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.

February 6, 2001 – Tuesday – 7:58 a.m.

One hundred nine days remain.

Spring want so desperately to begin here in Virginia, but winter is standing firm. It is going to be a busy spring. I’ve got two films to finish, wrap up my thesis, graduate from graduate school, get married, go on my honeymoon, and those are just the big events. There are so many little videos I need to complete between now and then, plus I’m still working in the bookstore and planning the wedding.

Life is fun.

Anna and I spend most of our time discussing our future together. We’ve talked of moving to so many places, everywhere from North Carolina to Montana. Who knows where we will end up, but I sure like discussing my future with her.

I’m so excited to marry her. I love her more than I thought possible. In 109 days I will die and be reborn. She is not my savior, but God will change me on that day.

Vince is trying his best to come up from Bolivia. I miss all my Lees-McRae friends. I’m so thankful for that season of my life.

Four year there, ’94-’98, and nearly three years here, ’98-01.

In 11 days I will be 24 and a half years old.

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 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 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.

 

March 4, 2000 – Saturday – 3:30 p.m.

Another week has passed since I’ve written.  It bothers me that time is flying by so quickly.  I don’t understand.

So much school work is becoming due so quickly, yet I always seem to be in rehearsals that aren’t effective nor fun.  I’m becoming extremely frustrated with my lack of free time for the aspects of my life that are really important to me.

Please help me God.

It is March 4th.  How did that happen?  I’m washing my clothes and trying to defrost some deer meat, so I can cook for Marie tonight.  The weather is getting warmer and I’m thankful for that.

This past Sunday Marie and I went to Munden Point Park with Lori and Ben and a guy named Brad from church.  It was a nice time.  I really like Lori and Ben.

Thursday night I called Marie’s parents without her knowing.  I also wrote them a letter.  I just wanted to keep in touch with them and let them know I want to be their friend.

Marie and I drove down to Wilmington, NC yesterday.  I interviewed Frank Capra, Jr., the president of Screen Gems Studios, for an essay assignment in my Business of Cinema class.  We also wanted to check out the area.  The only thing we liked about the area was downtown Wilmington itself.  The country around it was not beautiful at all when compared to the Virginia Beach area.

Right now my heart is leaning towards moving to Asheville, NC, but your will God.

Me had a nice drive back, and we stopped in Bath, NC.  What a beautiful little town!

Life seems so wide open from here.  There are eight or nine weeks of classes left.  I have two huge papers to do for one class and just lab time for another.  For Dang!, I need to edit with Trey, as well as write up a prospectus and find some investors.  This little movie has cost me a great deal of money, which I don’t have.

I still have to finish Pilate and In the Flesh, two theater productions I’m in.  I never leave the stage in Pilate and I’m the lead in In the Flesh.  I have also recently been selected to direct The Accuser, a five-minute short film written by my buddy Chris.  We shoot that at the end of April, so our team is drowning in pre-production at the moment.

My job at the bookstore is getting less and less fun.  I just have so much to do outside of that place.

Then there is spring break with Marie.  The two of us will visit both Banner Elk and her hometown of Metuchen, NJ.

I just want the semester to be over, so I can become a working man and not have so much to do for school.  The school does have a Production Coordinator job opening up.  Maybe I’ll be good for that position?

May 15th…it should all be over by then.

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.

December 15, 1999 – Wednesday – 9:31 p.m.

Clown of God has been over for a few days now, and total strangers are still complimenting me about it.  Classes are also over, which means I won’t have another course with Marie.  She grows in beauty and we grow in our special friendship.

I have a little Christmas tree up, so I’m doing my best to get in the spirit of Christmas.

Two of my scripts made it through the next stage of judging; one more stage to go.  I also was cast in two theater productions in the spring: Davis in In the Flesh and Luke in Pilate.  They both open in March.

Vince had to go home to get a root canal.  His car broke down, so he had to take a bus home.  He and Marie and I saw LaRue and Russ Taff in concert.

And, well, it seems as though life can’t be captured in these pages anymore.  I feel my journaling must change shape because I feel I don’t know its purpose, its style, or its reason.

Perhaps I feel that my emotions are stable and I no longer need to vomit them out onto a page in order to sort through my sense of self.  Or perhaps I just no longer have the time. Or perhaps I feel whoever eventually reads this will not care.  I wonder if I write so much of how I am out in screenplays that I no longer have anything left to say in these pages.  Maybe I just want to give all of me to Marie and not to these Books of Days.

Whatever the reason, I will continue to write.  Even if it all turns into abstraction, I will write.  For I must not second guess that the me I give to these pages is a gift to myself.  Whatever fleeting thought I jot down is all these pages are ever supposed to know.

 

December 10, 1999 – Friday – 1:00 p.m.

Last night, and a little into this morning, Marie and I became little kids together.  We went for a walk in a small forest of light-covered trees and ended up in front of a fireplace, a nativity set, and Christmas lights, where we held each other’s hands and spoke of family and the past.

She is lovely.

I feel God is changing my relationship with my youth group.  I felt disrespected on Wednesday and I got angry with them.  I fear they see me differently now.  We’ll see.  Maybe I’m not supposed to be in that form of ministry.  Have your way God.

In a month we’ll be finished with principal photography for Dang!.  I only have two classes next semester.

Marie just called!

See ya!

 

December 4, 1999 – Saturday – 12:05 p.m.

Another week has passed and I’ve finally found time to write.

I saw Toy Story 2 with Tracey’s family and then Vince arrived on Sunday.  Marie returned from her visit him and we spent some time together and had dinner at Applebee’s on Wednesday.  She shared with me a family photo album, which she brought from home.  I got to see her family as well as pictures from her trips to Israel and Egypt.  She even showed me her diary, which she’s been keeping since the age of six.  It was the most precious thing I’ve ever seen.

I told her that when I was that age I was doing similar things and that I dreamed there was a girl out there doing the same thing as well.  Seeing picture of Marie in high school, wow, it was like I had seen her before in my dreams.

God, please take care of our hearts.

Rehearsals for “Clown of God” have been crazy, but the show opened last night and it went well.  Vince and Marie came and we went out for ice-cream afterward.

We also had a location scout on Friday and God gave us a lot of favor.  It was weird because I’m the director, but I didn’t need to do anything.  Everyone else was just doing their job and I just sat back and watched it all come together.  It was very humbling.

It has been a joy to have Vince here, but it is also very weird combining Lees-McRae and Regent.

I have a show this afternoon, then I’ll work on some papers due next week.  The show runs all next week and ends on December 12th.  I’ll take my finals and then everything ends on the 15th.  I’m sure Marie will leave soon after that.  We are trying to make plans to see each other around Christmas.  I’ll stay and work at the bookstore until the 22nd and try to get pre-production completed for Dang!.  Marie may spend the new year here.  I’m not sure.  Vince will go back on the 22nd, and I’ll drive to Uncle Jeff’s house in Maryland for Christmas.

I wish life would slow down.

Just a little bit.