Rochelle Weinstein

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Hi {{ subscriber.firstName | default('Friends') }},
The Stall. I saw this quote somewhere with no attribution, so kudos to the wise soul who came up with the words.
My stall began this past May. It started with the shooting at the Aventura Mall, and then a string of disappointment followed. We said goodbye to our forever home, I lost my best friend, Champlain Towers stole our loved ones, and then a wave of work-related stress. No pity needed. It is what it is. But it was an unsettling time. I questioned my faith, and I questioned my future. There were days I was convinced I’d never write another word, deflated and beaten down.
My agent submitted my sixth novel to my editor at the beginning of April 2021. After the success of This Is Not How It Ends, I thought the days of rejection were over. I thought I’d reached a career milestone which made my publishing path secure. For whatever the reason, the editor didn’t respond to us immediately. Convinced the power of words and manifesting would bring forth some good news, I posted a quote to my phone’s lock screen: It’s Going To Happen. Have Faith. I looked at the message every single time I reached for my phone. Which was a lot. I wanted so much to believe its presence would make it real. And the days turned into weeks and eventually months. It was an endless, excruciating wait—a stall—though I didn’t have the clarity at the time to see it as so. I was angry. I was worried. I was paralyzed, unable to take on any new projects.
Writers live inside their heads. They have conversations with strangers and lovers who don’t exist but feel real. Creative people, over-thinkers, introverts…we come up with all kinds of scenarios in our heads. Fiction writers, in particular, are professional storytellers. We create outrageous excuses and circumstances for any gnawing situation. In truth, the not knowing was way worse than the actual knowing. In knowing an outcome, there’s movement, a resolution, maybe a new plan. Without, I was floundering, completely unmoored and paralyzed. Left with this giant question mark, this uncertainty, I tried my best to remain positive. But getting no message is also a message, and after five months, I began to consider a life without writing.
We left North Carolina on a warm, August morning, and as we crossed out of Charlotte, my agent called. “Are you sitting?” she asked. Funny, since we’d be sitting for the next eleven or so hours. She proceeded to tell me we got an offer on Let Me Let Go. I was also being rerouted to my original editor at the publishing house. Fantastic news.
I wish I could tell you I jumped for joy—impossible, as I was stuck in the car—but there was a moment of pure relief in ending the agonizing silence. And while I felt like I could breathe again, I remembered the stories I’d concocted, the imaginary rejection conversation, and turning the emotions around felt a little like PTSD. It was hard to trust, hard to let in.
But I did. Because that’s what I tell my students, my kids, and anyone who will listen. Keep moving forward. Accept the good with the bad. And though I wish I had been able to hold onto the confidence during those difficult days, I know, now, that I was in the midst of a stall that I wouldn’t be able to understand or implement into my life until now.
Hindsight is annoyingly 20/20. Looking back, had I received the deal sooner, I would have been on an editing deadline just as I was packing up our home of twenty-one years, grieving the Champlain victims, and organizing and setting up a new home. Today, we are settled and adjusted (though I’ll never got over the tragic events of June 24th), and there's clarity, the ability to recognize why this happened and what it was meant to teach me. I can’t get back those five months, but I am certain they’ll find a way into a future book, and I’ll be able to share the lessons with all of you.
All that to say, I can’t wait for you to read Let Me Let Go. The brief description is below, but the novel captures so many relevant themes—loss, forgiveness, letting in and letting go. I truly fell in love with Elle Masters, the fifteen-year-old girl who lost her mother and makes it her life’s mission to terrorize her father’s girlfriend, Avery. And when the pair land in the mountains of North Carolina (imagine city girl Elle on a farm!), their brokenness bonds them, proving that allies are found in the unlikeliest circumstances. As I write these words, I realize how much I love this story and how much I miss the characters.
After the announcement about the deal came out, I heard from several seasoned authors and writers about how difficult publishing can be. Taken from an actual text to one of those authors: After six books, the learning NEVER ends, and the rules change, and the industry tests you, but you have to hold on to all the reasons you sat down to write in the first place. That’s your fuel. And the message goes beyond our industry. Life gets difficult. It’s not always social media sunshine. We all find ourselves in a stall. A weird, unwelcome pause which has us doubting ourselves and the world. Recognize your stall. Own it. Trust it. Even when it makes you uncomfortable. Share your bad, broken self. All the ugly. All the batshit crazy. Because that's what makes you human, and that's what makes you valuable to those around you.
Thanks for being here, and thanks for reading this far!
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What I've been reading and loving...

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It was a busy few months of reading. 
Thrillers. Historical Fiction. Suspense. Fascinating Fiction.
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Please excuse any typos. I'm old and blind.