Order of the Good Write

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


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A Letter

 

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Dear Universe,

I’m not interested in expansive thinking today. Nor am I interested in self improvement right now. I’m barely in the mood to write this, but here I am  – writing.  It’s summer. It’s July. I currently live where the weather is summer all year round, making the summer months just another season and not the magical thing it can be if you suffer through winter’s brittle clutch first. Yet, I don’t care if I can’t enjoy it the way I used to – the way it used to be when I was a child and could do whatever the hell I wanted for two months.

Nope. For now, I want to go to the pool. I want to go to the water. I want to smell classic Coppertone suntan oil (yes…oil) and tan until the hairs on my forearm turn blonde like they use to when I was a little girl. Like they used to when I used to have hair on my forearms. (Where did they go?) I want to wake up in the morning and eat a bowl of cornflakes and watch television without guilt. I want to go to the library and find books I’d like to read for the summer. I’d like to watch the sun hit the walls of our living room and listen to the clock play Westminster chimes at the top of the hour. I want to watch repeats of Emergency after playing pretend with the neighborhood boys, wearing cut off jeans, tee-shirt and converse sneakers as the daylight dims and the Good Humor truck bells start jangling and come nearer and nearer as we each run home to quickly grab change.

I don’t want to think about the future today. I don’t want to hit my personal goal marks. I don’t want to try and write that Spec Script or even work on the book I’ve put aside for the past few months because my brain is void of ideas and concepts. I don’t want to beat myself up for not having a productive day today or maybe even tomorrow.  I don’t care about what my next turn will be and where I’m going or how little money I have when I want so much more.

I don’t care if I counted “I” over 30 times in this blog post, making “I, Me, Mine” seem so “I, Me…” narcissistic. I don’t care if nobody reads this. I don’t care if the Mets lose. I don’t care if ‘Rectify’ didn’t get nominated for an Emmy. I don’t care if nobody doesn’t care. I don’t care if that phone call didn’t come yet, or that email wasn’t sent yet. Or movers and address changes and New York and dog parks and Zipcars and trip to Bear Mountain with my California hound and how he will react to his first taste of snow. I don’t care now. I don’t care. Yet.

I’m letting it all go. I’m thinking of light and peace and the sky and the planets above. I’m thinking of summertime and autumn. I’m letting the feelings go. I’m letting all thoughts go.

Sincerely,

Moi. Letting go.

 


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Monday Writing Motivation: Spring Sprung

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Happy day two of Spring!

To those tulips and flowers thinking they had the all-clear in New York and woke up to a layer of snow this morning – I’ve heard the snow has melted and things are looking up!

Such is the advent of Spring. Although the calendar proclaims it the first day of this new season, for most areas of this country, winter will not pry its grubby, cold hands from the necks of winter weary humans and optimistic little flower buds.

In Los Angeles, it’s spring and summer all year round so the transition has less contrast.  The climate is temperate and things are pretty green around here most of the time. Yet, Spring comes along in February when the blooming Jasmine hatch open and the Pittosporum grows its incredibly fragrant white blooms that make you want to climb its branches and bury your face in a bushel flowery sunshine. (That is – if there weren’t bees everywhere, which is a blessing).  That’s the only way you know there’s a season change – when things start smelling like a perfume laboratory.

And then the Jacaranda trees start showing their purpleness a little later in April and May, adding their fragrance to the splendor and raining down purple petals on the street and cars. It’s ‘Purple Rain’ the way Prince meant it to be.

But enough of all this garden variety metaphorical waxing.  Spring does something more to our brain than we realize. Our goals and our intention to complete them flourish. The synapses in our brains fire off endorphins and fun chemicals that make us break out in spring fever.

And then some of us are still trying to catch up on that hour of sleep we lost last weekend.

Whatever the case of spring may bring on your doorstep or out your window, there’s plenty of fodder for writing.  So…

What does Spring mean to you?  What memories do you have of Spring? What hope do you have for this season? What do you smell, taste, feel and see this year that’s different from other seasons?  Are you exhausted? Happy? Wistful? Sad? Hopeful?

