Yesterday was my birthday — and it was really special, because I was able to help my dear blogging friend Margaret Roach mark the on-sale date of her new book, And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road. To launch the book, Margaret gave a lecture to benefit the Berkshire Botanical Garden. I attended, and was totally mesmerized by her garden lecture, an extension of her blog, A Way to Garden.
Margaret’s new book is equally mesmerizing. It is her “corporate dropout memoir” — and I can surely identify, because I am a corporate drop-out, too. Margaret writes beautifully — all that you would expect from a former reporter and/or editor for the New York Times, Newsday, Martha Stewart Living and ultimately, Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Margaret is one strong woman — a role model in so many, many ways. But in her book, which chronicles her first year after leaving corporate life, she peels away any veneer, and exposes just how frightening it can be to walk away. Also, aside from Jack the Demon Cat, there is no partner to pull up any slack. Margaret is a tough cookie — but sometimes the cookie wants to crumble. Her honesty itself is brave, but it also is sometimes painful. But, it’s real. I appeciate that.
Margaret lives in the country, on the edge of the wilderness, actually. The parts of the book I actually loved the best were her descriptions of all the creatures that inhabit and share the landscape around her. There are frogboys and snakes, lots and lots of birds and Jack, of course, enemy to them all. She has escaped to a magical, green utopia. Will she find peace there? You can guess.
In December, when I did the Love The House You’re In contest, the winner never responded to emails from me and Mel. So that month, instead, I asked Mel to make a collage for Margaret, featuring her little piece of paradise. You see, Margaret and I started blogging within three months of each other. We were introduced by a mutual friend, who thought we would have a lot in common, and we did. In the three+ years since, we have shared many of the ups and downs of blogging together. But gosh, Margaret is always a couple steps ahead of me, so I always feel like more of a taker than a giver. So, how about I give her a collage by Mel?!
So Mel made the collage. And the story gets even better, because Mel spends time on it and writes back:
Well, here it is….Margaret’s collage. This was a doozy!!! I don’t think I’ve ever crammed so much detail in a piece before. Oh, how I PRAY that you (and Margaret!) like it. Brian called it my “masterpiece” last night. He’s nice to have around. I really studied Margaret’s book site and I feel, in some small way, that the three of us are sort of taking the same path – quitting corporate land and putting all of our energy into our passions. I even got a little farklempt when I watched the video.
Gosh. Another intersecting journey. In fact — Everyone Here Reading This has, by definition, an intersecting journey. I’m farklempt, too.
Mel, I agree, this is your masterpiece. You are the best.
Win a copy of And I Shall Have Some Peace There
I know we just had a contest. But this calls for some more sharing. I bought three copies of Margaret’s book on Amazon. I took them with me to the lecture, to have Margaret sign. #1 for me. #2 for Mel. And #3 — for a lucky reader. To enter to win, just leave a comment — Where is it that you find peace? Or, do you ever want to just walk away? Or, if that’s all too mushy and personal for you, just say something nice. It’s all good.
- Read more about Margaret’s book on her book’s website here.
- Mel’s website is Ephemeraology.
- Buy Margaret’s book: And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road