All that’s left before production of the movie The Miracle in July can begin—the visceral tale based on Michelle Ray’s bestselling story about love, loss and learning—is Ray’s blessing on the final edits to the screenplay. But Ray has a secret: the yearning lovers separated by time and space; the father’s preventable death; the estranged sister, dying from her hard life’s choices; the terrible, life-altering accident—they’re all characters and events in Ray’s very real life story. Suddenly realizing that over the years she has so skillfully fictionalized the most important parts of her life that she isn’t sure what is real anymore, Ray leaves her home in Portland, Oregon and journeys to Denmark to re-examine the artifacts from her past to tell the true story of impossible love for the first and last time.
The Miracle in July is a brutally introspective semi-autobiography that doubles as a study in resourceful content development and distribution strategy. By design, the story unfolds by organic metamorphosis from outline to work-in-progress web series to paperback book to movie, and so on. This creates a blueprint for future creative reincarnations, which I hope inspires other writers to try.
I began writing, publishing and promoting MIJ on July 6, 2009 as a “first draft” web serial. On Monday mornings, for more than a year, I published a new digital chapter unobtrusively embedded with user-generated content, such as music, Flickr photos, YouTube videos, sound clips, and Google Maps. I ended up with nearly 100,000 words and lots of loyal readers who helped me raise $5,000 on Kickstarter to travel to Denmark for research and media-gathering.
Ready for Readers
- The first draft of MIJ is an interactive web series that can be read online (or downloaded as chapter PDFs) at http://themiracleinjuly.com/story.
- The erotica anthology called Venice is for Lovers: Erotica from The Miracle in July—Act One contains all erotic stories in Act One of MIJ, plus two stories never before published. (Read the awesome Foreword by Paul Levinson for this book.) It’s for sale as a digital download at Smashwords and on Amazon anywhere you can buy a book online. Better yet, ask your local bookseller to hook you up.
Coming Soon – 2011
- The MIJ interactive web serial—in all it’s imperfect, raw, first draft glory—is scheduled published as a perfect-bound book the 2nd Quarter of 2011. The full-length book includes commentary about the media chosen to help tell the story, a description of what it was like to write a deeply intimate story under a brutal, self-imposed weekly writing schedule, and how I promoted my project to find readers and publicity.
- The short fiction that is embedded (as links) in the web serial will join several other short stories for an untitled anthology. The stories represent the creative process that lead to the creation of the MIJ storytelling experiment. This book is scheduled for publishing the 3rd Quarter of 2011.
- The edited, full-length book edition of The Miracle in July will be published the 4th Quarter of 2011. Shaped by the feedback of readers and further research, this book promises a a tighter, juicer version of story and ends with a special section for the names of the investors who funded my research trip to Denmark.
- Paper and digital book series of the “making of” MIJ
- How I Wrote, Produced and Promoted My Life Story
- Music, Words, Images: Media Ecology and Choice in MIJ
- Work-in-Progress Storytelling: What It Is and How To Do It
- Paper and digital book series on Danish
- culture (food, history, beliefs)
- the immigration realities of loving a Dane
- Movie script
- loosely based on the final manuscript
- music on the soundtrack made up of MIJ-featured artists
- Update web serial media with media collected on the Kickstarter-funded trip
- markers on map links to related online chapter
- chapter rating system
- popular chapter list
- Podcast series of dramatic “radio theater” reading of chapters
- Essays on digital love
- Google Earth ARG of featuring key locations mentioned in the story (Oregon, USA, DK)
- Enhanced digital book of Venice is for Lovers: Erotica from The Miracle in July—Act One