Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil


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Yes! Amy Poehler’s Book is My New Bible

AP Yes PleaseI remember the first time I saw Amy Poehler in person. She was walking down the dark, shiny marbled floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza’s hushed lobby. It was during my lunch hour. It was 2003.  I was working next door at 75 Rock. It was a temporary pit stop. My team moved from our techno clean, hip, loft-like offices of AOL on West 18th Street, uptown to the corporate world of Time Warner, and were waiting out the final stages of construction on the new Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle before officially moving into our new digs. Glass shiny twin towers were going to be our new home. A strange architectural choice considering 9-11 happened only a few years before.

I digress with purpose. Nevertheless, I digress.

There was Amy. Walking fast, her bag on her back, zipping up her jacket as she moved. Her head was down. Her look… pensive. She was on SNL at the time (obviously), and you could tell she was in the middle of a show week. Marathon hours. She was so tiny and blonde. She radiated a tomboyish hustle. She was lady who wasn’t in the mood for nonsense that moment, but was capable of turning it on when it counted. At the time, I felt a sense of “wow, cool. Amy Poehler from SNL”, but I never realized what an impact she’d make on my life in the years to come.

As one of the co-founders of the Upright Citizens Brigade (at the time I was vaguely aware of her connection), she has helped girls and ladies as old as the sun like me –  find their power.  (“Smart Girls at the Party” anyone? Check it out.) During the hardest time of my life, the space she and her colleagues created at the UCB Training Center gave me a safe place. It’s where I escaped every Sunday for months on end, from the sadness and illness of home – to a room with chairs and windows and improv exercises.  I found The Game. I got to play. I got to be funny. I got to laugh. I pretended to be someone else. I created object work. Edited. Tagged out people. Turned beats of a scene into new ideas. I learned to trust people. Listen. To know when to step into a scene and when not to. I learned to look into the eyes of other people for long periods of time. I learned to get out of my head.I learned to scare the shit out of myself.

I’m reading Amy’s glorious autobiography right now. It’s not a detailed version of her life. It’s not a kiss and tell all book. No. This is a book of profound inspiration for women and men. But mostly – I would say – women. We have to navigate life differently than men. She encourages with tools from her own learning experiences.  Amy doesn’t talk about her divorce, but lends her personal experience to provide solace to anyone going through a breakup. She talks about being strong, giving a big “F U” to the demon inside. She also talks about struggle and working hard and being detached from the outcome of your work. For instance, I’ve just finished the chapter entitled, “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend”, which offers wisdom on how to remove yourself from the outcome of your work. Don’t judge it. Don’t struggle with it. Don’t let it call you up for a bootie call in the middle of the night when your career has another piece of something on the side. Don’t let your career tell you what to do. Ignore it. Cultivate it. Love it. But don’t be desperate. Give it breathing room. Let it call you. I love this advice. It’s so real and funny and sage and gorgeous and encouraging and beautiful.  It’s just a morsel of kick ass advice Amy provides – given by a woman who was raised right. Seriously, her mom and dad must have ruled. They produced a terrific, strong woman who figured it out.

And that’s what this book is about. Figuring it out. Figuring out how to not beat yourself up for not being perfect. Realizing how strong those imperfections make you. Showing how smart you become when coming into your own skin and owning your life – rather than allowing someone or something or a company – to own you. Realizing that you should NOT live in fear. Screw fear. Fear can take a hike, or blow it out it’s ear. Yeah, we’ll feel it. Fear will pervade, but you’ve got to learn from it, heed to its concern and then say “See ya! Leave me alone now!”  And anger over situations and idiots in your life?  You let it wash over you. Your energy is better spent feeling something more positive.

So, I’m amazed at our Amy. I’m sorry I call her “our” Amy. Amy belongs to no one. But in my heart, she’s my Amy because she has lead by example for years now. Having studied at her school, having seen her do improv in person many times, and having watched her flourish along with Tina Fey as a strong, funny woman who owns her authenticity – this book is the cherry on top. I’m not even done with it yet. I’m sure I’m leaving out some more delicious goodies to come, but I can’t help myself. This book is the bomb and I gotta sing it now.

