What would we do without our pets, especially during a time when we are asked to stay inside and not be around other humans? They help us be resilient.
Meet Jack and Charlie, my author assistants. This photo was taken in my office; you can see the arm of my writing chair. Jack (the bigger one) is 14 years old, kind of lumpy and half deaf, and one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known. Charlie is almost three years old and also sweet, but a little more attentive to every squirrel and deer in the yard. I wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t have them with me every morning while I write.
Today, I invite you to tell us about your pets. (If you don’t have pets, I understand that, too. I have gone through periods of my life where pets didn’t make sense because of small apartments, allergies, total busyness, etc.)
Feel free to share a photograph of your pets if you want.
Take good care of yourself, sweet readers.
Resilience Dispatch – March 22 – Day 4
To get through tough times, I often read poems. Not the hard-to-understand ones, but the ones that talk about ordinary things in a fresh way. See what you think of this one:
and no one ever knew.
Ways to respond:
- Share your thoughts about the poem (or comment on my facebook page.)
- Share what kitchen utensil you would be.
- Sit in your favorite chair and write a poem about a kitchen implement.
(You can see yesterday’s post here.)
Dear Ones. We are all in new territory. If you have read any of my novels, you know that I create resilient and courageous characters (Old Sally, Wildflower, Ida Trueluck, etc) who go through rough situations and ultimately persevere with insight and hope. We have built a community here, and I care about each of you.
With that in mind, it is my intention to post something uplifting here and on my facebook author page every day at 4 pm (Eastern) until we get through this crisis. It might be a quote. A photograph. A blog post. A question about your life. Or I may tell you more about mine. I may also answer questions from readers or share what I am writing. I invite you to participate and comment here or on facebook.
Let’s be here for one another as we explore this new territory. How does that sound to you? Do you have other ideas of what I might post? What would be helpful to you? Let me know in the comments section! ♥️xo
Today I’d love for you to share with us where on this beautiful planet you are located, and perhaps what your situation is, e.g. a teacher home from school, a health care or essential services provider, working from home, retired, taking care of kids or grandkids, etc.
Here’s mine: I live outside of Asheville in the Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina, and I continue to work full-time from home writing novels for my sweet readers. xo ❤️
Did you love The Secret Sense of Wildflower and Lily’s Song? If so, the final book of the Wildflower Trilogy is here.
I discovered the fictional McAllister family in 2002 when I first heard Wildflower’s voice in the middle of the night and she began telling me her story. I had no idea at the time that The Secret Sense of Wildflower, as those early writings came to be known, would even be published. Ultimately, it was my breakthrough novel. Kirkus Reviews deemed it one of their prestigious Best Books of 2012, and my writing career took off.
The sequel Lily’s Song came four years later after so many readers requested more of the story. When I realized there was one more generation that needed to be heard from, the Wildflower Trilogy was born, and I wrote the third and final book, Daisy’s Fortune.
The Wildflower Trilogy consists of three generations of coming-of-age stories: Wildflower at thirteen, her daughter Lily at thirteen, and Lily’s daughter, Daisy, at thirteen. Finishing this series has felt very satisfying to me as a writer. It feels as though Wildflower chose me personally to tell her story, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity.
Daisy’s Fortune is available in print or ebook here (audiobook February 2020):
Or your local bookstore can order it.
Here’s the official book description:
She must return to the place that twice brought her shame. She’ll have one final chance to save someone else.
Tennessee, 1982. Wildflower McAllister thought she’d put the past behind her. But when she learns her mother is dying, she digs deep and returns to the small mountain town that stole her innocence and cast her out. And she has no choice but to pull her thirteen-year-old granddaughter Daisy right back into the ghosts of her painful history.
As her mother passes, Wildflower’s grief turns to despair when Daisy’s fortune is read, predicting a dark future and the return of sinister threats. With her granddaughter keeping a terrible secret, Wildflower’s distress forces her to call upon the community that rejected her to prevent another tragedy from playing out in front of her eyes.
Can Wildflower stop a harrowing legacy from spreading to another generation?
Daisy’s Fortune is the emotional conclusion to the Wildflower Trilogy. If you like strong women, generational tales, and the power of family and the land to heal, then you’ll adore Susan Gabriel’s compelling finale.
