Well, that was unexpected: New Contract

If you’re in my reader group, Write all the words, Danielle, then this isn’t news. I’ve been wanting to talk about it sooner, but you know… life.

Recently, City Owl Press (the press that published Girl on Fire) has been pitching for film/TV for that book hard, because they love it, but they were hearing that what a lot of studios were looking for was diversity. The subject of one of my characters being an undiagnosed adult on the spectrum came up. I gave her the elevator pitch of the plot and she said, ‘gimmie.’

I sent her a copy of the book to read, and a day later, I had a contract in hand.


That’s right, The First 100 Kisses is now in their hands to shop around for film/TV projects. This doesn’t guarantee anything, but it is a step in a great direction. Not to mention that it’s nice to have a company that believes strongly enough in my work to even attempt to get either this title or Girl on Fire onto a screen.

How cool would seeing this on a screen be?

I mean, it was kind of wild to daydream a little when she asked me to compile who my dream cast would be so she’d have some names to mention when she went in to pitch. Naturally, I had my own answers to give her because, as you know, I make book bibles for my stories. I rattled off Anna Kendrick’s name lightning fast. She has always been my Chloe, but I’m not so sure she’d be down for all of the, er, ‘action’ this book has. Though, I could totally see a TV/Film project taming some of those scenes anyway so… maybe? Come on Universe, make it happen. 😉

Liam was harder for me because the actor I had in mind is now far too old for the part of a man in his mid-30s, so I went with a blonde Cole Sprouse. (And yes, I know his brother Dylan wears his hair blond normally, and while they may be twins, their acting is not at the same level. Sorry, Dylan.)

I’m curious, however, if you’ve read The First 100 Kisses, who would you pick to play Chloe and Liam? I’d happily toss other names her way!

Until next week, dream a little dream with me!

Danielle/Dani Bannister author and dreamer of all the good things


The reviews are starting to show!

If you missed it, Where You Left Me, Vol. 3 was released on Tuesday. Reviews are starting to trickle in as later books are known to take longer to get reviews for, but I wanted to highlight those that have come in so far.

Up first, was my very first review from one of my ARC readers which she posted over at GoodReads.

Can you tell I use a blue light blocker? Ha.

Then, on release day, a few more came in, including a 5-star rating only over on Goodreads.

The few but mighty

Getting reviews for the middle of an unfinished series is HARD, people. Readers tend to not want to start a series until it’s entirely done. Which can put a considerable financial strain on the author/publishing house to support the series in those writing months/years. In a world of binge content consumers, getting anyone to give their time to review an unfinished series is rare indeed. So, while there may only be a few up currently, I feel so grateful to have those!

Reading Order
WHERE YOU MET ME (Free prequel chapter)
WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 4 (Pre-order)
WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 5 (Coming Soon)

Now, these reviews could shift the other way tomorrow. I’m aware of that. This is a fickle industry. But for now, I’ll use these reviews to fuel the writing needed to complete my first ever series!

Dani/Danielle Bannister author and collector of reviews


It’s RELEASE DAY for Vol. 3!

It’s hard to believe that this series started off as an experiment to try out Kindle Vella and has now turned into a 5 novella series. Funny how life works. Today is the release day for Where You Left Me, Vol. 3. Jasmine and Shawn are back from The Bahamas and back to reality. Their wedding was fake, but the connection was real. Wasn’t it?



The honeymoon’s over. What’s next?

First, she was left at the altar. Then, she fake married a volunteer. What could have been torture with a perfect stranger was anything but. The honeymoon cruise with him was off the charts hot, but now the escape from reality is over. The fake relationship has to come to an end, right?

Jasmine doesn’t want to go back to her life where nothing but humiliation, personal tragedy, and financial ruin await her. She wants to stay in paradise with her fake husband. But she can’t. She confessed her feelings and he bolted.

Emotionally numb, she knows that once she gets home, her heartbreak will continue. On top of it all, her ex-fiancé comes sniffing around, wanting to take her back. But does she want to go backward? Knowing what she had with Shawn was possible?

And what will happen if Shawn ever finds out she might be having his kid? The honeymoon might be over, but the real fireworks are about to begin.

