secrets

While I was writing the book, I had a dream that I was in Yale’s Beinecke library.

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A women took me into a secret room and told me “this is what you need for the book.” A couple of years later I was reading about some ancient manuscripts about Jesus found in Beinecke Library. It was “The Dialogue of the Saviour” from the Nag Hammadi Library. The “Dialogue of the Savior” had been hidden and unidentified in a miscellaneous pile of papyri . It was discovered and identified by Stephen Emmel, a graduate student who several years previous was working on the translations of the texts found by Quispel in Egypt.

http://religiousstudies.yale.edu/yale-papyrus-fragment-nag-hammadi-gnostic-codex-iii

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Originally, the draft for “Heart of Miracles” ended in Israel.

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It was more gory and had a lot of history about the battles and ancient brutality there. It was pretty bone-chilling actually. I had completed the draft before I had my final surgery. A few months later, I amended it to include the newer developments, and I knew then that I wanted the book to be kinder and softer, less painful.

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There was a very good chapter I pulled from the early draft.

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It was about a small winemaker (small winemakers in France are called garagistes, which translates roughly to “guy who makes wine in his garage) who risked it all and changed careers after 26 years to open a winery with his partner and her nephew, who was recovering from being a mercenary in Africa. The theme of the chapter was following your passion and making a life from what you love. I wrote the chapter, but then deleted it by accident. I figured it was meant to be. Maybe they didn’t want to be in the book! But it was a great lesson on following your passion. I hope that you’ll meet them in the next book, or at their winery.

Here’s a link to their website. Their wine is perfection.

http://www.domaine-du-tix.com/en/1.cfm?p=51-landlord-and-winemakers-aoc-ventoux-rhone-valley

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The literary agent who represented “Heart of Miracles” turned it down at first.

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When I pitched it, the book wasn’t very cohesive. And I didn’t have an ending or a logical progression. I came back to him a year later with a tighter pitch and we decided to work together.

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I wasn’t altogether that robust when I was traveling.

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Everywhere I went, I had to ask men to carry my luggage for me. But if I had waited until I was stronger, I’d just be at home watching films on my computer.

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Originally my friend Audra who I met in India was supposed to accompany me to Israel.

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She canceled a few weeks before and of course it was meant to be the trip that it was.

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My first choice for a title was “My Heart of Miracles.”

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I found it more tender than “Heart of Miracles.” The publisher was not in love with either title, and I had to really persist. Their suggested title became the subtitle.

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Originally the final chapter was an Afterward.

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But I discovered from sharing early drafts that 100% of early readers did not bother to read it, so I changed it to a chapter.

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I also deleted a section about a mental hospital in Israel…

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…that treats patients with a condition called “Jersualem Syndrome” about people who believe that they are Jesus Christ.

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I am really into the number 314, or PI.

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Perhaps because it goes on until infinity. When I was writing the book, I had a dream that I climbed a ladder and entered a temple. The temple was actually a hotel, and a receptionist offered me a cappuccino and asked me “Would you like your regular room, Ms Jones? Room 314?” A few hours later that morning I was behind a license plate in Northern Virginia that said “PI 314.” I became obsessed with the number 314 and wanted to know why it was brought to my attention. A couple of years later, I was reading “O Magazine” (published by Oprah Winfrey) and she said that her favorite Bible quote was Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus.” When I read that, I knew that I would meet Oprah and that our work was connected. Later, when I was about to book my hotel in Jerusalem, when an ad popped up for a hotel that was $314 a night. I booked the 314 hotel and it was really nice – and they had great cappuccino. The hotel I was headed toward was in a very dangerous neighborhood. I’m into guidance and following the signs like that.

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What happened after the book ended?

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Four weeks before the publication of Heart of Miracles, something very devastating occurred. There was a shooting at Shapiro Cardiovascular, and one of their revered doctors, Dr. Michael Davidson, perished. There are very few experts in his field at his level of skill. He left behind 3 children already born, and his wife was 7 months pregnant at the time.The synchronicity of writing a book on life after death and karma in which Shapiro Cardiovascular was a prominent venue was not lost on me. This incident tested my faith in God, Divine Right Order, and whether certain things are truly meant to be. I was very sad and in shock, but it was another reminder to me why this world has to change, and that it’s a worthwhile attempt.

As for other updates, my friend Regina (who traveled with me to Italy) met a Lithuanian acrobat named Tomas. They fell in love and now live in Vilnius. Audra and I are still best of friends, and her son Denis has made a huge success of himself in the family business.

It’s currently 4 weeks to publication and my dad still doesn’t know that he’s really prominent in the book. I offered to send him a draft, but he said he’d rather wait. In the meantime, he’s still charging crop shots on the tennis court.

I’ve been continuing with my spiritual studies and have become very interested in questions about destiny versus being the master of your own fate. And what about this issue of “coincidence?” How the heck does that work? This realm is an eternal puzzle, but every breadcrumb left on the trail is pulling us forward to a deeper understanding of what we are and how we fit in to the Universe. I look forward to exploring it together in our next book.

Thank you for being my reader. I urge you to have the courage to be a warrior of Light, to understand yourself, balance yourself, and project creativity, love and peace in not only all that you do, but also who you are. I’ll leave you with the inspirational words of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

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The entirety of Heart of Miracles was written on a small MacBook Air…

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…on floors, in hotel rooms, on desks and in airplanes.

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There were a great few paragraphs about a 60 year old Hasidic Jewish woman from Chicago who had divorced recently, a rarity for the community.

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I met her in the lobby of my hotel in Jerusalem when she asked me for assistance with her local Nokia cell phone. She was looking for the telephone number of a male suitor who had called her earlier in the day. A matchmaking rabbi had set them up, and she wanted to call him because he was late for their meeting in the lobby. As soon as I located his number under Recent Calls, the phone rang in my hand. It was him. I handed her the phone, and she promptly hit “Decline.” “Never answer the phone on the first call,” she told me with gravity. She then went on to share that she had used a large portion of her savings to take this trip to the Holy Land and work with the matchmaking rabbi in the hope to marry again. “I’m 60 years old,” she told me. “This is my last chance ….. but it’s still a chance.” What a gift to understand that the power of belief is so key to the fulfillment of our dreams.

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The working title of the sequel to Heart of Miracles is…

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…Heart of Compassion.

It’s probable to include a return to India to study with the Dalai Lama, and I am contemplating further venues in the Middle East and Lourdes, France.

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In Heart of Miracles, Karen searches out the wisdom and lives the wisdom to put her mind, body, and spirit back together. She is a new, powerful voice for a community of change in the areas of health care, well-being, and spirituality.
- Donna Karan, Designer and Founder of the Urban Zen Foundation