Welcome to Heart Wood

Deep in the heart of a small oak desk is a mysterious legacy…

2021 Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal

Awarded to the most thought-provoking books that either illuminate, progress, or redirect thought.

Heart Wood Book Cover




Deep in the heart of a small oak desk is a mysterious legacy that enables three family women, each writing a century apart, to connect across time to protect the future.

A powerful eco-fiction novel about what we are doing to this earth, Heart Wood introduces us to three women: Eliza, in the post Gold Rush Sacramento Valley of the late 19th Century, Harmony, a back-to-the-land homesteader in the Sierra Nevada in late 20th century, and Amisha, who lives in the dystopic San Fransisco of the late 21st century. Each woman views man’s ecological destruction of the natural world through the eyes of her time. Through the mystical nature of the family desk,  they learn to connect to the women who have gone before them, and to the power of listening to the silence, holding the Earth in their hands, gathering the women, then doing what must be done.

Heart Wood – Four Women, for the Earth, for the Future is a timely, absorbing eco-novel about women, family, and the importance of caretaking the environment for future generations.

If you feel you’re not doing enough or that it’s already too late to make a difference, Heart Wood may give you hope.

“I don’t expect new authors to be so sly or quick in engaging, holding, and enlightening their readers. Whenever I pick Heart Wood up, I always regret having to put it down. Shirley DicKard is extremely good.”


Gary Snyder, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet, essayist, environmental activist

HEART WOOD’S AUTHOR,
SHIRLEY DICKARD


As a fourth generation Californian, Shirley has always been passionate about living close to the land and protecting the earth. Her first novel, Heart Wood – Four Women, for the Earth, for the Future, published March 2020, was written from her homestead in the Sierra Nevada.

Writing has always been an integral part of her work. Shirley draws from her background as a former pediatric RN, as the Executive Director of a rural community non-profit, and as current Editor of a small community newspaper — as well as her own family history — to enrich this intricately woven story.

Photo of Shirley DicKard, author of Heart Wood

HEART WOOD’S AUTHOR,
SHIRLEY DICKARD


shirley dickard

As a fourth generation Californian, Shirley has always been passionate about living close to the land and protecting the earth. Her first novel, Heart Wood – Four Women, for the Earth, for the Future, published March 2020, was written from her homestead in the Sierra Nevada.

Writing has always been an integral part of her work. Shirley draws from her background as a former pediatric RN and Executive Director of a rural community non-profit, and as current Editor of a small community newspaper and family historian to enrich this intricately woven story.

The Desk as Metaphor

An old family desk mysteriously connects generations of family women in their quest to protect the earth. In this video, the author asks you to consider, “what is the desk in your life? What connects you to a deeper, universal, earth-based wisdom?”

HEART WOOD BLOG


Behind the Scenes with Emily Hoppin

Join me on Wednesday, March 24th, 3 pm, for a Webinar about Emily Hoppin – Yolo Pioneer, Women’s Activist, and as my Great-Grandmother, the inspiration for Eliza in Heart Wood. Zoom link: https://yolocounty.zoom.us/j/96613600322

Creating Historical Fiction

Note to reader: I am struck by the irony of my post Creating Historical Fiction that I planned for today. Start with the facts, I write, but if you want a richer, more powerful story, try converting your story into a fictionalized version. We’re living in a time when a president is attempting to stay…

Three Books that Shaped “the Future” in Heart Wood

I’m often asked, “what influenced your creation of a dystopic future in Heart Wood ?” Although I’ve read speculative novels by amazing authors (think Margaret Atwood), my answer is always the same: The three dystopic novels forever branded into my memory are: “Earth Abides,” “The Great Bay,” and “Feed“ Each novel influenced how I wove…

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