Today the country celebrated the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King. I did not stay at home as I knew today was a day ON not a day off. My day began with meeting my Sorority sisters of the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in downtown Atlanta as I was appointed to be a contact person for the chapter. We marched in the MLK Parade from Peachtree Street to Auburn Avenue to the King Center. I could have continued to hang out, but I knew I needed to begin round 3 of editing F.O.T.O. Yes, I’m on round 3, but let digress for a moment and go back to the previous rounds on what has happened.
The first round began as a dream from my mom, co-writer, Vallerie Lewis. She told me about the historical women she thought should be in the story. We narrowed her list to half. From there we developed a skeleton of the breakdown of scenes and what each scene should accomplish. She wrote the dialogue in book format, just so she could get the story as she dreamed it could be. Then I took her story and put it in standard format for screenplays.
The second round centered on creating the story fit for a screen and also employed my writing talents more than ever. This round was laborious as I had to focus on where the story is going, even when I had no clue. I prayed, my mom prayed, and glory be to God, it began to take it’s own direction. We went through each scene (at least 20), and that was an experience. Some scenes were a breeze to write, some were frustratingly difficult. Some scenes I laughed hysterically through and others I cried…hard. Alas there is a story to F.O.T.O. and I’m curious what will happen next.
That brings me to this 3rd round: critically reading the entire script. I’ve asked a dear friend of my to read and trust her opinion on how it can be improved. I have realized as I go through this round that the story is more than what it has started out to be. It has this side commentary that’s really interesting. I am in love with this project. It’s so weird and lovely. As I edit, I realize it’s more of an ode to a friend who loves her friend and wants to see her happy; certainly an angle I didn’t expect. I thought it was about something else, and it is about that, but it has an element that’s reminiscent of a film called “The Witches” with Angelica Houston. Where someone is watching you and your desires and when the time comes to help, she gives her all to make sure desires are met. Again, it’s weird. Now I will leave my tangent and return to what I began this post about…remembering Dr. King.
I am one degree of separation from Dr. King through my pastor, Rev. Dr. Cameron M. Alexander and it could be the reason I feel intimately connected with the message presented. He was asked to deliver a message for the ecumenical service at Ebenezer Baptist Church and I took away a particular word, which is to reach my fullest potential. Dr. King didn’t accept the lack of resources available to him as a barrier to where he was going. He kept pressing on. He lived to his potential. I am guilty of being stagnant when what I see in my surrounding doesn’t compel to proceed. Everyday I see sunshine is to be better than I was previously. I should live as certainly my privileges came with a price. I drink water (clean water) and did not have to pump it from a well. I can graduate from a college that only began accepting Black people 50 years ago (and I have). I can create a film and it doesn’t have to go through a studio to have it made. It is imperative I live to my potential. I declare F.O.T.O. to be the vehicle for people to see more of my potential. It’s in me. It’s been confirmed.