Birthing is hard work. Whether we humans are giving birth to a child, a horse to a colt, or a writer to a book, the process takes time, nurturing, and struggle.
My next book, tentatively titled, Tranquility, Transformation, Transcendence. The Enchanting Gifts of Public Gardens, is prime example. I’ve been working on this book for years. It is not only an unusual book for me, it is a bit different overall. The book contains photos of nature taken at three public gardens paired with poems prompted by the photo.
My previous books were quite serious. They covered the topics of women’s experiences with mentoring, praying with the Virgin Mary, Saint Theodore/Mother Theodore Guerin, spirituality and aging, and caregiving to loved ones with dementia. The Enchanting Gifts of Public Gardens is light, inspiring, and fun. It was a joy to put together and hopefully, a joy to read and ponder, something I needed, and I believe the world needs, now.
Books require time to stew, develop. I begin with a concept, a rough idea of what I’d like to cover. The book then takes on a life of its own once I begin to gather research and thoughts. The end result is often very different than I originally anticipated.
This evolution happens for many reasons. Occasionally, the story I want to tell isn’t more than what should be covered in an article or blog post, so I write it that way, instead. Every now and then, I lose interest in the topic, which no longer allows me to write an interesting book, and so I abandon that idea completely. Sometimes, the information I’m attracted to is heavy in a particular direction, and therefore, I venture off down that path.
I believe one book I wrote was spirit driven. While writing The Rosary Prayer by Prayer, I felt as if I was being directed by a higher power. The writing came together quickly and smoothly.
Most often, the book I write is basically the same as my original intention–with some refinement. Either I or my publisher narrows the topic. For example, in The Enchanting Gifts of Public Gardens, I had written poems about nature that were from numerous locations. My publisher advised I narrow this book to three public gardens. The rest may be used in future books. Now that this one is ready to go to publication, I totally agree with the narrower focus.
The process of putting a book together is like building a puzzle. Words build sentences that build paragraphs, that build pages and chapters, and so on. Even the title continuously evolves. I began The Enchanting Gifts of Public Gardens with the working title Poetic Nature. There were several reasons why my publisher wasn’t keen on that. And who knows what it will be in the end. It may continue to be tweaked.
Hopefully, the timing for this book is perfect. My last book, Inspired Caregiving, was released at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Many of my other books, particularly the ones on prayer, did well during that time, but Inspired Caregiving never got much attention, which is unfortunate. I believe it has much to offer caregivers on every level from parents and teachers to caregivers of those seriously ill.
The Enchanting Gifts of Public Gardens is scheduled to be released this spring. It is ready and waiting its turn to go through the publishing process, so I hope to be telling you more about it soon.