Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Day in the Life of… Dianne Christner

Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of.....

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!


Dianne Christner writes lighthearted, Inspirational Romance. In her current, Plain City Bridesmaids series, friendship between three Mennonite women ties the three novels together. Her newest novel, Something Blue releases August 1st.

You can read more about Christner and her novels at
She also keeps a blog about writing and the Mennonite lifestyle.

A Day in the Life of… Dianne Christner

At exactly 5:30 AM, Sunshine creeps through an arched window, slips into my bedroom and offers me a gift. I snatch it.


Another new beginning.




Alone in the house, I see hubby started his day while I was still running from dream monsters and nonsensical word regiments doing maneuvers inside my head.


I wake parched—a body, soul, and spirit French fry—stuck to a burned cookie sheet. So I grab my spatula and squint at my mirror, which almost sends me back diving beneath the covers. But I’m brave so I apply soothing eye drops and slather on a protective layer of lotion to ward off Desert’s thief.


I move downstairs, imbibe an entire glass of water and savor the aroma of coffee, which I take to my upward-spiral chair. From this place, I venture right into God’s throne room. It never fails to astound me. I rise grateful and ready to prevail. Today’s skirmish is self control, its tactic - controlling my tongue.


My middle name’s Louise. It means warrior.



Since I was raised Mennonite, I assume my parents didn’t know this. But I do. And at sixty, the battle’s intense. Today I must conquer two monsters. Writing Beast and the Beast of July.


Fueled, inspired, and moisturized, I’m jazzed to song until I remember the dreaded Ex….and the fact that I don’t sing.  (Ex… stands for expanding hips) Determined, I jog-walk my hilly neighborhood and return drained but happy.


I head to my upstairs office.




The cheery space revives me with its inspirational sticky notes.


 A corner windows offer a view of distant desert mountains dotted in saguaros and Phoenix cityscape.


Oh how sweet the light of day and how wonderful to live in the sunshine.
Ecclesiastes 11:7-8, The Message)

Awesome in theory, not necessarily in reality. Ten o’clock sun glares at me. Since I battle eye strain, I close the blinds. Now I look at a corner of white venetians. Sometimes I hang cheerful cards in the slots to remind me I’m not alone. I also say hello world by checking emails and visiting my social networking sites.


A deadline, however, spoils my fun. It looms over me like a giant HABOOB. It’s time to leave the world of white venetians and step into my imaginary place. I squint at my characters. The six months it takes me to write a novel, their framed faces (clipped from magazines or printed off the internet) are scattered across my desk, mixed in with those of my precious grandkids. I focus my gaze until it glazes over. It’s like focusing on a 3D image to find the hidden picture. When they spring to life, I follow their exploits as my fingers try to keep up on the keyboard.


Plainly-garbed, Mennonite Carly races her pink bike through Sweet Home, Oregon with her bonnet strings a’flyin’ and revealing too much black stocking. But she doesn’t care because she’s gutsy and she’s on a mission. Her hero groans when I coax him into the scene because he knows it’s too early in the novel for his success. When I finish the scene, I gloat. Rise, stretch, put a load of laundry in, and check on what’s for dinner. But my mind’s in fiction land, impelling me back for scene two. My characters won’t let me go now. I eat lunch at my desk. After each scene, I check word count.


When I reach my goal, I do a victory dance and close it down for the day.




My focus switches back to venetian blinds, the battle of unruly tongue and expanding hips. I remember my middle name and claim no more sloughing for me. I choose a DVD from my work-out library. Today it’s Brazilian Dancing.  Afterwards, I reward myself with a shower and make up.


Only the beast of July remains. Its greedy tongue saps moisture. Its fiery breath lashes out relentless to blister everything that dares to venture outside of air conditioning. But since I write in the mornings, I must face it. Like my neighbors, I put up a brave front as I run my errands. Dashing in and out of the car, I’m careful not to touch anything—for everything is hot as a branding iron—careful not to lose my shoes in the gooey parking lot.


Did I mention Phoenicians are a tan bunch? Like Sun Tea, we’re naturally brewed.


Back at home when I hear the rattle of old bones, I know hubby’s just worked the garage door and welcome him with a wifely hug.  As we enjoy dinner together and share highlights, I may or may not remember to watch my tongue. We go to our balcony to watch the sunset. It preens—pink, coral, and showy before it slinks into the dark.


After that, we are any other normal couple, watching TV or working in our office. Creativity’s fried so I do research. Since I’m nerdy, I consider this fun-work. Then I move on to computer games or read. I may plan a family event or browse decorating magazines, dreaming of updates for our ordinary house. Those rarely happen. Maybe when I make the bestsellers list! Until then, I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing.  


Go to work in the morning and stick to it until evening without watching the clock. You never know from moment to moment how your work will turn out in the end.

Ecclesiastes 11:6 The Message)

Something Blue cover

Life is going well for Megan.

She’s always wanted to marry a missionary and now she’s working with Chance, a charming and daring missionary pilot. Then Micah Zimmerman moves into her parent’s home as a pastoral candidate for their Conservative Mennonite church—and he doesn’t look anything like the gawky young man who had a crush on her in college.

As Megan struggles with her own personal identity and faith, she begins to see the true difference between Chance and Micah.

Will her insight come too late, or is there still time to find the hero of her dreams?


  1. I'm so glad I found your books! You are such an intriguing writer! I love how your books are not only page turners but there are also great lessons to be learned in the characters.

    Thank you for sharing your day with us!

    Have a very blessed day! :-)

  2. Wow, thanks Terri. I'm still learning soooooooo much in my own life and I try to make them (characters) seem real. Thanks for blessing me today.

  3. I love your books as well! I like to read them slow, so I can really enjoy each scene. You have such a great way of making the reader feel apart of the story. Looking forward to picking up your next book! It was great to get a peak into the life of a writer. Thanks for sharing your talent and giftings with the world. You are very much loved.

    God Bless!

  4. Hi Ano-y,
    Your post really touched me. Love is a strong word, and I couldn't ask for more. Thanks so much for taking the time to connect with me here.

  5. Great post, Diane! I especially like the MSG version of the passage from Eccl. 11:6--I'm posting it in a prominent place in my office. Good word!


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