Mariann E. Danko
As a kid, I thought I would become a teacher, find the man of my dreams, get married, have three kids and live happily ever after in a cozy cottage style house with a white picket fence. Oh the blissful delusions of my youth. By my teens, it was all about following my creative urges. Not that I wasn’t interested in the boys, I was, but the interest wasn’t reciprocated. At least from the ones that would have been worth pursuing.
By the time high school graduation rolled around, I never once considered teaching as an option. The world of graphic design was calling, so off I went to art school. After college graduation I headed to DC, I had sisters living there, and far more prospects for employment then my small home town. I jumped head first into the world of advertising. All was good in this world till I hit my thirties and found myself burnt out on all the hurry up and wait scenarios. Plus, the guilt of pushing products I wouldn’t partake of myself onto innocent consumers started to trigger my quilt complex , which began to throw my moral compass off. I knew I needed to overhaul my life. I just didn’t know how.
After much soul searching, I decided to take a leap of faith. At the age of 35, I left my dead-end marriage which was causing great stress and depression in addition to the guilt complex. Once out, I felt the fog begin to clear and my creative juices begin to stir again. I had dabbled with writing for years, nothing major, but with urging from my family I decided to explore my options. What style of writing was the question? A trip to the book store would answer that question. I stumbled upon Lew Hunter’s "Screenwriting 434" and Syd Field’s “The Foundation of Screewriting.” The minute I cracked the spine I knew I was onto something. I fully emersed myself into the world of screenwriting. Two years later, with my divorce final and two feature length scripts completed, I felt it was time to pick up stakes. The West Coast was where I needed to be, but, I wasn’t quite ready to leap that far. So, I decided to move to the beach, where I could bartend by night and write by day. I could focus on honing my writing skills and master the art of bartending, while working my way to the West Coast.
In theory, it seemed like a perfect plan. What I didn’t count on was meeting the man of my dreams. Swept off my feet in my first year at the beach, my writing was put on hold as the romance escalated. We fell madly in love, couldn’t stand to be a part. Both of us in our late thirties, and me regretting never having children, we decided to give it try, figuring it would take awhile. Again, in theory it sounded good. Within two months we were pregnant. This was the Spring of 1999. Our amazing son was born that December. The following Spring the relationship fell apart. (I was living a screenplay!)
Fast forward to the present. Our son is now 14 and I’ve been flying solo since that Spring. Not that I hadn’t hoped for a rekindling, it just wasn’t in the cards. In the Summer of 2003, the love of my life, my son’s father, died from an accidental drowning. As if my writing hadn’t already taken a hit, this most certainly did it in. That was until a health scare in 2009. This was the wake-up call I needed. It reignited my creative juices. Since than I have completed two more screenplays, even won a competition with one. It was this win that opened the door for a flurry agent queries, but when nothing came of that I decided to move into a new direction. I attempted to convert the winning script into a novel. Figuring Hollywood would buy a novel from an unknown well before they would purchase the script that the novel was based on. I say attempted because I only got into the first chapter before I realized I’m hardwired to write scripts. Shelving the novel, I decided to go back to my original passion, screenplays. That was until the idea for this blog was born the beginning of this year.
So, there you have it, the Reader’s Digest version of my life. My posts will give you much more back story and help you understand the roots of this blog. As a matter of fact, my first post, "TWD Apocalyptic Parenting Tactic" sums up the concept for the blog quite nicely. If you’re interested, you can also learn more about my scripts at www.facebook.com/MariannE.DankoWriter.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I do writing it. I also hope that maybe, just maybe, you garner some valuable nuggets of insight or wisdom too.