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Plenty of Caribbean Talent - Onicia Update - October 2019

My ultimate goal as a Caribbean screenwriter: Create a scripted television show for and about the Caribbean. Winning awards is optional and not required for success.
With that in mind, I'm always searching for collaborators and opportunities to tell stories. I finally worked up the courage to reach out to Peter Sagnia. He's a director and filmmaker currently living in St. Maarten. Chatting with Peter, Diane de la Haye, AlysiaSimone, and my other Caribbean friends reminds me that we have plenty of talent in the region.
Today I have the technology to communicate with any Caribbean talent. Access to affordable creative tools means I'm closer than ever to achieving my storytelling goals. 
Other news: Just Being Funny is back. Episodes 1-4 of Pre-Existing are now on Youtube. I think I'm episode 9 or 10. Maya Montrell and I are on page 16 of 30 of Counting on Kendra. I was supposed to publish updates and lessons about our project but...
Anyways, this month's Fangirlin' i…

'The Haven' using Web Series to Launch Chicago TV Pilot - Women in Film

What do you do when you have an original TV pilot that explores a world and characters different from traditional Hollywood scripts? You do like Mia McCullough and Elizabeth Laidlaw and create a web series!
THE HAVEN is a web series covering an extensive period in the lives of the clients and staff of a domestic violence center. The staff forms the main cast. The clients are secondary characters. 

Web series is a great storytelling tool for exploring characters and worlds. Compared to a TV show, these short format made-for-the-web productions often require fewer resources to produce. These scripts, which are usually under 30 minutes/pages, allow screenwriters to tell stories by and about underrepresented communities. Best of all, the finished content is immediately available to that community — #RepresentationMatters. 

Mia and co-producer Elizabeth Laidlaw knew that if developed and produced in the traditional Hollywood/LA-focused system, the project would likely evolve into something t…

Everyone in Hollywood is Blowing 'Big Smoke' - Women in Film

Big Smoke is basically what my life would have been had things not worked out for me and Le Roommate. 
About four episodes into this 6-part comedic web series about selling a TV show, I realized that Big Smoke is basically what my life will be once I work up the courage to actually sell my scripts.
Here’s what Big Smoke creators Laura E. Bray and Miriam Glaser taught me about selling a television script.
You can’t sell a screenplay if you don’t shop your screenplay. There are plenty of people looking to buy, so shoot your shot.
Despite what LinkedIn profiles, IMDB pages, or company websites say, everyone is just blowing smoke and hoping for the planets to align. So, yes, go to that pitch meeting with a positive attitude. Don’t sweat it if things fall through.


Don’t cyber-stalk your ex or creative competition -- especially not before your big pitch. That’s a self-sabotaging activity that can lead to getting drunk, binging on ice cream, and weird headspaces. Focus on yourself. 
Pivot and wing…

8 Journaling Ideas for Self-Development - Iris Kirkland's My Journal Guide Review

Many how-to guides showcase one or two ways to do an activity. Iris Kirkland's straightforward journaling guide includes eight journaling ideas for self-development. Whether you're short on time, not too chatty, or planning long-term goals, My Journal Guide presents several ways to get into journaling. Iris even explains how those who don't consider themselves as writers can benefit from journaling.
Here's why you should download Iris Kirkland's FREE journaling guide: Journaling is a great way to gain clarity. You don't have to do it forever. You don't have to journal every aspect of your life.
"The more I journaled, the more I became clear about the kind of writer I want to be. To be honest, it's helped me to figure out what kind of person I want to be too." -- Iris Kirkland, My Journal Guide
My two favorite exercises: the joy list and adding scriptures to written prayers.
I usually run to ice cream when I feel sad. Having a list of things that b…

Pre-Existing Web Series - Onicia Update - September 2019

Hot girl summer is coming to an end. That's it. That's the intro.
The official trailer for Pre-Existing, a web series by David Audino is here. The first episode will premiere on September 18, 2019. A new episode will air every Wednesday for 17 consecutive weeks!
You can watch online at PreExistingWebSeries.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo and YouTube. Fangirlin' This month's Fangirlin' section is dedicated to some of my Pre-Existing web series collaborators.

David Audino poured his sweat, blood, and tears into Pre-Existing. In fact, he even dedicated his firstborn to bring this project to life. Check out his first short film Bookmarked. 

"A woman has never read the last chapter of a book until a chance encounter changes everything. A short film Written and Directed by David Audino. Starring Catharine Savage, Erin Field & Jordan Savusa."

Bookmarked from David Audino on Vimeo.

Lisette Hall is a talented director, producer, and improv performer…

Keep Going - Onicia Update - August 2019

This month, I'd like to use this space to share a letter from an unlikely collaborator  (insert big dopey smile) who has been pushing me to work on my most challenging project yet. It's been 2+ years. I don't know what you're working on but I hope you find someone who inspires you to keep going. 
I’m Onicia’s Ol’ Uncle Hank.  This is my story of collaborating with Oni:
At only our second meeting, I asked Oni what she did…exactly.  She told me she tells stories; her stories or she helps other people tell their stories.  The mediums varied widely: stand-up, books, movies, sit-coms, screenplays, articles, blogs, or podcasts… but in essence, she’s in the storytelling business.  Heck, want to tell a story at your wedding?  Then hire her as your wedding planner…that’s a fine medium too.  How cool!  So, of course, I tell her I’ve always had an idea for a book.  While she remained polite, I knew she was thinking, “If I had a nickel for every knucklehead…”  Two days later I recei…