Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Nancy White Kelly

Coming to a theater near you…maybe, maybe not.

If you received an email from someone telling you that they were an Oscar-winning filmmaker who wanted to do a documentary on your life, you would likely laugh. Yea, right. Perhaps you would play along to see how far this wacky spammer would go.

The fact is I did receive such an email two months ago. The stranger gave his name and a list of his movie credits. He was on first-name basis with many movie stars with familiar names. He had read my book and reprints of newspaper columns on the internet.

He said all the right things. His father had died of cancer. Several friends of his dear wife had battled breast cancer. They had told him the value of humor in the dark tunnel of uncertainty. He too was a man of faith. The mystery man was Bill CouturiƩ. He said my story was inspirational. He wanted to buy the rights to Journal of a Living Lady so he could produce a movie.

I was dubious, but checked him out. Yes, he had won seven Emmys and an Oscar. He had directed movie greats such as Morgan Freeman and Jody Foster. He lived in the same town as Anthony Hopkins.

Bottom line. I signed a contract and endorsed a modest check this week. It is so surreal. How could a chummy regional writer end up on the big screen?

Bill warned that the film probably would not do as well as Pirates of the Caribbean. His motive is more altruistic that commercial. He is willing to invest a minimum of two million dollar. There was a hint in the initial contract of ten times that much. The journey from book to screen is quite lengthy. Probably Bill should have included a caveat in his contract: “the undersigned agrees to remain living until the project is completed.”

Mr. CouturiĆ© and I have emailed several times now. I had to laugh at his last correspondence. He confidently referred to his up-coming task of selling this unusual proposal to high-roller film investors. His selling pitch to them would be: a “big Christian lady” who went on to live a victorious life after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

This was an ambiguous choice of words. Granted, I am plus-size. I profess to be a Christian. I try to epitomize a true, Southern lady. But, Buddy, honey, please don’t write “big Christian lady” on my tombstone.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Journal of a Living Lady #315

Nancy White Kelly

Our little Micah is turning three this week. He is the oldest boy of our own miracle son, Charlie. We were married 15 years before God gave us the desire of our heart, a flesh-of-our flesh son. If you haven’t read the story, you might want to get the book, Journal of a Living Lady available from Amazon.com, the Sentinel newspaper offices, or directly from this author. Send $15 to The Living Lady, 6156 Southern Rd., Young Harris, GA. 30582 and I’ll put a book in the mail.

It is a bit challenging to bring you “ readers-come-lately” up to date in a few paragraphs. I’ll try.
When Charlie was five, I was diagnosed with serious breast cancer. I prayed and asked the Lord to let me live to see our son graduate from high school. Twelve years later, just weeks before his graduation from Towns County High, the cancer recurred. I wasn’t bitter. My prayer had been answered.

This time the cancer spread to my lungs, lymph system, and bones. I have been through surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy several times. I lost my hair twice, but never my faith. God delivered healing. I checked myself out of hospice. In spite of dire predictions from the doctors, I have seen Charlie graduate from college, get married, and now is the father of our two grandsons, Micah and Noah.

All Nanas, Papas, Mee-Mees, and Paw-Paws have grandparent tales. I am Granny. This is my story and I am sticking to it.

Micah, like his father, is a procrastinator. Especially at bedtime. His requests can be endless. Another story. His froggy blanket. His truck. Mickey Mouse too.

Recently, after tucking him in for the night, Micah started his familiar, manipulative cry. Charlie ignored him for a while. When the fake crying escalated, Charlie purposefully tromped heavily down the hallway to Micah’s bedroom. In the sternest voice he could muster, Charlie demanded to know what the problem was. There was a long pause.

“Daddy, I need to go to church.”