Book 1: The Secret Sense of Wildflower
Book 2: Lily’s Song
Book 3: Daisy’s Fortune
Thank you again for reading my books. Without you, I could not live my dream of being an author. May we all live into our dreams! xo
Something for YOU, sweet readers, as a way to say thank you for reading my books:
If you would like to have an *autographed* copy of one of my books, but you ALREADY own the book, you’re in luck!
I now have bookplates which I can sign and dedicate any way you’d like. They have a peel and stick back so you can put them in your copy of my book. There is no cost. This is a gift to show my appreciation to my readers.
If interested, just email me at email@example.com and I will send you your custom signed bookplate! xo
P.S. My latest book is Gullah Secrets. I received so many requests from readers for a sequel to Temple Secrets, that I continued the story. Go to my website for more info.
Dear Sweet Reader,
Did you love Temple Secrets? Were you one of the many readers who asked me to please, please, please write a sequel? Well, I heard you and for the last two years, I’ve been bringing Old Sally, Queenie, Violet, and Rose back to life just for you. Like many of you, I love these characters, so it was a delight to continue their story and now it is finally here! Partially inspired by some true, stormy experiences in my own life…
Here’s the official book description:
A family legacy in danger. A stranger in their midst. Do they have the strength to survive the gathering storm of secrets?
For the Temple women, the winds of change are blowing. And if they’re not careful, it could sweep them all away!
After rising from Temple servant to tea shop owner, Violet finally feels in charge of her destiny. While learning Gullah folk magic from her aging grandmother, she worries much of her cultural heritage will be lost to the grave. Is there enough time for Old Sally to pass down all her special wisdom?
Bride-to-be Queenie has never felt younger at heart. Engaged to the man of her dreams, the feisty sixty-year-old won’t let anything ruin her big day – not even ancestral ghosts or a mysterious wedding crasher.
Rose’s southern roots run deep. Even after three decades away, she can still feel the shadow of her deceased high-society mother watching her every move. Can she shake her ghost and find a place among her family?
With a storm of trouble brewing across the island, the Temple women will have to survive more than a force of nature to put their ghosts to rest!
Gullah Secrets is the sequel to the bestselling novel Temple Secrets. If you like Southern gothic literature, characters you won’t want to close the cover on, and locations steeped in history, then you’ll love this hilarious and warmhearted saga.
Buy Gullah Secrets today to unlock a compelling tale of family ties and tempests!
Thank you again for reading my books. Without you, I could not live my dream of being an author. May we all live into our dreams!
The pursuit of anything meaningful in our lives requires persistence, especially our creative endeavors. I have been writing for 22 years and have published several novels, three of them bestsellers on Amazon and Nook. A large part of my success as a writer can be summed up in one word:
I’m not sure why I am able to persist when others have not. Maybe being obstinate is a good thing. Maybe my belief in myself–that I have something to say–is just enough to keep me going. Maybe I know I will always have regrets if I don’t persist. Maybe it is fear that drives me, in addition to love for the craft of writing stories. Perhaps persistence is made up of several small things.
One thing that has stayed consistent over the last couple of decades while I’ve grown and lived into my writing career has been my collection of quotes that I look at whenever I feel discouraged. I guess it’s my way of standing on the shoulders of giants. With that in mind I offer you my
Top 10 quotes about persistence:
When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
–Harriet Beecher Stowe
A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence. — Jim Watkins
Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. –Maya Angelou
Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over. –F. Scott Fitzgerald
If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. –Buddhist Saying
Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb but how well you bounce. –Vivian Komori
Bear in mind, if you are going to amount to anything, that your success does not depend upon the brilliancy and the impetuosity with which you take told, but upon the everlasting and sanctified bull-doggedness with which you hang on after you have taken hold. –A.B. Meldrum
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying: ‘I will try again tomorrow.’ –Mary Anne Radmacher
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. –Calvin Coolidge
First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.
–Octavia E. Butler
What do you think of these quotes about persistence? Do you have a favorite? Or are there others you might add? I love hearing from readers so feel free to comment. xo
P.S. Please consider joining me on my Facebook Author Page.
Susan Gabriel is an acclaimed southern author who lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Her novels, The Secret Sense of Wildflower (a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012), Temple Secrets (2015) and Trueluck Summer (2016) are Amazon and Nook #1 bestsellers.
