Dragonfly Wishes

Penny Harmon

Book Cover

GENRE

DRAMA

    Core Theme

    OVERCOMING GRIEF

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    P.S I LOVE YOU, GHOST, PIECES OF A WOMAN

    CHARACTER LIST

    CALLIE (30S) COURAGEOUS AND NICE

    SANDRA (60S) MOTHER & SUPPORTIVE

    JACK (30S) HUSBAND'S FRIEND & SIDEKICK

    SARAH (40S) THERAPIST & MENTOR

    WADE (70S) FATHER-IN-LAW & WRONGLY CONVICTED

    COOPER (7) LATE SON & ENABLER

    Logline

    Callie Daniels had it all – a handsome and loyal husband – a sweet and loving son. When death comes knocking at the door twice and they are both taken from her, Callie is suddenly struggling to find a reason to continue with her own life.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal,Female Leaning

    Setting

    Maine, Florida

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Amazon

    Year Published: 2017

    Starting Description

    Callie is struggling with not sleeping after losing both her husband and her son. She accidentally overdoses on alcohol and sleeping pills, and soon discovers that her son may just not be gone to her forever.

    Ending Description

    After finding her son's "bucket list" of things he wanted to do when he went into remission, Callie finds herself completing the list for him and discovers there is a happily ever ever for her after all.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Substance Abuse

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending,Other

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth,Tragedy

    Main Character Details

    Name: Callie Daniels

    Age: 30s

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Complex,Desperate,Insecure,Educated,Selfless

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Jack Prescott-Her husband's friend

    Age: 30s

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Confident,Educated

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Sandra-Callie's Mother

    Age: 60s

    Gender: Female

    Role: protagonist

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Engaging,Sophisticated

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Sarah Richards-Callie's therapist

    Age: 50s

    Gender: Female

    Role: mentor

    Key Traits: Modest,Empathetic,Honorable,Strong Moral Code

    Development Pitch

    Dragonfly Wishes is a story of hope. It is the story of a woman who loses everything that meant anything to her, namely her husband and son. The story follows Callie's discovery that there may be life after death and, when you lose someone, they may not be lost to you forever...you simply have to find it in other ways. I believe that fans of Steel Magnolias, P.S. I Love You, and The Notebook would enjoy this in a film adaptation. I believe it would be a film that everyone would enjoy and, hopefully, take something away from. With Callie's adventures in following her son's "bucket list" of things he would like to do when he goes into remission, the film would have many enjoyable moments, including Callie's swim with dolphins and her adventure going camping by herself. While it does have its sad parts, the story gives you hope and understanding when you lose a loved one. Viewers of a film adapted from Dragonfly Wishes would definitely need a box of tissues for both sad and happy tears.

    Genre

    DRAMA

    Brief

    After losing her husband and son, Callie doesn't know how to move on with life and almost overdoses on sleeping pills. But a vision of her son gives her the strength to keep living.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: EXCELLENT

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: EXCELLENT

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: EXCELLENT

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, it is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    The protagonist's struggle: to learn how to live again, after losing her son and husband.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The book could use a good editor. Some situations are over-described, and seeds are planted without a payoff. Some other scenes could benefit from more development.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The protagonist's drama is a strong hook, and the story's message makes it worth it. The wrong conviction plotline is as surprising as it is attention-grabbing.

    Fanbase Potential

    It's not the type of story and genre to have followers, but I think it can please a large audience interested in the genre.

    Awards Potential

    It's not this type of story. Unless it had a big director or actress attached.

    Envisioned Budget

    LOW BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    P.S I LOVE YOU, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (1998), GHOST

    What’s New About the Story

    There are two plotlines that are especially unique; exploring them more could set this story apart from similar books within the same genre. They were: 1) Callie's connection with her husband's best friend, whom he didn't know was gay. 2) The discovery of the biological father wrongly convicted of murder.

    Lead Characters

    She is resilient and courageous. Her life story is sad, and her determination makes the audience cheer for her happiness.

    Uniqueness of Story

    It's a good premise and a beautiful story; it doesn't feel that unique, so I wouldn't call it a rare gem. Further developing the protagonist's relationship with both or either Jack and Wade could make the story rarer.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio

    Analyst Recommendation

    RECOMMEND

    Justification

    There's great commercial potential for this type of drama. If the romance is highlighted, for example, it could fit the Hallmark-y category.

    Brief

    After losing her husband and son, Callie almost overdoses on sleeping pills but hears a call from her late son. She decides to complete his bucket list and, in the process, rediscovers happiness.

