Order of the Good Write

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


Book Cover, All Covered


Even though the digital world has given us Kindle and iBook apps, I still do love to read actual books.  You know what I mean – tangible books with paper you feel and pages you turn. Paper that has the lovely smell of knowledge and stories,  tinged with the musty comforting fragrance of a library. Yes -books. And as a book reader who has mulled over the aisle of many Barnes and Nobles, I am captivated by the lure of a great book cover. The old adage “Never judge a book…”? Well, I do. To me, the cover is part of the package. The photo or design usually expresses a subtext undertone of the book’s story, giving the potential reader a feel for the mood. Surrealism always entices me, and it seems the literary world knows how to use dreamy imagery well since I find stacks of book on my shelves dressed up with sepia toned oceans, blue hued dreamy roads to nowhere, pithy minimalistic cocktail glasses in the middle of a spill, suspended in mid-air. I’m still trying to understand the imagery of David Sedaris’ “Barrel Fever” with two guys sticking in hats sticking their tongues out the reader. But no matter – I find it whimsical, playful, iconoclastic – very much like the contents inside.

So, as a self publishing author, I’ve found it important to know what my book is about before getting to the cover.  I’m very visual, and no ordinary photo will do.  So, I finally found the perfect photo off Shutterstock, but the dpi and the various elements in the shot were difficult to maneuver, that is – until I found an actual, affordable book cover artist who’s on the same page, and was able to make the cover into what I wanted – with all requirements included. This is such a relief. My self imposed deadline is approaches. My manuscript finished, with the exception of trying to come up with an introduction and blurb. But I find it so hard to promote myself. It seems that when I’m about to reach the precipice of accomplishment, I slow down -like I don’t want it all at once.

I’m also in the self doubt phase. My book is entitled “Hitting the Water” – but should I have just called it “Hitting Water”? Would that have been snazzier? Too late now since I’ve already received an ISBN. More questions. More answers. More self doubts. More ways to get past them.  And as much as I love physical books, I plan on having my book available for Kindle in addition to a real book.  The best of both worlds.

More to come!


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Hitting the Water….Hard

"Hitting the Water: A Book of Stories" hitting Amazon, November 2014.

“Hitting the Water: A Book of Stories” hitting Amazon, November 2014.

This has been a very strange week. A rash of lay offs at work has made the energy a bit strange. I’m standing secure, on dry land, while a few of my colleagues set sail for new adventures – thanks to a pink slip. I’ve only worked at my current day job a year and a half; yet, saying goodbye to people whom I’ve only known a short time has affected me more than I thought. I’m used to changes and moving on. I’ve said goodbye to so many people in my life that I’ve grown detached at the thought of goodbyes. Besides, the entertainment industry is a small one. We’ll all meet again.

This week has also been slightly stressful (in a good way) on a personal level. My book of short stories entitled Hitting the Water is finally developing as an actual, tangible book!  As I pull together the final editorial touches before sending it off to my editor, I’m feeling drawn and quartered by all the work that goes into the self publishing empire I plan to create in order to rule the world!

Kidding. I plan on publishing my work so I can express the human condition, perhaps inspire others to lend a voice to the human race by encouraging them to self publish their work as well – or to even make them pursue their own destiny. So many of us have families and lives to support, that we tend to get lost in the day to day work grind. Some people are lucky – their forty hour a week job is a daily pleasure. For most of us, we end up losing sight of our dreams in the name of the dollar.  We tend to banish our talents and aspirations as a fruitless journey, impractical, something to do when we retire. So, we end up going through life in a hamster wheel routine until one day we look at ourselves and do a David Byrne:

“Well? How did I get here?”

Four years ago, I saw my parents  live out the rest of their days in a nursing home. During my lifetime – the chapter in their lives when I came into picture –  they seemed to live unconsciously, waking up from time to time to live out their passions in music and travel, but only to fall back asleep into the day to day comfort zone. They were wrapped up in survival, keeping a roof over our heads, food on the table, and giving me a better life than they had as children. For that, I’m forever grateful.  It’s in their death, that I see a life I need to honor. They gave me the world, yet throughout my adulthood, I took life for granted – living unconsciously in the name of a pay check and health insurance. I never found a husband, and never had children  — so I am free to live, to honor life, to understand death, and in some way — to live fearlessly. In doing that – I’m thanking my parents for everything.

After so many years of dreaming of writing a book –  I finally doing it.  I’m writing. Seriously. Everyday – like it’s a job – because it is – or at least – will be officially soon. At the start of 2014, I challenged myself to write at least 1000 words everyday. As each successful (and not so successful) day turned into one story after another – ideas flowed forth like a river. It was awesome. Not only did I have a deep long list of short stories and essays  – I also laid a ground work of projects to come. It’s profoundly gratifying. Something I never feel when I answer a phone or take a message for the boss. I’m still writing everyday, planning ideas, laying down outlines for books – and – touching up Hitting the Water. The writing is ongoing.

Hitting the Water is a nice, short read.  The stories touch upon mental confusion, absence and loss. Perhaps there’s a bit of life affirmation within the sentences. I’m hoping people will find it touching.  As I select my cover photo (which you partially see in the featured image to this post), have the interior formatted, have the marketing elements in place, get the copyright and all the legalities done  – I’m lost in words, ideas, thoughts and generally just –  freaking out.

I’m freaking out that I’m actually creating something. It’s the first step toward a new journey.

And on this Friday of a week where the axe has fallen at work – I could use a nice, stiff martini.