Find out the details today in this red-hot lust-to-lovers series in Where You Left Me, Vol. 3.

Reading Order

Not sure if this series is for you? Why not check out the FREE Prequel Chapter that tells Shawn’s point of view in the moments leading up to where Vol. 1 begins. It’s short, spicy, and should give you a sense of the tone/voice of the series without spending a dime!

You can snag that story right from this website: Where You Met Me.

If you happen to read Vol. 3 (or any in this series) dropping a quick review helps small indies like me out in massive ways. It lets reluctant buyers know if this new author is worth the money. Any love you can send this series way, I would be most grateful.

I hope to share some of those reviews on this blog once they start to populate! Until next time, happy reading!

Dani/Danielle Bannister, author and releaser of Where You Left Me, Vol. 3


Between Two Couch Cushions is Back!

Pre-pandemic, fellow friend and writer R.J. Keller started a fun little show called Between Two Couch Cushions. It was a monthly live video where the two of us talked about life, our writing, and usually shared some sort of alcoholic beverage.

Covid and health issues put those monthly recordings on hold. We’re doing them as often as life allows us to, and today is one of those broadcast days. We’ve also swapped out our wine glasses for coffee mugs. Neither one of us can handle it the way we used to anymore. ha. And that’s okay.

We’re back!

To find out what we’ve been up to in our most recent broadcast, you can watch below.

While we are wistful for the days of being in the same room to broadcast, that just might not be feasible anymore. And that’s okay. We’re accepting the changes with grace.

If you want to check out any of our past broadcasts, you can do so over on our Facebook page: Between Two Couch Cushions.

Until next week my peeps!

Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and sitter between two couch cushions gal


In case you missed it!

Just a quick update for those who may have missed two videos that were posted this week on Social Media.

Up first, the latest episode of WOW: Writers on Writers, with Young Adult author, Julie Cassar.

And posted on February first was the second Indie 500…Words. A year-long series where I’ll read you 500 words or less from one of my manuscripts once a month.

Now, it’s off to shovel. Again.

Danielle Bannister, author, and recorder of all the things


Today’s the day! Book Birthday time!

Happy Book Birthday to my thirteenth book TAKING STOCK!

Taking Stock (A Later in Life Romance)

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The sale is still on for my other two Later in Life Romances, but they won’t be for long so now is the time to snag those!

SALE!!! DOPPELGANGER (A Later in Life Romance)

Amazon  Smashwords   iBooks   Nook   Kobo 

SALE!!! MUST LOVE COFFEE (A Later in Life Romance)

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First Chapter of Taking Stock…

Conversations in a small-town grocery store can be riveting. Case in point:

“Do we have any more of the Gravy Lovers? The kind Frank’s cats like?” I asked Denise, the other clerk stocking the shelves with me. God, what a boring life I live. I slid my box cutter through the next box of Salmon Delight and frowned, annoyed at how many boxes of this crap we had.

“He bought us out of them last week. Won’t get another shipment in until the fifteenth,” Denise replied as she adjusted the cans of dog food to be label out.

Great. That would make him cranky. Frank’s girls were picky buggers and he had no issue bemoaning the fact we didn’t have their favorite can of soft food and now, because of our poor cat food ordering, he would have to drive forty-five minutes to a big box store to get it. He was a nice old man, but lonely. This would give him something to do with his day. He should be thanking me instead of complaining. Then again, what else did I have to look forward to? A grumpy Frank might just be the highlight of my otherwise banal day shift.

“Guess we’ll have to draw straws to run the register the next time he comes in,” I said, filling the hole on the shelf with the small cans.

“Want me to call over to Bert’s and see if he has any?” she offered.

Bert’s Bazaar Tackle & Gift Shop had just about everything under the sun, but I would never buy anything perishable there. Not if the layer of dust was any indication of how fresh the contents were. Bert’s was great if you were looking for odd things like weed-wacker wire, tacky tourist trap tchotchkes, or fishing gear, but not so good on practical items. If you wanted something normal like underwear or decent shoes, you had to head out of town.

“Nah. I’d never hear the end of it from Bert if I sent him over there to talk his ear off.”

