Tell us about your newest book.
I am excited about the release of my fourth book, Whatever is Lovely: Design for an Elegant Spirit. The book emerges from my observation that a woman often spends more time selecting a perfect pair of shoes than considering the inner qualities she wishes to shape. As a result, the person a woman has become may not resemble the person she had hoped she would be. Whatever is Lovely provides a total make-over—within any woman's reach. Principles of design for improving homes, gardens, and wardrobes are translated into spiritual virtues to enhance living and relationships.
Whatever is Lovely contains personal reflections, Bible passages, quotations, and photographs to inspire the reader to cultivate beauty, grace, and harmony as she fashions the individual she dreams of becoming. Whatever is Lovely offers transformation within and without.
The women we admire seem to approach style, family, career, home, relationships, and spirit as one seamless whole. Their inner and outer beauty is one. We aspire to order our own multifaceted lives with such grace. Often, however, our self-improvement efforts in one area do not relate to the rest of our busy lives. Whatever is Lovely identifies timeless principles of spiritual design and offers life-changing suggestions for cultivating a singular elegance.
This is a book of style for the spirit, to infuse everyday living with passion, imagination, and joy; with simplicity, balance, and peace. Whatever is Lovely invites women to pause to inventory their hearts and to make discerning choices in designing the admirable women they desire to become.
Whatever is Lovely is available in hardcover and in e-book formats at retailers and at
· ISBN-10: 0983557160
· ISBN-13: 978-0983557166
Whatever is Lovely is subtitled Design for an Elegant Spirit. How do you define elegance?
In my view, elegance comprises grace, ease, beauty, and regard for others. To me it means living ones’ life as a spiritually-grounded cohesive whole. Elegance might be defined as grace of the spirit.
How does designing home, garden, and wardrobe relate to designing a woman’s character?
The principles of artistic design which apply to creating an interesting décor or a wardrobe that suits one’s personality also apply to designing the spiritual qualities or virtues by which we live. A few of the design principles found in Whatever is Lovely include balance, comfort, harmony, and simplicity. Balance in a room, for example, is the sense of proportion that gives a room the appearance of a cohesive whole. Spiritual balance means establishing a sense of proportion in our lives, focused on essential matters of the heart. Women tend to be designing creatures; we create business plans and dinner parties. Whatever is Lovely gives attention to designing our best selves.
Why is the subject of Whatever is Lovely so important?
The virtues and choices which women cultivate, or disregard, are the most impressive models for nurturing the character and behavior of their families and, ultimately, of society. The devolution of our society can be traced to an erosion of essential spiritual virtues. It is critical that we learn to consciously cultivate these vital qualities, which inform all our decisions.
Who would be interested in reading Whatever is Lovely?
Whatever is Lovely appeals to a wide range of women’s interests—fashion, food, decorating, gardening, family, intellect, travel, and spirituality. Perfect for today’s economy, its practical advice helps women simplify their lives while focusing on essential matters of the spirit. The book is appropriate for women of all ages—an inspiring gift for mothers, graduates, brides, co-workers, family, friends, or oneself.
What were the challenges of producing Whatever is Lovely?
One of the challenges of writing and constructing Whatever is Lovely was creating a cohesive whole. Selecting the principles of design which most clearly relate to spiritual qualities, matching text to quotations from Scripture and other writers throughout history, relating personal stories, and selecting photographs to convey the virtues required considerable time, but the project was a labor of love.
What were the satisfactions of writing and designing Whatever is Lovely?
My previous three books were published by traditional publishers, who bore the expense of production but also controlled the appearance of the book. Because this book was custom published, I was fully engaged in design choices from start to finish. I am delighted when readers tell me how much they connect with the insights, savor the beautiful photographs, and enjoy the humorous and poignant stories.
What do you hope women will discover in the pages of Whatever is Lovely?
Albert Einstein said, “Make your choices lovely ones.” Readers of Whatever is Lovely will discover how to cultivate a spirit that helps them make their own lovely choices.
Note from Sylvia: You can visit my other blog at: http://love-faith-and-guts.blogspot.com/that features a preview to my new book, Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts.