Listen to my Short Story "The Forest Trail"


Monday, October 8, 2018

Been Quiet Around Here, So Here's Some News!


I am a pastoral intern at my church. I've been using my free time to write papers and read non-fiction books on the bible and the church. All of this is super exciting to me! It does mean I haven't been creating any new fiction as of late, but I do have plans to write a book during NaNoWriMo this year so look for more news on that. In the meantime if you're really curious about what I've been up to I have been posting stuff on Christianity on my new blog Dan's Bible Notes.

For a taste of that future book I plan to write during NaNoWriMo here's the first bit of it pasted in below. Not sure if I'll end up using this but it was a great start to get some words on the page for this new book. I don't know what to call it. It's about:
a kid who discovers he has the power of flight. The government also discovers this and employs him as a secret agent to work for them to help them get certain objects that are hard to get for big adults who can't fly to and squeeze in tight spaces. 
Also scroll to the bottom or check out my Instagram for some of my #Inktober drawings.



I Can Fly (working title) © Dan Absalonson

My name is Bridge Travers and I live with my grandma in a house that smells like cabbage. Dang, that was a terrible start. Let me try again. My name is Bridge Travers and I am a kid secret agent who can fly. Okay, so both of those things are true, but focus on the flying secret agent part because that's way better.
Grandma Rose is cool and all, but she still thinks I should be stuck in school all day. I know she wants what's best for me but come on! Would you rather go to school or on a secret mission for the government? She just doesn't get it.
She's been taking care of me ever since my parents died in a car accident when I was two. They left me with grandma and went out on a date never to return. So I pretty much think of Grandma Rose as my mom. She's a sweet old lady who always wears sweaters, dresses, pearl necklaces and earrings, and huge glasses. Her skin is all wrinkly and she's a little slow at getting around but she takes great care of me. Her cooking is the best and she can still drive, not that I need her to drive me around anymore with my power.
It took a lot of convincing for Grandma Rose to let me take the job from the government, but Agent Winters can be very cajoling. That's a big word I know. I means like to talk someone into something. I just learned it from Agent Fredrickson. Anyways, once grams was convinced Winters made a deal with principal Wally, that's really his last name, to keep up appearances at my old school so it seems like I'm just a normal boy who goes to sixth grade and like plays four square or whatever. I still have to learn all the stuff I would at school, but now I do that in a government building with my tutor named Agent Fredrickson. Yeah the one who is big on vocab. He's pretty cool. Not a lot of personality, but a nice enough guy and a good teacher.
So what do I spend most of my days doing when I should be at school? Working for the government on secret missions to recover lost artifacts and magical items they don't wan't the world to know about. I know what you're thinking, I'm just a kid. I can't be a secret agent, right? Well I am just a kid, but a kid who can fly.
It all started when I was on my way home from getting an awesome birthday balloon for my grandma from the grocery store a few blocks from our house. I wasn't paying attention to where I was walking because I was watching the balloon float above me and I tripped. My foot slipped right off the edge of the curb and I accidentally let go of the balloon. I was so upset. I was just looking up at it, staring hard wishing so bad that I could somehow just reach up high enough and get it back. That's when I noticed that somehow the balloon was getting closer. Before I knew it I was tons of feet up in the air off the ground grabbing the string of the balloon. I didn't get back down to the ground in the most graceful way but I did it without breaking anything or popping the balloon.
The next day after school a man in a nice suit showed up at our door asking for me. His name is Agent Winters. He's actually a really cool guy. He's bald but has plenty of his hair above his lip in his thick red mustache. He's my boss and he treats me with respect and never lets me get into too much danger when I'm on missions. While my grandma went into the kitchen to make coffee for our guest the man informed me that they had seen me flying on a nearby camera. He asked me if I wanted to keep going to school like a normal kid, or if I wanted to work for him and learn how to use my flying abilities better with special training so I could go on missions that only someone like me could pull off.
"It will be your job to secure special objects for us," he said.
It turns out I can get into a lot of places no one else can without using noisy equipment or vehicles.
As he passed me a piece of paper I signed it right away. He smiled and tucked it into his inside jacket pocket just as my grandma was coming out with coffee.



