Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mission: Possible!

A few days ago, I completed a 72-day journey of reading/revising my three scripts for The Q'ntana Trilogy Movies from a director's perspective. It was an exhaustive, sometimes exhausting, exhilarating, sometimes emotionally draining experience that involved revisiting each of my MoonQuest, StarQuest and SunQuest stories and, in many ways, reliving them all.

I had launched the exercise on January 1, intent on discerning with my director's eye what wasn't going work on the screen and then getting my screenwriter-self to effect the necessary script changes. I set my completion goal for March 13...largely because I liked the numerical symmetry of 03-13-13. However, as February rolled into March, I grew increasingly doubtful that I would be able to meet my arbitrary deadline. There was just too much work left to do. Or so I thought.

Yet by dinnertime on March 13, my screenwriter-self had implemented all the revisions and rewrites mandated by my director-self.

The result: a trio of largely final preproduction scripts for The MoonQuest, The StarQuest and The SunQuest movies.

I had met my goal.

I was stunned

I shouldn't have been. I should have remembered that, regardless of external appearances, nothing is impossible. I should have remembered that fact not only because it is a recurring theme in all three Q'ntana stories. I should have remembered it because it is a recurring theme in my life, a life in which, like the Q'ntana protagonists, I have often transcended the conventionally possible to achieve something astonishing.

With the three scripts in preproduction readiness, the next item on my Q'ntana agenda -- to go through each script scene-by-scene with the project's producer -- was to have been a largely mechanical one. Instead, it turned into something quite different. We had barely begun when I found myself not only summarizing each scene but acting it out and getting so "into" it that our cafe neighbors (Panera/MoonQuest on Friday, Starbucks/StarQuest on Saturday) must have thought me quite mad.

I talked loudly, gesticulated dramatically and got more publicly into the stories than I have ever done. I felt (and likely acted) as though I had consumed many gallons of high-octane espresso when, in fact, my high-octane energy came directly from the stories themselves. It was a creative high like none I have ever experienced, and it did more than renew my not-always-constant confidence in myself, my stories, their books and their films. It augmented that confidence and my optimism many-fold.

Now that the producer and I have completed that process with The SunQuest, I'm excited to re-experience both The StarQuest and The SunQuest book manuscripts from this same revitalized place as, later this week, I revisit them as well. My task? To determine which of the story revisions and improvements made during the past months to the screenplays should migrate back into the novels. Once that task is complete (no deadline yet!), The StarQuest and The SunQuest will be primed for publication and I can resume my director-prep duties on The Q'ntana Trilogy Movies.

What a journey this has all been! It is certainly not one I could have anticipated 19 years ago this month, when The MoonQuest book began pushing itself -- surprisingly and with surprising force -- out of me and onto the page (an experience I describe in my 2012 memoir, Acts of Surrender: A Writer's Memoir). No doubt I will someday look back on this month's experiences with the same awe and amazement with which I now view March 28, 1994, the day The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy was born from The Chariot card in the Courtney Davis Celtic Tarot Deck

For now, I celebrate "the impossible," knowing that it's entirely possible and knowing, too, that what awaits me next is certain to be as unimaginable (and conventionally impossible) as what brought me to this moment. Thank you for joining me on this amazing journey!

• To celebrate this month's Q'ntana achievements and The MoonQuest's March 28 birthday, I am once again offering signed copies of both The MoonQuest and The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write from my website. My web store will remain open through the end of the month for book orders but will shut on March 31, after which paperback copies of both books will, once again, only be available at

Let March be a MoonQuest birthday month for you too: Get your signed books today at my website's Birthday Bookstore!

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