My Life Right Now

A girl at a handstandWell, first of all, it’s very good! My life, I’m talking about. Spring is here, I feel great, I’m working out and have discovered muscles I haven’t seen in about fifteen years, I’ve got a super family and wonderful friends, two goofy happy dogs, and an ever-expanding legion of readers who appreciate my books. It’s all good.

But my life is also out of balance right now, as it always is this close to deadline. I don’t care. I’m having a great time rewriting The Midwife’s Confession, but my blog readers are going to have to hear me blather on about how crazy everything is from now until my May 1st deadline. Hope you don’t mind.

Here’s how my life is different now than the usual: I get up about an hour earlier and I skip reading the paper (Oh, I hate not getting to read the paper!). I take my early draft of TMC to Starbucks and go over the next few chapters with a red pen, making quite dramatic changes at this point. I go back through my plant list to see what I need to add to the new draft. I’ve made some serious character and point of view changes and have to add all of them. And I have to pretty up the writing, which is extraodinarily rough in my early draft. Around noon, I go to the gym to be a good girl. Then I go home to the computer and start putting in the changes I came up with at Starbucks. I do a lot of rewriting at the computer and I can easily spend an hour on a single paragraph. I stop for dinner, which I usually cook (ahem…), then it’s back to the computer. In the non-deadline days, John and I usually watch movies in the evening, but he’s on his own for now.

In addition to writing, I’m working with John on the video for The Lies We Told, with my assistant on my next e-newsletter (sign up on my mailing list to receive it if you haven’t already), with my publicists on events, and rereading Cypress Point to prepare it for its November re-issue.

As deadline gets closer, I’ll be going to bed later and getting up earlier and probably be having lots of bad dreams. But back in the good news department, I love the book! Whew. I never know till I get close to the end how it’s going to turn out, so that’s a relief.

So, tell me about your lives. Let me experience your normal lives vicariously, please.  What are you up to these days?


  1. Margo on March 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    This pic describes my life perfectly…I’m taking Yoga classes along with my regular exercise routines and LOVE it…I’ve always felt pretty well balanced in life but Yoga enhances it emmensely and gives me focus. Besides painting in my studio each day, I’m reading constantly…I can hardly wait till next Tues when I’ll buy SUMMERS CHILD and reread one of my favorites of yours Diane. Spring is finally here and it’s wonderful to open the windows and hear the sweet sound of everything coming to life…I think I’ll sit on the deck and read my book…it’s been a long winter.

  2. Debb Haley on March 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    My life right now is consumed with wedding preparations as my only son will be getting married at the end of May. I go to work each day and love working one on one with my special ed students and then come home and think about all the little details I have to take care of before the wedding deadline. My relaxing time is each evening before I drift off to sleep as I fight a losing battle against sleep which tries to overtake me before I am ready to give up the book I am reading, but there is always tomorrow night to read some more before bedtime, can’t wait for your next book Diane, you don’t write them fast enough…lol.

  3. Diane Chamberlain on March 25, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Margo, I’m delighted to hear the spring has finally reached Iowa. You deserve a break.
    Debb, welcome to the blog! What an exciting time for you. Planning a wedding can be so stressful, but the fun makes up for it. Thanks for teaching special ed. That was my first major in college, but I quickly realized I didn’t have what it took to do what you do every day. We need good teachers!

  4. brenda on March 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I am grading r. papers, midterm exams, essays…teaching…work…work…work…looking forward to two months off this summer. I am planning my Alma Mater’s Second All School Reunion this fall…(I am in my second year teaching at my Alma Mater-where I will finish my career in the near future)…I do these reunions as fund raiser-consume my life but worth it…we raise money for Show Choir…and scholarships–this is the 2nd all school and third reunion I have done–every 5 years…am getting ready for spring break and a few days to visit the little ones…am happy to say that my daughter, her husband, and little ones are great…and my son is loving married life…he waited a long time to get married…I love your books-of course-can’t wait for the next one…

  5. Ashley on March 26, 2010 at 10:54 am

    I am back to work.. after being off for surgery.. loving the time with my kidlets (I work as an RT in a children’s hospital), hating the politics 🙁 Free time.. is spent cleaning and paying bills for our new house- we moved in at the end of July and aren’t even halfway unpacked yet 😛
    Hate to be picky, Diane, but for the re-issue of Cypress Point, can you make sure its “BetamethasoNe”? It bugged me reading “betamethasoMe”, but I loved the rest of the book. Can’t wait for THE LIES WE TOLD!

  6. Diane Chamberlain on March 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Great catch, Ashley! I don’t have the actual manuscript on my computer anymore, so have to go through the book to make the changes and never would have caught that one. Thank you! Hope you are well recovered from your surgery.

    Brenda, things sound so good and soon you’ll be off for the summer, you lucky woman!

  7. Martha on March 26, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Diane, hang in there. I say that without any reservation because I know you will. Meanwhile, I don’t know how I ever found time to work a 40-hr. week. I don’t accomplish nearly as much as I did before retirement, probably because it’s easier to procrastinate. Can’t wait for TMC. Thanks for being you!

  8. brenda on March 27, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Can’t wait to see the reissue…I know you are in a crunch time…whew…it gets to us but we survive.

  9. brenda on March 27, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Summer-visits to my daughter and family-and to my son and his new wife…he smiles everytime I see his face on SKYPE…what a great invention!!!!! Margo and I enjoy emailing and sharing books. Just finished a light Joanna Fluke-I like them but they are becoming too much about recipes. Finish a M. Maron-I like her D. Knott books, but I become so confused with so many characters in the books…although I ADORE the story…one thing that authors must realize–too many characters-they lose the reader. I have noticed in teaching literature-there are few characters in the best stories…makes it easier and more interesting. An aside-am teaching a unit of Am. Lit Stories–the unit I chose was to get the kids acquainted with famous American authors…ironically, almost all of the stories had weak, ill, or weird women in them…”House of Usher”-the sister…”Story of an Hour”-sick woman…”The Jilting of Granny Weatherall..” ill woman…”A Rose for Emily”…emotionally ill woman…etc. etc. There were a couple more…anyone noticed this in pre-20th Century lit? The kids were astonished…however…they really got into the stories…why? Short…few characters…obvious plot…to the point…they have short attention span…

  10. Diane Chamberlain on March 27, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Interesting about too many characters, Brenda. And worrisome. I always keep track of character names in my work-in-progress so I don’t use a name more than once. I now have 48 names in this book!!!!!! However, most are just bit parts. I try to avoid naming people who don’t need to be named but it’s hard. All of my books have a lot of character names.
    This one (The Midwife’s Confession) DOES worry me because it’s the story of 5 (small) families. But only a few characters have “weight” in the story. You’ll have to let me know if you get too confused when you read it.

  11. brenda on March 28, 2010 at 11:27 am

    I don’t remember having trouble with characters in your books. Hasn’t been problematic. However, you usually have a few MAIN characters…the others are secondary. In some books, there are families of 10 plus kids-way too many. Just finished an Anne Tyler book-her books are to the point and simplistic…there were few characters…I will let you know if 5 families are confusing…

Leave a Comment