posted on September 3, 2015 by Susan Wiggs

My Year of Yes  

by Susan Wiggs

Starlight on Willow LakeFour years ago, I emerged from a difficult time in my life. During that time, I discovered how toxic negativity can be to a person. It affects you in ways you don’t realize, until you step back and discover the constant bad energy is taking a toll on your health, your psyche, your emotions–and your work.

I made a clear decision to invite only positive elements into my life. I called this project “The Year of Yes.” I made a firm commitment to reply “yes” to everything–no matter what the question might be. 

I found myself saying yes to matters large and small. Yes to helping my elderly parents move to my town so I could look after them. Yes to rescuing a chihuahua puppy so Barkis could have a companion–and lookalike, bringing the now-legendary Lenny into my life. Yes to a multi-book contract with my publisher, including related yesses to audio books, foreign publishers and even a movie production company. Yes yes yes, it was all YES.

You won’t be surprised to learn that embracing the positive can be life changing. It opens you up to feelings and experiences you never dared to imagine.

Although I was happily single and determined to stay that way, I had to follow my own rule, and so I said a very small, tentative “yes” to a casual date. This led to more and bigger yesses, including an impulsive trip to Hong Kong where Jerry was working, a stay at the incomparable Peninsula Hotel, complete with Rolls Royces, a private spa and pink champagne.

Today is the 4-year anniversary of one of my most lunatic “yes” moments. I decided to have the word YES tattooed on my ankle. Happily for me, Jerry went along with the plan, and we both went to Ricky Tattoo in Wanchai, a district of Hong Kong. In the company of sailors young enough to be our kids, we submitted to the needle and thus sealed our fate.

A few months later, I said the biggest YES of my life when I found a marriage proposal in a message in a bottle on a secluded beach in Australia.

Saying yes has worked out well for me. Wishing you your very own YES!

Susan Wiggs

Oh PS, please say YES to Starlight on Willow Lake. It’s just been published and I can’t wait for you to read it!

STARLIGHT ON WILLOW LAKE can be purchased in hardcover or eBook or audio formats

Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs

Using blunt scissors, pages from a Big Chief tablet, a borrowed stapler and a Number Two pencil, Susan Wiggs self-published her first novel at the age of eight. A Book About Some Bad Kids was based on the true-life adventures of Susan and her siblings, and the first printing of one copy was a complete sell-out.

Due to her brother's extreme reaction to that first prodigious effort, Susan went underground with her craft, entertaining her friends and offending her siblings with anonymously-written stories of virtuous sisters and the brothers who torment them. The first romance she ever read was Shanna by the incomparable Kathleen Woodiwiss, which she devoured while slumped behind a college vector analysis textbook. Armed with degrees from SFA and Harvard, and toting a crate of "keeper" books by Woodiwiss, Roberta Gellis, Laurie McBain, Rosemary Rodgers, Jennifer Blake, Bertrice Small and anything with the words "flaming" and "ecstasy" in the title, she became a math teacher, just to prove to the world that she did have a left brain.

Late one night, she finished the book she was reading and was confronted with a reader's worst nightmare--She was wide awake, and there wasn''t a thing in the house she wanted to read. Figuring this was the universe''s way of taking away her excuses, she picked up a Big Chief tablet and a Number Two pencil, and began writing her novel with the working title, A Book About Some Bad Adults. Actually, that was a bad book about some adults, but Susan persevered, learning her craft the way skydiving is learned--by taking a blind leap and hoping the chute will open.

Her first book was published (without the use of blunt scissors and a stapler) by Zebra in 1987, and since then she has been published by Avon, Tor, HarperCollins, Harlequin, Mira and Warner Books. Unable to completely abandon her beloved teaching profession, Susan is a frequent workshop leader and speaker at writers' conferences, including the Romance Writers of America conference, the PNWA and Maui Writers Conference. She won a RITA award in 1994, and her recent novel The Charm School was voted one of RWA's Favorite Books of the Year. She is the proud recipient of several RT awards, the Peninsula RWA's Blue Boa, the Holt Medallion and the Colorado Award of Excellence.

Susan enjoys many hobbies, including sitting in the hot tub while talking to her mother on the phone, kickboxing, cleaning the can opener, sculpting with butter and growing her hair. She lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jay, her daughter, Elizabeth, and an Airedale that hasn't been groomed since 1994.

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