So there it is! A taste of what's to come in my next novel. I also have one that's been fully written for over a year that I need to finish illustrating. Also I'm doing #Inktober. Here's a few drawings from that:






That's it! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 16: The Shrouded Moon by Stan Sakai
Book Review

Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 16: The Shrouded Moon (Usagi Yojimbo, #16)Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 16: The Shrouded Moon by Stan Sakai
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a really fun read. Awesome characters. Fun action scenes. You can't really go wrong with a samurai bunny rabbit. I love the art style too!

Grab your copy (Affiliate Link):
Usagi Yojimbo Volume 16: The Shrouded Moon (v. 16)

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson | Book Review

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeThe Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

So boring. I LOVED Treasure Island so I really like Robert Louis Stevenson as an author but man this book was dull. It was a tiny bit interesting near the end but even that was short lived and not worth the read to get to. I realize this book is old and so it's not like a modern page turner but I love many books written in this era and older. Just boring to me. Did not like it at all. Tons of other people love this book so take my words with a grain of salt.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Made a Belt Pen Holder with Gaff Tape!

*Amazon Affiliate links used

If you didn't know this about me, I love pens and pencils. Most artists and writers are probably like that. I always have several on me which I use for different things. Yes I really need more than one! I like my super thin Zebra Sarasa Clip 0.3 for writing in my mini Bullet Journal because with it my hand writing is neater and I can fit more letters on the tiny pages. I like Pilot G2 0.38 for it's smooth flow to underline things in books and write on larger paper with like my journal. The red Pilot G2 07 is nice for anytime I need a nice bold thick line in an accent color or for correcting things, and the classic BIC mechanical pencil is good for sketching. Anyways I'm getting tired of having them in my pockets. It's not comfortable and is sometimes hard to dig them out, plus I can't see which is which so I have to pull them all out to get the one I want. I was thinking of buying a holder to go on my belt but then came up with the idea to just make one with gaff tape! It was easy, it works really well, looks pretty good, and I can't even tell it's there so that's awesome. 

Here's a pic from Instagram:

Friday, August 10, 2018

Going to Siggraph

Next week I'll be in Canada at an amazing CG conference. It will be awesome! I'm expecting to be incredibly inspired as an artist and to take lots of notes. 

What is Siggraph you ask? Great question! I'll let them tell you:
SIGGRAPH is the world's largest conference on computer graphics. It takes place once a year in a city somewhere in the U.S. or Canada, and is attended by tens of thousands of computer graphics professionals. SIGGRAPH is one of the most highly respected venues for the presentation of new computer graphics technology and research. [source]

I'm going to stay at the conference as long as possible to get as much information and inspiration as possible but the show doesn't last all day so I'm also hoping for a little downtime to do the following:

  1. Finish outlining the next book I'm going to write.
    1. For more on that check out my blog post: I'm Writing a New Book, and it's a New Kind of Book!
  2. Get some running in.
  3. Get some reading in.
  4. Finish writing my book of Haikus called "Explore (108 Haikus)"
  5. Hang out with my co-workers and get to know them better
It should be an awesome trip! I'm really going to miss my family. Being away from them will be really hard. My coworker went a few years ago and said it was amazing. So much to see. So many top piers from the 3D industry to learn from and meet. It should be an incredible experience. I'll let you know how it went and hopefully soon I'll have news to share about my haiku book being available for purchase. The cover is already done! Should be a fun little paperback for trips, night stands, coffee tables, and book shelves. Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, July 9, 2018

Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson | Book Review

This book was fantastic. There were some parts where I was a little bored thus 4 instead of 5 stars, but in general it was amazing. Great characters that I fell in love with in the last book I got to know and love even more. The story was awesome. I also really liked the city the story takes place in and getting to fly through it on adventures with the Wax the protagonist. Again Wayne was as charming as ever. A scoundrel you can't help but love. Without giving anything away I'll just say that the antagonist not only seems impossible to beat (not saying he/she is beat) but also turns out to have a huge twist on who they are that I didn't see coming. It was a well crafted story. 

Check out the Author's Website:

Buy the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):

Friday, June 29, 2018

I was gone & I was on The Writing Crusade podcast again!



