Resolutions for the New Year


I’ve got plenty!

We’re closing in on 2009, and I think it’s going to be a good one for me, and I hope for all of you as well.

I know many people pooh-pooh New Year’s resolutions, but I love them. I love that “fresh start” each year. So I’m going public with mine, in the hope that will help me stick to them. Here we go.

In addition to maintaining my weight loss (18 pounds in ’08!), getting to the Y at least three times a week, and making time to stay spiritually centered, I have a book to write! Yep, after all the angst of the past couple of months, my publisher has approved my new proposal — well, I still have some changes to make, but it’s almost there. All I’ll say right now is that it’s about two estranged sisters. I plan to keep you abreast of the writing, as I did in my “creating a story” posts that began back in October. Without giving anything away, of course.

As a matter of fact, I have three books to write. My new contract is for three books, nine months apart. Yikes! I won’t be taking any non-working vacations for the next twenty-seven months, that’s for sure. I’m looking forward to the challenge, though.

How am I attacking Book One? I’ve created a schedule that looks something like this: between now and January 5th, I’ll re-write the proposal/synopsis, adding new layers to the story, changing the locale (right now it’s a foreign locale, and my publisher wants at least the bulk of the story in the US). Then for the rest of January, I’ll do my basic research and fully outline the story. That will mean lots of colored notecards on the dining room table. This will be a dangerous time, as “research” and “outlining”, as opposed to actually writing, are amorphous tasks that can get away from me unless I exercise more discipline than I usually have.

Beginning in February, I’ll write fifty pages a week. This should allow me to produce three drafts. The first will be a total mess. The second, much better. And the third, nearly perfect. In between drafts, I’ll take a week for review and any needed research. 

In the midst of all this, I’ll have a new book, Secrets She Left Behind, to promote in June, and other promotional duties throughout the year. I need to do a major update on my website: I hope to add some video interviews (of myself) and descriptions of my older, currently out-of-print books which will be reissued in ’09. But if I can stick to my schedule, I should have a complete book in good shape by my deadline, August 1. Wish me luck on that!

Unfortunately, I’m losing my fantastic editor at my publishing house. I’ve worked with her for years and she is dynamite, but she’s about to have a baby. This must be the only business in which, when someone calls to tell you she’s pregnant, your first reaction is “Oh, $#^%!” She’ll be a fantastic mom. And I know my new editor is sure will be another winner, since my publisher is full of them. Change is always a little scary, though.

So, that’s my agenda for 2009. What resolutions have you made?  




  1. Denise on December 28, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    diane, it sounds like you are going to have an interesting and busy year which means good stuff for all of you fans!

  2. Denise on December 28, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    ummm…’your’ fans, that is. lol still haven’t mastered one-handed typing.

  3. Gina on December 28, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Hi everyone,
    I’m back from visiting my family in NJ/NY. Had a great time. Hope everyone had a good holiday week.
    It’s back to work for me tomorrow.
    Resolutions? I don’t make any. LOL
    Can’t wait for all your new books to come out Diane.

  4. Margo on December 28, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Diane, what a thrilling & exciting New Year for you!…I’m so happy for you that your new proposal was accepted with a 3 book contract…I’m quessing this has nothing to do with the proposal created in the Outer Banks and a new idea entirely…I’m wondering where your new idea came from…after revisions, if some of the novel will still take place in a foreign land…that would mean traveling overseas for research, right?…as to losing your 18 pounds, well you look fantastic Diane…several blogs ago we saw pics of you and I thought you looked marvelous…
    Denise, how are you managing after surgery?…I know the holidays weren’t quite as you planned )-O:
    Welcome back Gina!…had a wonderful holiday & my Gary gave me I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE and several other great books…hope yours was wonderful as well.
    Diane, I have 2 resolutions…first, I want to swim more during the week…I do my regular floor workout and exercises EVERY morning and swim in the late afternoons 3 times a week but my doctor is encouraging me to swim even more for my back, (not easy to do with my schedule but I am going to try)
    Second, I want to create more drawings, paintings and weavings that I did in 2008…this is a goal I promise myself every year and each year I’m pleased with the results.
    I still have another week off and don’t return to my day job till Jan 5…when I return to the office I think one of the main things I’ll miss is staying up LATE, LATE…I haven’t gone to bed till 2 or 3 a.m. every nite and love, love, love it! (-O:

  5. Diane Chamberlain on December 29, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Denise, it’s great to see you back so soon. I hope the surgery went smoothly.
    Gina, glad you enjoyed your visit up north, and I hope you didn’t have any problems with the weather.
    Margo, I’m exhausted hearing about your schedule for the new year. Yes, this is an entirely new idea; the proposal I wrote in the Outer Banks will be book 2, I hope. I have no time for research that involves much travel, so I’ll have to make a decision this week exactly where this book will be set. Part in NC, of course. Time will tell where I’ll put the rest of it.

