Weekend Hustle

Mine started Friday, away from the keyboard. Due to what the weekend held, I hit the gym hard Friday morning. With that mission accomplished, I pull it together to make a vat of tortilla soup. The most helpful Laura and Sarah plan to come over in the late afternoon to help me organize my mountains of purged clothes/shoes/boots/bags.

They deserve to be fed. And as Logan’s requested his grandda and I come to his Sunday basketball game, I wouldn’t have much time to make the family dinner already on the books for Sunday evening. A vat of soup covers both. 

Soup, dressed with tortilla chips and cheese.

I decide I want one more chicken breast as I’m making a vat rather than a pot. Start to defrost same in the microwave. And discover, to my shock and delight, my mike is now speaking French. It’s bi-lingual! I have no clue how or when this happened, but it’s fun–and I don’t try to fix it. I just defrost the poulet. And, curious, discover how to say popcorn (a microwave staple in my world) in French. 

Popcorn in French.

By the time the vat’s simmering and I’m reasonably cleaned up, my girls arrive. I have BW’s rolling rack from his studio in the living room for the hanging items. We dive in. Hanging, folding, arranging into sensible piles, clearing off tables to make more sensible piles.

It’s a job–less arduous with champagne, but a job–and when done I have to wonder how all that fit into my closet in the first place. 

Our motto.

Now my closet breathes easier, and the pals who’ll come over post-signing on Saturday can have at it.

Time to feed the dogs, and when BW arrives, to feed everyone else.

Some hang out time, more wine! And since Laura needs to be here for the signing, she takes the guest room.

A bright if breezy Saturday morning, and time to gear up for the signing at Turn The Page. The temps decide they’ll hang in the 50s, which is a gift in January.

We have lots of newbies, sweet stories about guys surprising their ladies with the trip to the signing, mom surprising daughters and visa versa. Then there are The Nine. Nine women who traveled to Boonsboro to celebrate one of their tribe’s birthday. They all have hoodies with a Roarke Industries emblem, and a book quote on the back. As if that’s not cool enough, the connection, the affection, the happiness of The Nine tops even that. 

The Nine — and Nora.
On the back of each sweatshirt was a different — favorite — quote.

Lots of positive energy from the readers who come in, from the authors who sign, to the staff who handles it all. A very good day.

TTPs Beth photobombs the post-signing author photo..

And a surprise guest appearance in the backroom during a break when the kids show up. Grandkid hugs! Kayla kicked some running butt at her Friday meet, Logan’s fresh from victory in his Saturday game. Congrats! I ask Colt what he’s done this week, and the answer: He read a lot of books–and is hoping for another. He has a specific title, knows the author. I send him off with Bookstore Janeen.

It’s pretty gratifying to have a kid–at seven–so in love with reading.

Time to head home, and that timing works really well. A couple of pals are already there, and more come in as I ditch the signing clothes for comfort. We have pizza–delivered by Vesta–two buckets of chicken (thanks, Pat) cheese and crackers courtesy of JoAnne, an amazing salad presented by Nicole, and Elaine’s homemade brownies.

Food, drink, girls!

Dogs so insanely happy to have girl company, I finally have to put them outside.

We all fuel up, then hit the rack, the piles.

It’s fun for me to see pieces I loved and wore and wore–or pieces I bought then realized, for me, equaled mistake–appeal to pals. Girls stripping down to their underwear (no men in the house this evening!), discussing what works, what doesn’t. Or the: This would look better on you. That looks great!

It’s also sort of amazing that with a group of varying sizes and shapes, all the stuff ends up working on someone. Tops, sweaters, hoodies, vests, dresses, jackets, shoes, bags, workout gear. By the time we’re done, I’m left with a tiny handful, which I’ll pass to someone else or donate.

A little hang-out time, then it’s goodbye until April and the Drunken Girls Spa Week. (Best week ever!) *

Dog tired. Atticus and Parker.

Today, I’m going to try to drag myself out to the gym before the basketball game–we’ll see about that. I need to tidy up a little before family dinner. But all I have to do there is heat up the soup, the bread. Good deal.

Monday, early routine dentist appointment, then I’m digging in, and going into my winter hibernation. Staying home, staying in, and writing. Possibly in my pajamas for the entire month of February.


* Laura begs to differ — courteously! — on this opinion.

25 thoughts on “Weekend Hustle”

  1. It was great to follow your thoughts through all this. The photo of the dogs is hilarious. I guess all the socializing is tiring.

    It all sounded great, but, your plans for February make me jealous. Enjoy yourself.

  2. How wonderful! Making it to a signing weekend is still on my bucket list, but it would be hard to top the author weekend last January when we lucky few at Inn Boonsboro visited with Nora for hours! Still such a golden memory for me! I’m eagerly awaiting “Dark in Death,” mailed from TTP! Thank you for sharing about this fun (and full!) weekend!

  3. Ok i probably picked up something different from everyone else but kudos on getting a 7 year old boy reading. I have a 13 year old niece who loves reading and likes to discuss books with me (the only other bookworm in the family!) but to get a lad into it much, much harder. Just a couple of days till Dark in Death then the countdown to Shelter in Place begins. Is it sad that my life revolves around book release dates?! lol

  4. How fun; the clothing exchange is a great idea, now you will have to go shopping to replace what you gave away. Your soup looks wonderful, I think I caught a whiff of it. HA.

