April 2013

We are now , finally, getting into gear to submit to film festivals and other places to show the film. We are so grateful to everyone who has been on board in this journey. from the early donors to the recent Kickstarter campaign. I will keep you posted on the process.

Kickstarter Campaign goes over the top!

This fall has been consumed by the Kickstarter campaign that we put online in October for a month. It succeeded! We raise more than the goal of $5000 and are thrilled. My endless thanks to the backers of my Kickstarter campaign, who are listed below in this post. Please accept a huge gift of gratitude from me and from all of those who made the film, “Fire Ruin Renewal”, possible. Using email reports and keeping up this blog, I will continue to post information, testimonials and news from the next step: film festivals! Your generous support has given me the energy to move forward with this now. Meanwhile have a wonderful winter holiday celebration. You can be sure that mine is made sweet by your participation in the Kickstarter campaign.

Thank you to Kickstarter Donors: Sharon Ascencio, Amy Beatie, Amy N. Belkora, James E. Boasberg, Melissa Boasberg, Henry Bowles, Richard Burg, Robert Burrill, Jeanine Castillo-Lin, Don Clark, Raines Cohen, Scott Congdon, Laura Cottril, Kathleen DeRose, Nina Diamond, Patricia Ditton, Paul M Dougan, Aaron Dowling, Melissa Dowling, Patricia “Patti” Dowling, Lisa Esherick, Susan Felter, Susan K. Fisher, Jeffrey Fleckenstein, Thomas Friedland, Bronwyn Hall, Vicki Harrison, Terry Hayden, David Hegarty, Jennifer Heller, Olivia Hoblitzelle, Britt Holmen, Hilary Hood, Rick & Leigh Hood, Bud Johns, Chrissy Kaufman, Jeff LaRoche, Victor Landweber, Jason Langer, Phil Lapsley, Mary Ann Lynch, Mary Beth McAuley, Sheri Madden, Charlot Malin, Holley Mead, Joan Mikkelsen, Ogden D Miller, Anne Mitchell, Julia Mitchell, Mary Gene & Ted Myer, Betsy O’Neill, Elizabeth Opalenik, Ortrun Niesar, Jess Parker, Blair Peterson, Elizabeth Pigford, Suzanne Reiss, Doniece Sandoval, Amanda Steiner, Susy Struble, Craig Stuart, Stu Sweetow, Dan & Elizabeth Thornton, Kathryn Thurber-Smith, Paula Van Ness, Seymour Warkov, Ann Wharton, Mark Whitfield, and Lesley E Williams.

You may notice that some of these wonderful people were already donors to the film in the early stages. I am honored that you have been with me on the journey for so long. Thank you.

Here is the link to the Kickstarter site:



Catching up!

Summer is the time to clear the piles of papers off the desk. Although it is very time-consuming, I am trying to succeed and see the surface of the desk.In one stack of correspondence  I found a few wonderful responses from friends to the film from last winter! The Marlitts wrote: “Fire Ruin Renewal” is really well done and very touching. It is amazing to recall the extent of the devastation and the high toll paid in structures and lives lost. In another note from Polly Park Coxe, I read that after looking at the film several times, she commented that,” there is so much in the film so deep an experience, that it takes time to think it all over.” In early January 0f this year Tamar Griggs wrote: “Wow! is all I can say! What an incredible, heart-wrenching portrayal of the fire of 1991. I watched it, spell-bound. I cannot imagine the fright of that experience and the devastating destruction.

Thank you to new donors

In an effort to keep the list of donors current I am adding some names here, with gratitude.: Betty Fishman, Laura Cottril, Stuart and Leslie Werner, Karolyn and Howard Holler, Richard and Joy Unsworth and Barbara Collum.

Responses to the film: May 2012

What a story you have told in your film-a terrifying one, that you were able to turn into a positive. One can only imagine the feeling of loss for what could not be saved and the expenditure of energy and time and effort involved in “Renewal”. I wish you success with the film on the film festival circuit.

Mary Fran Townsend

Yesterday, Joy and I watched your DVD–Fire Ruin Renewal. It has been put together in an excellent fashion and in a way that carries those who watch into the story itself. It happens that two dear friends of ours were burned out that day and in such a hurry that they could not drive their car or pay the least attention to the contents of their house. They simply ran.Many of us sent clothing or household goods and books, books, books. We could feel in some measure what they went through. Thank you.

Richard Unsworth

May Screening at Smith College Reunion


I have just returned from a very special Class Reunion at Smith College. We had over 100 classmates convene for a weekend over the Memorial Day Holiday. On Friday, I screened my film for the class and led a discussion about disasters and survival. The film has proved to be a metaphor for making the best of a tough situation—and who of us at this age has not had to do that?! I sensed a mellow flavor to our lives now. Many of these women have had to deal with not only an illness, but also the illness of a spouse. Several could not leave a husband overnight to come to the reunion.. I felt humbled by the many stories honestly told in conversations here and there over the several days. We expressed our gratitude for each day and for our solid friendships, so many of them begun in our undergraduate years. I was honored to be asked to share Fire Ruin Renewal at such a significant event with so many friends who knew me from those four years.

Oakland International Film Festival



On Saturday, April 7th in the James Moore theater at the Oakland Museum of California, I had the extreme pleasure of seeing my film screened on a professional small theater screen. I wish you all had been there because it was seen at its very best.

The host was the Oakland International Film Festival and the afternoon screenings included several other short films. The audience obviously liked to see films and had good questions and comments. After the session I was interviewed by David Roach who is head of the Oakland Film Society which runs the festival.

This is the first festival I have ever been a part of and I was interested in the process. A film will not be seen by anyone but your friends unless you submit to festivals, and there are thousands of them all over the world. So it is tough to figure out where to start. I decided to start at home and am very pleased to be a part of the hometown festival.