Wednesday, January 25, 2023

My Weekly Update: January 25, 2023

Despite being sick for a couple of days, I had a great week. I watched some fantastic films, got a lot of writing done, had brunch with my best friends, celebrated Lunar New Year, and I got a new pair of glasses. 

I’m so honored to have my poem Walking to Kmart to Buy a Dolly Parton Album included in the wonderful new collection Let Me Say This: A Dolly Parton Poetry Anthology. Many thanks to the editors for giving this poem such a great literary home. You can purchase a copy of the book from Madville Publishing.

I’m working on a lot of new projects - new screenplays, new stage plays, and new television scripts. I’ll have a lot more to share with you very soon. For now I’m in a lot of meetings and I’m pitching my projects almost every day to producers and networks. I’m more determined than ever to see my stories through. 

Some of the great films I watched this week include the sci-fi B movie classic Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Joan Crawford thriller Female on the Beach, the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the bad girl Barbara Stanwyck film Ladies They Talk About, and the brilliant biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It (I still say Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne were robbed of Oscars for their performances). This week, I was in awe (once again as I am every year I watch them) by Gloria Grahame in the film In a Lonely Place and Audrey Totter in The Set-Up. They are two of the best actresses in film noir. 

You can read my review of the sci-fi action comedy The Adam Project at the official Filtinsel website.

I’m very fortunate to have a sister-in-law who is very generous in sharing her Chinese and Thai traditions and cultures with me. I learn a lot from her. This week we got to celebrate the Lunar New Year together and it was a beautiful family experience for us. 

My musical artist of the week is Donna Summer. Growing up, I was obsessed with Donna’s music, especially her version of MacArthur Park, one of my all-time favorite tunes. One of my few regrets in life was never getting to see her perform live.

I feel very lucky to be living in a new golden era of television. This week we finished the second season of Bridgerton, a very fun show to watch. We also finished the second season of Hacks, which is one of the best TV shows ever made.  

In closing, I’m thrilled to tell you the new edition of my young adult supernatural romance novel Wonder Land will be available in paperback and eBook on Valentine’s Day.

Until next week…

Onward and upward.

“Everything you can imagine is real.”
- Pablo Picasso 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

My Weekly Update: January 18, 2023

It’s was an intense week. Yes, we had more rain. But I also watched some great films, became a student again, had some extraordinary experiences as a writer, and lost a wonderful friend. 

I’m a lifelong learner. I love being a student. Last week I attended my first German class. It’s a language I have always loved so I decided it was finally time to study it formally. And I get to take the class in a beautiful old building. 

I was also very fortunate to take a three day intensive and learn more about writing horror for film and television from accomplished filmmakers in a Sundance Collab workshop (including the brilliant Mariama Diallo who wrote and directed a fantastic film called Master; if you’ve ever worked in higher education, you should see it; it’s on Amazon Prime and Regina Hall and Zoe Renee are fantastic in it). I also got to attend a fantastic advisor series - also through Sundance - with Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams. And I participated in a wonderful workshop called Seven Steps to Mindfulness for Creatives with Maria Baltazzi who’s an Emmy Award winning Executive Producer. I feel very honored to be learning from industry experts. 

I was deeply saddened by the news that Lisa Marie Presley passed away. I was a fan of her music, which I’m thankful I have to remember her by. 

Sadly, I lost a wonderful friend this week: a remarkable woman named Ann. We met as co-workers years ago in Pennsylvania and had remained friends ever since. She was kind and compassionate and she really loved animals. She will be greatly missed. 

Movies are always a highlight of my week. I’ve watched some terrific films including the awesome sci-fi B movie classic Monster on the Campus, the British thriller Eyewitness, one of my favorite Disney films: The Aristocats, the Barbara Stanwyck and Errol Flynn mystery Cry Wolf, the slasher classic The Prowler, and The Silence of the Lambs for the umpteenth time. 

You can read my review of the teen angst drama The Young Stranger (1957) at the official Filtinsel website here.

My musical artist of the week is Berlin, a band I have loved for many years since I first heard their iconic album Pleasure Victim when I was 12. Their song The Metro is one of my all-time favorite tunes. 

In closing, I am thrilled to tell you that my young adult novel Mesmerized was named a Quarterfinalist in the 2023 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Writing Competition. Semi finalists will be announced soon. I’m very grateful for this incredible honor. 

