She’s Gone – Short Film

I have a weird love of trains.

Not like I collect them or even know anything about them, and honestly I think the last time I was on one was in 2012. What I mean is that there is a “feel” that they give me, they take me back to a different time and place…a time and place I have never been but a life in the past that could have been.

In our town there is a train station right by our local library. It is down, under a bridge and tucked away. There is a texture to the area that the station is in. The road that leads to it is broken, part of it isn’t even paved and you can hear the gravel under your tires as you drive past.

It feels old, looks old…IS OLD.

It was built in 1905, has gone under many renovations (including the restoration due to the flood of 2011) but it has purposefully been designed to resemble what it would have looked like when it originally was built. 

I had a habit of taking that random back road to and from the library, past the train station and “behind” downtown to our old house. As I was driving one day the story of She’s Gone hit me. I pulled over, right under the bridge, faced the station, opened the notes app on my phone and started outlining this random short film of a female detective in the 1940’s who had fallen in love with the man she was investigating. 

I love that moment when lighting strikes and I can get the whole story out. I went home and started writing and everything fell into place. It isn’t the BEST script I have ever written but I loved it. I could see the entire thing from start to finish play out in my head. I could feel the cold air…hear the sounds of the city traffic and the gravel under foot. All the while visualizing this story in black and white, because I think in black and white. I wanted that hard light, the contrast that only a street lamp could give. It was great. Yet again I called on my friend Chris and we created one of my favorite shorts. Again, not because it is the greatest script, but because of the texture, the feel, the sounds.

It gave me the feels and reminded me that I was doing what I am MEANT to be doing.


Funny God Stories

"Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

God has done some amazing things in my life and as I look back all I can do is laugh. God has a great sense of humor, but I am not laughing at a Platypus (I mean who wouldn’t) – no I’m laughing in awe of what our – bigger than any idea I can come up with – God does in my life.

And in those moments where I don’t think that I should be doing what I am or pursuing the dreams I have – when I am full of doubt and fear – I remember these moments. The moments where God provided the funding for my short film, quicker than I could even ask for it. The moments where God puts peace on my heart as I am writing or standing behind a monitor watching the actors say the words I have written. I remember my film being accepted into one of the biggest Christian film festivals (even just as an honorable mention) and having the chance to go to Florida for 5 days for that festival.

The year after I wrote and filmed Woman at the Well I went to California to visit my grandparents (sadly the last time seeing my Opa). While I was there I had the chance to spend 24 hours in LA with a friend of mine. The morning I was leaving I had time, so I decided to drive around and just see what I could see. At a stop light I had the HOLLYWOOD sign in front of me and VERY clearly I heard God say You aren’t supposed to be here. Not like I wasn’t meant to be there at that moment, but in general that I didn’t need to move to LA to make movies. I had been doing it in Minot for years already, and that is where He wanted me to keep doing it. I am not meant to climb that mountain, I am meant to move it.

I have no clue where this journey will take me. I don’t know if I will ever make a movie that will be seen on a big screen, if I will ever create an image that helps change the way people see things or if God has something COMPLETELY different in store for me. What I DO know without a shadow of a doubt is that at the end of the day as long as I keep taking steps forward – towards Christ – that all I do will bring Glory to His name and that is the ultimate point to everything I do. 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.      - Ephesians 3:20-21

Being an Amateur – In a World of Professionals

Do you ever feel like an impostor in the world that you are trying to walk in? I do…


It’s hard to have dreams and walk in those dreams when you don’t even think you belong there. That’s how I feel in the world of photography and filmmaking most of the time. I don’t know why but I just feel like I don’t fit in…that I’m not good enough and even wrong in doing what I love.

I read (well actually I listened to) the new book That Sounds Fun – The Joys of Being an Amateur, the Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby (oh that title) by Annie F. Downs recently and honestly didn’t think much of it. I have read other books by her before and to say they were LIFE CHANGING is an understatement. Remember God and Let’s All Be Brave both hit me at the exact right time that I was needing them. This book on the other hand was just something I bought because I LOVE Annie like we are legit friends and yet have never met and so of course I was going to get her newest book. I listen to her podcast That Sounds Fun so why wouldn’t I read the book??? But the book just didn’t give me the same kind of feels until…

…today (3 or so weeks after finishing the book) it hit me…

Why am I not being an amateur? 

I read (heard – let’s be real here I am an audiobook FANATIC) in the book You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day that she feels like a failure if she isn’t immediately a success at something. And let me tell you…that is exactly how I feel. 

What the actual heck is that mentality? It makes ZERO sense. That isn’t the way we were created. I wasn’t born doing all the things and perfectly. But I am a perfectionist and the worst kind too…the kind that would rather do nothing than fail at the ‘something’ I am attempting. It’s a struggle people.

Today I sent a Marco Polo to a friend of mine all about my sourdough starter. I have absolutely no idea what I am doing with this but I am following the instructions and doing some research and learning. I am being…AN AMATEUR!! 

If I fail, then I fail. Who does it hurt?

Actually it hurts my husband…He loves bread. And he wants me to not fail so badly so he can finally have good bread. At least good bread made by me. 

In reality though I want to be more than just an amateur. I want to be a professional. I want to be a professional photographer, a professional filmmaker, a professional writer, bread maker, gardener, organizer, blogger/vlogger. This is my pride just getting in the way of me doing something simply for the fun of it, because when I say I want to be a professional really what I am saying is I want to be noticed, I want to be seen, I want the spotlight on me. 

I have found though that in this life as an amateur I can find joy. I LOVE going out and making films, shooting  film photography, making bread (even if it isn’t the lightest and fluffiest), writing, gardening, doing the things…So this is me starting, starting to be an amateur and sharing the process of failures – and maybe some successes – with you along the way.