If you need some funny, down to earth inspiration from someone you will very likely relate to – pick this book up – “Yes, Please” over on Amazon. No really. Do it. The new year is coming up. Her book will rock your 2015. And if you had a great 2014 like I had – it will just continue to make it flow.

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“Hitting Water” Available on Kindle

Screenshot 2014-12-07 15.23.39Hi Everyone!  My book “Hitting Water” is available on Amazon and Kindle download. I hope you take a look and tell me what you think. This is my first self published book, and it’s my tool for learning how to do this even better the next time. Thanks so much for your support!


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What a Dream

rwdreams2I wanted to write this down so I wouldn’t forget.

I had a dream about Robin Williams last night. A very strange, sad and haunting one. And it went like this:

Through some type of circumstance, I became friends with his daughter Zelda, who invited me to her family home to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner. In the dream, it was explained that her family usually held a pre-Thanksgiving get together the day before in their home – somewhere, followed by the actual holiday celebration in their other home – somewhere else the next day.

Strange of location, familiar distorted territory. That was the first home. It seemed to be in the middle of a forest that was in the middle of a city. Robin approached me, all smiles, yet he was silent – hanging back in a haunted way. He proposed a toast, and then disappeared behind a door to a room that was like a little shack in the middle of this outdoor area. We didn’t see him for a while. He was a thought – a person who existed in another room and we couldn’t see him. His family was around. His second wife was there, talking to other people and her kids. Everyone knew that his absence was usual. They shrugged their shoulders and continued on.  I felt a sadness. Perhaps due to me wanting him with us – outside that disembodied room with the door.

His youngest son hung out with me. He seemed really cool. So weird that any of this stuff would enter my mind. I don’t know his kids, never even imagined it. Perhaps their faces from red carpet photos and the AT&T Park appearance during the World Series permeated my mind. It feels inappropriate to have them in my mind. Like their presence in my head is an invasion of their privacy.

Then, the next day came. Thanksgiving. Daylight. Robin appeared out of this room. He looked dapper in a dark coat. He wore a bright green scarf with matching green hat and gloves. He approached a driver who was waiting to take us all to the next location for the main dinner. I saw him. Then I turned to one of his kids. Then I turned back to him. He was gone. Only his green hat, scarf and gloves were left behind, crumpled, lying on the floor. He had dropped them. I picked them up, wanting to find him to give them to him – but he wasn’t even near. Everyone around me accepted it.

Dreams. Weird.


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“Hitting Water” in Paperback now! Available on Kindle December 14th!

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“Hitting Water” available in paperback on Amazon now! Available on Kindle December 16th!

It’s a firm go on “Hitting Water”!  It’s available on paperback now over on Amazon, and will be available on Kindle December 16th! 14th!

Right now my book is listed #328,177 in Amazon’s book list! Woo hoo!  Only way to go but up!

Thanks for your support on this.  I’d love this to be an open conversation on publishing. This isn’t only a book about Jane Dornacker and the various fictional characters who unfolded to create the theme of life’s brief candle and how we cope in the throes of chaos and sadness. Or how people come into our lives, burn bright and leave us too soon, helping us appreciate the life we’ve been given. Nope. It’s not just that.

The very fact this book was written should be an inspiration for people like me – who get lost in the day to day of jobs and family, who have a burning desire to create something – anything – art, writing, teaching – anything, before we leave this earth. You CAN accomplish your personal goals a little bit every day. Before you know it, you’ve created something for people to see. Something that didn’t exist before.  That’s what this book is also about.

Please feel free to leave your comments on Amazon or below. If you have questions about how to get jazzed to write daily, or how to even approach self publishing while defying fear and personal set backs – I encourage you to comment.  Let’s make this a conversation!


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“Hitting Water: A Book of Stories” Is Out on Amazon Now!

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“Hitting Water” Out on Amazon now!

Drum roll please…..

“Hitting Water: A Book so Stories” is out on Amazon now!  Paperback is available for purchase. Kindle will be available by end of the week.

It’s my hope that these stories will touch you – perhaps make you think about some of the people who’ve entered your life, made you feel happy, sad, disturbed and loved. The fact this book exists is a testimony to following a dream and seeing it through. This is the first of many books I hope to write.  May it inspire you to write too!


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I’m on a Target High!

