Friday, December 13, 2013

He Feared the Source

He Feared the Source

January 25, 2013 at 1:20pm
In the mountains high above there is a long and twisted road. Its skinny paths bear little else but wasted green turned brown. So every traveler who dares the road brings what he thinks best. But for this moment, I tell of a time and one lost and lonely man who started on the road.

Within his home, the man stood and pondered what he could bear and carry. For once he reached the other side, he knew not what he needed. In all due time, he packed a bag with much to be of use. And with his bag, heavy and weighted, he wandered the curving groove.

For many hours he hiked the hill and up beyond the trees. And in the peaks, all water dried and green was turned to brown. Tumbled weeds and dried up grass marked the forsaken tips. His throat grew dry and thirst was harsh. In the second day of travel he pondered if he should die.

But to his fortune, not far off, in the midst of death and decay, a well stood simple and small. In his thirst, the man knelt down and stared into the well. He licked his lips to quench their parch, his eyes locked on the water. Though as he stared a thought occurred and drove him nigh to madness.

Having never seen nor drank this water, he wondered at its repute. Thirst could take him soon enough, but poison seemed far worse. For while the water could be good and take away his pain, the man was terrified of what could be and therefore sat and cried. His worries made him much afraid and so he chose to sit. Not one sip did he draw from the small and simple well.

Hours passed and for his choice, he had no strength to rise and walk again. So he sat all alone till he died a slow and sorry death.

Was this man wise for his choice? He feared what could make him well. And as would have it, more travelers came, just and thirsty, and stopped beside that well. Cup in hand they drank their fill and found their strength restored.

Two kind souls were nice enough to pause just for the man. They hauled him up into their arms and bore him to a grave. But with a chisel, they carved a stone to mark the six foot hole.

Here lies the man
Who died of thirst
When salvation stood in sight
For though he might have lived more days
He questioned the source
The giver of life

Emily Bergstrom – January 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Songs I love

I'm certain that the reason why I love to sing so much is because my mother sings... or she used to. She says that her voice isn't a good as it used to be. But for sentimentality's sake, I love to remember the way it was, so when she sings now, I still hear it the way it was. So I really don't always understand her when she says her voice has changed.

Whenever I hear these songs, I feel like a little girl again.

Every night she would pull from:

Puff, the Magic Dragon
Lord, You Are More Precious
I Love You Lord
Hush Little Baby
My Favorite Things
Stay Awake
(They Long to Be) Close to You
You Are My Sunshine
and Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That's An Irish Lullaby)

I loved those songs as a little girl. I'm fairly certain I will never forget them as long as I live.

My dad wasn't nearly as good at singing. In fact, he's rather tone-deaf. But he did play the guitar and that was something my brother and I loved because, once a week, Mom would drive us down to the church so we could hear him play for the Youth Group. We were so proud that our dad played the guitar.

There was one night, when my mom was away at a women's retreat, that my brother and I were left all alone with Dad. The fact that my mom would sing to us and read, or tell a story every night before bed, proved to be a problem. If I recall, Dad had taken over story-telling duty at that point because he was reading the Chronicles of Narnia aloud to us, but he couldn't sing like mom.

So, when bedtime came around, I moved my pillow into my brother's room and climbed into the top bunk of the bunk bed my dad built for him. Dad dragged a kitchen chair into the room and pulled his guitar from its case. And though he cannot sing a note, he perched his guitar upon his knee and asked us what song we wanted to hear.

It was so long ago, I cannot tell you what songs we picked, but I remember our favorites.

God of Wonders
Open the Eyes of My Heart
The Heart of Worship
Let Everything That Has Breath
Rock of Ages
Here I Am to Worship
Come, Now Is the Time to Worship
Lord I Lift Your Name On High
and Every Move I Make

I'm sure there were more, but those were the ones I remember. My brother liked Every Move I Make, though he never actually could remember the name, and consequently, neither could I. Instead, we would call it the "Na Na Song" because in the middle of the song we'd sing, "Na na na na na na na..." Over and over again.

We loved music in our house. That much is engrained on my heart. We would sing all the time. I listed my mom's lullabies, but she would sing other songs too. We were always singing the theme songs from old TV shows and musical numbers from our favorite Disney movies. My dad would sing too, but he liked to change the lyrics to fit my name. Mom favored "The Sound of Music," "Mary Poppins," "Green Acres," "The Brady Bunch," and such. Dad was stuck in 80's Christian Rock and Winnie the Pooh.

More recently, my brother has become an amazing guitarist in his own right and has taken over playing worship for the church youth group. I simply sing for my own pleasure. But there's something about singing that just makes me happy. That's probably a God thing.

