Book Research + Girls’ Weekend

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What you need in your life is the sort of friend you can call up and say, “Hey, I’m writing a romance novel and I’ve set it in a city for reasons and I’ve never been there and I am just wondering, would you be willing to accompany me on this book research trip that doubles as an excuse for a girls’ weekend?” and then they agree to it without missing a beat and before you know it you’ve booked a swanky hotel and are researching all the brunch options. There’s a brunch scene in this book, so brunch is serious business.

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It was the best long weekend I’ve had in a long time and I’m so glad Jolene agreed to meet up with me in Minneapolis. What a great city. I could have handled spending more time there and made a sincere effort to extend my stay through the end of this week for the AWP Conference, but things came up. Actually, there wasn’t a decent affordable hotel room available close to the city center by the time I started looking. That ended up being a good thing for me as I lost a large contract about a week later (I still need to write about that).



Anyway, we had a marvelous time and the trip gave me renewed energy to get this book done. We saw a lot of the city, ate delicious food (had foie gras for the first time), strolled through a museum, stumbled into a flower show, snuck into the hotel where I planned to set a big scene, and enjoyed music late into the night near our hotel. It was another new thing for me, but what struck me about this trip was the realization that I had no fear of it. I know that’s not a big deal for everyone, but (like I’ve talked about before) travel anxiety is a real thing and I’ve only recently overcome most of mine.

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About the book. Most of the major plotting is completed and I made some breakthroughs this week. I’ve got a lot of work to do with one of the main characters, but I’m hoping to get some serious work done on that by the end of next week. Writing a semi-mysterious man isn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Figuring out why he’s mysterious has been a challenge, but I made it past that hurdle yesterday.

Now I’m sitting here watching the #AWP15 hashtag on Twitter, feeling ever so envious of folks who are there in Minneapolis. I’m starting my AWP 2016 fund right now.

Sunday Morning Coffee


Sunday morning jasmine tea 🙂

  • First things first, I’m still in that writing competition. My piece this week is a little love story and I would appreciate your vote.
  • The latest episode of Strangers: Love, Good and Bad — It’s really good. I’ve never had feelings about a foghorn.
  • Marisa watched The Slap and so did I.
  • Jolene has kindly agreed to join me on a book research trip to Minneapolis in April and I’m having fun figuring out places where we can have brunch. Because there’s a brunch scene in my book and I like details. And brunch.
  • Stracotto (pot roast) with porcini mushrooms — I made this and it’s delicious.
  • “what’s exhausting is walking around with it
    the tiny slip of a thought
    something that could be true
    but you just can’t bet on it” – from Amy Turn Sharp’s This one is for you
  • My main character’s best friend enjoys One Direction and I have to research that, too. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
  • Instead of sobbing, you write sentences.
  • “I walk. I can always see him. His size does not change as I move forward: he is five feet nine and a half, exactly right. I can still feel the feel of my hand in his hand as I walk.” – from Lottery Tickets by Elizabeth Alexander

Sunday Morning Coffee

Yesterday I was at a crazy long concert for tornado relief and it was AWESOME. More on that tomorrow. Now it’s cinnamon coffee with Cinnabon creamer and we’re off!

  • Cormac McCarthy wrote his first original screenplay and you can catch the film later this year. Since I’ll probably be naming my first born child after this man, you can definitely count me in. (h/t Bookriot)
  • Top Travel Memoirs for Foodies — I love to read about food. I think it helps me with my writing. Seriously, there are few things better than reading a description so delicious you can taste it. Well, other than actually eating the food. Going to try to find a couple of these at the library.
  • The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who
  • Ever wondered which Shakespearean bad boy is perfect for you? Here you go.
  • The Vegetable Garden’s Second Season: Planning and Planting for Fall — I’m reading up on this as my squash plants are slowly falling at the hands of the squash vine borer. Soon about half the space of my garden will be available again and I need to think about what I might be able to put in for a fall harvest.
  • “‘Not all who wander are lost,’ Tolkien said, but all who wander certainly are more in danger of being lost then those who sit, comfortable, not moving.

    And, I believe, more at risk of being truly found.

    Maybe that’s what I fear the most.”