I've been away from home for almost 2 weeks, but while I was gone something for you to listen to was published! Episode 12 of The Writing Crusade with Indiana Jim! I'm his co-host now and we talked about:

In this episode, I tell Dan all about The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. Almost all of us commit acts of self-sabotage when we experience new levels of success, love, joy or creativity. How do we overcome our limiting beliefs and spend our time where we are truly unique and gifted? The lessons from the book are especially relevant to writers. Most of all I want to inspire you to make the big leap in your life and writing career.

Go have a listen, it was a fun time as always talking about writing with Jim. In other news, where was I for the last 2 weeks? At a kids church summer camp with my whole family, and then we went to Glacier Montana with two other families. It's been a super fun very exhausting couple of weeks! Pics below:

A post shared by Dan Absalonson (@dandantheartman_author) on

Friday, June 15, 2018

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 72
The Chimera Sequence by Elliott Garber


Download the .mp3


In this 72nd episode, I review The Chimera Sequence by Elliott Garber. This book was rich in action, cosmopolitan characters, science and medicine, and touching scenes. It's about a group who risk their lives to fight off evil men while trying to save a special group of gorillas. The audiobook was amazing. The narrator nailed every accent and his narration was spot on. 

Buy the Book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
The Chimera Sequence


Check out the author's website:
https://www.elliottgarber.com/author/

Music Attribution:
Music by Kevin MacLeod at http://www.incompetech.com
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Visit my website: www.DanDanTheArtMan.com

Support the show AND get a free audiobook!
http://www.audibletrial.com/DansBookReviews

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week:

The Chimera Sequence (Affiliate Link)
Written by Elliott Garber
Narrated by Neil Shah


This episode of Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews has been brought to you by Audible. Visit www.AudiblePodcast.com/DansBookReviews for a free trial membership.

Audible Free Trial Details

Get an audiobook of your choice, free, with a 30-day trial. After the trial, your paid membership will begin at $14.95 per month. With your membership, you will receive one credit every month, good for any audiobook on Audible.

Cancel anytime, effective the next monthly billing cycle. Cancel before your trial ends and you will not be charged. Check out the full terms and policies that apply to Audible membership.

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Friday, June 1, 2018

My Novel is on Sale to Celebrate Summer Reading!



Summer reading is upon us! In celebration I'm marking down my debut novel "Haunted House Flipper" to $2.99 in eBook the month of June! Happy reading!

Purchase Links:


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor | Book Review

This charming children's novel was such a good read. It's in first person, and the main character, Marty Preston, is an eleven year old boy you can't help but sympathize with. He gets into quite a predicament. I loved the way the story just effortlessly unfolded. It was a delightful read and the voice of the eleven year old protagonist the author was able to pull off came across as beautifully authentic. It's a simple story with rich complicated emotions. 

I read this book because after reading the third one in the series my 10 year old son said he liked these books as much as Harry Potter. I didn't think I'd ever hear those words come from his mouth. It's pretty cool that a simple little story that pulls on your heart strings can affect a young reader, and an old one in me, to the same degree as a well crafted mystery fantasy novel like Harry Potter with a huge story world to build and all kinds of layers going on. I look forward to reading the next one in the series and talking about these books with my boy. They raise a lot of great ethics questions on what's right and wrong.

Check out the author's website:
http://phyllisnaylor.com/

Get the book at Amazon (Affiliate Link):
Shiloh (The Shiloh Quartet)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

I'm Writing a New Book, and it's a New Kind of Book!


I have discovered a new kind of book, and it's the kind I'm going to start writing next! Scroll to the bottom to see what may be part of the first chapter someday. Here's the story of how I came to write this "new to me" type of book. My oldest son just turned 10. Last Christmas I gave him the first Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. He devoured it and then the entire series before the next Christmas rolled around! It succeeded at making him a huge reader. Everything he's read since then pales in comparison. He's still enjoyed a ton of other books but none were ever as good as Harry Potter until now...


After finishing this book, which is the third of four in the series, he told me he liked it as much as Harry Potter. That got my attention. Here's a link to the first one in the series: Shiloh (The Shiloh Quartet). I checked out the series online and saw that Wikipedia called it a "children's novel" instead of a chapter book. I asked my son if it had any illustrations. It did not. You see after reading a ton of awesome chapter books I bought for my son I fell in love with them and wrote my own. Cool! Where is this chapter book you wrote? I want to buy it! Great question. I did indeed finish it. Even cleaned it up and handed it to Beta Readers and got good feedback on it. The thing is, I'm illustrating it. It's going well and I'm really pleased with the illustrations I've done so far, but they're taking me forever! So in the meantime a book I finished is sitting and waiting. Chapter books all have illustrations, which is something I love about them, but this new "children's novel" I've stumbled upon does not have illustrations. It's about 1/3 to twice as long as a chapter book too, which is an awesome length! My novella Sword and Urn is the length of a children's novel.