Psalm 96
Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Growing Up

College is an awkward stage of life. It's that place where you learn who you are separate from your family, as well as just how well you've really absorbed all that they have tried to teach you.

I have friends who leave home and try to get as far away as they possibly can. They crave something new and different. Deep down, we all know they just don't want to be told what to do anymore... or they don't want to face some of their friends or the decisions they've made any longer. It's really a rather simple desire. But once you're gone, it's odd... you begin to miss all that you tried to run from.

I don't think I ever really tried to run. Really, my parents almost pushed me out the door.

But then, just the other day, my dad called me. the moment I picked up, his first words were that he missed my voice. As I'm writing this, I feel tempted to cry - though that might partially be due to sleep deprivation. But REALLY. I missed his voice too.

Being so far from home, I tend to feel the difference most when I experience things that are a stark contrast to what is familiar to me.

Sitting in chapel, or at church, I find myself comparing each and every speaker to my dad and the way he teaches. Naturally, no one quite measures up. At least I can say I love listening to my dad's sermons!

"Whistle While You Work"
The funniest thing that I miss is Saturday chores. Who thought I would miss that? My family has chore sharing down pat! Every Saturday, we do a full cleaning of the house. Living on my own now, well, not really, I have roommates, but away from them, nevertheless, I wish I had the authority to help my roommates follow suit. It made things so easy. And I miss getting things done as a team, rather than alone. I'm sure you've heard me compare myself to Cinderella. Though my roommate tells me I'm much more akin to Snow White. I suppose she isn't too far off. I do like to sing. And quite honestly, I don't mind the work so much as it may sound. One of the things I really carried with me was the NEED to keep things clean. Not necessarily "pristine," but "clean." I'm more of a sanitary than an organized sort of cleaner.

But back to the real point... leaving home... you begin to miss the familiar. That's what most eighteen year olds don't expect when they fly the coop.

That desire makes me thankful. It means that my parents did something right. I know that I can dream of starting my own family with a good foundation, but I can know that until such a day, my home is a safe and wonderful place... beautiful and full of sentiment.

I'm  fairly certain my dad will read this eventually... I do love your voice, too. And I miss your sermons!

Friday, October 18, 2013


 Sometimes I wish time travel really did exist.

If it did, I would go back in time and tell this little girl so many things. I don't know if you recognize her face or not, but there were years where she could have really used someone to come back and tell her that everything works out alright in the end.

She didn't recognize it long ago, but she was a worrier. She liked to know that everything would be solid and definite. No grey. And the future is often one of the greyest things in life.

She only just learned for herself that she liked Jesus. After all, Jesus loves little children and Jesus is good. Why shouldn't she like Jesus? But this little girl didn't understand what it meant to trust him with all of her uncertainties.
five years old

Her life came with many uncertainties and many hardships, and as I think back, I wish I could just tell her that it all works out in the end. I wish I could give her a hug and make all kinds of promises.

But if someone went back and told her all the things she needed to know in the future, how would she learn all the life lessons set out for her? How would she really put into practice and KNOW those lessons? They would lack something.

Often, I wish I could have saved myself from all kinds of hardships. that little girl was me. And some memories cause my heart to break. But having gone through all the flames, I know that God worked all of those difficulties into some incredible lessons and experiences.
nine years old

I wish I could have saved myself. But Jesus did that for me.

He didn't swoop in and give me warnings, no, he did something better.

He gave me hope so that all those hard times don't matter anymore. They don't control me. Nor do they determine anything anymore.

That's been a difficult lesson. After all, I'm a worrier and I crave black and white, crystal clear, security. But over the years, I have learned to let go of that need and practice trusting God to see me through, even if I can't tell, or even make a guess at what will happen.

Letting go is terrifying, let me tell you! But letting go doesn't mean the world will end or fall apart.
twelve years old

After all, if God is good, then he will be good all the time.

No matter what may come my way, I will be okay. I don't have to warn that poor little girl because she learned a lot about Jesus during those hard years... even the ones she would consider changing if given the chance. She might even admit that it was THOSE years she benefited the most.



Friday, October 11, 2013

In Every Song

I've loved you all along.
The zone that seemed so clear,
the one you dread,
the one you fear,
never held you captive, nor even claimed your hand.
Indeed, I've loved you all along
and heard your name in every song.

I've loved you all along.
And when I laughed so hard I cried,
my heart did break;
I nearly died.
Hoping that one day you'd know...
Indeed, I've loved you all along
and heard your name in every song.

I've loved you all along.
And all along I've sought to earn
your enchanting glance
and tried to learn
every need you've ever had and wanted so much to make you glad.
Indeed, I've loved you all along
and heard your name in every song.

I've loved you all along.
I even feared you'd never see,
the girl right here,
the girl who's me.
Because that zone that seemed so clear, broke my heart.
Nevertheless, indeed, I've loved you all along
and heard your name in every song.

