March 2008

Dear Friend

We all know we can’t control the weather. We arrived in Milwaukee in early February and our good friends Nancy and John picked us up at the airport. As we got into the car snow began to fall. They’d arranged a small dinner party at their favorite Milwaukee restaurant, Stamford, and we had a great evening of celebration at a banquet.

I will never forget Super Tuesday. At six o’clock that morning, Peter and I cast our vote in Connecticut at our newly built Fire Department in Stonington Village before flying to Milwaukee. We were staying with Nancy and John, and in the excitement of the moment, home safe with their devoted thirteen-year-old dog Murphy, as we watched the election returns with a cozy fire looking out at the snow, John went to his wine cellar and brought out an amazing bottle of wine from the vineyard we toured and where we had a wine tasting in Napa Valley the month before. “May the best person win.”

We stayed up much too late and have never slept in a more comfortable bed in the quiet of the snowfall. Upon awakening the next morning, we realized we were in a blizzard. My talk and book signing was canceled. Nancy, John, Peter and I enjoyed a snow day. We read the newspapers, watched our daughter A.B. Stoddard on several news shows, and enjoyed the beauty of nature’s wonders.

A friend had arranged for a breakfast in her home Thursday morning, and as I began to talk, the sun broke through. Storms never last forever. Nancy gave a wonderful luncheon party in her home after Tanya’s great morning event and we were off to the airport, headed home with feelings of great joy from our visit.

Memphis was rewarding because I return every year and go on a television show the morning before my talk and book signing. It’s so meaningful to have this continuity and to be able to share time with friends and my readers. Our trip to Cincinnati was exciting because we hadn’t been there for fourteen years. There were so many tender moments. My editor Toni’s mother came to my talk. A man, Bob, who bought my first book, Style For Living said he and his wife Deb built their house from the advice of my book! Someone who had given me a tea and book event in 1994 left her daughter and just-born granddaughter to come see Peter and me.

I was feeling quite sentimental in Cincinnati, realizing so many readers in 1994 continue to read my books, and it was quite special for us all to have this long-overdue reunion. One woman asked me how Peter and I had spent Valentine’s Day: I was doing radio shows all day and Peter and I went out to supper at a new restaurant in Stonington. The next night we checked into The Inn at Stonington for a romantic escape. Our daughter Brooke and her husband Tony came for the weekend and our staying at The Inn gave them some privacy at the cottage. Peter and I’d never spent the night at this wonderful, elegant inn, where we have so many of our happiness weekends. What an amazing treat to be a guest, to see a deep pink sunset, to enjoy the peacefulness of being alone, together, away. We had no distractions, only happiness for two.

As they say on television: Breaking News! The first weekend of April – the 4th and 5th – The Inn at Stonington is hosting the first Writer’s Happiness Retreat. Please plan to come. Whether you are a letter writer, journal keeper, poet or aspiring novelist, Peter and I urge you to join us. You do not need to be a prolific writer, just a soul who loves putting pen to paper. Bring friends, loved ones or come by yourself to explore the theme of happiness and share creative energy with others who love writing in all its forms. Please call or email The Inn at Stonington, (860) 535-2000 for more details about this exciting weekend we’ll share, including visits to our cottage, a writer’s workshop at The Inn and our traditional banquet at the Up River Café on Saturday evening. Peter and I ask you to bring your favorite pens and paper or notebook. We will be writing in longhand this weekend. Please leave your technology at home!

Peter and I went to New York City to attend Books for a Better Life benefit supporting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This literary awards evening was spectacular in every way. My Book, You Are Your Choices: 50 Ways to Live the Good Life was a finalist in the motivational category. All books nominated for an award are in the field of self—improvement. My publisher Jane Friedman was there, and Peter and I sat with my editor Toni, and after this thrilling event was over, we had a relaxing dinner together in a nearby Thai restaurant.

I was a finalist, not the winner. I felt honored to be among such accomplished authors. So many people present were dedicated talented editors, literary agents and people in all aspects of publishing. I’m happy I am a writer and owe the great value of my life to this truth.

I’m enjoying my work on my book about Mothers. I continue to do radio shows to talk about Happiness for Two. Peter gave up his book to an assistant to type up a first draft. I am writing the foreword to Figure It Out.

Please look for my articles in Victoria Magazine. I’m loving being the Writer-in-Residence, 2008.

Roger Mühl, my favorite artist, will come to New York City for an exhibition in early May. I’ll let you know the details as I learn them. I am writing the catalogue copy for his exhibition. I saw his new paintings, when Peter and I visited him in his home recently following the loss of his beloved wife Line, a companion for 55 years. His paintings are extraordinarily beautiful and moving.

We’re going to be at the Southport Congregational Church in Connecticut Sunday, March 9th, at 11:30 AM, where I’ll speak about Happiness for Two, followed by a book signing. Please come if you can and bring friends. The contact person for this event is Amy at (203) 255-1594.

We’re off to visit the grandchildren for Peter's birthday in mid-March. Life is rich and full, and wonderful. Great love to you.

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.

Talk and Booksigning 3/9/2008 at the Southport Congregational Church, Southport, CT (see Calendar)

Talk and Booksigning, Happiness For Two. All are welcome to attend the worship service that immediately precedes Alexandra's talk and booksigning. Books will be available for purchase (cash/check only).


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

Alexandra and Elizabeth at the Nice Airport in France

Milwaukee Botanical Garden

Peter and Alexandra share a photo opportunity with Deanna

Peter and Alexandra at a recent event

A favorite Roger Muhl Lithograph

This sunset over Stonington Harbor is simply awe inspiring.

The Art of Questioning by Peter Megargee Brown

Peter's new book is now available ~~ in both hardback and paperback. See Library Section to order!Congratulations Peter!!


We have received numerous emails regarding subscribing to Victoria. Please visit www.Victoriamag.com where you can sign up for delivery or to receive email Newsletters!

Grace Note

"You Never Know"
John Bowen Coburn