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Album Spotlight ~ The Case For Christ: Songs Inspired By The Original Motion Picture

Category

Religious/Christian/Inspirational

Genre

Contemporary/Worship

Release Date

April 7, 2017


In partnership with Pureflix, Dream Records will be releasing its latest album, The Case For Christ: Songs Inspired By The Original Motion Picture on April 7, 2017, the same release day as the movie of the same name. The film is based on Lee Strobel’s bestselling book, The Case For Christ. The album features songs from some of the largest church worship teams in the world such as New Hope Oahu, NewSpring Worship, Lakewood, Seacoast Worship, G12, and many more. To learn more about the movie, visit its official web page.

An Amazing Way To Read An Inspirational Non-fiction Book

The tendency of most avid readers is to read and finish a book in 48 hours or less.

 But what if you lack the time to spend the best of two days focusing on a book? What if you’re a professional reader with a TBR so tall, you’re sure that the days of seeing the bottom of that pile are long gone but you crave reading a book for your personal enjoyment and not because you’ve been requested to?  Also, do you find yourself in a category altogether different from the above?—you love your morning devotions, and, in fact, wake very early to spend an hour praying and studying God’s word; this time spent is not just devotion time anymore. It’s your quiet time, but unfortunately, you’re at that place where you’re not getting any “meat” from the devotionals you’ve used in the past. Or perhaps you’re one who simply prefers to gain the full benefits of a non-fiction read by savoring it in little bits?

Are you any of the above?

Here’s an idea: why not turn that inspirational non-fiction book into a devotional guide? After your morning prayers and Bible study, you can read a section or chapter of the book—a portion that you can digest and meditate on throughout the day. I have found that books with powerful messages are best read this way. There’s nothing like beginning the day with a mind sharpened by prayer, scriptural study, as well as a healthy dose of inspirational message from authors whose words bless you!

About the Editor


Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, a Mogul Global Ambassador, and a copywriter. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards, in 2014, in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category. In 2016, Miranda was honored to be one of 500 book reviewers across the world invited to help launch Tim Tebow’s book, Shaken.

When Miranda isn’t reviewing books/entertainment or hosting interviews on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, and her journey as an author, you can follow her author website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.

*The article An Amazing Way To Read An Inspirational Non-fiction Book first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).

Album Review ~ There Is A Cloud by Elevation Worship

Category

Religious/Christian/Inspirational

Genre

Contemporary Worship

Release Date

March 17, 2017

Rating

5 Stars

Review


There Is A Cloud is an exceptional album with songs whose lyrics are uplifting and soul-soothing. The Christian listener, firstly, through the theme song There Is A Cloud (and subsequent others), is reminded of the promises of God, a message that tells the child of God that s/he is not forgotten—God is faithful; He hasn’t failed us yet! Instrumentation is powerful—a collection of symphonies that, however, don’t overwhelm the singing in any way, but rather add to the overall beauty of the worship. This album is a testimony of God’s grace and faithfulness, put together in a way that a listener would be truly blessed—each lyric was clearly carefully selected for this purpose!

There Is A Cloud is most definitely a lovely album. If you’re in the market for a joyous, encouraging, uplifting, and entertaining music, look no further than Elevation Worship’s latest release, There Is A Cloud.

Book Review ~ Aboard Providence by Keely Brooke Keith

About the Book


In November 1860, Marian Foster joins a group of Virginia families who are sailing away from America to form a new settlement off the coast of Brazil. As an amateur botanist, Marian eagerly anticipates exploring a new land. She boards Providence confident in the group’s plan, but during the voyage, her heart is drawn to Jonah Ashton, the secretive and sullen ship’s physician.

Jonah Ashton is determined to finish medical school before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. When family obligation forces Jonah to take a voyage aboard Providence, he plans to escort his family to their new settlement in South America and then return home. While aboard Providence, Jonah is beguiled by Marian’s optimistic spirit and finds himself in uncharted territory. Soon Jonah makes a startling discovery that changes everything, but will it change his heart?

