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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love,

Susan

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