Order of the Good Write

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


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Being Civilized in Civilization

eprhoncity

I was sitting on a plane from New York JFK to Los Angeles a few weeks ago.  We were at the gate, and passengers were still boarding. There was a slight stand still in the line while people waited for those ahead of them to stow away their bags. A woman who was in waiting mode, said to the flight attendant, “Ahh, it will be good to be back in civilization again!”. The flight attendant said, “Why, do you not like New York?” The lady said,  “I’m a recovering New Yorker. It’s crazy here. Just too much chaos.” The flight attendant concurred, “Well, I guess I know what you mean. I almost got run over by a truck on 5th avenue the other day.”

Funny that chaos and potential street accidents were brought up about New York. My dog and I were almost run down crossing (with a pedestrian sign giving the okay) on 3rd street in LA a few months ago.  And I have a list of of incidents like this since moving to the land of La La.

What makes a city “civilized”?  When someone says they want to go back to “civilization”, you figure this person just spent a solitary holiday on a beach resort or floating on a cruise to Bermuda.

When I think of New York City, I think of it as the epitome of civilization. LA – the same but with better weather.

Civilization and being civilized human beings are two different things.  We human beings make civilization civilized. Civilization was created in the minds and hearts of ancient humanity to create infrastructure and laws. Being civilized is living up to the standard within those lines.

Civilization should also contain individuals who contribute kindness, consideration and aid to others.  Humanity.

As Nora Ephron wrote above, when you leave New York, things change. The city is now harsh. You are an outsider who has to pay your way in.  When you are a resident of New York, you don’t mind the crowds because that’s what you signed up for. You have the best restaurants on your speed dial. You know when to brace yourself on the 6 train when the hard turn after 42nd street pitches the subway into a hard jolt. You know what time taxis go on their break (5:00pm), and where they come into the city (east 59th street).

And you know – New York isn’t an easy place. Look deeper into Los Angeles, and you’ll find it just as difficult, except the sun always shines, drivers don’t use their turn signals, don’t stop at stop signs and don’t understand the right of way.

When I was sitting in that Jet Blue seat getting ready to head back to Los Angeles, I felt as thought I was leaving civilization to return to another one. But this time, unlike the “Recovering New Yorker”, I was willing to fall off the wagon and stay.

 

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Reblog: ‘The Construct of Time’ by Chris Nichols

steampunk-eye1Time is man made. We float in space and live in these bodies to experience the human condition. Our souls forever learning and confined in self imposed measurements of space. I love this post from Chris Nichols.

https://therenegadepress.com/2016/05/22/the-construct-of-time/comment-page-2/#comment-5144

 

The Renegade Press

Time is just an agreed upon construct. We have taken distance (one rotation of the earth, and one orbit of the sun) divided it up into segments, then given those segments labels.

-Author Unknown

Before man decided to differentiate between the periods when the sun had risen, and when the moon had taken its place, there was no such thing as time. Before days, hours, and minutes ever existed there were merely rotations of the earth that brought about phases of light, and periods of darkness. But our quest for intellectual enlightenment, coupled with human curiosity urged mankind to quantify and label the earth’s rotations.

Early Egyptians divided the day into two twelve hour periods, erecting huge obelisks that rose into the sky, allowing them to use shadows to track the sun’s movements. The Greeks and Persians used water clocks called clepsydra. And Plato even went as far as to develop…

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“Swim Til You Can’t See Land”

swim til you can't see land

Artwork by Rebecca Rebouche

David Bowie once said that the best place for a creative person to be is in the in-between. Floating between safety and peril, that lovely bouncing sense of nothing where your heart is in your throat, but your eyes are firmly set on the horizon. When you walk out in to the water’s edge until your feet barely touch the  ground. That’s the perfect place to be.

Sometimes being creative means to be brave. Being creative can mean producing word, art and performance. But it can also mean delving into a new depth of life. It can be about not letting fear get in your way. Bravery is breaking through convention and routine to build a scary road toward a life where you’re honoring your gift.

The best place to be is in the scary. Writing is scary. Creating a life you want rather the one you settle for conjures fear.

Isn’t it nice to know you can embrace fear?

Just embrace it. Let your failures be proof that you tried. Then get up and do it again.

And if you look around at your chaotic life where everything seems to be going wrong, don’t dwell on why. Understand how it happened. How the choices you made brought you here. Don’t dwell. Hash out the plans to get you out of it.

Remember, “The choice may have been mistaken, the choosing was not. You have to move on.”

Much like the glorious work of Rebecca Rebouche, whose delicate, surreal artwork (whose work you can find here), lends so much toward writing inspiration. Her work allows you to move away from the river’s edge until you feel the scary in-between.

 

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What’s the Story Behind a Painting?

In the Broadway hit “Sunday in the Park with George”, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine captured the essence of Georges Seurat’s painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”by telling a story behind the painting.

When you look at the canvas, filled with dots and color that create light, it’s not hard to think about the lives of the people wandering around the lake transfixed by the beauty of a summer day.