It was a Monday morning in boring Bucksville, New Hampshire, and so far, the conversation was as riveting today as ever. Not that I expected anything different to happen. Nothing ever did in this sleepy little town. Well, outside the month in October when we’d get a wave of tourists who’d flock to New England to see the foliage. In a few short weeks, the crowds would return, and the town would spring to life with energy and excitement. Everyone’s mood appeared a little brighter and the world would seem ripe with possibility.

Local businesses loved the tourist season. For one brief moment, the town felt alive. Relevant. You couldn’t help but people watch during peak conditions. I’d watch couples, young and old, holding hands, strolling through our boring sleeping town, sipping their pumpkin spiced lattes from our one and only coffee shop, Must Love Coffee. Families would push our squeaky carts up and down our aisles, commenting on how quaint everything was. Selfies would be taken at random with large, goofy smiles, recording the happy moments they had while on their adventures.

Love was everywhere in the fall, except for me, stuck inside the same static walls of the Shop & Go. It was the curse of small-town living. Your romance options were nil to none. Though, I couldn’t help but hope every fall that maybe someone new…someone single, would come into the store, see me, and take me away from all of this.

Yet, year after year, the tourists left, and I…well, I got left behind. When the colors of the leaves faded to brown outside and died off, a part of me did, too. When they left, I hibernated inside myself, waiting for that spark of hope to return the next year.

This fall, the weather would be perfect for prime foliage displays, or so our weatherman said. Though it was hard to trust the opinion of a guy you went to high school with, who was known not for his book smarts, but for his B.O. How he ever landed a former cheerleader, Candy Guerin, I’d never know. I couldn’t even get a date with the smelly ones.

Reservations were filling up at our local bed and breakfast in anticipation of that first cold snap. Hell, even our semi-resident movie star, Morgan Malone, had come down from her mountain on high and shown her face among the locals. She was normally a recluse, keeping to herself when she visited, but I’d seen her in town a few times now, both with and without her bodyguard. The town lost its ever-loving mind when she graced it with her presence. I wish she’d stay secluded up in her mansion. I didn’t like being reminded how the other half lived.

“So, what are you doing for Christmas this year, Penny?” Denise asked, pulling me out of my toxic thoughts.

“The usual. Going to Maine to visit the family.”

She nodded and started prattling on about her plans. She had no idea that I was lying between my teeth. If she knew I was planning on being alone with my cats—again—she would invite me over to her place, and, no offense, but her two-year-old son drove me nuts. I would much prefer to stay at home in my pajamas. Besides, it was better no one knew that the poor, fat, singleton spinster didn’t have anyone special to spend the holiday with. I refused to be anyone’s pity invite.

That said, it would be year number six that I’d done the holidays alone. I was a pro at the lie by now. Once my dad died, there wasn’t really anyone around I cared enough to see. What little family that was still alive were spread out. I had a cousin out in Florida and an aunt in DC, and a few second cousins in Maine, but we didn’t see each other often enough to warrant that kind of a trip. We were a holiday card only family.

The door chimed, letting us know a customer had arrived.

“I’ll get it,” Denise said. “I’m out of cans anyway.” She kicked an empty box toward me for me to break down and went to the front. I dug the box cutter from out of my back pocket and made quick work of the tape. I tossed the flattened box on top of the others and glanced at the front of the store, curious who was coming in so early. Normally, no one came in before seven. We opened at six thirty primarily to restock and clean before the seven thirty rush. There was a factory about twenty minutes away, so workers stopped by on their way in for the lunch they forgot to pack, or soda and a Slim Jim, or breakfast sandwich to tide them over on the drive.

I watched with interest as Denise spoke with a man I didn’t recognize. He was tallish, bald on top, with a brown horseshoe hairline. He had a goatee, which was in serious need of a trim. His appearance could best be described as haggard. The brown suit he wore looked as though he’d been wearing it for several days. His shirt was slightly untucked, allowing his stomach to fall over his belt. When Denise pointed in my direction, I put the last can of cat food on the shelf and made my way up front.

