Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

WITH LOVE . . . TO MY SISTER

June 12, 2017

Maureen and Dandi

The cute blonde is my sister–my older sister by 3 years–Maureen Mae Daley (now Pento). Growing up in our little town of Hamilton, MO, I think we were best friends. We rode our horses bareback, swam in the pond, played with our dogs, cats, ducks, birds. We built forts in the summer and igloos and snowmen in the winter. At night, we slept in our bunk beds and whispered in the dark. When we both got the measles at the same time, we shared glorious days missing school and reading books and comic books together.

Maureen is still my best friend. She’s been more exited about WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE than I have, and she’s done more marketing and publicity too. If you’ve read the book, you have an idea where Maureen got her name. Everybody loves Maureen, especially her sister.

WITH LOVE–Hamilton, Missouri

May 11, 2017

In about 2 weeks, I’m going “home” to Hamilton, Missouri. I grew up in this small town, where we rode horses bareback, never locked our doors, and left the keys in the car. (Yes, I do realize times have changed.) Both of these pictures were taken before my time. The train no longer chugs across Main Street, and I’m pretty sure the Penney store closed. Hamilton was the birthplace and hometown of J.C. Penney, who went to school with my grandfather. The Penney Farm was just up the gravel/dirt road from our house. I graduated from Penney High School. And on Saturday, May 27th, I’ll be speaking and reading and signing books at the public library, which is in the Penney Museum. That night I’m speaking at the Alumni banquet. I am so excited and so very grateful!

I’m hoping to post a few more old pictures and memories before Joe and I and Ellie and Cassie, our 6 and 8-year-old granddaughters, head for Hamilton. Stay tuned!

SCHNAPPS

April 9, 2017

Schnapps (2)

I can easily identify 2 out of 3 in this photo: Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley, Army Nurse, and Schnapps, a true-to-life stuffed dog, whose name was a mystery to me before I read the letters I found in the Army trunk. If you’ve read this far in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, you know how the dog got its name.

Mom (Helen) was too generous for her own good. If I complimented her necklace or bracelet, she’d attempt to give it to me. But one day when I was probably 7 or 8, I was playing in the attic and found this cute, black stuffed dog. Thinking I’d add it to my stuffed animal collection, I carried it down and ran to find Mom. “Mom! Look what I found in the attic! It’s kind of beat-up, but the stuffing isn’t leaking.”

She took that dog and smiled at it as if she’d finally run into an old friend from another life. “Take it back to the attic, Dandi.”

“But I wanted to play with it!” I protested.

She smiled again at that curly-haired black dog. “Not this one, honey. This one is special. Schnapps belongs to me.”

I thought about telling her “Schnapps” was a dumb name for a dog. I thought about pointing out that she was too old for stuffed animals. But something stopped me–maybe her expression; maybe having her keep something I wanted. It certainly wasn’t like the mother I knew.

When I came to the first mention of Schnapps in a letter Mom had written Dad in WW2, I’d already started seeing “the mother I knew” as something more–Helen, a young newlywed in a war zone, lonely, missing her husband, caring for so many injured and dying soldiers. Another dozen or so letters mentioned the dog. I finally knew why Schnapps meant so much to her.

As for the real dog in the picture, I have no idea, and you won’t find that one in the book. You’re on your own there.

LITERARY LOVERS’ MARCH MADNESS

March 20, 2017

I love March Madness, except for the fact that Mizzou didn’t make it this year. (We’ll get ’em next year!) So, look what someone else is doing–a Literary-Lovers’ March Madness. And LARA and I made it to the second round. LARGER-THAN-LIFE LARA contains just about everything I know about writing. And since everyone has been bullied and has bullied in some way, readers get the subtle anti-bullying theme. I don’t think I’ve asked anyone to vote for me since I ran for office at  Missouri Girls State…and loss. Round 2 ends Thursday. Here’s the link if you’re up for it: http://readthearc.com/literary-lovers-madness-round2/

Screenwriter Gary Goldstein

September 8, 2014
Screenwriter--My Boyfriends' Dogs

Screenwriter–My Boyfriends’ Dogs

I’ve heard horror stories from authors whose books were turned into movies, and most of the villains in those stories were screenwriters. So you can imagine how grateful I am that the talented and brilliant Gary Goldstein consented to write the screenplay for MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS. He also consented to be interviewed:

How did you get started in the screenwriting business?

I began writing episodic TV,expanded into features and stage plays, then later branched out to TV movies.  It was basically a case of putting one foot in front of the other–or, rather, one script in front of the other–and following the doors that opened.

