Much love to you in the new year!


Taken Christmas Day, somewhere in Tennessee on I-65 south.

There is something I have thought about many times, especially over the past three years, but I don’t remember taking time to write it out. That requires more careful concentration and consideration, and it is not necessarily something I’ve felt a need to share previously, at least not publicly.

I have noticed a habit in which my mind seems to focus more time on friends I’ve lost instead of the wonderful friends still in my life. Maybe that’s a side effect (or cause, or trigger, or merely a correlation) of depression, but I can’t be certain.

This dwelling could be viewed in the positive light of self-reflection, especially if there are lessons to be gained. However, that dwelling can easily slip into negative ruminating, and far too often I think that’s where I end up, in a cliché-sounding but all-too-real “downward spiral.”

One of the positive lessons of the past three years has been the ability to recognize that feeling as something “else” rather than “just how I am.” That has not always been the case.

As we look at the upcoming date change on the calendar as a hopeful symbol of new beginnings, I hope to be able to shift my thinking.

The people who have been there for me in some of the toughest times of my life deserve that space in my mind. It’s not to forget the lessons of the past, but rather to cherish the present and the people who enrich my life by being trustworthy, kind, and loyal, even when I don’t feel deserving of any of it.

And to those people, thank you.

May your 2018 be filled with love and success. Thanks for reading. Happy new year!



‘Happy Wife’ / White Christmas


No, I didn’t run off to Vegas and get married for Christmas. “Happy Wife” is the title of a new short film by writer/director Jack Goody. It’s the short film I mentioned a few days ago that we filmed the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Anyway, the trailer has been posted to social media if you’d like to see it:

Also on Instagram.

And on Christmas Eve, Blue Yonder released their live video for “White Christmas.” A Terrible Master Films production directed by me. Royce Williams helped out with cameras and lighting, and Robert Shimp of Technical Earth Recorders handled audio.

I think that’s all for now. So, best wishes to you in the new year!

Christmas 2017. #findthebeautyintheworld

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December 2017 Guitar Pull photos are up!

…on the Facebook page.

Happy holidays!

It’s been a little while since my last update, so I want to start off wishing you happy holidays!

As for me, since my last update, I’ve been trying to stay busy.

The weekend after Thanksgiving, I stepped back in front of the camera in a short film production written and directed by Jack Goody. I shared camera time with Mallory Ivy (a Spiritus alum) and worked with makeup artist Tara Galloway Merryman. I’ll share more on that once it’s ready.


From the set of that Jack Goody horror short.

After that, I got to catch “Little Women” at the Cloverdale Playhouse thanks to my friend C. DeWayne Cunningham. And speaking of the Playhouse, tomorrow night is the monthly Guitar Pull, which is the event that sparked my upcoming documentary Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull.

After that, I handled audio for a short that DeWayne was directing and shooting for our friend Lee Khole. She and C. Stephen Browder were the actors in that one.

I got together with Royce Williams after that to work on a fake ad we hope will be in the Montgomery Film Festival intermission next month. We did one last year for it – the language is… uh… NSFW, although we did bleep it all out. Click here to see it.

And Royce and I worked together on a project this past weekend for Blue Yonder. He and I filmed while Robert Shimp (Technical Earth Recorders) handled audio. That’s a new Terrible Master Films production that’s currently in the editing stages.

I think that’s about everything… and of course, once these projects are ready to be seen, I’ll post updates.

Thanks for reading and happy holidays!



November 2017 Guitar Pull photos are up!

… on the Facebook page.

Happy birthday, Mom

My mom would have been 74 today. We had a tradition where I would take her out to eat – generally a Mexican restaurant – and we’d make it a party with friends and margaritas. She loved to celebrate; she’d take the whole month as hers (pretty much the opposite of me, as I tend to hide all references to mine.)


This past Sunday, we held a memorial service for her at her home church. If there was one thing she would have gotten a kick out of, it would have been the amount of us unbelievers sitting in a church on a Sunday.

The service was nice, and I think she would have loved it – the pictures, the flowers. So many memories with friends and family, followed by drinks at the bar. And she would have enjoyed both, I know.

Some of my lady friends wore red nail polish – the same kind that my Wonder Twin Hillary painted on mom’s nails just a few days before she passed. They also all picked out pins (brooches? I don’t know fashion) from her collection to wear in her honor.


The amount of love and support has been amazing, and I thank you all for that.

