Win a copy of “And I Shall Have Some Peace There” — Margaret’s drop-out memoir

and i shall have some peace there collage

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.

Usual contest rules apply (sans need to send photos); read them here.


  1. Marilyn Kenison says:

    As a maker of collages I fully appreciate, am in awe of, and envy the talent of Mel’s beautiful rendering of Margaret;s house and garden. I have recently become a subscriber of her blog and newsletter and would love a signed copy of her book.

  2. L says:

    At the risk of sappiness–in my husband’s arms. It’s a big reason the two of us anxiety-prone people screwed up the courage to leap into a marriage!

  3. Annie B. says:

    Mel, this collage truly is your masterpiece. What a wonderful way, Pam, to celebrate Margaret’s inspirational new book. Congratulations to you, Margaret.

    Happy belated birthday, Goddess of Retro Knowledge. Hope this is your best year yet.

    For me, peace is found through the courage of my convictions; Save the Pink Bathrooms is a mild example. To explain:

    It took a lot more time than I’d originally imagined to shake off the demons of the Raleigh rat race mindset and to adjust to life in a small, rural, coastal town. Although this relocation had been my heart’s desire for so long, my initial difficulty in making the transition made me wonder if we’d done the right thing.

    And then, one day, it hit me: Bloom where You’re Planted. The cliche’ is true and I am grateful for the satori from the blue which opened my eyes.

    I’ve forgotten who said that “the only true success is to be able to live your life in your own way”. This, to me, is peace; therefore, I am blessed to find peace everywhere.

  4. Amy Lee says:

    I find I am blessed with moments of peace when I’m really present in something… usually something artistic, like creating a collage or designing some art work on the computer or rolling ink onto a plexiglass plate… in those moments a shift happens naturally were I can mentally see myself in the moment and enjoy what it is I am experiencing… in that exact moment. It’s kind of like watching a video of yourself and enjoying the movie. I always feel a rush of peace and faith in myself and my connection in those moments.

    Another real place of peace for me is the rooftop of my eight story apartment building. It’s specific location on a hill with 360 mountain views… I go up most mornings before sunrise and each morning the air and the clouds and the sunrise is different. That experience brings me such peace.

    As does getting off the phone with a loved one. I feel so satisfied and peaceful after every positive conversation.

  5. Sharon McNeil says:

    Luckily, I was moved to a beautiful home in the country when I was 5 yrs old and except for college and a two year stint working in a big city, I have lived only here.
    I am thankful every day, nagged however, by the thought that I should move out into the world to offer my skills to whoever might need them, some measure of payback for my peace here.

  6. Carla James says:

    Wow – double wow! I am so blown away by Margaret’s story, Mel’s collage and Pam’s telling of it. Simply profound.

    I’m so blessed to be living my dream, currently in MT but soon to be OR, with the wild creatures, my garden and my goats. Oh yeah, the hubs, too And yet, most people think we are……….deprived? If they only knew it is the other way around.

    The tile of the book is so perfect – “and I shall have some peace there” – oh, I do..:-)

  7. MaryLou says:

    Hello Pam,
    I first learned of Margaret Roach on Martha Stewart and via her magazine. I have not had the pleasure of purchasing her new book “And I Shall Have Some Peace There” but it is calling out to me. I have, however, found her wonderful gardening book “A Way To Garden” and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.
    Peace wears many faces. You can find peace in knowing that you have treated people with respect, dignity and learned the art of forgiveness. And, there is the peace that comes with being true to yourself, not putting on pretenses and living up to others expectations. I also find peace through beautiful music, it lifts my spirit and makes it fly. It transcends me to a place of peaceful existence. Margaret seems to have found total, 100% peace. What a wonderful mentor for those who are searching! Thank you Margaret for sharing your gardens, your recipes, your life. You are a bright star in an ever changing world.
    I live on the Erie Canal with my two cats and am blessed to have woodland creatures and some gardens. However, I work in the ICU in a large Metropolitan hospital and find my time to commune with nature is very limited. I contemplate an early retirement to pursue my peaceful existence and to also volunteer to help others who are not as fortunate as myself. I am searching for the courage.

  8. Anne says:

    What I have learned is that the challenge is not in finding a place of peace, but in finding peace at the place you are in.

    Not able to chuck my job or pull up roots, I continue to create a peaceful house and ample garden in this very urban setting, and to experience the peace of family and friends in other places.

  9. renee says:

    When I lived in Los Angels, I found peace at the Huntington Gardens.
    I now live in a rural midwest county and find peace in the streams and hardwood forest of my own backyard

  10. Mel’s collage is such a sweet gift for Margaret, Pam! I’m sure she’ll treasure it! I couldn’t wait for you to have a contest to read Margaret’s book, so I pre-ordered it and I’m finding it just as insightful and satisfying a read as I expected.

    I always find peace working in my garden, whether I’m zen-weeding or breaking up hard soil to make a new bed. Because we both are gardeners I read Margaret’s blog just as often (usually daily) as I do yours: in different but wonderful ways, you and Margaret both feed my needs for fun and beauty in my life.

  11. I find peace in nature! I grew up on the side of Tiger Mountain in Issaquah, Washington. I had a creek running through my property. Now I live in a nice mobile home, that the previous owners rocked in all the ground. I find peace planting flowers in pots, even weeding, and especially taking trips to walk in nature…it brings me back to myself every time 🙂

  12. hello pam,

    i find peace in my life in general. i love to take photographs and love the fact that each photo tells a story. i also am trying to move into town(currently living surrounded by corn fields.( not much happening.) but also being 22 im still living with my mom and no place is hiring. ( hoping to change that really soon) i also find peace in writing i may not get a lot of writing done at a time but it’s nice to clear my head and write stories. when i do move into town i will love to take walks, ill be able to be inspired more and more at ease all together.

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