    What We Liked

    "Dragonfly Wishes" has a strong and devastating premise, which draws the reader in immediately. Following Callie's journey is hard but satisfying, and the life lesson she leaves us with makes the story completely worth our time. Although it is about the profoundly deep emotional journey, the external plot is filled with entertaining beats keeping it interesting and satisfying.

    Film: "Dragonfly Wishes" has a strong protagonist with a beautiful journey, filled with sad, hopeful, courageous, scary, and happy moments. Callie's inner arc was very well built around external conflicts and beats, keeping the movie profound but entertaining throughout. There are scenes with and around nature that have the potential for stunning visuals and supporting characters with interesting arcs of their own. The story's message will satisfy the viewer and give them the sense of time well spent.

    TV: The TV landscape loves a good drama, and "Dragonfly wishes" has it all. It's a story about grief and the long journey towards overcoming it, step by step. Each episode could focus on one new step Callie takes, even if it is backward. Supporting characters Jack and Wade have interesting and unique relationships with the protagonist, and in a TV adaptation, they could be further developed. The story has many sad moments but at the same time vital life lessons and refreshing scenes with nature that can easily become TV gold.

    Key points:
    Callie's family drama; Callie's strength and determination; The happy ending; The powerful message; Supporting characters Jack and Wade.

    Synopsis

    Callie has a hard time keeping a healthy life after losing her husband and child, so her mother, Sandra, helps by encouraging her to do normal chores, like showering and cleaning the house.

    Callie’s son, Cooper, had died of cancer, and her husband, Chris, had died in an accident. Alone, Callie didn’t know how to continue with her life. Unable to sleep, Callie takes too many sleeping pills and whiskey and finds herself feeling sick. She sees an image of Cooper, and he begs her to call for help, as it isn’t her time to go. She calls 911.

    Callie wakes up in the hospital with her mother; she assures she didn’t attempt suicide, it was an accident, and her mother believes her. She goes back home and researches about seeing dead family members and finds a lot of literature on it. Relieved and excited for the first time in her life, she finally sleeps.

    She remembers Cooper as a happy and active kid and how she noticed he was sick when his energy dropped. He was diagnosed with leukemia, and she spent all her time with him. Chris still had to go to work, and the night a drunken driver killed him, she had made him feel guilty for not being with Cooper on his treatment. The guilt she would have to live with for the rest of her life.

    Mostly to please her mother, Callie goes to her first therapy session. In the session, the therapist, Sarah, talks about the hardships of the healing process. Callie finds a list she made with Cooper of things to do after he got better. She talks a little bit about him and agrees to a second visit.

    On her way back home, she receives a call from Chris’s old friend, Jack. She doesn’t answer and can’t understand the voice message he leaves. At home, she is surprised when Jack shows up. He apologizes for not being there earlier and explains he, too, lost a loved one recently and has Lyme disease. Callie struggles to forgive his absence as Chris’s best friend. But when he reveals his loved one was a man, and he never had the courage to tell Chris he was gay, afraid his best friend would judge him, Callie feels empathy for his pain.

    Callie invites Jack to stay at her place like Chris would do. She sleeps but wakes up at 2 AM and finds Jack also with insomnia. Jack talks about how Paul died; they bond over the pain but struggle to accept each other’s proximity. After Jack goes to sleep, Callie looks at support group brochures and, again, finds Cooper’s bucket list. She thinks about how she may never see Cooper again unless she is close to death again, and then about how she would be able to help Jack. She decides to listen in one of the support groups Sarah recommended.

    Slowly, Callie begins to move on with small things, like eating and getting out of bed. Unaware of how to deal with Jack helps her a little bit. Jack, too, doesn’t know how to get on with his life. Callie goes to her first support group meeting; unsure whether to go inside or not, she is surprised by an insistent dragonfly that follows her until she goes inside. In the meeting, she feels overwhelmed by other people’s sharing, including a parent who says she feels her son’s presence in signs, like butterflies and dragonflies. Callie leaves the meeting early and feels guilty about not helping Jack as much as she could.

    At home, Callie admits to Jack she could have shown more empathy towards him, but he dismisses her guilt. He shows her he fixed the yard and began to build a butterfly garden, one of the items on Cooper’s list. Callie’s first reaction is to get upset, but she understands she should be thankful when a dragonfly appears on her face. She shares with Jack her thoughts on Cooper’s signs, but he doesn’t really believe her. She decides she needs to finish his bucket list, even without him.

