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Saturday, August 8, 2009

When a Brig. General says you're a great American... you don't argue

"I told Bob, 'You are a great American' — it's so refreshing, because he relates to the soldiers so well, it's like a championship coach relating to his players," said Brig. Gen. Bob Brown, deputy commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division, speaking by phone from his base in Mosul.

"He just gets it. And the soldiers were mesmerized. They listened and they learned a ton."

On Friday, August 7, I had "one of those days."

It was a busy day. I had a full schedule of work and a writing assignment with a fast approaching deadline. The day before, August 6th obviously, I had a fascinating day, working with the Harlem Globetrotters PR team on a promotion for the Basketball Hall of Fame and - at about 7pm - I landed a late-breaking ticket to see Paul McCartney at Fenway.. Pretty good August 6th, wouldn't you say?

Then, along came Friday.

Up at six, catching up on a ton of work for my blue-chip clients. Juggling some favors (booking Al Vega for a gig at the House of Blues), while juggling some family visits (the Lyons/Martin gang all doing our best to get a few days together in Boston and -- hopefully -- the Cape this coming week.

Writing, writing and more writing. Some editing.

Then, at about 1pm, we held a conference call about COVERT and its future on the silver screen. Appledown Films and Scott-Burns Productions have been shifting "four on the floor" to lay the foundation for the motion picture adaptation of COVERT and things are progressing at "warp-speed" rate. (I choose not to elaborate too much in this area as it is not my place to 'break news' nor use my personal blog to delve deeply into the inner workings of a client's business).

But, to say the least, very positive vibes continue to surround the COVERT project. Just as fate lent a hand in introducing me to the project, it continued throughout the promotional tour for the hardcover and segued into the outreach for the new paperback version of the book. Lately, I've been shaking my head alot and even pinching myself now and then to be sure that I am not dreaming. COVERT's future continues on an uphill climb in ways that we only imagined in August of 2007.

I can say this: Throughout the entire project, I enjoyed bringing energy to the group - we call the COVERT team and I like to call "CAMP COVERT" The story is SO good, that it fuels some creative juices and ideas that flow like a river of dreams. Time and resources are the only limit, of course, as so many people involved with TEAM COVERT have other priorities in terms of work and family. COVERT, after its initial launch by Sterling Publishing/Union Square Press had a great run and the publisher has to move on to promote other titles. That's life. That's publishing.

However, the launch of the paperback together with the fact COVERT was optioned for a motion picture in early June, brought new life to the project and it brought some fresh faces and SERIOUS ENERGY. Judy Goldstein and Larry Spiegel of Appledown are the equal of a lifetime portion of the 5-hour energy drink. They are simply amazing. Let me count the ways:

1. Professional
2. Smart
3. No nonsense
4. Great Drama on the screen = good; Any Drama off the screen = not good
5. Open
6. Selfless
7. Fans of the game
8. Respectful of the game and its officiating staff as a whole
9. Respectful to people and the support groups of the folks they work alongside
10. Inclusive
11. Inspiring
12. Thorough
13. Entertaining and funny
14. The kind of people that you want to be around
15. People you enjoy working with and for
16. Honest and straight-forward

I could go on.

The work day clocke in from 6am to about 7:30pm and I took a break to do a 45-minute (easy) bike ride in Newton. Upon return, I had a few dozen messages and one stood out. Bob Delaney and Dave Scheiber had worked together on a news piece that was scheduled to appear in the St. Pete Times (Fla) on Sunday. The editors liked the story so much that they decided to run it 1-A and move it to the World section. They also decided to run it as a tease on Friday night to encourage people to go out and BUY the paper on Sunday. The story was that powerful.

The link came in and it fueled a flurry of calls, emails, forwarding of messages and an all-out social networking/communication blitz to help creat some buzz behind the artcile adn to get the story and its Tampa/St. Pete Times URL to places where it could make a global impact.

Mission accomplished: Read this message which came in overnight from a person working on the other side of the globe:

"Great article. We are so proud! We've been passing around the e-mail
and hard copy so everyone can read it! I've also forwarded it to the units we visited so they can enjoy the great article and the great shots. Just awesome! Thanks again for your visit - we sent all the notes from BG Brown to the NBA folks and the publisher.

That message came from someone who is helping the United States of America try to win a war against cowardly terrorists.

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