  5. Your soup ? looks delicious. I’d have put some black olives and avocado ? on top along with the cheese ? and tortilla chips. Maybe I’ll make some today.
    The pic of the girl photo bombing you guys was too funny!
    Loved the picture of the Nine.? I gotta get me one of those hoodies!!
    Atticus and Parker looked wore out lol. Must be tiring to hang out with the womenfolk lol.
    Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait for my book ? coming from TTP. (Already got the email, so I know it on the way)
    I hope you have a great day today. Tell Logan good luck ? on his game.
    Oh yeah, with you as a writer, I know it must be a great feeling, having an avid reader in the family.

  6. Sounds like a fabulous weekend glad you enjoyed it, love the photos from the signing, and maybe you have a grandson to follow in your footsteps.xx

  7. I was the bookworm kid in my family. He’ll have a lifelong comfort of just needing a book to be happy. Laura, take lots of white-out with you – lol. My hibernation clothes are t-shirts and gym shorts – and I bitterly resent having to dress-up after days of burrowing.

  8. What fun!! One of these days I will make the big journey to a signing…until then, it’s always fun to read and see pictures of all the happy people there and the authors, many of which I read their books too…..Love your dogs…so cute!

  9. Sounds like a great time was had by everyone – at both the book signing and the clothing giveaway. Your tortilla soup looks delicious. Thank you for sharing another fabulous Nora weekend.

  10. What good times! Glad it was successful and enjoyable. Three cheers to the Nine tribe, live the Roarke hoodies! I am purging my closets too, and sending at least three garbage bags to a thrift shop, where sales benefit children and incarcerated or formerly incarcerated mothers.

    Looking forward to reading Dark in Death and slShelter in Place!

    Be well!

  11. I can’t wait for Tuesday when I will receive your new book on my Kindle. I love all the Eve and Roarke books. Your weekend sounded like fun. Especially getting all the old things out of your closet. Think of how you can fill it up with new things after you are done writing your next book.

  12. Happy Sunday. I made it to the signing yesterday what a nice day. Thank you. Jammies for February sounds wonderful good luck with that. See you all in June.

  13. That sounds like a fab (if not busy) weekend! You must be exhausted. I would love to make it to a signing at least once but living in the U.K. makes it a wee bit hard. I hope my son carries on enjoying reading like your Colt does. Mine’s 5 and Autistic. He’s Hyperlexic, meaning he taught himself to read at 2 years old (yes I have videos haha) can read anything and understand it. His fav reading material right now is anything to do with history. I just hope he continues his love of reading just like his Mum. I would love to pass on my Nora/J.D collection to him when he gets older (like leave it in my will, cause that’s when i’ll stop reading them 😉 Best of luck for your February writing hibernation. May the creative juices be ever flowing xx

  14. Sounds like a lot of fun. Glad it all flowed so smoothly.
    Good luck with the February write in.
    Thanks for sharing your busy life with us.

  15. Sounds like a perfect weekend to me. I, too, had a Nora Roberts weekend. I’m stuck at home with the flu, so yesterday, between naps, I read Year One for the third time. Today I am rereading Tribute for the first time in several years.

    I was glad to see pictures of the dogs since they have a prominent place in a number of your books. Dumbass is my absolute favorite. What type of dogs are they?

  16. Laura: Would it be possible to get a photo of the Roarke logo that was on the hoodies? And maybe of some of the quotes? What a great idea! Would love to get 1 of those hoodies. Sounds like you all had a fun and productive time this weekend.

  17. Home with the plague – only thing keeping me sane is knowing if I’m still home from work tomorrow, I can read Dark in Death! Rereading the entire In Death series, but might need to disinfect my Kindle afterwards. Feel like Feeney when he was sick and Eve shipped him off to the clinic.

  18. A french speaking microwave! What a motivating way to learn a second language. No learn, no eat…

  19. The photo of Nora laughing has to be an absolute favorite. Don’t know which of you (N or L) decided to share it, but thank you.
    It’s priceless. And thanks, too, for the pic of the dogs. So glad a favorite author favors the canines. Have a good week.

  20. Love hearing about Nora’s cooking! Is it possible to get her soup recipe? It looks amazing!

    1. Hi Kerrene,

      Nora’s an organic cook — she follows guidelines to a point then creates variations from the base. Which is a long winded way of saying she just doesn’t provide recipes. But we always recommend googling — there are some great Tortilla soup recipes out there!


  21. Thank you for all your books. I reread old ones and wait for new. I cry and laugh over them all, no matter how many times I’ve read them and yes I have my memory. I don’t know how you write so many great people, really they aren’t characters to me, I think about them long after I finish a book. This is how I define a great book, do they have great people in them like yours. Sincerely Ruth

  22. What a dream to travel to Boonsboro and meet my favorite author above all!!! I know a day I’ll be there, but, for now, I’m deeply sank in Dark in Death, here in Brazil… Love that all!!!!

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