Emily Bergstrom

Monday, October 7, 2013


If memory lane and days gone by
are places to be found,
then what if life per se might be
a book of life unbound?

Flipping back are days gone by;
forward are things to come.
But dreams are the ones that matter,
and I'd like to think that I'm your bookmark

Emily Bergstrom

have you ever considered what your life might look like in terms of a story? Only just recently, I started to. Maybe its because I'm a storyteller and that worldview just comes so naturally. But think about it... consider the turning points in your life and the place you hope to be someday. consider your obstacles and how they have shaped you. That's the way a story works, right?

Regardless of how boring your life might be, you've experienced life. You've met important people. You've had dreams and desires. Well, your life story is the path your take to either achieve that dream, or set it aside and set a new one into motion.

To me, I'm in a bit of awe to know that God already sees those future moments and turning points. He sees if it all works out in the end.

One of my biggest struggles is worrying. I always consider my dreams and all of the things standing my my way. It makes me nervous and panicked... not a happy way to live life, by the way. But when I consider that God is orchestrating a story, and I consider how far he has already brought me, I begin to understand that my dreams are not my own, but His. And if my dreams are his and he has promised to be the giver of good gifts, then can't I trust that my story with end with a "Happily Ever After"? Those are my favorite kind of endings, if you didn't know. Reading books that end with tragedy or death always bothered me. I think its because those kinds of endings are so opposed to what God has in store for us.

So... will you do life with me? Be apart of my story? Be one of my bookmarks, those pages that I turn back to and reread over and over again because they were turning points that inspire me to trust that the future with be just as promising?

what if life per se might be, a book of life unbound?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cinderella, Cinderella...

Part of growing up, so I've discovered, means learning so much more about yourself than you could see as a child.

Having left high school behind and started on my second year of college, one of the many things I've discovered, is that I have a bit of a modified Cinderella complex... which I just might have inherited from my dad. Never thought that would happen.

Look up "Cinderella complex" on google and you might see something about unappreciated girls who suddenly come into the spotlight. That's not my point. Being a storyteller myself, I tend to look a little bit deeper into the whole story behind Cinderella.

In the Rogers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella, she sings a song called, "In My Own Little Corner," all about how she wishes her life were different. I've always loved that song.
Most likely due to my own overactive imagination. But also because of succumbing to my own version of a Cinderella complex.

Someday, I wonder just how this might effect a marriage (my marriage, ah! the poor man! whoever he may be).

For someone whose love language is doing favors, this creates quite a dilemma. It means that I crave a clean house. I love it when the carpets are vacuumed, the kitchen is swept and mopped and the bathroom sparkling. But I start feeling used when other people begin to sit back and watch me do the work for them. But rather attempting to encourage them to take on the responsibility, I continue doing it myself because I fear they won't perform the task as well as I would. Yet, I grouse and grumble because all the responsibility is on me.

Having written it out... it feels silly. But how many of us really do go about life is such a silly way? For me, its sitting in the same old rut and WISHING something would change. Like one of my favorite scenes between Whitney Houston and Brandy:

Godmother: "Fol-der-ol and fid-dle-dy foodle, all the wishers in the world and dizzy in the noodle."

Cinderella: "That's terrible." 

Godmother: "You try coming up with a rhyme on the spot like that."

Cinderella: "No, no. I mean what you said about dreamers. I mean, why shouldn't I dream?"

Godmother: "I can see this is going to take a while."

Cinderella: "I've always hoped that someone would come and take me away from here."

Godmother: "Cinderella, if you wanna get out of here, you're going to have to do it yourself. The music's in you. Deep down in your soul. When you find it, nothing's going to be able to keep you from walking out that door."

Cinderella: "I've dreamed about leaving so many times."

Godmother: "That's the problem with most people, they dream about what they wanna do instead of really doing it."

I love how stories always speak into our lives. That's the idea for us as writers: to tell a story that resonates with a reader. Now, all the things that make a story resonate are quite involved and take a bit of practice to accomplish (have I gotten there yet? I'm not sure!) but its a goal =)

Well, my prayers for this week revolve around getting rid of my Cinderella complex. But how about you? God likes to use all kinds of different methods of pointing out the ways we need to grow and showing us who we are. Now what we see, however, are we going to trust him to do something about it? There's a real challenge.

Good luck to you!


(ESV) Phillippians 1:4-6 "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ"

Sunday, September 22, 2013


It's hard, Father God
to stand on my own
and though I have tried to keep strong all alone
I find that in you
only you can atone

Sin is a weight
it bears down on the son
and weak he becomes, no victory won
and on his knees does he fall
completely undone

So rise up and claim
the strength offered you
and give praise to the one who sees you through
for only with him
can we all things do

Emily Bergstrom
Sept. 22, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Prairie Song

book cover

 Mona Hodgson has another book coming out in just a few days... August 6th to be exact... and I just finished reading it a little while back, so I thought I'd tell ya'll a little bit about it.