  6. Gina on December 29, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Hugs to Denise. Did you have surgery?
    Margo, I’m SO HAPPY you got Lamb’s book. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
    Diane, weather was bad the first part of the week. Lots of snow and cold, cold weather, but it got better later in the week. Had a great time.
    I got lots of books for Christmas. Some were, A Lion Among Men, which is the story of the Cowardly Lion from Oz. It’s written by the same author as Wicked. I also got the John Lennon Biography. And, a bunch of others which I can’t think of right now. All I know is that I have alot of reading to do in 2009. LOL!
    Have a great day everyone.

  7. Denise on December 29, 2008 at 10:33 am

    surgery went fine. i now have a titanium ‘fork’ implanted in my wrist to hold everything together. lol get stitches out in a week and will get smaller wrist guard, as opposed to the big splint thing. will be so happy to shower and wash my own hair again! i’m currently existing on vicodin, ice and ibprophen while reading SOMEBODY ELSE’S DAUGHTER by elizabeth brundage in between naps.
    i’m glad you all had such a nice xmas! margo, i was dying to know which books gary bought you. lol you will love IKTMIT.
    gina, that lennon bio looks interesting; i’ve looked at it several times.
    diane, i agree with margo regarding your weight: you looked fabulous in that recent picture! i wish i looked that hot!

  8. Emilie Richards on December 29, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    I am SO glad you are all set on the next book. I’m sure that’s a big relief. Will this be part of a series? And congratulations on losing the weight. That’s major, and you should be proud.
    My major resolution? Getting my life under control and taking more time off to relax. Now, how do I make this happen?
    Again, I’m delighted for you on every count.

  9. Diane Chamberlain on December 29, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    No, not a series. I’ll be writing three stand-alone books.
    Are you still doing two books a year, Emilie? If so, I don’t think you’ll be doing much relaxing! If you figure out how to get your life under control, please share the secret.

  10. Margo on December 29, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Denise, Gary gave me I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, THE AUDACITY OF HOPE and GREAT ESCAPES AROUND THE WORLD…the last 1 is a beautiful large photo book that I’d had my eye on for quite some time…also received wonderful Border’s gift cards so I can purchase fav new books coming out next year including Diane’s SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND. Are you enjoying SOMEBODY ELSE’S DAUGHTER? I hear you with the washing of your hair…when I had pins in my wrist from shattering it, Gary washed my hair for me everyday for 6 weeks.
    The doctors gave me a huge, long plastic glove to wear when I showered which covered pins and went clear up to my shoulder…couldn’t risk getting anything wet.

  11. Margo on December 29, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Diane, I’m so excited about your new project…and so glad part of it takes’ place in NC. It will be WONDERFUL if book 2 is the original proposed book from the Outer Banks…I know that idea came from your heart & hope you’ll be able to share it with all of us. (-O:

  12. Lindsay on December 29, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    I have a few new year’s resolutions. I don’t like to make any major ones, just small changes; it’s easier not to break them that way.
    One is that I begin becoming a regular commenter on your blog. Yes this is the first time I’ve commented but I’ve been lurking for a few weeks now. I discovered your books (first-cee cee) a few months ago and then found my way here last month. I enjoy reading the comments as well as your entries.
    Other resolutions I’m going to make for myself include starting fresh on my online blog. I haven’t posted ina year and a bit and i’ve turned all my entries to private as I’m not the person I was then but I really would like to start recording a journal online again.
    Another is to continue reading as much as I have been this year. I grew up an avid reader and then went away to university where I stopped reading for enjoyment. It took a year of being finished school (i’m 24 now)before I suddenly became an avid reader again. I’ve been reading more and more and I love it. I love that I have the time to read now.
    I guess i’ll leave it there for now. I was going to email you and comment on your novels that i’ve read so far but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. maybe i will soon!

