Good Day, Bad Day, Funny Day By Diane Chamberlain | December 3, 2008 | 45 The Good Day: I had lunch with two fellow writers, Brenda Witchger and Sarah Shaber. We talked about Sarah’s work-in-progress, which is going to be so good, and the synopsis for what we lovingly call Bren’s “vinyl book” (the vinyl refers to old records), which is going to equally wonderful. And we had terrific humongous sandwiches in a nondescript but excellent Italian restaurant (so nondescript, I don’t know the name of it–the sign out front simply reads “pizza,” so you know it’s got to be good.) The young waiter was so adorable, and I told him so because I’m of an age where I can get away with that sort of thing. Then, continuing my good day, I went to Barnes and Noble to while away the time before a doctor’s appointment. I bought Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, for my neighborhood bookclub. I sat in the little cafe and munched a shortbread cookie with a cup of coffee. Delightful! Then I went to my appointment, where everything checked out just fine. Getting back in my car, I received a call from my agent and this is when my good day went south. The Bad Day: Several posts ago, I wrote about my publisher’s concern that “the hook” for my work-in-early-stages-of-progress might be “too similar” to the hook for another of their books, which will be coming out around the same time. My agent and I have been hoping this would not be a book-killer, but turns out that it is. At least for now. The Midwife and her Confession will have to wait. Which means. . . argggh!. . . back to the drawing board for me, one more time. I have ideas on scraps of paper all over my desk and even a few full synopses lying around, but my heart was so into that book that I’m not sure one of the older ideas will satisfy me right now. At any rate, I’m still counting my blessings: I have a contract and I have work (more than I thought, it seems!). Can’t ask for much more than that. The Funny Day: I don’t know how funny this is, really. When you reach a certain age (hmm. . .this is the second time I’ve mentioned age in this post), things like this border a little more on scary than funny. Nevertheless. . . when I came home from my Good and Bad Day, I sat down at the computer to check my email. John walked in the room and said “Why is your sweater on backwards?” Me: It’s not on backwards. Him: Yeah, it is. Here’s the tag. (He fingers the 3″ by 1″ tag hanging down my back.) Me: #$%*&%^!!! So, while I thought I was being cool and suave today–at the restaurant, where the waiter I flirted with was probably smirking to himself the whole time he waited on me; at Barnes and Noble, where my sophisticated demeanor in the cafe was undermined by my dangling tag; and at the doctor’s office, where the doc followed me down the hallway, most likely chuckling to himself the whole way–I was really just being, well, me. So that was my day. How was yours? Posted in Uncategorized and tagged Barnes & Noble, Brenda Witchger, Devil in the White City, Diane Chamberlain, Midwife and Her Confession, Sarah Shaber, sweater backwards
I went to school the other day with two colors of socks-of course, the kids noticed…that is so so funny, but I’ll bet few noticed your sweater.
As to your book…oh no…oh no…THANK GOD you have work with so many losing their jobs, but Diane, that work…What will the new WIP entail or YOU GOING TO BE SAFE and wait and see if it is accepted???
As to the authors with whom you ate lunch-I like their books…have read most of them…
I like the SIMON SHAW books by Shaber…not sure what I read by Witchger–doesn’t she go by another name sometimes???
My day was rough. It was my first day back to work after being on vacation since last Wednesday. I’m tired. I had 110 emails to go through, not to mention all the work that was piled on my desk. Oy Vey. I can’t wait to settle down tonight and do some reading.
Oh Diane, I’m so sad to hear about your Midwife book on hold. Don’t worry, you’ll come up with something even better. I just KNOW it.
As far as the tag on sweater deal..well….LOL!
My day was actually quite boring. Nothing to report at all, so thanks for letting us live vicariously through you, even if the news was not all good.
Now, why is it when you’re 15 or 20, you can wear two different socks or a sweater inside out and it is considered COOL, but if you’re of “a certain age,” (i.e. over 30) you are just a confused senior citizen. LOL My son asked me yesterday in a very strange voice, “New shades?” when I generously met him to return the phone charger he left home over the weekend. I have no idea whether it meant, “Nerdy shades, Mom” or “Cool shades.” Grrr.