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Hello readers of “The Write”!  It’s the end of another Monday. I’m still working on the finishing touches of “Hitting Water” which feels like it will be birthed next week, but I can’t say just yet. This detail is up to Amazon and Createspace and all the wonderful people who work tirelessly on my behalf to get these books out for do it yourselfers like moi.

But, I’m just checking in because I’m still on a high from shopping at Target on Saturday morning. Yes – it’s been over 48 hours since I ventured out to the “Big Red Bullseye” or “Targee” as they pronounce it in hoity toity fashion, but I’m still floating. And may I just say – this is not an advertisement. Not at all. I wish I had a sponsor in Target, but I don’t.

I haven’t stepped foot in Target since I lived in New York in 2010. I don’t know why I haven’t. It’s likely due to the parking situation here in LA. I haven’t been to a Whole Foods in two years for the same reason. You just can’t find a parking space. It’s nuts.  But since I’m was in the market for a new vacuum cleaner and a Crock Pot, I was determined. I got out early on Saturday, and set my sails for the nearest store.

The nearest Target is 2 miles away, in a shopping center known as The Beverly Connection, across from a mall known as The Beverly Center. I turned into the parking lot, drove up the ramp to the level Target lives, and was slapped across the face with the gorgeous sight of a sea of empty parking spaces. I happily parked my Prius C next to the entrance to the store. Yes, it was open. Yes, it was huge, roomy, clean and full of bargains. I was back baby. Not since I lived at City Center in White Plains, where my apartment building was above a shopping mall, and a branch of Target was my basement, had I felt this wonderment. I was a child in a candy store, ready to buy bargain workout clothes, boots and appliances I had longed for.

Just the shopping cart alone was a pleasure, in it’s heavy corded red plastic. The wheels were shock absorbed, floating on air ready to hold the spoils of my hunt.  Man, I needed hosiery. Knee highs and tights – I’ve let it go too long, wearing socks with holes in the toe or agonizing over uncomfortable stockings where the crotch ends up near your knees after walking 10 feet. Done. Good price. Hosiery – I’ve got you covered.

Then, I needed a nice pair of three inch heeled booties for my bootleg dress yoga style pants. This is now my staple. Middle age and hormones, exacerbated by the loss of an ovary last year, has made it uncomfortable for me to wear jeans. So, I starve and work out and live luxuriously in these form fitting comfy bootleg pants in different colors that desperately need a nice heel and toe to complete the look. The three inch booties I’ve worn since 2007 (yes, I wear stuff to death) were ripped, pulled, stretch and done. Whatever will replace them? Boom!  Over in the shoe department, a nice set of cute black suede boots will do the trick. Forty bucks. Better than the $119 boots I saw at Zappos. Come, little booties. Come join the knee highs, tights and the new workout top in my lovely, quiet and cozy red shopping cart!

But enough with all these distractions. Time to get what I came for – a Crock Pot – to make all those yummy meals while I’m at work.  Easy enough – they were right there in kitchen appliance aisle. Twenty bucks for a nice pot that will fit in my cabinets. Done!

And now, the final piece to the puzzle. I needed a vacuum cleaner. Badly. The one I had used to be amazing, sucking up dog hair like crazy. But in the three years I’ve used it, I realized that it’s heavy, cumbersome and giving off a horrible puke smell. Why? I don’t know.

Over to the vacuum and cleaning aisle. And there I saw it…the king of all vacuums. The stylish and highly coveted Dyson. La Creme de la Creme.  I’ve avoided it for years. It’s so expensive. Is it worth paying so much for something that involves cleaning?  Well, the smell of puke emulating from my old Bissell said – YES!

I didn’t get a deal on this. I missed the Black Friday sales. I paid the usual price.   But – when I brought it home and used it, the whole picture became a revelation. Floors were immaculate. Carpets were fully cleansed. The lightness of the appliance and the ball technology help mold the vacuum to every surface and difference in height between floor and rug. I haven’t seen my place look so great since the day I moved in and unpacked.

So, although I have a book coming out, and am thrilled – I’m also riding a Target High. Happy for the goodies I got and the good use to come.

Now, I have to get a DropCam to monitor my dog while I’m out at the office – and then I’m good!

And then a new digital piano.

And a trip to San Francisco for Comedy Sketch Fest.

Okay, and then I’m good.

For now.