    Callie’s mom joins Callie and Jack in the house, while Jack still works in the garden, even though he looks sick. Sandra is happy that Callie looks better; Callie finds Jack passed out and calls an ambulance. Returning to the hospital is a hard step, but both women take it, for Jack’s sake. Jack stays at the hospital, diagnosed with dehydration and exhaustion. At home, Callie hears a child’s laughter and, then, finds a red crayon, Cooper’s favorite. The thought of it being a sign allows her to sleep well.

    Jack returns home, and Callie shares she will go to Florida to swim with dolphins and meet Mickey Mouse, two other items on the list. In Florida, Callie initially has a hard time being alone amongst families; she meets an older man who has experienced many losses, they talk, and it calms her. Callie does the first thing on the list, meet Mickey Mouse, but she’s disappointed with not feeling happy about it. Inspired by Callie, Jack decides to go white-water rafting to say goodbye to Paul. Callie swims with dolphins and is surprised when the dolphin gets especially attached to her. Overwhelmed, Callie gets drunk in the hotel bar until the bartender stops serving her drinks. She buys more from a liquor store, and on her way back to the hotel, she is robbed. She attempts to save her purse since Cooper’s list is inside, and the robber punches her. She ends up in the hospital but doesn’t remember anything. Sandra flies to Florida to keep her company.

    Callie tells her mom about seeing Cooper and the dragonflies. Sandra believes her, and they bond. Together, they go to Cape Canaveral, another item on Cooper’s list. Back at home, Callie and Jack look and feel better. They talk about Paul, and Jack leaves for his good-bye adventure. Callie plans to watch cartoons all day but is interrupted by an old friend, Melanie, surprise visit. They talk and reconnect, but Melanie insists they go out, and Callie realizes she outgrew her friend. Callie decides to organize Chris’s things to donate and accidentally finds a box with letters addresses to a prison in Massachusetts. She discovers Chris’s birth father is imprisoned for the murder of a young boy, and Chris attempted and failed to exchange correspondence with him. She decides to visit Wade in prison. She tells Jack, and he urges her to be careful. Jack shares that he decided to take a photo-shoot job in Africa, and will leave the next day.

    Callie and Jack realize how important they have become to each other. Alone again, Callie goes through Chris’s things and finds his mother’s diary. Callie finds out the mother was the one who killed the child and blamed it on her husband. Shocked, Callie tells her mother, who suggests she tells Chris’s old employers, a Law firm. She decides to share it with her therapist first. Sarah suggests Callie looks for a lawyer to hand over the new evidence to the police. Callie gets ready to visit Wade in prison. Callie makes an appointment with the lawyer, who informs her the case will be expensive. She decides to move forward, even if she needs to refinance her house. Callie meets Wade and tells him about Chris and Cooper. He explains he didn’t want Chris to see him because he was wrongfully convicted. She feels bad for him and promises to visit again.

    Callie goes camping alone and enjoys it at first, even when she sees a moose. She’s visited by a ranger who worries about her being alone. At night, she hears gunshots, and the next day she tells the ranger about poachers. He insists it’s not safe for her to stay, but a dragonfly shows up, and she decides to stay until she fishes a trout. The ranger promises to help her.

    Callie befriends the ranger as he spends the night nearby to catch the poachers. She tells him her story; he shares his. She thinks about starting her own business if she can think of something she likes. The rest of the trip is great, and Callie returns home to find Cooper’s list was moved, and a lamp in his bedroom was on. The lawyer calls and tells her they will move on with Wade’s case. He asks her to look for more evidence in Chris’s belongings, and she dreams about opening a business and giving Wade a job if he’s let out of prison.

    Callie adopts a job, Scooby, to finish up Cooper’s list. She also decides to sell the house. When she takes Scooby home, a dragonfly visits her; she smiles and considers it Cooper’s approval.

    Callie finally decides to visit Chris’s and Cooper’s graves. She goes on a hike with Scooby and remembers how happy she was with her family. She visits the cemetery and tells her boys she will miss them every day, but she will be fine. Two dragonflies land near her, and she smiles and leaves with Scooby.

    One year later, Callie lives in a cabin in the woods and dates the park ranger she met camping. Her mother also has a new boyfriend, and Wade has become a sort of a father figure.

    About The Author

    Penny Harmon is an Indie Writer with a passion for women's fiction and romance. She has published a series of six books, The Rocky Isle Romance Series, as well as several stand-alone novellas, including Christmas at Moosehead Lake and Trying to Forget You. Dragonfly Wishes is her first women's fiction novel.