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2009 – A Year To Remember

By on December 31, 2009 in Today's Blog

As we prepare to bid farewell to 2009, we thought that those of us at Cat! Central would take a few brief moments, in order to share our reflections of this past year and the unimaginable journey that we were all taken on.

The year began with such promise! Each and every day brought with it incredible success and joy. Blake’s seminars were expanding — London, New York, and future events in Europe and beyond — and all that Blake and the team had worked so hard for was being realized. Book Three, which Blake believed was his best, was due to be published in early Fall, and Blake had charged ahead on notes for a fourth installment to the Cat! family. We were developing Save the Cat! University (STCU), our online school for writers, led by Master Cat! Jose with John and Anne assisting, and BJ and Rich quietly worked to keep STC! on target and on message. Bob was engineering our STC! iPhone/iPod Touch App, as well as version 3 of Blake’s favorite software. Consultations were pouring in — our lives were being wholly fulfilled and realized. Cat! Nation was alive and purring! Stories were being written — and they were better than ever!

Then came August 4, 2009, and with this day, an event that none of us could have ever imagined.

Our friend Blake died. Suddenly, and without notice, he was gone.

Our world was shattered. We knew that things would never be the same.

Immediately, our thoughts turned to you — our Cats — who have supported us and cheered us on as much as we have done so for you. We began to spread the sad word — through our new tools at hand, using our sites to message friends and students of our beloved friend and colleague.

On occasion, we would hear from someone who expressed dismay, or even anger, that this heartbreaking news would be distributed in such a manner. It was not done out of a lack of compassion, or consideration — quite the opposite. Having this work to do was a method of survival, a way to buffer the immense grief and shock that was reverberating within each and every one of us – and of course, we knew that we needed to share the news with you, and to provide you with a platform on which you could express your thoughts and memories.

And… it is what Blake would have wanted.

That is what has driven us each and every day since August 4: What Blake would have wanted.

Blake wanted to support writers. He wanted every one to experience the great joys that he did in his career — and he wanted to pass his knowledge on to help writers during challenging times, as he had experienced those as well. He wanted to embrace technology, and help others to master the technologies that have made their way into the industry. He wanted his business to thrive; he wanted happiness and success — for self and for others. He wanted joy – and love.

And so, as we press on through the last day of the year, this is what we at Cat! Central are committed to do – to continue on with our mission of helping writers of all disciplines to tell more resonant stories. We want to hear your voices; we want to help you roar. We want to get you as excited about your beats as you can possibly be, to truly find the fun within the laborious writing process, for as Blake said, “Most of all, you must try to find the fun in everything you write. Because having fun lets you know you’re on the right track.”

You said it, Blake.

Every New Year, it is a tradition in many parts of the world to toast the old and bring in the new with the words of Robert Burns. His poem, “Auld Lang Syne” harkens to the days passed, the good old days, that we hope are not forever behind us:

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.”

So, to each and every one of you — Happy New Year. Join us as we raise our glass to our auld acquaintance who will never be forgot — and who will continue to live on in our work, our words, and our hearts and souls. Blake was a cup of kindness to us all — and as we turn our eyes towards the future, we celebrate our auld lang syne with him… and look forward to great new adventures within our world of Cats.

That is what Blake would have wanted.

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  1. Forrest Knutson says:

    And God bless you all for it. Thank you for your continued support, encouragement, inspiration and knowledge. I wish you all every success in the New Year. I can just imagine Blake beaming down on all you’ve done from the Astral Plane.

  2. Dawn says:

    Well said, and well done for keeping everything together when it all could have easily have fallen apart.

    To everyone who knew Blake, and to those touched by his words, as I was.

    All the best, and let 2010 shine.

    Dawn

  3. Paula B. says:

    Thank you for that beautiful message, BJ. A toast to Blake, and to all of you for keeping his work alive.

    Best,
    Paula

  4. BJ says:

    Hi Paula ~

    Great to hear from you!

    I’d love to take the credit, but this particular post was written by our own Miss Kitty, Anne Lower, on behalf of all of the Cats.

    Thank you for your continued support, and we all join you in your toast!

    BJ

  5. Captain says:

    On this eve I sit in a hospital room and await my wifes surgery in the morn.The walls are covered with 3 by 5s.Since we’ve been here I’ve got 15 beats and about 20 good scenes on an adaptation I’m doing.Blakes with me as I’m sleeping with three cat books.When Carol wakes up in a couple of days she’ll want to know where I’m at and how I’m going to get over the hump on page 75.We are ready for twenty ten to begin.
    Captain

  6. Josh TImonen says:

    A toast to Blake, the hippest Cat! of them all.

