“Sometimes You Meet Someone…” It happens. A lot.

“Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another or you’re in love or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don’t know if that makes me believe in coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something.” —Unknown



Directors Guild of America Awards Nominations: Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

So thrilled for director Director Morten Tyldum on his Directors Guild of America nomination for his First English speaking feature film, The Imitation Game. Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the NYC screening of the film where the Director and three of the actors Allen Leech (John Cairncross), Matthew Beard (Peter Hilton), and Alex Lawther (Young Alan Turing) spoke about making the film and the legacy of Alan Turing (portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch).

The director and actors revealed that this real life story about WWII British code breaker/cryptanalyst Alan Turing was filmed in only eight weeks and on location at the actual Bletchley Park where the top-secret British Government Code and Cypher School was located. Actor Allen Leech told the story that when they actually drained the lake surrounding Bletchley Park, the government found all these WWII-era tea cups. Apparently the code breakers would walk around the lake brainstorming and when they had an ‘ah ha!’ moment, they would throw their tea cups into lake so they could run back to the buildings.

The actors spent two weeks of rehearsals with the director in which the cast mates bonded and as told by Matthew Beard, the actors played JayZ music in the background while they were being schooled on the mathematics for their roles 😉

It was also writer Graham Moore’s first screenplay (adapted from book by Andrew Hodges “Alan Turing: The Enigma)…for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for best screenplay.

#IcingOnTheCake : At the end of the event, Allen Leech walked past while I was putting on my faux fur writing vest (can’t go anywhere without it, lately) under my coat and, with that Irish accent, he bellowed: “you better bundle up cause, baby, it’s cold out there.” (A quote that I have used frequently in the past couple of weeks, solely for that reason.) And, you know how I love those Irish accents wink emoticon Incredible movie. Incredible man. Incredible performances. A must see.

#MortenTyldum #AlanTuring #BenedictCumberbatch #AllenLeech #MatthewBeard #AlexLawther #GrahamMoore #AndrewHodges #TheEnigma #DirectorsGuildOfAmerica #MarieFlaherty


“Letters from Parris Island: Tell your dad the sandflies are still here.”

“The Summer of My American Soldier” 

These are excerpts of letters from Jack, 18: letters he wrote to me from Parris Island, South Carolina (USA) [Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class training] during the summer between his freshman and sophomore year at Norwich University (Military College) in Vermont (USA).  I was 16.  It was the summer between my junior and senior year in high school.

May 28

“Well here I am at Parris Island.  It took me about four hours of traveling to get here.  They kept a lot of us at the airport in South Carolina for along time so by the time the bus got to Parris Island it was about 10:30.  They didn’t let us go to sleep that night and I had been up since 4:00 in the morning that day.”

“They haven’t really started yelling at us seriously yet.  That will happen next week when we meet our D.I.’s [drill instructors].”

“How’s everything with you?  I never sent the letter I wrote you before I left.  I miss you a lot.  Only 83 more days.”

“All the D.I.s speak with Southern accents so they can be hard to understand sometimes.”

“I have absolutely no hair, but neither does anyone else.  Remember that picture of me for my Norwich I.D. well its even shorter than that.”

May 29

“I’m still at Receiving Barracks.  All they do here is issue our equipment and form us into platoons to train.  It’s not hard in this first part.  We have a lot of time.  We will probably meet our D.I.’s tomorrow and that’s when (excuse my language,) the shit hits the fan.”

“I also have that sticker that you put on my arm when I was at your house, it’s in my wallet.  They are going to be in to yell at us in about 10 minutes so I’m going to put this away for now and I’ll pick it up later.”

“We have to memorize a lot of stuff down here 11 general orders and 6 paragraphs of the code of conduct.  They are holding our mail until they think we deserve it so if you ask me anything in your letter I won’t be able to answer it for a while.  See you in 79 days.  Love, Jack.”

June 10

“I got your letter the other day it was the only bright spot for that day.  They don’t make us run around for letters or anything so I like getting mail.”

“I was working inside a building the other day and the D.I. had a radio going and every song that came on was one that we heard on the radio when we were on the telephone or I saw when I was over your house on MTV.”

“I’ll probably have a picture for you at the end of July, O.K.?  They take our picture here so I’ll send you one of those unless you want one where I have hair.”

“Did I tell you about that kid that cracked up?  He’s in the rubber room now at a Naval Hospital in North Carolina.”

“I hope that you can write me soon its about the only thing I have to look forward to at the end of the day.”

