May 10, 2001 – Thursday – 11:23 a.m.

Last night was a miracle. It was my first film festival. Dang screened to a packed theater in downtown Norfolk, and people were laughing. They were laughing so loud I heard a few people choke on their laughter. They were also quiet, and they listened. It was my movie that was playing, it was my script, my story, and the audience loved it. I won the audience award and another award; I have two statues forever to remind me of this moment. Lindy and Eddie came up to see it, and Anna was there with me. She looked beautiful!

An editor of feature films came up to me after the award ceremony and said, “In this industry there are people who try for it, they look for it, but never find it, but then there are people who were just born with it. You, you were born with it.”

This film has been a long journey. From all its real-life inspiration to all the acting and directing classes in both theater and film; it all culminated in this project that I’ve been working on here and there for the last two years. Thank you God for allowing me to be noticed and rewarded for the work that I put into it.

The festival plays again tomorrow night, and I graduate on Saturday. I graduated from Lees-McRae College three years this morning, and it is sixteen days until Anna and I marry. Life is very full at the moment.

But I know that I can’t live forever in last night’s glory and honor. It too will fade. More life is ahead. I’m marrying a beautiful woman. I’m honeymooning in my favorite land. I’m turning 25 in a few months.

And no matter what, heaven awaits.

November 3, 2000 – Friday – 5:10 p.m.

Trey and I have completed a rough cut of Dang!, but it is going to cost a few more thousand dollars to finish it on 16mm, which is what is required for it to play at the Regent Film Festival at the Naro Cinema in the spring. Having already put a few thousand dollars on a credit card to make this movie, I thought I’d show it to Terry, one of the top dogs in the administration, to see if he could help. I showed it to him this afternoon.

After it was over he said, “Wow! I’ll make sure you get your money.”

And there it is! My God has remained faithful. Not only will my film show here, but also in Los Angeles at the Director’s Guild of America later next year. From there I’ll try to submit it to as many festivals as I can.

I’m still a bit speechless. I feel very thankful inside. I’m making movies, and I stand in awe of it every day.

On a totally different note, I’ve met some amazing girls this past week. Perhaps I know my movie is good, and that has improved my confidence, which makes me a bit more appealing than I usually would be. Oh, I wonder if that movie will ever get made.

There’s a girl out there somewhere praying for me, and there’s a song inside each us of that neither of us have ever heard. We will hear it soon, when we find one another.

Oh God, I’m amazed by you.

July 17, 2000 – Monday – 7:00 a.m.

I finally got to visit Forefront Church.  It meets in a movie theater on General Booth Blvd, closer to the beach.  It was so wonderful.  It was as though God himself was there welcoming me, for Kristen, the girl who starred in Dang! was there.  She was only there visiting for that one Sunday because she’s been doing Sight and Sound up in Lancaster, PA.  She was there to see her boyfriend Kevin, who leads a small group I hope to attend on Wednesday nights.  It was just to perfect to walk through the doors and see I face I know!  And it meets in a movie theater!

Two years ago I was in Africa.  Crazy!  Last year I had just returned from Los Angeles.  But this summer it looks like West Virginia is about as far away as I’ll go.  That’s okay, for I’m so excited about starting a new church life.

Yesterday evening, Jean from work and I randomly ended up walking around Buckroe Beach in Hampton.  She’s so cool; we have the nicest talks.  I’m thankful for her friendship.

God seems to be doing something with me, a new beginning, a letting go.  I see how he has to pull me away from Lees-McRae.  Keep me here to do your will God.  Teach this place and how to love it.

May 14, 2000 – Sunday – 8:07 a.m.

Graduation was yesterday.  While I’m done with courses, I won’t graduate until next year after I finish Dang! and my thesis paper.  There was a graduation party for David at Parkway Temple yesterday as well.  On Friday I went canoeing with Dan and Theresa at Northwest River Park.