“What can I help you with?” My manager voice was engaged. Clearly, he was selling something, and I wasn’t interested. I had my list of vendors, and I didn’t need some out-of-towner convincing me their sub-par product was better than those I’d worked with for years. It was too bad. He was kind of cute in a pathetic hobo sort of way.

“Hi, my name is Rob. I’m from the Sunset Journal.

Ah. Not a salesman. A reporter. Figures. I held up a hand. “Let me stop you there. You’re chasing a cold story. Yes, Morgan Malone came into my store. Yes, I was at the register when she did. Yes, she bought food here. I know, shocker. A movie star who eats. No, she hasn’t been back since.” I frowned. “You’re like the twentieth reporter to try and get my exclusive scoop. You people really need a life.”

Denise chuckled under her breath. I knew she was sick to death of all the attention Morgan Malone got as much as I was. Though, I think Denise was unhappier with the way her boyfriend—at the time—made such a fuss over Morgan. Jealousy runs rampant in small towns. Then again, we don’t have much else to do here.

I realized as I walked back to my boxes of cat food that my tone with that man was harsher than I would have liked, but if I were honest with myself, I was annoyed. Annoyed that just when I thought a potential eligible bachelor had walked into my town, he turned out to be another stupid member of the paparazzi trying to make a quick buck. Yes, I noticed he wore no wedding ring. It’s the first thing I looked at whenever I saw a man I didn’t know, a tick I wasn’t proud of, by the way. The first glance always went to the left hand, not to the face to see if the guy was cute or not. The time to be picky about looks had long since come and gone.

Opening another box, cat treats this time, I heard footsteps behind me. I spun around, box cutter in hand.

“Whoa,” the reporter said with his hands raised. “I come in peace.”

I looked down at the blade. “Oh, sorry.”

“No, I’m the one who is sorry. I think there was a misunderstanding. I’m not here about Morgan Malone.”

The way he said her name indicated he didn’t give two shits about her fame or current location. Finally, a sane person.

“Oh?” I heard myself ask. “Then what can I help you with?”

At that, his face went a little red.

“I’m from the Sunset Journal.”

“Yes, you said that already.”

He seemed confused that I wasn’t more impressed with the name of a paper I’d never heard of before.

“You don’t know—” His eyebrows crinkled as he held back his sentence. “Is there a place we can talk a bit more, privately?”

I crossed my arms over my chest, instantly defensive. I saw the news. I binge watched the crime shows. I was no dummy. I wasn’t going anywhere private with a perfect stranger.

“Whatever you have to say to me, you can say right here, under the security cameras.” My eyes flitted over to Denise for some backup, since there really weren’t any cameras in the store, but she was busy on her damn phone. Again. If it wasn’t for the fact she was trying to raise a two-year-old on her own, I would have fired her a long time ago.

“Oh, no, that isn’t what I was implying at all,” the man said, clearly flustered. “Let me start over. It’s clear you don’t know who I am.” He straightened his thin brown tie and extended his hand. “My name is Rob Walters.” He emphasized his last name as though trying to help jog my memory, but I had no idea who this yahoo was.

Cautiously, I shook his hand, which was soft and warm to the touch, not rough and calloused like I’d imagine a serial killer would be, but I dropped it quickly as he continued his introduction.

“As I said, I’m a reporter with the Sunset Journal. I’m doing an article…on Small-town Singles.”

I waited for him to get to his point. Why the hell did I care what he wrote about?

“Yeah. So?” I asked when it was clear he wasn’t going on.

“Well, you’re Ms. White, aren’t you?” he asked. “You live here in Bucksville, have three cats…”

“Yeah, what the hell is it to you?” And more importantly, how does he know my name? Or about my cats? My nametag only said “Penny.”

Rob looked utterly perplexed. “Well, um. You wrote to us hoping to make a love connection…”

I blinked at him.

“I’m here to interview you for my article,” he said, as though that clarified everything.

I opened my mouth and cocked my head. I heard the words he was saying, but they were not registering.

“Is this not ringing a bell?” He gave me a puzzled look as to why he needed to explain himself.

“You think I wrote you a letter?” I shook my head and laughed. “Sorry, but I think you have the wrong woman.”

