The Boy on the Bike

bike.jpgOkay, this post is not about a boy on a bike. Not really. It’s about what it’s like to live inside my head. I’m certain I’m not alone. I bet most fiction writers have a head like mine. Probably many other creative types, as well. And definitely most neurotics.

This morning, I was reading the paper at the breakfast table when I happened to glance out the window. I saw a young boy riding his bike on our semi-quiet street. The following took place in less than thirty seconds:

A car barrels down the street, bashing into the boy and his bike. The car keeps going. In shock, I race out of the house. Well, that’s not realistic. With rheumatoid arthritis, I don’t actually race anywhere, but I hobble outside as fast as I can. The boy is lying at the side of the road, bleeding profusely from a wound on his head. He’s moaning. No, no. He’s unconscious–better!–and his leg is twisted under his poor little body. I tear off my sweater, not caring that I’m now in the middle of the street in my bra. I think “Oh no! Why did I buy an acrylic sweater? It won’t be very absorbent!” I press it hard to the wound on the boy’s head and scream for help. Should I scream for the boy’s mother or just a general scream? A general scream is best, I decide. I’m not a good screamer, but I manage. I’m pretty darn heroic this morning. I should have grabbed my cell phone on the way out of the house, though, so I could call 911. Okay, change it: I did grab my cell. I punch in the numbers with the hand not holding the acrylic sweater to the boy’s head. I have to do it twice because I make a mistake the first time.

“Do you want some more coffee?”

“Huh?” I look away from the window to see John with the coffee pot in his hand. “Oh, right,” I say. “Coffee. Sure.”

John pours. He knows I was somewhere far away. He’s used to it. As for me, I’m exhausted from the exertion of the last thirty seconds. I drink my coffee, then go into the bedroom to change into a cotton sweater.  



  1. Emilie Richards on November 30, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I love those images, Diane. Creativity with your coffee, and a darned good plot percolating, too.
    Happy Thanksgiving holiday!

  2. Joann on November 30, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Di,
    Actually tht’s just how it happens. Many years ago sitting in our ground level TV room, we heard a crash outside and saw a bike laying on its side and a rider a few feet away. He was a young man who rode the neighborhood often but didn’t see the sawhorse that had been erected because of flooding further down the block. He remained conscious so we called his mom and she was kind enough to call us the next day to say he had been released from the hospital and was doing fine. It felt so scary but really good to help,

  3. Diane Chamberlain on November 30, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Yikes, Jo. Did you tear off your sweater to stanch the bleeding?

  4. brenda on November 30, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Sounds like a story to me…I hope you get the word soon that you can begin writing or continuing…on your work…
    Diane-what did you read when you were little? Did you like Nancy Drew? Trixie Beldon? Box Car Children???

  5. Margo on December 1, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Diane, I’m not surprised that this is what goes on in your mind…as a genius at writing and imagination your mind interacts with the world around you and you transform these images into something only talent can make exciting! Your phenomenal at this!
    Like Brenda, I’d love to know what you read as a child?
    I finished BREAKING DAWN and it was absolutely my fav of the 4 books!
    From the previous blog, it sounds like I’m missing a good author with Wally Lamb?…which book would you recommend I read first?

  6. Gina on December 1, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Diane, I am in awe of you and all writer’s creative minds!
    Margo, Wally Lamb’s fiction books are,
    She’s Come Undone
    I Know This Much is True
    The Hour I First Believed
    I loved all his books but so far my favorite is I Know This Much is True. I am about halfway thru the new one, The Hour I First Believed. And, I love it so far.
    I’m glad you enjoyed Breaking Dawn. I can’t wait to get started on it. Out of the 3 I read, I liked the first one best. We’ll see if I change my mind after I read the last one.
    Hope everyone here is doing well and hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. I ate too much!

  7. Diane Chamberlain on December 1, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Brenda, as a kid, I read everything I could get my hands on. Of course, all the Nancy Drews, but Trixie Belden was my absolute favorite. I can still picture the illustrations and remember most of the characters.
    Margo, I’ve only read I Know This Much is True so far, but it’s probably one of my all time favorite books. It’s also a great book for me to read before writing from a male POV. Helps me get inside a “guy brain” for a while. Can’t wait to start the new one.