In 2012, author Tracy Chevalier  gave a TedTalk about her fascination with the story behind the Vermeer painting, “Girl with the Pearl Earring”. Much like an investigator, she took various elements of the painting – the texture of her clothes, the look in her eyes, the parting of her mouth, the scant history of Veneer himself – and began to develop a sensual story that became her novel of the same name.

Paintings, and what a view extracts from them, can maketh the storyteller. It’s a great form of inspiration that can ignite the imagination. Go to a museum or search artwork on the internet, and let your mind flow.

Chevalier’s TedTalk is here in the link above.

Happy Friday! Enjoy!


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How To Get Dreams Done: A Personal Rant

i love nyc

Near the High Line.  Chelsea, NYC -10th Avenue. June 2016

“Even at the moment of your failure, you are beautiful. You don’t know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That’s your beauty.”

Lidia Yuknavitch

You need to get out of your own head. You have to stop keeping it all in and start writing it down and making things start to happen. You can’t let this just be daydreams and wishes – you have to get down to work and get the stuff done.

You have an open you heart and mind to whatever new thoughts comes your way. Just start. Just start a sentence. Let it turn into other forms of gibberish and crap and flush out all the various thoughts that start to stream through your head.

What do you want to do?

What do you want to accomplish with the dreams and thoughts you have?

What is your story and how do you want to tell it?

When do you want to tell it? You should just friggin’ tell it now.

You have a story. Tell it!

You are lost in the day to day world of society’s expectations of you and you’re drowning in sadness. You are stifled. You are suffocating, thinking of packing it all in and driving across country in your car with your dog and the few things you’re taking with you.

Giving up the job and just disappearing in the folds of a different dimension.

The dimension where you are yourself, creating, earning from that creation. Inspiring others.

Get out of your head. Figure out the game plan. Define the exit strategy and know how you’re going to enter into some new, better, frightening, but rewarding.

Tell your story. Write your life. Paint your mind. Film your soul.

Just create. Live a dream. Work outside in the sunshine. Walk the NYC Highline on a beautiful early summer day. Don’t live through Facebook live. Do it.

I’ve seen too many friends make the wrong choices, follow the wrong lead, stay with the wrong people and believe the wrong thoughts about themselves. They attract more negatives in their lives. They are mired in other people’s dark energy, and they succumb out of obligation. Or just because they believe they deserve this horrible place.

No matter how often I tell them again and again — they will not listen because they see I’m still stuck in the same hole they’re in.

What? Because I’m shackled to a desk and I’m prisoner to a paycheck that hardly pays my bills. I feel invisible. No one sees me. My hope of moving back to New York City is so close, yet when I reach for it – all the blocks come up. Money. Job. Moving. Relinquishing. Packing up. Selling off.

Homelessness.

I need that exit strategy, and to collect my strength for it. Perhaps to share it to others in an effort of…”listen to me…I’m a lost cause…save yourselves…don’t go blindly into a paycheck where you are locked in and can’t get out.”

I am not invisible. I am not sorry there are a lot of “I’s” in this post. This is me. I’m part of the Great I Am.

Get your dreams done.

 

 


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Writing: Finding Blessings in the Details

Screenshot 2016-06-02 11.41.38

Maybe I’m embracing the world of “woo-woo” lately, but I’m learning to understand mindset and how our imaginations can bring forth certain realities in our lives.

When you write or create with the vision of adding something new into he world with thought, imagination, craft and heart – you stir the energy that brings about a magnification of things you never noticed before.

When you touch base with what you’re meant to be doing – you see some beauty unfold around you.

Suddenly, you feel the need to help others in pain. You reach out despite your own worries and fears and aid someone who is drowning in problems.

Your mindset shifts, and new ideas to get yourself out your own rut start to flourish, and the darkness seems to break away, leaving you open to new prospects – your own prospects – not the job prospects that teased and fooled you on LinkedIn.

A few years ago, I was angry and brutally disappointed by a relationship I had hoped would work out. Yet, it was ruined by a prettier, skinnier and younger woman who came into his life. The anger bubbled and burst within. I wished them the most nastiest, deepest, ugliest and worst of luck. I wanted to cast spells and issue voodoo-like chants to kill their love.

Then, I moved to a new address and the backlash of that anger was returned to me by a very dark, unhappy and vindictive next door neighbor whose actions I won’t go into because they don’t matter anymore.

As I lived next door to her, I didn’t allow her negativity to bother me. In fact, it infused a need to create something good in this world. I started writing intensely and ended up publishing a book of short stories.

In time, I started to build a business model (and still doing so) for The Good Write.

As she lived and stewed in her apartment, complaining and trying to cover her dark tracks with fake kindness to make up for her bad behavior, I tried to create a new mindset of positive contribution, creative expression and goodness.

I’m not perfect, but the intention was clear and steadfast. No more anger. Look what I attracted with it. Someone nearby whose anger lashed out at me and any innocent bystander.

As George Harrison once sang, “A thought could blow those clouds away”. I focused on something new and better, the “cloud” next door moved away.

