Peter Guzzardi

Editor & Writer
Chapel Hill, NC


Photo © Miriam Berkley

Emeralds of Oz

My professional life began after college with a friend, a vintage 1951 Chevy panel truck, and a pair of lawnmowers. Landscaping gave way to a job in New York City writing catalog copy at St. Martin’s Press. After several years in marketing, I moved to the editorial side of the business—acquiring books, editing them, and eventually taking the reins at Harmony Books, an imprint at Random House, Inc. For the past fifteen years I’ve worked as an independent editor, helping writers clarify, structure, and express their ideas in book form.

It’s been a great ride. I’ve worked with Stephen Hawking on A Brief History of Time, Deepak Chopra on dozens of books including Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Queen Noor on Leap of Faith, Susan Cain on Quiet, and Douglas Adams on Mostly Harmless and Last Chance to See. One thing I love about this work is the variety. I’ve edited novels by authors as different as Ruth Rendell and Martin Amis, memoirs by Tony Curtis, Paula Poundstone, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, self-help books by the likes of Byron Katie and Geneen Roth, spiritual books by Shirley MacLaine and Larry Dossey, as well as books on childbirth, politics, and investing. You get the idea.

Now the editor has become the author. Yes, the midwife has given birth. After a sudden epiphany in which I realized that much of the wisdom I’d been exposed to via hundreds of authors was there all the time in The Wizard of Oz, I’ve written a book about it. Enter Emeralds of Oz: Life Lessons From Over the Rainbow. I’m incredibly excited to report that during the five years that I was wandering in the desert—I mean, writing the book—I discovered far more than the interesting collection of insights from Oz that I’d been searching for. I stumbled on a remarkable self-help tool embedded in the most-watched film of all time.

To be precise, I found nine large chunks of wisdom that I call Emeralds, and discovered that if you run through this circuit of Emeralds in the same order that Dorothy did, they have a magical effect. Whatever obstacles you’re facing suddenly look and feel very different, as you take on the same strength, resilience, equanimity, and ease that Dorothy found on her journey from helpless in Kansas to powerful in Oz. On this site you’ll find a Nine Emeralds of Wisdom worksheet; I invite you to try it, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s like clicking your heels three times in the ruby slippers. Magic!

Books I've Edited


Emeralds of Oz: Life Lessons from Over the Rainbow

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