    Cheers.
    Josh

  7. Thanks to all the Cat Consorts for keeping on with the good work of supporting & educating writers.

  8. Sarah Beach says:

    Wishing the best in the New Year for everyone at Cat! Central. Many thanks for keeping Blake’s vision alive and active – the sense of community and mutual support that Blake gave his readers is precious, and I think it would make him very happy to know that it could indeed survive his leaving us.

    But gosh! I miss him… I keep having thoughts and ideas, about stories or about something he said, and want to dash off a short note to him about them. And then I remember. Guess I’ll just have to share those thoughts with other writers.

    Again, Happy New Year to everyone. May you all be inspired in your writing.

  9. Anne says:

    Sarah ~

    I know just how you feel. But truly – we’re all still here for you! We’re still available to help you with your Cat! questions, to cheer you on and be a sounding board.

    It is so important for each and every one of you, to build a community of writers who share your passion, principles and commitment; and yet, we know that sometimes one might be geographically challenged to find like souls.

    There are many avenues to connect with us – and with other Cats. Through our online boards, through our Facebook site, or even by emailing us directly. We’re here for you – and we want you to succeed!

    Happy New Year to everyone. Peace, joy …. and amazing stories.

  10. Simon Maxwell says:

    Nice word and remembrance. Cheers to Blake, he was a force of spiritual nature, and to of you CATS! for a prosperous, healthy and joyful year.

  11. Jayne Cormie says:

    Blake is with us all in each and every word we write and he will always be our one true source of inspiration. Happy New Year to you all xx

  12. Bradford Richardson says:

    “For one, brief, shining moment.” Anne, you’ve written the kindest farewell. It means so much to me to have the brilliant and devoted Cat Family to rely on.

  13. Simon Maxwell says:

    Any idea when Blake’s last book will be sold through Chapters in Canada?

  14. Al Rodriguez Al Rodriguez says:

    Keep saving those cats, amigos. Thanks for the memento on the year that was as we look forward to the year that will be. Happy new year to all of you. Keep sending us your notes, Blake. We find pieces of your wisdom everywhere we look. Cheers!

  15. Captain says:

    I’m down with the “Cats” but you can never ever forget our Cavemen

  16. Mike Rinaldi says:

    To all who were close to Blake, please take the following in the respectful spirit that it is meant. I like to think that like Obi Wan Kenobi, it is after Blake’s death that he will become more powerful than we can possibly imagine. I’m looking forward to Blake’s revolutionary ideas continuing to transform filmmaking and even the lives of those who are enriched by a deeper understanding of story.

  17. Anne says:

    Mike, that is AWESOME!!! Agreed!!!

  18. I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Blake on a number of occasions. It started in Glendale, Arizona a few years back when I was working at Thunderbird where I attended a seminar and a private workshop that was indeed a very original and entertaining approaching to teaching screenwriting. Once I moved to L.A., a few years ago, I phoned Blake and he took the time to meet me at the coffee shop in Beverly Hills. He opened up some connections for me and was always willing to offer his advice and encouragement. I was planning on reaching out to him again this year when I discovered the tragic news. I am certain that his loss will be felt by many but in his contributions and energy will be remembered by all those he has touched. He was a great teacher and inspiration. He will be dearly missed.

  19. Claudia says:

    Wonderful tribute and I’m so grateful all of you are there continuing Blake’s legacy.

    I’ve been trying to move on, there are times creativity flows and I can feel him there egging me on… but when I open the script, it sits there. It doesn’t matter that’s it’s beated out and boarded… that I’ve hit the Break Into 2…

    I’ve been starting work on my first novel, which I find so much easier as I can just spew, especially since it’s based on a part of my own life – only the book will be funnier. That said, it’s the script that equally calls to me (and is my first and true love) … I’ve written numerous scripts and have been optioned, but this was “the big one” a potential summer blockbuster, and Blake loved it. I know I need a Cat Group, to attend a workshop… but it’s not a possibility right now and being just far away enough from LA where a hotel is necessary is a further thorn. But at the same time as I ruminate about how my past experiences with LA and the industry is that most are void of a soul… I think upon Blake and all of you at Cat Central… there ARE good and true people, it’s just like mining for gold… you have to pan through a lot of muck to find the gems.

  20. Colleen Hinton says:

    I had not been back to the website for a couple of months. Was so pleased to see it still here. However, I have to say that while working on my screenplay and getting some new exciting ideas, I keep wanting to e-mail Blake to tell him about it. I was always amazed at how he could project genuine warmth and friendship to so many people (I would have trouble just remembering all the faces with names, much less current storylines!)

    Could you please do a workshop in the DC area? With the recession, even New York is a bit of a financial stretch for me!

  21. Captain says:

    If they did a DC workshop I could probably make that too.And Colleen I’m trying to gain a working repore with anyone I can on the East Coast as I’ve found that people do not have a clue of how a movie is generated in the beginning on paper and a scriptwriter must have sounding boards.
    Captain at– filmpencil@yahoo.com

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