Inside the Mind of a Fiction Writer

We just got back from a quick trip to Baltimore. Here’s a look inside my imaginative (others might say “sick”) mind:
-the man riding in the hotel elevator with us was on his way up to meet his illicit lover for a tryst
-The body of a suicidal woman dropped past our hotel room window while we were watching CNN
-our taxi driver was a spy who was only pretending not to understand English
-A bomb exploded on the tall ship we were admiring in the Inner Harbor
-The two preppy-looking girls sitting on the bench at the Inner Harbor were actually dealing drugs
-I dropped a little piece of paper on the ground and was attacked by pigeons
-An engine, or perhaps an entire wing, fell off our plane on our return home
All of the above, and much more, played on the screen of my mind over the course of four or five hours. Sometimes it’s exhausting being me, even when I’m only thinking. If your day reads something like mine, you might want to take a stab at writing fiction yourself!


  1. Margo on November 2, 2007 at 9:23 am

    I think you should try your hand at writing a movie Diane! (Pigeon’s attacking the piece of paper reminds me of THE BIRDS). Creativity calls for imagination so it doesn’t surprise me that your mind is visualizing these scenarios. My mind works in a similar fashion only I see things and am constantly visualizing them in the form of a painting…while I was swimming underwater in Nantucket my mind saw myself painting swimmers underwater against vibrant shades of cobalt blue, indigos and cereleum. My days DO read like yours but I’m definitely not a writer…I’ll just stick to my paints and canvas for now. (-:

  2. Diane Chamberlain on November 2, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Margo, are you going to paint those underwater swimmers? I love the rich colors you use in some of your paintings (thinking of the macaws in particular).

  3. Margo on November 2, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Diane, yes but I’m going to use myself as a model for the 1st painting. Since I’ve never done something like this before I’m planning on the 1st painting having just 1 swimmer in the pic (which will be me). I plan on using all my fav blues (like the macaws!) with myself swimming underwater in my black swimsuit and the only other colors will be my skin tones and my hair color. The canvas will be huge, probably 42×60 so I can use lots and lots of blues. This will have to be an ongoing project in between my commissions. If it turns out the way I want, I plan on doing an entire series of ‘swimmers’ underwater. I had a dream last week about this Diane and got up in the nite to make sketches from my swimming experiences in Nantucket. (-:

  4. Trina Allen on November 2, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks for the laugh, Diane. Your imagination certainly comes through in your books.

  5. Ann on November 2, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    Margo, knowing what wonderful work you do – this idea sounds like it will be a magnificent piece of art!!!!

  6. brenda on November 2, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Just finished a hard week at work. Finished K. Reichs’ latest book-she never disappoints…well worth reading.
    My son is doing IRONMAN FLORIDA tomorrrow (I enjoyed the NY Ironman in July)…He is doing it in Panama City. I did not go.
    He does Florida marathon in January, Ironman Brazil in May, Wisconsin Ironman in the fall and then again NYC marathon in Nov. 2008 (This is the first year he has not done that one, and I am so disappointed…it is this weekend…I always go.)
    I will be watching Internet all day tomorrow, tracking him, grading papers, and trying to shake a cold. Hope all are well. Don’t forget to read Kathy’s book.

  7. brenda on November 2, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    Mystery writers have nothing on you!!!! WOW!!!!

  8. brenda on November 2, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Trina-I absolutely love love your remarks on your BLOG and your quote by S. King. That is how I feel on Friday night. I just turned on the laptop and have a request to speak to seniors at the university about graduate school on Monday night. I go there two nights a week, and I don’t think I can add another night. At least, now I know that I have something in common with S. King.
    I do have some good news about next semester-my two classes will be earlier. I LOVE teaching English at the college.
    For the rest of you-Trina has a great BLOG also…Now, I must admit to you girls-I do not read S. King.
    Did just finish a new one by Stuart Woods and a fiction about Jane Austen-yes another one…
    When do I read? Late at night and early Sat.

  9. Diane Chamberlain on November 2, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    Hope your son does well tomorrow, Brenda. Marathoning must be his full-time job! I’ve never read Kathy Reichs, but will check out her latest. Is that CROSS BONES?
    I enjoy Trina’s intelligent blog as well. I can imagine how teaching can get in the way of writing. Teaching’s one of those jobs you can’t simply turn off at the end of the day, so it’s bound to cut into other creative time.
    Just finished LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE for my book club. I’d never read it before, although I saw the movie. The book was much better–a real, light-hearted delight–a welcome switch from my usual fare.

