A query letter by Nora

Dear Winter: How can we miss you if you don’t go away?

Yesterday I hosted my annual gathering/clothes swap for people in my local writing group. I used to do this mid-winter, but it proved so problematic with weather and travel, I’ve shifted it to early spring in the last several years.

When I sent out the invites a few weeks ago, I thought: This’ll be nice–end of March. Cool, but pleasant enough people could wander outside if they want.


A 28 degree high isn’t cool, it’s fricking cold. And morning snow flurries are not burgeoning daffodils.

Still, a fine time was had by all. It’s a total girl day with food and drink and talk, and the madness of a mountain of clothes–every style, shape and size–brought by dozens of women.

I’m ending the weekend making farmhouse bread, and a vast pot of chicken noodle soup as I had the chicken, and could take advantage of the leftover veggies from the party. And it had better be the last vat of soup I make this spring specifically because it’s so damn cold out.tulips on counter soup in pot

At least papansies in planternsies–who don’t mind the chill–give me some hope of spring, even if it’s cold enough to keep a fire burning instead of doing some early prep-work in the garden.fire in grate

I’ve got four tubs of books to sign, and when that’s done I believe I’m going to flop down horizontally and find some movie that won’t tax my tired brain cells.

It better be warm enough next weekend for me to at least plant my potatoes, or Mother Nature and I are going to have a serious conversation.  


37 thoughts on “A query letter by Nora”

  1. If anyone can lay the law down with Mother Nature, it would be you! My crocus had to fight their way through snow to show themselves. At least we’re not as bone-dry as usual, but I’m ready for some green!

  2. Ik some insufferable bragging coming your way. Cherry trees almost finished blossoming. Hyacinth daffodils and tulips in flower. We had 1/4 of an inch of snow in January. Lasted an hour. Of course we are going to be on water restrictions by the end of the month

  3. I am here in Connecticut and so done with winter. I just walked across the snow-covered grass to our little cottage to take down the Christmas wreaths and put up the spring ones. Honestly I couldn’t stand looking at them from my kitchen window any more. I am thinking green, green green!!!

  4. I’m with you, Nora. You tell that Mother Nature to get a grip. I am so ready for spring. My snowdrops have been trying to bloom for a couple of weeks now but it is just too cold.

  5. I live in Wisconsin and we have a high of 35 with 40 mile wind. 2 weeks ago we had 70. Made a pot roast and Rhubard bread( frozen from last years crop). Love your books!!

  6. Nora, couldn’t agree more. Where I am the Sun’s out, but the wind chill is ridiculous. To top it off, the snow is finally leaving , but still have to wear boots because of mud.

    1. The extreme and unusual weather patterns are due to global warming, more accurately termed climate change.

      I’m so ready for some usual weather.

      1. I was in your neck of the woods about a month ago and had planned to visit your little town, until the ugly snow storm hit and it took us three hours to get to the interstate from Cumberland. My husband said lets get out of here! The snow chased us all the way to North Carolina!

      2. I am a life time New Yorker, and after that 49 years I don’t think I will ever get used to being cold. I feel we go straight fro winter to summer without an in between. We need fresh Spring air

    2. During mid March here in NE IL we had 10 day of warm (50-70) temperatures. Winter returned last Monday with lake-effect snows and much colder than normal temperatures. Winter doesn’t seem to want to let go!

  7. We in California have had no winter this year. The temperatures have been into the 90’s and my daffodils’ went straight to green leaves and no flowers. I missed the rainy days with my nose in the latest Nora Roberts book.

  8. Here in NH we are near Mt. Washington which is beautiful with the snow on it but I have had enough of the stuff down here. It has been warm but not enough to melt the snow yet still goes back to below zero at night. Still about a foot left here. I am sooo ready for spring. No crocus yet, :(. My mom in law always told
    me spring isn’t really here until my birthday the end of April and she is usually right about that. We have been known to have snow on Mother’s Day in our area.

  9. This Massachusetts girl completely empathizes! Although I have spent a lot of time rereading Nora Roberts between shoveling marathons 🙂

  10. Global warming has messed us all up. In S.C. we’ve had our march winds in February, our April showers in March and May flowers are blooming already. go figure!!! We’ve already had to cut our grass twice so far and it needs it again. lol! it’s probably gonna be hot as heck pretty soon and the humidity through the roof. thanks Mother Nature!

  11. Nora that soup looks divine!!! hope it won’t be long before you get to put your hands in the soil and do your planting!!!! by the way I finished reading the collector and I loved it!!!!

  12. In California as well, fell sorry for the east coast! But we’ve been running our a/c for the whole month of March. On the upside, been reading lots of Nora’s books in this 80 degree plus weather we’ve been having!

  13. Hopefully, you won’t go right into the heat of Summer; but then, maybe you want the heat.

  14. This has been my first winter in las Vegas. Moving from Wyoming it has been quite a change. I haven’t missed the snow, wind, and cold but I sure miss the mountains !!

