We’ve been out trippin’ for the last week, and I just downloaded (or uploaded, whichever it is) 491 photos into my computer! I will do you the supreme favor of not showing you all of them (have to save some for WILLARD), just a few, to catch you up on where we are and what we’ve been doing so far! You know what?  Taking pictures doubles the pleasure! I’ve had so much fun looking at them this morning!  MUSICA!

delicious-autumn Fall quote

It’s October, Girlfriends, rabbit-rabbit, big time. 



It’s been wonderful out here on the road.  We’ve driven across Massachusetts, up through Vermont to Lake Champlain, and now we’ve arrived in Meredith, New Hampshire ~ in two cars, with our friends Lowely and John.  Here are a few road photos so you can see a little bit of what happens in New England in the fall.

happinessScarecrows, cute ones, decorate roadsides . . .

apple trees in Vermont

And there are apple trees EVERYWHERE.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  I bet 300 of my pictures are of apples! I can’t help it. I think you can see why!

Vermont covered bridge

And of course, Vermont is famous for its covered bridges . . . which we brake for like crazy!

from inside a covered bridge

This one had windows inside, and this is the view.  Lowely and I are looking out this window and thinking how much we want to take a walk next to that river ~ so we pick a spot further down and ask the boys if they would meet us there with the cars.

The Fine Romance Van

And of course, they say yes . . . there goes Joe!

walking in vermont woods

So here we are, on our little woodsy path next to the river. That’s Lowely.

taking photos

She needs to get just the right shots so she can paint some of these scenes when she gets home.


We’re going to meet the guys on the other side of that bridge . . .

our walk

Here we are on the bridge with the lapping little stream running beneath us . . . 

patience is a virtueAnd there they are, in the ancient, classical pose of men waiting for women . . . how we love them!a picturelove the flags in Vermont

So off we go again, through hill and dale . . . and everywhere there are American flags flying . . . and trust me, although I haven’t put up pictures of us eating, don’t worry, we definitely ATE.

on the road in Vermont

There was just enough color to satisfy the soul, but much more to come for New Englanders!  This is just the beginning.  (Uh oh, we better catch up with their car, they’re getting ahead of us!)

following John and Lowely

John lived in Vermont when he was in college, so he knows all the best back roads . . .

No service!

But then I try to take a picture of it to Tweet on Twitter, but no service!


That’s okay I just save the pics for later . . . can you see the cows?  I am SUCH a barn person!

Myles Burkett Foster

All these country scenes make me think of paintings like this one.


More flags!  A good red tree over there too!



More flags, and of course, since this is Vermont, it’s “Bernie Sanders country!”

hydrangea, in Vermont

The last of the season hydrangeas are worth their weight in gold.  Picket fences too . . . Everything has been so clean, no trash on the sides of roads . . . beautifully kept.

May Day Bouquet

following john and lowely

We went to a graveyard to lay flowers on the grave of Lowely’s grandmother. . .very lovely, of course, quiet, blowy and chilly, wonderful.


following john and lowelyAnd then we’re off again . . . to Lowely’s grandmother’s house, to see where her mom grew up (the house has been made into a B & B) where we got to see this . . .

the Moon eclipse

The eclipse!  Ooooo, eerie and cold night, leaves blowing and this red moon! The last time we had a moon like this was in 1982, the year I moved to Martha’s Vineyard.  Perfect timing for a revisit!

The moon belongs to everyone artwork Susan Branch


Trees blew in front of it . . . I wished it was Halloween and this was our moon! All of us under this moon together! So lucky!

Lowely's grandmother's house

Lowely put us in the bedroom belonging to her grandparents . . . we had a fire.  Do not fear for us out here no matter what the weather, because wherever we’ve gone, we always seem to find a cozy fireplace!

leaf border


Here we are at the Shelburne Museum yesterday, which I will tell you more about later, but I just had to take a photo of this little pile of leaves blowing around the corner of one of the Museum houses.

Mill Falls at the Lake

And this is today! From the deck of our room here at the hotel in Meredith this morning, beautiful sky, but cold out there!

B r r r r ♥ 

From our Hotel room

Here’s another shot, looking down. We seem to be “lake hopping!”  This is Lake Winnipesaukee. When I get done here, we’re going out for a walk in the woods!


And, as you might imagine, when it comes to the new book, the fairy tale continues. I think the very last of your books went out yesterday and we already have 12 lovely five-star reviews on Amazon!!!!!! It’s really hard to believe. I know it’s you ~ and I can’t thank you enough!

The Fairy Tale Girl on Goodreads

Reviews are also starting to trickle in to Goodreads too ~ also wonderful comments, but a couple of readers girls eating applesmentioned  discomfort with having to read about the sad parts of my life. But I have to say, I’m not sure if I would have ever made it to this kind of happy if I hadn’t had that heartbreak too. It’s bringing yourself out of sadness that is the true accomplishment in anyone’s life (I think). And butterflies in loveit’s true life. It can’t all be candy canes and butterflies! But it’s YOUR reviews I’ve been loving. If you would like to read what our Girlfriends have been saying, just click on “comments” at the bottom of my last post and they are all there. Even on this trip, I’ve been reading them and telling my heart to “be still” every day. Not easy! Too good! Thank you all so much!


Writing about the back roads of England is one thing, writing about yourself is something very different!  I didn’t realize HOW different until it was too late!!! So thank you! XOXO 

michele morgan

And darling pictures are coming in too . . . this is our Girlfriend Michele Morgan and her new book . . . a fairy tale girl if I ever saw one!

The Fairy Tale Girl

And this one came from, you guessed it, a teacher Girlfriend of ours from Indiana named Lori Hibbard who wrote “to give the book an A+.”  I felt just like a kid with a really GOOD grade!

Susan Branch Studios Crew

Here are the girls we have to thank for the monumental job of getting your books to you . . . from left, that’s Sherie, then Kellee, Bonnie, Robin, and Sharon.  And they’re still smiling! 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 


Here’s Kellee, who makes all the hard decisions! 

Girl Kitty

I’ll say goodbye and leave you with some more hearts ~ ones we found on the beach, and another bigger black-and-white heart named Girl Kitty.  Out here in the world, no kitties for me!  It will be good to get home!  But tomorrow, Saturday, October 3, I get to girl paintingmeet lots of you at Innisfree Books, between 11 am and 1pm.  I hope, if you’re in the neighborhood, you can make it.  After Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams (book two) comes out, Joe and I will get in the van and cross the country and try to see the rest of you!   That’ll be next May! I have to get home and finish painting for the second one (SO much more to show you)! Until then, any of you who ordered a book but haven’t gotten it, you should have it very soon now!  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Have a fabulous day! Love you! XOXO

dreams come true

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477 Responses to TRIPPIN’

  1. Kathy Madigan says:

    Loved this!! Thanks for sharing. I’m loving the book!! Thanks for being “you”!

  2. Barbara Weaver says:

    The thanks are mutual, Susan. Your book is absolutely lovely. Your descriptions of growing up in the wonderful ’50s and the confusing ’60s-’70s ring true for this 1947 baby, also! I’m so glad we have you and your artful words.

  3. Michelle in Twain Harte, CA says:

    Love, Love, Love the new book, but I’m saving it! Don’t laugh. I’ve read the first few pages-enough to know that I’m in love with it. I don’t want it to end, so I’m going to try and read it s-l-o-w-l-y.

    Happy, happy day girlfriends!

  4. Mary Whiting says:

    Hi Susan,
    Your book arrived and I am saving it to begin reading next week….my husband and I will be visiting Concord, Mass. for our 12th anniversary. I thought this would be a perfect read for our down time. I will take a photo with it for you at the Colonial Inn and the Vermont Country Store. My heart is so excited for New England and digging into another wonderful Susan read.

    xo Mary

  5. Ro'se from her 'cottage' in NJ says:

    Got the Book, Love it, Finished it to soon, can’t wait for part TWO! now I have the tune in my head ‘Fairy tales can come true it can happen to you if you’re young a heart’. Keep Young at Heart for us Susan!

  6. Leslie says:

    So happy to see you today in Meredith and get you to sign a few things. My book is coming on Wednesday and I will put my fairy tale nametag inside. Saw your cute van at Church Landing where we had lunch. Love it there. My mother and I had a lovely day and were so happy to see you again. Nona was in the purple – we were lucky to be near the front of the line!! Met some lovely ladies while we waited for our turn. You are so gracious with everyone. Enjoy the rest of your trip!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhhh, thank you Leslie, it was fun wasn’t it? I enjoyed listening to the gabbing in the line! Just a wonderful place to meet Girlfriends. Love you your mom from me. xoxo

  7. I finished your wonderful book last night. I had not realized you are only two years younger than I am. So I could certainly relate to the world you were describing, even though I grew up in Ohio and many things in my life were different. Sad and unfortunate things have happened in my life but I realized quite a while ago that I cannot really regret them if they led to the place where I am now, a place full of blessings……But I don’t know how I will contain myself until Mother’s Day next spring, Susan! I want to hear the rest of the story. Well done!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s it, we have to do what we have to do, and the lucky ones come through at the end and see the value in the struggle. It’s not like we had all that much of a choice. I always felt like my footprints were already there, my job was to put my foot in them. Who really knows how all of this works!

      • Christine Noble says:

        I can really identify with Kristi’s comment and yours – and with “growing up” in late 1960’s – early ’70’s. Last paragraph, page 95, “sold” me on this book. That paragraph, along with your optimism throughout your writing, make this book and your blog places of comfort, joy and inspiration for me.

        • sbranch says:

          I had to go look at p.95! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book . . . I’m learning while writing — I refer to my young self as a blank slate and that’s exactly what I was ~ but as I get older, things get written on that slate, like art, cooking, divorce, and then in the second book, even more discoveries. If that makes sense! Maturity is a wonderful thing!