Personally, Mona is an expert at taking you back in time... not to simpler times, not by a long shot! But most definitely to "days gone by." She's personally told me about her historical explorations and this lovely lady puts a lot of work into making a story come to life!

Well, let's kick things off by saying that this book follows two women, primarily Anna, who has quite the hero complex. Anna's bravado revolves around saving her mother from her grief induced alcoholism and in order to so that, she must take her mother and grandfather west with the Boones Lick Wagon Company, where unbeknowst to her, the biggest risk to her mother's secret is in the form of a man who works the wagon company that she just can't stay away from!

a wagon train
In order for a story to be good, a character must risk what they want most in order to gain what they really need. And in Prairie Song, I believe Mona masters this!

It's a very sweet story that will keep you coughing/laughing into your hands all the way through. Irony has a way of doing that!

History buffs will love it! Mona cleverly paints a picture of life on the trail for these pioneers and immigrants, discussing family rolls, hardships and even food!

example of a Conestoga Wagon

a pioneer family

Monday, July 29, 2013

Trudging Along

Oh! For a minute, let's pretend writing comes easily.

I suppose the minute's over. Now, if I'm honest, sometimes it really does... but then comes editing. Editing is when I get slowed down. Especially since this is the first manuscript I'd really like to get published. I've heard the first one always gets the most effort. Though I really don't care to count, I think I've rewritten the beginning of this one far too many times and now I'm rewriting the ending. So much for having a lazy summer.

Having just returned from a camping trip, but mind is all ablaze with ideas... for the sequel. If only life handed me sugar instead of lemons. Humpf. Oh well. I'm making lemonade now. I could do so much more with sugar though! I could get this ending taken care of!

Well, writer friends, here's to you! We're in camaraderie, aren't we? Here's to plugging through the drudgery of editing. Somehow, we survive and keep moving forward. The end is in sight, but the last miles are rather tiring.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Out on the floor I can see you smilin'
feet keepin' time
your partners seem sweet
But, Oh won't you dance... with me?
Ask me to dance
ask me to sway
I've been waiting all night just to hear you say
Oh won't you dance... with me.
Sure looks to me like you dressed up tonight
eyes shinin' bright
your hair done up swell
So, Oh won't you dance... with me?

Though it seems strange, I've eyes only for you
my feet are turned left
bu I'll give you my best
Please won't you dance... with me?

Take up my hand and we'll give it a try. This dance is just for you. Oh please sway with me?

Dance with me, dance with me, please won't you dance?

Emily Bergstrom

Monday, June 24, 2013

History you can taste

not my copy!
I'm just a bit of a history nut if you haven't already guessed. So it only seems right that every now and then I share some of my historical stuff. Speaking of which, I happen to own the April 1883 edition of the Godey's Lady's Book. I use it mostly for research for my manuscripts, but there are plenty of other interesting things in this little magazine.

One of my favorite things to take note of are the recipes. Often, when writing, I haven't the faintest idea of what to feed my characters, but this little book has plenty of decent (historically accurate) ideas.

Anyways... thought I might share some 130 year old recipes

BTW: did you know that in 1883, a Godey's Lady's Book subscription cost $2.00 a year?

Potato Salad

Cold boiled potatoes,
Salad oil,
Slice some cold potatoes, and sprinkle over them a little finely chopped parsley and onion. Mix a dressing with the proportion of two spoonfuls of oil to one of vinegar, add mustard, pepper, and salt to taste, mix well together and beat with a fork until it becomes creamy, then pour over the vegetables. Bottles anchovies may be added to this, when it becomes anchovy salad. 


  Soup Stock

Odds and ends of meat,
Six whole cloves,
Twelve whole peppers.
Save the trimmings and coarse bits of your roasting pieces, also the bones, and to every two pounds put a quart of water; when it comes to a boil set it back from the hot fire, where it will simmer six hours, then add herbs and seasoning; cook two hours longer, strain, and put in a cool place; in the morning skim off the fat. This can be used to make any kind of soup or sauces, and is very convenient to have on hand, as it really costs nothing - the spice is sufficient for a gallon of stick. 


Stewed Beefsteak

A thick steak,
One onion,
three cloves,
Carrot, turnip, and onion. 
Partially fry a thick beefsteak with an onion; then roll it up, put it into a stew pan with a little stock or gravy, add three cloves, some slices of carrot, turnip and onion. Put it in the oven for an hour, then thicken the gravy with flour and butter, season, add a spoonful of mushroom catsup, and serve.