Was there a “big break” in your career?

I’d say my career has been more a case of consistent smaller breaks, not necessarily one big one (though selling a screenplay to 20th Century Fox in the late ’90s proved a great career boost).  More recently, on the TV movie front, selling my feature script “The Wish List” to Hallmark (it was made into a hit 2010 telefilm), led to a really gratifying string of work for the network.

How did you end up writing the script for MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS?

At that point I had written six movies for Hallmark, all successful romantic comedies.  So Bart Fisher, an executive at Hallmark, thought I’d be a good fit to adapt the book.  I began working with the film’s producers (Marcy Gross and Ann Weston) and it evolved from there.

Can you explain your process of creating a screenplay from a book?

It varies from book to book, of course.  But, especially when you like a book as much as I did MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS, it’s a matter of honoring as much of the original material’s story, characters and tone, while telling the story cinematically–which is often different than the way a book may tell a story.  There’s a stricter paradigm for structuring a screenplay, particulary one that, as is the case of TV movies, can’t exceed a certain length.  At the same time, you’re also tying to satisfy the needs and mandates of a network or studio.  Whatever I may change I’m always careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak.

What was the best part of writing for MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS?

Writing Bailey–you created a wonderful character.  Oh, and writing the dogs!  I’m a huge dog person so that part was really fun.

What was the hardest part?

Streamlining what is a fairly involved story while keeping things clear and the most entertaining parts intact.  It was also a challenge to keep each of the “boyfriends” feel unique and memorable while tracking Bailey’s growth and change as a result of her relationships with them.  A bit of a juggling act but a joy to do.

Anything special you’d like viewers to look for when they watch the movie on October 18th?

Just enjoy the story, the dogs and the actors.  It’s a terrific cast and each actor brings so much to his or her role.  Erika Christensen, who plays Bailey, does an especially fine job–she’s adorable, charming and makes Bailey really relatable.  The movie’s also very funny, so I hope viewers appreciate the humor as well!

How do you plan to celebrate the premiere?

Watching with family, friends  and, of course, our dogs!

 

OCTOBER 18, 9pm ET!

August 21, 2014

MBD poster

Joyce DeWitt as Nikki

April 29, 2014

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Meet Joyce DeWitt, who plays Nikki, the kindhearted waitress in MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS. She’s the one who coaxes the story from Bailey, who knocks on the cafe’s door and begs to come in. Dressed in a soaking wet wedding dress and accompanied by 3 dogs, Bailey quickly warms to Nikki, and the story unfolds.

You may recognize this spunky actress from the long running TV comedy, THREE’S COMPANY.

So, what about the guys? The boyfriends? I promise to get to them next time. Tomorrow I’m off to NYC to present the Edgar Award to this year’s winner of the best young adult mystery. Lucky me!

Erika Christensen stars as Bailey Daley in MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS

April 7, 2014

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I couldn’t have asked for a better Bailey than the incredibly talented Erika Christensen. She stars in the popular TV series Parenthood. And the long list of her movie credits includes: Traffic, The Upside of Anger, Swimfan, Flightplan, The Banger Sisters, Wuthering Heights, The Sisters, and on and on. As a person, she’s a delight–sweet, funny, charming, and such a hard-worker. I never heard her complain, even when she had to do take after take in the rain. Plus, she loves dogs! I’m so grateful Erika said yes to MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS.

 

 

Dog Stars: Adam and Eve and Shirley

April 4, 2014

3 DOGS SHAKE

I fell in love with Adam and Eve and Shirley, the three dog stars in MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS. Shaking my hand is Adam, who, much like his fictional owner, loves women and pretty much ignores men. The Dalmatian is Eve, and she reminded me of the first dog we owned when I was a kid, Susie, also a Dalmatian. As it happens, “Susie” was my first word, much to the chagrin of “Mama” and “Dada.” Shirley the Shih-Tzu was a huge scene stealer. She proved to be unflappable, never displaying the slightest big of stage fright.

ON THE SET OF MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS

April 3, 2014

I’m home from Vancouver, where I met the most amazing group of professionals on the set(s) of MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS. What a surreal experience to see characters who began in my head now walking around, saying words I put on paper! The producers, the director, actors, crew–they were so kind and welcoming. I was afraid I’d feel like a fifth wheel, but they treated me like family. It’s hard to know where to begin, so I think I’ll break up my tale into several blogs. This is Take One.

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