“We have a field meet today so that should be pretty fun.  Next week we have pugil sticks next week.  Pugil sticks are long poles with pads on both ends and you go against another person and try to beat the life out of him.”

June 25

Sorry that I haven’t written in a while but my free time has been real busy lately.  We are now at the rifle range, we hiked out here today about seven miles.  We’ll be here for two weeks.”

“The drill instructors got really bad last week.  We had a drill competition the other day, we didn’t win but we were pretty good.  We ran 3 miles on Wednesday it wasn’t that tough, I thought I was going to die but once I got going it was pretty easy.”

“How’s work going with the kids?  Do you think you could mail yourself down here? Did you have your cookout yet?”

“I was made a squad leader.  I march in front, the first person in line.  I also get to tell other recruits what to do.  Three more kids dropped out last week.  My drill instructor saw that your letter was from [ ], he asked if I was from [there] because he knows some people from there.  He used to live in Mass.  August 17th is the day everyone is looking forward to.”

“Sunday – this is the best day of the week we do a little cleanup in the morning and then the day is free until lunch, after lunch we will usually drill until supper.  We also get an hour extra sleep.  I never used to go to church but I’ve gone every Sunday since I’ve been here.  When I get back I think I’ll probably sleep for three days.”

“Next week we have a 4 mile run it’s going to be tough we have to do it with our rifles.  Our rifles weigh 6.5 pounds and after a while they get pretty heavy.  The drill instructors have eased up a little since we got here.  They want us to be relaxed because this is the most important part of boot camp.”

“What do you want to do when I get back?  I think I’ll probably be having a party at my house so you better go.  Right now we’re living our of a duffel bag and it’s impossible to find anything.”

July 1

“How’s summer vacation?  Next week we start firing our rifles, next Friday we qualify if we don’t score high enough we get sent back in training.  If we qualify as expert our senior drill instructor is going to let us call home.”

“Tell your dad the sandflies are still here.”

“I’ve gone to church every Sunday so you should be real proud of me.  Only 46 more days.”

“My father might be going in for an operation, they had to rush him to the emergency room the other day.  He has a kidney stone, I don’t know if that’s serious or not but it doesn’t exactly make it easier being down here.”

July 10

“I’m working in the armory fixing rifles and stuff like that.  We got back from the rifle range on Saturday, I qualified so I get to put a little medal on my uniform.  10 kids didn’t qualify and they are getting sent back in training for a week.”

“Next week we are going to ICT.(Individual Combat Training).  We go in the woods and simulate war conditions.  They’ll teach us all kinds of stuff there it should be pretty good.  First, to get there we take an 11 mile hike with a 60 pound pack, on the way back they take the short cut only 8 miles.”

“We are getting measured for our uniforms on Friday, so I know we’re getting close to the end.”

“Congratulations on making that play, that’s pretty good to make it on the first time you ever auditioned against kids who have auditioned a lot.”

“July 4th was pretty good we went to a movie “Gung Ho” we got a warm flat Coke, two candy bars melted and we went to fireworks at night.  I bet you can’t beat that.”

July 29

“Hello it’s me again, sorry I haven’t written, but last week we were at ICT and we weren’t given any free time.  Last week was probably the hardest week of boot camp so far.  I’d rather not talk about it though, the only fun thing was rappelling off a 40 foot tower.  I’ll tell you about it when I get home.”

“We have liberty not next Sunday but the Sunday after that if you’re going to be home I’ll call – Let me know what time you’ll be around…see you in 19 more days.  Love, Jack”

August 2

“Just a quick letter to let you know I’m still alive.  These last two weeks are very busy and we have hardly any free time at all…we have 2 weeks left.  14 days.  We have three real big inspections plus the final drill competition coming up.”

“This letter has been written over three days and I still haven’t finished it, it’s about 2:35 A.M. right now and I’m walking fire watch its pretty boring all I do is walk back and forth for an hour looking for fires the only thing is, this whole place is made of concrete and brick so how could anything burn?  If my writing is messy its because I’m walking as I write.”

“Anything new with you?  When do you go back to school?  It’s been really hot here the last two days.  We bought our plane tickets home the other day, so I know were coming to an end here.  I’ll see you in ten days. – Love Jack”

#MarieFlaherty #Memoir #ParrisIsland #AmWriting #novelist #MarineCorps #SummerOfMyAmericanSoldier #HighSchoolRomance #RichardGere #DebraWinger #AnOfficerAndAGentleman #RosewinProductions #writing