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
I’m Sam. I’m married to beautiful and brave Gina and we have four sweet Smithereens. We live in West Virginia and, despite some serious challenges our community faces, we love it. We wouldn’t trade places with the most famous urban elites. I write New Stories with an Old Soul from The Forge—my writing shed about ten steps behind the photographer in the image above. I love writing adventurous … [Read more...] about I Write New Stories with an Old Soul from The Forge
Hope you'll come along for the journey as we launch Ember Rising: The Green Ember Book III into the world! … [Read more...] about Sam (S. D.) and Gina Smith Announce Launch Dates for Ember Rising: The Green Ember Book III!
I wrote this little poem in a minute while listening to a man talk about how bygone builders approached the architecture of angels. He spoke of how they built grand spires and sacred spaces with an expansive imagination for the ages. He challenged us to consider what we were building. Would it last? I thought, I am only telling stories to children. And this came out. It will have to serve for now … [Read more...] about A Cathedral of Words
Have you ever read a book that was inviting and endearing, but the words ran all the way to the edge of the book? Probably not. Stories without margins are nearly impossible to enjoy reading. It’s the same with life stories. Margin is not the wasted space on the page where more words could have gone if only we would knuckle-down and work harder. Margin is the place where the words we carefully … [Read more...] about Marginal Faith: You Probably Should Be Doing Less
Scholars agree that the Crane Technique, if done right, cannot be defended. Mr. Miyagi pointed this out in the Eighties and it’s since been tested by roughly every single one of the humans who were boys in that era. I refer, of course, to that cinematic masterpiece, The Karate Kid. After I saw that movie, I ran around kicking air, punching boards, and, most importantly, trying out the Crane … [Read more...] about Think Small: Pick Only a Few Things. Do Those With All Your Heart.
I’m writing this in the Forge. A bluejay is bouncing outside my window in front of an ambling caravan of deer. Squirrels range through the trees behind and the leaf-strewn trampoline sits there pouting, waiting for children to liven up its otherwise sedentary life. I have so much to be grateful for. God has been profoundly kind to me, even amid challenging and painful times. Life is hard for all … [Read more...] about An Ogre’s Castle and My Own Cottage
Say Hello To My Little…Forge Over four years ago, I wrote about the possibility of us buying our next-door neighbor’s home and the little shed that came with it. It was a long-time dream of ours to turn that shed into a little office for me. A writer’s hut. That dream is coming true. The little building was once a well-house, but has been used as a garden shed for decades. (I wish I could locate … [Read more...] about This Smith Has a Forge: My Writing Hut Is Ready
Why do the arts matter? Why does Beauty matter? I don't believe I have ever heard a better explanation than the song Why It Matters, by Sara Groves. I can still remember Gina coming to me years ago while I typed away at my first novel, battling discouragement (as always), and saying, "This song is what you're doing." I hope so! Even if it's just in a small way for a few people, I hope so. We … [Read more...] about Why It Matters
It was a good one. Yes, 2014 was a wonderful year for us for so many reasons. There was pain and darkness, like always in the world as it is, but overall it felt like a year of healing and hope, of rest and new life. It was a year of surprising adventures and, as the man who loved cliches once said, dreams come true. Last year was a year of lasting goodness. I loved it. May I have another, … [Read more...] about A Good Year
People have been saying nice things to me. Also, they’ve been giving me money. Both of those things are--and I know this sounds insane--kind of hard to take. Because I’m proud. And scared. I was really reluctant to do the pre-sale for my debut novel on kickstarter. But we decided to do it and, after some great advice (and many cautions) from experienced and wise friends, we forged ahead. I had no … [Read more...] about The Green Ember and an Apologetic Posture
We are over the moon about how well the kickstarter launch for The Green Ember has gone so far. If you missed the wild weekend, here's a brief (I hope!) summary. We launched on Friday morning at 6am. Our goal was to reach $10,000 in pre-sales within 30 days. We genuinely had absolutely no idea what to expect. I knew there were people who loved us and would support what we were doing, but I … [Read more...] about “My, My Heart Like a…Kickstart!” Images and Words from a Memorable Weekend