Sorry about the axe on the book idea. We have faith in you, though. Who knows–when the other book comes out, maybe it’ll be so bad, they’ll be begging you for it. 😀
I have to say I read the book that was so close to my story idea I shelved it (I think I commented on it here at the time) and I thought it was terrible. Heh. This was a very well known, bestselling author, and I’m a pretty forgiving reader, too. I may recycle mine two or three manuscripts down the road when the dust has settled.
Hang in there and check your tags tomorrow.
I just finished reading “The Hour I First Believed.” I am crying my eyes out. That’s all I’m saying.
Brenda, I will not write a huge synopsis before getting the go-ahead this time, of that you can be sure. I’ll aim for a page or two. The muse is starting to work, but she’s not happy about it right now. She thought she had a little holiday!
Gina, I can’t wait to read The Hour I First Believed. I don’t know whether to start that or Devil in the White City first, though. I’m heading to NJ/NY next week and THIFB is so huge to pack. I’m still reading Loving Frank, and I have NO sympathy whatsoever for the central character. Have any of you read it? I want her to GROW UP! Hmm. I’m in quite the mood, aren’t I?
Julie, sorry you had to shelve a book. Tell us what’s happening with your writing these days.
Re the two different colored socks: When I was a medical social worker, I used to get dressed in the closet so I didn’t wake up my then-husband. I went to work one day, nervous because I had a big presentation to make to a bunch of doctors, and I looked down to see I had on two different colored shoes. LOL. I told my audience right off the bat because they were sure to notice, and it broke the ice. Maybe I should do that every time I speak?
Omigosh Diane, 1st I cried when I read the bad news, then made an about turn and laughed my head off with the sweater!…Laura looked over at me when she heard me sniffling with tears and then saw me lol with tears still running down my face and she said ‘what on earth has you crying AND laughing’?…oh goodness, only YOU Diane could have a sad story and turn it around with laughter. I’m SO upset for you on the MIDWIFE book!…the birth of that story began in the Outer Banks with your heart & soul and if I’m so crushed about this outcome, I can only imagine what your going thru. I wish the ‘hook’ could be changed so they would except the story!…however, I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason and I’m sure it means something even more incredible will be born from your mind.
Diane, I read Devil in the White City and I have to say, that’s another one of my favorites. I really think you’ll like it. I understand about not wanting to bring THIFB with you on a trip. It’s quite big. Save it to read at home.
I have a friend that read Loving Frank and she liked it. I don’t think I’ll read it though, (unless she chooses it for a bookclub selection). It’s just something I’m not really interested in. Random House seems to be pushing that book to bookclubs alot.
Have a safe trip to NJ/NY. I’m going the week of Christmas to visit my family for the holiday. My husband is from the same area, so it’s pretty easy for both of us to visit our families at Christmas time.
Are you going to visit family?
Diane & Gina, I’m so happy you share these titles your reading!…usually you both mention books & authors I’ve not read before so it gives me new ones to take a look at! Gina, I take it that HOUR I 1ST BELIEVED was a real good 1 since it had your crying? Diane, never heard of LOVING FRANK but will look at it on Amazon. As far as your trip D, I’d take whichever book grabs you the most, altho the heavier 1 might be hard on your RA while traveling. Have a wonderful vacation Diane!
Brenda, mark your calendar for July 1 on E Hilderbrands THE CASTAWAYS!~
Julie, would love to know what you are writing now!
My vacation from my day job starts next Mon Dec 8 and I will be off till Jan 5…as many of you know, I take almost a month off in Dec to spend time at home in my art studio and paint…I spend lots of time with my family, read lots of books, stay up late to watch movies…in general I love this time off.
I have decided that this year I will check our home computer everyday so I don’t lose contact with all of you who have become my computer friends (thanks to Diane & her wonderful website!). (-:
I am totally bummed out about the MIDWIFE. Yeesh, Mira ia a huge publisher. It isn’t like ALL of their readers would read both books and notice a slight similarity…I read books all the time that are vaguely similar to another. Big deal! What a bunch of baloney…and bah humbug to them! (Had to get all of that off of my chest today).
