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.

The Week in Pictures


 1. Planning out my month. 2. Changing leaves in my neighborhood. 3. A magical pomegranate. 4. Butternut squash soup with an iceberg of sour cream.



 1. The Pioneer Woman’s new holiday cook book! 2. To us! 3. Nails in Rimmel “Sweet Tease” 4. New dress paired with a favorite scarf.