My Brain Hurts: the Revisions Continue

Not only my brain. Sitting in this chair for hours and hours, days and days, is getting to the rest of me, too. The book’s good, though. It really is. I need people to remind me of that when I’m in the middle of writing the next one and feel like chucking it all. It’s good, but I still have so much I want to fix. I was hoping to finish by Sunday morning so I could go to the Carolina Crime Writers’ Brunch, but clearly that’s not going to happen.
Okay, enough griping. Today, I received my new HP LaserJet printer! It took a few hours to print my manuscript on my old InkJet. This new printer should be able to do it in about twenty minutes! I’ll believe it when I see it. It’s beyond my imagination right now.
The UPS man also brought me Springsteen’s new CD, although I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet. I know I’ll love it, though.
And as long as I’m on the subject of “the arts,” I’m reading A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, by Khaled Hosseini. I’m learning so much about Afghanistan’s recent history. I’m enjoying the book, but I don’t know yet if I’ll love it. It’s very tragic so far, and given the setting and the era, I fear it can only go downhill from here. I don’t need a happy ending to love a book, though, so I’ll hang in there. I allow myself to read from midnight to one am–my special treat. John and I keep talking about taking an 8 am class at the Y, but I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon!
Enough chitchat for now. I hope you’re all enjoying some lovely fall weather.


  1. Anonymous on October 5, 2007 at 8:59 am

    I think the 8 am class at the Y is a great idea and would give you a nice break from revisions and the chair…stretching and even a little yoga really helps to energize. I didn’t know Bruce had a new CD out! Let me know how you like it Diane. I read late at nite too and am enjoying Anne Rivers Siddons ‘NORA, NORA”.

  2. Margo on October 5, 2007 at 10:14 am

    Diane, I left the 1st comment (Margo), not anonymous.

  3. Diane Chamberlain on October 5, 2007 at 11:00 am

    Margo, I listened to NORA, NORA on CD and really enjoyed it. I nearly always like Siddons.
    I KNOW the Y is a great idea, but for me to get to a class by 8, i’d have to go to bed–finished reading, lights out–by 11. John and I are such night owls. But it’s important and we’re talking about it. . . At least we’re exercising our jaws as we talk!
    I’ll let you know how I like the Bruce CD. It’s with the E-Street Band again, so it’s got to be super. After all, it’s got “Silvio” from the Sopranos! And I love Clarence Clemons sax.

  4. Margo on October 5, 2007 at 11:09 am

    Gary & I are nightowls Fri & Sat nites for sure…but Mon-Fri our lights are out early so I can get up before sunrise and workout. It really is good for the soul and energizes and disciplines my day. Anne Rivers Siddons is my SECOND fav author…as soon as I’m finished with NORA I’m starting SWEETWATER CREEK. Never have listened to books on CD but we’re thinking of trying it next time we take a long driving trip. Hope you and John try the Y…should be alot of fun with both of you going! Wait till I tell Gary about E Street Band on the new Bruce CD…he always thought the boss was his best with that band. (-:

  5. Ann on October 5, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    Diane, I felt the same way that you do about A Thousand Splendid Suns” – that it was not going to go “uphill”. I gave up after a few chapters. Let me know if I should try again.

  6. Krysia on October 5, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    I heard bruces single on vh1 b4 i moved and liked it. I was a big fan of his when i was little. I was reading black & blue (4got the authors name but she wrote one true thing which was also awesome) it was good but i moved b4 4 could finish it. The writing style was diff it was like the character was actually telling u their life, it jumps around.

  7. Cheryl on October 5, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    Diane, I would like to know what you think of A Thousand Splendid Suns when you finish. I read the Kite Runner and thought it was a great book. I have been interested in A Thousand Splendid Suns, but haven’t gotten it yet. I have a lot of books stacking up on me so I have been trying to stay out of the book stores.
    Also, I just finished The Courage Tree and really enjoyed it.

  8. Julie on October 6, 2007 at 2:37 am

    Funny, I allow myself to read from midnight to 1 a.m., too, more or less (sometimes later if I don’t get to bed until later). My friends all think I’m nuts, but if I don’t wind down with a book, I just stare at the ceiling for an hour. LOL
    I have to get my girls up at 6:30, get them on the bus, then I am back in bed for a while. Gotta get my 8 or 9 hours of Z’s or I’m a very crabby zombie. Occasionally, I will go workout first, then go back for some sleep, but it makes for a weird day. And, I, too, and an incorrigible night owl, and belong to the Y, and that $55 dollar visit this month sure was an expensive one. Hehe.
    Coincidentally, I read Nora! Nora! about a month ago, and loved it, and tried to listen to Sweetwater Creek on audio a few weeks ago, but didn’t get far and loaned it to a friend. I wasn’t gelling with the reader. (None of you better be her, or I’m in trouble.)
    Good luck with your revisions, Diane!

  9. brenda on October 6, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Hang in there. The book is memorable even if sad.
    As to sitting-I was sitting during a class yesterday-we had a guest speaker-I have to teach a few classes of INTRO TO MAJORS-besides English-don’t ask…and the air conditioner in the room-one of the new rooms-was cold. (USUALLY ROOMS ARE HORRIBLY HOT) and after they finished (policemen), I was limping. Arthritis sufferers have trouble in extreme cold and extreme hot-this started when I was 25…so I totally understand about the sitting…it is difficult.
    Well, I am off to chores, grading essays (college) and poetry books (high school), cooking, and other things today. I am skipping a yearly picnic but can’t be helped. Hope you get to go to the brunch.
    I am reading a new Diane Mott Davidson-I like her books-but she goes into too much detail about the cooking/catering…
    I am also reading a book about Josephine (Napoleon). It is great.

  10. brenda on October 6, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Y in the P.M. is so much better. I will be returning next semester because I will teach college classes from 4-7 and 5-8 (two different nights). That will be better than 7-10 (I go straight from the high school and go to college library and have study sessions with college students). I miss my Y…I did not like the classes…Yoga and Pilates-after awhile-they HURT…but I LOVE THE MACHINES…they do the work.

  11. brenda on October 6, 2007 at 10:34 am

    If I had to do exercise in the morning, I would wilt. I am at the high school by 7:30-it is about 13 miles away on county road (not Interstate)…I leave there by 4 or 4:30. It is a long day-then college. However, I could not exercise in the morning even if I were home. The arthritis is too bad until the Tylenol starts to help a little-and that is like eating candy. However, my bleeding ulcer does not permit anything stronger. I cheated this summer and took ALEVE-pretty good-but the ulcer acted up. Oh well.
    Margo-you amaze me too.
    Julie, amazes me you have time to read with the little ones, but I’ll bet you are like the rest of us-using that reading time to relax. Enjoy those girls.

  12. brenda on October 6, 2007 at 10:41 am

    Okay!! This is my day to do the computer.
    1. What fall? We are still in the 90’s in WV…and that is comparable to what I had in S. Carolina. I can remember growing up here (before moving many places), and we were freezing in October.
    2. What do you guys think of students rallying to read books that parents object to? (Not at my high school-but at the one I taught at a few years ago) I have this theory: Choose books that are classics…or at least modern ones that parents won’t mind. THEN: If the students want to read other books, get written parental approval. Why fight when there are so many books out there?
    I just had my kids finish a book-chosen by department-they all read it. I have now given them the choice to go to library and choose one. This is outside reading-besides literature book. As we study poetry, writing essays, short stories, nonfiction, research paper, drama, etc., they keep novels going as long as I can get them to do that-not easy. Seems to be easier in 9th and l0th (( I have this year) than the 6 years I had seniors-although I enjoy senior literature so much more.
    Better get off here. English teachers work and have meetings on Monday from 9-6:30 while the others come at ll:00-go figure that one. No school for kids on Monday.
    Take care-I’ll look forward to your opinions. Thanks for letting me vent today

  13. Diane Chamberlain on October 6, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Vent any ol’ time, Brenda! I actually like hearing about your crazy schedule because it makes me want to be industrious like you. I wish I’d had you as a high school teacher.
    I could have guessed you’d already read A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS. I have about 50 pages to go, and it is an amazing book. I’ll blog about it when I’m done.
    Exercise: I really can only manage pool exercise with rheumatoid arthritis–and I’m not 100% I’ll be able to manage that these days. It’s been a while. But anything would be better than nothing. . .

