Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Gardener's Soul

What is the "Gardener's Soul?"

The Gardener's Soul is the creative energy and natural sense of peace the human spirit feels in a garden setting. The act of participating in garden activities helps an individual develop the ability to better identify with nature and to seek ways to protect it. No matter one's personal background, becoming a gardener helps the individual achieve a oneness with the entire living world. By reaching out to nature, we reach back to the essence of what it means to be human and recognize how we are just a small part of the natural world.

I have mentioned in this blog a number of times that I am working on a book, but I have not discussed it in detail. "The Gardener's Soul: Nature's Path Toward Inner Peace" is now a complete manuscript and I am seeking a publisher for it. The work focuses on fourteen female gardeners from the New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts area. It discusses their gardening styles, why they garden, how gardening inspires them, and how the garden fits in their lifestyles. Last summer, I found these women by advertising the project in my local garden center. I then photographed and interviewed them in their gardens. The women include doctors, artists, housewives, a writer, salespeople, retirees, an art dealer, a psychologist and teachers who all feel that gardening plays an essential role in their health and happiness.

The book includes stories of the women's gardening experiences. For example, there are funny side-bits such as the woman who thought she heard monkeys in her backyard in the middle of the night when she was awakened by a raucous "hoo, hoo, ha, ha." She found raccoons whooping it up, getting drunk from fermenting pears on her fruit tree. There are also poignant life altering insights such as the woman who bought a small cottage after her divorce and after overcoming cancer. She says that these negative events encouraged her to volunteer at the local hospital with her "therapy" dogs to brighten the patients day and to take up gardening so that she could be closer to the most meaningful things in life.

So, there you have it. This has been my project, my baby for the past year. I'll keep you posted on how the publisher search goes. I have sent out numerous query letters and book proposals and I am plugging away on a little more every day. I've had a number of rejections thus far, but a few of them have been"positive" rejections. They've told me that the book has merit, but is not right for their publishing company. So, I'll keep plugging away. I keep telling myself that I have heard J.K. Rowling had twenty rejections before someone took on her masterpiece. I have to be at least that patient!

Advice, insights into publishing, and especially any publisher interest is appreciated! ; )

1 comment:

Brenda Hyde said...

What a fantastic idea for a book. I cannot imagine you won't find a publisher. I so agree with your thoughts on the soul of a gardener. Thank you for sharing your project.