Milk Biscuit

One quart of flour,
Two tablespoonfuls of butter,
two teaspoonfuls of soda,
One pint of milk,
Half a tablespoonful of salt.
Take one quart of flour and mix with it two teaspoonfuls of soda, then add two tablespoonfuls of butter, and half a teaspoonful of salt; moisten the mixture gradually with one pint of sweet milk, roll out, cut in round cakes, and bake in a quick oven.


Pound Seed  Cake

One pound of butter,
One pound of sugar,
One pound of flour,
Eight eggs,
Caraway seeds to taste.
Rub the butter and sugar together until they are beaten to a cream; then add one pound of flour well dried, eight eggs (yolks and whites beaten separately), and caraway seeds to taste. Mix the ingredients, and beat all well together for one hour. Put the batter into a tin cake-mould lined with paper and well buttered. Bake in a moderate oven.


German Cream

One quart of cream,
Yolks of four eggs,
Quarter of a pound of sugar,
Half ounce of isinglass.
Whip one pint of cream stiff, and put it on a sieve; boil the remaining pint with the yolks of the eggs,  well beaten; sweeten, and flavor with vanilla; put into the insinglass dissolved, and set it on the ice. When it begins to thicken, stir in the whipped cream, a spoonful at a time; put into a mould and keep it one the ice.

I suppose I'll be the first to admit I only use about maybe a fourth of these measurements to this day, but its rather interesting to see the way they used to phrase things. Now, I can't promise that you will be able to decipher these recipes and make them yourself, but if you're a writer, some food might spice up your writing.

Whatever you do with it! I wish you luck!


Saturday, June 22, 2013


It's not just North Bloomfield. I REALLY love the Gold Rush. And to my great delight, just yesterday, I got to wander around the gold discovery site for a little while and take lots and lots of pictures.

Coloma has quite a significant role in California history, but on display is everything from panning to hard rock mining to hydraulicking (which made me pretty happy). They had a hydraulic monitor or two on display.

but oh! The best part was hanging around in the blacksmith shop talking with the Smiths. We chatted about "courting candles" and the advantage of having big thumbs, or "sticky fingers." And then there was the "old fashioned blackberry soda pop." Delicious!

So, courting candles... these things have lost their place nowadays, but part of me wonders why. Long time ago, fathers would set out the courting candle when a young man (a beau) came to call on his daughter. The father would twist the candle higher or lower and light the candle. When the wick burned down as far as he had turned it, the young man had to leave. If the father liked the young man, he might turn the candle a little higher. But if he didn't, to save everyone the grief of entertaining the guy, the father could also turn the candle lower. Rather nifty, huh?

I really do love old things!

Sutter's Mill replica

the actual remains of the mill

inside a replica of a miner's cabin

hydraulic monitor

inside the mining exhibit (placer mining = panning (sort of))

me, haha

me again

the blacksmith shop, my great-great grandfather used to run one in Hilmar, CA

Thursday, June 13, 2013


One of the perks of being a writer and knowing other writers, is I get to pitch in every now and then with their writing careers.

Mona Hodgson, a very sweet lady and good friend of mine from Mt. Hermon has allowed me to read a per-release copy of her book, "Prairie Song." It won't be out in your local book store for a while yet, but if I know Mona, this story is going to be just as sweet and "sigh-incurring" as her Cripple Creek series.

Before I can say anything in particular about this fantastic little book, I have to finish reading it. But if you like wagon trails and quilting... she has three e-book novellas that come before Prairie Song that you can find on amazon. I give her stories flying colors if you are in the mood for a cute historical romance.

find it on amazon kindle

find it on amazon kindle

find it on amazon kindle

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Second World War in Europe

Somewhere, in almost everyone's family tree, there is someone who fought in WWII. For me, it was my great-grandpa. We called him "Grandpa Boom" which was easier to say that "Busboom," which was his surname. I always loved the old man - he used to give my brother and I Wherther's caramel hard candies.

When I was born, I was named for his wife, Rose, my great-grandma who died when my mom was 14. But being the "history buff" of my family, I am ever grateful that wonderful lady saved his letters home from the war.

One of my favorites happens to be his account of V-E day in Paris. He paints quite the picture.

Some time before, he put in for a pass and made a few trips to Paris to visit friends and people he knew stationed there. He sent some of those pictures home to my great-grandma Rose and their son, Don (Butch). He didn't take any that I know of on V-E day, but a description tops a picture any day!

