with a little help from my friends

Confession: Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been in a writing slump. I’ve always prided myself on my immunity to the dreaded “writer’s block.” Creating ideas and finding the words to express them has never been a problem until recently. I’m about half-way through writing the first draft of Novel Girl, a sequel to Blogger Girl, and while I have a concrete vision of where I want things to go, turning the images I see in my head into words on the page has been challenging over the past couple of weeks. I’ve spent numerous evenings after work, sitting at my favorite coffee shop, and after two hours, I’ve considered it a “productive” time if I managed to add a couple of paragraphs. Writing makes me happy; writer’s block makes me sad. In other words, when the writing doesn’t flow, Meri doesn’t glow.

This past weekend, I was fortunate to take part in the second annual “Beach Babes” weekend in California, near Santa Cruz, at the invitation of the lovely, generous and talented author, Eileen Goudge. Also in attendance were Samantha Stroh Bailey, Jen Tucker, Francine LaSala, and Julie Valerie. These ladies were also at the first annual “Beach Babes” weekend. This year, we added another author, Josie Brown, who fit in so well, I can practically remember her in last year’s memories too.

The mornings were cold, but I spent them drinking coffee either at the large kitchen table of the beach house, sprawled across the couch in the living room, or on the back porch with slippers on my feet, a sweatshirt over my pajamas, and a blanket across my lap. The afternoons got warm and I went for a run with the ocean breeze whipping across my face. (Once. I went running once, but it still counts.) The evenings got cool again, but I was kept warm by the wine, the advice and support of my fellow housemates, and the ever-present (and often inappropriate) humor.

Some of the women read from their works-in-progress—I was too shy as a result of my bout with writer’s block—and I was blown away by the talent in the room and how differently each of us crafted our words. I’m embarrassed to admit that while I listened to them, I was equal parts impressed, envious, and fearful that Novel Girl lacked that something something. But my writer friends who have read all of my novels coaxed me out of my inferiority complex and ultimately out of my writer’s slump. The enthusiasm these authors possessed for their books and for their fellow authors was contagious and I caught the bug. Finally. In fact, I used about two hours of the five hour flight home last night to work on Novel Girl and I’m thrilled to announce that my writing mojo is back. Even better, my talented Beach Babes have inspired me to take it to a whole new and improved level.

Sadly, we need to wait an entire year for the third annual Beach babes weekend, but I am so there. SO. THERE.

I hope you enjoy the pictures as well as some of the newsworthy events I’m sharing below:

Book signing/reading – Thursday, February 12th at the Manhasset location of Barnes and Noble. More information here: http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4829697

Giveaway: Enter for your chance to win up to 40 books in this amazing Valentine’s Day giveaway: http://www.feelingbeachie.com/valentines-day-massive-book-giveaway-2/


view from the back porch

view from the back porch

view from my run

view from my run

Eileen's famous "skinny" salad. SO good.

Eileen’s famous “skinny” salad. SO good.

The Beach Babes!

The Beach Babes!






  1. I loved Blogger Girl, so I’m sure Novel Girl will be just as witty and fun. That sounds like an amazing weekend with girlfriends. 🙂

  2. Looks and sounds like an amazing time. I so wish I was there! Hope to reunite with most of you at BookBuzz though! I already told my husband I want…scratch that…NEED to go again.

  3. Oh, how I miss everyone already! What a beautiful post to capture the incredible time we all had. I am so glad your writing mojo is back because a glowing Meri is gorgeous. I love every single one of your books, and if not for your first novel, I might not have met you. I simply had to find you on Twitter and tell you how talented you are. And the rest is history. 🙂

  4. Love this post and all of you ladies. Glad you were able to refill your creative cup over the weekend. Wishing you a lot of success with your next writing ventures!

  5. Sounds like a great time! Nothing like great author pals (and a few walks by the ocean) to recharge your batteries!

  6. Now I’M in a bit of a slump – wishing we were all still at the beach! I returned home from our amazing weekend to the demands of homework and carpooling and (ugh) dreaded housework. Blah. Why can’t our lives be like they were during our Beach Babes retreat? Why can’t we bask in the cool breezes and afternoon sun, sleep with the sound of ocean waves each and every day? Do we really have to wait another 365? Meredith, I adore you and your writing. Novel Girl will come when Novel Girls comes. I’m so glad to hear you got your mojo back. I know I was really inspired by the productivity of the group. An amazing weekend with amazing women. We are truly blessed.

    • I hope you are out of your slump by now. I REALLY cannot wait until your book comes out and hearing you read part of it out loud helped inspired me to get excited to write again. Thank you for that!

  7. And yes, I see that typo in my comment, but I’m going to do some breathing exercises and tell myself it’s OKAY.

    Although, I may have trouble sleeping tonight.

    Correction: Novel Girl will come when Novel Girl (singular) comes. (It’s a lousy sentence, I know.)

    Okay. I think I can sleep now.

  8. What a wonderful experience “The Beach Babes” weekend sounds like! There’s nothing better than being inspired and uplifted by fellow authors, and you were with an incredible bunch! So happy for all of you!!!

  9. paulinewiles says:

    The author gathering looks amazing – as does Eileen’s salad – but I’m actually a little jealous of your run, too!

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