  15. We have unusual sun for PGH but its been flurrying off and on for the past two days and its COLD. Tomorrow we are taking the grands, as they are on spring break, to Phipps Conservatory for the spring flower show.
    It is a lovely place to take in gorgeous spring flowers as they sure ain’t outside in our yards. We went to the Christmas show over a year ago and it was lovely but the spring show is sure something to put us in the mood for lovely weather.

  16. I’m with you, Nora! As my friend posted the other day: “Go home, Mother Nature. You’re drunk!”

  17. Here in Northeastern California….high desert country at 4500 feet….we got snow on the ground once. Several light dustings of the white stuff and nothing more. We would love to get just a fraction of the snow all of your on the East coast has received. But I can understand why you’re sick of the cold weather. Wish we had that problem….

    The soup looks yummy…..

  18. After wiping out on the ice 3 weeks ago and being on crutches for at least another 4, I don’t care if I ever see winter again.
    Spring come please!
    (Bread & soup..yum)

  19. The calendar sayspring.April is here tomorrow, Passover is Saturday, Easter as well as my birthday is on Sunday. I was born on the spring so it is,spring regardless of snow on the ground As long as the snow,isgoneby Marathon Monday&the redsoxgame at Fenway . Maybe the northeast can ship the snow to the west coast for water . Pretty soon the snow will be a memory and it will be Memorial Day weekend.the birds have flown north again it is spring

  20. I don’t recall ever seeing this much snow in the Dallas area in my life ~ and no wonder, as it was over 70 years ago that north central Texas was hit this hard. Still, nothing like the rest of the country. Then it rained like mad for days; highly unusual. Today, so beautiful out there! Bright sun, brilliant blue sky, cool, plants are green. “If only” is stayed like this all year, it would be Camelot.

    Only Roarke by my side could make this a better day!!

  21. I agree with you Nora. I’ve had it with winter – and thankfully she seems to have taken heed to your stern warning as the temperatures here in Central Virginia have been warming up nicely. Unfortunately, I do believe she has a wicked sense of humor in that she informed the Spring Goddess to deliver enormous amounts of pollen-infested sunshine upon us. I’ve never been one to deal with allergies to the point where medication was needed, but this year I have literally been held captive in my home because of them. The minute I step outside, my throat feels as though it is wearing a wool sweater, and my sinuses are filled with a thousand sneezes and as congested as I-95 during rush hour traffic in Richmond. I’m hoping for torrential rains to befall our fair city … or perhaps for one last snowstorm out of sympathy from Old Man Winter.

  22. I am convinced Mother Nature has become bipolar the past few years. We have been going from one extreme to the other in both Spring and Fall. One week this spring we had:
    Monday – sunny with high 72
    Tuesday – Snow with high 43
    Wednesday – Snow with high 40
    Thursday – Sunny with high 68
    Friday – Snow with high 38

  23. And here we are – edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park in the UK and second day in a row of gloriously warm sunshine. Been out walking again as far too nice to stay indoors – people in T-shirts and being Easter Monday Bank Holiday lots of people out having picnics. To be fair though for us to get weather so nice a) this early in the year and b) on a holiday as well is most unusual 😉

  24. We live in Ontario. Canada and it has been one of the coldest winters on record in this area. Still have a few snow banks hanging around. The robins have arrived back so that is a good sign spring is here or at least close. Your chicken noodle soup looks so good Nora – would you consider sharing the recipe?? My husband and I love your books and probably have most of them plus a few movies. Keep up the good work.

  25. That soup looks positively scrumptious! Mother Nature is really flexing her muscles this season. NYC has been the frozen Apple for far too long. I treasure every blue sky. With thanks always for all the brilliant stories.

  26. Moved from your area (Martinsburg, W. Va.) to Florida 10 years ago and sometimes miss the fall colors, the fresh fallen snow and the comfort of a warm fire in the fireplace. Of course reading one of your books added to the comfort of my day. I miss some of these things but not the never ending cold winters like this past winter. Now I get to read your wonderful books poolside.

  27. I was looking at my bed of iris blooms that are all in bud, looks like they will start opening their petals tomorrow, but I am also looking at thunderstorms, 80 degree temperatures, and high winds, that in Arkansas mean TORNADOS, and hope they leave my beautiful flowers alone. I am ready for sun, heat, and laying out at a swim park with my daughters for girl time. Hurry up summer!!!

  28. I’m jealous of all the comments about flowers! I’m in eastern Canada and I’m afraid we have a while until our snow is melted. We still have a few feet out there and our temperatures go up and down from high of 5 Celsius to low of -12 Celsius, (I think that’s approx. 40 Fahrenheit and 10 Fahrenheit respectively).

    Just wondering about your writing circle that you mentioned. Is it all professional, published writers or do you also meet with people from the community? And do you bring samples of your work to read aloud for their opinions? I’ve always wondered how that works.

    Love your novels, hope Spring reaches you soon.

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