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Columbia River Gorge

Exult Road is here to uplift and celebrate life, and you. 

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The Yes Book Testimonials

This afternoon I found myself teetering on the brink of hysteria, wracked with despair and self doubt. Sobbing uncontrollably I crept into bed, determined to hide from the world. Luckily The Yes Book, A Collection of Writings about Yes was sitting on my nightstand so I picked it up (I couldn’t breathe very well since my nose was stuffed up at this point so sleep wasn’t going to deliver me from my meltdown) and as I started to read, hope broke through and I remembered that I am not defined by other’s opinions, my job or my inability to keep house. I am strong, creative, funny, loving, capable and so much more. Thank you so much for putting together this compilation of positivity. It is such a gift! I shall enjoy reading and re-reading it and gifting others with this treasure
— Cheryl Forster
Dear Jill,

My good friend gave me a copy of the Yes Book a couple of weeks ago. It sat by my bed for days, waiting for my yes.

Today, after a storm of No’s inside my life, I opened it. I am on page 10 having read the first three pieces and am saying yes to my tears. In a mindless life punctuated by cynicism and full-stop No’s this book is a beacon. A tonic. A white feather drifting into my vision at a funeral.

I wanted to write to say Thank you for helping me coax my Yes’s back.
— Kate Montgomery
The messages, the inspiration, the beauty, the acceptance, the love for nature and simplicity. If we could truly live like the [Yes] book, we’d be in heaven.
— MeRemi Hoang
It is, by far, the greatest set of words I’ve ever had the honor of reading […] I can’t stop crying! What a joy-filled celebration!! A treasure…

I must share the story of a young man at work, who hadn’t spoken to his mother in nearly 10 years. His elder brother had passed away unexpectedly, and - as these things tend to do, his passing invoked considerable emotion. For some, it was the struggle of loss; while for others, the agony of blame. His brother, you see, had driven out into a storm - on a mission to rescue his little brother from a bad date.

But, the roads were too icy - as, the elder brother never arrived.

In her grief, the mother blamed her only remaining son. And, with each passing day - their distance grew.

The young man approached me a few weeks ago, just before Christmas as a matter of fact - asking if he might have a copy of The Yes Book to read at home. (I always keep a copy on my desk). At first, I thought, to find comfort, himself. But, in the days to follow, he approached again - this time, he asked for a copy for his mom.

Naturally, I obliged (even thought it was my last copy - note: I’ll be reordering soon).

On Christmas Eve, he received a call. Silence, at first...soon giving way to those words held in all these years.

”I’m so sorry,” she said.

Though, I’m not sure which passage spoke to her the most...I can say, something within those pages helped her to finally find her peace.

What a lovely way to honor this beautiful [Yes Book] energy...
— Tara Lemieux, writer
You would be a fool to say No to this book. Where else can you find such a rich trove for your life’s illumination by the affirmative? We are buffeted by No. It’s everywhere. News, fears, frenzy—they all darken this day’s door. No is the watchword for much in modern life that is deferred, debased, destroyed. But we are free, remember? Every breath taken with a stubborn grin, every memory turned skillfully to the light, every nagging regret can be turned inside out and shine by the implement of a mature, realistic, hard-won but undeniable Yes. Companioned by this book, we have the power to turn and say it. Here are poems, stories, blessings, transformations, confessions, brain research, and deft manifestos that witness for the power of Yes to build attitude into our new way of being.
— Kim Stafford, author of The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft
This book is truly lovely, profound, diverse, whimsical and moving all at once. (Full disclosure, a few of my own poems are in it along with 71 other folks). I’m not a typical New Age writer at all so tend to avoid compilations that feel like Susie-Sunshine Hallmark cards. But this book has a true depth and resonance...and I love that it even ends with an ode to the word No. That shows the expansive vision of the creator. Really recommend.
— Tosha Silver, author of Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead
Look, there are old bloody murderous greedy stupid criminal stories, like those so beloved of Bin Laden and Stalin and Hitler and Mao and Pol Pot, and then there are far bigger better wilder more piercing stories, stories that might finally put those other older stories out of business someday. These bigger stories are of hope and grace and defiant courage against darkness and fear and murder and terror and smoke and fire and ash. They are the stories of what people are capable of far beyond the old stories of blood. Here’s one of these bigger better stories.
— Brian Doyle, award-winning author of Dawn and Mary, featured in The Yes Book
The book is BEAUTIFUL!
— Linda Carbone, editor
“Yes,” nodding in delight, “yes, yes,” said twice in excitement, a sonorous “yes,” a hesitant “yes,” a whispered, hurried, or resounding “yes.” The lecherous, reverent, hilarious “yes,” the piteous “yes,” the “yes” that accepts pain and suffering, the “yes” of forgiveness and regret. That is the word I have remembered from that night, the word that this book meditates on in stories and poems, a powerful compendium of yeses, a litany of yeses, a choir that praises the one word we long to hear and love the best. Yes.
— Poet and author Dorianne Laux, from the Foreward of The Yes Book
I love the premise of this book - the idea of exploring all the creative and thought-provoking ideas about such a simple concept as what is meant by “yes!” It was delightful to experience the varied, rich, creative expressions in this collection and I recommend exploring it to anyone who wants to better understand what embracing “yes” truly means.
— Mira Kelly, author of "Beyond Past Lives"
The Yes Book is a wonderful collection of prose and poetry inspiring the reader to say Yes to Life trusting that when the Time is Ripe, “Yes” will bear the sweetest fruits of all.
— Deborah Maragopoulos, FNP, author of "LoveDance: Awakening the Divine Daughter"
— Joanne Bodin
I am glad I bought this book as a Kindle edition, because I carry my kindle everywhere with me and read when I have to wait. I was at the Dr’s office so deeply into this book I jumped when my name was called. You can lose yourself in the many ways Yes spoke to the writers. From the scholarly information about the way Yes changes the chemicals in your brain to musings and real life, the book covers a vast array of human experience. Everybody will tell you to be positive - this book explains how and why and when - many different voices, many different stories.
— Shirley Vanscoyk
Those times when I sat down and really read and recorded [The Yes Book] again I got goosebumps all over and started crying. It really is a fantastic book!
— Anneli Eliasson, audiobook voice actress
Love this book...ordered them for Xmas gifts for very special people!
— Vicki Emmons
This [Yes Book] collection of writings offers so many rich, powerful, life-affirming snapshots of life. I don’t tend to seek out motivational texts, so I wondered how much The Yes Book would suit me. What I found when I read it was an arrangement of stories written, in places, so beautifully that I felt moved to close my eyes and let the words wash over me. It’s a masterpiece that will make you feel glad to be alive.
— Lisa Hoffman, Ph.D., college professor
Congratulations on your successful publication of The Yes Book. I received my copies yesterday and sat down with a cup of tea and read around each of the sections with pleasure. I like the way you divided up the contributions and felt that the selections were really well paced and diverse...
— Lois Colton, writing instructor, teacher
Raving about purchasing and beginning reading The Yes Book, compiled and edited by Jill Cooper! I am on the train home and just beaming from ear to ear! YES! Just love it so far and looking forward to reading more. […] I’m blown away!
— Kathy McGrath, Chicago
What a wonderful project! I have never had my mind, heart and soul juggled at the hands of words like I have with “The Yes Book.
— Rome Esmaili, artist, world traveler
What an awesome collection of stories to inspire your soul! I laughed, I cried, and smiled as I read. Each story reminded me of the richness of the human experience. If we open up and say, YES!” to it all, we can truly let go of fear and step into the exciting life we are all ready to live! What an amazing compilation of talent!
— Jan Herleikson
— Fred LaMotte, poet, interfaith chaplain, professor
I have been picking up and randomly reading pieces and I honestly love this book and the authors that have participated. There are many surprising pieces and I’ve been deeply moved. I am humbled that one of my poems was included in this collection.

I highly recommend ordering a copy, it has some amazing works and it’s good to be reminded that “Yes” can not only be a beautiful thing, but also difficult and sometimes harrowing experience. Experience is a Yes.
— Kip Silverman
I’m ordering more books as gifts. I’ve read half of mine so far, and I am washed over with gratitude for all the sentiments and the arrangement of their presentation.
— Heather Sisson
Congratulations on The Yes Book! I love the idea of an interdisciplinary book with people of such varied backgrounds. That’s so smart and so interesting!
— Washington State Poet Laureate, Kathleen Flenniken
Thank you for your beautiful vision and for sharing it with the world.
— Pam Ward
I want to say yes to the whole human experience - including the blood and bones, rage, rebellion, despair - I love and include it all in my human-ness.
— Donna Wetterstrand, life coach, artist, consultant
I love this book...
— Poet Laureate Ellen Bass, Santa Cruz County, CA
Wonderful! It’ll be just what I need when I’m despondent about the state of the world.
— Pat Zylius, poet
I am proud of my contribution [to The Yes Book] as it represents one of my best moments as a writer.
— Silvio Sirias, author of The Saint of Santa Fe
This project is amazing, and the world needs MORE of it.
— Tara Lemieux, writer,
I am thrilled to be part of The Yes Book!
— Sally King, author "Heirs and Graces"
Yes! I just found a few more gems as I am reading more of the [YES] book - Miss Leela Rain who loves her Peaches and Miss Nyah Sky who loves to dance all over the house! Love your poems so much! You help me to say Yes to all my Favorite Things! This leads me into finding Melinda Gates’s piece in “Yes, You May Wear Pajamas To The Movies!” What a freeing way to raise a child! Thank you for sharing with the world such an important parenting tip - saying Yes! One more find is that the beautiful artist Marleen Renders illustrated the Hummingbird on the cover! Such a gorgeous gem - so love the way it draws the reader in with the openness to all possibilities - YES! Love this book the more and more I read!
— Kathy McGrath, poet
— Lisa
What a rich read!
— Kim Stafford, poet, author
Yes as a one word mantra opens doors.
— Chris Cleary, business owner, RN
I’m giddy at the name!!! Live Yes. Be Yes. See Yes.
— Tresha Thorsen, life coach
Yes, loudly!
— Darlene Zidar
Thank you so much for inspiring me to come out of my shell and scream YES!!
— Lorrie Baxter, artist
Your website, and Yes Book are beautiful. Congratulations on accomplishing important work in such an appealing package.
— Maureen Buchanan Jones, Ph.D., poet, novelist, author of Maud & Addie
This project does not just scream a “YES!” to me. It vibrates a “YES!” through the entire universe and back to me like a boomerang.
— Diane Floerchinger coauthor of {An} Unsinkable Soul
Thank you for your good work with this book, it is...a treasure.
— Chani Harkin
I really had fun writing and feel uplifted […] Above all, it got me thinking YES YES YES.
— Brandi Whitehead, exec hip hop music producer
The power of saying yes is such an urgent and timely message for both men and women all over the world, and I know this book will at once soothe and empower many hungry souls.
— Linda Thompson Whidby, writer,
When I heard about the theme of this book, every atom in my body turned into glitter. I resonate all over with it. Many of my poems come from this place of “YES!” so I am very happy that this project is creating a space where life-affirming voices can all sing together.
— Chelan Harkin, poet
What a genius idea for an anthology.
— Alice Peck, editor, author of Bread, Body, Spirit: Finding the Sacred in Food
What a beautiful project! May this be a wonderful success on so many levels!
— Joy Resor, author of Seven Ways to Jumpstart Your Joy
[On writing for The Yes Book] It was a bit scary. I found myself being way more open and honest than I have been in a long time. That being said, traveling that dark road into my fear zone was also cathartic. It doesn’t matter if anyone else understands how profoundly personal my submission was. I do. And that, as Mr. Frost so eloquently put it, has made all the difference.
— Kathy Trapp, writer
I’m deeply impressed by the intelligence of the entire endeavor!
— Toby Tobiason, editor, writer
Yes! Let’s dance in the rain!!
— Laura Whidbey, author of Divine Prescription
This is such a wonderful idea […] Yes and Thank You!
— Crystal Nuding, counselor,
Thank you for the opportunity and privilege of being a part of your mission!
— Rose Cialo, author and founder of
This is a powerful book! It is an uplifting and informative journey through the lives of those who have learned the power of Yes.
— J.M.H.
A collection of thoughtful stories and inspiring poems. It’s a wonderful way to end the day— with a cup of tea and the varied authors’ words rolling in my mind. Jill Cooper did an amazing job of putting this anthology together.
— Heather Friedman
I love it! You did an awesome job putting this together...the stories are very much a symphony. The story that stuck with me the most was Shirley “Rodeo” Landis VanScoyk. I was with her in her kitchen, I saw its dysfunction and the marvelous creations she was still able to create in it. Dark Harvest by Joseph Millar took me onto a trip, I am not really sure to where, but it is wonderful. Yes is about giving, receiving, loss, gain, hope and despair. The Yes Book “fed me.” In a way I needed to be fed.
— Kevin Pochocki
Jill, I’ve given copies of Yes to close family and friends and am ready for more . . . What a fine contribution you’ve made, seeing this project through to its fruition for us to cherish. Thank you.
— Kay Schmerber


AVAILABLE TO ORDER PRINT VERSION NOW! Ebook version available now on Amazon. 

Image by Saige Esmaili, 2014 ©

Image by Saige Esmaili, 2014 ©