Asleep at the Wheel

I missed the “CONGRATULATIONS” part of the letter. I focused on the “thank you so much for your submission.” Well, at least, the theatre company wrote back I thought. Then I read “we are happy to tell you.” Okay. Start over. Slow down. My 10-minute play, Jornada del Muerto, will be produced at the Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre Ten-Minute Festival in January 2019. My sweet sister, Kate, told me I was getting closer to Hollywood. I like her thinking. I will be submitting another “short” play this month to a regional competition. The winners will most likely be notified in December. Waiting is what playwrights do. While we wait, it is recommended that we write. So I am. I’ve started a new play. I have ten typed pages. I have a long way to go to reach “full length” category. The play takes place in Austin or, maybe, Marfa. Five older women constitute the cast. I’m still developing the characters and then there’s the whole plot and arc thing. The research is a little more involved than I initially thought. But, I do like to be as accurate as possible.

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Between the Lines

The expression “read between the lines” means to look closely at what the author implied or actually felt versus what was written. More simply, what is meant. I’ve been in a pondering mood of late. I finished up a year-long project on July 22 — fourteen months if you cross the days off a calendar. I kept most of my

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Eatin’ at Edna’s

On the set of Shakin' the Blue Flamingo

On the set of Shakin’ the Blue Flamingo, (from left to right) Allison Smith, Stage Manager, Gwen Flager, Playwright, and director Claire Hart-Palumbo.

I’ve been eatin’ at Edna’s for the last couple of months. I can recommend the fried pickles and meatloaf sandwich. But, I’d steer clear of her egg salad. Memories wash over me as decades old songs play on Edna’s jukebox. Feelings long forgotten surface. My emotions are pulled into unfamiliar, yet intoxicating places.

I’m nineteen again, whistling down the Alabama coast roads, daring to be braver than I am. I boil the fresh blue crabs I pulled from the trap this morning. Got company coming for breakfast.

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Miss Claire

Claire Hart-Palumbo and Gwen Flager

Shakin’ the Blue Flamingo’s director, Claire Hart-Palumbo (left) and Playwright, Gwen Flager (right) pose for photos following a Sunday matinee’ performance of Shakin’.

I’ve been watching rehearsals of Shakin’ the Blue Flamingo for several weeks. It’s been wild fun. These actors are amazing creatures. An expression, a gesture or a hesitation becomes spellbinding. And, then, there’s the director. Miss Claire does not sit rigidly in a chair and tap her pen on the script. She does not grumble, scowl or swear. I did, however, see her run her fingers through her hair a time or two. She is a professional. 

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A Facial

Sweet Libby the dogWhen we all played in the sun and water in the Deep South, we believed iodine laced baby oil was the perfect “tanning” product. If we wanted to waste good money, we purchased Coppertone oils and lotions. I have blistered and peeled and blistered and peeled over the years.


Southerners have all types of remedies for sunbaked skin. Most remedies, in fact, are not. After my annual visit to my dermatologist, I pondered a hydra facial.


I mentioned it to my sweet sister, Kate, and she readily provided me with a gift for such facial. This was not my first facial. It was my second. My first facial was performed in an upscale spa-type salon in Houston where both I and the aesthetician had different expectations of the experience.

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