Desperate for a Dose of the Real World!

Well, maybe the internet is the wrong place to find the real world, but it’s still a step up from the world I’ve been in for the last twenty-four hours or so. I’m determined to have the outline of my Work-In-Progress completed by Monday morning, thus I’m totally immersed in the characters. So much so that I nearly forgot my own name. I decided I either needed to connect to the world here on my blog or call a friend (or a shrink!), and if I call a friend I’ll talk too long and not get back to work, so here I am!
I LOVE when i get this immersed, but it still can be disconcerting. John is gone for the day/evening with friends, so it’s me and the pups and a bunch of made-up people. I’m working in the living room,  my papers and notecards spread all over the (blanket-covered) sectional and coffee table. I have a notecard next to me with the words “haunting” “mysterious” and “emotional” written on it in large letters to keep me focused on the tone of the novel. I have several cds in rotation, all my usual deep-in-the- novel music: soundtracks from braveheart, sommersby, dances with wolves, the piano, a beautiful mind, out of africa. music with the power to slay me all on its own. Once I combine it with the struggling, afraid, loving, beloved, confused fictional people in my mind. . . well, let’s just say I got overwhelmed. The story took off in a direction I wasn’t expecting and all at once, I felt everything my characters were feeling and it was too much at one time. Whew. I feel better now, though. Maybe I should put on some old Motown and dance around the room to ground myself a bit more, but I’m afraid of losing where I am in the story. I promise you, this will be a powerful book!
  Thanks for listening. I’m going to dive back in. Plus, I just remembered i have a pint of ben and jerry’s chunky monkey in the freezer for later, so I’ll be fine!


  1. Laura on October 23, 2006 at 8:44 am

    LOL! I can totally relate to the “getting immersed in the make-believe”–especially with all that powerful music going on. The only one I would have added would have been from Meet Joe Black–love that one! I find myself so wrapped up in reading sometimes, that I forget the characters are not real people; especially so with yours. Sounds like this will be another to add to that list. Just make sure you keep taking those breaks back to reality–and I can’t think of 2 better friends to do that with than Ben & Jerry! Hope you have a great Monday–it’s a beautiful one here in Iowa–a gorgeous pink sun just passing over the horizon. Happy October!

  2. Diane Chamberlain on October 23, 2006 at 9:11 am

    really really spooky, Laura. i just wrote about a pink sun peeking over the horizon. not five minutes ago. hmm. maybe i need more original material.
    Meet Joe Black? Was it a good movie? Is the music emotional? If so, I’ll run out and get it.

  3. Laura on October 23, 2006 at 9:22 am

    Movie was fabulous–Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt–not many combos better than them! And the music is very emotional. My daughter listens to it on “repeat” all the time. She’s an art person like Margo. But also a music person, like me! As for the pink sun–maybe it’s just that great minds think alike!

  4. Brenda on October 23, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    Totally understand.
    Friday, I had some tests (medical again), then interviewed old, dear friend for my project (grad class) and future book (not the Vietnam fiction) about a real Vietnam experience…whew…he kept this story for 41 years-secret…I was a mess as was he…then took off for Ohio-met my daughter and girls from Indy and my son from Cleveland-met in Circleville-a weekend of the biggest USA festival-l/2 million folks-Pumpkin Show (the l00th)…we meet there each year since the kids “grew up” there (until Jr. High)
    Now, back to teaching, grad school, etc. for two weeks and then to NYC Marathon to cheer my son-then besides the holiday-no trips until after comps, classes, and project…whew…
    BLOGS or shrinks…well-this BLOG is helping me…
    Did you get a coffee table???? I assume you did if you had papers on it.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on October 23, 2006 at 11:10 pm

    laura, i’m definitely going to check out that soundtrack. have you seen the movie THE CHORUS? french with subtitles, but a lovely little film and the music–boys choir–is beautiful.
    brenda, i can’t keep up with you! that interview you did sounds like it was really something. i hope you’re able to enjoy all the travel and getting to see family.
    as for the coffee table, no, we’re still using the old one. we’ve been too busy to do much looking. i’m gathering ideas, though. i also have splotches of different paint colors on the walls now, trying to decide which shade to pick. decisions, decisions.

  6. Krysia on October 24, 2006 at 1:27 am

    I work at a hardware store, it’s an upper midwest chain. And I swear I will never ever build a house or remodel a house. Listening to people for hours or sometimes just days trying to figure out what light to put in their bathroom makes me go nuts. I’d be about crazy if I was in your shoes, couch, then coffee table and wall colors. I like my egg shell white walls in my apt, it’s plain but I can decorate any way and it goes well. Now I just need a new couch, oh well. Currently I am addicted to a movie and have downloaded most of the songs from it to my mp3 player. I’d download the sound to the movie but someone might commit me then. oh well. Happy writting!

  7. Margo on October 24, 2006 at 9:37 am

    Very eeeeeeeeeeeeerie Laura and Diane…2 minds thinking and seeing at the same time…this seems to be the month for strange things happening and I’ve experienced it myself…speaking of, I started WATCHERS Diane!…love it so far…your choice of soundtracks are my fav’s too, especially OUT OF AFRICA which I love playing on the piano…like you, I get so absorbed with my art when I listen to music that I actually forget where I am…Laura just reminded me of another great soundtrack THE THORN BIRDS…yes, that is definitely a great 1!!

  8. Diane Chamberlain on October 24, 2006 at 9:54 am

    krysia, john would love you. he also thinks walls should be eggshell white so he can hang and art on them he wants. i think he’s convinced now, though, that a taupe is still a neutral color.
    so what is this movie??