“Oh. My apologies.” He dug in his leather satchel and produced a lined white piece of paper. “The lady at the front told me this was you.” He pointed to the name at the bottom of the letter. “I’m looking for a Penelope White.”

I flinched. “It’s Penny.” I snatched the paper out of his hand without asking for permission and scanned the letter that did, indeed, appear to have been penned by me, except for one thing. It was not my handwriting.

I looked up at Rob. “Do I look like the type of woman who makes hearts over her Is?”

He shrugged. “I thought it conveyed a sense of playfulness.”

I frowned. “That’s because it came from the mind of a teeny-bopper. Denise!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.

Her frantic assault on the keyboard of her phone came to a stop as she looked up at me. Her face froze. The color left her cheeks as her eyes grew wide. She knew she was busted.

“Yes, Ms. White?” Her voice was far more timid and polite than it normally was, and she never, never, called me Ms. White. Oh, she was in trouble now.

“Get your skinny butt over here and explain to this man, and to me, why you wrote this letter.”

Denise lowered her head for a moment before she reluctantly came over, pushing aside her dark brown waves behind her ears as she walked toward us like a dog that had eaten the Christmas ham.

“I’m sorry. It was stupid, I know. I wrote that letter ages ago. I didn’t think anything would come of it, honest.”

I sighed. “Why? Why would you do this?”

Her eyes looked up at me, then back at Rob.

“Well, I just thought…I just thought you seemed lonely, and well, they were looking for people who lived in small towns who were single…so I thought you, you know, you might find someone.” She turned to Rob. “She’s an amazing woman. I know she doesn’t, like, dress hip or anything”—I was about to be offended until she went on—“but she has the biggest heart of anyone here. She gave me a job when no one else would. She has yet to fire me either, even though I’m, like, the world’s worst employee.” Denise looked up at me with her sad little eyes. “I just want her to find someone who deserves her, that’s all.”

The kid had a good heart, if not the sanest of minds. “Thank you, Denise. That was kind of you, kid, but I’m not looking for love. A woman doesn’t need a man to make her feel complete,” I said, regurgitating the headlines of every woman’s magazine on our store display rack. “I’m quite happy on my own.” It was a lie, but they didn’t need to know that.

Denise made a face. “No one is happy alone, Penny. That’s just something lonely people say to make themselves feel better.”

Just then, a customer walked in. Saved by the bell.

“You better go back to your register, Denise. I’ll deal with this mess, but we’re not done talking about the heap of shit you’ve landed in,” I said to her.

She nodded once then rushed back to safety behind the counter.

“She’s wrong, you know. I am quite happy on my own,” I told Rob, and myself.

“Sure. I am, too. Some people just don’t get it, though.”

“No, they don’t,” I said, thinking. “Out of curiosity, just why are you looking for small-town singles, Mr. Walters? I’m not sure how that is information worthy of an article?”

At that Rob beamed. “Not true. You see, I want to hook two of them up and then write about their love connection for our February issue.”

I snorted at that. Literally snorted.

“That sounds like about as much fun as watching paint dry, but you have fun with that, Mr. Walters.”

Turning away from him, I set back to work. What a ridiculous task he had put upon himself. Trying to capture lightning in a bottle and then write about it. Talk about a fool’s errand. You’d have to be a complete moron to want to be a part of that science project. No, thank you.

Taking Stock (A Later in Life Romance)

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Until next week! Hopefully, I’ll have some reviews to share! Happy reading!!!

Brackish Waters Filming, Uncategorized

Brackish Waters Filming (Post 1)

A few weeks ago, I was cast in a movie that’s being filmed locally here in Maine. I thought I’d do a blog about the experience and take you along for the ride.

The casting of this movie actually stems back a few years when I was in a ten-minute play festival that the writer, Shelly Curtain, had entered for submission to the festival. I was cast as a woman named Terri. A woman who traveled back in time. Just like Claire in Outlander!!! Ahhhh! (The writer had never heard of Outlander before I mentioned it…she will by the end of this shoot! Fair warning Shelly!) Anywho, the play ended, we all went our separate ways. In the years that followed, Shelly turned the ten-minute play into a full-length play, and then into a screenplay. She cast all her parts and had even begun filming, but there was one role that had to be recast. The role of Terri. The very same part I played in the theatre version.

