Friday, May 1, 2015


10 Literary Intentions 
In Striving for Literary Excellence I Will:
  • Begin every story with a conflict. I will do this no matter how great the temptation to begin with back story, or some other form of introduction.
  • Create three-dimensional characters. In doing so, I know I must construct a detailed outline of my character's physical characteristics, as well as their behavioral psychology. I will use this outline as a guide whenever my characters appear in the story.
  • Create a detailed description of the setting of each scene. I must remember the reader can't look inside my head to garner the details of a room, which I. in my mind's eye, can clearly see. I mustn’t forget the reader does not know what side of the bed my protagonist sleeps on; the type of glass he/she likes to drink from; the color of their  shoes; the way she looks at him through the strands of hair that drape over her eyes when she’s angry.
  • Maintain a single point of view in each scene. I will remember that if and when I want to change point of view I will either use a space break, begin a new paragraph, begin a new chapter, or simply tell the reader I’m about to change point of view, the way F. Scott Fitzgerald did in his novel Tender is the Night, when he said, “To resume Rosemary’s point of view it should be said that …”
  • Incorporate theme into my story or novel, either before I begin writing, halfway through, or after I’ve completed the first or second draft. Otherwise why write? Otherwise why would I think anyone would want to read my writing? My theme doesn’t have to be explosive, just something someone can latch onto. That’s all.
  • Read compelling literary works every day, focusing on the way famous authors incorporated important literary elements in their works to create the classics that appear in one anthology after another.
  • Promise not to copy another writer’s literary style. Style grows out from within a writer. Not the other way around.
  • Scrutinize every paragraph of my story to make certain it forwards the plot toward my conclusion, has relevance, makes sense, rings true, and is exciting to read.
  • Stop using granny, or Uncle John, or my best friend, or my girlfriend/boyfriend to edit my work. I will use a professional editor before submitting my work to contests, agents, and publishers.
  • Acknowledge that writing is a craft, and like any craft, it can be taught, learned, and improved upon. I understand that in order for me to improve my writing skills, I must practice writing every day.

Sunday, April 19, 2015



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Thursday, April 9, 2015


Harold Jenkins
Tonight’s a big night for Harold Jenkins, fictitious leading character in Gerard Bianco’s play DISCIPLINE. Tonight, Mad Horse Theatre Co. is presenting DISCIPLINE to the world in a staged reading of the play. I had the pleasure of interviewing Harold just hours before the reading. Here’s what he had to say.

Gerard: Hi Harold, welcome to my blog. First, I want to thank you for coming to this interview only hours before the reading.

Harold: You're very welcome. It’s good to be here. Actually, it's quite good to be anywhere.

Gerard: So, you've got a big night coming up. Are you nervous?

Harold: Sure, who wouldn’t be? But I’m with a terrific cast and a great director. The audience will be happy and well entertained.

Gerard: It snowed last night into this morning, do you think that’s going to affect attendance?

Harold: It snowed, I know. Can you believe it? No, I don’t believe it’s going to affect attendance. It’s warming up, the snow should all be gone by this evening. The roads are clear. Besides, this is Maine. It only snowed an inch or two. Mainers spit on a couple of inches - especially after what we've been through this winter.

Gerard: Can you tell us a little about the play?

Harold: Sure. DISCIPLINE is a laugh-out-loud comedy starring me. It’s a comedy, but it does impart an important message. It’s thematic, we in the theater world like to say.
Anyway, the play starts out in the bedroom - the best room to be in when you’re with a lover. Lilly and I - Lilly is my true love - we’re sitting up in bed, discussing things a couple normally chats about, like, how to look at nipples, how to shave properly, me wanting to get laid, Lilly not wanting to. The usual. We turn out the lights to go to sleep. After a few minutes, I hear strange noises coming from somewhere in the apartment. I get up to investigate and find a strange man, crouching on the stove, sniffling. BINGO! Play takes off from there.

Gerard: Sounds exciting.

Harold: It is, especially when you find out what the strange man is doing in the apartment.

Gerard: Shannon Campbell plays Lilly. What’s she like?

Harold: Shannon is a great actress who puts her heart and soul into her part. She captures Lilly’s personality perfectly - really nails the part.

Gerard: Who else is in the play?

Harold: Burke Brimmer plays Frustrato - the strange guy on the stove. He’s a very talented actor who makes Frustrato come alive. It’s scary he’s so good. Then there’s Eric Worthley. He’s the policeman. He’s another terrific actor - he’s the perfect NYC cop. Oh, and we mustn’t forget Peter Brown - he plays me. Or do I play him? I don’t know. At times I get confused. He’s such a great actor our personalities have become one. I sometimes look in the mirror and I see Peter. How’s that done?

Gerard: What’s it like to work for Daniel Burson, the director?

Harold: He’s terrific. He not only has staged the reading to make every scene seem real, he uses his directorial expertise to flesh out every character within the actor’s minds so that what you see on the stage is the ultimate performance. Amazing director.

Gerard: Well, there you have it. That’s all we have time for. Can’t wait to see and hear the reading tonight. I want to thank you for dropping by to chat.

Harold: It’s been fun, Gerard. And I want to thank you for creating me and the others in the play. Although I’m not quite sure what I should be doing after the readings are over. I hope you’ll write something for me to do.

Gerard: Sure, Harold. Break a leg tonight!