Resilience Dispatch – March 23rd – Day 5

two dogs

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.

notice to petsToday, 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.

(or comment on my facebook page.) You can see yesterday’s post here.

Resilience Dispatch – March 22nd – Day 4

flour sifter

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:


by Naomi Shihab Nye
When our English teacher gave
our first writing assignment of the year,
become a kitchen implement
in 2 descriptive paragraphs, I did not think
butcher knife or frying pan,
I thought immediately
of soft flour showering through the little holes
of the sifter and the sifter’s pleasing circular
swishing sound, and wrote it down.
Rhoda became a teaspoon,
Roberto a funnel,
Jim a muffin tin
and Forrest a soup pot.
We read our paragraphs out loud.
Abby was a blender.  Everyone laughed
and acted giddy but the more we thought about it,
we were all everything in the whole kitchen,
drawers and drainers,
singing teapot and and grapefruit spoon
with serrated edges, we were all the
empty cup, the tray.
This, said our teacher, is the beauty of metaphor.
It opens doors.
What I could not know then was how being a sifter
would help me all year long.
When bad days came
I would close my eyes and feel them passing
through the tiny holes.
When good days came
I would try to contain them gently
the way flour remains
in the sifter until you turn the handle.
Time, time. I was a sweet sifter in time

and no one ever knew.


Ways to respond:

  1. Share your thoughts about the poem (or comment on my facebook page.)
  2. Share what kitchen utensil you would be.
  3. Sit in your favorite chair and write a poem about a kitchen implement.

(You can see yesterday’s post here.)

Resilience Dispatch – March 21st – Day 3

may peace come into your heartAs we say goodbye to winter, let us be gentle with ourselves during this unprecedented and challenging time. We are all in new territory, and we are all on the same journey. In that respect, although we are more apart than ever – physically – we are more connected than ever emotionally and spiritually, like here on this page.
A crisis of this magnitude not only builds character, it reveals character. In reading all of your comments, I am struck by how kind and caring so many of you are. We are doing our part as citizens of the world to flatten the curve and protect our friends and loved ones.
Today, as we make the most of this time of social distancing and hunkering down, I send you peace. Peace in knowing that this, too, shall pass. Peace in knowing that you are not alone. Peace in knowing that your ancestors are here with you, providing resilience in your DNA. Take good care. Spring is coming.

Love, Susan

(or comment on my facebook page.) You can see yesterday’s post here.

Resilience Dispatch – March 19th – Day 1

Sally Ride quote 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

Resilience Dispatch – March 20th – Day 2

earthToday 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 ❤️

(or comment on my facebook page.) You can see yesterday’s post here.

Daisy’s Fortune is here!

Daisy's Fortune southern novelDid 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):





Autographed by “the author” (me!) here at my website.

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 

Signed autographed bookplates

Something for YOU, sweet readers, as a way to say thank you for reading my books:

bookplateIf 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 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.

Gullah Secrets is here!

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 Gullah Secretsthe 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…

Gullah Secrets is available in print or ebook here (audiobook Spring 2019):
Amazon Nook   Kobo iTunes/iBooks
Autographed by “the author” (me!) here at my website!
Or your local bookstore can order it.

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!

Buy here:  Amazon Nook   Kobo iTunes/iBooks
Autographed by “the author” (me!) here at my website!

Read the first two chapters free here.

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!

Top 10 Persistence Quotes

Dear Ones,

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.


72 Things to Do During Anxious Times

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

  1. Read fiction–escape into a really good story
  2. Sit in the sun for 10 minutes
  3. Take a 10 minute walk
  4. Sit or walk by a body of water or a fountain
  5. Listen to live music
  6. Breathe deeply for 4 breaths every hour
  7. Read a poem
  8. Smile at a stranger
  9. Write and mail a postcard to an old friend
  10. Join a book club
  11. Sketch a really bad self-portrait from looking in the mirror
  12. Sing Zip-a-dee-do-dah in the car
  13. Write an old-fashioned fan letter to someone you admire
  14. Watch young children play
  15. Write a really bad poem
  16. Watch birds for 10 minutes
  17. Make a cup of tea
  18. Buy a small plant and talk to it
  19. Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for
  20. Write a positive word for every letter of the alphabet
  21. Listen to a song from when you were a teenager
  22. 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
  23. Ask for help while doing something hard and then return the favor
  24. Make a donation to an organization you believe in
  25. Seek out good news stories
  26. Pet your dog or cat or visit a shelter
  27. Cancel subscriptions to things you don’t have time for or that make you feel anxious
  28. Make a list of things to do during anxious times 😉
  29. 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
  30. Make a list of things you believe in
  31. Volunteer one afternoon a month
  32. Attend a support group
  33. Have one night a week where you play old fashioned games with your friends or family
  34. Study a tree, plant or flower. Imagine what is going on inside them
  35. Find photos of your ancestors and thank them for allowing you to exist
  36. Spend one hour straightening something you’ve been meaning to put order to
  37. Tell someone that you love them
  38. In silence, watch it rain or snow
  39. Eat an entire meal of unprocessed food
  40. Dance in front of a mirror to your favorite song
  41. Pretend you are the happiest you have ever been. What will you do next?
  42. Introduce yourself to a neighbor you’ve never met
  43. Learn to play didgeridoo
  44. Sit in a coffee shop and people watch instead of looking at your phone or tablet
  45. Explore what kind of art you like by visiting a museum or art gallery
  46. Go somewhere you’ve never been before
  47. Pick up trash in a natural area for 30 minutes
  48. Thank someone for their service
  49. Do one thing every Saturday that you’ve never done before
  50. Place something in your kitchen that inspires you or that you find beautiful
  51. Create a Haiku
  52. Call or visit someone that you usually only email or text
  53. Look out a window and make a list of everything you see
  54. Tell someone they are not alone
  55. 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
  56. Remember a pleasant experience from your childhood and try to replicate it
  57. Make your favorite meal and share it with someone. Or if you are seldom alone, go have a favorite meal by yourself
  58. Say ‘thank you’ to everyone you interact with for an entire day
  59. Hand deliver or send someone flowers or buy flowers for yourself
  60. Detach from the internet and television for 24 hours and study your reactions
  61. Remove yourself from someone who is toxic to you
  62. Practice extreme self care
  63. Detach from all news sources for one day and see if you feel calmer
  64. Help someone in trouble (if they want help)
  65. Read a genre of fiction that you don’t usually read
  66. Go to the library and enjoy the quiet
  67. Taste a vegetable that you’ve never eaten before
  68. Read one book considered a “classic.” See if you agree
  69. Read a book you used to love as a child
  70. Open the door for someone
  71. Write a love letter with crayons
  72. 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?

72 Things to Do During Anxious Times

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.


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