Gina, I had a good cry, too! I’m not giving anything away by asking you if you loved Dr. Patel as a character…I loved some of the things she said. There was one ‘advice’ she gave that stuck with me, and I will always remember it…
I had a nearly frightening experience yesterday when my 3-week old laptop suddenly gave me corrupt Windows errors! Fortunately, Best Buy gave me a new computer without any argument!
Diane, the mental picture I get from your doctor following you down the hall with that tag hanging out cracks me up!
Diane, it totally sucks that you had to put the midwife and her confession on the back burner.. but i’ve read “Sister’s Choice” by Emilie Richards (the similar storyline- one sister can’t have children, so her screw-up sister offers to be a surrogate- then endures a medical complication that could harm both her and the baby..) and it was awesome– sorry :(, i’m sure yours would be equally awesome and not really the same at all
As for my day.. so far its not so great 🙁 I started off getting off a night shift at 7 am then having to go to a specialist appt for 10:45, which i stood in line for 30 min to sign in for.. just to be told it had to be rescheduled! After waiting upto 6 months for this appt it shouldn’t be such a let down.. but it is 🙁
Now i’m off to sleep because i work another night shift tonight.. starting in 6 hours
Hope everyone else’s day turns out better than mine– ENJOY
Denise, yes, I LOVED Dr. Patel. She was so wise and she was funny too! That book was just an emotional journey for me. What a roller coaster ride. I loved every minute of it.
Margo, have a wonderful vacation! Painting sounds so relaxing!
Ashley, so sorry about your day today. That’s happened to me at doctor appointments too. I hate when I have one of “those” yearly appointments and then the doctor has to leave for the hospital to deliver a baby. Oh well, that can’t be helped. Babies come, when babies come. LOL
Hope your day gets better hon.
I’ve been putting off telling how my day was yesterday because it was so darn embarrassing…but after reading everyone else’s I decided to share. I actually had a great day until last nite…I had my doggies food bowl in my hand ready to head downstairs to dish up his food, slipped on the back rug and FELL practically 3/4 of the way down the steps on my right side back and right thigh…bad, bad, bad for me since I have a bad back anyway…and painful as I screamed bloody murder as I fell…poor Gary & Kramer came running…I could go on and on but it was not pretty. Miraculously I didn’t break anything!…my husband and doggie were mortified and so worried, wanting to rush me to emergency…I didn’t go, took my back pain pills, propped my feet up, had some nice hot cocoa and watched as my whole right side started swelling and turning beautiful colors…and all I could think of was ‘I hope I can do my workout in the morning…and go swimming tomorrow nite’…LOL
Ashley, Sister’s Choice is in my to-be-read stack. I’m not surprised it’s awesome. Emilie’s so good. My book had the same basic elements, which told Emilie and me we’d been hanging out together too much. We’d never discussed the idea with one another, yet we’d come up with a very similar storyline anyway.
Margo, how horrible! I’m so glad you weren’t badly hurt and I hope you’re taking it easy today. You probably did so little damage because you’re in such great shape. Hugs.
Gina, I am so mad at myself for turning the book back in without writing down my favorite advice from Dr. Patel. I think Diane will like her, too! I don’t know what it is about Wally Lamb but I could re-read all three of his books which is not something I ever do.
Gina, have you read Tom Perotta or Jonathan Tropper?
Margo, how awful! I, too, have a bad back. I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to stand up for a week after a fall like that.
Actually Denise, I never heard of Perotta or Tropper. Which books do you recommend of theirs?
OH my gosh Margo! Are you doing better?
Gina, I loved THE BOOK OF JOE and HOW TO TALK TO A WIDOWER by Tropper. I also liked EVERYTHING CHANGES.
As for Perotta, I liked LITTLE CHILDREN (perhaps you saw the movie? If so, it’s different from the book). I also liked ABSTINENCE TEACHER.
Thx everyone…Gina, I’m fine but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it hurts…it could have been worse and meanwhile, I can enjoy different shades of colors all over my right back-side each day (lol)!! I decided not to go swimming mainly because I was afraid people would look at the bruises (and yes, big gashes) and wonder what on earth happened to me!
Diane, is SISTER’S CHOICE part of the Shenandoah series I’ve been hearing about?…
All of you have me excited to start Wally Lamb books…I’m suspecting my husband has 1 or more of them for me under the X-mas tree…(I saw an Amazon package delivered to him and inside the box, things were gift wrapped!)
Can’t wait to start my vacation…last day of work today! I’ll definitely be reading and answering Diane’s blog, and everyone’s comments everyday from home.
margo- yes, Sister’s Choice is part of the Shenandoah Album series.. each title is a quilt type. So far there’s Wedding Ring, Endless Chain, Lover’s Knot, Touching Stars and Sister’s Choice- all of which are awesome! 😛
Thank you Ashley! I assume that is the order to read them?…looks like I have another new author to add to the list. I’ve heard Diane speak of Emilie before but I’ve never read her books.
the way the series is written, you don’t have to read all of them in order per se… but if you don’t, you may get lost in some parts 😛 I’ve read most of her books (after i found and read all of Diane’s, i needed a new author to tide me over ;)) and can’t complain. Hope you enjoy her.. when you get a chance
Margo-hope you are okay…I fall often during the winter when my ankles give out-have done that since I was a teenager-the arthritis…worse right now.
I am doing email with a fire in the fireplace (gas), C’mas music playing…and ordering a couple of books from my bookclub. Just received notice that a couple of books are in at the library, but it is snowing lightly-think I’ll stay in. With the cost of gas, I make every mile count. I do certain things on certain days-such a creature of habit.
Margo-remind me when Hildebrand’s book comes out…don’t forget that Delinsky has one soon.
I love Emilie Richards-love them and always have.
Right now, I am teaching Romeo and Juliet-my first love-Shakespeare-to the 9th graders and trying to do THE CRUCIBLE with the llth graders-this year-first year to teach at my alma mater-not doing too well…my jobs at the universities end in December…I am quitting one and taking a leave from the other…just too much right now. Next fall, hopefully, I will go back to my night job at the one I love…I loved teaching literature at the college level this fall…so much fun…
There is a series by Thomas Kinkade-about a particular family in a small town-I love those books-so need to order that one and a few others…I just don’t buy as many as I did-I read too many–the library gets them for me pretty quickly…
Margo-please stay in touch while you are off…that’s why my laptop goes with me everywhere-one reason…
I have so many projects to do starting in January…wish me luck.
DIANE-I agree with the others-I think that is absolutely totally ludicrous that your book is shelved because of a similiar one by another author-good grief…if that’s the case, how on this earth!!! do some of these authors get published when their OWN books sound the same…??????
Who am I kidding? I am on the way to the library///snow…gas prices…who cares??? I can’t resist it when I get a notice the book is there…I also try to do my part to keep our library going in these times when taxes don’t work…the way they should…
Drive carefully, Brenda.
Here’s the explanation regarding the problem of publishing (by the same publisher) two books with similar hooks close together: It doesn’t have to do with the readers. It has to do with the publisher’s sales reps. The concern is that they usually only hear the hook, not the entire story. If they hear a hook for, say, a May book, and then a month later, hear a similar hook for a June book, they can get the books confused or worse, think they’ve already sold a book into an account when they haven’t. I know, I know. It’s ridiculous to those of us outside the business end of publishing, but that’s just the way it is. 🙁
Ashley and Brenda…thx for the word on E Richards…I think I’ll but the first few Shenandoah series and read them in order. Brenda, I definitelyn plan on blogging and e-mailing the whole time I’m off this year…I’m so hooked on Diane’s website & made such nice friends! I’ve got my calendar marked for Delinsky’s new book…Hilderbrand is July 1. K Hannah has a new 1 out in Feb TRUE COLORS. Brenda, it’s snowing lightly here too and freezing cold but we’re on our way out to take mom X-mas shopping…Diane, enjoy your vacation in NJ and I hope you keep in touch too.
