Rochelle Weinstein

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Hi {{ subscriber.firstName | default('Friends') }},
The End. Yep. I last week typed those words on my seventh novel and turned it in to my editor. There's nothing more rewarding than hitting send on a completed manuscript, but it's also nerve-racking waiting for feedback--the massive edits and/or overhaul. If you want your book to be the best it can be, you welcome the critique. I'm counting on all of you to remind me of that in a few weeks.
SO WHAT AM I DOING NOW? We're in the North Carolina mountains enjoying the views and cooler weather. This is the first summer in a long time I'm not writing or editing. It's strange! While I'm not sitting at my desk every day creating, I'm thinking. Thinking about writing. Thinking about locations and characters and themes. Thinking about topics and twists and structure. I'm also thinking about our boys who just started their first jobs, one in Miami and the other in New York, and thinking about the long days ahead of me. I'm free. And I'm hesitant. 
When I'm writing, I'm totally immersed in place, character, and story. I spend hours and days alone, uninterrupted, comfortable in the solitude. I consider myself an outgoing, friendly person, but coming out of the cave isn't easy. Re-entry, like returning from vacation, can be challenging, and for some writers, we're leery of everyday life after spending months inside our heads.
This past Saturday night, I left the cave and traveled out of my comfort zone. I WENT TO A CONCERT. I DANCED. IT WAS REALLY CROWDED. Those who know me well are likely laughing at the visual. To be honest, I was about to skip out after dinner, but a few girlfriends convinced (forced) me to stay, and when I hovered in the background, observing, another approached and coerced (forced) me onto the dance floor. 
Here's the thing. I HAD A REALLY NICE TIME. We sang 80s songs with the live band--“Forever Young” and “Come on Eileen”--and even danced to “Ghostbusters.” Yes, “Ghostbusters.” It took me but a few seconds to feel free and light and in the mix of it all. While mouthing the words to “Your Love,” I stepped back and took it all in. 
I'm grateful to the girls who pushed. The ones who knew exactly what I needed. Who pressed with love and kindness and made me feel a part of something bigger. Seeds were planted. Girl power. Overcoming solitude and apprehension. Female friendship. Coloring outside the line. And I was truly happy. Before I snuck out.
Admittedly, a story is taking shape, within me and perhaps on the page, and I'm thinking THE END (of college, of a book) is merely the opportunity for a new beginning. Of the literal next chapter. Of the next venture, the next concert, the next door to walk through. The end is not always THE END. It's asking yourself the question: what's next for me? And being brave enough to grab it.
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What I've been reading and loving... 

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I'm thrilled to share some exciting news. This little column has turned into a collaboration with Miami's 6 in The Mix. I've joined forces with Jen Herrara and Johanna Gomez on a monthly book segment featuring my top three recommendations. Read the column on Barbara Bos' 
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This is Not How it Ends goes to Albania... 

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This month's giveaway... 

Speaking of my son's move to New York, did I mention how Bear flew up to help set up the new apartment? Bear isn't the handiest. Okay, he isn't handy at all. He can rival the best house cleaners in the country, but putting together furniture is not his specialty. When I ordered our son's bed and dresser, I scheduled a Task Rabbit to assist. He was great; set up everything in no time. Now, Bear is obsessed with the rabbits. I've tried to explain to him that he can't hire them to change a lightbulb. And they won't deliver a pizza up here in the mountains. Anyone else have a non-handy spouse or partner? Or a funny moving experience? Reply to this email and you'll be automatically entered to win the three books featured in my NBC 6 segment. US only.

Future authors, check out my latest workshop with NSU Alvin Sherman Library... 

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And look who made a salami flower in today's cheeseboard class... 

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For new subscribers…

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Please excuse any typos. Sometimes I make mistakes!