Get swept away on a journey of faith, sacrifice, and God’s unfailing provision in this inspirational story reviewers are calling “a captivating, well-researched, and deftly written tale.” Read Aboard Providence today and embark on an unforgettable voyage.


Category

Christian/Fiction/New Adult

Genre

Historical Romance/Science Fiction

Rating

4.5 Stars

Review


Aboard Providence proved to be a beautiful story full of heart, written with simplicity, but flowed seamlessly while maintaining poignancy in its execution and theme. Keith’s craftsmanship clearly sharpens and stuns with subsequent books released. The boldness to intricately intertwine two unlikely genres namely, historical and sci-fi—and skillfully done—never loses its pleasant effect on a reader who would so choose to indulge.

Of admirable quality and worthy of mention is Keith’s attention to detail as she describes the setting of the story—the ship, Providence—which shows evidence of deep and satisfactory research done by the author. Characterization was neatly laid out in a fashion that despite the unusual number of characters, it was clear that they were tactfully developed to the degree that each could be comprehensively followed.

Overall, Aboard Providence is a well-rounded story with a classic theme that never grows old—trust that God has a good plan for your life.

 

About the Author


Keely Brooke Keith is the author of The Land Uncharted(Edenbrooke Press) and Aboard Providence (CrossRiver Media). Her novels are known for blending genres in unconventional ways. Keely also writes resources for writers, including The Writer’s Book Launch Guide and The Writer’s Purpose Journal. When she isn’t writing, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Keely resides with her husband and their daughter on a hilltop south of Nashville. She is a member of ACFW.

Do What Is Right In Front Of You

The trouble with being human, especially when we have a goal in mind, is that even before we get started we want to be shown a clear path to a successful end with no hitches so that nothing is a surprise. This, of course, isn’t possible even when we do our best to lay down the perfect plan. Past experiences show that at every turn, something new or unplanned may arise, sometimes, painfully, and in a magnitude that cannot be ignored, and so the previous plan is disrupted. And, if they’d be progress that is worthwhile, the new issue must be dealt with.

In some instances, the original plan falls apart completely, and your goal suddenly seems impossible and unattainable. Logic tells you to forget your idea and move on to something else—shutting the door against your dream in the face of despair.

But what if this goal is not just one that you can easily shove under layers of emotional defeat? What if it has grown into a dream that you sense is much bigger than you? What if over time you’ve come to believe it’s a desire that God, Himself, impressed upon your heart, and so no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to shake it off; rather, despite the many odds you’ve faced, the flames of hope keep blazing on. This dream now has a life of its own that cannot be snuffed out.

First, pray. Pray until God’s peace settles in your heart in such a way that it becomes a guard and guide toward the right direction. This, of course, won’t happen overnight. In addition to praying, study and meditate on God’s Word. God has a lovely habit of finding His children right where they are, using the different parts of Scripture—whichever part they turn to—to communicate His will to them if they are willing to listen. Fortunately, as overwhelming as His plan may first appear—as difficult as it may be to accept and believe this Word given to you because of how small you may perceive yourself to be in the face of such a calling—God is patient and faithful to repeat His message to you over and over again, even accompanying His Word with signs and witnesses that are astonishing, with intent to leave no room for doubt, all the while preparing you and building your faith little by little until you arrive at a place where you not only believe His Word, but you also see that God is, indeed, a loving Father who wants to bless His children.

Over time and in hindsight, you gain understanding of why He permitted some of the sufferings in your past. Doubt is slowly but sturdily eliminated, and you gain a much clearer and better perspective of what life is truly about. You see the beauty of serving God by serving others in unconditional love, choosing not to worry or look out for any reward from men, but instead, from God, Himself. Humility sets in, and deep appreciation for people and community grows in your heart, taking center stage as you continually learn that ALL men, great and small, are equally significant—each with a role that profoundly contributes to the overall wellbeing of all. As your mind grows in wisdom, you also become more simple-hearted toward people of every race, age, and station.

But how do you arrive at such understanding?

Pain.

The kind that bleeds out pride and false security. God allows pain for a number of reasons. One of them is to teach absolute dependence upon Him. When your plans remain unshaken, you may fall prey to the lie that you arrived at success ONLY through your hard work and smart plans; you neglect to recognize God’s grace as what enabled you to accomplish all that you have. God, in His wisdom, is aware that when your dream is fulfilled, if you would be preserved and not get taken down by pride, then you must learn true wisdom (the fool says in heart that there is no God or that he doesn’t need God; but the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom).

If you’ve found yourself in a place where all your plans have fallen apart, yet your dreams refuse to die (no matter how weak your zeal and spirit may have become), perhaps it’s time to truly seek God and His will. Is it possible that in your haste and zeal somewhere along the way God took second or third place in your life, or that you’ve forgotten the true reason for His calling you? Have the motives for your actions changed so that they are more for your glory than for God’s? Is knowing the heart of God still the center of what you do? Have you lost your way amidst the chaos and many noises around you?

You can still rediscover your true path.

You can do this by talking to God—rediscovering Him and His love—making Him number one again, and then following His instructions, step by step, day by day, moment by moment, even when you don’t see the complete picture. This is what faith is all about—the kind that pleases God. It involves you following Him because you know the One in whom you’ve placed your hope and trust in. You do what God has placed right in front of you with what He has made available to you, making the most with what you’ve got, even though you have no idea how the future will turn out. And even when the future doesn’t unfold in the manner that you expected it to, you remain sure that the greater good is still being achieved as you serve God, because you’ve learned the vital lesson that it was never about you, but always about God, all the while maintaining an attitude of gratitude. Humility sets in, and the hope that your reward is found in God alone becomes as sure as day.

 

About the Editor


Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, a Mogul Global Ambassador, and a copywriter. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards, in 2014, in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category. In 2016, Miranda was honored to be one of 500 book reviewers across the world invited to help launch Tim Tebow’s book, Shaken.

When Miranda isn’t reviewing books/entertainment or hosting interviews on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, and her journey as an author, you can follow her author website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.

Artist Scoop ~ Interview with Music Artist Joel Vaughn

Joel Vaughn is the artist with the powerful voice behind the amazing album, Surrender (you can read the TBAP review of Surrender here). I’m delighted to have him stop by on TBAP today to let us know more about the person behind the album, as well as the story that led to his career which began in 2005. Follow our chat below!


Miranda ~ Hello Joel! Glad to have you visit TBAP today. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Joel: Hi! Thanks for having me! Well, for starters, I’m a Christian recording artist based out of Nashville, TN. I grew up around a lot of music. My mom was a worship leader, and we were a very musical family. Over the past 12+ years I’ve led worship for many congregations, and traveled the United States sharing my story and my music. There’s never a dull moment!

Miranda ~ How did you become a Christian? Tell us your story!

Joel: I remember that longing in my soul for something more even before I knew how to tie my own shoes! One Wednesday evening in the spring of 1992 in Amory, Mississippi, I asked my mom if she would walk with me to the altar so I could give my life to Jesus. She walked to the altar with me, prayed with me, and I prayed to God for salvation. I vividly remember the change in my heart. Some people may think that it’s crazy, or that it was too early for me to know at 6 years old, but I felt the Holy Spirit in that moment in a way I will never forget. I don’t remember the exact day of the month. But I remember the blue sky before walking into the building, the time of worship and that we sang “Create in me a clean heart,” the color of the carpet, the smell of the air in the building, the feel of the rickety old Church pews, and the tears that ran down my mother’s face when she prayed that prayer with me. That was the day.

Miranda ~ When exactly can you say music became a part of your life? When did you decide to become a professional?