Write it down today. Tell Monday to take a hike. Break through the first day of the week resistance blues. 

 


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The Freeway Ain’t Free

QAdTsSj8TOOWzlyLn3Rg_14248396556_aefcd9a926_oI have a fear of the freeway. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for almost five years now, and I will not drive on the 101 or the 5 or the 10. I fear them. They are hissing snakes of crazy cars – a whirlpool of drivers who go fast – who hate you – who will ride up your ass when you’re going 70 miles an hour. I can drive the New York State Thruway and every Parkway across the New York Trii-State area – but I will not drive the Freeways of California. It’s like taking one’s life in your hand and then smashing it alongside a guard rail.

Oh – I’ll let someone else drive me. But I cannot handle the speed as I take the wheel, the wayward highway to nowhere – the fear of not knowing an exit. A lack of direction. I still can’t find north. My compass has changed since my move from the east coast. It’s direction now spinning, confused. The ocean is on the other side of my brain.

I hate the Freeway. If I have to go to the Valley, I will take the surface streets. I’ll take Cahuenga to Barham. I’ll wait in traffic. I’ll take Laurel Canyon, where the twisting turns of backed up cars leave you unable to see what’s ahead. You are the snake that’s hissing, the long bending road lined with rocks and houses, buildings on stilts and memories of Charles Manson, Mickey Dolenz, Jim Morrison, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Mitchell. If I go up this rock and roll mountain to the flats of the other side, I’ll start off seeing the old Country Store, and think of crystal beads and mobiles, incense and Indica, naked groupies and lone stoners looking for home. Where are those burned out babes and washed out music god wanna be’s today? Pushing a cart down a street? Running a bank? Bouncing a grandchild on their knee? Dead?

I always thought living in Manhattan was a grind. The subway, the dirt, the crush of the morning commute. When I moved to Los Angeles, I wasn’t seeking any fortune or fame. I was looking for Spring, Summer and Fall – no winter. I was looking for a a new way of life, where I could take my car and go anywhere – despite never wanting to drive on the freeway. Now – even the pretty weather is tiring. The heat – relentless. The people – deep, thoughtful- all out of towners like me who just wanted a new life in the sun.

Now, I envy the folks back home, shedding the dreary winter for that wonderful feeling of spring as it stirs. The feeling of warmth breaking through the cold. I’ll take spring after a bad winter any day over a spring after a season of drought and summer-like heat.

mtNrf7oxS4uSxTzMBWfQ_DSC_0043Tomorrow, I go to the other side – Sherman Oaks. I’m not used to the valley and the mysterious oasis of the other side – over the mountain. I only know Burbank and Toluca Lake, yet my car is set for whichever way is best along the Google Map warnings and the way I feel. I leave myself a lot of time.

The Freeway isn’t so free. It’s backed up for miles. So maybe the hissing snake will be quiet with the bumper to bumper traffic – but I won’t give in. I’m a New Yorker in Los Angeles and frankly – I want to go home. I love the beautiful weather in the dead of winter, and I want to go home. I love the friends who greet me like nobody does in New York, yet I want to go home. I love the incredible Southern California skies that turn baby blue and pink at twilight, and I want to go home. The stars aren’t as plentiful as in other less dense places, but the ones you can see – they hang like diamonds. The crescent moon is sharp, like the charm on those bracelets I used to wear as a child, the northern star perches nearby – almost like that second earring in your second piercing on your lobe. The Pacific Ocean is blue like heaven, whereas the Atlantic is green like life. I want to go home.

All this lamenting doesn’t mean much. I miss New York, and plan on moving back in a few years. I miss living in a place where I’m from. But I’ll never leave Los Angeles. I’m working on a life where I can live – somehow- in both places. New York – Los Angeles. A little of the milk and honey, dipping into the best of both worlds.

Dreams are like those hissing cars on the 101 – they’re scary. But in pursuing them, I’m not going to take the surface roads. I’ll forge ahead until I’m up the ass of someone going 70, and go around, much like the BMW’s and Mercedes driven by those who don’t know what a left or right hand signal is.