader comments from high-scoring entries in the 2017 competition on Facebook.
Until then, fingers crossed, good vibes, Hail Mary's, and the like are all appreciated. Big thanks to all of you who've stuck with me throughout this crazy journey. Hopefully we can take Lainey Grace on in for the win and eventually see it made into a movie! :)
Author. Actor. Rascal.