Missing the Outside World

John and I are leading a strange existence right now. I have a July 1 deadline for my novel, and he has a June 15th deadline for a film he’s producing for a corporate trade show. My office is upstairs (really the ground floor), and his is downstairs next to his photography studio. We have battened down the hatches, taking breaks to eat protein bars or tuna straight from the can  (well, we did watch the Sopranos tonight. My heart was pounding. Omigod. I can’t believe there’s only one more episode! I really was upset by the unprofessional way his therapist terminated with him. She’s been great for 7 years, and that was a bit of a weak point in the script, in my opinion. Otherwise, excellent show). 
Even though there’s a certain degree of panic in this pre-deadline world, I enjoy it. I’ve mentioned before that I inherited my love of sitting at a desk from my father, who was a school principal and who loved nothing better than sitting in his little home office (long before every household had one), surrounded by books and papers and working on something at his typewriter. He would have adored the Internet!
It’s hard not to feel cut off from the rest of the world when I’m locked in my office like this for days at a time. No mornings at the Opium Den. That’s rough. I’m not alone though. My office is filled with fictional people and they don’t know it yet, but they’re headed for a Big Crisis in their lives. Heh heh. It’s nice to have total control over something.


  1. Margo on June 4, 2007 at 9:47 am

    I missed the Sopranos last nite because I just had to watch DA VINCI CODE for the 100th time! Love that movie! Sopranos is repeated all this week so will catch it probably tonite. Diane, I can’t believe how similar our families sound. My father was and is still the happiest when sitting in his den surrounded by tons of papers and work related things. He has been retired for quite some time but still finds time everyday to be in his den with his ‘things’. As for Starbucks, not even a quik stop for coffee ‘to go’?

  2. Diane Chamberlain on June 4, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Nope, not even “to go.” I’m actually using a Toddy coffeemaker at home because I was having problems with heartburn and the Toddy reduces acid and caffeine by a lot. http://www.toddycoffee.com This is not to say I’ll never go to Starbucks again! But for right now, staying home is benefiting both my work-in-progress and my health. (Except for NO exercise. I’m actually craving it!).
    Margo, I got a little heart pang thinking about your father. Please give him a big hug from me. I wish my own Dad were still around to hug.

  3. Kathy Holmes on June 4, 2007 at 11:00 am

    I love the image of your father loving his desk! I think I’m the only one in my family who enjoys that world, although I have a fabulous FIL who loves to do the same.
    BTW, I must tell you I went to B&N this weekend and saw one of your books and just had to buy it! About time – don’t ya think? Anyway, peeking through it I see you use elements that I’ve been trying to use and now maybe I can learn how to do them successfully. 🙂 I can’t wait to get started reading it.
    Oh, and the book’s title is “The Bay at Midnight.”

  4. Diane Chamberlain on June 4, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Kathy, I hadn’t realized you haven’t read any of my books! BAY is special to me, because I set it in my family’s old summer cottage on the intracoastal waterway in NJ. I hope you enjoy it and that it does help you in your own writing. let me know!

  5. Margo on June 4, 2007 at 11:31 am

    I’ll give my dad the hug from you D. Knowing him he’ll tell me to be sure and give it back to you! He has always been so kind to my friends. Kathy, you’re in for a huge treat with THE BAY. I loved that book so much because the cottage reminded me of the bungalow we stayed at every summer at Clear Lake while my sis and I were growing up. I think I read that book in less than 3 days the first time (have read it twice!). (-:

  6. Margo on June 5, 2007 at 9:54 am

    Diane, I caught the Sopranos last nite (Mon) and I agree with you on the therapist. Why on earth would the writers end the relationship that way? Lorraine Bracco has been so good all these years and it really upset me to see her that way. I’m still trying to figure out the purpose of that…

  7. Diane Chamberlain on June 5, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Margo, it was a real disappointment to me in a series that almost never disappoints. They certainly did a big build-up to the termination, making it clear that she felt she’d been sucked in by him all these years. But even if that were the case (although she was simply too good a therapist to see things so black-and-white), to treat him with the disdain she did was unprofessional and not in keeping with her character. The thing I admired about her character all these years was her strict adherence to ethical standards. Remember when she was raped and desperately wanted to tell him? I even wanted her to tell him! But she was better than that. So this sudden withdrawal of her support didn’t make sense, except that the writers (and believe me, I sympathize with them!) needed a way to be sure Tony was truly alone, with little support from anyone, at the end of the episode.

  8. Margo on June 5, 2007 at 11:03 am

    I admired her all these years too. Your right about something and I can clearly see it now that you mention it…Tony only has himself to rely on and is totally and completly alone. I wonder what will happen on Sunday. I can’t believe it’s the last episode EVER! I’m really going to miss this series.

  9. brenda on June 5, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    What are the Sopranos? I don’t watch much television except movies and I do like Criminal Minds….
    Also-am reading Ernest Hemingway again…love some of his books.

  10. Diane Chamberlain on June 5, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    Brenda! You’re in for a treat (maybe). You have such varied taste in books, that I THINK you’ll like the Sopranos, but I do recall we don’t agree on Stephen King, so not sure. You can rent the seven seasons of the Sopranos on DVD. It was (only one more episode) a terrific series about the New Jersey mafia. I ordinarily loathe mafia “entertainment”–being of Sicilian descent, I don’t like to see a whole culture tarred with the same brush–but this show is exceptional. The character development, writing and acting all superb. Warning: nudity, tons of violence, and lots of really tacky sex.

  11. brenda on June 6, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    Kathy-why are you leaving Florida and returning to the west coast???? Just curious…I love your BLOGS…

  12. brenda on June 8, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    Outside world-school ends Monday, the 11th–I have about two months to be MOM, WIFE, NANA…and get ready for the new year-at another high school-with no classroom yet again…I left my school two years ago–the building was old and I had “bad” stuff in the walls-enough said….I came to my county to teach and have not had a classroom-I move around-that is hard, hard, hard….
    The summer two months will give me time to regroup…etc…especially if I decide to teach college English/writing in the evenings this fall…
    Teachers are workaholics–I believe that…

  13. Diane Chamberlain on June 8, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    it must be incredibly difficult not to have your own classroom, brenda. ugh! you have to lug everything around with you?
    glad you have the summer off! r-e-l-a-x.

  14. brenda on June 12, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    I am working on lesson plans for next year since both classes have NEW LITERATURE books… (:
    Am going to teach college English two nights per week…can’t wait for that…writing…
    Take care…Margo-enjoy your trip.
    I will be leaving “soon” to go to play NANA and MOM…then, hopefully, they come here for a few days…

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