Look! A Book!

The week before my wedding, a friend reached out to me and asked if I wanted a job. Her mom had written a book, and she was looking for someone who could edit it for her.

I loved my wedding. It was perfect. But at that moment I was just so tired of planning it. I was extremely stressed – so much so that it was affecting my health – and as I was no longer working, everything in my life was about the wedding. And moving.

I needed something to refresh me. So I took the job.

I know, I know. I sound like I’m nuts. But I was confident that I could do it.

I blocked off two days and got to work. No wedding stuff, just editing and proofreading.

And it was wonderful.

I really love editing. I think it’s so much fun! And I am so weird for saying that! But I really do, and I felt more like myself and so happy those two days that when it was over, I did feel refreshed and ready to get back to the wedding planning.

Yesterday a small package was dropped off.

8 Weeks of Love: A Bible Study for Single Mothers by Lois Breit

8 Weeks of Love: A Bible Study for Single Mothers by Lois Breit


And there it was, in print – my name as an editor!

I was so happy I started crying. My poor husband just held me as I cried and laughed on his shoulder.

There’s a book in this world – an actual physical book with an ISBN and everything! – and my name is in it.

I am very thankful and very happy.

So a big thank you to my dear friend who thought of me, and thank you to her dear mother, Lois Breit, for giving me a chance.

And thank you to my husband who didn’t freak out when I said I was going to edit a book so close to our wedding, and who couldn’t stop smiling as I rejoiced last night over such a small yet such a wonderful moment in my life.

To learn more about Lois Breit’s ministry to single mothers, please visit LoisBreit.com.

To purchase 8 Weeks of Love, click here.


The Return to Eden (And Now There Are Stars)

Two years ago, I wrote a poem I entitled “Unsettled.” Even though I enjoyed writing it, and even though several friends, family, and even strangers responded positively to it, there was a part of me that was sad to write it.

The problem with living an unsettled life is that it can be very tiresome. And lonely. But it was my life, and I was content.

I once asked God if I would ever meet a man who would woo and pursue me, and He reminded me that He had pursued me all my life and would continue to do so. I was content with God, but God wanted more for me.

So this poem is a response to “Unsettled” and to how much my life has changed in the last two years.

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6. Ghost

via Pinterest.

via Pinterest.


6. What is your favorite ghost/folk/scary story?

It’s been weeks—months, actually—since I took up Jubilare’s challenge, and I just have to concede defeat:

I can’t come up with a favorite ghost story.

I don’t like begin scared, especially with things that are really creepy. I mean, I can think of several times in my childhood, adolescence, and yes, even adulthood, where I’ve slept with the lights on because of some story or movie.

At the same time, there is something so interesting about the supernatural and life after death.

via Pinterest.

via Pinterest.

I can’t take a walk on an autumn day without thinking about ghosts.

The ghosts of people who walked this path before me.

I look at old houses, and I wonder who lived there. Who died there. What was life like when this house was new and full of dreams?

I find cemeteries beautiful. They are full of stories.

I think the pull, for me at least, towards ghosts and haunted houses, is not to be scared or tempted by evil, but to marvel at how precious life is. How important it is to live, to be a part of community.

The ghost stories that I do like? They tend to have one unifying theme: no one wants to be alone.

They are about people who long to be set free from loneliness. Who struggle to end a period of waiting for whatever is on the other side for them.

And I think everyone can relate to that.

via WeHeartIt

via WeHeartIt.



This post is a response to “I’m From…” found at Communicating.Across.Boundaries

Istanbul, emilykazakh

I am from

generations of pioneers. I follow trails made by

unsettled hearts

seeking more.


I am from

dusty shoes lined up at the door,

woven rugs hung on the walls,

and tables laden with bread and tea.


I am from

economy seats–

2 a.m. flights–

time zones–


exchange rates–

customs officers–

I am found amongst the pages of my passport.


I am from

a home of story.

I have roots in the tales I have heard and told

with every new introduction.


I am from


and “hellos”…

My home is in welcoming arms and the blessings of each farewell.

5. Plant

(via Pinterest)

(via Pinterest)

5. Choose a plant and make up a symbolic meaning for it

Poppies, poppies! Poppies will put them to sleep.

The Wicked Witch of the West, The Wizard of Oz (1939)

If you go outside of the city Almaty in your dusty SUV, you’ll bump along a tree lined road past villages until you come to the steppe, and if you’re there at the right time of year, you’ll discover the Kazakhstan steppe gloriously red with poppies.

Poppies are used to convey imagination but also sleep and death, with red poppies symbolizing pleasure. There are two images that come to my mind when I think of poppies—Dorothy asleep in the poppy field in The Wizard of Oz, and the poppies of Kazakhstan. The first will, of course, always evoke it’s traditional meanings, but the second inspires me differently.

Yes, there is something soothing about the poppy fields of Kazakhstan, even lethargic, but to stand there before them, with the sun beating down and the wind blowing about you, there is a peace that is less calming and more forceful. There is a serenity the moves me to action, that encourages me to run forward into the wind. There’s a peace that make me believe that all things are possible.

To me, poppies are a symbol of freedom.

4. Spell

(via Pinterest)

(via Pinterest)

Jubilare’s 4th Writing Prompt:

4. Make up a name for a spell and tell me what it does.

Revo Locus or the “Second Chance Charm”

When used, allows one to right a wrong.  Revo Locus does not stop time but prolongs it. It will also restrain the parties involved so as to give the witch or wizard the opportunity to have the final say. The spell can only be used by the caster once an hour, and can only affect the forty-five seconds prior to being uttered.

Revo Locus can be easily countered if it is expected to be used. It is common for many to pronounce the counter-curse upon confronting a spouse, friend, sibling, etc., so as not to prolong an argument indefinitely (see The Great Row of 1435).

While it is a simple charm, it is often a controversial one, with some opposers wishing to have it banned. Opposition to Revo Locus often argue that the charm encourages a false sense of justice, and there have been many criminal cases whereupon investigation it is revealed that the offenses occurred when the defendants cast the charm out of anger.

Supporters of Revo Locus, however, argue that the charm has saved lives, whether in small cases such as potential child drownings (see Penelope Bridgewater, 1989) or in extreme situations like the Diagon Alley Bombing of 1971, a misnomer as the quick-thinking wizard Melvin Schultz was in fact able to stop the bombing by recognizing the danger and using Revo Locus. (See Diagon Alley Bombing of 1971 and The Knights of Walpurgis.)

It should be noted that Revo Locus, like all spells, can save lives, but it lacks the ability to bring the dead back to life.

Revo Locus is expressly forbidden at voting polls and in government institutions, as well as at sporting events such as Quidditch matches. (See Quidditch Handbook and Quidditch World Cup 1813.) However, outside the Magical World there has been little enforcement in Muggle sports, and it is believed that many wizards and witches, particularly Muggle-born ones still involved in their Muggle communities, have altered the outcome of tournaments in their favor. (See Muggle Sports: Baseball—World Series 1919).

(via Pinterest)

(via Pinterest)


I’m such a Harry Potter fan that I couldn’t resist making this as Harry Potterish as possible. Plus, I’ve been obsessed with the FIFA World Cup, and there have been a couple of times when I’ve wished I could have used a spell like this. (My heart is still broken, Team USA.)


3. Object

(via Pinterest)

(via Pinterest)

Emily’s thoughts on the third installment of Jubilare’s writing prompts:

3. Name an object you would like to see featured in a story

An object I would like to see featured in a story? Like an object you don’t find in most stories? I dunno, a pen? The pen is mightier than the sword, after all. No, that won’t do: Percy Jackson has a pen that turns into a sword.

Hmm, let me just take a look around—

My grandmother is sweeping up with her Swifter, so—a broom? No, witches ride brooms.

What about a book? I see a book. No, not a book.

My grandmother has tiny figurines on her bookshelves—nope, I forgot about The Indian in the Cupboard.

A peach!

Oh right, James lived in one.

A cell phone? Nope, I saw Cellular.

What about…


Yeah. Scotch tape.

Has anyone written a story where tape is a major plot device?


Well, all right then.

So a story about tape.

[Thinks for a few seconds.]

Tape is boring.