What do you do with a great Review?

Stop!  Enjoy!  Writing is a lonely business….oh sure, family and friends read our stuff (sometimes reluctantly) and sometimes they really like what we’ve done!  LOL  But, a good (or great, if we’re so lucky) review from someone who doesn’t sleep in the bed next to us, or sit across the Thanksgiving table from us, or see us at work every day; that’s a rare validation that keeps us writers doing what we do.    Perhaps non-writers don’t know this but most of us who put pen to paper have no idea whether or not what we write is good or worthy of your attention and when we put it out there we hold our breath while it is judged.

The fine folks at BookReview.com have written a thorough (and very complimentary review of “Ten Minutes to Curtain”. Scroll down to take a gander, or click here to read it on the original site.

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Teen Fiction 
Title: Ten Minutes to Curtain! A Collection of Short Plays for the Young Actor
Author: Trisha Sugarek
Rating:  Must Read!
Publisher: CreateSpace.com
Web Page: www.amazon.com
Reviewed by: Eric Jones

Trisha Sugarek is a writer after my own heart. Her work is an ode to life meant to introduce children to the wonders and horrors that make life worth living. Ranging in length and production value, many of her plays invoke the feel of the old morality plays, and inherit their sense of distinction. They have been collected under the aptly titled, “Ten Minutes to Curtain”, and reading them back to back encourages them to be performed together as they flow exceedingly well from the first story of 1920’s poverty, to her final comedy about a loving, and unusual, modern housewife’s bizarre meeting with a multi-millionaire.

“Ten Minutes to Curtain” contains ten mini-dramas meant for middle school or high school production. They are appropriately simple in construction and complex in conflict, lending great emphasis on the characters established in each play. While Sugarek offers brief explanations on the stage sets, she sharply leaves them open to interpretation, allowing for many of the plays to be performed on a blank canvas as might be necessary in a class room or school yard.

“Love Never Leaves Bruises” is the pinnacle of Sugarek’s dramatic angle, and occurs at the peak of the book’s arc. It revolves around an abusive high school relationship between a boy and girl, and the emotional battle that the girl fights with her mother. While being representative of a classic case of high school hormonal imbalance, the play puts a major problem on its face and demonstrates to kids how harmless dating can quickly turn dangerous.

But Sugarek is not content to keep all of her plays in a setting familiar to the children who will be performing them. Her plays encourage an exploration of both time and emotion. “Pan of Potatoes”, “La Verne and Mr. Service”, and “The Waltz” all take place during the 1920s, and while dealing with situations that children can relate to; poverty, dance parties, and poetry, they also introduce them to the work of Robert Service, as well as the social constructs of other periods.

Sugarek’s master work can be cut up and performed in the segments that make up the larger work, but I believe that they would be best served in performance back to back.  The over arching theme is that of children’s natural conflict with parents as they grow older.  It’s an astonishing work that finds a way to say so much with so little, and turns the bare stage into every young man and woman’s living room. A perpetual battle ground for issues of trust and mistrust, laughter and misery, overwhelming loss and astounding triumph. ~~BookReview.com

We writers are very self-critical……but remember to stop and enjoy the successes….something that you know is well written….your book sales….or a review that tells you that you are on the right track.  You deserve it!!


This artist is inspired by ‘dance’….what inspires you to write?

I am a big fan of reality dance shows (All the Right Moves, So you think You can Dance, Dance Moms, The Chance to Dance, Breaking Pointe; the list goes on and on).  Nope! Not a big a fan of Dancing with the Stars…..(sigh, sorry).   Wait!  Don’t give up on me quite yet…..please read on.

As my readers probably already know I create many short scripts about ‘real time’ challenges for the teens of today. And the other night I was watching the season finale of the Abby Lee Dance Company (Dance Moms) and Abby choreographed a dance, inspiration, teens, texting and driving, teenagers, textingpowerful and brilliant piece called, “The Last Text”.

All told in dance, it was about a car load of teens texting while driving and the predictable results, a horrific car crash.  The dance piece was stellar!  And won national awards! I am certain you can see it in a re-run; believe me it is worth tracking down.

I was inspired to write another short play for my “ShortN’Small”  series.  About texting and driving and the possible consequences.  I  borrowed the concept from her wonderful choreography (blocking) and the premise of the piece.  But the dialogue that her wonderful work inspired in me is all mine!

 I’ve always believed that excellence breeds excellence.  I have always been attracted to the company of smarter people than myself.  They teach me so much.  I always wanted to play with better tennis players…it made me a better player.  I was never jealous of a more accomplished actor than I was;  they made me grow and stretch as an actor.  And watching young dancers makes me happy; they are such athletes and so passionate about dancing…. of course, I was inspired !

texting and driving, teen texting, short plays, high school, middle school,

Writers, do you research enough? (4of4 Fairy Tales)

fairies, fairy tales, Tinker Bell, short plays, small casts, Disneyland, writing        While writing another short play, “Daughterland“,  I wanted a whole new spin on Disney’s Tinker Bell.  So more research.  This is what I found:   James Barrie’s first draft of his famous story  (1924) of the magical boy who never grew up originally christened the world’s most famous female fairy as “Tippy-Toe.”  By the time the play was first performed, the little pixie had been renamed “Tinker Bell” and has remained so ever since.

Probably most readers know that a tinker was an itinerant tradesman who mended pots and pans. He rang his distinctively high pitched “tinker’s bell” to announce he was in the neighborhood

Barrie pictured the fairy with fiery red hair because she was so small she could only have one emotion at a time, and the red hair seemed to reflect her most common emotions. From Barrie’s unpublished screenplay, here is the description of the first appearance of Tinker Bell:

“The fairy, Tinker Bell. Swallows perched on the outside of the window. The fairy music comes up. The fairy, Tink, flies on and alights on the window sill.  She should be about five inches in height and, if the effect can be got, this should be one of the quaintest pictures of the film, the appearance of a real fairy. She is a vain little thing, and arranges her clothes to her satisfaction. She also keeps shoving the birds about so as to get the best place for herself. Finally, she shoves all the swallows off the sill.”

When the animated feature was first released, the Disney publicity department insisted that this would be the first time that Tinker Bell would be visible as more than just the little spot of light flitting around the scenery. In actuality, a silent movie version of Peter Pan released by Paramount in 1924 had a live actress appear briefly in some close-ups as Tinker Bell.   Courtesy of Wade Sampson                                                                                                                                                               My research changed the way I thought of Tinker Bell, the Disney version. In doing so, my ‘Tippy’ (yes, I went with her orginal name) is quite different.  But the play is really about a father and daughter trying to find new ground in their relationship after divorce.