          • Christine Noble says:

            I’m on page 252, got distracted since last post. Was at a luncheon with former high school classmates. Brought your book and told all the girls to check out your book and blog. As much as I want to finish the book, I don’t want it to be over. Will keep busy til your follow-up book comes out. In the meantime, I’m starting to take a family history writing course. Thanks again for inspiring me to explore and live joyously!

          • sbranch says:

            Fun Party! Thank you for including me! 🙂 xoxo

  8. Ann Woleben says:

    When I look at the photos of your home and the houses you are viewing on your trip, I remember being away from home for college. I missed my family so much. Sometimes in the evening I would walk in a neighborhood near my university just so I could get a glimpse of lights in windows and see families going about their lives. I registered to be a babysitter and had wonderful experiences being in the beautiful old homes surrounding our campus and taking care of children. It gave me a feeling of being grounded and secure until I could go home for a holiday. Your home reflects the lives of two caring people who are deeply in love, and you have worked together to make your home a haven. Wish I could be your kitty sitter!

    • sbranch says:

      What a perfect idea when you are homesick to kind of attach yourself to another family for a while! They must have loved you!

  9. Trudi Varton says:

    Must say that Fairy Tale Girl was a real treat! Just a lovely read with so many special touches of your art work & photos – like a scrapbook! So easy to identify with you as we are the same age & both grew up in the San Fernando Valley even graduating high school the same year! Like you I had no aspirations for college or career – my main goal was wanting to be a wife & mother. Married my high school sweetheart & just celebrated 48 years together! By marrying at 19 I missed out on many of the fun & exciting experiences like meeting the Beetles & traveling to Mexico for the filming of Tarzan. Every part of life, the ups & downs, all make us who we are today! And you, my dear Susan, are one special gal! Thanks for sharing your love of life with the rest of us, opening our eyes to the pleasure of simple things, & the beauty of world around us! I feel like we are kindred spirits!

    • sbranch says:

      No one knows where those little unconsciously made choices will lead . . . SO interesting to follow the trails back to the beginning.

  10. Tina Mandeville says:

    Hi, Sweet Sue!
    Always love to be along for your travels! It’s cold and raw out there, but you are making your own warmth and spreading sunshine no doubt! The book….it’s the best! From cover to cover, it is a beautiful and welcomed addition to our Susan Branch collections! Thank you for sharing your early story, your earlier journey with us. A bittersweet tell with a whole lot of courage sprinkled in there. Good on you! And I agree, it’s important to connect the dots….how one thing leads to another to create the whole picture and helps us, our lives become what we and it was meant to be….even though we are often clueless to what that is when it is all happening to us! I had a “Jeff Bridges” too….well, he was actually (young) “Matthew McConaughey” but boy, did you describe him pretty well! We were together for 4 years plus an 8 month push me, pull me break up (“He loves me, he loves me not”….) We gratefully never married despite the plan but it was tragedy to my young heart none the less. It was that experience that allowed me to read your words so compassionately….Note: Pandora left a box here too! It’s real life stuff and we all know by now that gentle zephyrs don’t always blow through our doilies! The Lord knew I loved “Matthew” so but at the end of the day, we were in love with the same person and it was him! It wasn’t easy to piece it all together until I met my Hubby….he’s my “Joe”. It all began to make sense and for everything I thought I had, this amazing man who has since been in my life for over 3 wonderful decades now, filled all the empty spaces. I am so very blessed! I loved reading about the seedlings and growing inspirations of your talent and passions. Your humor made me laugh out loud especially your fan-girling escapades over the Beatles! The way you speak of your family and honor your parents and the childhood they gave you touched my heart….there is no greater gift or treasure you could give them. The “American Dream” tugged at my heart….bring back those days…please…because peering out of “Smallville” these days can be rather frightening. I am so glad the Vineyard has been kind to you and that you found home there. You bloomed where you were planted and the rest of us can enjoy an even deeper domestic bliss because of the ways you share and help us celebrate it every day! Lastly, your photos… darn cute!!! “A” she’s adorable! Love you lots! P.S. “Isle of Dreams” – May 8, 2016- Mother’s Day AND my birthday! Thank you very much!! xo

    • sbranch says:

      I know “peering out of Smallville these days can be rather frightening” — and yet, for many of us, Smallville is all we ever wanted. Just a regular life for us and our families. It really all seems so simple. Thank you for your kind and beautiful words Tina!

  11. sondra fox says:

    Hi Susan, You take the kind of trips I’d like to take! Country roads, slow & easy.
    Enjoying the SLOW, hearing nature, living the EASY. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  12. Deborah in Odessa, Tx says:

    Quite simply, Thank you. I loved the book….I read, read and read. So did one of my friends. I think I need to get a few as gifts. Love the pics you shared of your trip..I am feeling the urge to wander, my mother always said she wanted to in the Fall. We used to run outside at night to hear the poor geese going over. My mother worried that they were flying at night and had so far to go. We watched them in the daytime and admired their formations. Autumn is my very favorite time of yr. Looking forward to all the other goodies you will share. Take care .

    • sbranch says:

      The geese kept flying in and landing on a little point, every one of them to the same place. I think they were having a layover. 🙂

  13. salve says:

    Thanks for posting the lunar eclipse – you had a beautiful view! We had clouds in New York and had to wait longer for a minute or two of a ‘good’ view. My hubby and I got a total of 5 minutes full view! We are happy, our youngest was a year old in 1982! Success to your trip and safe back home!

  14. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Your first try at a fairy tale ending may not have worked out, but as you point out so well in your book, there was a lot of fun and plenty of thrills en route to heartbreak. That wedding dress was a dream, and made for you! Of course, I wanted to slug the groom, even though he was adorable. 🙂 Anyway, I look forward to the next installment to learn more about how you found your inner strength and grew into the fabulous woman you are. Love, love, love all the New England photos in this post, and that last photo of Girl with the hearts is too sweet. Love from Oregon where we are having a spectacular autumn day, 75 degrees with a gentle breeze and trees bursting into glorious colors!

  15. Alex says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures of New England. We were on our way to Alabama when we saw the eclipse! = )

    I hope you and Joe can make it down South on your next book tour. Travel safe.


  16. Mary Lou says:

    Dear Friend,
    Thank you for writing this beautiful memoir. It has given me back a belief that there may be a Fairy Tale come true for me., even at 72. It takes real courage to open your life and heart as you have. I anxiously await the next book. Safe travels, and continue to make sweet memories.

  17. Cindy in Paso says:

    Another wonderful book, Susan!! I loved it. Couldn’t put it down. I especially love that the tales of life on the Central Coast were so familiar as we’ve lived here for 13 years. Also being born and raised in So California by a loving stay-at-home mama and a WW2 veteran/telephone co. Dad, well, it all brought back wonderful memories. My Dad is 91 now and sharp as a tack. He also married mom when she was 17! But I have to tell you that in 1964 I was DYING to be 5 years past 12 instead of plain old 12, so I could drive somewhere… anywhere to meet Paul McCartney!! For that and so many reasons, you’re my hero👏👏👏 I love that you “tell it like it is”, and always will! Our kids live on Huasna Rd. So I get to drive past where your store was and be sad way too often!! But oh the joyful memories I have of shopping there!!

  18. lin rader says:

    It saddens my heart to hear of book stores closing. We only have one left here, a Barnes & Noble. How I love to walk around smelling the books. Nothing smells like a book. Pages just waiting to be opened and explored, taking one anywhere in the world and allowing us into the personal lives of the most extraordinary people. Nothing in the world compares to a book. Next in line is a written letter…like a book reliving its words years ahead in time. I pray we will never abandon books for technology alone. That is the special charm of your books…all handwritten, as though you were sitting down by the fire with tea at hand to write personal words to each one of us. There are no books to compare with yours. I always feel you wrote each one of them just for me. I believe we can all identify with the Fairy Tale Girl. A part of each one of us is written in those pages. It is such a blessing to discover your special gift from God. You have found yours! Keep on writing…just think these precious handwritten books will speak to generations yet to come, and they too will identify with some part of your life. Thanks for keeping the written word alive. Love Ya!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m thinking we need to be nice to our Barnes and Nobles too because soon, they may be all that’s left. Not to have a bookstore would be a travesty! And yes, I agree that a part of all of us is written into the pages of The Fairy Tale Girl. I thought that way when I was writing them. xoxo

  19. Perfectly timed — The Fairy Tale Girl was in my mailbox today! I’m in California and this afternoon a slight wind has kicked up and we are awaiting sorely needed rain that’s been predicted — what a perfect night to curl up with your book! I’ve only read the first few pages so far, but thank you for sharing your stories with us, Susan, the happy and sad. And thanks to Sherie, Kellee, Bonnie, Robin and Sharon for getting your books to us. Enjoy your book signing tomorrow!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s now the day after, and I only wish everyone could have been there. Girlfriends were wearing their badges, laughing and talking in the line, and being SO funny. We are quite the group!

      • Oh my, oh my! Last night I really delved into The Fairy Tale Girl and felt I was being transported back in time! The music references, the clothes, the roomies in their first apartment, the nebulous budding romance — your writing makes my heart ache with nostalgia, yet oh so glad I don’t have to live through that period of my life again! The times they were a-changin. (I remember cooking my first grown up meal in my apartment for a guy I was dating — Swiss Steak in an electric skillet.) Thanks again for sharing your stories, Susan.

        • sbranch says:

          So great! Swiss steak!

          • Vicki says:

            You know what I did for that first guy in the first apartment? I didn’t really know how to cook and it was after Thanksgiving; Mom had sent me home with some care packages, including her delicious turkey and rice soup. I put that on the stove in a pan and let him think I was the one who had made the soup. OMG, his kiss was worth the lie!

          • sbranch says:


  20. Janet says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful pictures of your trips. I love to travel;but my traveling days are over, except for vicarious journeys, such as this one!

    I can’t wait to get your new book. My daughter surprised me with two of your earlier books, and I love them. You are so talented and are such a ray of sunshine — never change!

