Exciting Things!!

We all have dreams, right? I mean we dream about what we want to be when we grow up? Well, I'm still not 100% exactly sure what I want to be when I grow up because there are so many things I want to be... in addition to what I am. I am interested in so many things that I haven't been able to confidently say I definitely want to be a(n) xxx.  (No, that xxx doesn't stand for porn star, that is not on the list). I'm interested in cosmetology (obviously), education, real estate, nutrition, the list goes on and on.

There has been, however, one constant. Since I was just a kid until this very day. In fact, to this absolute second... I've wanted to be a writer. I remember writing stories as a kid and reading them to my parents. Actually, if I remember correctly I'd hand the stories over and have them read to themselves because I didn't like to read my own stuff to people nor see other people read it in front of me. Still don't. I would write pages long stories in composition notebooks, the marble kind with the really thick lines, all through elementary and middle school. I wrote a lot of poetry in high school along with my short stories. A couple pieces were published in the school magazine and I thought it was a really big deal. In college, I took a few writing classes and they were always my favorite. My creative writing class was by far my favorite class hands down. And I was a psychology major...

I love every aspect of putting words on paper (err computer screen). I love hearing them drift through my head as the day goes by and I plan the direction whatever I'm working on is going to take. I love the development of my characters and seeing the story progress and come alive in my mind - even for nonfiction. I love a fresh page staring at me, the little "blinky line" waiting in anticipation. I love the feeling of my fingers pressing the letter keys and the click-click sound as I type... I know some people who are easily annoyed by my clicking, but it's one of the most calming sounds in the world to me. It means I'm in my place and I'm doing "my thang." I just really enjoy it, regardless of whether it will ever "turn into something," I just love to write. When I got married and started this blog, it wasn't supposed to be a big deal. It was a way to keep in contact with people as well as my own release and catharsis dealing with all the change that was happening. Marrying into the military, moving, pregnancy - you name it. It was easy to find my little corner of the interwebs and click away. As I've said in the past, I never would have expected what happened to this little ol' blog. After Jonny's death I received an outpouring of love and support. My writing suddenly was noticed.  I no longer was writing for myself or my close family and the circle of friends I had created, I was writing for a vast audience. I was affecting people with my words. It was pretty surreal. Actually, it still is. It is a humbling experience to see that the one thing you really love to do is actually something people appreciate and even look forward to. It's awesome.

I've never really told many people but one of my many and biggest dreams is to write a novel and have it turned into a film. Doesn't have to be a best seller or make me millions of dollars (while that would be an added bonus), I just have always thought it would be so amazing to see someone's visual interpretation of writing I had created.

About a year ago, I was contacted by Lew Holder, a film student at Ohio State University. He told me he had read my piece on the Washington Post's blog series Impact of War and was incredibly touched by it. So touched, in fact, that he wanted to turn my words into film. He wanted to put visual representation to what I had written. I was completely blown away, and honestly I still am today while writing this for you all to see. Of all the accolades and praise I've received over the years, this one is pretty high up there. To know I've inspired someone so much by one simple post they want to base a film off it? Well... it's cray! (That's all I've got folks!) I'll admit I was a little hesitant, wondering what the catch was, as I've been approached here and there for some things that seemed a little shady and have turned them down. I was waiting for some kind of "but" to come. It never came. Lew proved to be a really genuine guy out to make something based on a story that had inspired him and that story happened to have been mine.

A year later, I received a package in the mail. Ariana was most excited about the Ohio State t-shirt in her size (I have a few friends who will love seeing us in our matching Buckeyes shirts!) but I was pretty elated at the signed script cover page that said Unheard Promises A Lew Holder Film Based on the Writings of Rachel Porto.

Based on the writings of Rachel Porto?! WHAAAT! That's pretty awesome for an aspiring author whose dream is to see her work turned into film. Holy. Bagoly.

Lew had attached a really nice letter and in it he had talked about researching and reading my work and how much he had put into the project. I'll tell you all a secret. I cried just reading the letter and the cover page of the screen play. No joke. It might seem minor to you, but to little ol' me... this was so awesome. I'm always blown away when people say I've inspired them, heck I'm pretty blown away just when people say they like my writing, so you can imagine this was a big deal for me.

I watched the movie and of course I cried. It's based off my work but the characters were created for the project. There was something about the "Jonny" character (who wasn't called Jonny) who reminded me so much of my Jonny... man. It was much better and so much cooler than I could have anticipated.

So enough jabbering by me, I really want to share this with you all. I asked Lew if he wouldn't mind me blogging about it, and obviously he was cool with it (duh) and he even uploaded it to YouTube, so you, my lovely readers, can have a peek as well. He didn't make it to compete in a festival, or sell... he just made it. You guys, that's so stinking awesome. I am so touched and blown away and just... gosh... humbled by this whole thing. It's been so amazing. So now that I know my mom has at least seen it (didn't want to put it up here before she got a look) I am ready to share with you.

I present to you, Unheard Promises A Lew Holder Film based on the Writings of Rachel Porto.


I'm not saying I'm a great writer or that I'll even "make it." What I am saying it Thank you. Thank you to all of you who read and enjoy/find inspiration/laugh/show up for the party. Thank you to everyone who has followed our journey and cheered us along. Thank you for allowing me to have an audience here at my tiny corner of a vast internet. Thank you for letting me be inspired to continue you. And thank you Lew, for being inspired, for creating such a cool project, for doing our story justice. Thank you.


  1. I can't help but smile reading this post. Congratulations!

  2. This. Is. Amazing.

    Congrats to you!

  3. Fabulous, it is amazing. You underestimate the number of people you have inspired and touched with your writing!

  4. This is so stinkin' cool! I'd totally cry too ;)

  5. That was amazing. Congratulations on seeing one of your dreams realized. There are so many people who don't have any idea what it is like for those left behind. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story and to provide inspiration for this work of art.

  6. This is so very cool, Rachel! I can't wait to sit down and watch it with a big box of Kleenex. Congratulations to you. You deserve it.

  7. So exciting!! Can't wait to watch it! Congratulations!!

  8. Wow, Rach, this is amazing! I have to agree with you on the, "I want to be everything" career-aspect, but you ARE a fantastic writer and as long as you follow that passion, it will take you wherever you envision!

  9. Wow is really all I can say! Congrats on the film ;). Brought me to tears! From one military wife to another, thank you for all that you do. You are a great writer. I hope even more of your dreams get to become reality.

  10. That is an awesome video! I made the mistake of trying to watch it at work, and had to stop about halfway through. Such fantastic writing/screenplay skills! I truly believe his work is only amazing because you're writing allowed him "in" to get a good look. Congratulations!

  11. So amazing and Lew Holder could not have picked a better story to tell!! He did a great job!!

  12. Congratulations!!!!!!! It's amazing and you should be so proud. Not many of us have dreams come true. I am so happy for you. My husband is retired Air Force and my youngest son was born while he was on a remote assignment, so this will have special significance to me.
    Keep writing and keep inspired. And stop over and visit me at my blog. Thanks for letting me visit you.

  13. I just found your blog and your stories... I cried when I got to know about your life and what you had been through... Feel pretty close to you. Maybe I'm a widow too ( just not a war widow thou )
    Kind regard from Hawaii
    Dew Lee


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