Author, Actor, Playwright, Excellent Parallel Parker

Rules of the Lake and Ashes to Water are now available for Kindle and Nook!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

So This is Happening

I'm honored and excited to be a part of this new project, to be produced by Swift Creek Mill Theatre in Colonial Heights, VA. Below the announcement is me, Tom Width (artistic director,) and Nancy Wright Beasley (author.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Ashes to Water

My DAD died. 

Six weeks prior, I was performing in a play in Idaho when I called home, and was told he went into the hospital for pneumonia. I called him and he said he'd be fine. My mother said he'd be fine. My sister, in confidence, said he wouldn't be fine. Dad's medical team had discovered a large mass in his lungs, and he didn't want me to know because I was having too much fun in Idaho.

I went to DeLand, FL, the place I still call "home." He and mom had decided together that he would refuse treatment.  A hospice team made him comfortable in his bedroom, and he went about the difficult business of shuffling off this mortal coil.

It wasn't pretty. Because the cancer was so advanced, his decline was rapid, the only thing for which I'm grateful. I still wake at night with visions of his eyes, marbled before passing; his gaunt frame, his disappointment each time he woke, welcoming and believing the end would come even sooner.

Right up to the end he remained conscious, lucid, irreverent, and Dad. I told him he had done everything right, that the only thing I ever lacked was a pony. He said, "Get my checkbook."

Two months after he died, the extended Ziegler family assembled at the lake where I learned to swim, and watched my mom scatter his ashes over the water. It was a profound yet austere moment--primal, iconic, and searing. Mom felt badly that some of the ashes landed on the lily pads. She felt it was undignified, somehow.

I loved it.

Here's my dad's obit. He gave me the first line. It's a good first line. 

Bye, Dad. Catch you on the flip side where I'm sure there will be a pony waiting.

Ronald Edward Ziegler of DeLand earned his second pair of wings on August 4, 2014. He died at home, surrounded by loved ones. He was 85.

After attending the University of Connecticut, Ron served in the Air Force from 1950 to 1961, and earned a set of wings during the 
Korean War. While at Travis Air Force Base, he met Adeline Simonis, a nursing supervisor, as she read a book on beachcombing, an interest he shared. They married in 1952. Ron and Del moved to Florida in 1956. They built a home on Lake Byron in DeLand, and raised four girls. In addition to his military service, Ron was most proud of his work as a private investigator; he successfully tracked down missing children during the 1970's. He also worked for many years as an insurance adjustor for Retail Credit Company.

Ron lead a full and active life. He was a regular at the DeLand YMCA, and an avid carpenter, gardener, mechanic, craftsman, treasure hunter, and outdoorsman. He solved The New York Times crossword puzzle daily. He was fond of scattering pennies on playgrounds, then watching as children discovered them.

Ron is survived by his wife of 61 years, Adeline Simonis Ziegler, and four daughters: Karen Ziegler of Winter Springs; Irene Ziegler of Richmond, VA; June Ziegler White (and spouse Paul White) of Galveston, TX; and Patte Ziegler Campbell of DeLand. He has two brothers, Wayne Ziegler of Port Orange, and Melvin Ziegler, Jr., deceased. He has three grandchildren, Tracy White Price (and spouse Jason Price), Christopher White, and Addison Ziegler Martz; and one great-grandchild Jacey Price.

He was a hero to his family, and loved them well. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

In Which I'm Featured in "The Walking Dead"

I'm in the last episode of season 4 of THE WALKING DEAD. That's my voice in the trailer (link below). Cool!

And thank you to Laura Morland and her niece, who found my character's wikipage: (who knew?)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Meanwhile, thirty-odd years later...

I've been having professional headshots made every three years or so, since my mid-twenties. Black and white was the order of the day for actors in the 1980s. Then, as in the second half of The Wizard of Oz, color was invented. Looking at these two selves, I notice the older me is more engaged, though thinner of lip and extremely low on melatonin. Both have that oh-so-employable "Whaddayoulookinat?" attitude, and I particularly like the weird eyes in the recent shot. "Come another step closer and I may have to bite you," it says. Not exactly the message one wants to convey to a director, but hey, it beats, "I'm desperate," although not by much. I'm more in demand than I was in 1980-something, a testament to persistence rather than anything else. In this business, longevity pays. Stick around long enough and you might get lucky.
And we have been lucky. And we're grateful.

Now go on, get outtaheah before I get desperate.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In Which I Create a Spark

So I’ve been having trouble bonding with my house. We didn’t choose one another. It used to belong to my former husband and now it belongs to me. We’ve been cordial, the house and I, but really, we’re missing that spark. So I’m going to create one. A spark, that is.

I’m building a wood burning fireplace. Well, I’M not building it. I’m paying out the nose to have it built for me. It’s not finished. Right now, it looks like this:

And this:

I’m putting a lot of pressure on this fireplace. I’m convinced this fire place will bridge the gap between the house and I, make me want to come home to it, make it okay to sit quietly and read. Or write. Neither of which I’m doing enough of. In other words, I’m banking on this fireplace to make me fall in love with my house, and by association, my life.

I could be setting myself up for rejection and/or major disappointment. What if the fire place does nothing more than make my house smell like smoke?

That’s already happened, by the way. I lit a fire last week (after talking with the contractor, mind you, and getting his go-ahead) and everything went really well. Until it didn’t. I forgot about the tarp over the chimney.

The good news is, all the smoke detectors in my house work.

Did you know that you can yank the battery out of a smoke detector and it will CONTINUE to screech? True fact. Here’s another: it takes a day to air out a house that has been smoked. And it was a LITTLE fire. Teeny tiny. Like, it could hardly even melt a hunk of brie on a stick. Not that I tried that.

But things will be different tonight. Tonight, they’re calling for snow, and I’d REALLY like to fire up this sucker, move the couch back where it belongs, pour a brandy, sit down and pretend to read a book while smoke goes UP AND OUT of the chimney. That would make me really happy. That would make me love my house. That would make me love my life.

And if it doesn’t, then I’ll get a pony and name it Sparky. THEN I'll be happy.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Voiceover for Brandermill Woods

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Some people were nice enough to give me an award...

Outstanding Women in the Arts: that's me and Anne Westrick. Congratulations to the other honorees: Sukenya Best, Amy Black, Susan Greenbaum, Laura Loe, Sara Belle November, Joan Olmstead Oates,  Terrie Powers Miller. So proud and grateful. Thank you Style Weekly and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.