Listen to my Short Story "The Forest Trail"

Sunday, February 24, 2013

"Helium Heart" now Available in Text & Audio

Hey guys. The short story I wrote for the Every Photo Tells Podcast has been released! It is now available on their website in audio, and available in all eBook formats at Smashwords. I will also be adding the .mp3 to my podcast feed. They did an amazing job narrating the story. It is, as you may have read earlier, the saddest story I've ever written. A young man must face the first real tragedy in his life, the loss of his best friend. So grab your preferred box of tissues and snuggle up to your eReader or slide on some headphones and have yourself a listen. A big thanks to Mick & Katharina of Every Photo Tells for such an amazing reading of my story and for providing this outstanding avenue for writers to get inspiration to write and submit short stories.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole | Book Review

This was a cool book, I just had a hard time getting through the middle. I'm giving this book three stars for how awesome the ideas, story world, magic system and action scenes were, but only three stars because the middle was a bit of a slog for me. It could just be me, maybe you'll love it.

The world of this book is really cool. The powers of the magic wielding military soldiers are awesome. The action scenes are very well done and like nothing I've read before. The thing is, it feels like most of this book was the protagonist debating to either accept the government controlling him and using him as a weapon, or if he should rebel and escape the government so he can be free. It gets old quick, but just keeps on being repeated again and again. In monologue, and in dialog.

Another thing, I didn't really like the protagonist, which made it hard to like this book. He was really ambivalent. I didn't care much for the other characters either. I read about this in the amazon reviews, but still gave it a try because it seemed like such a cool concept for a book and I've heard it being recommended by so many people who's opinion I trust.

Some other nit picky things follow. The narrator always calls the protagonist Britton, but most of the characters call him by his first name Oscar. It gets confusing and annoying, and I'm not sure why the author didn't choose to just stick with one. Another thing, maybe I'm just not used to reading military fiction, but the amount of acronyms in this book drove me insane. I felt like I never quite knew what the narrator was referring to.

Like I said, when there were action scenes, they were awesome. I love the power the main character has to open portals to wherever he wants to go, and even cooler, to use the portals like a huge blade slicing through anything it hits. That said I was expecting way more action in this book, and the phrase "remember you're being paid to be a weapon not a hero," is repeated way too many times. It felt like most of the book was just talking. Talking about stuff I didn't really care about because it was the same subject over and over again.

I've heard the second book has a new main character that people like way more, and it does more of what this first book did right with expanding the cool story world. If the second book has characters I like I will read it for sure. If it seems like a book that would interest you, I'd say give it a shot. Really cool world building, great magic system that works really well and is believable in the story world. It was a cool book, it just never grabbed me and I didn't really care about the characters. Maybe it will grab you. 

Have you read this one? How about the second book in the series? What did you think? Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Out SIck

Last Monday night or Tuesday early morning my daughter tested positive for Influenza A. Then the rest of us got it. I have never been sick for this long in my life. It has been absolutely miserable. Six people in one house, all sick with fevers up to 104 Fahrenheit. It has pretty much been the worst week of our lives. My wife would barely be well enough to let me sleep as I shook with the chills, and then I would do my best to care for the kids while she slept.

Yesterday my youngest son was admitted to the hospital. This has been my view all day. My son has asthma and so influenza on top of that has made his poor little lungs not able to breath well. He's had little cannulas in his nostrils since yesterday and is not able to come off of the assistance of oxygen to breath yet. When that happens, we can probably go home. Thankfully our kids have amazing grandparents who are helping us out by watching the other kids and bringing us food. We are very blessed, but we're ready to go home. This has been a stressful month. I've gotten a tiny bit of outlining and writing done, but lately I've just been trying to catch up on sleep and get back to my full health. Please pray for my family to get healthy asap, especially my youngest son. 

The next thing coming up for me is the audio publication of my short story called "Helium Heart." I submitted it to It will come out some time this month on their website and in their podcast feed. It is the saddest story I've ever written, which is quite fitting for me this month. I think if you give it a listen though you'll find it ends in a good place and doesn't leave you too sad. I guess you'll have to see for yourself. I think you'll enjoy it, and if you've gone through something similar to what the character goes through it should be pretty cathartic for you. I know it was for me as I wrote it. 

I can't wait until spring. My son does better with his breathing then. Winters are super rough on his little lungs and airways. Last winter we were in and out of the E.R. way more times than I'd like to remember. If you haven't heard my latest short story, ER3, just click on the play button near the top of the page and have a listen, or here's the .mp3. I do a lot of updates after the story as well. It's a sad story too. Hmm, must be my theme this month. Hopefully in March I'll publish a super sappy happy short story, but we'll see. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin | Book Review

This was an interesting book. At first I didn't like it. It seemed to need to learn the rule show don't tell. I felt like it was simply telling me everything. I didn't feel connected to the strory or the characters. I felt like I had stepped into the world of Earthsea and was reading a non-fiction history book. Once a huge event happened with the main character though, I was interested. It held my attention after that too. If that major event was all there was I wouldn't have been able to finish the book. The cool factor of it shaking up the life of the protagonist would have eventually worn off. The story became more focused after that though. For the most part it narrowed in. It stopped brushing over months of Ged's life and started taking us through the smaller moments with him. I finally began to feel that I was on the journey with Ged. A lot more cool stuff happens, and though the story kind of meanders it was a pleasant read and stayed interesting.. I read this novel because it was on the list of a book club I joined at the beginning of the year. Our goal is to try and read 52 books in 52 weeks which makes up the year. I would have put this book down if it hadn't been for a friend telling me he hoped I finished it. I kept giving it a chance and eventually I got to the big event and it won me over. There are some great epic battles in here, and some pretty cool bad guys. This is not one of my favorite fantasy novels by any means, but it was a pretty good read. Beyond all of that, it is one of the classics of fantasy and such books as Harry Potter draw heavily from it. I would recommend this book if you like reading older fantasy like Tolkien. Give it a chance. It just might surprise you. Have you read this book? How about other novels by her? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section, and thanks for stopping by.

Map of Earthsea | Click to Enlarge

Friday, February 8, 2013

Short Stories of DanDanTheArtMan 11 - ER3

Download the .mp3

A short story about a boy and his beloved robot who has become out of date. The boy's father wants to trade the robot in for a new one, but the robot has become the boy's best friend.

Intro Bumper by Katharina Bordet 

Music Attributions:

Danse Morialta by Kevin MacLeod

SFX Attributions:

Door Slammed

heavy breathing off mic loop.wav