Until next week…

Onward and upward. 

“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

My Weekly Update: January 11, 2023

The word of the week is WEATHER. Since NYE, we’ve made it through three additional storms including more power outages, a ton of debris, and some leaks in our ceiling. We can’t wait for some sunshine. Please send some this way.☀️

Despite the weather I’ve watched many great films this week including Tarantula, Alice in Wonderland, and three of my personal favorites: Detour, Caged!, and The Blue Gardenia. Each of these three fantastic films feature brilliant performances by women. Watching Ann Savage devour every scene in Detour is a must. And mysteries don’t get better than The Blue Gardenia. I also watched Airport 1975 with the the wonderful Karen Black as a fearless flight attendant who has to land a damaged passenger jet. Good stuff!

You can read my review of Caged at the official Filtinsel website. It’s a film noir women-in-prison movie from 1950 and it’s terrific.

To bring some laughter into our lives, we’re re-watching the classic British sitcom  Absolutely Fabulous - and we’re loving every minute of it. We just finished the first season. We also finished the first season of Shadow and Bone (a great show on Netflix). I’m in love with the series Home Before Dark. It’s on Apple TV and I can’t recommend it enough. Along with the entire excellent cast, Abby Miller (one of my favorite actresses who I secretly dream will stare in many projects I write) gives a terrific performance. 

I’m currently reading The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner and I’m really enjoying it. 

The musical artist of the week is 10,000 Maniacs (during the era when Natalie Merchant was the lead singer). Their album In My Tribe is one of my favorites. It includes the fantastic track Like the Weather, my theme song of the week.

Despite thunder storms and 60 mph winds, I managed to pitch my TV series Cups and Saucers to a major network. It went well. I should hear something back soon. After the script reached an almost point (in terms of going into production) twice, I’ve spent the last three months reworking the pilot script by applying all of the great notes I’ve received from industry experts. I’m in love with the end result. But who doesn’t love a sci-fi adventure about four young people who discover an underground world inhabited by alien life? The universe will decide what happens next with this project. I’m just the satellite who wrote it. 

I’m putting the finishing touches on a new stage play titled Bitter and Sweet and a new screenplay called Whirl. I’m also prepping for some upcoming pitch meetings related to the TV adaptation of my all-female stage play Sky Lines

I get asked a lot about my creative process. This year I’m writing two hours a day (one hour session in the morning, one at night) and editing two hours on Saturdays. I’m no longer writing or editing on Sundays: it’s become a true day off. This will be the first time I’ve not written seven days a week in about twenty years. 

This week, I’m including some fun photos: our dog Kody and his new favorite toy (it was a Christmas gift from Grandma), Kody and his feline sister Phronsie (I’m sure they’re plotting against us; this photo is proof), and me at Studio Blue Salon where my wonderful friend Jodi worked her usual hair magic. 

Until next week… 

Onward and upward.

“Your imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” 

– Albert Einstein

P.S. You can watch the video versions of my weekly updates on my TikTok account. You can find me there at davidmatthewbarnes.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

My Weekly Update: January 4, 2023

2023 came in like a wild storm - literally. Sacramento was hit with an atmospheric river storm that left us without power on NYE. Definitely a memorable start to the new year. And there’s more bad weather on the way. Yikes. 

Despite the weather I managed to watch my usual NYE selection of personal classics including Untamed Heart, Horton Hears a Who! (the original), Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, and the most bizarre holiday special: Rudolph’s Shiny New Year.  I also fell in love all over again with the films Peggy Sue Got Married and Xanadu

I’ve recently rediscovered one of the best TV shows ever made: Cold Case. All seven seasons are on HBO Max in case you love a fantastic crime solving show. 

I’m getting new glasses! I’m long overdue for a new pair. I already got fitted for them. They arrive soon. Expect a new look!

I’m reading Villette by Charlotte Brontë and I’m loving every beautiful word of it. 

The musical artist of the week is Janet Jackson because I’ve always loved her and because I recently heard her music randomly three times in one day. 

As for my writing career, 2023 is (already) on fire. Seriously, I’ve never had a year start as promising and fantastic as this one. So much to share!

