In early 2010, I was in a very different place in my life. I was a relatively rookie mom – to a two and a half year old and a five month old. I was about to publish my first novel. I was still very much reeling from losing Dad to cancer. Long story short: I was a bit of a mess, a bit lost. But I was also eager and optimistic and I had an idea. The idea was to host book salons in my home. I would call them Happier Hours because I felt – and still feel – that being here (present in our lives) and indulging in connection and conversation over books and ideas can make us happier.
In March of that year, I hosted my first Happier Hour at my old apartment. Gretchen Rubin came and talked about her blockbuster book The Happiness Project, a fitting inaugural pick. I didn’t know how it would go, but was happily startled by the response. Apparently, there was – and is – a huge appetite among smart, book-loving women for such intellectually-meaty in-person gatherings. I continued to host more authors and more books.
After taking a couple years off to welcome my third daughter and acclimate to a frazzling domestic three-kid circus (I’m still acclimating), I resumed hosting in fall 2013, about once a month. In spring 2014, friend and author Claire Bidwell Smith brought my salons to the west coast and began hosting with Jillian Lauren at her home in Los Angeles. I’ve been out to attend two LA Happier Hours and it’s been so cool to see how these events have transferred – and beautifully too – to a new locale and new group.
Here we are. Fall 2015. Happier Hours have grown beyond my wildest imagination and I feel strongly that they deserve a proper home of their own. So… a site! I love how it looks and operates and am so thankful to Jena Starkes of Loquat Creative for the fresh and functional design. I hope you guys hop over there and take a peek and look around. Happier Hours continue to be private and invitation-only, but Claire, Jillian and I are always open to hearing from folks who are enthusiastic about participating – as an author, a guest, or event sponsor. Click below to see details on the site.