So, I still have yet to flesh out the outline, but I pecked out what might someday resemble part of the first chapter, and here it is. Enjoy:



"I Can Fly" (Kid Secret Agent Adventures Book 1) © Dan Absalonson 2018


My name is Bucky Travers and I live with my grandma in a house that smells like cabbage. Dang, that was a terrible start. Let me try again. My name is Bucky Travers and I am a kid secret agent. Okay, so both of those things are true, but focus on the secret agent part because that's way better. Grandma Rose is cool and all, but she thinks I just go to school all day. She's been taking care of me ever since my parents died in a car accident when I was two. I pretty much think of her as my mom.
She's a sweet old lady who always wears sweaters, dresses, pearl earrings, a pearl necklace, and huge glasses. Her skin is all wrinkly and she's a little slow at getting around but she takes great care of me. Her cooking is the best and she can still drive, not that I need her to drive me around anymore.
My grandma Rose doesn't know about the deal the government made with my principle to keep up appearances that I'm just a normal boy who goes to sixth grade and plays kickball and stuff. I still have to learn all the stuff I would at school, but now I do that in a government building with a Tudor named Agent Fredrickson. He's pretty cool. Not a lot of personality, but a nice enough guy and very good at teaching.
So what do I spend most of my days doing when I should be at school? Working for the government on secret missions to recover lost artifacts and magical items they don't wan't the world to know about. I know what you're thinking, I'm just a kid. I can't be a secret agent, right? Well I am just a kid, but a kid who can fly.
It all started when I was on my way home from getting an awesome birthday balloon for my grandma from the grocery store a few blocks from our house. I wasn't paying attention to where I was walking because I was watching the balloon float above me and I tripped. My foot slipped right off the edge of the curb and I accidentally let go of the balloon. I was so upset. I was just looking up at it, staring hard wishing so bad that I could somehow just reach up high enough and get it back. That's when I noticed that somehow the balloon was getting closer. Before I knew it I was tons of feet up in the air off the ground grabbing the string of the balloon. I didn't get back down to the ground in the most graceful way but I did it without breaking anything or popping the balloon.
The next day after school a man in a nice suit showed up at our door asking for me. His name is Agent Winters. He's actually a really cool guy he's bald but has plenty of his hair above his lip in his thick red mustache. He's my boss and he treats me with respect and never lets me get into too much danger when I'm on missions. While my grandma went into the kitchen to make coffee for our guest the man informed me that they had seen me flying on a nearby camera. He asked me if I wanted to keep going to school like a normal kid, or if I wanted to work for him and learn how to use my flying abilities better with special training so I could go on missions that only someone like me could pull off.
"It will be your job to secure special objects for us," he said.
It turns out I can get into a lot of places no one else can without using noisy equipment or vehicles.
As he passed me a piece of paper I signed it right away. He smiled and tucked it into his inside jacket pocket just as my grandma was coming out with coffee.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 71
A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Download the .mp3


In this 71st episode, I review the classic novel A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle. It's easy to see why these great stories have been made into so many movies and TV shows. They're great! Listen to hear why I love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's writing so much and why this first book in the series is special. 

Buy the Book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
A Study in Scarlet

Check out the late author's website:
http://www.arthurconandoyle.com/

Music Attribution:
Music by Kevin MacLeod at http://www.incompetech.com
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Visit my website: www.DanDanTheArtMan.com

Support the show AND get a free audiobook!
http://www.audibletrial.com/DansBookReviews

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week:

A Study in Scarlet audible simon vance (Affiliate Link)
Written by Arthur Conan Doyle
Narrated by Simon Vance


This episode of Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews has been brought to you by Audible. Visit www.AudiblePodcast.com/DansBookReviews for a free trial membership.

Audible Free Trial Details

Get an audiobook of your choice, free, with a 30-day trial. After the trial, your paid membership will begin at $14.95 per month. With your membership, you will receive one credit every month, good for any audiobook on Audible.

Cancel anytime, effective the next monthly billing cycle. Cancel before your trial ends and you will not be charged. Check out the full terms and policies that apply to Audible membership.

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Things Dads Do | Web Comic

Hey guys! I started a silly little comic called "Things Dads Do." If you follow that link you can go to the website for it. It's made entirely on my iPhone with my fingers. So it's pretty much finger painting. Here is the first one:





Monday, April 16, 2018

Our Trip to Antigua Guatemala


Here are a few quick entries I jotted down in my notebook for some of the days my family and I were out of the states visiting friends and serving in Guatemala. It was an amazing and humbling experience. I'm really thankful it was in my wife's heart to go back there and bring us with her. She lived down there for a few months 15 years ago.

START OF JOURNAL ENTRIES:

WEDNESDAY 3/28/18
Traveling all day. Up at 2:30Am, writing this at 9:33PM. Our plane is waiting on the tarmac because of bad weather. We're on our way to Guatemala but are still in the US in Houston, TX with a 3 hour flight still ahead of us.

There's a lot more to that story, but to sum it up, we were up for like 26 hours until we finally made it to our friend's house in Antigua Guatemala.

FRIDAY 3/30/18
• Ran 5 miles. Was shooting for 8 miles, because it had been 6 days since I'd run, but when you're used to running in 40 degree dry weather, going in humid 70s is rough, so I turned around at 2.5 miles and ran a minute slower each mile for the whole run! Also, BOOK RELEASE DAY!!! "Haunted House Flipper" was published!!!!!

SATURDAY 3/31/18
• Ran 2 miles

SUNDAY 4/1/18
• EASTER SUNDAY!!!
He is risen indeed. Went to church at IDC in Antigua Guatemala. The worship music was amazing. Phenominal musicians and singer, and they sing in Spanish, then the same verse in English. Our friend translated the sermon and her husband played keyboard. Afterwards we went to a potluck with people from the church at one of the pastor's houses. It was cool to see the close community they have. They even did an Easter egg hunt for the kids. I met a teenager from Germany and we talked a lot. His name is --- -------.

MONDAY 4/2/18
• We hiked up a volcano called Pacaya Volcano.
It was nice to have a horse for the kids to share. Pretty intense incline, down was rough too but it was awesome!
• Roasted marshmellows on the volcano from the hot rocks

TUESDAY 4/3/18
Went into town w/ our friend and walked through the market. I bouth a cool Antigua Guatemala trucker hat. We got Guatemalan dresses and purses for the girls, and bags and wallets for the boys.

WEDNESDAY 4/4/18
We went to a feeding clinic. It was an amazing experience. Very humbling. The kids handed out tortillas and poured juice for children in ragged clothes who won't get much else to eat today. My wife passed out plates of beans and rice and helped translate for our kids. I loaded up trays for the kitchen with plates of rice and beans and delivered them. We ate the same thing before serving the kids. I got teary eyed while carrying the trays. We Americans live in such excess. These kids have next to nothing. It was a very humbling experience.

THURSDAY 4/5/18
• Ran 6 miles

FRIDAY 4/6/18
We drove to a lake house. It should have taken us 3 hours or less. It took us 8 hours. We took the long way around and drove all the way down a horrible dirt road almost until it connected back to a main road only to be told it was closed and we had to turn around. It was rough, but on the way we stopped for coffee at a place where the kids played on a see-saw, some playground equipment, and saw animals at a petting zoo. We were going to see some Mayan ruins but accidentally passed them. 

SATURDAY 4/7/18
We woke up in the beautiful spacious lake house and had breakfast. Then we drove into town and rented a boat. We took it to the next town which was less touristy. We had lunch and saw how the local women make things from cotton. It’s a really long process of getting threat from cotton, dying it, and then weaving it. It takes over a week just to make a scarf when they work 6 hour days. We bought a lot of stuff from them.

END JOURNAL ENTRIES

We were there for another week, but those are all the entries I managed to get into my notebook. It was an amazing trip and we plan on going back someday to serve more and hang with our friends again who live down there. In the meantime we need to learn way more Spanish! I'm so glad my wife planned that amazing trip.