posted on May 18, 2016 by Joanne Rock

Girls Only

No Boys Allowed

by Joanne Rock

I took a few days off earlier this month and had such a fun time. I felt a smidgen of guilt since my free time coincided with Mother’s Day weekend and I didn’t do anything with my mom. I also didn’t do anything with my husband and sons, abandoning them when the rest of the world is celebrating motherhood. But it was time off and I opted to spend it with a girlfriend I don’t see often.

My sister has been doing this for years—once a year long weekends with a girlfriend. They don’t live close together so they fly to an agreed upon new city to explore. Nashville, New Orleans, Savannah were all on the list and I envied her those times. With good reason, as it turns out. Since I learned a few things from my own recent girls’ weekend.

picnicFirst, it’s like being a teenager again in that you are focused only on yourself. I mean, a little bit my friends’ needs crossed my radar. But we’ve been friends for so long that her interests and needs are similar to mine. That’s why we chose each other as friends! So the mindset of each day is decadently self-centered. I didn’t concern myself with whether or not an activity would entertain my sons or if I might be spending too much time playing with makeup at the makeup counter. My time table and activity choices were completely my own.

Second, I’ve retreated so far into Guy World that it was good to get out for a few days. I love my family full of males. I’m having a blast watching playoff hockey and I genuinely enjoy sports of all kinds. But those are interests I found later in life because of them. Before my days as a mom and wife, I was The Ultimate Girlie Girl, drawn to all things romantic and mysterious. And pink. So during my girl time, I tried on jewelry, ate pretty cupcakes and—did I mention?—played at the makeup counter. I tried on oodles of clothes and didn’t rush, making multiple trips to the dressing room with arms full of things that might be great. You’d think that I would have ended up overspending, but at the end of the day, I was a wiser shopper for taking my time and being discerning, only picking what I loved instead of rushing through the store in haste to snap up things that “might” work since I didn’t have enough time to try things on.

wsblogprizeInterestingly, when I mentioned this blog to my other wonderful dear friend— fellow author Catherine Mann- she said “you had Red Tent time.” Which is our personal short hand for the book we both read long ago, Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent. Do you remember that one? Its 20th anniversary is coming up as it was released in 1997 and Cathy and I read it close to that time. Like many readers, we appreciated the reimagining of the lives of women from the Bible, and enjoyed the idea that they retreated once a month to the red tent—a place for women only. While technically, those women removed themselves from men’s society during the time of menstruation when they were “unclean,” it was clear they enjoyed the escape just fine. They spoke freely, enjoyed each other’s company, and operated on a different time table, which is something we all need to do sometimes.

I’m going to leave you with a photo from our girls’ time…. The picnic fare we put together for the Play in the Park we saw on Mother’s Day. I’m also going to give away a prize pack with a few self-indulgent things for YOU to treat yourself—bath goodies from L’Occitaine, a pretty and very girlie makeup bag for your purse, and my most recent Harlequin Superromance, DANCES UNDER THE HARVEST MOON, that is a 2016 RITA finalist. Enter to win by telling me the last time you took a girls’ weekend, your favorite thing to do when you have girls’ only time, or happy destination for you and your friends! I’ll choose one random poster next week and don’t forget to keep an eye out for my latest book, SECRET BABY SCANDAL, a Harlequin Desire in stores now ;-).

joannerock.com

Secret Baby Scandal can be purchased in mass market paperback and/or eBook format for/from:

Joanne Rock

Joanne Rock

Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over seventy books currently writes sexy contemporary stories for Harlequin Desire and small town romance for Harlequin Superromance. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly—love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with fellow author and friend Catherine Mann. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.

Joanne Rock Contest

Joanne Rock is giving away a signed copy of NIGHTS UNDER THE TENNESSEE STARS, plus a “My Happy Place” sign and a notebook for jotting your thoughts and daydreams!

Enter Here

26 thoughts on “Girls Only”

  1. Jennifer Craig says:

    Luckily, my hubby encourages me to have my “girl time”. We can very rarely find a weekend that works, but will do a full day and evening together. It usually involves mani-pedis and then food and drink.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      It is a wise spouse who recognizes how much apart-time can make us enjoy together-time all the more. It’s nice to have those emotional needs recognized and met!

  2. denise says:

    so nice to have girlfriend time with friends–I live in a male-dominated house with a husband and three sons

    1. denise says:

      ps. I went away in March of this year to a girls-only weekend. fabulous and fun!

      1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

        Denise, we are both moms to three sons. I adore the chaotic he-manliness of the household and feel privilege to be a part of the Guy World. Seeing them wrestle, chase, one-up each other in everything from jokes to weightlifting stats, gives me fun insights to male relationships that I enjoy sharing in my books. But sometimes… I don’t want to think about what I’d do in a survival situation or how to weather the next zombie attack. Sometimes, I just really want to shop for a dress 😉

        1. denise says:

          thank you!

  3. Tracy Shafer says:

    It’s been awhile since I have had a girls day, let alone weekend. I moved from Ohio to Oregon last September and left behind all my girlfriends! I am going home for the holidays in December so will def. do something than.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Oh, Tracy, that’s tricky. I’m fortunate now that when I move around, I can always find readymade writer friends since the writing world is so spread out. But I remember, before I was online, when I moved out to Utah and knew no one. When a local census worker told me someone new moved in nearby–with the same age son–I sprinted out the door as fast as possible to introduce myself!! We need that girlfriend time. And my neighbor became a bestie for life! Here’s hoping you find some local friends to bridge the gap to December!

