Saturday, October 31, 2020

New Book: The Highway and Me and My Earl Grey Tea

Yes, that's Emily and her trusty car on the cover.

Our daughter Emily has an excellent imagination. Sometimes it's hard for dreamy, imaginative people to navigate the practical realities of making their great ideas take tangible form and actually happen. If you're hampered by poor health and a lack of money, it's even harder.

But Emily also has a growth mindset, and she's learned to take a wild and seemingly impossible goal and break it down into manageable, incremental pieces. And then to accomplish each step, one by one. That was how she finished college, traveled overseas, and learned to sew and alter clothing.

She wanted to earn a living as a writer. She also wanted to spend a year living in different Mennonite communities around the U.S. because, she said, Oregon is very far away from everywhere else, and she wanted to know what other communities were like.

So she figured it out, and did it, wandering to Tennessee, Ohio, Delaware, and many more locations, writing advertising copy and business articles as she went. Then she wrote a book about it. The book is not a travelogue of miles covered in a day and sights seen. Instead, it details both an outer and inner journey. The back cover says:

When Emily Smucker decided to spend a year traveling around the United States, living in a different Mennonite community every month, the world seemed exciting and limitless. She was ready to find her place in the world and begin her career as a freelance writer and editor.

Emily’s trip took many surprising twists and turns: visiting an Amish church in Ohio, swapping travel stories with homeless people in Delaware, and attending far more funerals than she expected. But through the adventure and excitement as well as loss and loneliness, Emily clung to her faith, experiencing a deep connection with her Heavenly Father.

The Highway and Me and My Earl Grey Tea is a story of adventure, exploration, identity, heritage, community, faith, and loss. Follow Emily’s story as she embarks on the road trip of a lifetime, haphazardly finding her way through community after community in an attempt to figure out where she truly belongs.

We published The Highway and Me and My Earl Grey Tea through Muddy Creek Press, my self-publishing venture that now also includes my dad's book and Emily's. The book is $14.99, and shipping is free in the U.S. So far, the book is not on Amazon, but it may be in the future.

You can pre-order the book on our website now. We will ship them out, God willing, on November 16. 
["God Willing," because the book is still being printed, and production and shipping are hard to count on these days. But we'll do our very best.]

I think you'll like this book. For sure, if you're Mennonite, you'll know someone mentioned in it, and you might even be in it yourself.


  1. Amanda Horst10/31/2020 1:09 PM

    WOW, looks interesting!!

  2. As a writer-who-never-was, I can testify that it takes something huge and tenacious--something I never found inside myself--to say, "I'm going to be a writer!" and then make it happen. I am at the same time envious and absurdly stoked for your sweet daughter. You go, Emily!

    1. Ha ha, that's kind of how I feel too--envious and absurdly stoked!