Joel: Music has always been a part of my life. I don’t really know when I started to become a professional because, this is what I’ve always done. I just have a different platform now. I kind of knew the path that I would take very early in my life. God gives each of us gifts, and mine were pretty clear to me when I was just a 7-year-old kid singing special songs in Church. However, I think the defining moment for me was one summer at youth camp in 2001. It sounds cliché, but I was going through a rough time as a teenager. We had moved twice and more than 1000 miles within 6 months. I didn’t know anyone except three people at this youth camp, and none of us saw the other very much the entire week. I didn’t want to be there, but I didn’t want to go back home either (whatever home meant at the time). One of the last nights of the camp, I was standing in the back of the outdoor amphitheater when I noticed a man walking up to me from my peripherals. I was pretty shy, and I was just trying to keep a low profile and not be noticed, which ironically, made me stick out. I know the Holy Spirit led that man to me that night because he spoke words to me that I’ll never forget. While worship was happening in the front, I was standing in the back of the room with my hands in my pockets. The man touched my arm to get my attention, and then I turned to look at him. He had tears in his eyes, and he looked straight into mine and said, “I don’t know who you are or what you’re going through, but God told me to tell you that everything is going to be okay, and that He is going to use you to do something mighty for His kingdom. I don’t know what that is, but I had to come tell you.” This man knew nothing about me, my situation at home, or anything about my talents. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. That’s the year I began to take singing seriously. And by 2005, I had started leading a group of 350+ students in corporate worship at the University I attended.

Miranda ~ Did any experience in particular incline you towards Christian music instead of secular?

Joel: As a preteen, I always thought it would be cool to be a part of an all-male vocal group… okay, I’ll call it what it is, “boy band.” It was 1997, and they were cool back then, right!? Anyway, I knew in my heart that it wasn’t what God had intended for me, even if it sounded cool to me. Not to go into detail, but there were many trials and difficulties early on in my life that pointed me to Christ. Sometimes, it felt like my faith in God was all I had in the most difficult times. So, naturally, I wrote and sang about the grace and mercy God showed me, through every difficult time. I look back and I know that even though there were things that happened in my life that were awful, God used those moments to humble and prepare me for what I’m doing now. That might sound dark or bleak, but hindsight is 20/20. So my natural response is to worship God in the face of adversity. He led me through all of it, and I’m thankful for it. I think that’s what led me to this industry.

Miranda ~ How would you describe your early days into the industry? What lessons did you learn that have kept you afloat till now?

Joel: I still feel like I’m early in my career even though I’ve been doing this since 2005! It might sound vague, but the one thing that I can truly say that has been consistent and kept me afloat, is my trust and dependence on God. I made many mistakes early on, and one of them was choosing to trust myself and my own willpower. You can’t go through life steamrolling ahead on your own without eventually crashing. It’s good to know that I have a gracious savior that’s always ready to dust me off when I do. I’m hoping I get this wisdom and discernment thing down eventually!

Miranda ~ Your lyrics are deep and can be termed organic. How do you get inspired to write and, is it the lyrics before the music or the music before the lyrics?

Joel: Thank you for the compliment! I have a lifetime of inspiration even though I’ve only been on this planet since 1986! But seriously, I get inspired by stories of grace and redemption. It’s hard not to write and sing about the God who saved you and brought you out of the slavery of sin and shame. These days, it’s a lot easier because I get to co-write songs with some incredibly talented people who have a different story and perspective than I do.

On the second half of the question, it depends. Sometimes I have lyrics ready to go; sometimes it’s just a few chords on my instrument that I write lyrics to; and other times, I go into the studio with my friends and with nothing, but we create a full song with tracks in about 2-3 hours.

Miranda ~ Do you have a separate career as a songwriter and, how do you balance being a singer and songwriter if both careers are separate?

Joel: I don’t know if I would call it a second career at this point, but I will definitely say I am always writing. I never really stop. If you have to separate the two, then that would be when you are primarily the songwriter and not the performing artist. That’s a tricky one for a lot of us creative people. For me at this point, I don’t separate them because I write/co-write most of my songs. For me, they are one and the same.

Miranda ~ In my review of your album, Surrender, I donned your music as the “Vaughn Style” being as you successfully merged pop music and R&B in such a unique way. Any comments on that?

Joel: To me, that is the highest form of flattery! THANK YOU! Haha. But seriously, in my formative years, the music that shaped my style as an artist were Pop and R&B music from artists like Boyz II Men, and, yes, the epitome of boy band music back then—the Backstreet Boys. It feels good to just let that out! No matter what the genre of music is, I’m always drawn to the vocalist. I love listening to a good singer! The “voice” is my favorite instrument. If I’ve developed a style, it’s from the constant exposure to my favorite singers and musical influences.

Miranda ~ Are you presently working on a new project or collaborating with any other artists?

Joel: I just finished this project, and I’m not on the slate to collaborate with anyone at the moment, but you never know what could happen. After my last answer, my potential collaborators might run and hide! Just kidding, I think…

Miranda ~ What do you believe a Christian music artist can add to the world?

Joel: I don’t feel like I have anything fully satisfying and tangible that’s worth sharing besides the hope that we have in salvation through Jesus. Music is just the vehicle I use to bring people there. I love a pretty voice and good, solid music that will stand the test of time, in both the mainstream and Christian industries; but music that draws people to redemption is something special to me. It sounds dramatic. But sometimes, something as simple as a song can be the one thing that saves a person’s life. I know of quite a few songs that kept me going when things were very difficult in my life. I believe the answer is hope, and I want to keep sharing that same hope in Jesus that others shared with me.

Miranda ~ What would you like to see change in the Christian music industry?

Joel: My response to anything I like or dislike is to pray for those individuals or situations, and hope those people are doing the same for me. I want to see our industry grow together for a united purpose of bringing people to Christ, and I think the people who are in this industry feel the same way. We are all in constant need of improvement. Thankfully, we have grace from God.

Miranda ~ Can you say there’s a difference between the secular and Christian music industries—if so, how are they different?

Joel: If I knew more about the mainstream music industry, I could tell you. I don’t, so I would probably give an uninformed answer. The end goal of Christian music, which is to share about the grace and love of Jesus, makes them different. However, I do think they are very much the same in that music serves as way to bring people of all walks of life together. Music is powerful!

Miranda ~ Who are the people that have inspired you the most in life and in music? How have they done so?

Joel: That’s a tough question!  There are a lot! The closest to that for me would be Rich Mullins. His music impacted me from the start. Before I could memorize specific hymns, I remember singing “Awesome God” almost every week in Church and jamming out to his song, “Creed,” in the car on the way home from Church. In a lot of ways, I think he shifted the culture in the Christian industry in the early 90’s. He was different and kind of a renegade. I don’t aspire to be different or to go against the grain of the industry like Rich Mullins did, but his life inspires me. His songs point me to the depravity of my humanity, but even closer to the hope I have in Jesus.

Miranda ~ What are you most grateful for—generally and right now?

Joel: I’m grateful to God for my life, and so very grateful for my wife and kids. They are absolutely amazing. It’s an easy answer because it’s very true.

Miranda ~ What advice would you offer to a person who believes music is their calling and just starting out in the industry?

Joel: Excellent question! I believe our calling is to lead people to Jesus and to grow in our relationship with him. If you have that mindset, then go for it and persevere! It’s not an easy road for most of us, but the joy from doing what you know you were created to do, is like no other. Be open to criticism from a few trusted individuals, but don’t center your life around pleasing people either. There’s nothing worse than living a life worrying what people think about you all the time. Invest in the generation behind you, and hand the torch off to them when it is time. Spend more time with your family than you do on the stage! Finally, who you are isn’t what you do. With or without the pretty voice, the amazing guitar prowess, drum chops, or whatever, you are first a child of God.

THIS or THAT (The Fun Questions!)

Coffee or Tea? Coffee!!! Every time.

Gym or Outdoor? Both! Do they have to be exclusive?

Snickers or Boots? Wait what? Are we talking about candy bars? If so Snickers!

Running or Walking? Running—at least until I huff and puff until I pass out from eating too many snickers.

Cereal or Fruit? Cereal and milk.

Music or Books? Music!

TV or Magazine? I actually enjoy both!

Summer or Spring? Both!

Rain or Snow? Rain!

Blazer or Leather Jacket? Depends on the occasion I suppose, but leather!

Thank you, Joel, for visiting today! 

