Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thoughts, Musings, and a few Announcements

   Dear readers,

      First of all, as I'm sure you've noticed, there have been some pretty obvious changes around here in the last few weeks, the first and most drastic of which is that this blog is no longer called For the Beauty of the Earth.


   Yes, that's right! After one and a half years of blogging, I've changed the name of my blog. I'd been contemplating changing it for a while and debating on whether I should or not-- after all, it is a big change! I've been blogging for going on two years. What would everyone think? Well, after much consideration I finally decided that I wanted to. The name 'For the Beauty of the Earth' was a good one and will always be special to me, but I felt that it didn't really have much to do with the sort of things I write about here or reflect on what I want my writing to actually be about. Plus, back when I first decided to start a blog and I was trying to think of a good name, that was one of the first that came to me and so I just went with it, mostly because I was so eager to get started.

  The new name, 'A Lantern in Her Hand', is actually the title of one of my very favorite books, by Bess Streeter Aldrich. It's the story of a pioneer woman named Abbie Deal and her husband who travel out westward and the trials and challenges they face. It's an absolutely beautiful story and Abbie Deal is just the kind of woman I want to be, so that's part of the reason why I chose the name.

    Also, I like lanterns. :-) A lantern is an old-fashioned flashlight, something that gives light in the dark. As Christians, we are God's light to the world, like lanterns in the darkness. Likewise, God's word is our lantern, a 'light to our path', so that we won't get lost or confused in the dark. 'A Lantern in Her Hand' is meaningful to me in several different ways, and I think it's the perfect new name for what I want my blog to be about.

  Here are some new buttons with the new name:

   So what does this mean? Will this still be the same blog it has been? Fear not, the change in name doesn't mean I won't be writing about the same things I always have!  I'll still be writing mostly about books, writing, period dramas, and other old-fashioned, history-related subjects, as well as about my own life. If you've been following me for quite a while (or if you know me really well :-)), you may have noticed that this summer my posts and my writing have had a significantly different style. Yes, I realize it-- it's as if my whole purpose of this blog changed from writing about books and movies and things I love to just....well, other things. Me, for example. For a few weeks I kind of went through a phase of emulating other people (real and fictional, I might add ;-P) instead of just being myself. Yes, I admit that I do go through phases-- I'm still a kid, I'm allowed to do that. :-) Really, sometimes I forget that I'm only fifteen, while other times I have to remind myself that I'm really not a little girl anymore, as much as I might wish I were. That's another thing I've been struggling with some-- this whole concept of not being a little girl anymore, which I can tell you I'm not exactly thrilled about. I used to dream about what it would be like to be older and independent-- now I'm mourning the fact that my childhood is, sadly, slipping away from me like water through my fingers. So at the risk of sounding like a cheesy family movie from the 90s: growing up is not easy. But, like Abraham Lincoln once said, "The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time."  :-)

   The month of August seems to have just flown by in one big whoosh. It seems hard to believe that it's been almost a month since I last blogged, but it's true! September is just around the corner (along with school! Yikes!), which seems really strange but exciting at the same time. This is my favorite time of year, and I'm looking forward to working at our produce stand, reading all the good books I've borrowed from the library, and continuing to work on my novel. And of course all the new adventures that come up here and there. :-)

  Also, I *might* be in a production of Les Miserables this November! The final auditions are the 27th and 28th of August, and then rehearsals start right away on the 1st of September, so I'm kind of on pins and needles waiting to find out if I got a part! I'm so excited about it and I really hope I'll be able to be a part of it.

Here's to hoping....

  I'm also excited about some posts and events and even a potential blog series I have planned for the next couple months. I'm also thinking of maybe starting an interview series where I interview other bloggers/writers, but I'm still working out the details. Another thing I've wanted to do for a long time is a bookcase-tour vlog, but I don't know if my camera will let me upload videos, so that's still up in the air too. But I do have one announcement to make, about an event I'm planning for the second week in September....

    Legends of Western Cinema Week! More details coming soon!

    As we head into Fall and harvest, I'm continually grateful for God's provision and His blessings on my family. This hasn't been the easiest year (or at least, that's one way to put it) with our farm, and it can be very discouraging, but when I think of how blessed I am to have a home and a family who loves me, some of the things that seemed so dire suddenly don't look so hopeless after all.