    • sbranch says:

      I think in my next life I’ll be Rick Steves! Thank you Janet ~ I figure if I’ve been like this for all these years, it’s too late for me to change now! xoxo

  21. phyllis mullins says:

    Love love love the new book…and at age 94 I so hope I’ll still be alive to read the follow up MARTHA’S VINEYARD one coming out next year! Congratulations, I KNOW both are going to get rave reviews.

    • sbranch says:

      Listening to the strength I hear in your words, you’ll be here!!! And how LUCKY you are to still be reading! I hope I get to do that at 94! But, I will also do my part and HURRY!

      • lin rader says:

        Dear Phyllis, My aunt (whose name was McMullen) and my sweet mom both lived vibrant lives well into their nineties, and passed on to me their love of books. I know God will continue to bless you and be sure you can enjoy Marthas Vineyard, Isle of Dreams. You will be in my prayers. Love and blessings from Lin Rader in Rochester, Michigan.

  22. Ginette Wheeler says:

    Thank you Susan, thank you for such a wonderful book so beautifully hand written and such lovely art and pictures. Thank you for a look into your soul and all the wisdom you’ve acquired, for seeing how all connected we really .are! I read the entire book from front to cover and just couldn’t put it down and now am eagerly waiting until volume two comes out. And thanks too for the beautiful pictures of New England, us Southern girls can only envy you. As always I’m so grateful I found you. Much love!

  23. Penny says:

    Dear Susan, I want to thank you so much for the very beautiful “The Fairy Tale Girl” that was delivered to me on Friday. I had been out, and when I pushed open the front door on my return, I saw the envelope waiting on the door mat! So exciting! (I am still in shock at having won a copy, not being a natural ‘winner’ I was just amazed when I read that Vanna had pulled my name out of the hat all those weeks ago.)
    What a beautiful, substantial book. The paper; creamy and rich, the photographs and pictures, paintings and quotes, all so beautiful.
    Don’t be disappointed that I haven’t read it yet. I don’t want to read this glorious book when I have dishes to wash, laundry to do, dinners to make, doggy to walk (Meg sends her best ‘wuff’ to you and Jack and Girl). I want to wait for a quiet day, when I have caught up on all my duties. I will have come in from walking Meg, and it will be just cold enough to light the fire. I will put the kettle on, and make some toast. I will look at ‘The Fairy Tale Girl’, and she will look back at me, and we will both know that this is just exactly the right moment to get to know each other …..! So many thanks and so much appreciation of all your beautiful work, you put your heart and soul into it,and we are all so fortunate to receive the results X

    • sbranch says:

      See, this is why we are kindred spirits! I love how everyone goes about reading their new books. So fun!

  24. AngieTink says:

    ☆☂★♬♪♡♪❄☆Good~Morning Sweet Sue! 1st…Thank~You for This Blog~Post! I Love Traveling with You & Joe & Lowely & John….So Much Fun…I Love Your Autumn Photos….Makes My Wings~All~A~Flutter 🙂 ☆♬♪ Okay Ready? On Friday I Anxiously Awaited The Arrival of My Copy Of “The~Fairy~Tale~Girl” I Kept Watching for The Post~Man… Back & Fourth To The Window…Nothing…lol…So I Thought… Maybe Saturday…. 🙂 Then Around 5:00pm Herbster Pulls in The Drive~Way….I Just Finished getting Cute To Start Our Weekend & As Herbster Walks in The Door With His Arms Full Of Weekend~Supplies 🙂 He Says “Angie There’s a Package Next To Your Ghosty~Boy”…. (Our House is All Decked~Out For Autumn/Halloween) I’m Like “What”????? so I Run Outside & POOOOOOOOF!!!! There it Was….I Was Covered In Goose~Bumps…(Really I Was…) I Felt Dizzy…. lol OMG!!!! I Picked up the Package…. It Felt like a Book!!!! I Looked at The Label… Yep it was Addressed to Me 🙂 & It Was From CALIFORNIA…Susan Branch…. OMG!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 I Skipped & Twirled into The Kitchen & Screamed to Herbster “Get Me The Scissors”!!! 🙂 & Herbster Was Like “Well???? Is It THE~BOOK”???????? 🙂 😉 🙂 & Then I Carefully Opened it…& Began To Cry….Tears Of Joy….. Sweet Sue I Got My Book….Yay! “The~Fairy~Tale~Girl” Is Here!!! 🙂 I Did The Pumpkin~Jiggity~Jig First…(Of Course) 🙂 & Then I Went a Little Nutzzz 😉 I Walked around With It… Twirled with it…Opened It…I Love The Ribbon!….I Fluttered Through The Pages….& Then Just Sat on The couch With It & Starred at It 🙂 ….Today is Sunday….I Am Now Going To Sit Quietly & Begin Reading Every Word…Savoring Every Page.. Breathing in All Your Magic Sweetest Sue…..Whew….Thank~You! Whew!!! I Need A Nap lol 🙂 So I Can’t Wait to Find Out How Your Book~Signing Went….Continue Your Autumn~Leaf~Peeping~Trip… Safely… With Lots of Laughter & Fun & Frolicking! Sending Hugzzz & Love & Lots of Autumn~Pixie~Dust Sweet Sue & The Gang! Yay! I’m Off To Begin…”The~Fairy~Tale~Girl” xoxo Poof! ☆☂★♬♪♡♪❄☆☆☂★♬♪♡♪❄☆ P.S. Tomorrow…October 5th is Herbster’s 67th Birthday….We Are Celebrating with Birthday~Gifts & Steaks on The Grill….All The Yummy~Fixin’s & Lots of Champagne Happy Birthday Herbster!!!! Yay! 🙂 ☆☂★♬♪♡♪❄☆

    • sbranch says:

      You DO need a nap — and me too! 🙂 Happy Birthday to Dear Herbster! I’m so happy the book is in your hot little hands dear Angie Think!

      • AngieTink says:

        🙂 Herbster Says “Thank~You Sweet Sue” & I am Skipping The Nap 🙂 Cause Herbster is All Set To Watch Some Foot~Ball (Tampa~Bay~Bucs) & I Am About To Curl~Up Get Cozy & Begin Reading “The~Book” “The~Fairy~Tale~Girl” Awaits! Yay! I’m So Excited…..I Know…. Breathe…..Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh……Yay! 🙂 😉 xoxo Poof! 🙂

  25. Oh my goodness! Lori’s photo is the sweetest! We’ve had a girlfriend’s love-fest over the arrival of your book…celebrating and thankful every day, that we were able to finally meet in Berne,Indiana this summer…along with another dear Girlfriend, Becky…for a meal of comfort food at a lovely little diner. The men-folk ate at one end of the table and had conversation about men-things, and we enjoyed our own little party, at the other. These are the fruits of your labors, here, dearest friend …all these posts drawing us all into a kindredship, so that when we finally meet in person, we just get to have the gift of the big hugs…for we “know” each other already. Thank you for loving on all of us, so well… and for sharing your heart…and the sad parts and the tears .. along with the joy. Your journey is real, but you choose “Fairy Tale” every day. Bravo, for showing us how to find it, too.
    Much love and big hugs across the miles, from
    Christie Ray in Franklin, Tn

  26. Nina From England says:

    O Susan I cannot wait to read The fairy tale girl! Especially now I have read all the lovely reviews! Part of your wonderful charm is your wonderful open ness & honesty and your ability to make us feel like we know you personally!
    I for one are so glad you didn’t sugar coat this true story of your life! I would imagine it is an inspiring story for those of us needing a little inspiration right now!
    I am so looking forward to adding it to my Susan Branch collection along with Part two when it comes out. Please just keep on doing it “your way” its why we love you!
    We had the Macmillan coffee morning here last week. Macmillan nurses here help people & their families who are suffering with cancer. It is something that is very close to my heart as I have lost two young nieces (both aged 26 when they passed away) to cancer. Anyway I digress! I baked a pumpkin cheesecake from your Autumn book and I had people emailing me all afternoon asking for the recipe! I sent them a reply with directions to your blog my work colleagues said I should be your ambassador here in England! lol
    Here in the middle of England the weather has been very kind to us its been beautiful! Hope it stays around for a while! Take care xxxx

    • sbranch says:

      Twenty six, how awful Nina! I wonder if Macmillan nurses are like our Hospice? Saints really. Angels in disguise. Yes, that pumpkin cheesecake is delicious if I do say so myself. I’m about to make my first one this season. If you ever need it to be gluten free, all you need is gluten free ginger cookies for the crust and you’ve got it! You know I’m coming over there next year and plan to have a Girlfriends BYO Picnic Basket in Stourhead in Wiltshire? I hope that’s close enough for you to come. I would love to meet my ambassador! xoxo Thank you!!

      • Nina From England says:

        Ooo thank you for that tip Susan! There’s a lovely lady I work with who misses out on a lot of treats because she has to have gluten free, i will make one for her she’ll love it!
        I definatly intend to come to the picnic (although it will be the second time we have met because I came to MV with my sister & friend to the book signing for a fine romance) lol. You signed a book for my girlfriend I met through your blog and she was thrilled to bits! We havent met in person yet and theres also another lady im good penfriends with who i met through your blog and im hoping to meet up with them at your picnic! Wouldnt that be fabulous! Xxxx

        • sbranch says:

          Oh, I remember meeting you now Nina! Love the “penfriends” or what we call, penpals ~ it amazes me how we can all be so connected! Gotta love the Internet!

  27. Linda S Smith says:

    Dear Susan, as Brenda a few comments up said ” my heart aches with nostalgia.” Thank you for bringing back that feeling of being that magical 12 again and all the 12+’s. I am a California girl and was going through the same time frame, unfortunately I didn’t write things in a diary and memories are fading a little. You could have been Gidget and I would have watched every episode. That’s how I felt reading your fairy tale. I also want to thank you for justifying those feelings of being a stay at home wife and mother. I was able to do that for awhile but “bought” into the having to work mentality. It’s never been my thing and 30 years later I’m still at it. My home is waiting for me to come back andto fill it with wonderful flowers,recipes, and fun. My younger co-workers don’t understand why anybody would like to stay at home. They don’t know what they are missing. Can’t wait for Mother’s day 2016. Thank you again.

