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Friday, July 21, 2017

Stiff-Legged Bear | Cover Reveal

This is the cover for my new story "Stiff-Legged Bear." It's a story I wrote about a year ago for an anthology. The idea was to write a story about a mythological monster in modern times. I did a little research and found out about the elephant sized man eating bear in Native American mythology called the Stiff-legged Bear. The publisher couldn't get enough submissions so the anthology fell through, but now I'm able to make this awesome story available! I'm excited to finally bring it to readers. You can grab a Kindle copy at Amazon, or pick it up now at Smashwords in any eBook format of your choice. It's in the process of being published at Barnes & Noble, and pretty much all other eBook retailers too! Soon I'll replace this text with a link to the book for purchase there too!

You can also read it for free on Wattpad. It would be really cool if you starred and voted for it there and left a comment!

Here's a bit of the intro:

Most people think it's weird that I go camping in the woods my brother Cody died in, but it's the best way I have of remembering him. He went missing four years ago. We still don't know what happened to him. Sometimes it turns out the wildest stories are the true ones.
Every year around the weekend of his death I camp in those woods to be in the place he loved most. It's where I feel closest to him. His empty grave has never brought me any comfort or closure.
I had just finished my coffee and was going to take a leak when I saw it. The biggest footprint of any kind I had ever seen. It looked like it belonged to a bear, but I thought it was way too big for that. I called my buddy Nick right away. He hunts bears.
"Hello?" Nick said.
"Dude. I think Cody was right man. How big is a normal bear paw print?" I said.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 66
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Download the .mp3

In this 66th episode, I review The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith. Listen to hear why I thought this book was really great for some reasons, and not that great for others. I loved the characters and the ending. I liked it enough that I will be reading the next one in the series, but the middle was just boring for me. 

Buy the Book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike)

Check the author's website:

Music Attribution:
Music by Kevin MacLeod at
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week:

The Cuckoo's Calling (Affiliate Link)
Written by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Narrated Robert Glenister

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hiking up to Colchuck Lake

I told you guys I'd let you know how it went hiking up to Colchuck Lake. Well, we made it, but it cost us. That's right, the picture you see above is one I took! As far as how I'm feeling after that hike that happened three days ago? Let's just say I'm still really sore!

It was easily the coolest hike we've ever done, but it was brutal! Usually when you do an out and back hike the way back is much easier. Most of it is downhill and it goes by so much faster than the climb up did. While we did get back down the mountain faster than we got up it, it felt a whole lot longer and more grueling. When you're walking back down from Colchuck Lake you're not just on some trail, you're climbing down creeks, over boulders, around tree roots, and pretty much making sure every single step is not one that will make you trip. I'm not kidding. Check out the photo I took of the "trail" below. It was really cool, but the terrain really took it out of us. We were all beyond done when we still had about two and a half miles to go. There were some tears and the kids weren't the only ones complaining that their feet hurt and they wished we were back to the car.

It's the first hike marked as HARD we've ever done. Before we've stuck to easy or moderate hikes. It was a little too much for us, but we did it and for that I'm really proud of us. Our kids are 6, 7, 8, & 9, so this was one hike were we didn't see many other children and when we did they were usually older. The kids have recovered a lot faster than my wife and I have though. It didn't help that my wife's knee has been bugging her and that I had a double header of two softball games on Sunday in 98 degree heat. That was the day after the hike and it just about killed me. I'm doing a bit better today, but I'd say I'm still maybe at about 60% back to feeling normal. I am exhausted. It sure was an adventure though! I love my family.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hiking the Colchuck Lake Trail

My wife got us into hiking and we love it! It started when my kids complained while walking 2 blocks to the corner store to get a treat. She was mortified that they couldn't walk two blocks so she decided we would start hiking. 

At first we just did a mile or two and they got better and better. We found that they would complain on a walk around our block but when they were out in the woods on trails they were too busy having fun and being distracted with the beauty all around us to complain much. We now try and hike at least once or twice a week. The longest trail we've ever hiked now is 8.6 miles.

This weekend we are going to do the Colchuck Lake Trail. If you follow that link you'll see it's rated as HARD. We usually stick to moderate trails. This hike is probably going to kick our butts and take us like 10 hours but we're going to do it. I'm going to try and get myself to jump in the alpine lake even though there may be snow on the mountains around me and it's going to be frigid! It's sure to be an adventure! Wish us luck and I'll let you know how it goes in a few days when we're back to civilization and I'm done with church music and softball games on Sunday. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Revising "Haunted House Flipper" Update

So I've been using my writing time to read a friend's first novel. I'm getting close to finishing it. The story keeps getting better and I'm really enjoying being a beta reader for him. He'll be a great resource beta reading for me when I finish revising my novel. A beta reader is someone who reads your book for you before it's published to give you feedback on it. They're a great resource! I'm always looking for more! About that novel of mine and it's revision...

I revised chapter 11 of 50 a few days ago and that's the last time I made progress on it. It was a really busy weekend filled with hiking, playing guitar and singing for 2nd - 6th graders at church on Sunday morning, and a fun Father's Day lunch at the lake. My wife took that sweet photo below. She helped me get the kids up some huge rocks. The view from the top was awesome! It was a fun hike. I really need to get cracking on my revision though so I can pass my book off to beta readers and get feedback on it. That will be really exciting. Handing your story off to people for the first time is always a little nerve racking, but I'm excited about it! You'll never get better if you don't let other people read your stories and learn what they liked or didn't like. Hopefully I'll be reporting back soon that I've revised a ton more chapters and I'm close to finishing the revision.

If all goes well this will be the first full length novel I've written that I will publish. It will be the first novel that I won't have to go back and hack into a whole bunch to fix. Thanks to my outlining process I think the story works well and will not need huge story edits. That's my hope anyway. If people like it and don't have feedback about the story not working I think "Haunted House Flipper" will be my first full length novel that I'll publish.

It's been a long road getting here with 3 other novels written that I'll probably never publish without a full rewrite. With that said - getting my first novel published is really the beginning of this long writing journey I'm on. Once I have 5 to 10 of them published, then I think I'll finally be on my way. I'm still driving toward the freeway hoping I didn't forget to pack anything. I did all I could to prepare though, and I'm ready to start my trip. Let's do this! Okay, I think I ran that metaphor into the ground :) Thanks for stopping by!