Luanne Rice also has a new book in Feb…THE GEOMETRY OF SISTERS (have no idea what it’s about).
Noticed I mis-spelled words in previous blog…blame it on my very, very sore back & leg (lol)! Brenda, I’m fine, just very black and blue and very, very sore…but I’ll live. (-:
I love K. Hannah too…I’ll remember that…I also like Luanne Rice. Looks like new books next year by our favorites…Diane being at the top of course.
The roads were icing because of the freezing temps…not much snow though…this area does not get a lot…The book is TESTIMONY–so far it is way too graphic for me…way too graphic and quite convuluted. I love Shreve’s books-love them…thought I had read this one. Don’t know if I will get through it. Seems like some of you read it-can’t remember…
As to misspelling-emails/BLOGS don’t count…notice how I just did that too…
Diane-thanks for the heads up-that makes sense on the publishing…
Icy and cold again today…finished TESTIMONY…it came together as a story…with a great THEME…however, the language was not for me…and I had a difficult time discerning who the characters were…so many voices…one that drives me crazy is when the person talks about HERSELF as YOU…once you read the book, YOU will understand…I am eager to hear from others who have read it…Alos, this is one instance when I WISH I had not read what others said about the book on the back…”an elegant novel…” no no no. I guess I will always love her PILOT’S WIFE…
Brenda, I read Testimony and didn’t like it. It just didn’t seem like a Shreve novel to me. I wonder why she chose that theme. I didn’t mind the language or subject matter, it just didn’t flow for me. The characters were all over the place.
And, I am laughing hysterically about your comment where you said it drove you crazy when the person talks about herself as you. OH my! That drove me NUTS too!! I thought it was just me. I’m glad you said that, it made me laugh. I kept thinking about how much I hated the way that part was written too.
Anyway, I will still read Shreve’s books. I just didn’t particularly care for this one.
Denise, thanks for the Tropper and Perotta tips. I’ll have to look them up.
Margo, I’m halfway thru Breaking Dawn. I’m a little spooked right now. LOL
Gina-THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! I thought I was going nuts. I wonder why she chose to go outside the BOX so far…To be honest, I had to skip a lot of the YOU parts…drove me up the wall…I teach kids “DON’T use YOU in your essays…don’t do it…” and then I READ this… I don’t mind some language, but goodness, this one was way over the top for me…I am so glad Diane has given us this outlet to share books…
Margo-email me…I have a list of new ones coming out…
I received the first chapter of B. Delinsky on email…it looks to be good.
Guess you guys have read that the KINDLE is going through the roof…they have a waiting list…I have read a few reviews–some mixed…I WAS SO SO SO wrong…I thought the price would go down…it has not…in fact, I think it has risen…I still think it would be great for the airplane, etc…but that is a lot of money to pay just for when I travel on the plane…then the cost of the books which we can’t hold…Okay…I know I will probably have to end up getting one, but I hope another company will copy it and have it much less expensive…kind of like the IPOD/MP 3
On TESTIMONY: one thing I love about Shreve is that she does think/write outside the box. Sometimes successfully, sometimes less so, but she’s not afraid to take risks. I really dislike rules when it comes to writing. I think the important thing is that a story works. I can forgive a lot of weird stuff if the story draws me in. That’s why I loved Shreve’s book (cannot think of the title) in which she told the story backwards. Even though it was told backwards, it truly worked–for me, at least.
All that said, I did not like her use of the second person in those chapters. It made me feel very distant from the character. There were a few too many POVs for me in this book as well–I was confused at times, and I found it hard to relate strongly to any of the characters except Noelle, whom I wanted to hug. I’d recommend TESTIMONY to a friend, though, because I think it’s an excellent book for discussion, both from the perspective of the story and the perspective of the writing.
The Kindle: I was with you, Brenda, on thinking this would be a passing phase, but now I want one! I’m lugging THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED (I LOVE it!) on the plane with me next week and it would be so much easier to have my sweet little Kindle. But I’m trying to wait for the second generation when a few of the bugs have been ironed out, and perhaps the price is cut. I wish.
