I’m never sure what to say when world events are so intense and the words of an ordinary children’s author from West Virginia on social media feel so unnecessary. “Stay in your lane,” I tell myself. And that’s good advice. We probably need far fewer experts on the “out there” and more people living faithfully “right here.” The world very rarely needs “my take.” The last several years of seemingly … [Read more...] about Stay In Your Lane During Wartime: It’s a Long and Winding Road to Your True Calling
Books and Stories
This story goes back and back. It’s been around seven years since the first Green Ember book was first shared with the world, but the story—in its first iteration—was shared in my little world for many years before that. (Well before this innocuous FB post and it’s sweet little typo twelve years ago. The image of Sam Gamgee beneath was created years later.) It started on a porch in West … [Read more...] about Green Ember Memories and Writing “The End” Again
“This is what shapers do for those who have neither universe, nor personhood, nor name: We weave the world around them.” – Walt Wangerin, Jr. I was sad to learn of the death of author Walt Wangerin, Jr. He died yesterday. Walt's The Book of the Dunn Cow is phenomenal, and he's written many excellent books. But hearing him speak at the first ever Rabbit Room Hutchmoot in Nashville, many … [Read more...] about A Grateful Writer: Thanks, Walt
Which is your favorite character? See them here in this astonishing Green Ember fan art from @meadowrosesart. I’m so impressed! This is an awesome collection of montages from Ember’s End. Wow! … [Read more...] about Incredible Green Ember Fan Art!
These are good days for giving thanks. I’m grateful for these brothers, Josiah and Andrew, and the way they have had my back while I’ve been facing front. I have almost never felt up to the vulnerability and anxiety associated with being “out front.” You don’t often see them, but they are there. And I can’t do this without them. I’m grateful for you, the readers/fans/friends who encourage me … [Read more...] about Big Things Happening. Big Gratitude to Meet Them!
This photo shows me right after reading the Author’s Note at the end of The Green Ember Book IV: Ember’s End for the audiobook. I wrote that note in a mall parking lot late at night. We were driving home from a church service and picking up a car we had left in the parking lot to meet up and drive together as a family. I was alone. I had been thinking the whole drive back from church (a … [Read more...] about A Blessing at the Back of the Book
Reading is always more than it seems. What Twila Farmer so beautifully painted here is a vision of what I dream. A child receiving from a parent who is giving, but also receiving. Their imaginations are knit together. They are where they are, but are also off on a daring, shared adventure. The journeys we go on together in books are real. They do not happen in the same sense that an embodied … [Read more...] about Reading Together: A Real, Shared Adventure
Last year was tough for most of us, and so many continue to struggle through sickness, loss, economic instability, and other divisions and uncertainties. It’s been a painful opportunity for growth, and I’m hopeful about how God will use this chapter in our lives. The story isn’t over.As for us, we had our coast to coast book tour cancelled, which was a bummer because we wanted to see lots of … [Read more...] about 2020, Am I Right? A Brief, Grateful Remembrance
It’s a big day for us as the new book, The Archer’s Cup, is officially releasing. It's officially official, according to the officials who are shilling in their offices. You can get it at bookstores like Amazon and elsewhere, including the excellent audiobook version performed by stage actor Eric Fritzius. Available at Audible and Hoopla and lots of other audiobook retailers! … [Read more...] about Audiobook is Here as New Book is Officially Released!
Available for preorder only at SDSmith.com/store beginning on September 22, 2020. Do you like the cover? Can you or your kids name the characters who are with Jo Shanks? Pop over to Facebook and/or Instagram and tell me. I'm going to pick some folks who get it right to win something! We'll announce winners at our Facebook Live Online Author Event. Get in here. And … [Read more...] about New Green Ember Archer Adventure Announced! Cover Reveal!
The words from the screen grab and the picture are many years apart. During the time of that post, I was working very hard (battling discouragement constantly) and planting seeds. The picture below is a little evidence of the harvest that God provided later. I’m happy to say that I now make more than minimum wage writing. Seriously, that is a gift. I still can’t spell very well. (Perhpas … [Read more...] about Seeds and Harvest and Minimum Wage Writing
Kids don’t need cynical so-called “realism.” They know about evil and villains, let them know about heroics. Let them get a taste for hope. Kids need heroic, hopeful stories. … [Read more...] about Heroes Are Old Fashioned And Kids Need Realism?