    • sbranch says:

      I would have LOVED to be Gidget!!! LOL! You could probably tell that I had something of a Gidget mentality! xoxo

      • Cindy in Paso says:

        That’s SO funny!! This Spring I was visiting my daughter in Wauwatosa, WI. We went to Menards, a hardware store and in a $5.00 bin, I found the complete Gidget series starring Sally Field. Yes, for $5. I hit the motherlode!!!😊

  28. Every year I fight Summer ending and Fall beginning, but not this year. Nope. Susan Branch, you are the one I thank for the ease I felt during my changing of the seasons. I thought of you when I put up my flag and Fall wreath. I did not whine this year. I knew my Fairtale book was on the way and I had much to be grateful for and look forward to. I will miss my hot Summer days, but as I enjoy each present day, I will know we are one day closer to the next Summer. All thanks to you, Susan. You make each season something to be enjoyed and celebrated!

  29. Becky says:

    Love your new book. Thank you for being so honest. You are trusting us with your very real life experiences, and it takes a special person to do that. Simply put, thanks for letting us in on some fine experiences, and living vicariously lovely New England. Your friend in Oklahoma, Becky

  30. Ann Jane Koerber says:

    Well, we arrived home from Meredith, N.H. and had a splendid time! Do you even know how special you are to your girlfriends? I don’t think you realize the mark you make on us. I was first in line at the signing, along with my cousin, who had to see what the excitement was all about. She bought 3 books and left Meredith, NH in love with you! She said, Susan is so “special”…. and I said, “told you so!”. Anyway, Susan, your Fairy Tale Girl is a hit….. I loved it – couldn’t put it down! Of course, it will be read again because I breezed through it and didn’t absorb enough of the pictures, illustrations……….the tears flowed and then, out of the blue, I’d crack up or sing along with your scripted music, which was ever so familiar. Oh, and one last thing, thank you for remembering me from our last encounter…….that’s what makes you so “girlfriend special”! xoxo

    P.S. Your steady long line (for more than two hours) of fans…..not just girlfriends, I saw guy friends in line, too…… was evidence of how everyone loves you so.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Ann Jane, that was so sweet. It was great to see you again! And meet Peggy too! And, you know I’m just a regular person . . . it’s everyone in that line that was so wonderful! And Joe of course 🙂 SO glad you enjoyed the book! I can’t wait to get the second half into everyone’s hands! xoxo See you again next time!

      • Ann Jane Koerber says:

        Nope…you’re not just a regular person…you got hit with the “special” stick!……Didn’t she, Blog Daddy, Jack?

  31. dena says:

    got my book and it was so happy like a a birthday gift it was the 17 th first I looked to see and YES it was signed , Thanks, and Susan this was a first for me,it usually takes me a while to read a book, I finished fairy tale book straight through, more than 1/2 Saturday and the rest today, I couldn’t put it down , I wanted to see what the next page said , and what other adventure you had, As a mother of six , one girl and 5 boys I related with a lot of things you wrote about home and family , I loved cooking and sewing their clothes and caring for my home. They are grown now, and miss it, Have tried different art projects but not as good as you are, but having fun trying. You had an amazing life! Loved the fine romance , but read a little every night. This really captured me , and brought joy to my sole. Susan this one was Wonderful and can’t wait for the next book. Thanks for sharing your life with us . I will live a review on Amazon too if I can ,( because I prebought from you not them)

  32. Donna Kohler says:

    Oh, Susan, your book was so wonderful to read! It arrived Saturday afternoon and I could barely put it down and finished it Sunday morning. I ready some of it aloud to hubby and he loved it also. You hit the 50s to 70s right on and put it beautifully. It sure was a confusing time in the 70s. Your life was and is a fairy tale, so great to know. Now I can hardly wait for part two.

  33. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Your book arrived on Thursday and I had a house of quilters coming Friday, so I could only start it! I thought I could read “just a bit” more last night about 11, but ended up finally stopping at 12:30! Today I thought I would take a break from quilting and finish the book, so I wouldn’t stay up too late tonight. OH< MY! And now I need to wait until May for the sequel?? But then, I do know the sequel, Joe, and happily ever after! I read your wonderful book about England, " A Fine Romance" in two days, and plan to re-read it now! Thank you , thank you! I have to tell you, I bought masses of your stationery at 'Daisy Kingdom " in Portland years ago, and also bought and still have some of your wonderful fabric designs! Thank you for being you, Ms. Fairy Tale Girl! Suzette in Oregon

    t OH, MY! I have to wait until next year for the sequel??? But then, I know part of the sequel, Joe, and happily ever after!!

  34. Suzette Shoulders says:

    OOps , I managed to duplicate part of my earlier comment. I should add that I had never realized you and I are almost the same age, about a year different. My parents were lucky enough to go to college during the Depression, but so many things in your childhood rang true with me, and the memories of my childhood. I just lost my 97 year old mom, and I keep thinking that when she was born, women didn’t even have the vote! She lived on a farm and they didn’t get electricity until FDR had the rural electrification project. We are so close to the past, we can touch history.

    • sbranch says:

      We are, I love that . . . My grandma was alive for one year when Mark Twain was still alive, and Mark Twain was alive when Abraham Lincoln was alive.

  35. O Suasn I think your book is wonderful I couldnt put it down I read almost the whole book at once right after i had commented about it i went to check the mail and there it was waiting for me. Yes you had heart break and its not always great to share it but I actually think its how we grow bigger better and stronger im sorry you had such a hard time but look at you now your amazing wonderful talented which i think you were from the begining you just had to grow into it. I love your kindred spirit and I love all things about you.. Im so glad you have this blog and shared your life with us… Blessings. These photos are great England looks wonderful… Be safe with love Janice

    • sbranch says:

      I so agree, we have to grow into who we’re going to be. I wish I would have understood that back then, it was such — if you’ll forgive me, a cliff hanger! Just wondering so much how it would all turn out! Thank you Janice!

  36. Marsha MacLean says:

    Dear Susan,
    What a delight to delve into Fairy Tale Girl! In describing it to my girlfriends, I couldn’t help but comment how I was singing along with every page… I love that you gave us the lyrics of our growing up years! I have been down with shingles (!!) this past week, and having a time of it, as the pain is in the muscles of my leg. Your book arrived Thursday and I was cajoled into a different space and time during my time reading it. What a blessing! I smiled and laughed out loud and just generally felt better as long as the pages were open! It’s time to re read it now, to catch details I might have missed and just to get back into that happy place.
    I agree that without the dark days, we can’t appreciate the light… And my life is so much richer for it. Like everyone else, I can’t wait for Mother’s Day now and book #2 of your mini-series!
    Thank you so much for being a blessing in my life, Fairy-Tale girl!
    Love, Marsha

    • sbranch says:

      Hope you are feeling better Marsha! Thank you for your kind words! I’m working on Book 2 right now!

  37. Autumn in New England. A bedroom with a fireplace. A road trip with beloved friends. And a book signing! Perfection. You make us all smile, Susan!

  38. Mary Ann McCann says:

    Dear Susan,
    After reading all the other posts, OMG! I couldn’t have said thank you any better for your beautifully written books, or how wonderful your blog is or how awesome it is for you to share your heart with all of us. Thank you with all my heart for for being the lovely you. I was soooo excited when I received your book as I, like all the others, was looking for it in the mail everyday! I’m reading it slowly and savoring every word. It is such a beautiful book and you are amazing! Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you for all the joy you bring to us. Please come to Missouri sometime. My girlfriends and I would so love to meet you! Missouri is so beautiful in the fall. You would love it here too!
    With heartfelt and warm regards, Mary Ann PS. Please give Girl Kitty XO for me!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Looking at maybe Main Street Books in St Charles . . . would you be able to come there? SO happy you’re enjoying the book Mary Ann!

      • Christine Noble says:

        Let me know if / when / where you will come to Illinois. If not Illinois, let me know if you schedule St. Charles, MO. I have a girlfriend in St. Louis that I haven’t seen in a few years. Maybe I could get her to meet me there…

  39. Joan Ramseyer says:

    Susan….I am half way through your book and am so glad you decided to tell the bad with the good. If your life had been all roses, none of us could identify with it. I am about seven months older than you are and graduated in 1964 from a very small West Michigan high school. However my parents had talked college to me always and so off I headed to Michigan State University in 1964 and I graduated with a B.A. in English in 1968. I followed my mother’s footsteps into the teaching profession and became a high school English teacher. The 60’s and 70’s seemed to be a turbulent time but I married before my senior year in college and my husband (also a teacher) were busy trying to make ends meet.

    Who you became after your heartbreak is what is important to all of us who follow your work. The fact that you found a true love and are content on your island is all you need at this time of your life.

    I will be looking forward to your next book. I can not imagine the hard work that goes into composing every page. Your talent blesses all of us with its beauty of words, photographs and above all art. Thanks for being you……

  40. marty from NYC says:

    Hello Susan:

    I enjoyed the Fairy Tale Girl more than I thought that I would, as prior to reading it, I thought that it was a departure from so many things, including sharing your travels, ideas, etc. that I so look forward to in your writing.

    Having read it, I think that you captured so many parts of the cultural changes and the essence of what so many women who were of similar age experienced. Not necessarily your specific experiences, although many seem to have had similar, but the joy and confusion and the strength and the struggle to find our own place in life that had to occur to go forward.

    What I really want to thank you so much for was the story of your art teacher and how you came to draw your first picture. Perhaps artists take it for granted that this is how one begins. For me, it was a remarkable insight into the creative process and how it begins within a person. I have never read anything quite like it. Your generous spirit has, once more, given a marvelous gift.
    This was a story within you begging to come out. I hope that it is a commercial success. Most importantly, it is “food for thought” to all who read it.

