It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Ever have one of those years? 2017 certainly was a rough one to survive for me. It started like any other year, full of hope and promise. Then, suddenly it all fell apart. But like most things in life, I learned a lot and grew through all the mistakes, bad choices, health issues and hair colors. 2017 was supposed to be the year I directed my first feature. Well, that didn’t happen and at this point I don’t think it ever will. But I’m good with that. It was an eye-opening experience that showed me who my real friends really are and for that I’m very thankful.

January was by far the best month of the year, because it brought me a new nephew. Abel might be the most perfect little boy I’ve ever seen and I’ve enjoyed every single moment I’ve spent with him this year. By February I was in Orlando Fl. for the Cosmic Film Festival and my chance to see Out of my Mind on the big screen at Universal Orlando’s AMC theater!! March took me to Chicago and a very cold but wonderful visit with my daughter and a Broadway show. April was filled with the Alhambra Theatre Film Festival events and Out of my Mind’s first award. The end of April would take me to Claysville PA and reunite me with Justin Seaman and Zane Hershberger for The Old Hag segment of 10/31.

May, WOW now that was a month. The amazing staff at MayDay Film Festival inducted me into their Hall of Fame, an honor that has been bestowed on others that I’ve always looked up to. And not only did they honor me, but they also gave Mina Fedora the Best Actress Award for Out of my Mind. How can you beat a month like that? Easy, in June Jim Dougherty agreed to shoot and edit a little idea I was playing with called E-Bowla. So, Rusty and I took a cruise and I came back with a tan and a script.

In July I turned (gasp) 50! But I also made my 3rd short film called Moving In. To date, Moving In has been accepted into 8 festivals, nominated for best editing and won Most Terrifying at the Top Indie Film Awards. Needless to say Moving In was a great birthday present that just keeps giving. August was a lot of pre-production and fund raising for E-Bowla. September was a dream come true when I finally got accepted not once but twice into the Louisville International Festival of Film. I found out while I was there that I was one of only two people that had two films accepted, not too shabby for a female horror filmmaker.

October went by in a blur of black-light photos, Hoptown Horror nights, and finally the production of E-Bowla. I met and worked with Will Chase and Ingrid Michaelson, and even though their star status is way above mine, they treated me like a well-respected director and gave me phenomenal performances, just like everyone else on the set. It was simply one of the best moments of my life so far and will be hard to top. November and December brought two more roles before the end of the year, both in the form of flashback scenes. Not sure what that means, but it was blast to act again. Look for In A Flash and Myth to make an appearance next year.

And finally on a much more personal note, I lost my best friend this year. She was with Rusty and I for 15 ½ years and losing Raven in May left a huge hole in both our hearts. It was hard to make the decision to let another dog into my life, but in September a big old lug of a boy named Diesel needed us as much as we needed him. He has firmly found a place in my heart and bed. I mentioned in the beginning that it was a hard year, and it was. So many friends, family and I have been diagnosed with life-changing diseases. I will be slowing down in 2018; doctor’s orders and I will be praying for my friends and family that have it a lot harder than me. I think it was appropriate that my year ended with a movie about a disease. Maybe next year I should write a film about a cure that fixes everything. That’s a happy thought to end on. Merry Christmas and have a Happy but most importantly Healthy New Year!