Fast forward to this year and the local middle school’s speech competition where I was one of the judges. Guess who I was paired up with as a judge? Tim Pugliese. The lead actor of Shelly’s movie. Tim and I spent much of the day together exchanging bad puns and past role experiences. Shelly was there too and she and I worked as judges later that day and after then, some time after the competition, we got to chatting and she asked if I would be willing to audition for the role. Small world.

This is Tim as Darius Reed

To make a long story short, too late (10 points if you know what that movie that’s from) I was sent a monologue and a scene to read with Tim. Get this: the fictional town where this story takes place…it’s the same fictional town I made up for Doppelganger! Bucksville. Her town was in Maine, mine in New Hampshire. But still, how freaky is that?

Anywho, I arrived at her house where most of the shooting will take place and was surprised to see that she had literally transformed her house into the set of a 1900’s inn as the script dictates. It was wild. Like walking onto a stage set in someone’s living room.


We talked a bit about what the movie was about, where they were in the filming process and what sort of time commitment was going to be needed etc., then it was down to business. Acting time. The monologue was a tough one. The emotional tone bounced around a lot, as a good monologue should. Anger, sadness, laughter. My audition wasn’t as polished I had practiced at home but it did the trick. I was offered the role on the spot.

The first day of filming for me will be on Sunday. I have about six lines in this first scene (mercifully) and I’ve got them down. In theory. It will be interesting to see how long shooting six lines will take. I’m guessing a wee bit longer than it would take to rehearse six lines in theatre haha.

Stay tuned. I’ll let you know how my first day of shooting goes.


Danielle Bannister, author and movie actress. hehe 




It’s All Good

On Saturday I went to my ex-husband’s surprise 40th birthday party that I helped decorate with his new wife, the stepmother to my kids. His parents were there too. My former inlaws. It should have been an exceedingly awkward evening, but it wasn’t.

Instead, it was filled with hugs, laughter and friends.

Were there challenges to the evening? Sure. Putting 40 helium-filled balloons into my tiny Kia Rio on a windy day was a bit comical. Telling my daughter no more Coke (the 1/2 glass was more than she should be having with braces on at 7 o’clock at night) or getting my son to put more than one carrot on his plate were tiny issues. Figuring out the best way to properly cut a wheel of Gouda cheese brought about its own set of challenges, but the company? No issues there.

My reaction after we all shouted “Surprise!”

Over the years since our divorce, my ex and I have come to realize that just because we weren’t right for each other in a marriage sense, doesn’t mean we have to hate each other. In fact, because we share children together, the opposite needs to be true. We absolutely have to be respectful of each other.

When my husband and I split, we made a pack not to let the dissolution of our marriage tear our family apart. We could live separate lives without ignoring the other person’s existence. We were determined to stay friends. In that way, we are teaching our children compassion and kindness, and yes, love.

My children know what a gift our mutual respect is. They often confess that they are so happy that we don’t fight like many of their divorced friend’s parents do. I am too.

That’s not to say we don’t have issues co-parenting. Of course we do. But we work through them together. As a family does.

With that, I say to my ex, welcome to Club 40.

Danielle Bannister, Author and party goer



When a couch is more than a couch.

I did something wild and crazy this week. I bought a couch. That may not seem like that big of an event to blog about, but it was cathartic for me. Let me explain. No there is too much, let me sum up. (A million points if you get that reference)

A few years ago I made the scariest decision of my life. I left my marriage. I left with a couple of suitcases and the clothes on my back. It was, far and away, the most terrifying thing I’d ever done.

While I have no doubt that our divorce was the right thing to do, and my ex is happily re-married to a woman I call my friend, it has taken me years to rebuild what I let go of. (2021 UPDATE, they are no longer married but they both remain my friends.)

When I left, I said goodbye to so much of the ‘stuff’ we had acquired in our eleven years of marriage. Furniture, dishes, DVDs, books, games… I walked away with basically nothing and no real plan on how I was supposed to survive on my own. It was a pretty dark time.