    It's funny how a person can give you a compliment, or a small piece of encouragement, and how it can motivate or inspire you. A few weeks ago my great aunt and uncle were visiting, and my great-aunt, my mama, and I were on our way somewhere and catching up on family news, since we only see them once a year. My older sister is going to college, so we were talking about careers and such, and my great-aunt asked me the question: what would you like to do? I told her that I was going to be a writer. She thought that was marvelous, and said she'd be the first to buy my first novel. Then later when we were sitting together, she said to me, "I just know you're going to be a famous writer someday. I can already tell." That little bit of encouragement meant so much to me, and even renewed my confidence in myself. It isn't often that I get to talk with my aunt, so it was very nice to visit with her, especially to tell her about my ambitions of being a writer. I will always think of her as a benefactress. :-)

I don't care for the cover, but it's really an amazing book.

   Another pleasant happening of this month is that I've found a new favorite author! Huzzah! And she write Christian fiction! As you can tell, I'm very happy. :-) My first encounter with Ann Tatlock was actually two summers ago, when my sister borrowed her book Promises to Keep from the library and I started reading it at random one day when I was sick in bed. I don't remember why I didn't finish it, but it must have made an impact on me because two years later I still remembered it and wanted to try it again. The only problem was that I couldn't remember what it was called or the name of the author-- all I could remember was what the cover looked like. So I didn't have much hope of finding the book, until one day when I was in a library I'd never been to before, just browsing through the fiction section, and the name Ann Tatlock caught my eye. Suddenly, I remembered! That was the author's name! This particular book wasn't at that library, but I was able to find it at another one and I completely devoured the book in four days. (In case you didn't know, that's pretty good for me.) It's not your typical Christian historical novel-- it's not a romance, for one thing, and I can't tell you how refreshing that was! It's the story of a little girl and her family, set in 1967 in a little town in Illinois. It's a simple story, but so powerful.
    And speaking of books....I'm toying with the idea of starting a blog exclusively for reviewing books. I know I haven't done a whole lot of book reviews, but I'd like to do more, especially since I recently signed up for some other blogger review programs. If that's the case, I think it would be nice to have a separate blog specifically for that purpose. What do you think? Would you rather I kept everything on one blog?

   Thank you so much for being such good friends and readers, for actually reading what I write and even commenting with your thoughts. It really does mean a lot to me! I hope you're all having a wonderful week and anticipating the arrival of fall as much as I am! God bless! :-)

P.S. Keep a look out for Legends of Western Cinema Week!


  1. Oh what a surprise I got when I logged in! Great Job Emma Jane! I really like what you have done and will be doing. I hope you get into Les Mis! :D
    I'm off to update my blog buttons now :-)

  2. Oh my goodness! A Lantern in Her Hand is one of my favorite books! I read it a few years ago and decided I need to name one of my kids Will someday. Gorgeous layout, by the way!


  4. Congratulations on your new blog look! You did a fantastic job!
    In my opinion, I would rather you kept all of your posts on one blog merely because I would get all the content without adding another blog to my rapidly expanding list; but if you prefer to keep everything separate, thus eliminating confusion for yourself, then I say: Go for it!

    A Lantern In Her Hand is also one of my favorite books. I will not spoil it for anyone who has not read it, but it was exceedingly diverting!

  5. "A Lantern in Her Hand" ... LOVE IT!!! It's just perfectly wonderful! To be honest, I stopped by here the other day and was a little confused when I saw the title, as I couldn't remember when I'd followed a blog called "A Lantern in Her Hand." But it was really pretty! Ah... me and my poor mind and unobservant nature. One of these days I'll get it in order. :)

    I have a main blog ( and then a book review blog (, and I like keeping them separate, so if you want to go that route, it works great. However, I do know that some people like keeping things simple and together, so I won't influence you either way. I think it really just depends on you.

    Did I ever mention that I love your background?? :D

  6. Emma, how would you, exactly 'define' a Western Movie? What makes a movie a western movie?

    I have no knowledge whatsoever. :-P

  7. Naomi,
    A western is pretty much any movie that takes place in the American West, particularly in the years between the Civil War (early 1860s) and the beginning of the 1900s. They're usually defined by cowboys, outlaws, cattle drives, Indians, and that sort of thing.
    I know you (being from Europe) probably wouldn't know much about westerns, so I'm sorry if you feel kind of left out! This event isn't going to be as elaborate as my fashion week, anyhow. I hope you still enjoy it. :-)


  8. I'm sure I'll enjoy it, Em! I enjoy anything you write. :-)


I'd love it if you'd drop me a line or two! I always enjoy receiving comments from readers and friends. I ask that you please keep your comments clean and God-honoring, and please don't write anything you wouldn't want your grandmother to read. Also, if you are commenting under anonymous, please do leave your name (or some sort of moniker so that you aren't totally nameless). Thank you so much and have a lovely day!

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