Marie went back to New Jersey yesterday.  She’ll be away for five weeks.  We had a nice time of goodbye on Friday night.

Last night I hung with with Dan and Theresa some more.  We went to Barnes and Noble and ate out at Kyoto’s.  Dan bought some feeder fish for his bigger fish at PetsMart and we enjoyed watching them get devoured.

I start my job tomorrow.  God has been taking care of me this whole time.  I miss Marie already, but hopefully work will keep me busy while I await her return.

April 22, 2000 – Saturday – 8:04 a.m.

Turns out I have an ear infection.  Bummer.

Everyone is still upstairs.  I don’t know what the plans are for the day, but I hope we go out and do something.

In a month’s time I’ll slowly be on my way to New Mexico.  How crazy this is!  I’m $4,000 in debt on my credit cards because of Dang!, I have to start paying back my school loans in November, and I’m riding off to New Mexico.

God, my life is in your hands.  You know my needs, and I know you are my provider.

Marie is doing wonderfully.  I love and adore her more deeply with each passing day.  I see her college graduation picture on the piano in front of me now.

April 12, 2000 – Wednesday – 11:00 a.m.

It’s nearly the middle of April.  In a little over a month’s time, I will embark out across the country and be back in Virginia Beach exactly two months from today.

It is nice not having to work for a season.  But I’m also looking forward to that time in the near future when God will allow me to serve the community and actually make some money.

Trey and I completed our first rough cut of Dang! last night.  We’re going to go tweak it tonight.  I can’t wait!

Marie is doing fine.  We have only a week and a half of classes left.  Life is moving too fast.

God is molding her and I into mates for life.  I love and adore how he is changing me.

The Accuser is having problems when it comes to locations.  Please provide for us God.  I’m waiting on you.

So, it is the fourth month of the year 2000.  Nineteen years of nonstop education is ending for me.  My life is changing and has changed.  I want to be a husband, father, and lover.  I want to help set people free and encourage them to be themselves.  I want to delight in my creator’s eye.

Here we go…

March 27, 2000 – Monday – 8:15 a.m.

Okay.  This is been a busy month.  I’ve also been so crazily in love with Marie that I’ve hardly written in these pages.  Forgive me.

Marie listens to me, so there’s often no reason to vent my thoughts out into these pages anymore.  And here it is, nearing the end of March, and I see how much life will change.  Here’s what’s up!

I’m leaving the bookstore.  I have no reason why other than that I feel it is time to go.  I will work for four more days, two this week and two next week, and then I’m done.

I’m the still photographer for the 5-minute short film I wrote titled The Tape that Binds.  It’s got a $5,000 budget.

Next weekend I’m going with Marie to New Jersey.  Then, on Saturday, we are driving to Philadelphia for one of her friend’s wedding.

Next week Marie and I will go to Banner Elk to visit my friends and the mountains.  We’ll also drive up to New Jersey again for Easter.

A week after we get back, I will direct The Accuser, another 5-minute film with a $5,000 budget.  May will arrive shortly after that and classes will end.  Marie will go home for a few weeks and by the end of May, my soon-to-be-roomate Dan and I plan to help Theresa from the bookstore move back to New Mexico.  We’ll hopefully take a non-direct route and I’ll visit many states I’ve never been to before.

Her parents said they’ll pay to fly me back to Banner Elk, where I’ll be a groomsman in Allen and Jessica’s outdoor sunrise wedding.

Those are my plans through the 11th of June.

Hopefully I’ll get the production coordinator job at Regent, as well as the Resident Director job at Virginia Wesleyan, then I’ll concentrate fully on Dang!

Marie and I are doing well!  What an amazingly sweet love!

March 16, 2000 – Thursday – 9:06 p.m.

The Ides of March are over, and something happened over the past couple of days.

