Willard Sign Up


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Willard is free, it goes out about once a month,
it will come to you in an email.
(Be sure your computer won’t think it’s spam.)


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“I don’t want to be rich, I just want to be wonderful.”Marilyn Monroe
Everything, we think, within reason…..Susan has spent many hours creating her beautiful blog along with her “WILLARD” newsletters to surprise her “Girlfriends” over the years. If you have found them to be of value, and if it tickles your fancy, please consider supporting her time with a donation of your choosing: anything between the cost of a glass of wine or a good dinner! And don’t even think about this if it puts the slightest crimp in your wallet as she will love you forever no matter what happens. ♥

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I would like you to meet my grandfather, Willard Smith. When I was around eleven, and in full letter-writing mode, I sent a letter to his house in Sioux City, Iowa. I had fallen in love with “the olden days” and so I wrote to ask him for pictures of when he was young. He sent me lots of photos including this one of him in his pilot goggles.

As far back as I can remember, my grandfather wrote long newsy letters at Christmas and sent them to everyone he knew; a year in his life more or less. My mom would bring the letter to the dinner table and read it to all of us. He was the first person our family ever saw do this. We thought he invented it.

One day, someone else sent us this same kind of letter, my mom brought it to the table to read; my brother Stephen, who was then about twelve, put two and two together, piped up and said, “Oh! It’s a Willard!” Of course this sent all of us into hysteria, we thought he was so brilliant and brave. Brave because we didn’t usually call Grandpa by his first name for one thing, it was normally frowned on. But my parents were laughing too, this was a good one. So when it was time to give my newsletter a name, my choice was obvious. “It’s a Willard!” I thought you’d like to see a picture of “Our Founder.” He also sent me this photo of his smoking dog Jack. (Don’t think for a moment I agree with this, I cringe a little when I see it now, but it was of its time.) Of course we kids loved it. Willard was our hero, he was the bee’s knees. Liked pork chop gravy on his chocolate cake. A legend in his own time.

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808 Responses to Willard Sign Up

  1. Kenna Morris says:

    Dear Susan:
    Five years ago I was fortunate enough to move to the Central coast and finally bought a house in Morro Bay. I work at CMC, (California Men’s Colony-SLO) which can be stressful, dreary and oppressive. But! Your cheery & colorful blog is the perfect antidote. It will help me get through the last 4 years of my career in “the coal mines.” We work four 10hr. days, and it is a grind.

    However when I saw you were coming to the Central Coast, I bought 3 tickets for the event at the Morro Bay Community Center for myself & two friends. We also talked lovely Lauren of ReKindle (repurpose store in MB) to do the delectable refreshments. (We may be helping her serve). It was fun to print out our Girlfriend tags and tell everyone about your forthcoming visit.

    Reading the blog several times a month inspired me to take my BFF to Martha’s Vineyard last year, where we rode our bikes all over Vineyard Haven. What a lovely neighborhood. Now when we read your blog, we can say, “hey, I know where that is!” (Loved Chicken Alley thrift store!)

    Thanks again for making my job “at the joint” more tolerable & looking forward to meeting you in person this May.
    I would also love to be included in any free drawings you may have, and I’ve signed up for the Willard. Love all those old black and white fotos!
    K. Morris-Moved2Morro

    • sbranch says:

      You live in a heavenly place, and you help the world with the difficult job you do. I can only say thank you, and I know that’s really not enough. I am thrilled that you’ll be coming to the book signing and bringing your girlfriends! I know this is going to be a really special event because I will, in many respects, be “Home.” Thank you for helping to make it so nice. It makes me happy to picture you riding your bikes around the Island. Loved hearing from you . . . take care, and I’ll see you soon! xoxo

  2. Jennifer Randle says:

    Dear Susan,

    About two years ago my friend Jeni and I reconnected after many years, at my home for a light lunch and tea. She brought me a copy of your book, “A Fine Romance” which I fell in love with and which brought me to tears many times as I recalled my own trips to England over the years. And the book introduced me to places I have missed and hope to one day visit. Jeni later told me that she had been to the Rainy Day Books event for “A Fine Romance” and enjoyed getting to meet you and also your husband.

