What is the best thing that I love about my work? At this stage of my life, I wear many hats. I have worked as an Educational Assistant for over 19 years, helping persons with special needs to attain their goals. I am a published author, and a creative writing teacher for The Windsor International Writers Conference. The thing all of my career paths have in common is that I get to meet interesting people from all walks of life, and share their stories. There is nothing better than sharing something you have written and having someone say thank you, what you wrote made a difference.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? I believe happiness starts with you. You need to be content with who you are as a person before you can share yourself honestly with others. I am happiest when surrounded by people with positive dispositions.
What is my greatest fear? My greatest fear: I am 1 1/2 years in remission from Triple Negative Breast Cancer. It’s a rare kind where your body does not have 3 receptors necessary to receive the typical medication used to treat other breast cancers. I had a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation. There is no present signs of Cancer, but I fear it’s return.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I used to deplore my vanity. I always have my hair and makeup done, always. Cancer has a way of humbling you, stripping you down to the very core of your being. Let’s face it, it’s hard to look good when you are bald, no eye brows or eyelashes. I learned to have a sense of humor about it, posting naked faceshots with crazy eyebrows drawn on.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? The persons I most admire in my profession are Pam Goldstein- head of The Windsor International Writers Conference, and Amanda Gellman, head of Filmcampforkids.com Both of these women are strong advocates for the Arts in the Windsor and surrounding areas. They see the benefit of the arts, not just as a social, recreational pastime in our community, but also as a stepping stone towards diversifying the job sector that was previously dependent on the Auto Industry.
What is my greatest extravagance? I adore expensive French Perfumes, almost anything by Dolche- Thank God a little bottle lasts forever!
On what occasion would I lie? I would, and have lied to save someones feelings. there is no reason to be unnecessarily cruel or ruin someone’s day when a little white lie will suffice.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? The thing I dislike most about my work is rejection letters. They always feel personal, even if it’s just you didn’t fit the criteria, still stings a bit- and I’ve had a lot of practice.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? My day job, working with the Children with Special needs always brings me joy. These kids love so unconditionally, it touches my heart.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I have always wrestled with my weight. I’m only 4’11 tall, and I love all things salty and sweet. I am also an emotional eater…Happy eat, sad…eat….hungry…
What is my greatest achievement in work? When I was diagnosed with Cancer I wrote a book for parents, teachers to read to children who might be dealing with a loved one who with Cancer. It’s call Someone You Love Has Cancer a Child’s Guide to Understanding, and is available on Amazon.
Where would I most like to live? My goal is to one day life on the lake in my hometown of Amherstburg. It’s a quiet historic town on the Southern shores of Lake Erie. Our summers are warm, and winters are mild. You can watch the sunset as steamships come through as well as watch the blue herrings, or bald eagles swoop in for their evening meals.
What is my most treasured possession? Aside from the obvious family and friends, my most treasure possession is probably my deceased grandmothers wedding ring, and jewelery box.
What is my most marked characteristic? My most marked characteristic is my patience. Working with children who have special needs, you need to decide which hill to die on. Physical Characteristic tho’ is my cat like eyes….opps…Vanity!
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I write at The Downtown Espresso Cafe on Dalhousie Street. It’s reminds me of my grandmothers cafe when I was little. It has the black and white checkered tiles to the red and chrome countertops, and tables and chairs. I love to people watch, and listen to the banter of the older Italian men as the razz each other.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? My favourite places to eat in my town are Riccardo’s Italian Restorante, love their casa de pollo. If we are just doing breakfast their is Ure’s Country kitchen. Lori, a one women show make delicious skillets, pancakes and waffles.
What books influenced my life and how? As a children’s author I grew up on Seuss, I love to write in Rhyme. But when reading I like local historical anticdotes. Two of my favorites are The Black Donnelley’s a story similar to Americas Hatfield and Mc Coy’s. I also loved the Rumrunner’s book by Marty Gervais.
Who are my favorite writers? When I’m looking for something in the romance genre…Nora Roberts, Mystery…James Patterson, and Dan Brown
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Bon Jovi
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? In Nora Roberts in the Garden Trilogy, she wrote an older woman character who was strong independent, compassionate, entrepreneur with painted pink toes. When I grow up I want to be like her.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My real life hero is my soulmate Ken. We met a few years ago while sailing. He asked me out, I said yes but I have a lump, I’m not certain yet what it is. He said that’s ok, we’ll get through this together. And we have.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Shawshank Redemption, and Fried Green Tomatoes…theme for both…friendship!
What role plays art in my life and work? I have always written, but it was not until I was published that I found myself fully submerged in the arts culture within my community. As a teacher, and board member for The Windsor International Writers Conference I am blessed to meet and work with many talented writers, agents, and publishing houses from all over the world.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My mother is the person who has always told me to go for it. My girlfriends are my biggest partners in crime…shhhh. And my biggest sponsors are probably a toss between The Windsor International Writers Conference, and Filmcampforkids.com as well as my publisher SBPRA.
Whom would I like to work with in 2018? I would love to work with a Canadian publishing house in the future. There are more grants to be had if I publish in Canada.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? I’ve met him several times, but a local author, journalist, professor, publisher I admire is Marty Gervais. I’ve heard him speak at several of our conferences. He is a great teacher, I learn something new each time he speaks.
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? There is a type of writing called Ekphrasis. Ekphrasis is when you are given a piece of art, like a sculpture, or painting and asked to write a poem or short story based on the work. Several of my pieces have won awards.
Where can you see me or my work in 2018? sbpra.com/robinmartin-duttmann/ or amazon.com
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion never Retires means that the hamster in my head is going to continue to spin until my dying breath….hopefully he gets somewhere!
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Pam Goldstein
How can you contact me? @RobinZimmerman_7 firstname.lastname@example.org FB-Robin Martin