WIP-No Holiday Here

First, and most importantly, THE BAY AT MIDNIGHT really is in the stores now. I’ve heard from some new readers who discovered it. Sorry for my premature announcement last week, but I get very excited when a book of mine is released. If you want an autographed copy and missed my announcement, scroll down.
Labor Day today, so John and I labored. I worked about half the day on Allie’s chapter. I don’t usually polish as I write. I tend to write a complete but sketchy draft first, then start adding details and polishing, but since I need to turn something in to my critique group, I figured I will break from my usual process and polish chapters one and two–both short chapters. I still haven’t outlined, but hope to start that by Wednesday or Thursday. I goofed off most of the afternoon, spending some time at Target where I bought a little train set to have on hand for NJ and where I avoided the book section because my to-be-read pile is already spilling over.
I’m going to try something different with my outline this time. I have a book called FIRST DRAFT IN 30 DAYS by Karen Wiesner. By first draft, she really means a well-thought-out outline. That usually takes me a couple of months, so I’m going to see how I do using her process. I’m not holding my breath. After 16 novels, I’m pretty set in my ways, but since I want to write two books this year, I think I need to shake things up a little.
Now for John’s work: omigod, he worked fourteen hours today! He signed up for a couple of art fairs, which is something he’s never tried before with his art photography. The first one is at the end of the month and he’s creating prints in all sizes and they are so gorgeous. He’s incredibly organized. He makes me feel like a sloth. I’ll be better tomorrow.


  1. pattie on September 5, 2006 at 8:45 am

    hi Diane!
    I bought First Draft in 30 Days when I bought, at your suggestion, The Writer’s Partner. I haven’t opened First Draft yet, but I am hoping it will help me too!
    Are you coming to the NJ conference this year? The PLRW/Pennsylvania girls would love to see you!
    Take care,

  2. Diane Chamberlain on September 5, 2006 at 9:28 am

    Hi Pattie! How good to “see” you. I’ll be the test case for FD in 30 Days and will keep the blog posted with my success or lack thereof.
    How I wish I could come to the NJ conference, but it’s not going to happen. Way too much work to do, though I’m very happy to do it. I AM hoping to make it to the Novelists, Inc. conference in March. It’s in San Diego, where I lived for 12 years and besides the fun of NINC, I’d get to see old friends. What usually happens, though, is that I make all my reservations and then cancel when I realize I need the writing time. So I may just be a homebody this year. Time will tell.
    Please say hi to the Lehigh Valley gang for me.

  3. Margo on September 5, 2006 at 9:35 am

    2 books this year!!…YEAH DIANE!!…I wouldn’t call you a sloth with ambition like that!! John is so fortunate to be able to print his own prints in diff sizes and things…I’ve looked into scanning and having prints made off my originals and it’s terribly expensive…I quess if I want to sell prints tho, I’ll have to invest in this process because lots of people want signed and numbered editions rather than investing in an original… I’ve been very lucky to sell some of my originals at each show this year, and have been awarded commissions, but I definitely am going to have to proceed with prints too. I got into prints a little bit a year ago…I thought I was doing good working on a huge canvas painting yesterday for 10 hours, but wow; John has me beat!!…good luck to him with his shows!!

  4. pattie on September 5, 2006 at 10:20 am

    🙁 Sorry we won’t see you at NJ! I’ll definitely say hello to everyone for you. I read your blog & will be interested in your progress w/FD in 30–if/when I make any progress, I’ll let you know!
    Saturday Mitzi & I are taking a bus trip to an Italian festival in Hoboken, where my WIP is set. I’ve never been there, so will research, research, research! And eat lots of great food, of course…

  5. Diane Chamberlain on September 5, 2006 at 11:00 am

    i’m at the opium den right now, and a writing friend I made here (at Starbucks) and I were just talking about Hoboken, (she’s a former jersey girl, too) how the air and the city were affected by 9/11. maybe that will impact your story in some way, pattie.
    margo, i do think numbered prints are the way to go. i know it’s an expensive proposition, though. i’m glad you were able to have all-day writing marathon.

  6. Margo on September 5, 2006 at 11:27 am

    Diane, your right about the prints. I’m hoping to have some available for my next show at the end of this month. My all day painting marathon was WONDERFUL. I lost myself in ‘Jamaica’ all day because that it what the painting is of…the couple that commissioned me had wonderful memories of their vacation there and have me painting a 36 x 60 canvas of the tropical waters and beach from photos they took…I’ve never been there but by the end of the day I was completely rested after meditating on that beach!!…(-:

  7. Diane Chamberlain on September 5, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    margo, what an incredible honor to be commisioned for a painting of a place that has so much meaning to those people!

  8. Margo on September 5, 2006 at 12:23 pm

    I know, that is exactly how I felt when they asked me. They recently built a ranch style home and the painting is to be their focal point in the living room above the huge fireplace…I truly am honored…my husband looked at the painting at the end of the day and said ‘we need to go to Jamaica’…

  9. brenda on September 5, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    You guys amaze me-writing, art…wow
    Margo-my schedule:
    finish my two classes this fall and study for comps and do exercises about VIEtnam project
    Spring-take two classes and do my project that is supposed to be my columns
    THEN: FINISH the Vietnam Project-nonfiction-and publish myself for those involved.
    THEN: finish my Vietnam Period novel…
    All the time teaching…but I think that will work…

  10. brenda on September 5, 2006 at 4:58 pm

    Diane-let us know how the 30 day book works-almost every review I read was negative-when someone else told me about this book…
    I think YOU could do a great job (WHEN) at writing a book-that would give others the PLAN as to how to write…

  11. Margo on September 5, 2006 at 5:23 pm

    Brenda, so glad you had a chance to blog today…I miss your comments!…but I know how extremely busy you are…we’re lucky Diane even gets a chance to blog everyday with her schedule!…I thought I was the one swamped all the time but after reading what you 2 do, I’m in awe……

  12. Diane Chamberlain on September 5, 2006 at 9:19 pm

    brenda, i’ll keep y’all posted on the 30 DAYS book. I think writers had this “who does she think she is, little miss no-name, telling us how to write” attitude about the book. I’m coming at it differently–I can learn from anyone, right? maybe something she suggests will trigger an idea in me. Of course, i may come back in thirty days and tell you it was completely useless . . .

  13. brenda on September 7, 2006 at 5:46 pm

    I agree with you-I can learn from anyone just as I am trying to keep in touch to learn from a master–you…
    Just finished a great book for one of my classes from one of the authors…
    THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDDLETOWN-well worth reading…
    Yes-I am tired and swamped=this BLOG is my stress-relief

  14. brenda on September 7, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    Most libraries have a MYSTERY section…your books would be there if you LABEL them simply mysteries…

  15. Diane Chamberlain on September 7, 2006 at 6:12 pm

    brenda, who is the author of the MIDDLETOWN book?
    as for putting my books in the MYSTERY section of a library, then i’d leave out those who like relationship dramas, romantic elements, etc. there is a tendency to pigeonhole books, mainly for marketing purposes, and books like mine don’t fit very neatly into a pigeonhole. as for labeling, few writers are “allowed” to label their own books. publishers usually decide on a label for them, depending on how they think they can best market them. this business doesn’t always make a lot of sense!

  16. brenda on September 8, 2006 at 5:16 pm

    Yes-that is my point-if you limit the genre of your books-you limit too much…that’s why I consider your books-and rec. them as CONT Fiction…
    Middletown book on Amazon.com—Eric Lassiter is one of the authors…I just think it is amazing that Middletown Revisited is unique-research…it just lets us know how the researchers who did the first Middletown research in the l920’s…was thinking…

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