    I plan to be at your event at Rainy Day Books for “Island of Dreams” this year. I just ordered “The Fairy Tale Girl” and will read it before the event so I can delve right into “Island” after. Thank you for the lovely, “A Fine Romance.” I treasure it. (P.S. I love books with ribbons too.) See you on May 18.

  3. Joleen Standley says:

    Wishing you the best of luck and fun on your new tour. It was so great seeing you in Santa Barbara last year.

  4. Maggy's Girl says:

    Been a fan for years. To too many to count!

  5. Diana Johnson says:

    Subscribe to Williard

  6. Maryann Czolgosz says:

    I’ve just retrieved all my Susan Branch books from the shelf! (I wish Susan lived next door!)

  7. Lynette DiMaggio says:

    Makes my Day!

  8. Kathy says:

    I love this. What a treat to receive and take a fun break in my day.

    Kathy XOXO

  9. Hello!
    I have attempted to subscribe to Willard at least two times and I have never received a Willard. I check my spam and nothing goes there either. I really would love to receive Willard by email. Could you please help me with this?
    Thank you!
    Michelle Colwell

  10. Mary Windemuller says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just finished reading”Isle of Dreams” and loved it. My favorite book of yours is “A Fine Romance” since I love England like you do. In fact, my husband and I were in England in 2012 for 5 weeks at the same time you and Joe were there. I laughed out loud when I read your experiences of driving on the “wrong” side of the road and then read it aloud to my husband so he could laugh along with me.
    Many blessings,
    Mary Windemuller
    P.S. My friends and I will see you on May 21 at The Tattered Cover in Denver!

  11. Judy Brown says:

    Looking forward to seeing you in Hudson, OH!

  12. Judith Kaufman says:

    Dear Susan,
    I’ve been a fan for oh, so many years! I’ve used your stickers in my scrapbooks and in my own art work! I also love your books! I look so forward to meeting you at Malaprops this summer in Asheville. and I’ve just signed up for Willard and I loved your Willard story…..so cute and funny.

  13. linda wilson says:

    Looking forward to seeing you in July-Titcomb”s

  14. Becky Pappenheim says:

    Dear Susan: Was hoping to see you in Portland, OR at Powells Book store, doesnt look like that got scheduled. Sorry to hear that. I have loved all of your books and web site forever. Thanks for brightening my life!!!!

  15. Turid Dulin says:

    I am soooo excited that you have chosen to include Memphis in your book signing tour! Please post it on your facebook so I can share it with all my friends. I will be seeing you on June 23rd at Booksellers. I have been buying and reading and rereading your books since the mid 1990s. They are all as good as they were when I first got them. Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      I asked Kellee to post it on Facebook for you Turid . . . thank you! xoxo

      • Susan Mixon says:

        Turid! Thrilled to see my yard-saling friend here! We (my sis-in-law, Carolyn, and I) will also be at Memphis Booksellers to meet our favorite author! Love the community of Girlfriends that we are all so happily fortunate to be a part of. See you there!

  16. Barb Langan says:

    I so love the arrivals of Willard and stop whatever I am doing to enter your world. Being born on the east coast, now living in CA., it brings me many sweet memories. Bon voyage and many wishes for loads of fun! Barb Langan

  17. Carol C says:

    Love all your Willard letters! Amazing as always!

  18. Linda Lander says:

    Just to say, as usual, your Willard puts a smile on my face and and song in my
    heart…such a pleasure to join you in your world…you make it so inviting and so very “down to earth”… Thank you for all the pleasure you provide….even “deep in the heart ofTexas”…which is nothing like Martha’s Vineyard or England…;o)

  19. Cheryl says:

    I used to get a Willard, but haven’t received one this month. I sent a new request with my email addy. Looking forward to reading it! Thanks!

  20. sharla stewart says:

    Have a great time on your book-signing tour & hoping you will be in Greenville, MI. (or at least Grand Rapids, MI.) Love everything of yours: – ) Think the first time I heard of you was when I was reading Country Living – way back!!

    Hugs, Sharla

  21. Sandra says:

    Hope to see you in Asheville, NC this summer! Would be a dream come true to meet you in person and get my books signed!

  22. Carol Smith says:

    I love your style and enjoy all your enthusiasm for life. Look forward to Willard newsletters and your blog.

  23. Sue Lichtenberger says:

    Susan, you are the most delightful book friend I have ever had, well you are second to Jill Briscoe who is a Brit and inspired me on so many occasions.

    I have both of your latest books, will be having knee replacement surgery on 5/24 and have saved them to read while I am healing. I know they will cheer me and inspire.

  24. Lorinda says:

    I received my first Willard newsletter today. I love it and look forward to more of them. Thanks!

  25. Nancy Conley says:

    Ohhhhh I need to go to England. That’s all.

  26. Sheila says:

    My first Willard newsletter arrived today. What an interesting story and so fun. Look forward to more. Keep up the good work !

  27. Ann Miazga says:

    My girlfriend loaned me your new book A Fairy Tale Girl on Wednesday and I finished it today on Friday. I loved it and couldn’t put it down. Since we were born in the same year and I had four siblings and was the oldest, I could share many things with you and had a lot of laughs. I have ordered your book and bought a ticket at Julia’s in Madison, CT but didn’t know at the time I was going to be in Nantucket that weekend. My girlfriend said I will love that book even more. Sorry I will miss you but looking forward to the pleasurable moments with your next book.
    Ann Miazga

  28. Edith McAdoo says:

    Love all your books, blogs, calendars, EVERYTHING!

  29. Elizabeth Pollard Moore says:

    This has been a very sad week for me, so when I saw that the Willard had arrived I immediately read it. Just seeing your lovely artwork, photos and reading your cheery thoughts, helped lift my spirits. Thank you. Elizabeth

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sorry for your sadness and very happy you’re feeling the cheery thoughts. xoxo Hope all gets better soon Elizabeth!

  30. Cheryl says:

    I’m sorry I am just now letting you know this, but I still haven’t gotten a Willard. I should have checked back to see your response above sooner! If it fails to come through again, I’ll try a different email address. Thanks!

  31. Evie Tong says:

    Hi Susan … I am having trouble receiving Willaard .. please help! I also re-signed up again … Am in the middle of Isle of Dreams and loving every page as I gingerly turn to the next page … it is really really the BEST to end your triology of memiors! I feel like I know you … I use Rose Chintz for my daily china and now there’s a quilt on the table as the linen … my stack of vintage quilts are stackiong up and you are “everything” in my house … have a bookcase just for your titles!
    (I have a collection of your Little Books too!)
    Xo Evie in San Diego

    • sbranch says:

      Cozy! Evie, go back to the blog, scroll to the bottom of the newest post, and in the post you’ll see a link where you can read the newest WILLARD . . .good that you resigned up, and good that you let me know!

  32. Gail Larson says:

    I have been a fan for several years now….guess I don’t remember how many but it doesn’t really matter, does it? I think I have dreamt of living my life the way you do, but bottom line is I lacked the courage to really let go and go for it. That being said, you have been inspiring me through the years, especially at times when I could not find inspiration.
    It seems I love what you love…I enjoy what you enjoy…I get lost in your books, love cooking from your cook books, maybe live somewhat through you on your trip to England. Maybe some day I will go there and visit the home of Louisa May Alcott. Read Little Women early in my life and especially loved the old movie made about the book. But if not, you have shared your experience in such a wonderful way I feel as though I was there. Thank you for sharing!
    I have a stressful job, I am still working while friends my age have retired…but I have a plan and a program and I know my time will come.
    My son and I discuss regularly having a dream and making it happen. It is a challenge for me to believe I can still make a dream happen.
    So today I am sitting in the beautiful craft room my husband built for me (how lucky I am), looking out into my yard and garden just breaking out in new growth and fresh green and red leaves (there is a Smoke Tree just outside), and looking for inspiration. I opened the latest Willard – Willard Loves Spring; printed it and read it front to back. There they were….tidbits of inspiration “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love; it will not lead you astray.” One of many that my eyes heard loud and clear. Yes…my eyes! :)
    So, sorry to be so lengthy in verbose, but thank you from the bottom of my heart! Today I will be inspired! Gail

    • sbranch says:

      If you want a dream to happen, just put it on the calendar in a way that allows you to plan, save, whatever it takes, and then on that day, you go. Although, a woman with a craft room is already making dreams come true. xoxo Much love to you Gail.

  33. Karen McNamara says:

    Susan…I was lucky enough to get to your book signing in lovely Madison yesterday. As I sat there an hour ahead of time waiting, I was impressed by the number of people both young and old that you have inspired. Those that sat around me shared a few stories and I know that we all had so much in common. When a gal asked me where I drove from, I told her I was two hours away. I didn’t mind one little bit.

    I was so struck by your kindness to each and every “girlfriend” there, and how no one felt rushed or the least bit pressured to hurry along. Thank you for the few tips on water color paints. I was a little bit in awe when you thanked “ME” for being an art teacher to my elementary students. You were happy to sign all three of my books and they will serve as an added touch on my coffee table that needs juuuust the right bit of something pretty. It was truly an honor to meet you and you sure are the real deal. I’m not gonna lie, I was a liiiittle (LOT!) star struck seeing you. You’re all that I thought you were and more! Thank you Susan. I hope to see you at the birthday party in July! Continued success and safe travels to you and Joe! XO

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Karen, that was so nice. It was my pleasure to meet and talk with you . . . 2 hours is a long drive! I’m still walking on air from all those beautiful faces . . . and so many mothers and daughters ~ made it extra special since Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Thank you for being there! I love it when we kindred spirits get together. xoxoxo

  34. ShirleyRose Brady says:

    Gee I called Barnes and Noble for your new book and they said they will be getting it soon. They told me two weeks ago it will be 2 or 3 weeks yet???? How come others have it already??? Shirley Rose Brady st. Clair Shores, Michigan a suburb of Detroit. Adore all your books and even just ordered some old things on line) Shirley Rose Brady

    • sbranch says:

      It’s available to them, they are just a very large slow moving entity. Here: call the lovely independent bookstore R.J. Julia in Madison Connecticut. I was just there and left signed copies of the books with them; they will ship it to you, and right now.(203)245-3959

  35. joan hixson says:

    was wondering if your Christmas Memory book will be back. it has been such a joy to my family at Christmas time

  36. Gail Dunning says:

    Dear Susan, I am very excited to see you in Morro Bay on May 29. I attended your book signing and tea in Arroyo Grande in 1990! It was Sept, 29, my birthday and you sat in a gazebo signing books for us! Somewhere I have a picture of you signing away. I have always been a fan of your illustrations and of course, your books. I often get “lost” in them, going on flights of fantasy. We are about the same age and I do so admire the path that you have chosen. You have made so, so many people happy and I thank you! Gail from Cayucos.

  37. Alice Nelson says:

    Love this web site and the cookbooks, charms. Makes me want to come to New England some day, even more.

  38. Karen Burton says:

    My Mom and I had a totally delightful afternoon at Westmoreland CC enjoying our visit with Susan, Joe and 150 kindred spirits! How lucky to meet Susan! If she only knew how much total enjoyment so many of us get from each of her books, we’re so fortunate! Love her!
    May their upcoming Voyage on The Queen Mary 2 produce yet another book! 🛳🎨📔❤️

    • sbranch says:

      It was as delightful for me as it was for you Karen, just a wonderful day! Thank you and your mom for being a part of it! xoxo

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