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The Smithy

Welcome to my forge.


Forging ahead.

Scattered throughout the ancient mossy woods of the British Isles, there are money trees; fallen trunks where passers-by have wedged in coins and made a wish, hoping that grateful wee folk would grant them their hearts’ desires or they’ll have good health or what have you. You can see one here and here. As is apparent, so many have left their mark, the coins have become the bark long since.

Being a writer feels like that.

Too often, one feels nothing more than just another coin wedged into a space where there’s no room for anything else to fit. But, writers gotta write. So, the question becomes, how does one carve out his own niche? How does she hammer and heat and meld and form both her work and her audience until she’s not just another generic coin stamped out in a production line and left to molder? How do they make themselves the works of art they want to be?

In this blog, I hope to address some of those questions, bring in help from writers and teachers I admire, and hopefully share some of the answers along the way.

Welcome to my forge.


Accents & Dialects (A Voice of Reason Part 2)

TV’s Firefly, and its spin-off movie, Serenity. In this series, the screenwriters created an interesting historical backstory simply with the characters’ vocabulary. They interspersed the English with Chinese explicatives and other easily decoded words to hint at a world where the Chinese culture had become dominant.

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Re-blog: What Color is a Polar Bear? Redefining ‘adult’ in ‘adult fiction.’

Editor’s note: I originally wrote this blog in June of 2015, and it was posted on the Association of Mormon Letters’ blog “The Dawning of a Brighter Day.” I reposted the article on my pennyfreeman.com website. However, the site imploded for some reason, and everything was lost. Therefore, I am reposting it here, as an example of my writing, but primarily as an explanation of my philosophy.

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“Crossroads” by Neve Talbot

Rob understood his brother’s love for the road, especially, as then, in the dead of night. Like himself, Nate had never been one for large crowds. On the road, one was utterly alone. The growling 454 V8 of his brother’s cherry 1977 El Camino Classic and the steel-belted radials humming on the blacktop lulled to silence all the demands that sucked the life out of him. They slipped away like the endless blur of the dotted white line that streamed beyond the windshield.

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“West End” by Neve Talbot

Theodore Laurence loved Josephine March. That was the cold, hard truth. He had loved her since that first time he laid eyes on her. Sitting at his desk, he had stared out over the hedge, and there she had sat in her attic window next door. Her laughing eyes had reached out and claimed him. His mates all called him Laurie, but she began calling him ‘Teddie’ when he was but sixteen, as if she owned him, and he knew then and there she did.

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A Voice of Reason (part 1)

If you follow The X Blog at all, you may have noticed that our editors write about voice a lot. A lot. Why? Because finding your own voice as an author is critical. And, as an editor, respecting that voice is equally important. However, getting to that point where the voice is to be respected, rather than cultivated, is the tricky part.

So, what exactly is voice? A lot of things, actually. Here are a few ingredients that are thrown into that concoction we call ‘voice.’

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Penny Freeman

Penny Freeman

Author, Editor, Designer

(832) 698-9378
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