  13. Diane Chamberlain on December 29, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Welcome to the blog, Lindsay! I’m so pleased you discovered (and are enjoying) my books. When I was in undergraduate and graduate school, I too stopped reading for enjoyment. It took me a long time to get back to it. Isn’t it great to rediscover that pleasure? I just finished Eric Larson’s DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY (nonfiction), followed by Anne Rice’s memoir on rediscovering her faith. Now I’m going to check out my to-be-read stack and pick out my next read.
    Margo, I plan to make your beef barbecue tomorrow in the slow cooker. . .

  14. Lindsay on December 30, 2008 at 10:43 am

    I’m currently reading THE READER from Bernhard Schlink and THE ALMOST MOON from Alice Sebold.
    I kept seeing a lot of people talking about THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED on here so I ended up going out yesterday and getting it. It is now in my small mountain of to-be-read books. I plan to make a major dent in that pile in the coming months.

  15. Margo on December 30, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Welcome Lindsay!…I discovered Diane 15 years ago when I first read KEEPER OF THE LIGHT and she’s been my fav ever since…you will love her!
    Diane, let me know how the bque beef comes out…I hope NC sells white mountain rolls because this recipe is yummy on them…if not, any bread rolls will work.
    Diane, you are really a fast reader! I’m still on THE HOST…what are you reading next?

  16. Gina on December 30, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Has anyone read The Outlander series? I’m thinking of starting that next.

  17. Diane Chamberlain on December 30, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Gina, I read the first one many years ago. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but so many people adore that series that I wouldn’t go by my opinion.
    Margo, the bbq smells so good! Can’t wait to dig into it (I disobeyed your directions and am cooking the beef in the sauce. Hope I haven’t messed it up!). I have no idea what white mountain rolls are, so I had to settle for kaiser rolls at the market.
    Lindsay, tell us how you like THE READER and THE ALMOST MOON. They’re both on my list of books to read. I selected (I’m going to get this title wrong) THE GUERNSEY LITERARY SOCIETY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOMETHING OR OTHER to start last night. I love it so far.

  18. Gina on December 30, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks Diane. I’ll give Outlander a shot.
    My 2 cents on Almost Moon. Big disappointment. I didn’t like it. I absolutely loved her first book, but this one was just boring. My opinion.

  19. ronnie on December 30, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Hi everyone, I wanted to interject my opinion of Almost Moon. I understand a lot of people didn’t like it, but I did and here are my reasons without giving away the book. First of all, I was my mother’s caregiver till she died in 2002. My mother was an invalid most of my life but our family also had a sense of humor. If you can read Almost Moon with a sense of humor, and also understand that it is very common for adult children of invalid parents to “fantasize” for lack of a better word, of either ending your ailing parent’s suffering or your own, and keep a sense of humor, then you will understand Almost Moon.
    Diane I have that Potato Peel book on my list to read but right now I am reading your book, The Escape Artist. My question is how can you put so much time into your writing, keep up on this blog, and read as much as you do?
    My big new years resolution is (aside from losing weight and exercising) is to treat my husband with a little more patience and respect. I had my gall bladder removed last week and when it came to him trying to take care of me, I realized how absolutely clueless he is. So now I am going to focus on him taking baby steps, like learning to make coffee. Of course I would never admit to him what my resolution is and I am only putting it in writing because he doesn’t read this blog!
    HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I am very happy I discovered Diane’s books and this website.

  20. krysia on December 31, 2008 at 12:27 am

    first here are the xmas pics requested of Gunnars xmas my resolutions are to relose the baby fat and finish reading before the storm yes 6 months later i am still working on it but i am oh so close to being done. hope everyone is well!

  21. Margo on December 31, 2008 at 12:42 am

    Diane, I can smell your bque! Let me know how it came out with cooking the meat with the sauce at the same time…if it’s good, I’ll try it myself! I’m making this same recipe on New Years Day by request from my family. White Mountain Rolls must be an Iowa thing (lol)!…our local grocery bakes them and they are super soft with a white floury top to them…they taste SO yummy and almost have a buttery melt in your mouth taste…I’m sure your kaiser rolls will be great tho.
    I’ve never heard of these books Lindsay, Ronnie and Diane…looks like some new authors for me to investigate, but I’m going to read my new Wally Lamb I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE before I look for others…thx to Diane, Gina and Denise and recommending him to me…(and Gary thx you too!) (O:)

  22. Margo on December 31, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Gina, I tried the 1st in the Outlander series a long time ago and could not get into it…finally put it down after about 100 pages (which is a rare thing for me) but I just couldn’t continue the book…like Diane, I have friends who love the series but I quess it just wasn’t for me.
    Brenda, hope you join us soon for conversation…I know you’ve been busy with family but I miss your comments my friend (-O:

  23. Gina on December 31, 2008 at 8:39 am

    I was reflecting my thoughts on 2008 on my book forum and I mentioned how much I appreciated your live chat with us this year. It was a true highlight for me. I wanted to tell you thank you again before we leave 2008. You are a treasure. Can’t wait for your new book(s) next year. Thanks again.