 

About Joel Vaughn


Joel Vaughn is a singer/songwriter based out of Nashville, TN. Growing up in the South, Joel was influenced by many different genre’s but none were closer to his heart than pop and contemporary music. Joel started singing in his local church at the age of seven and he has kept going ever since. Known as “the singer” of an all-musical family, Joel originally taught himself to play guitar at age 14, simply to keep up with his siblings, all of whom played instruments. But his love of playing didn’t stop at guitar, and he also decided to pick up the drums and piano as well. By the time he was a high-school senior, he was writing songs & playing whatever musical instruments he could get his hands on.

Joel studied at West Texas A&M University, and he began to lead worship for student ministries and churches in the area. Over the last 12 years as a worship leader in Texas, he has released three independent albums. All of these albums featured the rock and worship styles that he grew up with, but as he continued to progress, his music began to mature and he began to create songs that leaned more toward the contemporary pop genre.

While his label debut EP, Kinetic showed Joel in a whole new light garnering his first top 20 Billboard Christian Hot AC / CHR single for “Wide Awake,” his sophomore release, Surrender shows an even more evolved sound—with deeper lyrics, soaring vocals, and haunting melodies.

His southern drawl, humility, and nice boy looks remind you where he comes from, but his sound will show the world where Joel Vaughn is headed. Settling in to deeper and modern music —Joel’s voice truly shines and it is clear that he is home.

Woman In Film: Writing On Purpose, With Purpose & Laughing About It!

woman-typewriter

What is there to write about?  And, why? How do you write a whole existence of worth that hasn’t already been written?

Just as there is not a single birth of a new human soul that is the same as another, neither are the lives of any two individuals!

Does such a simple truth blow your mind? Mine, too!

The theme for the 2016 168 Write of Passage, 12-page screenplay competition was, “The Love of the Father.” The scripture provided by 168 for spiritual inspiration was Proverbs 3:12 (NKJV):


“For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father, the son, in whom he delights.”

Before we dive into my case of creative action, let’s first clarify the coordination of the contest, shall we?

Screenwriters from across the nation have 168 hours, i.e. one week, to develop a Treatment for a short film, and then complete a full 12-page screenplay (no more and no less) grounded by the given theme.

To all my fellow writers out there, you know how difficult a deadline for creativity can be, especially when you have a full-time job, pressing family affairs, and other demanding creative projects that require your attention all at the same time. Our daily grind is quite the expert in presenting a multitude of distractions that eat away at your contemplation, adoration, and the time for the GOLDEN GIFT of SILENCE which is required to focus on that one specific goal—your writing.

What makes this 168-challenge unique to writers and filmmakers?—the fortuity to be mentored by your designated first-round Judge, who is also an established and successful Hollywood screenwriting professional and insider, hereon in, referred to as a Development Executive (DE).

What is the grand prize? $1000.00 (first prize), Inktip.com listing of your featured script, Hollywood introductions and, options for your film to be produced through the 168 Film Festival as a Write of Passage spotlight film. (Learn more here.)

For starters, my intent was to go for the gold! Whereas, the grand prize may hold keys to open new doors to one’s career, my desire, more essentially, is to grow in my craft, and develop a great story. Under superlative guidance (with trust) from my assigned DE, my story will honor our humanity and address deeply the causation behind human behavior and private choices—a strong story that I would personally be inspired to produce, direct, and enjoy watching!

Okay! It’s Day 1. GO!

I ask myself again, “What is there to write about? What do I know? What have I learned? How can I make a difference?”

Day 4! Still no Treatment! Oh, my Lord! “Cutting it close, aren’t you, Apolonia?” I ask myself, “Why are you even competing?”

“Are you having a tough week? Yes!”

“Are you the only one with trials to bear? No!”

I immediately turn to the person that knows me better than I know myself for encouragement. I employ direction from my personal Spiritual Director—my mother—for help! God bless her words of wisdom.

Photo by Jason R. Coleman Photography

Photo by Jason R. Coleman Photography

What was my epiphany? Imagination holds endless originality, because with God, there is no end; and with God, there is meaning in all things. I just must surrender. I, the writer, must listen to the lessons that are speaking to me from my life, and even what I’ve shared with others.