  8. Denise on December 1, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Diane, as I read your ‘story,’ I kept wondering when John was going to run outside with a jacket for you! Lol
    I was a Nancy Drew freak as a kid. In fact, I witnessed a bank robbery when I was 11 and attribute my attention to the details of the robbers and getaway car to Nancy.

  9. brenda on December 1, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    D…Trixie Belden my very favorite…I bought the whole set for my daughter in first grade…she has them for her daughters…they love them…I still like reading about Trixie…I also loved the others, and I enjoyed Louisa Mae Alcott in 3rd grade…LITTLE WOMEN…loved JO

  10. brenda on December 1, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    I like Lamb, but he is not one of my favorites…

  11. Margo on December 1, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Diane and Gina, you’ve convinced me to read W Lamb so I think I’ll take your suggestions and look for I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE on Wed at Borders. I’m always looking for new authors while waiting on Diane books.
    Gina, TWILIGHT was my fav UNTIL I read BREAKING DAWN and it was so fascinating and original that it became my fav of the 4. I just started THE HOST and it is something else…Love it so far!

  12. Denise on December 2, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Margo, I loved all of Lamb’s books. I am still digesting his latest and can’t decide which of the three are my favorite. But you can’t go wrong with I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE. I don’t usually re-read books, but I would like to read his first two books a second time.
    My Borders store manager told me the other day that she heard him speak once. she said he was really ‘quirky’ which is exactly what I’d expect. Lol I adore his sense of ‘guy humor,’ as well as his sensitivity.
    I’m now reading KNIT TWO, the sequel to FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB.

  13. Gina on December 2, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Denise, let me know how Knit Two is. My bookclub read FNKC and loved it. We also had a phone chat with the author. Kate Jacobs was very very sweet.
    I’m curious about Knit Two. I’m thinking about getting it on my Kindle. I would love to know what happens to the characters from her first book. I understand Dakota is an adult in the second one.
    I’m almost finished with Lamb’s new one. Got about 100 pages to go. SO far, it’s…WOW.
    Diane, when is After the Storm coming out again? I forgot.

  14. Diane Chamberlain on December 2, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Gina, After the Storm is coming out in late May. . . but the title is now Secrets She Left Behind.
    Right now, I’m reading a manuscript for a friend (which I’m really enjoying!) as well as Loving Frank on audio. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to read Lamb after that because we’re going to NJ/NY to visit our relatives next week and that book would require it’s own suitcase!

  15. Margo on December 2, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Gina, is W Lamb’s new book as good as I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE, which I just ordered on Amazon?…my Gary is looking for X-mas ideas for me and I thought about telling him about the new 1 that is out in the bookstores…my fav gift for X-mas?…BOOKS!! (-:

  16. Denise on December 2, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Gina, Dakota is 18 in KNIT TWO and in college. So far, I am liking it. I hated leaving those characters behind when I finished FNKC! There obviously had to be a sequel. 🙂
    Margo, I read at several sites, including Good Reads, that some readers are disappointed in Lamb’s new book while others think it a tour de force. I am in the tour de force group. It is a very powerful book, and I recommend it. You also *need* SHE’S COME UNDONE, his first book. Hehe

  17. Margo on December 2, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Denise, I’ll take your advise and tell my husband about the other W Lamb books. Have never heard of these knitting books your talking about…think I’ll look them up on Amazon & see what there all about. (-:

  18. Denise on December 2, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Margo, I think you’d like Friday Night Knitting Club!