Not too long after she left, a handsome guy named Pete moved in. Fresh from Wyoming, he longed to surf and be near the beach. It took him four months of ten mile traffic jams to Santa Monica from Hollywood to realize this wasn’t the place for him, so he moved to Malibu. Perhaps he cleared the energy for the next phase.

A lovely, sweet young couple moved in next door. Students at USC, they compose music. They rehearse, sing, talk and laugh. They don’t even mind it when my dog whines a little when I’m out.

Perhaps my positive mindset has attracted this lovely couple. Or, maybe I just got lucky this time. (However, there are new neighbors moving in downstairs from me. Fingers are crossed the positive vibes will carry.)

Writing got me out of the darkness. It gave me a higher purpose with goals to shoot for. It allowed and still allows me to flush out the bad and restore the good. Writing and the machination behind it, allows me to attract the lovely people and notice their goodness.

Today, as I pulled out of the driveway to head to work, I saw my lovely neighbors  walking together, hand in hand. They are the very embodiment of bright light and love.

What a brilliant change they’ve brought to that apartment next door. What a shift in mindset and intention.  It’s like someone opened the window to a fresh new day after wallowing in the dark too long.

 

 

 

 


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Sharks Through the Insulin Glass

Screenshot 2016-06-02 11.55.46

I’ve just flown through my annual rough patch. Busy work stirring turbulence that had more to do with my employed work rather than my creative endeavors (which I am determined to turn into employment).

Working at a major film and television studio, I was immersed in an industry event known as LA Screenings.  Determined and content to be a studious employee in the middle of mild chaos, I kept my focus on the job, cleared the writing decks for a month and focused wholeheartedly on screenings and office work.

Yes. this meant placing my own writing projects and my build up of The Good Write aside until the responsibilities that cut me a payday slow back down into the day to day office life, where things are humming on autopilot.

It was alright, actually. I needed a little break from writing. As long as we fill the down time with mental stimulation, we all do.

My annual trip to New York City waited at the end of these travails. Exhausted from having flown in late last night, I’m back with street snapshots, a low bank account, leg fatigue, a few cute new summer dresses, and jet lag.  (You can see why I have aviation metaphors sprinkled within my first paragraph.).

Having taken the month off from writing, I feel the words coming back. The need to create once again. Around New York, my eyes feasted on many favorite visuals – street art, murals, photography. The colors of paintings on bulletin boards that are created over a period of days to devise a glorious build up of lines and color and shading to birth a gorgeous vision, like the steampunk dreamy delicacy of the mural above found on 22nd street and 10th Avenue, installed by PixelPoncho.

Screenshot 2016-06-02 12.32.33

Shark on 22nd St. & 7th Avenue. Chelsea, NYC.

Or the sharks infested walls of 22nd Street, where these charming little razor tooth creatures show up in tags sporadically around 22nd street (and perhaps beyond?), floating through medicine bottles, looking like they’ve just taken up home in dangerous cement and brick laid pharmaceutical waters.

Screenshot 2016-06-02 12.32.17

Shark Alert: 22nd Street and 10th Avenue, Chelsea, NYC

Whimsical creation of art. Art is everywhere. I have a whole camera role I’m too sleepy to unload here, but my Instagram account will attest to some wonderful frames of texture, color, inspiration from masters in fashion as seen at the Manus x Machina exhibit at the MET, where fashion is exposed and explored in the age of technology, or various moments of artistic expression found in a favorite cafe or flash of street work.

I’m getting back on the creative band wagon, folks. It’s always good to know that creation is always waiting for you to pick up where you left off to continue bringing forth more beauty into the world. Now, more than ever, we need to know this.

And here’s the reason why…

Lately, there has been a rash of articles about people who can’t find jobs. People who pretend to live affluently, but are at poverty’s door. Hard working people who’ve bought into the lie (as I have) that we must gain gameful employment in order to contribute in this world, when all we are doing is working for someone else’s goals, someone else’s dreams, and someone else’s wealth.

What happens when, after years of hard word, that employment ends? When you can’t get a job like you used to – or not even able to get your first one out of college? There are people who hope they will one day be hired back into that high paying position, and things will be right again, only to realize, after too long a wait, that it may never happen again.

There are friends in my sphere who are unemployed that keep getting back on the wheel of hope and job search, never realizing that they have the talent to create their own job position, their own employment by bringing their own highly lucrative gifts into the fold and be their own business.

Yet, they fret and go back to the very thing that chewed them up, spit them up and placed them in this torturous limbo to begin with.

I’m going to expound on this in my next blog post. There is an arsenal of experience I’ve gained and a high dose of being fed up about the illusion we’ve been given in this world I’d like to spill.

Like the eponymous artwork on the walls of New York City and around the world and the artists who’ve dreamed, divined and brought them to our vision – let’s inspire others with our work, be it writing, painting, sculpting, photography, acting, singing, composing or just listening to someone in need of help by your hand.

Let’s all be good people and live in our authenticity, because putting my creative work aside for a salaried paycheck rather than self employed accomplishments isn’t applying my energy into the work I’m meant to be doing. Writing and creating and inspiring others – is.

Know this in yourself. Take it and go forth.

 

 

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