9 Mar 45
Dearest Honey + Butch

            Well here I am again back from Paris and still able to get around. I really hit the right day to be there – (V-E day -) and plenty of things were happening. I’ll bet I walked 10 or 12 miles around that town trying to see everything in a short time. There was plenty of celebrating all night long. I didn’t get to bed till two in the morning and there were still enough people out to make it look like a Sat. afternoon at home. I don’t know how late they stayed up, but things were pretty quiet when I got up at seven this morning. It take long for the tho, by ten o’clock the streets were crowded again with a lot of people who didn’t seem to know where they were going.
            Last night there was a street dance on almost every other block. It seemed good to see all the street lights on again, and I think they had every light they could find in Paris lit last night. That plus all the G.I.s that were lit (to the gills) really made for a big time.
            Oh yes, honey you remember Rev. Fleischer who use to be in Ventura. He’s the fellow that went fishing with Geo and I. He’s a Maj. and the head chaplain over all these replacement pools around here. His offices are in Paris so I went in to see him this morning. He is the first person I have seen since being in the army that I knew back when? He said if anything ever came up and I needed a little help to let him know. No he can’t get me a discharge so get that idea out of your head for a little longer now. It shouldn’t be too long tho I hope.
            He also told me that Geo had been to Paris shortly before Easter, but it had one of those queer tricks of fate that he had to be out of town the week Geo was down. Maybe we’ll all get together again one of these days At Home.
            Well honey you should gather from this that I had a pretty good time. I hope I’ll be able to make that trip again one of these days.
            The big clock on the church just struck ten and as I didn’t get much sleep last night I’d better roll in toot [sp?] sweet. So till next time all my Love and Best Wishes.

Love, Art

So that's my current project actually... typing up all of his letters and stringing them together in order with all the pictures he sent home and received. It just gets me all fluttery inside to think that this is REAL history and from my relatives' perspective. 

I love it when history gets personal.


Thursday, May 23, 2013


Sometimes I can be a little more than a writer. Sometimes I'm a seamstress and make fun things like this and post them to pinterest...

(EB is  my initials)
or I like to paint... at those moments, I do things like this...

I suppose I'm a jack of all trades. I suppose the point is to have fun thought, isn't it? If you aren't having fun, then what are you doing with the life God has given you? We all have things we love doing, and I think God likes to use those pleasures for his glory.



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Life is Full

Life is always changing, isn't it? Like the tide, it never stops flowing, and always keeps moving, changing and shifting like shadows. You can't grab hold of it and tie it down to keep it still for a moment. Pray, wish and dream, but nothing ever changes. There's nothing to be done. Life is full of changes.

Lying awake at night, sometimes I get that sinking feeling in my heart that something good is about to come to an end. I can never quite get the feeling to go away. So instead I stare at the ceiling and wish with all my heart for time to stand still for a moment so that I can hold on.

Sometimes something good is often followed by something equally wonderful. It's moments like those where your heart is most fragile - torn between two worlds, both so good and yet they cannot coexist. To have one, you must let go of the other. I often like to remind myself that I can come back to the place where I left off, but that's not so true. Life, after all, is constantly changing. so in the end, my heart still shatters into a million pieces and tears well up in my eyes as I fight to let time keep moving, to let those good things slip through my fingers and grab hold of the next good thing with both hands holding tight.

So good night. It's night for me as I'm writing this, anyways. When you read it, this moment will have passed, just like all the others. But maybe that's why I love writing so much. It immortalizes time and forces it to stand still and flip back and skip ahead. I love books in that way.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Growing Seeds

Here they stand, washed and clean
wearing white
Shining keen.
On the lawn, in the yard,
bold faced front,
smiles large.
And if you ask, you’ll hear them say:
Jesus, only way.

As infant babes, they made a stand,
all rejoiced,
all was grand.
In that way, they grew to know
a man, a savior,
and the world, a show.
So him they claimed as right and true,
but if you knew…

In their hearts they doubt the promise -
whitewashed tombs
like the psalmist.
If they sin, their worries sway.
Will he forgive?
Or send away?
Does one trespass weight the more
and blacken hearts to the core?

So deep within they hold the bones
to front a mask,
to shield the moans.
This in mind, they pray and plead
others see
only potent, godly deed.
And so go on, empty, broken sepulcher
living what they wish they were.

Spiting words to say and deeds to do,
still they stumble,
faults they eschew .
To their knees they come,
Savior and Lord,
But have faults won?
Heart so willing for His gain,
but flesh so weak, causing pain.

How can it be that perfect God
Should love a man?
Making fine a packed dirt clod
I glory in that this love, this creed
Depends not on perfection
But a growing seed.
Persisting on, watered, starved
Into the ground, it’s slowly carved.

And as it carves a hard won place
To the sun,
It lifts its face.
And even when the drought does come
The roots still cling
Though watered only some
The tenuous grasp is enough to hold
And reap the treasure of life worth gold. 

Emily Bergstrom

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Looking Back...