In the Flesh began to change from the ministry I first thought it would be to something entirely different.  It is an original script about a character with a pornography addiction.  The director told me that my role and the lead female would never be intimate on stage, that my character had issues with intimacy, but he soon realized that wasn’t working.  He had the actress, who is about 15 years older than me, unbuttoning my shirt and kissing my chest, while I was on my back.  Now I’ve kissed girls on stage before, and I’ve been in my underwear on stage before, but I wasn’t with Marie then.  And I got involved with this production because I thought it would help those with a pornography addiction, like my father, but now I’m not so sure.

Marie and I have talked and prayed about it.  She is clearly uncomfortable with it.  If I wasn’t with Marie, I’d probably work through it, for that is the professional thing to do, but I need to put her first in this situation.  I spent two hours talking with James, the director, last night.  He finally said that it would be wrong for both of us if I continued to be a part of the production.

I’m not sure how to feel.  I used to love acting, but now I have a bad taste in my mouth towards it.  I just didn’t have any artistic control in that situation and felt I should quit, which I didn’t like doing.  I currently have so much artistic control through directing Dang! and being there for post-production.  I can minister more through directing and not just entertain.

I have applied for a Resident Director position at Virginia Wesleyan College for the next year.  I pray God gives it to me.

Marie is doing really well.  She says school isn’t great for her, but that I am.  We both see that God brought both of us here for each other.  I’m learning much in my field, but she says she is not.  She says I’m her only teacher and her only friend.

Since I’m not in the show anymore, I’ll be able to go with her to a wedding in Pennsylvania in April.  April is going to be a great month.  March is half over.  Only five weeks of classes remain.

Marie’s mom has given Marie her approval of me.  We are contemplating a summer or fall wedding in the year 2001.  I would like to ask her in September of this year and then get married in June.

Life is beautiful with Marie.  Jesus is good to me.  I now know that on the day Marie and I wed, these Books of Days will end.  We’ll begin a new one together.

These journals have always been about me and me alone.  When my life is joined with hers, I won’t be alone anymore.  I won’t be single, so these books should stop.

Curtis is getting married on Saturday.  Unbelievable!  He’s the first of us in fact.  I think I’m going to give him a call.

 

January 23, 2000 – Sunday – 7:15 a.m.

It snowed last night.  The second snowfall in the past week.  And now I realize it has been a week since I’ve written.  It feels like a day.  Wow.

Things are good.  God is blessing me.  The Dang! footage looks great.  We will begin editing next week.  It also looks like there is a good chance that at least one of my screenplays will be selected for a funded production this summer.

Last night the roots of Marie and my’s relationship ran deeper.  It’s hard to write about the two of us because we have our own little book we started together.  We tell each other we love each other now.  And it is a very painful and scary thing; almost to the point that it is comforting.

We visited both sets of Grandparents, she even met my Dad last Sunday.  He acted like the total antisocial butthole that he is.  It was difficult, but it is also nice dealing with all this buried junk inside me with Marie by my side.  I’m learning to see it all through her eyes.

The purity outside reminds me of God’s fresh grace.

January 10, 2000 – Monday – 4:30 p.m.

Classes start today, but I don’t have one until tomorrow.  But let me talk about last week, the week of my first non-silent short film.  With a crew of about 25 and a cast of 13 featured roles (not counting extras), I attempted to tell a story very similar to my own.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday went very smoothly.  Thursday at the church was a bit rough, but we got all our shots.  Friday at the beach was freezing cold, and Saturday at the beach took a bit of effort and creativity to make it rain.

Despite the cop that came and the table we lost in the ocean, we got all our shots.  Everyone told me that it was a very stress free week.  I believe I directed and communicated well.  I learned to storyboard and I stuck to them.  Perhaps that is why everything was so relaxing, it was all planned out in advance.

In less than two weeks I have my public reading for Silhouette and The Tape that Binds.  I need to cast and rehearse those readers.

Marie’s sister Jenny is in town.  We went to see Anna and the King yesterday and tonight I’m going over for dinner.  Marie is blessing me unlike any other and I feel the love of God coming through her to me.

Life with her is wonderful.