October 2009

Dear Friend

September is my favorite month for many good reasons. Our daughter was born in September, and Peter and I fell in love. Our favorite song, "Try to remember that day in September ... deep in December ... and follow, follow, follow."

We weren't disappointed. The entire month had a magical quality about it, and as October is upon us, the September song of love and joy will follow us into the fall season. The weather is exhilarating. The sea air refreshing, and living in a walking village makes us feel invigorated. We sleep under a down comforter at night and the cooler temperatures are most welcome.

Let me begin by announcing our great news. After fifty years, Peter finally finished his last draft of Figure It Out: A Short Guide to Wisdom. We went to Tom at the news office on Water Street and he kindly Xeroxed it for us and we went to the post office to mail it off to a publisher. The Law Exchange, Ltd., printed Peter’s book, The Art of Questioning, calling it a “classic.” They did such a fantastic job in hardcover and paperback, this seemed the most logical place to start.

He’d sent his ship out to sail, and was surprised by joy. The book manuscript arrived, the publisher took it home over the weekend, and Monday, early afternoon, Peter received a call with the word: They want to publish Figure It Out immediately. The hardcover and paperback copies will come out simultaneously. The publisher and editor-in-chief both found it fascinating. “You can sip it and drink it!” They are most enthusiastic.

I will keep you posted once we have the publication date expected in the month of January, 2010. Peter and I are thrilled and don’t know how to contain our excitement. This is cause of many celebrations. I wrote a Foreword, and when you read his book, you will know for yourself why this is so wonderful. Peter is wise and is sharing his accumulated knowledge with us. This is a book for all of us to have on our desk or near us for daily reference.

With this book in production, Peter is now free to write, “Recollections and Reflections.” This book will be another gift to us, and one I will embrace. I will write the Foreword. What an honor. Peter has made me the guardian of his time, and our days and nights are mostly spent quietly, peacefully, happily, reading and writing. The energy is vital as we work on our books. Someone once asked me, “Alexandra, is it hard to write?” My short answer was, “No, it is not hard to write; it is hard not to write.”

We’re in the flow of our work in deep concentration and guard against interruptions and distractions with all our might. It is not easy to carve out this solitude in the age of complexity, but we’re focused, and are trying hard to stay the course. I’m finding Balance enormously challenging because it makes me think, eat and breathe balance, mindfully and deliberately, all the time. Even though I miss my Aristotle book, I feel this message is most timely and urgently necessary at a time when the world seems to be turned inside out and upside down.

We did manage a fun trip to New York City to celebrate Brooke’s 40th birthday and Brooke and Tony’s 5th anniversary. Alexandra flew up for a wonderful party and having time with her, away from her demanding life, combining family and career, was a treat.

Alexandra is flying up to see us the middle of October, bringing the “grands,” “the gang,” as we call Nicholas, Anna and Lily. I’m looking forward to our fun activities in the art room, a trip to the Cider Mill and the glee of being in their presence. Brooke and Cooper are joining us for a one year birthday party. The twins turn 8 early this month, and it’s all so grand we’ll be together for Cooper’s first year celebration.

Part of the process of writing Balance is trying to put my life in greater equilibrium. Since the renovation was complete, we hadn’t clutter-cleared the upstairs library, Peter’s writing room. Things were thrown on shelves, there was sawdust and plaster dust and every other kind of dust everywhere. On a crisp sunny day we faced this project, and after we began, rather than being overwhelmed, we found it was pleasant. We unearthed treasure after treasure.

Peter is now going through mounds of memorabilia, and I’m reading over and sorting through stacks of clippings, articles, letters, and photographs. Having this important space well-ordered is essential, and will make our winter months in the sunny writing rooms more inspiring. I came across two of my unpublished manuscripts, “Peter, A Love Story,” and “The Art of No,” as well as essays, and dozens and dozens of spiral notebooks that are valuable for me to review for my work.

We are loving our life in the village, in the cottage, it the country. Peter joins me in sending great love to you.

Happy October!

Love & Live Happy

Have you taken photos at one of Alexandra's events that you'd like to share? If so, you can email them to AStoddardInc@aol.com. Please be sure to include the names of those in the photo and where and when it was taken! We will try to include them on the website in the future.

Peter named our friend's house in Jackson, Mississippi, Swan Lake. Now, Anky and Mary Ann have a family of swans!

La Grua Center, Stonington

Peter and Alexandra both signing Happiness For Two at the book table.

Peter and Alexandra at a book signing after a joint talk in Stonington with Karen, who came from Las Vegas!

A crisp, clear October day at Skipper's Dock in Stonington Village.

If you like to get an autographed copy of Alexandra's newest book, please send your order (including inscription information) to:
Jane Hannon
Bank Square Books
53 West Main Street
Mystic, CT 06355
(860) 536-3795

Grace Note

You don't have to have a lot of things, you just have to love what you have.

Alexandra Stoddard