Well, the conference is over and I'm utterly exhausted. But it was all worth it! I'm very glad that I was able to go this year and only God can receive credit for everything coming together for me. He is an awesome God and knows exactly what we need.

There were a lot of amazing workshops and I'm rather sorry that I missed some of them. But the ones I did go to were hosted by fantastic people such as Mona Hodgson, Ramona Richards, Steve Laube, and Karen Ball. They had great things to say about the publishing process, writing well, and techniques for telling a good story. Good stuff!

But all of that feels kind of flat in light of Saturday. I sent in two manuscripts this year (well, technically the same manuscript twice). One to Mona and the other to an agent. Mona is one of the sweetest people on earth and her stories are equally sweet. I really do recommend looking her up on amazon, google books or Mona gave me a lot of great feedback on my story, all of which I hope to implement over the next few days. But even in its current state, I got some very encouraging feedback from the agent I sent Aura Lea to.

I met with her on Saturday... hence why Saturday was such a good day for me.

Saturday morning, after lunch, I was able to retrieve my manuscript from the hospitality center at Mt. Hermon. Both of my envelopes were there - so of course my heart when off beat after that. When you send a manuscript in for editorial review, you either receive a "yes" or a "no." So I was rather afraid to open that manila envelope! But of course, I did...

I sat down on the bench over near Newton Hall and took a deep breath. There was a blue slip of paper at the front of my manuscript which had my answer. On that slip was a check mark and a meeting time. The agent liked my writing!

Nothing could contain my excitement after that. So of course, I skipped about for a while and then sat down to do some editing (but I didn't really get anything done). My meeting was at 5:30. There were several hours of anxiety for me to sit through.

Thankfully, those hours did pass. at 5:20, I packed up my stuff and went to wait in hospitality for the agent to arrive. When the agent came through the doors, I got a smile and together we went out to sit on a planter outside the coffee house.

I assume many other authors sent in manuscript submissions to this particular agent, so it took some memory jogging for the agent to differentiate mine from the others. After that, I was asked to talk a little bit about my story and writing style, as well as my history. One question however, made me pause. Aura Lea has never been read through by anyone. So while my writing style is noteworthy, my ability to craft a decent plot is untested.

The agent really wanted someone to read it all the way through. But, once I could get that accomplished, I can send in a proposal. (a proposal is a good thing to be asked for in the publishing world!)

I talked more with that agent throughout the rest of the conference. They even knew of a freelance editor who would be available to read Aura Lea for me. So, all that said, I am walking away from the conference very encouraged and excited about what is to come. I keep trusting God that he has the best for me and that he knows exactly what he's doing. I just have to wait and see.


Thursday, March 21, 2013


Everything comes together starting tomorrow. I've got some laundry in the dryer right now. After that's done I'll start tossing things into my suitcase. Lots to get done before I leave for the writers' conference tomorrow morning, bright and early. Have to be there before 12!

Oh! But it's gonna be lots of fun. After the past two years, I can't help but anticipate seeing their smiling faces. I've met several, wonderful, writer friends at this conference. And thank goodness William Jessup U is on spring break. I get to bring along another friend with me to experience the joy of the Mt. Hermon conference.

That's my week. After tuesday, I go home to my family. Lots of great stuff in store for me. I'll keep you posted.


Monday, March 18, 2013


 A year wished away is forever gone
A day wasted on worry can never be undone
An hour spent fussing over nonsense cannot be regained
A moment spent in silence is of more use than another spent spewing useless talk
A second of hesitation could save you a lifetime of regret

Have I thought my intentions through?
Will I regret them in some later year?
My heart pangs violently with anticipation. 
My future is before me, 
My past is behind.
The person I will become depends on me alone. 

Are the choices I have made wise?
Dear LORD, I pray that they are so!

Christian Teen Writers

I started going to Mt. Hermon two years ago. I was a Junior in High School and rather obsessive about my writing (actually, I was a terrible writer at the time, but that's not the point). The POINT I'm trying to make is that I learned so much while I was there. But after the conference, I felt like I needed to do something with the wealth of information I acquired. That's when "Christian Teen Writers" took shape.

I don't really know if I still fit into the category of a teen writer because for technicality's sake, I'm no longer a minor, but still, I continue to post to this facebook page I created. It's really easy to find actually, 

I've been posting to the page for a while, sharing what I call,  "writer funnies" and other pits of information on how to "write well." Most teen writers just don't get that very much - information of writing. It's just something to do after school gets out. There's no rhyme or reason to the writing. Sadly, this doesn't promote a very good environment for "good writing."

Part of me is extremely hopeful that teen writers will take advantage of this page and learn. I had to go to a conference to learn all the things I post about. The fact that I can share all of my information freely is quite amazing.