I’ve only had my kindle for a couple of weeks now and I am loving it so far. Still playing around with it. Haven’t started books on it yet.
There is a 11-13 week waiting list on Amazon. Incredible.
Oh! Diane, I’m so glad you’re loving Lamb’s new one. yay!
Diane, there is another version of the KINDLE–something by SONY, but it is not getting great reviews…Gina-what do you do on your Kindle? If I get one, will I still need to travel with my laptop? Have been thinking about getting a tiny laptop just for travel. Diane-I hate to spend so much money for the KINDLE to JUST use on airplanes…however…I will start saving for it soon…Gina-is it difficult to read? Small print? Lit??By the way, don’t lose your book. I can’t tell you how many books I have left in airports all over this country.
Gina, what do you think so far of BREAKING DAWN?…ISN’T IT SOMETHING ELSE!!
Brenda, I just responded to your e-mail…
Diane, I’m glad you decided to take the big book with you on your trip…I could tell you were itching to read it. (-:
It’s FREEZING here today…we’re staying warm inside by the fire…
The Sony Reader (only sold at Borders & Sony stores) is almost exactly like the Kindle. I think the only difference is that the Kindle allows you to look up a word. There are two versions of the Reader…the new one has a touch screen and has a back light.
The original Reader is $299 (was $350 when it first came out two years ago) and the new one is $399.
Brenda, I don’t know about the Kindle but the Reader allows you to enlarge the print.
Brenda, you do not need a computer for the kindle. You can carry it around and download books into at anytime. You will always have a book at your fingertips no matter where you are. You can change the text size on the kindle to how small or how big you like. I think it has 6 different sizes to choose from.
I believe it stores up to 200 books or more. You can store more if you buy another memory card. It’s pretty easy to use. Kindle Cost is $359.
I don’t know anything about the Sony Reader. I have not heard any good or bad things about it. Most are buying the Kindle. Don’t know anybody that bought the Sony. I don’t think it’s as popular.
If you go to Amazon.com – there is a video explaining how the Kindle works. It should answer all your questions.
For me, the Kindle is a convenience. I will STILL buy my books in the bookstores too! THAT will never change.
Margo, I’m about halfway thru Breaking Dawn. Some of it so far is a little drawn out. I’ll let you know when I finish it and what I think of it. But, so far, so good.
I think the Kindle is selling so well because (who else?) Oprah endorsed it. Lol
We’ve been selling the Sony Reader for 2 years. I have sold quite a few of them, and they seem more popular than ever this Xmas season. I have never heard a complaint about them from anyone. I’d love to have one of them! I live near an AFB and have sold quite a few to service people who live overseas.
You can download Word & PDF files and MP3’s on the Reader.
They’re selling a special leather case for the Reader now that contains a backlight; it’s about $69.99. But if I were buying one and wanted the light, I’d just spend the extra money and get the new touch screen model with the light.
Just finshed Testimony and I agree with those of you who had trouble with her use of second person in some chapters. It was easy to get confused with the characters and POV’s. She has written some very good books – this was not ONE OF THEM!
I guess I’m the odd man out regarding TESTIMONY because I didn’t think it was too bad. Lol I’m not saying it was at the top of my list of favorite books. I just didn’t think it was all that bad.
Im so sorry about your book not being published (YET!!), I was so looking forward to reading it. I am slowly working my way through all of your books. Emphasis on slowly…I am a grad student in library science, and the week is upon me when I begin tearing out my hair! Thats right, the week when finals and papers are due! Therefore, I have no time whatsoever to do any pleasure reading! But thank you so much for providing me such great escape reading!!
Kathryn, Diane has a new book coming out May/June called SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND which is the sequal to BEFORE THE STORM. We are all excited about it!(-:
43 comments! I believe we’ve hit a record!
This was a great BLOG…
I am grading papers tonight for the two colleges…Will post grades soon-can’t wait…
Am reading a MEMOIR by the girl from THE BRADY BUNCH… Thanks for info on KINDLE, etc…I will look at the SONY one too…maybe next year.