  24. Diane Chamberlain on December 31, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Ronnie, your thoughts on ALMOST MOON make me want to read it. Thanks for sharing your personal take on it. To answer your question about how I manage to write, read and blog–well, I probably won’t be doing as much reading once I get cracking on this new book. I’ll always keep up with the blog, though. I enjoy it so much. One of my resolutions is to make it to the Y three times a week, and that will have to be early in the morning, which means reading until 1 or 2 (or sometimes 3)am will have to go. I’ll miss it!
    Margo, the barbecue was great! I put in too much sugar–I’ll use less next time. But it really is delicious and we have some left over for lunch today.
    Gina, I loved doing the live chat on your forum. you have a great group there.

  25. Denise on December 31, 2008 at 11:10 am

    margo, i liked SOMEBODY ELSE’S DAUGHTER. it is very character driven and written in a style that reminds me of jennifer haigh–and kind of dark. i am currently reading jenna blum’s THOSE WHO SAVE US, a book i’ve meant to read for a long time (my daughter gave it to me for xmas). i can’t put it down, although i’m having trouble putting a particularly troubling event in the book out of my mind right now…

  26. brenda on December 31, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I’m BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One group left today after one week…the three little granddaughters are gone…I am so so so sad…My son is remaining until Monday when he flies back to Florida…I have cooked and played for the week-the girls (9, 7 l/2, and 3 l/2) did most of the work before they left-I am finishing laundry…they are great!!!!!! We read, played GO FISH, OLD MAID, etc….had tons of fun…
    My son and I will do some eating out…shopping…etc…My daughter and I did some after C’mas shopping, of course…quite fun…
    As to reading-I don’t like the Outlander series…I liked Wally Lamb but not one of my favorites…I am number l0 at the library for the new one-but they got in 10 of my requests this week, so I have plenty to read-might buy the W. Lamb…Those of you who are new–welcome to the best BLOG ever…if you like Diane’s books-and who does not???–look at Barbara Delinsky–they are more similar in writing style than most other authors are…I keep their books and reread them every year.
    I am always eager for new authors as I read way way too much…too fast…
    New Year’s Res…well…I quit the Y because the machinery was not kept up (a new fancy Y too)…and a couple of other reasons…I will walk, etc…other wise-just work ONE job this next semester-my main job–and look forward to the fall when I can go back to my second job…also…
    I will be choosing one new place to travel each year…
    That’s it for now—as to cooking Margo’s meat-I plan to do that next time some of the kids are home…however…I will say that I planned my menu perfectly and did not run out of food until today…That is from entertaining from my first marriage-my first husband (my childhood sweetheart) had three siblings and a plethora of aunts, uncles, then his parents…one year we had company 35 weekends…I had to learn to plan accordingly (I loved it…)
    I know this is long-had to make up for more than a week.

  27. brenda on December 31, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    P.S. Margo-I was surprised with an IPOD–I love it…Still not sure if I want to do the Kindle…I did find two lovely coats-I was desperate-marked way way down…so many lovely gifts…the new dishwasher (from my son) has gotten a great workout-love everything…Even though my family is small-two children–that’s it…I do have two close friends (they are sisters), and they are like family…
    Diane-can’t wait to hear all about the book…I am so so so excited.

  28. brenda on December 31, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Margo-Is DREAMS FROM MY FATHER the OBAMA book I just read???
    Gina-one of my favorite places in NYC is Strawberry Fields…the little guy who “carries” us around in the bicycle basket…lets us get out and sit there for awhile…

  29. brenda on December 31, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I know!!! I know!!! I am on a roll here. However, as the laundry finishes, I am trying to get caught up on Internet. One thing that I like about this BLOG-among many others–we have become “friends” without knowing our race, ethnicity, politics, religion, etc. etc…sometimes I don’t even know if the “writer” is male or female-because of the names…isn’t that unique in this world??? Thanks Diane-again…

  30. brenda on December 31, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    My students have raved about three books in the last 15 years…THE WORLD WEAVER (craig etchison-a friend of mine)…The Lovely Bones (Sebold) and Before the Storm (yours truly-D.C.)… The Almost Moon is nothing like LOVELY BONES which although dark…has a story…THE ALMOST MOON really got to me–could hardly finish==the same with THE READER… Diane-loved the Guernsey whatever book (I think there is more than one…)…Reminds me of the series with that funny woman in it…who marries when she is older…has her dead husband’s lover living with her-and his child…written by Ann someone or other…(senior moment here)…I love those books-so light and funny.