  10. Julie on November 3, 2007 at 1:06 am

    Oh, I read Like Water for Chocolate early this summer! What a different kind of book it was. I’ve never seen the movie, but had heard so many people say they loved it, I finally picked it up at the library.
    There were two such opposing themes in it–the instant gratification in so many scenes, which made me giggle, and then the long, long wait for love, which made me a little sad.
    Your list also made me giggle. I’m always taking an informal survey among friends and acquaintances about what the shoe lying in the middle of the road means to them. It gives me a quick measurement of their imagination. 🙂

  11. Diane Chamberlain on November 3, 2007 at 1:43 am

    I love the “shoe lying in the road” idea! What a perfect way to inspire a story.
    Spoiler alert in case you haven’t read LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE. It was definitely a different sort of book, mystical and touching. I was left feeling that she should have been with John. Pedro seemed a bit of a cad. yet it all worked out in the end, so what do I know. Seems she took passion over stability. Maybe I would have too at a younger age. Now, I’d opt for stability any day. Any passion is a bonus.

  12. Julie on November 3, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    I remind myself of that every time I watch my husband rotate his socks and underwear when he puts his clean laundry away. HAHAHA!!!!
    I had the “passion” in my first marriage, and it turned into something a little less pleasing not long after the wedding. I’ll take stability, slow-blooming passion, and lots of warm fuzzies any day myself. Yep, her John seemed like a winner, and I was a little sad about that.

  13. Julie on November 3, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Aw, RIGHT after I typed that, my sock rotator came up behind me and kissed me and told me he loved me. (Sorry for the mush, I just thought that was timing with a capital T. 🙂

  14. Diane Chamberlain on November 3, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    Hmm, he must have spyware on your computer and knew what you were typing, Julie. Obviously, I’ve been doing too much research into “spying on partner’s computer” today.

  15. brenda on November 3, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Trina-thanks for the email.
    Diane-my son has a full time job–long, long hours…This is his HOBBY…He is doing Ironman Florida today and is ahead of his swim and bike so far (I am tracking him)
    Sad: A young Olympic hopeful died in NYC Marathon today. I have been to the last 3 or 4 of them…I would be nuts if I were there and my son was running.
    My son TAKES HIS TIME…
    I am reading Robin Cook today-CRITICAL-about MRSA…gruesome-esp. since we have MRSA in our schools here and our colleges…where I teach…yuck.
    Kathy R. is a good writer…

  16. brenda on November 3, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    BONES TO ASHES is the book by K. R. I just finished.
    Also finished one by Stuart Woods-I like his (Can you tell that I am on a mystery journey lately?
    I read another mystery by one of my favorites but the language was so bad, I quit…sometimes I do that.
    As you can tell, I read quickly. I read one evening a week-and then I read on Sat. after we do errands and housework. My husband watches the games, and I read as we watch.
    I am eagerly watching the returns for my son…I am thankful that he does it to keep fit and to FINISH. I am glad that he does not push himself.
    I am always sad when I see those athletes collapse at the end…

  17. brenda on November 3, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Correction: The young man died in the Olympic Trials which are paired this year with NYC Marathon…Sorry about that. It was so devastating as I follow these things.
    My son finished and broke his record for his swim, bike, run, transition, overall time. He is happy.

  18. Ann on November 4, 2007 at 12:26 am

    Brenda, congratulations to your son!!! You must be a really fast reader to finish so many books and still do your teaching and all that entails. I believe you set a good example for your son.

  19. Joann on November 4, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    I love reading your blog, it’s so like your writing in your books that it’s like a mini-fix ’til the next one comes out. Your photos made me feel the beach and Nags Head. It’s been more years than I can count.

  20. Diane Chamberlain on November 4, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Brenda, Congratulations on your son’s triatholon. What a high that must be for him.
    Joann, thanks for stopping in. I think of you every time I go to the Outer Banks.

  21. Margo on November 5, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Hi Ann, thx so much for the compliment. I hope the painting comes out the way I’m visualizing it!…if I keep to all my fav blues and am able to get my skin tones and hair the right shades, I will be happy. Just read all these great comments this a.m. as I do not look at the computer on weekends. Brenda, so happy for your son…you must be incredibly proud. Never have read K. Reichs. Am 3/4 thru A R Siddons SWEETWATER CREEK and can’t put it down. Have a good week everyone. (-:

  22. brenda on November 8, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    Am at the college waiting on students to help. Checked B. Delinsky’s blog-I check it periodically but seldom write anything…however, you guys check it–she is writing about “writing” (plotting versus not plotting). Great minds think alike…

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