So there you have it Teen Writers! I encourage you and implore you to learn. Getting published is such an incredible dream to have, but not impossible. Learn all you can about how to write well so that agents and editors can't help but want to pick up your writing!



God Works In Mysterious Ways

This is gonna be short and sweet because it's almost 1am and I need to get up for an 8am class. Anyways... I have good news: GOD IS FAITHFUL. Maybe you knew that, maybe you didn't. I'm a worrier, so I'm in a whole 'nother category. I FORGET that He's faithful. But he certainly likes to remind me.

I'm officially registered for Mt. Hermon now and I'm going with one of my best friends this year (she's a real sweetheart). But I keep wondering where the money is going to come from so I can pay off what I owe. Jeez, you'd think I'd learn, but of course, money just keep showing up when I feel most discouraged. God is SO good and SO faithful.

I hope you see you at the conference.


Thursday, March 7, 2013


Little moments are slipping by and Mt. Hermon is steadily drawing closer and closer. Money is still an issue that I keep giving back over to God. I trust Him completely with this. I feel as if He wants me at the conference this year. Don't ask me how I know, I just feel it! Maybe that's wishful thinking on my part, but I really am praying that it's in His will.

Money just seems to have a way of never being an issue though when you trust it to God. I've been turning over recyclables to raise up money. More recyclables just keep getting laid in my lap! I'm very surprised at the ways they just turn up. God is doing SOMETHING. I swear it. He answers prayer when His children ask things in His name. We'll see what happens.

For now... I'm saving and praying. We'll just have to wait and see...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sick Days

I suppose some might say that sick days are their most productive days for writing. This is not so for me, at least, not when I'm truly and honestly sick. When I am only slightly touched with something, I can pound out pages, but when I've REALLY got something, I can't type a word.

I suppose that's a bit of a contradiction considering I'm still in the thick of whatever I've got (I think it's a variation of the flu) and I have managed to write this. Anyways...

Mt. Hermon is still on my list of things I am praying that I will be able to do this spring. I don't have a class the first day of the conference, so I feel like God is orchestrating things perfectly for me to be able to go. I still have a bit more fundraising to do.

I'm a scatterbrain. That wasn't the point of this post. I could delete it, but my style to to simply write whatever flops out of my head. The POINT is, I'm working on getting my pre-conference manuscript together. Bah. That's a laugh. I am not a big fan of editing my own work. It take a lot of effort. I only have about two weeks to get myself together and well, I'm lazy. I could be utilizing my sick day to get work done, and instead, I am choosing to sleep. The more favorable of the two options right now.

Well, like I said, while some say sick days are highly productive, I must counteract that by proclaiming that if you are TRULY sick, you will find them to be your least productive.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mt. Hermon

I suppose it's that time of year again...

Last year at the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer's Conference, I was so incredibly blessed to have been nominated and selected the Most Promising Teen Writer of 2012. God is working in amazing ways in my life. And since last year was so incredible, I can't help but pursue going back for a third year.

It's really no wonder though, Mt. Hermon is one of those few places where it's easy for a writer to get lost in the euphoria of being surrounded by other writers - believe me when I say that that is one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Writers are odd people. When we get together, we have an all out ball just talking about stories. We can even get into a full on discussion about editing. That's not normal I've come to find with non-writers. Most people don't talk about the techniques of writing. Oh well... we enjoy ourselves.

I took "Aura Lea" with me last year and I believe that I'm going to take this story with me again. Mostly because I put far too much effort into rewriting the opening scene for the 4th time. Put simply... the story I blogged about so many months ago is nothing like the story I "finished" over last summer. It's still changing and transforming. Names... Plot.... Family relations... all this and more is almost entirely transformed into something I might consider, "flipped on its head."

Everything has to be mailed by mid march, so aside from being a full-time college student, my life is now absorbed in turning the first 20 pages of "Aura Lea" into something worthy to behold.

Lauraine Snelling critiqued it for me at last year's conference and oh dear... I only just realized what she meant by "shallow" and "unsympathetic." Hence why I rewrote the opening scene altogether. My Heroine was far too angry to be a character anyone could like and all you could really hear was her bluster... very few genuine thoughts... therefore, "shallow" and "unsympathetic"

Anyways, that's all from me,


Monday, January 14, 2013

If All Those Endearing Young Charms

I've really been in love with old civil war ballads as of late. This one is my new favorite and I've been singing it all the time. I hope you like it nearly as much!

Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms ~ Thomas Moore 1808

Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly today,
Were to change by tomorrow and fleet in my arms,
Like fairy gifts fading away
Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will;
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still.
It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervor and faith of a soul can be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear.
No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close:
As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets
The same look which she turned when he rose.