Order of the Good Write

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


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Remembering Those Who Inspire Us

Screenshot 2015-01-10 11.57.11Flipping through the internet, I randomly came across a picture of Jane Dornacker, the traffic reporter who died in a helicopter crash in 1986 and whom I briefly knew. The photo lead to a Pinterest site listing people who’ve died before the age of 50. So many losses there. Including Jane. The memory of her inspires me.   Indeed, it drove me to write my book of short stories “Hitting Water”.

I bring up Jane because she is the beckon in my book. She’s the goddess of mojo, the grand queen of inspiration. I really need it now. 2015 is starting off in a funk for me. Maybe a little JD will get me back on track.

Jane was a friend of Whoopi Goldberg, back when they performed on the San Francisco comedy circuit. I think of Whoopi because in the year that’s past, she’s lost some very well known friends: Mike Nichols and Robin Williams.  Within the sorrow, I wonder if she would like to read a person’s view of an old friend of hers, how in their loss, they have inspired others to live.  I feel that Jane has allowed me to do that this year (and the years ahead), even after all these years after the amazing memorial service for her at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. So, I’m thinking of sending Whoopi a copy of my book.

Here’s the thing about presenting my book to Ms. Goldberg (if she ever does receive it) : I mentioned her in my story “Jane in a Plane. And as the mighty hand of Thor has shown me, as my heart stopped beating upon noticing this – long after my book was officially published – I misspelled her name. Yes, I admit openly and wholeheartedly – that the one person whose name is mentioned in my book, a book that went through two passes by an editor and one go with a proofreader – has that one particular person’s name misspelled. Apparently, thirty years of seeing Whoopi’s name in lights in the entertainment industry didn’t sear into my brain well enough that her name is spelled “Whoopi” not “Whoopie”.  Yes, despite the edits – no one noticed. Except my comedian acquaintance Sharilyn Johnson who told me, “Ya might wanna spell her name right.”

What??!! Run off to find the chapter. There it is…”Whoopie.”

By the way, Sharilyn has written a phenomenal book book about The Colbert Report – “Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z”. Check it out!

So, perhaps in making this error in my book, it’s a great opening line on the note I plan to attach to a copy of “Hitting Water’.  Maybe it will show chuztpah. Yes, it could reveal the byproduct of do-it-yourself publishing, exposing cracks and dings that  go along with self publishing process. But if she does receive the book, it could show her that there is a little Jane Dornacker in all of us.