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).

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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.