February 2004

Love & Live Happy

Dear Friend

I hope you enjoyed the month of January as an opportunity to be creative, putting some inspiration into action. Peter and I have been productive and happy. We used the cold weather to an advantage. We spent more time at home, cozy by crackling fires, sipping herbal tea and homemade soup; cozy suppers became memorable, non-repeatable celebrations. Perhaps this past month was one of the most cherished because it marks officially the year of our thirtieth wedding anniversary. We were married in May, but we’ve decided to have fun with this marvelous event.

January was the month that our daughters, Alexandra and Brooke, planned an island escape in Florida where we can all be together as a family to sing each other’s praises. We have an intuitive sense that good news should be rewarded. Our deep love for each other and our children and grandchildren is cause enough.

The copyedited manuscript of Things I Want My Daughters to Know is back in production. HarperCollins is working on the jacket design. My brilliant editor, Toni Sciarra, tells me that the HarperCollins pre-sales meeting created an enormous amount of buzz about this book. They refer to it as “the daughter book.” Because the subtitle is A Small Book about the Big Issues in Life, I urge you to think of it about wisdom that transcends gender and age. If you have a father, son or husband, please think of my essays appropriate for them. As I read my book over from this perspective, I was struck how balanced it is in terms of gender.

The title is perfect. Of course if I’d had sons rather than daughters I would have call it Things I Want My Sons to Know. I’m hoping this book will be widely read and will help us all to understand each other better in order to live more attractively together. Mark your calendars that books will be in bookstores nationwide by September first.

Ribbon and Bookplate

Just as with Choosing Happiness, if you pre-order book(s), I will send you a ribbon and bookplate for each one you order. Just let us know the name of the bookseller and their address, and we’ll go from there. The earlier the bookstores hear about your interest, the more copies they’ll order in for others.

Also, many of you have responded to my request for you to organize a fundraiser in your community where we can sell books and where I can speak. Publishers don’t do a lot of author touring, and when they do it is usually at a bookstore. Peter and I plan to do a national campaign and we’d love to come to your community and celebrate with you! We do charge an honorarium, but with organization, there will be funds to donate to a favorite charity.

Thank you in advance for all of your invaluable help with Choosing Happiness. Those of you who have a happiness rosette know how hard-earned it is, but you’ve all been good sports and remind me how much fun it is to be an integral part of this happiness movement. The publisher calls me the “pioneer” but you know how much you are contributing to help spread the happiness energy and its message.

I was interviewed for a February Website and the first question was, “Do you feel you inherited the happiness gene, Alexandra?” My greatest desire, my mission, is to spread happiness. This is a gift I give myself each day.


Another woman interviewed me for a column she writes about people’s passions. At the end of our conversation she asked if there was anything I wanted the reader to know about me they can’t get from my books. I told Paula LaMott, the writer from Oregon, that I am passionate about my writing because it opens worlds of great happiness to know that I am connecting with people all over the world. I can’t imagine my life without the friends I’ve made near and far through the written word.

Thank you for being a devoted reader and friend. For all of you who couldn’t come to our November or January Happiness Weekend at the Inn at Stonington, we had the time of our lives. Both weekends we experienced brilliant sunlight. In November we had Indian summer. In January we had the sparkle of reflection from the white snow. The sunsets were spectacular.

Friendships were made. We inspired each other, shared stories, and enjoyed the Inn and our sweet cottage. I want you to read the words from a friend who brought his wife in November from North Carolina for a birthday celebration>

Dear Alexandra and Peter: You have (re)instilled happiness in my wife, and subsequently, my life! We had a marvelous time with you, met great people, made new friends, and relaxed in your charming Borough and inviting home … Volumes of appreciation for making the special arrangements for Melanie to attend your “playshop” (didn’t seem like work!) She is renewed and invigorated … Robert Dunn

Another sweet note came from a friend from Arkansas. Marsha came as a stranger and left as a friend of all of ours. We’ve decided to make the fall Happiness weekend an annual event where the same people will try to return.

Alexandra: Thank you for the extra effort you went to which made our trip to Stonington and your home absolutely over the top! It was a weekend I’ll never forget! There is an excellence in your cottage that was exciting – made me want to clean my windows! I came home and painted the living room! My first day home, my senses were alive with all the stimulation from the beautiful weekend. I spent the day putting myself in the midst of beauty, and found I had an even deeper awareness of color – because of your influence. …. Marsha Johansen

So do try to come to one of these fun retreats in the months and years ahead.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

February is the month of love. I have the most wonderful feeling that this will be a spectacular month for all of us. Ten years ago, a reader sent me a Valentine’s card she made with a message from her heart. Alexandra Hill is now a dear friend. We’re staying with Alexandra and her husband Jim when we go to Denver to speak at a senior retreat at a Catholic high school this month.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy February. Peter wrote me a love note: “Love encompasses all things – Things encompass Love.”

Love & Live Happy,

Book Sale

I have a variety of back-listed books that are not in "perfect" condition. Some are slightly dented, have a page missing or a ripped cover, have some mildew, or are missing their jackets. Please inquire if you have an interest in a bargain. If you are, we'll send the books you desire at 50% off. I'm running out of room but know there are readers who want to add to their Alexandra Stoddard collection.

Help me to know you better.

Alexandra and Peter wish you a Happy Valentine's Day!

Mrs. Brown's Table

Good News! Levenger has brought the Mrs. Brown table back. Call toll free (800) 544-0880 to get their gorgeous complimentary spring catalogue. Turn to page 43! Choose dark or natural cherry finish.

Myopia Country Club in Massachusetts

Alexandra, Peter & Robin Sear, Chairperson, celebrate a beautiful event in September 2003

Choosing Happiness Lecture Series

Valerie Delaney and her son Ben arrive at the Westerly Public Library

Alexandra demonstrates "One Flower Meditation"

Ruger Muhl "Labaie de St. Tropez" lithograph. 21" x 28.5" Edition of 150. $1400 unframed.

A Note about Roger Muhl,
My Favorite Artist.

Many of you have expressed an interest in this great artist’s work. I’ve been collecting Muhl paintings for 42 years. If you are interested in becoming a proud owner, please let me know. The prices range from lithographs to oils. Fax me at (212) 996-4625. Tell me your price range (lithographs are $1,400 and oils are $6,000 to $36,000). This one artist has brought great joy to the lives of hundred of collectors.

A New Look!

Living a Beautiful Life has a new cover. A memorable book to read, to have and to hold. This book has sold a million copies in hardcover. Now available. The new cover shows a tea celebration in Alexandra's charming cottage kitchen. Hardback $25.00 plus $5.00 s/h. Please send book orders and checks for this book to 87 Water Street, Stonington, CT 06378.

Grace Note

Spend one day alone this month. Try to remain as quiet as you can. Listen to the wind, the clock ticking, the water boiling, the energy of love.