Stress Dreams

John always tells me “Never let them see you sweat.” Well, that’s just not who I am. I’m sweating and I don’t care who knows it! Diane on Deadline is not a pretty sight, but I’ve got a smile on my face as I type this and I know it’s because, while I’m completely freaked out and complaining about my difficult life, I’m loving every minute. Since my high school days when I learned how to write a mean essay paper, I’ve loved the thrill of panic-inducing deadlines. Some people sky-dive for thrills. I write down to the wire.

The freaking out part, while giving me an adrenaline high, also leads to a hideously disorganized office, lots of pizza and Chinese take-out and sodium overload, and the worst: stress dreams. Last night I dreamed I was going to one of my signings. There was a huge crowd of people waiting to see me, but I’d made the mistake of bringing one of my dogs, Keeper, with me. (Keeper’s showing off his new bling made by Doggone Tags in the picture.) Keeper threw up and cleared the room, so that by the time I was ready to sign, there were three people left. I know this will be the quality of my dreams for the next few weeks.

So I’m curious about two things: Do you have stress dreams yourselves? And would you like your favorite authors to pretend turning out books on deadline is a breeze or are you okay with seeing a little sweat now and then?


  1. Margo on March 24, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Ah Diane, what a glorious photo!…and I know you probably don’t mean for this post to be funny but I’m rolling on the floor with laughter!…I know exactly what you mean by the ‘adrenaline high’…I’ve been there myself many times when I’m on deadline for artwork…like you, I sweat and eat whatever I want, but usually I’m so ‘pumped’ I can’t sleep so the stress dreams aren’t always there…some of it has to do with the fact I’ll drink coffee round the clock just to get the project done!
    I actually LOVE that you sweat like this because what I’ve found from previous experience, sometimes the higher the stress and adrenaline, the better the work…I know its hard on you, but your struggles are worth it in the end, when you deliver those page-turning, brilliant novels.
    I don’t think you’d be happy any other way.

  2. Diane Chamberlain on March 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Margo, I find it reassuring that you have deadline fever, too. Makes me feel not alone! And my dream WAS funny. I laughed when I woke up. Better to do that than cry, right?

  3. Jo Firey on March 24, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Without stress I’d never get anything done. I’m basically lazy and need the adrenaline to get moving. Sometimes I think the wild and crazy stress dreams I could do without, but have to admit they can be pretty interesting. I do have to be careful what I watch on TV before I go to sleep though. It will be included in the dreams, sometimes in very disturbing ways.

  4. Margo on March 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Diane, how did you get such an adorable pose out of Keeper?
    ‘That Look’ definitely tells a story. (-O:

  5. Diane Chamberlain on March 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Keeper was not happy about this at all, however the coloring around the side of his mouth makes him look like he’s smiling. Trust me, he wasn’t! And I totally failed to get a shot of Jet’s bling.

  6. Diane Chamberlain on March 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Jo, I know what you mean about what you watch on TV before sleep. Same with what I read.

  7. Margo on March 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    LOL!…he certainly had me fooled! (-O:

  8. Karen on March 25, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Stress is a part of life and you wouldn’t be human if you were not stressed. I like to hear about my favourite authors human side.

  9. Ann on March 25, 2011 at 1:18 am

    What a wonderful picture. I LOVE Keeper!

  10. Margo on March 25, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Ann, isn’t Keeper the most gorgeous Sheltie you’ve ever seen?…I love his coloring.

  11. Ann on March 26, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Margo – yes he is gorgeous!!

  12. Diane Chamberlain on March 26, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    keeper is an odd duck . . .er, Sheltie. He rarely wags his tail, except at mealtime. He doesn’t run around like Jet does. When they play together, he stands in one place and lets Jet run back and forth to him. He seems perfectly healthy and has always been this way. When I come home, Jet runs down the stairs to greet me while Keeper waits at the top of the stairs. Just a funny boy.

  13. Margo on March 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Omigosh Diane, I didn’t know Keeper had an ‘attitude’…how funny!…all doggies have their own personalities, dont they?…thx for sharing that little tidbit about your 2 pups…I love animals and its interesting to me how they are all so different.
    I hope your stress level is a little better…I have a feeling your outline is completed and you’re a happy camper right about now.

  14. Diane Chamberlain on March 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Oh, the outline was finished loooong ago. I’m revising now, which is my favorite part. just have a lot of it to do! I’m
    sort of between drafts 2 and 3. Couple more to go!

  15. Chelsy on March 28, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    I have stress dreams all the time! Well, a few nightmares, but they could tie into stress…But yeah who /doesn’t/ have stress dreams?
    And it’s good to know you’re real, not a robot, everyone has stress no matter who they are.

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