STARTING NOW

December 31, 2018 | 1 Comment

I’m starting this year the same way I’ve started every year since I can remember–doing something I love.

revisions
Call me crazy, but I even love doing revisions.

The trouble is, I love doing a lot of things. Being with people I love–family and friends.

2 girls laughing by the fire
What’s better than a drink and a laugh with a good friend? I MEAN REALLY

Seeing the world.

south of France
overlooking the Calanques of Cassis

Working on my next novel.

sweater of doom
tick tock… I call this the “deadline sweater” and I’m already sweating a deadline

Thinking about my upcoming novel and getting excited for people to read it.

The Oysterville Sewing Circle
I can’t wait for you to read this book! It’s an August release but you can preorder it now.

Thinking about the many wonderful books I’ve read this past year.

Image result for a spark of light Alternate Side -  by Anna Quindlen (Hardcover) - image 1 of 1 Image result for punch escrow Image result for this is how it always is Image result for the perfect couple book cover book cover book cover book cover

Looking forward to the books I want to read this year.

Word on the Water. These are 15 of the most beautiful bookshops in London. London is home to some of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. These are all independent bookshops in London and they stock a variety of old and new, fiction and non-fiction etc. Perfect for bookworms in London! #whatshotblog #bookshopporn #bookstagram #bookshops #travelLondon

[image from whatshotblog.com]

Thinking about food. I think about food all the time.

Every great love story has a beginning…(and who doesn’t love pancakes?)

Feeling grateful for the many wonderful things in my life–family, friends, animals, good health, people I work with, a job I love, and readers I’ve never met except through the books I’ve been so very privileged to write.

What about you?

What’s on your calendar for 2019?

Thank you and Happy New Year!

#newyear #2019 #writing #reading #travel #gratitude #fiction #newbooks

What’s on your shelf?

December 27, 2018 | 4 Comments

What fresh hell is this? What’s wrong with this picture?

 

Who does this? WHO DOES THIS?

According to this Buzzfeed article, 87% of us thing the practice of shelving books “spine in” is an abomination. The other 13% probably are too young to read, eh?

Here, I fixed it. Show me your books spine out! Post a photo in comments!

#books #reading #homedecor #decorating

a Christmas memory

December 25, 2018 | 1 Comment

My grandmother was a lifelong reader who had a quirky little habit of “rating” a book she’d just read. Long before the Internet was a thing, she had a system of her own. On the inside front or back flap, she would put a little star if she especially liked a book, followed by her initials–“MB”. She was kind of stingy with the stars but I remember some of the books she loved–Came a Cavalier by Francis Parkinson Keyes, the “Rhanna” series of books by Christine McDonald Fraser, Captain from Castile by Samuel Shellabarger.

 There was one special book that rated not just a star but an exclamation point, surely the highest praise from a very particular reader. I remember finding that book on her shelf when I was just a girl of perhaps twelve years old. I was intrigued by the interesting cover art, which resembled a French advertising poster, and even more intrigued by the title of the book: Dandelion Wine. There was another set of initials endorsing this novel–“CLB”–my mother. I figured a book beloved by both my grandmother and my mom couldn’t be half bad, and so I read it.


 
Dandelion Wine turned out to be the kind of book you fall into, starting with the first page. There’s something about the voice and timeless sense of place that draws the reader into that fictive dream, that alternate reality we find so absorbing and comforting. I’d always been a voracious reader–that annoying toddler foisting The Pokey Little Puppy on any unsuspecting adult who would read it to me, the self-important first grader reciting Yertle the Turtle by heart, the geeky twelve-year-old obsessed with Anne of Green Gables and her torrid affair with Gilbert…but Dandelion Wine was a book I finished, and then turned right back to page one and read it all over again. After the second time through, I very stealthily found a pen and added my own initials to the back flap of the book, then returned it to my grandmother’s shelf of beloved favorites. 
 
As the years went by, her eyes grew dim and her penmanship turned spidery and indistinct, but her love of books and reading never flagged. She lived to the ripe old age of 95, and when she passed away, she left behind a small but beloved collection of books. Things were crated up and shuffled around as things have a way of doing in the aftermath of a long and eventful life.


 
My own daughter, Elizabeth, turned out to be as avid a reader as her predecessors. Each year, I tried to find a special book to give her, one that would go on her keeper shelf–a signed edition of Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Berger, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle—also signed. The Golden Compass, Harriet the Spy, Treasure Island.
 
One Christmas, not long after my grandmother died, I found the perfect gift for my daughter–my grandmother’s original copy of Dandelion Wine. It didn’t look like much by then. The cover art seemed lackluster, the pages had yellowed, but it was a special joy to see the initials of my grandma, my mother and twelve-year-old me, carefully inscribed in the back of the book. In time, she read the novel too, and added her own initials to the list. 
 
More time passed, and Elizabeth went away to college and grad school, and she had a daughter of her own—the beloved Clara, named after my own mom. And again, books were boxed up and lost in the shuffle, but Dandelion Wine resurfaced just a few years ago, looking tattered and worn, the way a well loved book should look. Even better, it had four generations of readers’ initials endorsing it. 

On a whim, I scanned the cover and back flap, and sent the picture to Ray Bradbury with a letter telling him this story.

To my amazement, I received a note back from Mr. Bradbury, who was 85 at the time. He enclosed a Christmas chorale he’d written and signed.

It was one of those Christmas moments–unexpected, unasked for…and indelible.

Wishing you and yours all the joys of the holiday.

Susan

Special Note: The ebook of my latest novel, Between You and Me, is $1.99 today only! Get yours here.

Holiday Offer

December 25, 2018 | 2 Comments

Dear Federal Workers,

If you’re furloughed or lose pay due to the #TrumpChristmasShutdown and you’d like a signed book from me, send your mailing address to susanmwiggs@gmail.com and I’ll send you a book. Thanks to @elinhilderbrand for inspiring this offer!

email

Peace and love,

Susan

#TrumpShutdown #books #reading

Still working…30 years later

December 20, 2018 | 1 Comment

Working Girl with Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, and so many other recognizable faces. I loved everything about this movie. WHO’S WITH ME? And who is sad that we still have such a long way to go?

Melanie Griffith is Staten Island secretary Tess McGill in Working Girl.

If you haven’t seen Working Girl, you need to. Seriously.

If you’re a writer and you haven’t seen it, then you have homework to do. I learned one of the best character arc lessons in my writer’s arsenal. Want to know which one? Watch the movie and track her wardrobe and body language each time she makes the crossing on the Staten Island ferry. See? Character arc in three simple steps. Shout out to Michael Hauge for that bit of wisdom.

Let the River Run” was my anthem in the 80s. What was yours? What’s yours today? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv-0mmVnxPA

#amwriting #classicmovies