  19. brenda on December 2, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    margo-the knitting books are good. I don’t really love Wally Lamb…but am eagerly awaiting his latest…reviews are mixed, but I like to read anything about Columbine because I am a teacher…
    I am eager for some of my favorites to have new books-Siddons, Monroe (Chamberlain of course) Delinsky (has one coming soon…her first chapter was sent to me…I think it is on her website)…Carlene Thompson-mystery writer from WV–Joanne Dobson–mystery writer about an English Prof…I buy Thompson and Dobson and reread them often…It seems that we wait awhile on our favorites…Harlan Coben–liked his latest…Debbie Maccomber has some good short reads too…

  20. Margo on December 3, 2008 at 8:09 am

    Brenda, I’m anxious for new books too…especially Diane’s SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND!…and Brenda, Elin Hilderbrand has a new Nantucket book coming out next July called THE CASTAWAYS…YeH!…I love reading about Nantucket, almost as much as Outer Banks.
    Denise, Wed’s at Border’s is a tradition for my friend Laura, my mother and myself and our other book friends join us at least once a month…today I will look at the knitting books and see if they appeal to me…thx for recommending. Might also look at a book Diane mentioned earlier which I believe was THE LAST ANNIVERSARY?…I have a huge stack of ‘to read’ books at home but 99% of the time I come home with another on Wed. (-: I wonder if Gina has started BREAKING DAWN?…I miss those characters but am intigued with THE HOST! (-:

  21. Denise on December 3, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Margo, I should have made an ‘announcement’ here that several new bestsellers were 50% off at Borders over the holiday weekend, including the new Wally Lamb. It is 30% off right now,though.
    Tuesdays are what we call ‘lay down’ day. Most new merchandise street dates are on Tuesdays. So if you are ever desperately waiting for something, you should hit the stores on Tuesdays. Lol

  22. Denise on December 3, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Oh, forgot to mention that Friday Night Knitting Club is available in trade paperback. I was lucky to find my hardback copy in the remainders…I think it was only $5.99 (before my discount)! I always keep an eye on those bargain books for good deals!
    The interesting thing about remainders–bargain books–is that many of them are still being sold off of the shelves at full price. Whenever I see someone getting ready to pay full price for a book that is also in the bargain area, I discreetly let them know.

  23. Margo on December 3, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Denise, you must be a bookseller! I didn’t realize that!…lucky you, how do you resist all those wonderful books you get ‘1st look’ at? (-:

  24. Gina on December 3, 2008 at 11:10 am

    LOL Margo, no, haven’t started on Breaking Dawn yet. I have about 100 pages left in Lamb. I was hoping to finish it yesterday, but I had to deal with family drama yesterday. You know how that goes! Anyway, I had a headache and was too tired to bother to read. I will finish it tonight or tomorrow though. I am anxious to start on Breaking Dawn!!
    Thanks for the tips on the book sales too!
    Denise, are you still liking Knit Two?
    Thanks Diane about the new book title of your book. I totally forgot about that. May can’t get here soon enough!

  25. Denise on December 3, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Margo, I’m really fortunate because we are allowed to ‘check-out’ books for free. That’s how I ‘afford’ to read the new books. Lol We also get free advance (uncorrected) copies of new books. This is first come, first serve, so I don’t always get the ones I want.
    Gina, I’m liking Knit Two so far. I’m not too far yet. It’s kind of neat because she catches you up-to-date on all of the characters from the first book.

  26. Denise on December 3, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Margo, I meant to say in my last post that yes, I have been a bookseller for 10 years. I love it, although it gets pretty crazy at this time of year with lots of desperate customers who don’t know exactly what they are shopping for! They come in carrying Christmas lists with incomplete titles and/or authors, and we have to try to guess what they really want. Lol
    Needless to say, I am always recommending Diane’s books!

  27. Margo on December 3, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Denise, how wonderful to work for a bookstore & have the great benefit of reading advance copies! I bet you get to read Diane’s before any of the rest of us!
    I bet you’ll be reserving SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND before any of your co-workers grab it…just promise not to tell us anything since you’ll know everything before us. (-o:

  28. brenda on December 3, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Margo-joining Double Day Book Club is a great opportunity to get new books cheaply also. I donated hundreds from there.
    I tried to get the Anniversary book-couldn’t get it at library-even at the branches. I am considering joining the book club again to get a few non-fiction I want to read and keep. I too can’t wait for Diane’s book and Hildebrand’s (you have me hooked on that one)
    Delinsky has a new one soon-can’t wait.

  29. brenda on December 3, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Denise-you lucky woman…

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