I moved into the basement of a dear friend for a few months while I got my head back on (she was a saint for putting up with me and my kids during all this.)  After about six months, my ex moved out of our house and I moved back in. I had to restock everything, save for the few things he didn’t want: a couch, a wobbly kitchen table, some paintings, etc.

Money was extremely tight but there were basic things I needed, like plates to eat off, towels to dry off with…Things I didn’t have now that I wasn’t living at my friends. I bought the cleanest looking dishes I could find from Goodwill, found furniture pieces from friends or yard sales, and slowly, as money allowed, rebuilt the smaller stuff like plants, books, movies, curtains, a hair dryer…

The couch he’d left behind for me, however, remained my nemesis. While I was grateful to have a place to sit, it remained a constant reminder of those rough years…the years of dire financial and emotional struggle. The couch represented everything about that time: it was ugly, uncomfortable and falling apart. That couch was me. And I hated it.

For the first time in years, my tax return wasn’t earmarked for a major car repair. I had no doubt what I was doing with those funds: I was getting that new couch. With my head held high, I went out and bought the softest couch I could afford and I got it new. That was important. I didn’t want to buy this second hand. This one thing had to be new. I had to be proud of it, because it was a symbolic statement of my life at present; the new and improved version of myself.

It may just be a couch to you, but to me, it means I’m moving forward. That I’m succeeding, even on my own, and that’s something to take comfort in.

Danielle Bannister, author and new couch owner.


The Show Must Go On…

For those who live in the New England area, you know that we are living under two plus feet of snow (with another 6-10 inches coming tomorrow).


Yeah. That’s the end of a shovel just barely sticking out of the snow bank. It’s snowmageddon here, which, as a Mainer, I’m used to. We have shovels, we have plows, we have winter gear. It’s still annoying. It brings things to a halt for a few days…which normally isn’t an issue, but I have a play opening on FRIDAY!!!  I haven’t performed in a play for YEARS. I wanted to dip my toe back into acting…you know, try out for a small role maybe, and instead got cast in the first show of the year as a lead. Go big or go home, right? The ironic part? the play is about two people stuck at an airport due to, wait for it…a blizzard. So long as that blizzard stops by Friday, we’ll be set (and so far the weather is looking fine for the first weekend.)

And now, here it is the week we open. (Ack!) I’ll be honest. I started this whole journey with much trepidation. A two person show means half of the lines are on my shoulders and as I said, I hadn’t acted in many, many moons. Could I still do it? Could this 41-year-old brain still remember lines, let alone THAT MANY? Could I still remember not to upstage people, find my light and use my gut to speak loudly? On top of that, I had never worked with the director or the other lead and this is a very intimate play…lots of laughs, tears, and kissing. Full on make out scene! (That’s sort of a bonus part of being an actor…) Sure, the script was great but how would the three of us work together? Would we gel? Could we do the show justice?

Over the course of the rehearsals, we all eased into the material. Got comfortable working with the words and with each other, and slowly, things all began to align.  Lines begin to stay in the old noggin, blocking began to click and before we knew it, tech week was upon us. For you non-theatre people, tech week is the week before the show goes up, where you add in lights, sound, costume, makeup…begin working with the real props…In short, it’s a week where a LOT is thrown at you; new things to get used to. Suddenly, lights are blinding you, music is playing under dialogue you knew would be there but are now hearing for the first time for and that quick change you have to make, is a lot faster than you bargained for. But it’s fine because you have that week to figure it out…A week to practice hearing those sound cues. A week to adjust to the lights. A week to figure out how to set that costume in just the right way so you make it on stage on time.

Well, you have that week if you aren’t dumped on by snow. Two of our tech rehearsals were lost to this storm.

But never fear! We are professionals, with a kick-ass show that I’m really excited (and nervous) to perform for local peeps. This entire process has reignited my desire to act, as I knew that it would. It’s a rush, much like writing is. Getting to step into someone else’s shoes for a moment and live another life. It’s pure joy.

So, if you’re in the area, come check us out!


Shooting Star, written by Steven Dietz

You can find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/395809237436838/


Danielle Bannister, Author AND Actress