Order of the Good Write

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

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Writing Inspiration: Airports

zurik airport

Photo by Erez Attias via Unsplash

Perhaps this is the talk of someone who doesn’t travel more than three times a year, but I love airports. I also love to fly. Once I pass the nerve-racking process of security, I put my shoes on,  grab my bags to head to my gate and the flutter of freedom and adventure settles in.

Although airports tend to be hermetically sealed environments that are almost indistinguishable from city to city, there is something beautiful about them, despite their dysfunction (I’m looking at you LAX. One decent sit down restaurant at the Jet Blue/Virgin terminal? Come on.)

They are large microcosms unto themselves. They house people in transit – a subset of humans waiting for the next motion – they are a temporary city onto themselves.

The smell of the jet fuel. The hissing sound of plane engines, the hustle of luggage carts and maintenance men, running along a stretched out runway that blinks dreamy lights outlining the various runways. Taxing planes coming in from other cities, carry people with things to do, lives to live, places to see.

Nothing new in hashing out the hubbub of airports. But there’s something lovely about waking up in the middle of the night and taking to the spotless roadways to catch a flight. When you enter an airport drive, it’s as if you’ve entered a secret society of people awake and bustling to get their flights in what seems like the still of the night. Voyagers getting a fresh start to the day, as the sky lightens and the sun is flashing its rays on the horizon. They stand in line at McDonalds. They grab their coffee at Dunkin Donuts. They buy water, aspirin, munchies – and await the announcement of boarding.

What is on their minds? What lives are rushing through those shiny floors and up those escalators? What memories do you have of travel and airports and missed connections and those found?

What travels are on your horizon, and how will you transcribe those into words?

Write it down.



Writing is all “Up in the Air”

“Writers and travelers alike do their best work when they don’t know what they’re looking for; disorientation requires problem-solving, and a new landscape holds secrets still.” ~Nathan Heller, The New Yorker Magazine, February 1, 2016 issue.

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A little morsel of wisdom from Nathan Heller, who writes an incredibly fascinating article about the culture of airports and the future of commercial flight. He sites Christopher Shaberg’s book, “The End of Airports” as a thesis on how travel by air has become more commerce and retail rather than experience and excitement. It’s beautifully written and provides some thought into the strange hermetically sealed, other-world air passengers find themselves in while committed to the tightly controlled world of flight.

I highly recommend this article, not just for the subject matter, but as a sample of truly tight, well organized and fluid writing. The expression, the structure, the fluidity of words and thought is inspiring.

If you don’t have a subscription to the New Yorker Magazine, you might be allowed ten free viewings.


The New Yorker. The magazine is either your holy grail, your bible or your enemy; yet, there’s treasure in them thar pages.

Happy Sunday!