This is all still new to me. And I don’t even know for sure if it’s really hit me yet. But either way, I think I’m going to find a Mexican restaurant tonight and have dinner and a margarita for her.


Thank you

Sometimes I have so much running around in my head, I don’t know where to start. So I guess I’ll start with a simple ‘thank you.’

Thank you.

Thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to message, text, comment, call, hug, bring/deliver food, send a card, reminisce, share, offer encouragement and an ear/shoulder or beer/shot, and everyone who took the time to send love to me and my friends and family.

I’m the type of person that wants to respond to each and every comment; I have been able to respond to a few, but the outpouring of love has been overwhelming in the best kind of way. So I do apologize for not being able to reply to everyone individually as I’d like to, but please know that I have read and very much appreciate your words of comfort and the memories you’ve shared.

10888541_10203497339130848_333118508660658692_nMy friend Lydia coined the name “Mama Pat,” and it was embraced by so many people over the years. I saw one comment that said “she was a mother to all of us.” When meeting with the funeral director and discussing the obituary, I remember joking that she is survived by her son – and all of her adopted children.

I began crying when reading through the comments and stories/memories. It showed me just how loved my mother was, and as I said in my last post, my main goal was to make sure she knew that. I love my mother so much, and it warms my heart to know how many other people loved her, too.

So many people have asked me what I’ve needed and told me to contact them if I need anything. I’m not sure what “normal” is in these situations. I don’t know what is normal to feel, to think, to act, to say…to need. I just don’t know. But please know that I appreciate the offers.

I know of something my mom would want, though. There were two organizations that were extremely helpful to us during her battle with cancer, and there are so many people fighting similar battles that could still use help. And I know she would want to help others who are in that situation.

When my mother went through radiation – three weeks in 2016 and two more weeks this past summer – the Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge in Birmingham provided us a place to stay at no cost. That kept us and many other families from all over the southeast from having to travel long distances each day for treatment, or endure costs of finding a hotel for weeks at a time.

Another organization that helped us was CancerCare. The costs of chemotherapy drugs can get expensive. Even with good insurance, co-pays can eat into a person’s budget, especially when added with other medical costs. CancerCare has a program that helped cover co-pay costs for the chemotherapy drugs my mother took, which was extremely helpful.

If you would like to make a donation to one of these organizations in my mother’s name, you’ll be helping others going through similar experiences while honoring my mother’s memory.

In the meantime, her memorial service will be Sunday, Oct. 29 at her home church – Harvest Family Church (7245 Copperfield Dr., Montgomery, AL 36117.) Service begins at 3 p.m. and people can arrive during the hour prior.

Again, thank you, and much love.

Not 100% sure, but this may have been my first photo bomb.

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Mama Pat


“Love is watching someone die.”

Since April 20, 2016, the date my mother was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, I knew this day was coming sooner rather than later. The ups and downs, with each doctor visit and each stage of treatment, were difficult, but love sticks around. Love means watching the deterioration happen day by day. Love is watching someone die.

When I first heard the diagnosis, I set goals. I told her I would stand by her. I told her that I would back her up in whatever her wishes were. And the main goal I set for myself was to make sure that she knew how loved she was by so many people.

I hope I succeeded.

Along with that Death Cab for Cutie song above, another that really got me was the song “Flirted With You All My Life,” originally by Vic Chesnutt but covered by David Bazan. I’m a Bazan fan, and his voice and delivery really make this song impactful, especially this part:

“And when my mom was cancer sick
She fought, but then succumb to it
And you, you made her beg for it
‘Jesus, please, I’m ready’”


I love you, Mom. And I miss you already.

‘Commit to the Song’


In August 2016, I began work on a documentary film project, and I am happy to announce its completion!

There is a monthly music event here in Montgomery that I have regularly posted about and photographed for quite a while now – the Guitar Pull at the Cloverdale Playhouse. The more I was around, the more I would hear stories about how it all began, and I thought it was an interesting story to tell, which led to my new feature film Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull and the following tagline:

“A true story of music, inspiration, death, amputation, and legacy.”

Many thanks to the film’s stars – Robert “Bubba” Hall, Jonathan Tew, Gini Thomas, Greg Thornton, Michael Thornton, Sarah Thornton, and Mike Winkelman – for their time and support, and thanks also to all the musicians who allowed me to document their performances and everyone who contributed info, photos, encouragement, etc.

I’ll be releasing more information in the coming weeks. Follow this blog via email for updates, and connect with me and Terrible Master Films on social media.

Me: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Terrible Master Films: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Thanks for reading!