Forging Freedom Anthology

I have signed on (in a volunteer capacity) as editor of my husband’s anthology project, Forging Freedom anthology at Freedom Forge Press. Because I think it’s a worthwhile effort, I’d like to share a bit about the book. If you’re interested in submitting a story for it, submissions are open until January (you can read the guidelines here).

From the Founder of Freedom Forge Press:
Many things in life are seldom missed until they’re taken away. So it is with individual liberties. When I graduated from high school, I left home to join the US Army. As any veteran or currently-serving member knows, basic training is designed to break down individuals and rebuild them into components of a unit. My experience was no different. Something as simple as calling home to talk to mom and dad was a luxury. Internet, email, favorite TV shows, the simple freedom to leave and go someplace else (that wasn’t on the drill sergeant’s agenda), even drinking a soda were all things I never considered to be freedoms until they were taken away on the day I put on Army green.

Basic training spanned over the 4th of July holiday for me. I can remember our company being given a special treat on the day America celebrated her independence. We marched onto a field, in hot uniforms, and were given the chance to watch an evening fireworks display–seated on the ground in straight lines, of course. The display went on for about a half hour. As I watched the brilliant colors explode across the night sky and reflect on the faces of my fellow soldiers, I realized for the first day in weeks, we weren’t being yelled at, weren’t doing pushups, and weren’t given detailed instructions on exactly what we were supposed to do. We just sat, enjoyed the moment, and relished in freedom before returning to the remaining weeks of our training.

I and so many others willingly gave up these basic freedoms in order to serve as part of a military force that swears, above all else, to protect and defend the US Constitution. We bear the burden of service so that others would not have to bear it. I’ve since returned to civilian life, and I see too often that people are willing to trade away their individual freedoms without realizing what they have given up in the long run.

I founded Freedom Forge Press to help readers reflect on what it means to be free. Regardless of your political leanings, it seems that government has been encroaching on our freedoms for decades–and longer. Think about what freedom means to you. How do we carry the torch of freedom? Do we hold it high and let it shine brightly, or do we try to dim its eternal flame?

Humankind was meant to be free. That’s why I’m producing this anthology–to find people’s stories of freedom, their essays, their short stories, their cautionary tales, and showcase them for all to see. The anthology will include these stories and is already slated to showcase writers from an international arena. Our hope is that in sharing these stories, we will illuminate the ideals of freedom within the minds of our readers and ensure that the torch of freedom is able to shine ever brightly.

-Eric Egger

My Thoughts on the Anthology

The stories that have thus far been short-listed do embody the ideals of freedom. They transcend political parties and partisan politics, for they are stories of freedom–part of the human condition that can never be extinguished completely, even in the most oppressive situation. Even living in a despairing world, there is a flame that remains lit within the hearts of humans that burns with the desire to be free. Some of the stories celebrate freedoms that exist. Others pine for freedoms that have been lost or taken. But all speak to the common thread running through humankind. Freedom.

What You Can Do

The founder is paying start-up costs out of pocket. We are offering authors a small advance against royalties, but we’d like to offer more. We’d also like to promote the book as much as possible to gain exposure for our authors and share their stories of freedom. With these goals in mind, we have started a project at Kick Starter. Here you will find the opportunity to pre-order a book, be recognized on our website and in print, and even have yourself written into one of the stories! The money we raise for this project will go completely toward funding the project and paying the writers. Eric will not be paying himself for editing the anthology–only reimbursing himself for money spent out of pocket. Likewise, I will not be asking for payment as editor. We will stake our success on our share of the royalties–meaning we are dedicated to seeing this book succeed. It’s something we truly believe in promoting, and we believe it will be a quality product to share with the world.

Our Kick Starter project is only available for the next 40 days. Any amount you are able to give is greatly appreciated, and there are some great rewards for you in return–a copy of the anthology (paperback and hardcover), copies of my novels, manuscript critiques, and public recognition. Please take a look.

With sincere thanks,

Val Muller