Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

TidBits About Donna #61 A Bad Year for Tomatoes

A Bad Year for Tomatoes

Written by John Patrick

Directed by Nick Thomas

November 2012

Myra Marlowe, the actress, tried to escape the craziness of Hollywood only to find herself amongst a new set of challenges in the back woods of Vermont. Cora Gump and her friend, Reba Harper, the “hospitality ladies” (AKA church-women) set out to welcome Myra, who had reverted to her given name, Myrtle Durdle. Myra/Myrtle had hoped to be incognito. She didn’t need to worry with this backwards bunch.

Reba brought sugar, salt, bread and butter, and the Reader’s Digest. No ordinary “welcoming” bottle of wine for these church-ladies. In fact Reba Harper was horrified to find just that in one of Myra’s bags.

“Did you know it was a bad year for tomatoes?” asked Cora Gump as she presented Myrtle with a lovely jar of tomatoes then quickly assured her that she cut out the aphids and cut worm, white fly and black spot, the mealy bugs and blossom rot before she canned the tomatoes.  It can’t get worse than that – can it? Well … maybe it can.

Soon Mr. Piney came a-knockin’. With his long, bushy beard and his shiny ax, he was a frightful sight. Piney, the local woodcutter, manure-seller, and skunk trapper, stopped by to peddle his wares. Wood, (dumped or stacked – cost more stacked) and hickory nuts, but thankfully – no skunk.

When Myra, in total frustration, invented a crazy sister character, (Sis Sadie) who threatened to cut off Piney’s ear with a pair of scissors, it didn’t faze him a bit. In fact he later showed his devotion to Sis Sadie when he came “sparkin” with a bouquet of swamp lilies and a box of horehound candy.

Then came Willa Mae Wilcox – that’s me. She was a lunatic and such fun to play. She’s NOT gifted. She’s occult and refuses to speak to anyone who’s Pisces. Poor Reba Harper – you guessed it. She’s Pisces! Willa Mae gathered her mugwort to save Sis Sadie, and waited for the moon to be just right, but she needn’t have gone to the trouble because Reba and Cora had already talked to Brother Leviticus who already rented a carnival snake. After a major fight ensued between Reba and Willa Mae, they all sat down for a cup of tea. Willa Mae wasn’t going to drink  tea. She never touched it  – except to read the leaves. And, well … Cora’s tea was poured from the scotch bottle – just enough to “tickle the tonsils.”

When the Constable arrived to arrest Myrtle/Myra for killing her sister, more confusion ensued. It wasn’t until Tom Lamont, Miss Marlowe’s Hollywood agent, barreled in and straightened up the whole mess did everyone finally recognize the actress, Myra Marlowe. Will Mae said it best,

“I knew who she was all along. It was in her hand!

                                          She REALLY didn’t!

(seated l to r) Helen Exel, Stephanie Lotta, Donna O’Donnell Figurski

(Standing l to r) Marie Blado, Dickson Lane, James Houston, Scott Guzzo

(Photos compliments of ME.)

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Click on any picture to enlarge it.)

November 25, 2012 Posted by | TidBits About Donna | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

TidBits About Donna #58 Montclair Write Group Showcase – Literary Lounge at Luna Stage – West Orange, NJ

Black walls surrounded me – on all sides. Even the ceiling and the floors were black. A bright yellow sign hung on the wall behind me … with black lettering.                                                It read The Literary Lounge.

I stood at the lectern looking out at a small sea of faces – writers all of us from the Montclair Write Group. Some fiction writers. Others poets. Some delved into comedy or historical writing or non-fiction. Some read about their mothers or childhood dreams gone by. Even a book written for children made its way into this group of very talented authors. Others read memoir – bringing to life both happy and sad memories – the authors baring their souls and their hearts. For this reading at The Literary Lounge, I fell into the memoir category.

Generally my writing falls into several categories. Some days I write for children – stories that make them laugh like … Never Going to Grow Up about a boy who won’t take life seriously – who would rather be Peter Pan than do his school assignments. Sometimes, I encourage children to think about social issues as in A Star Wish when a drought brought the danger of fire to Pa’s cornfield – or when earning enough money to buy new books for the town library brought Miss Emma, the oldest person in town, together with Meg in Miss Emma Gets Her Way.

I also write biographies – digging through articles, books, and other material already written about the subject. I strive to find the hidden kernels of interest –  those little nuggets of truth that can only be unearthed by peering closely into someone’s life. Buffy Sainte-Marie: Bridging Two Worlds Sharing Cultures and  Lucy Tapahonso: Spirit Keeper are two chapters that I wrote to be included in middle grade books about Native Americans. Both are in press with  Salina Bookshelf, Inc.

The book I am currently working on is a memoir about David, my husband, who suffered a TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury in 2005. It is from this book, Prisoner … (working title) that I read at The Write Group Showcase on June 24th, 2012 at the Luna Stage in West Orange, New Jersey. The Montclair Write Group was graciously hosted by The Literay Lounge reading series creators, Dania Ramos and Mike Traynor.

I encourage comments. I love comments.

The presenters.

Carl Selinger kicking it off …

Carl Selinger
Kicking It Off

Jeanne Margolskee

Harriet Halpern

Nancy Taiani

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Dania Ramos
Creator of the Literary Lounge Reading Series
at Luna Stage in West Orange, NJ


Josie Ziemen

July 12, 2012 Posted by | TidBits About Donna | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

FindingStrengthToStandAgain's Blog

Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

Life after Traumatic Brain Injury

101 Books

Reading my way through Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels since 1923 (plus Ulysses)

Miss Clara's Corner

Be the change you wish to see in the world -Gandhi

Views from a Window Seat

Jeannine Atkins on Writing and Stuff

making our way

Making our way in the mountains

In An Instant Your Life Can Change Forever

Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts Blog