  14. brenda on October 7, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Have read a few books this weekend-some good.
    Had looked forward to reading THE HARROWING, a first novel supposedly, for Alex Sokoloff. I could not get throug hit because of the language. It is a ghost story and intrigue, but I finally gave up-I don’t usually do that unless it is pretty rough.Have any of you read it?

  15. Diane Chamberlain on October 8, 2007 at 2:56 am

    brenda, it’s 2:53 am and i’m brain dead, but wanted to reply. i enjoyed THE HARROWING. It’s not my usual kind of read, but Alex is a friend of mine, so I gave it a try. I liked the story quite a bit. But now you’ve perked my interest, because I don’t even remember the “rough” language. Alex is a Hollywood screenwriter, so that probably explains a lot of it. I’m going to go back and check the language. You read so much, that if it put you off, I’m sure it would others as well.
    I have to say, the book I’m revising has more four letter words than any other book I’ve written. I just believe this character would use the words I have him using. I tried substituting “friggin'”, but it just didn’t work! g’night.

  16. brenda on October 8, 2007 at 8:22 am

    I’m on my way to a late day at school-meetings and such 9-6:30 today.
    It was not 4 letter words. It was the ranting and raving against God and Jews-in the voice of the ghost. Then the others seem to use the f word a lot-that I could have gotten past but the other was horrendous. If it put me off, as much as I read, you know it was something else. I can usually skim past.
    I could not finish the book, but I assume what happened.
    I loved the setting…

  17. brenda on October 8, 2007 at 8:23 am

    The kids use freaking more than anything now…sweet, my bad (I hate that one because it means so what???)

  18. Margo on October 8, 2007 at 9:20 am

    Diane, your went to bed at 3 this a.m. and I was up at 4 a.m. working out! How do you stay up so late? Late for me on Fri & Sat nites is midnite. (-:

  19. Diane Chamberlain on October 8, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Margo, last night (staying up late) was really hard. You can tell by the quality of the post I wrote about THE HARROWING! When I’m on a major roll (the revisions) I just hate stopping. Quality does tend to suffer, though. LOL. I have to revise my revisions this morning. 🙂
    Brenda, I see now what had you upset and I remember squirming about the same thing. However, it all “works itself out” in the end.
    As for kids using freaking — yes, the kids in BEFORE THE STORM do occasionally use that word. It’s the adult male I’m having trouble with.
    Men. Sigh.

  20. Joan Conwell on October 8, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Diane,
    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed meeting you at the CCW brunch yesterday. I look forward to reading your work–any suggestions on where to start or reading order?
    With regard to A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, I haven’t read it yet, but remember almost putting down THE KITE RUNNER at that hideous moment about 1/3 of the way through. The main character was so arrogant and unlikeable, I thought I could not possibly stick with it. Boy am I glad I did because THE KITE RUNNER turned out to be one of my favorite reads last year. Maybe A THOUSAND…will redeem itself in a similar fashion?
    All best,
    Joanie Conwell

  21. Diane Chamberlain on October 9, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Hey, Joanie! I enjoyed meeting you as well. I think you’ll love A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS if you liked THE KITE RUNNER. As for my books, you might try THE SECRET LIFE OF CEECEE WILKES, which Quail Ridge Books probably still has, although it’s hard to find, since they don’t go back to print when a book is just a few months away from being reissued in paperback. Also, as a former Jersey girl, you’d probably enjoy THE BAY AT MIDNIGHT, set at the Jersey shore. Other favorites of my readers include the KEEPER trilogy: KEEPER OF THE LIGHT, KISS RIVER and HER MOTHER’S SHADOW, all set in the Outer Banks. Good luck with your own writing.

Leave a Comment