Just minutes before midnight on NYE I got word that my short film screenplay Hot Rates to Omaha was selected for The Short List of Pilots and Shorts by the wonderful team at Barnstorm Fest (it’s on a level of award prestige I’m just now starting to experience 37 years into this long writing career of mine). So thankful for this honor!

My short film screenplay Hot Rates to Omaha has placed at #14 on The Red List at Coverfly. I’ve been working to get on this list since 2018. Very exciting!
My feature film screenplay Willa Cather Would Not Approve has been named an official selection for the 2023 Omaha Film Festival. I’m over the moon about this for many reasons, but especially because the script is set in Nebraska. I really, really, really hope this female-centric story finds the right director or producer soon. Universe, are you listening?

Also of note: the script adaptation of my holiday romance novel The Everlasting Gift received the award for Best Feature Film Screenplay at the Skiptown Playhouse International Film Festival in Los Angeles on January 1. I’m very grateful for this wonderful recognition of my work as a screenwriter. 

Onward and upward.

Until next week… 

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” - Gloria Steinem 

Related Links

The Red List (Coverfly)

The Short List (Barnstorm Fest)

Best Feature Film Screenplay (Skiptown Playhouse)

Omaha Film Festival Selected Scripts

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

2022: A Transformative Year

This was a transformative year; a time of many changes. From leaving Denver after living there for a decade to (re)starting a new life (and job) in Sacramento to reconnecting with lifelong friends and a beautiful family. Days often felt like they were flying by at full throttle, a beautiful momentum leading to a much needed metamorphosis: I feel alive again. I’m leaving so much behind as the new year begins. And I’m embracing all the new, the larger than life moments yet to unfold. There are many new memories to be made. Today and everyday, I am filled with immense gratitude. A heartfelt thank you to the readers, the podcast hosts, the publishers, the reviewers, the librarians, and the booksellers who helped me have a record year as an author. To the actors, directors, producers, and college and community theaters who brought my words to many stages. To my fantastic church family for providing a safe space for all and for helping me keep the faith. To my extraordinary husband and best friend, Edward, for being my beautiful partner in all things. To the haters for making me work harder despite the spite. And to my ride or dies (they know who they are) for keeping it real and (always) having my back. You all made this year what it was. There is so much waiting in the wings right now - projects and chances and sweet opportunities that already promise to make 2023 an extraordinary year. I can’t wait to be present each and every day in this exciting next journey. Thank you for being a part of my level up before it begins (I’m ready; I’ve been ready even when I didn’t feel worthy). It’s time - and that’s all we really have (even if it’s an illusion). Onward and upward. Grateful and blessed, always. Breathe.

Friday, July 15, 2022


Hello. Thank you for stopping by. I'm happy you're here.

My name is David-Matthew Barnes. I'm an author, movie reviewer, playwright, poet, and screenwriter. I write in multiple genres, primarily young adult, romance, thriller, and horror. 

If you'd like to learn more about me and my life, the About section offers more details. I was recently interviewed by the wonderful Gail Hulnick as a guest on The Brainwave Podcast. This is my most in-depth interview to date. 

If you're looking for something particular I've written, please visit the Library section. This is a comprehensive list of my published and produced titles. If it's available, it's listed there. 

All of my stage plays published by Blue Dasher Press can be produced royalty-free. There is never a cost to produce one of my scripts published by them. I believe theatre is for everyone. I invite you to visit their online digital store, where you can purchase printable PDF's of most of my stage plays at a pay-what-you-want rate. 

If you're an actor, I encourage you to check out the Monologues section, especially if you're looking for a contemporary audition piece. 

Here you can watch actors from around the world performing monologues from my stage plays. 

I recommend checking out my Amazon Author Page. There you'll find a list of all of my titles available via Amazon (including lots of Kindle Unlimited titles to choose from).

I've been very fortunate to write six screenplays that have been produced. My IMDb page is a great resource for information about my film and television projects.

My novels are published by Blue Dasher Press and Cayélle Publishing

My most recent book is the new edition of my young adult novel Swimming to Chicago.

If you love films, I write movie reviews. Visit Filtinsel for more information.

The Links page is a great list of writing resources, organizations I love and support, and links to the individual webpages of the members of my collective creative team. There, you will also find links to articles, reviews, interviews, podcasts, and radio shows related to my work.

Please send all professional inquiries to A member of my creative team will be happy to help you. 

Again, thank you for being here. As always, thank you for your support!🖤