In our modern world, it is easy to feel anxious with the constant barrage of news and information that saturates our days. Many of us are discovering the need to calm ourselves and take a break from the seemingly unending things to worry about.
With this in mind, yesterday morning I sat at my favorite local coffee shop (having a cup of tea) and made a list of 72 things to do during anxious times. I wasn’t aiming for 72, or any number, I just kept writing until I had to leave. My goal was to create some suggestions for activities that might take our minds off our ever-changing and sometimes-scary world.
As a former shrink turned novelist, my hope is that you find at least one of these suggestions helpful and that it will somehow make your time on this planet a little less anxious and perhaps even a tad more enjoyable. xo
72 Things to Do During Anxious Times
- Read fiction–escape into a really good story
- Sit in the sun for 10 minutes
- Take a 10 minute walk
- Sit or walk by a body of water or a fountain
- Listen to live music
- Breathe deeply for 4 breaths every hour
- Read a poem
- Smile at a stranger
- Write and mail a postcard to an old friend
- Join a book club
- Sketch a really bad self-portrait from looking in the mirror
- Sing Zip-a-dee-do-dah in the car
- Write an old-fashioned fan letter to someone you admire
- Watch young children play
- Write a really bad poem
- Watch birds for 10 minutes
- Make a cup of tea
- Buy a small plant and talk to it
- Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for
- Write a positive word for every letter of the alphabet
- Listen to a song from when you were a teenager
- Make a list of 10 thoughtful things you can do for someone you care about. Do one a day for 10 days. Or do all 10 for 10 days
- Ask for help while doing something hard and then return the favor
- Make a donation to an organization you believe in
- Seek out good news stories
- Pet your dog or cat or visit a shelter
- Cancel subscriptions to things you don’t have time for or that make you feel anxious
- Make a list of things to do during anxious times 😉
- Write a note and tell someone what you appreciate about them. Do this once every day for one week, or a month, or a year
- Make a list of things you believe in
- Volunteer one afternoon a month
- Attend a support group
- Have one night a week where you play old fashioned games with your friends or family
- Study a tree, plant or flower. Imagine what is going on inside them
- Find photos of your ancestors and thank them for allowing you to exist
- Spend one hour straightening something you’ve been meaning to put order to
- Tell someone that you love them
- In silence, watch it rain or snow
- Eat an entire meal of unprocessed food
- Dance in front of a mirror to your favorite song
- Pretend you are the happiest you have ever been. What will you do next?
- Introduce yourself to a neighbor you’ve never met
- Learn to play didgeridoo
- Sit in a coffee shop and people watch instead of looking at your phone or tablet
- Explore what kind of art you like by visiting a museum or art gallery
- Go somewhere you’ve never been before
- Pick up trash in a natural area for 30 minutes
- Thank someone for their service
- Do one thing every Saturday that you’ve never done before
- Place something in your kitchen that inspires you or that you find beautiful
- Create a Haiku
- Call or visit someone that you usually only email or text
- Look out a window and make a list of everything you see
- Tell someone they are not alone
- Spend an hour with someone who is very old. Think about what kind of old person you want to be if you have that opportunity
- Remember a pleasant experience from your childhood and try to replicate it
- Make your favorite meal and share it with someone. Or if you are seldom alone, go have a favorite meal by yourself
- Say ‘thank you’ to everyone you interact with for an entire day
- Hand deliver or send someone flowers or buy flowers for yourself
- Detach from the internet and television for 24 hours and study your reactions
- Remove yourself from someone who is toxic to you
- Practice extreme self care
- Detach from all news sources for one day and see if you feel calmer
- Help someone in trouble (if they want help)
- Read a genre of fiction that you don’t usually read
- Go to the library and enjoy the quiet
- Taste a vegetable that you’ve never eaten before
- Read one book considered a “classic.” See if you agree
- Read a book you used to love as a child
- Open the door for someone
- Write a love letter with crayons
- Devote yourself to something creative
What would you add to this list of things to do during anxious times? Do you have any that you want to try?
Susan Gabriel is the acclaimed southern author of Amazon #1 Bestselling novels The Secret Sense of Wildflower (named a Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews) and Temple Secrets. Her other books include Grace, Grits and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories and her latest southern historical novel, Trueluck Summer. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina.