I began writing screenplays in 2001. At the time I was sleeping on the floor of a room I’d rented from a young trans man in the Bay Area. I was going through a particularly awkward period in my transition, unable to find work, pretty much without a single pot to piss in and surrounded by a grinning menagerie of stuffed Tasmanian Devils and a live bunny under the table, so I did what everyone does, I decided to write a screenplay. I felt that there was a trans story that wasn’t being told and I was going to tell it, dammit. Of course, it was far less than stellar, as most first screenplays are, but I was determined to make my mark, dubious as it may be. Thirty feature-length scripts later, I’ve kind of gotten the hang of it, as evidenced by: two 2011 Nicholl International Screenwriting Fellowship semifinalists, one of which finished in the top 30 out of 6700 submissions, a 2014 Nicholl quarterfinalist, a 2014 Page International Screenwriting Competition semifinalist (Drama Category) and Finalist (Comedy Category), a 2017 Page International semifinalist (Drama Category), a 2018 Page International silver medalist (Drama Category), a 2020 runner-up in the Scriptapalooza Screenplay Competition, and a 2023 Screencraft Drama Competition Feature winner. I have one script currently languishing in development hell with Gunslinger Productions, Austin, Texas. I’ve optioned two, both of which went exactly nowhere, one to Harry Knapp, co-producer of “Rescue Dawn,” and the other to Aurum Angels Productions. Such is Hollywood. It’s a tough nut to crack.
Here’s a sampling:
THE MONSTERS OF SAINT MARGARET (2020 Runner Up, Scriptapalooza International Screenwriting Competition, 2018 Silver Medal, Page International Screenwriting Competition, 2023 Feature Winner, Screencraft Drama Competition)
A lonely and confused trans kid meets a frightening, feral swamp dweller, the key to a dark family secret, who forces her to face her own demons as she struggles to figure out who and what she is.
THE REMARKABLE LIVES OF DISMAL NOBODIES (2014 Finalist, Page International Screenwriting Competition)
When a forlorn park-bench lawyer is inexplicably hired by a mob boss’ wife to buy off an ambitious young stripper, his cascading failures and seemingly hopeless newfound love lead him to rock bottom, where he rediscovers his sense of self-worth amongst the remarkable nobodies.
When the former high school bad-ass and ex-con collides with the prom queen turned bitter trophy wife, their combined hatred and desperation spiral into a cycle of crime and deceit, only to be saved by the love of an orphaned kid.
INCIDENT AT SALT CREEK (2014 Semifinalist, Page International Screenwriting Competition)
When the ghost of a trans woman, a former operative, arrives in town to find her son’s killers and avenge his death, she exposes the darkness that drove an innocent to murder, sets in motion a cycle of violence that purges one family of its incestuous roots, and finds redemption. A modern take on the classic western revenge tale.
THE STABLE HAND (2017 Semifinalist, Page International Screenwriting Competition)
The summer of 1968. T.J. Melon looked to be nothing but an old drunk riding Route 66 on the rawboned stable horse he didn’t want, an old man with little left to lose. He didn’t have the look of a war hero. Maybe he knew it already, but he soon found that the road can be an unforgiving place and you can’t ride away from yourself.
A BAD NIGHT FOR STINKY AND THE BONE
When a deadbeat-drifter mom escapes captivity at the hands of a pair of bickering miscreants, a deranged and malodorous romantic and his malignant tormentor, her casually lethal and somewhat otherworldly daughter sets out to wreak revenge and have a little grisly fun while she’s at it.
THE JASPER COUNTY KILLINGS (2019 Semifinalist, Page International Screenwriting Competition)
When a rootless, lonely trans woman drifts back to the small town of her childhood and takes a room with a prostitute and her teenage son, she finds herself in the middle of a deadly triangle of lust, violence and betrayal, forcing her to choose between love and murder… She chooses both.
BREAKING THE FALL
After surviving a jump from the Golden Gate Bridge, a broken trans woman finds her way to a dying Nevada mining town where she rediscovers the joy of living through her relationship with of a slow-witted innocent.
THE TRUE BITTER TALE OF IKE AND ADELINE
West Texas, 1875. After townspeople brutally murder her Mexican ranch hand, then stone, tar and feather her and leave her to the devices of a twisted miscreant, a vengeful rancher falls in with a border bandit to seek retribution, only to find herself pitted against inescapable evil.
A Hard Place
The bitter, self-absorbed life of a rock-hard lesbian rancher, haunted by her violent past and suddenly charged with looking after her teenaged niece, gets turned on its head when she falls for an errant LA call girl and her pent-up anger and protective instincts lead her to kill.
JONAH AND THE SHARK
When the teen son of a disgraced Marine is befriended by a dying shark fisherman, he assumes her quest for “The Big One,” and discovers both the strength of his own character and the depth of his father’s unspoken love.
EARLINE (2011, top 30, Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting)
When a struggling young trans woman returns to her small Louisiana hometown, enters and wins a men’s bass tournament to help her ailing high school teacher, it triggers a cynical media promotion that forces her out of her comfortable anonymity and into a world that is both more promising and more deadly.
BLASPHEMY (2011, Semifinalist, Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting)
The mysterious disappearance of three teenaged siblings, outsiders in a small town, triggers a media storm and a religious reckoning that brings down a megalomaniacal preacher and reveals that one otherwise ordinary kid could be the messiah.
When a busload of Texas teens arrives in Michigan to work the summer in a pickle factory, the high school golden boy is seduced by a blue-collar single mom, triggering bitter jealousy and a tragic bloodletting.
CROSSING INTO NIGHT
Two women, each unstoppable, the brutal drug boss and the gringo soccer mom, one thing in common, a kidnapped child. On the west Texas border lives are cheap and the drug trade is steeped in the blood of innocents.
When a down-and-out transgender lawyer is asked to defend an accused child killer, she must choose between reclaiming her self-respect and facing the threats of a hostile community. Murder, vengeance and deception come home to roost in a west Texas courtroom.