Monday, August 20, 2007


Monday, August 20th, Indestructible will be featured on Chicago Tonight on Channel 11, WTTW from 7 - 8 p.m. with an interview from Producer Rebeccah Rush.

Excuses, Excuses

I’ve started about five postings and finished none of them. Now, of course, I feel guilty for not being more productive, focused, determined. This morning Steve saw the beginnings of a piece about marriage on my desk while I was out for my morning walk and said, “That’s depressing and morbid.” To which I said, “What are you doing reading my stuff before it’s ready anyway.” I think he was responding to the comment at the end that while I never considered divorce, homicide had momentarily entered my mind at one time or another. Overly sensitive, don’t you think?

I began another piece about why some children are resilient despite loss and heartache, but I wandered. Then there’s another one about self esteem and how to bolster it. Why mistakes are a good thing. I seem to excel at starts and then drift. Then become agitated and annoyed with myself. Then I call my daughter Sarah. “I’m done. Dried up. Finished. I’m going to sit on the beach and read romance novels for the rest of my life.” Scream.

Here’s my schedule for the past few weeks. No complaints, just excuses for myself. After I returned from the Iowa Summer Writing Festival on July 14, I drove into Chicago for a family and friend gathering for three days, followed by a weekend caring for my granddaughter Zoe, followed by helping my son care for his two daughters for a week, followed by a visit from friends in Chicago, followed by a drive to North Carolina and back to deliver my grandson John to his Aunt Rebeccah, followed by another weekend in Chicago. And here I am, leaving for Connecticut in two days to visit our son Matt and his family at their new home and help them get settled. When I return, I’ve got one day to repack before leaving for Montreal to celebrate “Indestructible” being launched into the international film world.

So there you have it. Thanks for your patience. And friendship. I’ll do my best to finish some of these starts as soon as my travel slows down but with four trips already planned for this fall, I don’t see that happening any time soon. Instead, look for some of my earlier Bedtime Stories to make an appearance. I hope you enjoy them.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Montreal World Film Festival August 2007!

Montreal World Film Festival
August 2007

Dear Friends,

After four years, five hundred hours of footage, thousands of hours of work and your unwavering support, Indestructible will be shown at the world's largest film festival, Montreal World Film Festival, August 23 - September 3, 2007, a premiere event on par with any other.

400 films, 70 countries, 500,000 audience members over 11 days in beautiful Montreal... it's Cannes without the jet lag. The road has been long, winding and treacherous. I'm a bit surprised that we made it. But our goal has been clear. To create change.

Despite the best efforts of some very gifted, dedicated and passionate people, there is not one effective treatment for ALS. Not one therapy to stop the paralysis to my hands, legs and diaphragm. With the power to do so many incredible things in the world, why can't we do this? I don't have the answer to that question. I'm just a filmmaker. But I do know that five years ago I was given a 10 percent chance of living this long. If I can beat those odds and mark the five-year anniversary of my diagnosis in Montreal, there's no limit to what is possible.

I dare to dream of the day when I can move freely. That may never happen, but I guarantee one day it will for someone suffering from ALS. And when that day comes we can all smile. Smile because we we were part of something great that had never been done before. And in our own little way helped move this thing forward. Thank you for your support. We need your help to finish the job.

Ben Byer

Donations Appreciated
phone: 312-848-5919

Reprinted with permission from Ben Byer