  9. Margo on October 24, 2006 at 10:32 am

    Diane, I’ve always had eggshell white on my walls but next summer we are going to re-paint and carpet and I’m going for taupe walls! I always thought eggshell was the only way to go for artwork but an artist friend painted her walls taupe and her art looks lucious on these walls…sorry John, but I’m going with Diane’s choice…

  10. Diane Chamberlain on October 24, 2006 at 1:58 pm

    that’s ok. john’s been won over. if we ever get around to having it painted, i’ll post a pic.

  11. Krysia on October 24, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    The movie is Imagine Me & You, it’s a British comedy/love story. I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do, it’s weird. I don’t get it at all.

  12. Brenda on October 24, 2006 at 6:31 pm

    I typed up the interview last night-I have a voice recorder that I connect to my laptop and type as I listen…great way to do things…however…it was something else…once I finish everything, I must do a book telling the stories of veterans of Vnam…add to my list.
    Others tell me the same thing–my life…
    I received a request to use my story on some show that is honoring Reba McIntyre-they wanted a picture…I wasn’t comfortable with that…but have permitted a statement by me…(going back to college—something in connection with one of her songs that I love…)She is so talented.
    Keep writing, Diane…I am eager for the book…and totally appreciate what you are doing…It took forever to get through ONE interview…
    I love this voice recorder.

  13. Brenda on October 24, 2006 at 6:33 pm

    P.S. After being single for eight years (between marriages) and living in apartments with eggshell walls…I was excited to once again have a house (although I am tired of the upkeep, etc…)
    I chose delightful colors…the formal living room, one guest room (my son’s), my bath are a taupe-like color–love it…family room, kitchen, dining room-shades of off-white to beige…master bedroom-a lovely soft green…and the other guest room (granddaughters’ room) a warm ocean-blue…
    I have to have the color-that’s my right brain…

  14. Brenda on October 24, 2006 at 6:39 pm

    Off the subject-
    Diane-I too loved Victoria Holt…
    Set my hair on huge rollers…
    However-do you write about your parents, etc…the time you were growing up???
    I must have missed that on a Blog or bio…I do remember how you met JOHN…
    Just finished one of your OLDIES again…great writing…

  15. Diane Chamberlain on October 25, 2006 at 12:01 am

    okay, krysia, i just added Imagine Me and You to my netclicks list. sounds cute.
    brenda, i guess i haven’t written much about my parents or growing up–maybe some day i’ll have time to get back to the memoir i was working on earlier this year.
    i’m really curious about your vietnam interviews, and at the risk of getting political, what do you think of the comparison between the wars in vietnam and in iraq?

  16. Brenda on October 26, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    Right now am swamped just trying to do these classes and TODAY attended the funeral in this adopted family of mine (just interviewed the one who died and his brother last week—whew…)
    Getting political-I can pretty much sum it up this way, Diane…I do not mix religion, politics, and friendship…(that being said-to keep our “friendship” ) I am very anti-war…Seeing what happened during the 60’s with Vietnam and seeing My former students going to Iraq now–when does it end???I am so tired of it all… So-against my beliefs-of mixing such things–I ABSOLUTELY want this war to end…and I believe that we are where WE SHOULD NOT BE-just as WE WERE WAY BACK WHEN…What about you???? I hope we can remain Internet Friends despite my very strong opinions…

  17. Cheryl on October 26, 2006 at 9:50 pm

    I feel a couple days behind because I haven’t been online, but I wanted to tell all the artists with their eggshell walls, that when I moved in with my husband (to an apartment with eggshell walls) he had a print from an artist friend of his mothers and I really didn’t like it. it just seemed rather dull. When we moved to our condo two years later, and hung the picture onto a light blue wall it looked completely different and became one of my favorite prints. I am a strong believer in color and experimenting with color. It can enhance pictures rather than distract from them sometimes. You can tell what we have redone in our current house because the rooms we haven’t gotten to are still eggshell white!
    And, Brenda, I agree with you on the war.

  18. Diane Chamberlain on October 27, 2006 at 12:03 am

    Cheryl, interesting about the wall color and the print. I can’t wait to get some color on our living room walls, even if it is a taupey neutral.
    brenda, of course we’d still be internet friends, even if i disagreed with you. which i definitely do not. i’m hugely political, but i try to keep my politics out of my books. my readers run the gamut from ultra conservative to rabidly liberal and i like the idea that my fiction can touch all of them.

  19. Margo on October 27, 2006 at 8:52 am

    I have to voice my opinion too and say I COMPLETELY AGREE with Diane, Brenda and Cheryl on the war…like Diane, my husband and I are very political, disagree with the war…etc., etc….I could go on and on…It’s strange because growing up, I quess you could call me the “odd man out” in the family because I thought completely different from my parents and siblings and this goes clear back to the age of at least 10…PETER, PAUL & MARY were my fav group for the wonderful message they conveyed with their songs…and I STILL think the same way…during family gatherings and holidays I hope that everyone will stay silent on the subject of ‘politics’ because Gary and I think so differently from them…..

  20. Diane Chamberlain on October 27, 2006 at 5:29 pm

    i, too, was the “odd man out” in my family, margo. it may have been a generational thing. i loved P,P and M and also Dylan before he turned mainstream, and Joan Baez. John and I were talking about this the other day. We each identify ourselves “back then” as hippies, but as we talked, I realized we have different definitions of the word. to him, it meant The Grateful Dead. To me, it was more “Blowin’ in the Wind.” maybe it was somewhere in between. and maybe it doesn’t matter, anyhow. i guess what really matters is who we all are today.

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