  31. Glen on December 31, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I feel so fortunate to have found a new author to read this past year, of course, it’s Diane Chamberlain!
    From a guy’s perspective, I never thought I would have read anything in the romance category. I think this is a true testament to the skill of your artistry. Being able to bridge that gender divide speaks volumes of your talent.
    I am finishing up “The Bay at Midnight”. I want to skip ahead and get the whodoneit to “Izzy”, but I’m enjoying the story way too much! A few posts back the discussion was books with multiple points of view. This book has multiple points of view and flashbacks. Masterfully done! Of course, I read the trilogy backwards so maybe it’s just me! 🙂
    As we say here in the south, y’all are just “good people”. Best wishes to all for a happy and properous New Year!

  32. brenda on December 31, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    How far is Topsail From Myrtle? I taught my first five years in Lake City and Bennetsville, SC. (1994-1999) Lake City was about 30-40 miles from Myrtle. In fact, I lived on Myrtle Beach Highway…loved it…Have you gone to Studebaker’s? Love the dancing for the “oldies” there esp. the SHAG…I was at Myrtle each Sat and most Sundays…Of course, my family and I (husband and kids) regularly visited Myrtle in the 70’s and 80’s…most of us in this area did that…now I go to Florida where my son lives right on the beach.

  33. Glen on December 31, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Brenda,
    Topsail Island is about 70 miles north of Myrtle Beach. We are between Camp Lejeune (Jacksonville) and Wilmington. With the new bypass around ILM we can get there in about 90 minutes.
    I’m not much of a shagger but I have lots of friends here that are. They go to Fat Harolds on Main St. in North Myrtle Beach. I go there for the 501 Outlets and Greg Normans!
    Fat Harolds is having a big party tonight and then starting Jan 9 is the mid-winter SOS (Shag on the Strand). I can’t stay up that late anymore! 🙂

  34. brenda on January 1, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Glen-Have been to Fat Harold’s too…I had a friend who was a diehard Shagger…I love the movie (old one) The Shag…However, I am too old to do those things anymore also…I was in my 40’s and 50’s when I taught in the south…after hitting the bit 60…just don’t do it…plus there is nothing like that around here where I now live…
    Perhaps sometime when I am not using my two months off in the summer to visit Florida and Indy, I will visit Topsail–Diane has gotten us interested…

  35. brenda on January 1, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Just read a first-time author…annie vanderbilt–well worth the read…trade paperback…October 2008…read it last night before going out with my son for dinner (he leaves Monday–we have a man coming today to look at a couple of things at the house–then to Ohio tomorrow to visit my son’s great aunt and uncle–then some other things…) Anyway, the book is light…intriguing and get this: set in Idaho, Wisconsin, and France-no kidding-but it works and works well…the author is in late 50’s or early 60’s from what I can tell…just a delightful book…I hope she writes more…Oh yes-the title–trying to do too many things at once (chicken is on the stove…) The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti-and yes…Olivetti is the name of her typewriter…(she doesn’t have her computer with her in France)…love this book…a keeper

  36. Diane Chamberlain on January 1, 2009 at 9:58 am

    brenda, it’s good to see you back and so full of positive energy! you’ve been missed.
    glen, i’m glad you’re enjoying THE BAY AT MIDNIGHT. did you know the setting is actually my summer house from when i was a kid? i was so nostalgic for that little bungalow on New Jersey’s intracoastal waterway that i wanted to buy it back. . . however, even though my parents sold it for a mere $10,000 dollars when I was 18, it’s now worth about seventy times that and it was clear I’d never own it again. So the closest I could get was setting a book there, which let me “live” in the house for a year. Of course the family in the house and the terrible “goings-on” are complete fiction!

  37. Margo on January 1, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Diane, I’m sorry you used too much sugar for the meat…it’s kind of a guessing game but it sounds like it was pretty good anyway…glad you liked it…
    Brenda, yes DREAMS FROM MY FATHER is bY Obama which I’ll be reading soon. (-O:

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