John's Big Day

john sertoma 1.jpgGeranium.jpg
We are tired! Especially John. One more day of the art fair at the Sertoma Arts Center (if you’re in Raleigh, drop on by!). He got a bad spot for his booth, but the people who came by were wowed by his florals. I lost track of how many people said “those are photographs?” People thought they were paintings or silk screens, or I don’t know what. John’s been working on these photos in his studio for months, but sort of in a vacuum since they were not yet on his website and no one other than me had seen them. So today was very rewarding. If you’d like to see more, they are now on his site at . I’m proud of sertoma 2.jpgmy guy!
irisws.jpgThe geranium on black was a big favorite. but my personal favorite is this picture of irises because it makes me think of ballet, with the woman leaping through the air in front of her partner. 
As you can imagine, not much writing got done today! However, I did make an appointment to meet with the firechief in Surf City on Topsail Island next week. It’s going to be such a super trip!


  1. Brenda on October 1, 2006 at 7:51 am

    How beautiful and how talented…
    I spent the 30th-my birthday trying to do some much needed shopping-something I enjoy usually but not when I am so busy.
    Wish I could have gone to see John’s work instead…

  2. Brenda on October 1, 2006 at 8:05 am

    This is not about John’s big day-which I wish I could share…but an author we have not mentioned…
    Carlene Thompson–she is from WV and writes mysteries set in the area. I treated myself to a couple of hours on my birthday and read her latest, set in Charleston, WV, 20 miles from me–where I go to grad school.
    They are mysteries, simply read, but giving us something to think about-especially her first few. ALL IN paperback…

  3. Brenda on October 1, 2006 at 8:08 am

    The website of John-the little girl-reminds me of my granddaughters…enchanting…and the tulips (my favorite…)

  4. Diane Chamberlain on October 1, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    i’ve heard of carlene thompson, but haven’t read her. maybe one of these days. . . i love the little girl on john’s website–both (there are two actually). they were from a shoot he did for a kid’s clothing company. check out the one of the little girl and the great pyrennes (sp?) dog on their home page: . all the pixes there are john’s. beautiful kids, and the clothes aren’t bad either. 🙂

  5. Kathy Holmes on October 1, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    How awesome!!

  6. pattie on October 2, 2006 at 8:51 am

    When you interview sources for book research, how do you conduct the interview?Similar to a journalist doing an interview? Do you record or take notes–or both?
    I’ve interviewed tons of people for articles, but none so far for my fiction. I’m almost scared to–I think it’s some kind of dumb mental block because it’s not a paying job, not yet anyway! Any tips?
    John’s pictures are GORGEous! Congrats to him & I hope he did well.
    pattie in pa.

  7. Margo on October 2, 2006 at 9:18 am

    WOW Diane!…John’s pics and display are BEAUTIFUL…he is SO TALENTED!…my fav is ‘BLUE NAUTILUS’…gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!…hope the art festival experience was a good one!

  8. Diane Chamberlain on October 2, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    pattie, you would interview someone the same way you do for your articles. when you interview for an article, you go in with an idea of what you want to achieve. you do the same with a fiction source. for example, when i interview the firechief, i will describe to him the fire that i have planned in the story. i want him to tell me if my idea is possible, how the fire could be set, how they would determine it’s arson, what the investigation would be like, how the firefighters would arrive, what they would do first etc. sometimes i tape, but usually i just take notes. a funny: last week i pulled out an old tape to take to choir rehearsal with me. i assumed it was a tape i used with my last choir, so i popped it into the tape player in my car on the way to rehearsal. it was a tape of people talking with a lot of clinking background noise. i thought, “what the. . . ?” i listened more closely and realized it was the tape i made in a restaurant of an interview with my OB nurse practitioner friend, and i was gathering some very grisly information for the scene in CEECEE WILKES in which the governor’s wife has the baby in the cabin. LOL. i’d completely forgotten that i’d taped that conversation.
    you ARE a paid writer for your articles. and even if you’re not paid, i would simply call up the expert and explain you’re a nonfiction writer making the shift to fiction and you’d like to interview them for a book. I often invite them out to lunch: “May I take you to lunch and pick your brain?” Sometimes people will just correspond through email. You’ll have to judge whatever would be best for that particular resource, but by all means, go for it!

  9. Diane Chamberlain on October 2, 2006 at 12:07 pm

    Margo, I’m glad you like John’s work! It’s so funny how different people love different ones. i would say the big florals drew people in. once there, they also loved his bench with fall leaves, the interior of the national cathedral, the little chapel, and a bunch of others. the biggest sellers were these boxed sets of cards he’d made with the large floral images. he just about ran out of them. The art fair was fun, but the set-up and take-down with the peg boards and everything definitely was not. john’s in the process of figuring out if he wants to do more of them. i’m useless with arthritis, so all the heavy lifting becomes his job.

  10. Margo on October 2, 2006 at 12:26 pm

    Diane, setup and tear down is the pits, I agree…it definitely takes 2 of us!…everytime we finish a show I wonder if it’s worth it but once I’m home and had my bubble bath, I’m back to normal and it’s worth it…mainly because I almost always get calls AFTER the show for commissions, sales, gifts etc….I hope John continues to do them because he is SO talented…if we lived in Raleigh we’d help him in a minute! (Gary’s a pro at it now!)…(-:

  11. Lorene on October 2, 2006 at 12:45 pm

    I love the geranium on black and the Fall Triptych.

  12. pattie on October 2, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    Diane, thanks for your thoughtful answer–a lunch invite is a great idea! At the newspaper, e-mail interviews were a no-no (this may have changed in 3+ years) but we can do them where I work now. It’s often much easier for the interviewee because they are so busy.
    thanks again!

  13. Diane Chamberlain on October 2, 2006 at 6:34 pm

    email interviews for fiction (remember–you’re your own boss, now) are sometimes the only way because a) people are so busy and b) experts you need may not be nearby. i always give people the option of email, phone or if possible, in person. i just spoke with Jodee Kulp (the expert in fetal alcohol syndrome) by phone for my WIP and i’ll continue to email her as i have new questions.
    lorene, john framed the geranium in black with a black mat in a black frame–i never would have thought to do that–and it looked super at the show.

  14. Brenda on October 3, 2006 at 4:33 pm

    Has John thought of opening a studio/gallery in your area???Might be a thought. He is certainly more talented than most…lovely work.

  15. Diane Chamberlain on October 3, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    thanks brenda. he’s going to look into getting his work into local galleries here.

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