      1. Tracy Shafer says:

        Thank you! It’s so hard for me..I am a very social person..I usually meet friends at work, but am working in my mother in laws quilt shop, so it’s all family. I am hopingI can get out and meet some fun ladies soon 🙂

  4. Kerri says:

    Unfortunately I’ve never had a girls weekend but the one thing that I do with my best friend occasionally is either go to a concert or the beach depending on if we can manage making it ☺

    1. Kerri Fowler says:

      Sorry about that, I though my previous comment didn’t go through since I couldn’t see it so I rewrote it ☺

  5. Kerri Fowler says:

    Unfortunately I’ve never had a girls weekend but on occasion I’m able to go see a concert with my best friend or we together and go to the beach with my kids ☺

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Hi Kerri! I do the same thing when I don’t see a comment go through! No worries. And my husband is already looking at summer concerts all over New England this year, asking who we can see and where to go. I think he’d be a roadie if he didn’t have a family!

  6. Laura VanGuilder says:

    Your girl time sounds wonderful. I’m sure you can be a better wife, Mother, person after taking time to recoup. I saw your book Secret Baby Scandal at Walmart today. I can’t wait to read it.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Exactly! Recharge time is so invaluable. And I think it’s good for kids to see that we have more roles than just mom. They know i work, and I work a lot. But it’s different for them to see me as a good friend, and someone with my own interests, and someone who will invest in those friendships and interests. I hope that they’ll want to maintain close friendships of their own one day, and keep a network beyond marriage and family. A good balance strengthens the other parts of your life, I think. I’m so glad to know SECRET BABY SCANDAL is in your TBR pile!!! I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying the escapism of jet-setting it with the fabulously wealthy and powerful men of the Desire series. It’s pretty fun to spend the day researching the most exotic travel destinations in the world and then– daydreaming I’m there ;-). Thank you for stopping by the blog, Laura!

  7. Catherine Maguire says:

    The last time I took a girls’ weekend was in December, we went on a Ice Wine Winery Tour. It was lovely and the wine was amazing.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      That sounds so fun! My sister and I toured some NY wineries long ago and it was such a memorable day. She’s since done Sonoma/Napa without me, however, and I’m envious! I think that would be a fun summer trip sometime. My CA trips have all been to ballparks 😉

  8. Maria Proctor says:

    Years ago, my 2 sisters & I had a girls’ weekend down at the shore, & we haven’t been on one since. I forgot to re-apply sunscreen & wound up getting sun poisoning!

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Ouch, ouch. Having just had the worst sunburn I’ve had in years, I remember all too well that this is so painful.But it sounds like it’s time to tap your sisters for another trip, Maria! A visit to the shore– as long as there is sunscreen!–would be a nice way for you to all have some fun downtime.

  9. Audrey Wick says:

    Hi, Joanne! I really enjoyed this post, and I completely agree: taking time to relax and recharge–especially in the company of good friends–is so important. This is a wonderful reminder of that. I have a dear friend from college I don’t see often enough, but we have carved out time for some fun meet-ups throughout the years. An especially memorable one was in Boston for good food and great conversation as we strolled along the harbor. Keep writing, Joanne, and congratulations as well on your RITA nomination!

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      So fun to hear from you, Audrey! I hope things are well and happy in your world. It’s been too long since I took a Boston weekend… my oldest went to school there and i had hoped to visit more often, but I never got there as much as I would have liked. Very fun city!

  10. Candace says:

    I had a girls only day last September, but unfortunately, they weren’t with girls my own age. 🙁 Although it was still fun, being 27 and hanging out with a bunch of ladies that are old enough to be my mother (or in most cases, grandmother), still isn’t quite the same as spending time with women closer to my own age. We went to Nashville (my first time there), had lunch on the General Jackson Showboat and went shopping at the Opry Mills Mall. I would love to be able to have a weekend with just my sisters or just my best friends… but one of my best friends is a widow with 2 kids and my other best friend is a newlywed… so I have a feeling it will be awhile before that happens. My sister-in-law is trying to get my sisters and I together for at least a sleepover together. We’ll act like little girls again!

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Candace, your comment made me smile…. writing really opened up a lot of interesting friendships for me, including lots with older ladies, who mentored me when I first began. I learned so much from them about writing, but I also got a window to the kind of older person I might be…. we were alike despite the years separating us! Now, I’m definitely never the youngest in the room and I find myself taking on the mentor role more and more often. It’s fun to pay it forward to excited, inspired authors who remind me of the ME I used to be!

  11. Darla C says:

    I haven’t had a girls night in so long I can’t remember the last time..it might have been a few years ago at a fun party with nice dresses, food, and some friends. 🙂

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Darla, I vote you text your girls and tell them “It’s time!!” They will be glad to hear from you and to think about putting a priority on friendships… sometimes we need a nudge to do those things, but the rewards –and memories– are so worth it!

  12. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

    Winner!!!! The thread prize goes to Denise! I’m emailing you now, my friend, and look forward to setting up the mailing for your treats. Thank you ALL for joining me this month and don’t forget I’m back on the blog around the 19th of most every month and I love to hear from you :-).

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