Creating Something from Nothing

As I go deeper into the rewrite of my current Work-in-Progress, BEFORE THE STORM, I find myself thinking about the book I’ll write when this one is finished. It’s as though my brain needs to have two tracks going at one time: the rewrite uses the organizational, fine-tuning track, while the yet-to-be-written book uses the free-flowing creative track. I like both parts.
Many years ago, I signed a $7,000 contract for my second book before I had a clue what it would be about. I thought: I’m being paid $7,000 for NOTHING! It was actually kind of scary. I’d already been given a chunk of the money. Could I produce the book? Could I create something from nothing?
Clearly, I managed to do so and have done so fifteen times since then. I always have false starts when I begin thinking of ideas, but I seem to need those early attempts, as they ultimately lead me to the story I want to write and the characters I want to write about. The ideas I’m getting now may see the light of day at some point, or they may simply be my next false start. Either way, I like having them in the back of my mind as I work on the current WIP. They let me know I still have the ability to create something from nothing. I hope I always do.


  1. Margo on May 15, 2007 at 8:52 am

    Diane, you have a ‘gift’ with your imagination and I love the fact that you can be working on 1 novel and still visualize the next 1 to be written! I don’t know if all creative people think that way but I know that I do the same thing and have often wondered if everyone thinks like that! When my WIP gets to the point where I’m ‘detailing’ it I’m already thinking about the next 1 I’m going to do and sometimes even start it so it’s there waiting for me. I absolutely believe you will ALWAYS be able to create something from nothing D! I think your mind has always worked that way and that’s something noone can ever take from you.

  2. Diane Chamberlain on May 15, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Thanks, Margo. I like the idea that you work the same way with your painting. What are you working on these days?

  3. Margo on May 15, 2007 at 10:27 am

    I just finished a commission for someone in Connecticut. It’s a surprise for a woman from her husband of her 2 doggies Harry & Teddy. They were an absolute joy to paint as 1 is a West Highland Terrier and the other a Maltese and according to her husband, they are her ‘babies’. When I was half done with them I started the sketches of my next commission which are of 2 Airedales (Winnie and Sophie)… I’ve been selected into several art shows this summer but what I’m really excited about is that I’ve been the only artist accepted into the AKC Dog Show this Sept where I will demonstrate painting dog portraits…already there are over 2500 dogs that will be competing and for me this is a dream come true.

  4. Diane Chamberlain on May 15, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    Wow, Margo, your star is really rising! What a fantastic opportunity (the AKC dog show). I can’t wait until you have a website (hint hint) so people who come to my blog can pop over and see your wonderful paintings.

  5. Ann on May 15, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    Diane, talk Margo into a website!!! I would love to see her paintings. I had a portrait of my son, his wife and their dog done by a local artist a couple of years ago and it was a gift that I was really pleased to give them.
    Okay, Margo let’s get with that website!!!

  6. Diane Chamberlain on May 15, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    poor margo! i know we’re stressing her out.

  7. Margo on May 16, 2007 at 8:44 am

    I PROMISE myself to get a website this year…now, there’s no turning back and I have to do it! Ann, if you want to give me your e-mail or Diane, I can forward pics by e-mail of my work. Not sure how you want to give it to me since you probably don’t want the whole world to have your address, but I do have images of most of my dog portraits and macaw paintings available to view thru e-mail. I also paint ocean and beach scenes and when I travel to Nantucket next month I will be working on a Nantucket painting journal. My friend’s 8 year old daughter is going with us and she wants to be an artist so we’re going to paint together on the beach. I believe this little girl will someday become a well known painter because she is really amazing with what she can do at such a young age. She drew my portrait last Sun and I made sure she signed and dated it along with writing her age below it. I will keep this to show her one day. I have no children but she made Mother’s Day very special for me by giving me the portrait along with a hug.

  8. Diane Chamberlain on May 16, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Okay, I have now given Ann’s email address to Margo. If anyone else wants me to send his or her email address to Margo, write to me at and I’ll take care of it.

  9. brenda on May 16, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    Margo-is it almost time for Nantucket? Go girl…
    You can send me pictures at
    Anyone can get our emails, addresses, etc…by surfing Internet…sad but true…

  10. Margo on May 17, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Hi Brenda…I leave for Nantucket June 13 with my friend and her 2 daughters…my sis is going to try and join us for part of the trip but not sure yet. I’ll send you pics of some of my paintings this a.m.!

  11. Margo on May 17, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Hi Ann, just sent you some pics of my art. Hope you enjoy them…(-:

  12. Ann on May 17, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Just got the pictures from Margo. Her work is Magnificent!!!!! I felt like I could reach through my computer screen and touch each of her wonderful animals. Diane, thanks for sending her my e-mail address. I hope to see more of her art – she has Talent!!
    AKC dog show has picked a Real Winner with her.

  13. Diane Chamberlain on May 17, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    I know, Ann. She’s the real deal. And she can paint in so many different styles. Over the years, Margo’s sent me several of her paintings, but my favorite will always be the first: a simple (looking) painting of a cardinal on a white background. She captures so much personality of the animals and birds she paints.

  14. Margo on May 17, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    I’m turning every shade of red as I read your wonderful comments. Thank you Diane and Ann. I love what I do and the highest compliment I can receive is that I’ve captured love and personality with my work. Diane, the red cardinal is the first time I tried a new medium which is watercolor pencils. I’m able to apply a ‘wash’ and blend with a brush, but also able to go back ‘on top of the wash’ with the watecolor pencils and get the ‘real fine detail’. I love working with it because of the depth and accuracy it gives me…so, I chose you to give my first painting to using this medium. I own the 2nd painting with watercolor pencils which is of a little dachsund (spel?) whom I named ‘Snoots’. But it pleases me so much when I demonstrate at shows and people ask what I’m painting with…I tell them about this fairly new product and how I gave my first attempt to my very favorite author Diane Chamberlain!

  15. brenda on May 18, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Margo-just got my answer to my question on one of the other blogs-paintings instead of photographs. I have to say that you are absolutely talented. Those dogs jumped out at me. I am a dog lover (I have one-Molly Ariel), and I could not believe it. I am standing (or sitting) amazed at you.

  16. Margo on May 21, 2007 at 8:39 am

    Thank you Brenda. I have loved dogs since at least 5 years old and have been drawing them, painting them and studying them ever since. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to love what your doing (and get paid for it too!)…I feel blessed.

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