Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gender and My Book Sacred Land: The Evolution of a Spiritual Gardening Book.

One review of my gardening book Sacred Land says some lovely things about the book, and then points out:
One flaw is that it is geared solely for women. Men can read it, but the language and imagery used is exclusive to women, no gods of harvest are mentioned, nor sun gods nurturing the land. Even so, men should read it for the tips – even if the meditations won’t always suit.
I wanted to respond to that here, as it is a complaint that comes up every once in a while. I even got an angry email from a reader about the issue! So maybe this blog will help explain.

When I originally wrote the book, it was intended as part of a series of books called the Goddess Guides. The first was called Goddess' Guide for the Magical Bride and became my book Magical Bride. The second was about healing, and I haven't written it yet. The third became Sacred Land. If you have read both Sacred Land and Magical Bride, you will know that I profile goddesses related to pertinent topics in each book. The series was meant to be geared towards women, on normal topics we deal with every day like marriage, gardening, raising children, and health. I wanted to include goddesses and women who inspire me on each given topic.

So at first, Sacred Land was titled Goddess' Guide for the Sacred Garden. Then it changed to Sisterhood of the Sacred Garden. My publisher felt this title was too... sisterhoody. It didn't work for them. So they took the title and subtitle out of the text, and the woman-goddess focus got lost in the new title. At that point I should have edited the heck out of the book to include gods and men, but I didn't. Not because I don't love gardening gods and men, but just because I didn't. First book and all that jazz.

So dear men and others wondering about the gender imbalance in the book, fear not. I mean no disrespect. I mean it as empowering to women - and to gardeners of both genders everywhere. And now you know something about the evolution of a first book!

No comments: