It has been almost four months since my last blog post. This morning, I made the decision to recommit to writing more regularly, starting by blogging, at least, the first Friday of every month. This year, so far, has been about recommitting to my work. Lately, I have been teaching quite a bit. And while teaching is the single most selfless thing I have ever done, it takes so much of myself to be an effective teacher. I give so much of my energy, my time, my attention to my students – and I never regret doing so – but it can be draining. So, at the very beginning of this year, I made the decision that 2013 was going to be a year I dedicate to my own artistic evolution and productivity. I set goals for myself on what I would want to accomplish, artistically, and the projects I would want to complete. It took a lot of pushing forward, but I finished several grant applications, wrote the first draft of my next feature script, and am now about to enter pre-production for a film adaptation I am directing. Doing this while teaching was, to say the least, a challenge. And now that I am gearing up for a festival run with my latest short film, BOTTOM, and the upcoming release of ALASKALAND (details on that coming VERY soon!), it was getting more difficult to commit to the full spectrum of being a filmmaker, which includes exhibition and distribution.
So, amid all this hustle and bustle, I got a call from Princeton University that I have been selected as a 2013 – 2014 Hodder Fellow. Now, some of my greatest literary she-roes are past recipients, so I had applied to this fellowship, not at all anticipating getting it. But I got the call, and for just the first few minutes afterwards, I felt the strangest sensation: fear. For that very brief moment I had this thought: oh, crap! Now I actually have to do this. You see, the Hodder Fellowship fully funds artists who are on the cusp of taking their artistic careers to the next level, the exact goal I made for myself at the beginning of 2013; but now, it’s actually coming into fruition. I have never been afraid of failure, but that moment after the call showed me that a small part of me was a bit afraid of success. That night, a good friend of mine bluntly told me: ‘you better step into your destiny!’ Her words hit me deeply and reinvigorated my soul. Opportunities, like the Hodder Fellowship, are what I have been working so hard for. People wanting to screen my film or fund my next project is what I have been asking the Universe to provide for me. Telling stories cinematically is what I have wanted to do since I was 12 years old, and this is my time to do so completely. I am grateful to be on this cusp, and now I am ready to fully step into this exciting new chapter in my journey.
Stay tuned for updates and more exciting news. In the meantime, I’ll tease you with a still from my forthcoming short film, BOTTOM (much more news on this film coming soon!).