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Waking Up the Karma Fairy

Life Lessons and Holy Adventures

Meg Barnhouse

"I want men to come back from the Promise Keepers rally knowing about whites and colors, and I'm not talking about race relations, I'm talking about doing the wash."
—from Waking Up the Karma Fairy

In this collection of 40 essays, Meg Barnhouse writes about everyday events like dropping stuff off at the thrift shop or watching TV with the kids and she transforms them with her offbeat humor and infectious hopefulness. We meet characters like Julia Hill, who set up camp atop an old-growth redwood in order to stop the loggers: “Maybe she’s a saint. Maybe she’s nuts. I don’t have to decide.” And Mike, who parks his Chevy Silverado in vacant lots next to a homemade sign. On the day Barnhouse found him, his sign read: Mom and Dad Are your children saved? The devil is after their souls. “One of my hobbies,” Barnhouse says, “is talking to people who aren’t going with the flow.”

Barnhouse puts her faith in the Karma Fairy, who is “here to show us that we are not safe in our righteousness, our intelligence, our careful nutrition, our common sense, our hip and groovy walk in the Tao. She is here to give us deep, full hearts. She is here to show us that we have it in us to make as big a mess as the next person. If we are ever going to find a cure for self-righteousness, the root of all cruelty and separation, we need her touch.”

Meg Barnhouse travels nationwide as a singer, songwriter and humorist. A columnist for the Spartanburg Herald Journal, she has been a commentator on the Carolinas’ popular public radio program Radio Free Bubba for thirteen years. A former Presbyterian minister, Barnhouse is now minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She is co-author of The Best of Radio Free Bubba and The Return of Radio Free Bubba, both published by Hub City Writers Project, and author of Waking Up the Karma Fairy, published by Skinner House Books. She has recorded two CDs, July Blue and Mango Thoughts in a Meatloaf Town, featuring twenty-five of her original songs.

Praise for Waking Up the Karma Fairy:

"Meg Barnhouse's essays are full of her deadpan humor, unique perspective, and outrageous theology."
—Pat Jobe, author, 365 Ways to Criticize the Preacher

“Meg Barnhouse has a more generous notion of spirituality than most of us. For her, ordinary household items and objects caught in her peripheral vision are conveyors of mystery and truth. The power of this collection abides in the way Barnhouse blends a gleeful sense of humor, rigorous theological training, the good sense she was born with and wisdom garnered from paying close attention to our 'crazy, beautiful, cruel, and loving' world into a readable, relevant and rollicking whole.”
—Mary Cartledgehayes, author of Grace: A Memoir

For more information contact skinnerhouse @

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

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