Blue Pinwheels and Child Abuse

This week, my local county courthouse lawn was glittering with hundreds of small blue pinwheels. I assumed it was symbolic of something, but I wasn’t sure what.
I later found a story by one of our local news outlets explaining that the pinwheels are there to bring awareness to the fact that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
My attention was caught. As you know, child abuse is a primary theme in my books, the Mailboat Suspense Series. And as I recently shared, I was myself emotionally abused as a child, into my adult years.
I love that it’s “Prevention” month and not “Awareness” month. The more I research broken families, foster care, etc., the more I ask what we can do to prevent children from ever being removed from their families in the first place.
In other words, what can we do to stop child abuse and neglect at home? What can we do to get help for the parents so that the children don’t have to suffer?
I know not every broken family situation can be saved. But speaking from my own experiences of childhood emotional abuse, I can’t help but believe that my life could have been markedly different if my mother had accepted the mental health options that were available to her. Instead, it somehow became more acceptable to ignore the problems than to address them.
That’s why, for me, the problem of child abuse begins with normalizing mental health care for adults. An unhappy parent cannot raise a happy child. An unbalanced parent cannot raise a well-balanced child.
But with proper mental health care, the future could be far brighter for both the adults and the children.
So… take care of your mental health, yo. If not for you, then for the kids in your life.
P.S., for more information on National Child Abuse Prevention Month, check out the resources at the Children’s Bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And see if there are any events in your town where you can listen, learn, and/or volunteer.

Wanna know how we did in the film/TV competition?!

I recently let you all know that Charles and I made the semifinalist round of the ScreenCraft Virtual Pitch Competition, where we proposed the idea of the Mailboat Suspense Series as a TV show.

With that accomplishment, our next task was to submit a recorded pitch to try to get to the finalist round. (You can watch Charles and me here!)

Sadly, Charles and I and the Mailboat story weren’t chosen as finalists, so this ends our journey with the Spring 2022 ScreenCraft Virtual Pitch Competition.

But that’s hardly the end of our journey with Hollywood. We still have such big plans!

For starters, placing as semifinalists is still a big deal. We beat out almost 1,000 other pitches to get there. This credential can only help us on our forward journey.

And let’s not forget, I’ve been approached on two separate occasions by parties interested in my film and TV rights. I’m still nursing those leads along.

The competition is really only a small part of a much larger picture.

I couldn’t imagine this journey without you, my loyal fans. Thanks for putting the wind in our sails, cheering us on and believing in an eventual film or TV adaptation. We promise to keep you posted on upcoming developments!

Meanwhile, what can you do to help?

      • Recommend my books to your friends. The more people I have on board, the more Hollywood will take notice!
      • Support my store by purchasing or pre-ordering one of my books. (Mailboat V is coming this summer!)
      • Go above and beyond by joining my Patreon page! You’ll get to read my next story AS I WRITE IT while supporting me in a very tangible way.

Thanks so much for coming with us on this thrilling cruise. We can’t wait to tell you what happens next!


Charles and I Are ScreenCraft Semifinalists!

Previously, I promised to keep you informed of progress toward a film or TV adaptation of the Mailboat Suspense Series. Well, Charles and I did a thing recently, and it turned into a BIG DEAL.

About a month ago, we put together a written pitch for the Mailboat story as a TV series and submitted it to the ScreenCraft Virtual Pitch Competition.

To be honest, we threw it together last minute, figuring that, at the very least, we’d get professional feedback and learn how to write better pitches in the future. And at best, there was a shot at landing the Grand Prize and being personally introduced and recommended to influential names in Hollywood.

Today, we learned that we made the semifinals. 

As I write this, ScreenCraft hasn’t released the official numbers yet, but if it’s anything like the last time they ran the contest, Charles and I are one of 100 semifinalists out of perhaps 900 total entrants.

Charles and I may have danced in the living room, and Angel may have run up and down with one of her favorite toys. Fergus opted to steer clear of the chaos.

To be clear, this latest development is entirely separate from the TWO prior inquiries into my film and TV rights for the Mailboat Suspense Series. I’m carefully nursing those along, as well.

Next in the ScreenCraft competition, Charles and I have to submit a short video pitch, which will determine whether we make it to the finalist round.

But regardless, we now get to add our semifinalist status to our credentials (my first, Charles’ THIRD), and Charles informs me… that’s a big deal in Hollywood.

There’s a lot of work left to do, but Charles and I are so excited! Wish us luck as we keep pushing forward. All of this is so much easier knowing I have you guys at my back, putting the wind in my sails.