That night, I put the world on hold and stopped to listen. I heard from the Lord, “Turn to Me! Pray about it! Go to bed! Wake up and, GET TO WORK!”

God has a reputation for works that showcase the mystery of His mercy, but in this case, He was very direct! *Laughing*

Day 5! Treatment submitted! Amen! Draft 1 begins! Received prompt feedback from my DE and advised to re-write initial Treatment.

Day 6! Treatment submission number two goes through. Victory!

Back to the script. “Keep writing, Apolonia. It’s not over yet!”

Draft 1 of LISTEN (working title) submitted! “AMEN!”

LOGLINE: Bruised by the double edge sword of losing a life and saving another, two lonely children discover a new family.

Day 7! Feedback received! Much to edit and apply.

“How am I going to do this? My job beckons?”

“Prioritize, Apolonia! Then at lunch, re-launch and, GET IT DONE!”

I ask you, my fellow reader, have you ever gotten a sweat in a sedentary position? (The bicycle does not count. Hehe.) My heart was racing to cross the finish line, to value and apply my DE’s direct and profound advice, to defend and honor my characters, and then, meet this final deadline!

DONE! Twelve pages. The “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” and “how” all vested-on paper in PDF format. There’s no going back now! BREATHE!

Wahoo!!! I’m exhausted, but I’m happy! The rest is in God’s hands. Time to get back to work, go home, and sleep!

I know what you’re wondering, my dear, beloved reader. Did I win? Is that the point?

My honest answer is “no” and “NO!”

I did eventually read the “winning script” of the competition. And, I can honestly say that I’m still very proud of my final submission. So much so, I’m looking forward to going back into the writing room, applying some additional feedback, and transforming LISTEN from script to screen! Because of competing in the 2016 168 Write of Passage Screenplay Competition, my next film production has been born! I gave myself the creative outlet to pursue my passion for writing, and also completing a solid story (with a fresh perspective, and as a more learned film director and editor). In such a short amount of time, I learned and grew immensely as a writer and as a person. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in a week. Let alone, in my case, a weekend!

Life is funny. And I’m going to continue laughing and powering through! *Laughs*

About this Contributor


Photo by Jason R. Coleman Photography

Photo by Jason R. Coleman Photography

Apolonia Davalos (AEA/ WIFT-Nashville and TWIFM Member) is a film and Off-Broadway theater director and actress. She is named after APPOLLONIA, an ancient, biblical town, in Macedonia, Greece, south of Lake Bolbe, known today as Nea Apollonia. Hence, she was born with a passion for God and love of history! Her upcoming short, modern-western film, Children of War, debuted through the film festival circuit in 2016. She is the Co-Writer and Co-Star of the online radio broadcast “The Baby Shug’s Show!” As an actor, her feature film credits include: “The Good Book” (on DVD), “Providence” (recently released in select AMC Theatres), “The Perfect Wedding” (on DVD), etc. In theater, she received great acclaim for the originated role of LYNN CORDERO in the Off-Broadway production of Looking for Billy Haines in Times Square (NYC). Other theater credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Nashville Shakespeare Festival); Metamorphoses (The Boston Actors Theater): The Crucible (Salem Theatre Company); and Sisters of the Church (Afrikan Women’s Repertory Theatre). She is further recognized as a producer, director, writer, as well as an inspiring advocate for classical Greek theater through her production company APOLONIAD Productions. Known for her hearty laugh, talent for accents, love for martial arts, and singing classic 1930’s tunes!  “Apolonia Davalos is a passionate, young director dedicated to exploring the plays of Euripides. As a member of a generation used to reading no more than 140 characters at a time, her devotion to a classical poet is worthy of tremendous admiration.” – Show Business Weekly.

Follow Apolonia on twitter and instagram and learn more about her on her movie production website, APOLONIAD Productions!

*The article, Woman In Film: Writing On Purpose, With Purpose & Laughing About It, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).