    You are the ray of sun that touches each day. Marty.

    • sbranch says:

      That makes me so happy to hear Marty . . . I don’t know how far I could ever depart from writing about the things I love, but I have to agree, it’s much easier to write a book about England than it is to write about yourself. Just that, like with the art inspiration, I thought maybe it might help others. Thank you!

  41. Ann Waddell says:

    I got my copy of The Fairy Tale Girl on Saturday, and am enjoying it greatly (knew I would). Not only the story, but the quotes and paintings are great, too (I especially love the borders!!!). Thanks for all that you do, and all the fairy dust you are scattering.
    Warmly, Ann

  42. Rose Dwight says:

    Please, please, please, go home and finish book #2. How on earth can I wait until Mother’s Day?

  43. Naomi Jones says:

    Thank you so much for sharing photos of the eclipse. I was looking forward to it, but we were driving through St. Louis when it happened and it was so cloudy that I didn’t have a single glimpse. Bummer! So I am glad you shared and got to see it. Thanks!


    • sbranch says:

      We were worried we might not see it . . . had to wait until it was pretty high in the sky because of all the big trees around us. But it was worth it. When they said it would be red, they meant it!

  44. Darla Unger says:

    Did you get any shipments of Fairy Tail Girl in? I know you were sold out. If so I want to order one. Also Beautiful pics of road trip.

  45. Darla Unger says:

    Sorry for the misspelling of The Fairy Tale Girl..

  46. Cathy Prentice says:

    My books arrived!! I could not wait to start reading. As with “A Fine Romance”, I could hardly pull myself away. I love the way you illustrate as you write! My heart hurt in places remembering times in my own life which were not fun but realizing that we moved on. You made me wish I hadn’t thrown my diaries away. Ok, I am ready for the next book where we hear about Sweet Joe! Thank you for another home run!

  47. Maureen Waring says:

    One quote from your new book, shouted out at me, and I ‘ m paraphrasing, ” this may be the last generation to have cookies waiting when a child comes home from school”. This was so profound yet so true and sad. I stayed home with my children, and will never regret it. But I know my daughter will work once children come along, both because she has a wonderful career and because she will have to.

  48. Beth from San Diego says:

    Susan- your book arrived Friday and it is beautiful. Heavy, gorgeous paper, the ribbon book mark just the right color – everything perfect. But inside is where you prove you are not just a watercolor artist, but also a wordsmith who paints beautiful pictures with words (even the painful ones). I picked it up and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it. I laughed, cried, cringed, screamed “don’t do it!” – (the same way someone reading my own biography would have reacted.) Our stories include the things we have no control over and the things we chose, some good, some bad-it makes us who we are. Growing up in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s is an enigma to my Gen X kids. Changes happened so quickly-the world turned upside down. I had forgotten many things (repressed more like). It felt like a time machine.
    In “Must Love Dogs” – a favorite movie, John Cusack’s character says of a broken heart (paraphrased) that the universe allows it to grow back bigger. You share so much of yours that it must be true. How else could you have so much room for all of us girlfriends?!? I hope that younger women – and the oldest of us can be encouraged by your story- to not lose hope when it looks the darkest and remember, it is darkest before the dawn.
    FYI – It was a sad way to end so I had to go back to the England book and read about your love story with Joe! That made me feel better. There’s a bit of the fairy tale girl in me too. Looking forward to May.

    • sbranch says:

      You’ll cheer up in the second book I promise, Beth . . . growing up isn’t easy! Thank you for your kind words, I was hoping we would find commonality, and it looks like we are. xoxo

  49. Jack says:

    I Just visited the fairy tale girl book reviews on Amazon — yoiks! Have you looked? You have all 5 star reviews! Thirty of them! It takes a lot for these busy folks to take time to stop to write a review but wow — when they do! Good job to the girlfriends and good job to you!-Dad

  50. Joann says:

    I’m so excited to receive and read Fairy Tale Girl—I’ve followed you for so long….thank you for sharing yourself with all of us; so fun to know such a kindred spirit! Are there any other days you’ll be signing books before the 17th? We are doing a Fall New England trip and we head back home on the 17th!! (I didn’t know!!!! whaaaaa…..)

    You know, I just have to tell you—last weekend, it was 90 degrees here—this past weekend, the highs didn’t creep out of the 50’s! Hello Fall!!


    • sbranch says:

      Oh darn! I don’t have anything else between now and the 17th, and I think after the 17th we hunker down so I can do the art for the second book and get it to the printer. So far, I’m not planning any signings — saving it all for when Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams comes out. Sorry to miss you Joann, but you are choosing the perfect time of year to come visit. It should be glorious! SO happy to hear about your change in weather!!!

      • Joann says:

        Thank you for letting me know because I don’t know what kind of internet service I’ll be having to check back on your ‘events’ section. We’re going to be going to Cooperstown….it’s a bit of a surprise. Gotta do something ‘boy-ish’ with all the antique looking I’ll be doing!!! Very excited to have some time away, leaf peep, and walk through leaves. Packing now!!!

  51. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Hi Susan! I love your photos of the New England trip. Last year at the same time, we took a trip to Vermont to Burlington and enjoyed the same beautiful roads. What a gorgeous state. Lake Champlain and the Shelburn Museum are extra beautiful in the Fall, I think. I only wish I had been able to spend a few weeks just wandering around the state to see more.

    I was in Oklahoma this past weekend at my artist friend’s first studio Open House. One of her guests was a woman about our age and we spent the entire time talking about your new book and how we loved it so much! She has all of your books and follows your blog too. It was like our own Susan Branch event over in one corner of the room. We talked about all of your books, your art, your blog, and how much we had lived our lives as women inspired by all of your books and art. If you can’t get to a real SB book signing, the next best thing is to meet someone and have your own “event”! LOL!! Plus, one of the artists had put on a spread of homemade apple pies for guests to enjoy. So there we were, two women in their 60s, sitting in a corner eating apple pies and enjoying conversation about you and all that you have given to countless women like us! It was pretty amazing!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s so nice Winnie . . . that’s sort of how it is in line for the book signings. Girlfriends are wearing their name tags, so everyone knows everyone, and has at least one thing in common when they first meet, and then they find lots more! xoxo

  52. Christine Noble says:

    Before I discovered you, I met Mary Engelbreit. I loved her illustrations, bits of wisdom and interior decorating. I was so disappointed when she stopped publishing her magazine, Home Companion….Then I found you. You give me everything she did – and more! I’m on page 154 of The Fairy Tale Girl and really enjoying getting to know you through this book and your blog.

    The talents you discovered and developed at the age of 30, I hope to develop in myself at the age of 64. Now that I’m retired, I have no excuses. It’s time to live the dream. Onward with optimism, joy and gratitude!
    P.S. Don’t get me wrong, Mary will always have a place in my heart and home.

    • sbranch says:

      I totally understand Christine ~ there is room in our hearts for everyone! I loved her magazine too! And yes, you are never too old for the fairy tale! xoxo

  53. Jack says:

    The key to a happy life is to choose happiness!

    • sbranch says:


      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        Amen Jack. Always LOVE your words of wisdom ♥ Susan is a “glass half full” girl with the “happy gene” from her parents. As I would tell my kids, happiness isn’t about what you have, it’s what you think … and some days you just need to create your own sunshine 🙂 CHOOSE HAPPY is a great motto from a wise old sage! xo

  54. deborah.t.norling says:

    Love all the pics…Mr and Mrs Scare Crow….all the wonderful scenery but my very fav….Her Serene Highness the most poised and beautiful Girl Kitty ! …..oh those amazing eyes…I can not get over the adoring way she is looking up at I heard recently on an animal t.v. special….animals are so sincere in their feelings..they are not capable of deceit…she absolutely loves and trusts you.

  55. Kathy Thompson (in Rialto CA) says:

    Hello Susan ~ Well, the long wait for The Fairy Tale Girl was worth the wait. As you noted recently, yes, the tough parts of your life were hard to read, as we all know you as the “happy Susan,” BUT…to get to where we want to be, we have to come from where we were.

    I cannot wait for May 2016…to read the rest of the story. I grew up in Duarte and Monrovia, California. Not too far from where you grew up. I laughed out loud at some of the things you did as a kid…as I did exactly the same things at about the same time. Remember Sky King? You and your best friend sound so much like the “me and my girlfriends” back then. I went right down memory lane with you. I couldn’t put the book down! Hope you’re enjoying these early autumn days. Thanks for another treasured book.

  56. Patsy in Nixa, MO says:

    I made a salad for lunch and found I was thinking to myself, “I need to eat more roughage”.

    Note to Girlfriends: If you don’t understand, you will after you read THE BOOK.

  57. Audrianne Hill says:

    Fairy Tale Girl showed up at our bookstore this week! It looks beautiful and like your previous customers, I blanch at reading about your heartbreak but YES, you are where you are suppose to be and the road you traveled to get here was what had to happen to make all of this happen.

    • sbranch says:

      This is the first I’ve heard of it being in a bookstore (that isn’t on the Cape or on the Island)! Happy to hear its getting out there . . . hope you like it Audrianne!

  58. Cheryl Walsh says:

    I got my book and am savoring the idea of reading it! Hate to go too quick, and then have to wait for volume two! Just the flyleaf was great!

    Love the travel log- I planted 4 maples this summer and they are all red! I live in the Junipers and needed some seasonal color!:o)

  59. Luann France-Bryant says:

    Thanks so much for Fairytale Girl!! I had to make myself stop and put it down at certain times to make the book last longer! I finished (sadly, too soon) and will make it the next book for our bookclub read!! It made me happy (and a little sad), but it took me right back to those years. Thanks again and can’t wait for the next one!

  60. Marilyn S says:

    I am about 2/3 of the way through the book and I’m trying to slooooow down and make it last. Your book brings laughter then tears. I’m a few years younger than you but I do remember that when I was in college – nursing school – I thought I would just work until I had my first baby. Well I took 10 years off but then had to go back to work. Never thought I’d still be working at this point in my life. I thought my life would be just like my mom’s – a stay at home mom. Life rarely turns out as we envision it. Perhaps that’s just as well – we would miss a lot of really wonderful things. And I have to tell you how much joy you and your books have brought into my life. I am so grateful to have stumbled across your Heart of the Home book more than 25 years ago in my neighborhood bookstore – oh how it spoke to my heart!

    • sbranch says:

      Very nice to hear Marilyn . . . no it doesn’t turn out the way we think it will! All a surprise! Thank you!

  61. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    I am really enjoying your book. I was going through it so fast, decided to slow down so it will last. Growing up as a kid in the 50’s (I’m only about seven years younger) in Reseda, I could really relate to your childhood. What school did you go to in Reseda? How lucky we all are to have such wonderful childhood memories. My Mom and Dad got married in 1946, and they loved Frank Sinatra their whole life. Part of why I love that music also.
    It is really nice to read how you got your start with your painting and cooking. Your “first” painting was so great, you had a talent and gift that was destined to come out eventually!!
    So happy that after all the pain and heartache you suffered back then, you found your true happiness and love with Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      Hi fellow Reseda-ite! So happy you’re enjoying the book ~ I went to Shirley Avenue, Sequoia Jr. High, and Reseda High. Thank you !

      • Lisa Jorgensen says:

        Small world. We lived on Hartland Street.
        Remember the Piggly Wiggly market and Almar’s 5 and 10 cent store? What memories!!

        • sbranch says:

          Karen lived on Hartland, corner of Hartland and Claire. Almar’s, where I bought all my 25-cents-a-yard fabric, yarn, and back to school notebooks. Calls Pharmacy next store, where I read magazines in those orange chairs, and the Pig, where we got a freshly-made glazed donut for 6 cents and a 10 cent coke to go with it. Heaven!

  62. Wendy Louise says:

    Good Morning Sweet Susan,
    I just have to say I love traveling around with you via blog and I know we (Paul and I) travel well just like you and Joe. You two are a great team! Now, I am reading my Fairy Tale Girl book and I have to say…………I absolutely LOVE it ! I love that you can tell your life journey in such a beautiful way and I can identify with it totally, one Fairy Tale Girl to another! I am so glad you finally found the real PC and the real strong you. I can’t wait for the next book and Wow, waiting is the best part, something else to look forward to in the SPRING! I haven’t finished the book totally, I love savoring things like a great meal. So you go girl the best is yet to be, ha, I always say “nothing gets better than this” and then some how I see, living and doing things that you love you’re always creating the next best thing…….Take Joy ! Love you, Wendy-Louise ox

  63. Nancy says:

    I must have been touched by some of Susan’s fairy dust because my book
    arrived the day before I was flying home from California to the Midwest.
    I don’t enjoy flying and Fairy Tale book made me forget about my anxiety during my four hours in the air and a 3 hour layover went by in a flash because I was in another world. I enjoyed reliving the 50’s and early 60’s and reading
    about Susan’s fabulous family. They are a joy! I could barely get past the
    end papers – the cutest part of all. Made me wonder if your mom had a baby
    book for all eight of you. Thank you Susan for sharing your memories and
    your family and Joe. That other guy made me nervous but you really saved
    the best for last and forever.

  64. Charissa says:

    Aww. Loved all your gorgeous pictures and knowing that you and Lowely both have the same kind of sweet husband I am blessed with. Happy to let you do what you want no matter what. That kind is hard to find and I am so grateful that I did. I return the favor; as I know you do too. I was so glad you typed me about Joe in response to your last post. When I read TFTG there were a couple of times my heart pinged for Joe. Just for one second though because I knew you wouldn’t write any thing that would upset him even the slightest. Which was confirmed by you saying he couldn’t give a hoot and just laughs. Mine is a Libra and not a Leo, but I’ve never known him to be jealous in all our years together. Well maybe he is a bit jealous of my favorite teddy bear:o) We don’t have pets because I am allergic (even to the hypoallergenic ones waaaah.) So my little teddy is a substitute snuggler. I MADE SURE TO REVIEW TFTG ON AMAZON AS I HOPE ALL THE GIRLFRIENDS DO. (The caps were for the girlfriends, not you;)) I hope they get the hint. It is the least we could do for you after all you do for us. My Kitchen Gardens book just arrived and I am excited to read it. Dreaming of cool weather here in Texas.

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhhh Charissa, you are so sweet, thank you for doing that with Amazon!!! Yes, Joe is great about it all. He knows he’s the only one for me. Sending cool fall breezes out your way! xoxo

  65. Melissa Zoe says:

    Susan I received your book Friday started reading it could not put it down the inside cover looks like my baby book your wedding dress with the eyelet material reminded me of mine my sister had made me a skirt and top out of eyelet material I enjoyed your book very much and can’t wait for the second half to come out in the spring I love your blog with all the pictures I grew up in Connecticut and love the change of seasons especially fall my favorite

  66. Yvonne says:

    Dear Susan

    I have so enjoyed reading about your book signing tour, thank you for continuing with your blog despite your busy schedule!

    It was a very bleary-eyed moi, having spent a wakeful night knowing there was at least four extra pairs of legs within thwacking distance sharing my boudoir …

    **( it’s spider season here in the UK and an epic eight legged freak battle raged on for two hours last night before I threw in the towel; the not-so little beggar had scuttled off somewhere unknown, leaving a petrified wreck in a fetching pair of mismatched jammies tearing her hair out when faced with the detritus that used to resemble my bedroom before I went into attack mode ) **

    who trundled down the stairs this morning to find a parcel half in half out of my letterbox….yay…’The Fairy Tale Girl’ has arrived on UK shores.

    I’ve just had time to skim through it to see some of your beautiful artwork 🙂 and read a few pages here and there 🙂 I look forward to a good long read tonight arachnids permitting. I wish I could borrow Jack and Girl Kitty to deal with them but alas although I adore cats, I’m allergic to them!

    I’m very much looking forward to reading the sequel too.Next year can’t come soon enough.

    All the best to you, Joe and kitties.

    • sbranch says:

      Yikes, Yvonne! That is one scary scenario!!! SO happy to hear the FT Girl has arrived in England! Makes my day. Be careful out there! 🙂

  67. Becky Nexsen says:

    I just finished reading The FairyTale Girl and I’m hungry for the next book! I’m beginning to regret reading it so quickly. I so wish I had savored it a little longer because it’s a long time until Mother’s Day! Thank you for sharing your life with us. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like we are old, dear friends. You are an inspiration!

  68. Hi Susan!
    Although it has been over a week since I finished reading The Fairy Tale Girl, it is still so close to my heart. Can’t wait to reread it, as soon as Deb, in Wales, receives her copy! It will be fun to read it together, so we can chat about it. 🙂 I’ve been telling so many friends about your wonderful memoir. New Girlfriends will be joining this amazing community of Fairy Tale Girls very soon!
    Autumn hugs!
    Dawn (in Illinois)

  69. Carol from PA says:

    “Fairy Tale Girl” arrived two weeks ago. I thought initially it would take me an entire weekend to read it. Less than twenty four hours later I was closing the back cover in a trance of sorts just clutching the book to my heart never wanting to let go! For the last two weeks I have waited to write to you just hoping the “right” words would present themselves. I finally let go of the book and the crazy idea about those “right” words. Let me at least tell you that I cried with you, laughed with you and dreamed with you all the time feeling I was reading about much of my own story. (Only two years separate us in age.) It is a beautiful book and story. You can be so proud!

    • sbranch says:

      You had me at “clutching the book to my heart” 💝 — how could you think you didn’t have the right words? I couldn’t ask for anything more. Thank you so much Carol. I’m overwhelmed, really, by you and everyone. xoxo

  70. Peggy Cooper, Pueblo, CO says:

    I’ve been out of touch with the internet for a couple of weeks visiting family in PA and rain soaked VA, but catching up this evening while Bob watches football. I’ll watch the local team, but not just anyone. But I digress. Just wanted to let you know I identified with your saying about having to experience the hard times to appreciate the good ones, or something like that. I always feel that way when I haven’t been feeling well, and then feel good -it just makes you appreciate how good you feel when things are good. Have fun and enjoy the journey.

  71. Eileen R in Pleasant Grove says:

    Dear Susan,
    Had to tell you how much I love Fairy Tale Girl! My cousin and I received our books on the same day and started reading at the same time. We planned to read slowly and savor each page, but of course we couldn’t stop turning the pages. Even though I read deep into the night via flashlight so as not to wake my husband, she finished hers first. I think she read your book in nearly one sitting! She said she loved the part at the end about your childhood which was so similar to our own at the same time period. When she first opened your book, she said, “She has the same baby book I have!”

    Being nearly your exact age (I am two days older), I could so relate to the times and era you described. I remember my insecurity that our family had no bomb shelter (only one family in our neighborhood did) and we lived right near Washington, D.C.

    I, too, thought I’d grow up to be a mom and homemaker just like my lovely and loving mother. I planned to live happily ever after by working hard and being nice, just like Cinderella.

    I married young (20) to a man with a roving eye, confused as me by the changing culture in which we found ourselves.Thirteen years later, not long after the birth of our third child, he told me he’d never loved me. Broken hearted and feeling like the world’s biggest fool, I wished I had never existed. My fear of taking that first step into the unknown was huge. If I left him, where would I go? What would I do?

    Though I feel such a kindred spirit in you and share so many of the same interests, my story turned out a little differently than yours, but I am happy to say I, too, finally found peace and happiness. In my case I returned to college and in graduate school met a true prince. When he asked me to marry him, I was reluctant at first. I was focused on having a career and never being dependent again.

    But I did marry him and it was the best decision I ever made. We ended up having two more children and though we have lived rather frugally, I am so grateful I was able to stay home most of the time to raise my five children. They have been the focus and love of my life. The biggest joy was yet to come: grandchildren. I have been abundantly blessed as we now have 18 with number 19 due any day. My cup runneth over.

    I must end by telling you my sister is presently in England on a trip with her husband. She has re-read your book A Fine Romance several times and used it as a guide in planning where to visit. As they visited places you also love like the home of Beatrix Potter, she found herself starting so many sentences with, “Susan said…..” that her husband remarked with a smile: “And to think. A year ago I had never heard of Susan Branch!”

    Thank goodness for all of us who have!!

    Can’t wait for spring and the next installment of your story!!! Beautiful books with beautiful art filled with hope and love you do make!

    Love you always, Eileen

    • sbranch says:

      Eileen! That was so nice! I love hearing how every thing seems to relate. Nineteen grandchildren! That is so wonderful!

  72. Maria in Long Beach, CA says:

    Just finished reading the Fairy Tale Girl. I COULD NOT put it down. I didn’t want it to end…so looking forward to May ’16. I think I like it even more than A Fine Romance, especially since I live and work near so many of the places you spent time as a child. You truly have had a magical life…with more magic to come. What marvelous parents and extended family you had! And even though there was heartache, I think Cliff was a blessing because, as you pointed out, he encouraged your cooking and your painting, two of your greatest passions. It could have easily been the opposite and you would not be who you are or where you are today. You may never have discovered MV or the true love of your life…GASP!!! Did I mention that the book itself is just beautiful…a work of art. Thank you for sharing this part of “you” with all of us…

  73. Kit says:

    Oh my! I received my book and had to set it aside while I finished up on some projects. I couldn’t wait to start it and when I did, I can’t put it down! But I am rationing it. I do not want to finish it too soon, but I am dying to know what happens next…LOL Way to go Susan, you have an excellent book here. 🙂 Kit

    • sbranch says:

      Oh thank you so much Kit! That’s very nice to hear!

      • Kit says:

        I finished your wonderful book and I want more! You can be sure I will be buying your next one. When I got to the little pic of the bunny and it said, closure, finish the bunny, I burst into tears. I know you came thru okay and this made me feel you knew you were heading in the right direction. 🙂 Kit

  74. Marion Rose says:

    Good evening Susan, I loved reading “The fairy Tale Girl”. So glad you had a girlfriend to pull you our of the awful sadness. What would we do without kindred spirits? It must have stirred up a lot emotion when you put your story on paper for all your girlfriends to read. Loved the stories of your childhood, your parents did a great job bringing up 8 children—–I laughed often—–

    Looking forward to seeing you at Titcomb’s Bookstore, in Sandwich.

  75. Debi Hutchinson says:

    The Fairy Tale Girl and I, and my wonderful husband, are at Disneyland. He’s getting dressed so I was reading and I came to the part about “The Glad Game”!!! I have always played that game, with my family rolling their eyes at me! I love knowing I’m not the only one! I’m loving your beautiful book! Thank you so much!

  76. Lindy Munday says:

    Oh I just finished the book and I’m happy, happy, happy. Wish I had written in diary for memories, because they fade. I will pull out all the old photos and make picture books for my girls. I grew up in So Cal. Alhambra, and my husband always said I live a Leave it to Beaver shelter life, it true and you brought back all those wonderful memory.
    Thank you,


  77. Valarie A Whitcomb says:

    Hi Susan! You’re book was so amazing – you are a tiny bit younger than me – I hit 70 in June – but everything you wrote about reminded me so much of the times of my life – I didn’t have your experiences – but certainly the same era!! Thanks for all the fun family photos – and your incredible honesty – think that probably took a lot of courage. Your books, blog, etc. add so much joy to my life – so grateful!
    God’s blessings,

  78. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Susan, we were away when your books and calendars arrived. There was a card waiting from Canada Post saying I needed to pay the sales tax and handling fees and they would release the package to me. Sounds like a ransom note to me, lol. Oh, my, we had to wait til the next morning as the post office was closed. Your book is absolutely beautiful and I’ve only seen the end papers. I’m pacing myself. You can almost pick up that lock of hair! So sweet. I also ordered calendars, Lemon Thyme Soap and your cute wee box of Secret Notes. It is our Canadian Thanksgiving tomorrow and I am so thankful for your friendship and for your sharing of your wonderful talents with all of us. Thank you so much. Hugs.

    • sbranch says:

      Ransom! 🙂 Funny! Happy Thanksgiving Elaine!

      • Elaine in Toronto says:

        So much for pacing myself! I’m 2/3 through your book and can’t put it down. I think we’ve all had a “Kimmie” in our lives which is why we can relate to your story. And all I could say is “yikes” when I read how Cliff felt about Vineyard Haven. Oh, my, back to your book.

        • Elaine in Toronto says:

          On page 226 you talk about your brothers and their aversion to “girl” games. I once saw a women wearing a T-shirt that said on the front “You run like a girl”. On the back it said “Try to keep up!” I loved it.

        • sbranch says:

          I’m sure even Kimmie had a Kimmie in her life! xoxo

  79. Joan says:

    FAIRY-LICIOUS – counting the days till May! (or perhaps sooner???) 🙂

  80. Cheryl Walsh says:

    I finished the book today. Sad to come to an end- but now I can look forward to part 2!
    I thought, I was the only one that remembered all the “color” fairy tale books-I read them all one after another!
    I can so identify with your not having a life plan or a goal, I am only 4 years behind you but the changes for women were just starting when I got out of high school. Sometimes, I think we gave up somethings for “our liberty”.

    Everything that has happened to you make us who we are- the good and the bad. How we handle it is what matters! Love you girlfriend!! :o)

  81. Christine D says:

    Just recently went to Ohio and went to di d all there covered bridges. Love them it W’s very interesting the history of some of them and got some great pictures to.

  82. Judy Young says:

    I was just sitting here reading your blog and checking some of your October posts from years past. October 13 you showed a photo of a gorgeous Cranberry Coffee Cake that you mentioned might be in the Breakfast book (that isn’t finished yet). Did you ever post that recipe on your blog? If not, would you? It looks like something I would like to make many times this fall! So pretty! Love your blogs Susan, the old and the new.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m still holding on to that one for the book! I am determined to do that one someday . . .

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        Even though I am truly a tea person at ♥ I think the next book (after Isle of Dreams) should be PANCAKES 🙂 Would love to hear that story again and try some of those recipes in the book that is already begun … and with your new personalized SUSAN font, it will be easier than ever! Sounds like you are determined 🙂 P.S. Curious what Blogdaddy wants you to write next??? xoxo

  83. pat addison (cave junction, OR.) says:

    hello Susan, hello girlfriends. can I ask a big question??? I have some late season pears and some peaches does anyone have a recipe for brandied peaches and pears?? I was thinking of making some and putting some up for Christmas presents this year ( I love Christmas presents from the kitchen). and can you do the same for apples??? since its close to the end of apple season here, maybe brandied apple slices would go well for the holidays??? thanks everyone….. hugs… 🙂

  84. pat addison (cave junction, OR.) says:

    thanks Susan, I was wondering if you can do pears the same way, I know there is a pear brandy out, they grow the pears right in the bottle, so I was thinking of doing the pears in a brandy, and why not do apples in apple jack brandy??? I thought that would be a fun gift to give.

  85. Janie Phillips says:

    I hope you aren’t too tired of hearing this yet (I’ll go out on a limb and guess that you aren’t ;)), because I have to join everyone else and say how much I love The Fairy Tale Girl. It’s just a beautiful book in every possible way, Sue. I loved learning more of your story and I know those of us who came of age in that singular time can relate to it on so many levels. I recall boarding a plane on my honeymoon, pulling a magazine from the pocket of the seat in front of me, flipping through the pages to an article about something called “women’s lib” and thinking, “Uh oh.” In one moment I understood that the world I was heading into was not going to be the one “The Ladies Home Journal” had prepared me for. We really did start out with our feet straddled across two worlds! You did such a good job of conveying what it was like then, I think anyone can identify regardless of when they grew up. It makes me especially happy that we grew up in the same years because the song lyrics you interspersed throughout the book turn into full songs in my head, complete with music. All I have to do is read a couple of lines and I’m right back there. As with everything you do, you chose great music! And of course the book is beautiful to look at, but it’s yours so how could it not be? I truly just love the whole book, Sue, and I’m so happy for all the success you’re having with it. I’m excited for the book signings this spring and I’m hoping the antique stores will lure you back to OKC so I can see you again! XOXO

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for that Janie. I’m so happy you’re liking it! Means the world to me, as it does with all of our Girlfriends here. XOXO

  86. Dear Sue,

    I received my copy of “The Fairy Tale Girl” on Saturday. I sat right down, ripped open the package (thanks lovely SB staff for sending it!) and started reading. I didn’t get up until I had read it all the way through. (Did I mention that I am a Greedy Guts?) 🙂
    I loved it all and was right there with you the whole way. In many ways my journey echoes yours- with 10 years spent in California with someone I loved who, really was unsuitable, and who, in the end broke my heart. But then I, too, moved away and after a while found my true love. He’s handsome, handy and the kind of guy who shares my dreams and enjoys the kind of cozy life I wanted- he makes furniture and he can cook too. (((Heaven)))
    I could have never found this happiness if I had not overcome that sadness. So I really appreciate the stories you shared and again find kindred spiritedness in you. Thanks dear Sue, you are wonderful!!!
    Can’t wait to read more in May!

  87. Mary Ann W. says:

    I love The Fairy Tale Girl. I had surgery last Thursday and read it in my first two days of recuperating. Speaking if books, I was recently rereading the Yankee magazine that featured your house at Christmas time. In it, they said you were working on a cookbook called Pancakes. What happened to that book? I ran to Barnes & Noble to buy it but they said yhere is no such book. I was so sad.

    • Mary Ann W. says:

      Sorry about the typos. I’m not good at typing on my phone. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Mary Ann, hope you are better! Yes, I had Pancakes about half-way done, but then I started the Fairy Tale Girl and couldn’t stop! Pancakes (very likely) will be the one I do after Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams.

      • Diane says:

        Oh, I hope, I hope,I hope. I’ve been patiently waiting for your Pancakes book. I’m glad it’s waiting in the wings.

        • sbranch says:

          Oh yes, me too!!! I made some wonderful recipes for it that I’m just saving and savoring until the book is done, and that is NOT an easy thing to do!

          • Mary Ann says:

            Thanks for letting me know. I am excited for a new cookbook from you, but must admit, right now I am even more excited for Isle of Dreams.

  88. Paula says:

    I already RAVED about The Fairy Tale Girl in my comment on one of your other BLOG entries, Susan, but I wanted to express my thanks to Sherie, Kellee, Bonnie, Robin, and Sharon for getting the books out in such a timely manner! Thank you!

    Also, I will add that I found the story about the Beatles meeting very funny and quite amazing. 🙂

    Thanks, again, Ladies!

    • sbranch says:

      Very nice Paula, they truly are the best, and they love working together . . . it’s just such a good thing!

  89. Marygrace says:

    Hi Susan – Oh how beautiful are the books you write…I hope you always have something to write about because you do it so wonderfully! I would love if you put all of your lovely ideas about and for children in a book – I love the treasures I find throughout your books (a personal favorite is leaving hay out for Santa’s reindeers – boy does my son love doing that!). May God continue to bless you as you have blessed so many of us gals!

    • sbranch says:

      I kind of decided to start with the moms, and then I thought, the children would take care of themselves! XOXO

  90. Laura Ann in Vermont says:

    I’m so glad to hear I wasn’t the only girl who was confused about what to do with her life in the 70’s. I’m a bit younger (born in 64) but I knew from the time I was four that I was going to grow up to be a mother and homemaker, just like most women I knew. Imagine my surprise when I hit jr. high school and they started telling me I needed to have a career. Yikes!! It never sat well with me…I had other plans. I got a degree in chemistry anyway, but as soon as I could, I became a homemaker and then a mom. This was the late 80’s, and now I was getting flak for my old-fashioned choices. Funny how society had done a complete turnaround in my lifetime on expectations for women. It was so confusing! Of course, now I know that the best thing is for women–and men–to have choices, and that what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another.

    • sbranch says:

      It WAS confusing, and the bad thing was at the time, each of us thought we were the only ones thinking that way! What a surprise to realize how wrong I was about that! Writing a book and keeping diaries can introduce a person to themselves . . .

  91. Susan on Bainbridge Island, Washington state says:

    I want to take a picture of your book in my area of the country…But, how do I send it to you? It would have to email, right? Can you please direct me as to how!!!! silly me, this old crone is tech dumb! ha ha!!!! Help! Susan! help!!!!
    stranded on my island to yours!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Susan ~ Do you have the photo in your computer already? If so, it should be easy, but a little complicated to tell without visuals. Google “the name of your computer and How To Send a Photo in an Email” ~ I’m sure you’ll get easy directions. You can send it to feedback@ ~ let me know if this doesn’t help you!

  92. shanna says:

    I haven’t read your book yet, but I will be ordering it soon. I know I’ll love it. But most of all, I admire your courage in being able to conjure up those painful memories and reexamine them. I have a few hard, but interesting times in my past, too, and many requests from friends, co-workers and relatives to write about them. But, after a few tries over the years, I’ve decided that I just can’t go back to that time! To re-live them is just too painful!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a little hard, but what makes it easier is if you imagine that your experience could possibly help others. Then it’s all worthwhile.

  93. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! You are truly an amazing writer!!!! My Fairy Tale Girl book is sort of like a box of fine specialty chocolates……..sitting on my coffee table in the living room, in my sight, ready for my nibbling throughout the day……..I’ll take little bites to read and then put it down……..I am taking my time and making it last as long as possible….I don’t want the story to end!!! (God forbid when that last chocolate…ummmmm, page is gone!) Your writing shows so much emotion and warmth , it almost seems like you are sitting in a room with all of us GIRLFRIENDS chit-chatting and reminiscing of long ago!!!! (My mother’s Henredon 1978 coffee table has a top glass, so I slid dried colorful Maple leaves underneath the glass, and presto……YOUR book has a decorative surface to sit upon!! The perfect centerpiece to a cherished heirloom!) Thank you Susan, YOUR ears must be ringing constantly from all of the buzz regarding your SPECTACULAR new book!!! Take care of yourself and have a great rest of the week!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I read comments like you read the book. I can’t take too many in a row, because they make me cry. So I savor them. Thank you Carilyn. That was just wonderful!

  94. Elizabeth in Mississippi says:

    Hi Susan! I’m re-reading AFG for a second time and THIS time I’m not so furious with PC and DimLeeLit for breaking your heart because I know there’s a happy Part II…I love your “original” California girlfriends for taking care of you. Those ’80’s were a crazy time…and as someone commented, those song lyrics transport me to places and moments that I’d forgotten about. I’m so enjoying finding out how you began to cook and paint and sew and garden. Yes, I LOVE AFG and want to thank you for putting this memoir (with verissimilitude (LUV that word!)) out here in print…xoxoxo

    Also, I found this lovely poem on another blog and thought for sure that you (and the other girlfriends) would enjoy it:

    “October gave a party;
    The leaves by hundreds came-
    The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
    And leaves of every name.
    The Sunshine spread a carpet,
    And everything was grand,
    Miss Weather led the dancing,
    Professor Wind the band.”

    ‘October’s Party’ George Cooper

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Elizabeth . . . yes, I think it’s easier to read when it’s read as a story! Then you can be mad as you want and it’s all good! 🙂 Love the poem, I put it in my Autumn book on page 42 and changed the end a little bit. “The guests were all aflutter, and danced off hand in hand!” XOXO Happy fall!

  95. Dear Susan, our mail carrier delivered your book on a dark rainy day when I was in the middle of cleaning the house. Me: “Sigh, deep breath, close eyes, hug book to chest, ahhhhh.” I finished all the cleaning, it was mid-afternoon, I took a shower, put on my pajamas, made tea and a plate of snacks, and curled up under a blanket with Hodge the gray tabby cat next to me, and read almost all of your book in one go. I reached a good stopping place, then had supper with my husband, then finished reading. A few days later I read the whole thing again! More slowly! So brave and good a story, I just love it. Thank you so much for sharing your diary in this way, and for being kind to your younger self, who was just doing the best she knew how to do at the time.

    Favorite parts – when you encountered your landlady putting together a dinner party – “This wasn’t tuna sandwiches she was making. This was entirely different. This was art.” I love that moment, when you see your future self almost – you see possibilities you hadn’t even known to dream of yet. And you waste no time beginning to realize those dreams for yourself. Beautiful. Also love that you bought yourself a coffee table, pronto, after the main break-up. Again, waste no time! The whole gift-certificate-at-the-art-store was wonderful too, and your discovery of painting, and then other people’s discovery of your painting. And you trying on that metaphorical ball gown (being a “real” artist) for size, not believing that it was meant for you, only wearing it around the house. And you and your friend Jane, who said you should write a book, people do it all the time! You, “I never saw people ‘do it all the time.’ I never saw anyone do it.” Little did you know – doesn’t fate work in wonderful ways, but oh, so very slowly, sometimes! In hindsight your life looks scripted, and would make a wonderful movie.

    I especially love your picture on page 151, and its caption, “I just liked to cook & feed people.” With the “Brilliant people, not normal people” write books quote just above it. Here you are – at the very beginning of your long career of cooking up wonderful books and feeding so many more people with them than you ever could have dreamed of, or ever fit around your table. As poet Mary Oliver says in “A Poetry Handbook”: “…poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” I think of your books that way, like bread for the hungry. Or, more specifically, like toast and tea…

    This comment is awfully long, but there is so much good stuff in your book that it’s impossible to shorten it up. Love the sections on feminism especially. I am a gen-x-er but still identify. Women still have a long way to go towards equality in this world of ours. (Infuriating! Anyway…) Also love the fairy tale quotes that you use throughout, to link your tale together and provide continuity – they are such a pleasure to discover as the book goes along. Thank you again for this lovely book, and for your bravery and honesty in living it and writing it. As everyone else is saying, can’t wait for part two!! Best wishes from up here in Maine.

    • sbranch says:

      Well, I probably don’t have to tell you how fun it is to see the story through your eyes Sarah. Thank you for that! When you thanked me for being kind to my younger self, you put tears in my eyes. That girl was so much trouble! 🙂 Can’t wait to tell the rest of the story — sooner or later, it all begins to make sense! XOXO Thank you again!

  96. Angie V says:

    Hi Susan,

    I read Fairy Tale Girl in 2 days! I couldn’t put it down! I so related to your home life and all your escapades in the 1960’s. But I got so attached to everyone in the book. I wanted to know what happened to all your brothers and sisters, Cliff, and all your besties! That’s the sign of a great book, when you become attached and don’t want to let characters go. I know how great your life is with Joe, but do you ever hear from Cliff? Are his parents still with us? And do you keep in contact with your high school and young adult friends? So many questions? 🙂 Can’t wait until the next book. Will it answer some of these questions?


    • sbranch says:

      Yes! ALL of that remains to surprise you with in the second book! You make me SO excited to tell the rest of the story!

  97. debbie says:

    Do you have plans to allow the new book to be offered in a kindle version?

  98. Maria Shiyou says:

    Susan, there is a fb page I follow simply because of the beauty of their product. I thought you might be interested in because they have Beatrix Potter. The name of their fb page is Vintage Bell Broken China Jewelry. Very pretty BP stuff featured on their page today. I’m sure they have a website, too.

  99. Maria Shiyou says:

    Here is the info.
    Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit Broken China Jewelry. Browse the collection here:

  100. Alice in Wisconsin-land says:

    Sorry, I should’ve read comments first before writing to you about “October threw a party” … I see (now) that someone else mentioned it. aw

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