To Write a Magical Book

“Once upon a time there was a magical book. This book was magical because…”

Finishing sentences like that was how I spent most of this past weekend. I have probably mentioned that I’m working on a book – it’s about sanctuary (are you shocked?), what it means, and how to create it wherever we need it. Writing this book has given me so much joy.

What you may not know is that writing this book has also given me fits. And here’s why:

While sanctuary is really easy to experience, and fairly easy to show someone, it can be difficult to write about with precision and clarity. I think that’s because in creating a sanctuary for ourselves, we’re doing something that is both physical and spiritual.

And that is where my dear friend and editor Nancy Greystone comes in. Quite literally, this past weekend, in fact. She flew from her home in California, came into my own sanctuary, and we sat and talked and drank coffee, and — most importantly — wrote. We wrote and talked and discussed for hours each day while my husband practiced his beverage ministry (those coffees I mentioned, and then some tea, and then poured us champagne at the end of our long working days).

In addition to working on the book, Nancy helped me prepare for a speech I’ll be giving in Charleston in a few weeks (I’m so excited!), and helped me brainstorm some of the things to discuss here in this blog. But the primary reason she flew all this way was to help me take the next steps with the work on my book. I tend to get stuck when left on my own too long. Must be that (meanie-pants) editor that lives inside my head. Now I truly understand Hemingway’s quote, “Write drunk, edit sober.” This was where the champagne came in handy.

While she was here, I discovered that this book, although still in progress, is actually, already magical. Somehow in the process of digging deeply into my own story, researching sanctuaries that others have created and how they work, writing (and rewriting) the chapters, and laying out the pages, I realized that I am a captive, completely enthralled by what sanctuary means, and the value it has in my life.

I realized also that I am not writing one book, but actually two — and quite possibly three. (I just gasped as I wrote that. Am I channeling greatness or just delusional?)

And I realized one final thing. Nancy has helped me walk through all of this with a measure of eloquence and more than a modicum of grace. None of this would be possible if it were not for her.

And from that I discovered that there is a certain type of sanctuary I haven’t written about yet. Always, ALWAYS there is sanctuary in the heart of a dear friend.

So Nancy, do you think the world is ready for this work of sanctuary brilliance?! Yeah, me too.

With love,



1 Comment

  1. What? Did all of that happen? Was it a whole weekend? Because it seemed like about a minute and a half.

    Thank you for writing this beautiful blog about our process; I’m so grateful that I’m the one who’s “whispering” this book (books?) out of you.

    As if it’s not great enough to wake up and do what I love for my job, I get to do it with people I love, too. xoxoxo