Listen to my Short Story "The Forest Trail"

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:

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

Visit my website:

Support the show AND get a free audiobook!

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 for a free trial 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:

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:

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

Visit my website:

Support the show AND get a free audiobook!

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 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.


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
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.

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.

• 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. 

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.


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.

Friday, March 23, 2018

My Novel "Haunted House Flipper" is out 3/30!

My debut novel "Haunted House Flipper" is out on Friday 3/30! I'm going to leave it at the special pre-order price of $2.99 for the first 2 weeks it's available.

Buy it wherever quality eBooks are sold. Coming in Paperback to Amazon and Barnes & Noble soon.

Purchase links:
Barnes & Noble:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Man From Snowy River | A Haiku

Buy at Amazon (Affiliate Link)
I love writing Haikus. They're super short little poems. I love that they force you to constrain your words into so few syllables. It may seem like an oxymoron, but constraints actually make art thrive. It's true. Check out this cool article sometime called Proof That Constraints Can Actually Make You More Creative. I started writing a themed book of Haikus, but I'm also going to start writing some that I'll just share here on my blog. Here's the first of many more to come. If you want more Haikus check out my book in progress called "Explore (108 Haikus)" free to read on Wattpad. Leave me a comment on there and let me know what you think.

So here is my Haiku about a beloved movie I watched over and over again as a child:

The Man From Snowy River

Snowy River Jim
Rode a horse like no other
Down really steep hills

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle | Book Review

This book was weird and full of a ton of scientific info dumping. For me it lacked a story that pulled me in. I enjoyed it a little because I liked the first book and was excited to go on another adventure with the characters, but it was just so bizarre. 

My almost 10-year-old and I have been reading it separately and then talking about it. He told me a lot of this book was hard to understand. Even though I pretty much get what was going on in the story I agree. It was pretty abstruse. Imaginative, but one thing that bothers me is how the characters just kind of do things without the narrator explaining how they do them. The characters can transport themselves to different places and sizes and can communicate with each other telepathically but it's just sort of introduced and then all of a sudden it's a thing.

I was expecting to get to know Meg and Charles Wallace's Dad more but we didn't really get to. Charles Wallace wasn't in this story much either. There's a reason for it, but I would have liked to see more character development with him too.

Maybe I just missed the explanation of how things worked from reading through it too fast but it all seemed kind of like one strange scene to another instead of a cohesive story. I liked the first one, but this one wasn't for me. Kudos to the author for such creative ideas, I just wish the story would have been more compelling and less like a science episode of the Magic School Bus info dump.

Get the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):

Monday, March 12, 2018

I'm Done Editing My Novel, Now it's with An Editor!

I finished another editing pass on my own using the amazing software called Pro Writing Aid. Now human eyes other than my own are going over it. The Pro Writing Aid software helped me eliminate passive voice in a lot of places and fixed a ton of my missing/extra commas. I think I'm learning how to use commas better from editing with this software. I highly recommend it. You can try it for free, but I bought a license to use it for 3 years because I got sick of only being able to paste parts of my chapters in the free version. Now I have unlimited word count usage with it. I can't wait to use it on my next book! Here's a screen shot below of me using the software on my novel Haunted House Flipper. It's available now for pre-order at all the fine eBook retailers!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I Was on A Cool & Hilarious Podcast!

The hosts of Cartridge Based Radio, Donald and Brad, break down old video games and try to tease out what was going on behind the scenes in the story world of the game to make it happen. We got to tackle the legendary game Shaq Fu. Everyone hates this game, and while I acknowledge it's terrible for many reasons, my brothers and I actually had a lot of fun playing it when we were in grade school. Listen to the episode to hear me explain how this terrible game can actually be really fun. It's really funny and you get to learn a little about the game, but also hear the two host's theories on what brought about the world that the characters in the game live in. Every episode I've listened to has made me laugh and this one where I got to be a guest was no exception. It was a blast to be on the show. Go to their website, or your favorite podcatcher, and give it a listen. I'm sure you'll be hitting the subscribe button before you can say Shaq. 

Go have a listen for yourself:
Cartridge Based Radio Episode 49

Thursday, February 15, 2018

I'm a Co-Host on The Writing Crusade w/ Indian Jim!

Remember that cryptic post I published a while back called "Exciting News?" It's here! I got to go onto Indiana Jim's writing podcast, called The Writing Crusade, as his co-host! We talked a lot about writing, how to do it better, more often, and lots of other great stuff. Go check it out.

Check out the latest episode, and my first appearance:

I had a great time coming on the show and I look forward to recording many more episodes with him. I've been a big fan of his podcasts and it's really cool to be a part of it now!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Revising my Novel from Beta Reader Feedback

I received a ton of great feedback from my beta readers. This weekend I was able to go through a lot of their notes and make tweaks, changes, and updates to my manuscript. I think my book is stronger and clearer in some places now. I really appreciate their time and effort reading my book and making notes on how it struck them while reading. I can't wait to pass off a clean manuscript to my editor! Above you can see a little snippet from my Bullet Journal showing my progress. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Exciting News...

I have some very exciting news. I'm not going to tell you what it is yet, because I want to wait until it's available, but until then here are some hints:

You listen to it. It has to do with writing. The song below might give it away to podcast listeners who have been around the writing podcast scene for a while:

Sanctuary by D.J. Proctor | Book Review

This was a fun Sci-Fi book. There was a ton of action, and the different races in the story were interesting. I liked seeing how they interacted with each other, from fighting, to fighting along side each other, to accidentally offending each other. The organic humanoid robots were pretty interesting too, and I liked that there was conflict in the humans with how they were treated. 

This wasn't bad for a debut novel. The story did hold my hand quite a bit and there was a lot of telling instead of showing, but it was still an entertaining read. The characters weren't developed much either, which made it hard to care when some of them died brutal deaths. A few scenes were a bit too gruesome for my taste. 

That said, I would try another book by this author. He's only going to get better, and for a first novel this one was really fun. It's full of technical Sci-Fi jargon, action, grit, space battles, gun fights, and some pretty cool races and robotic characters I enjoyed reading about. Hopefully he'll flesh out the characters and make us care about them a bit more in the next book. 

Get the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):

Monday, February 5, 2018

Did a Little Skateboarding this Weekend

My boys learned to ride their bikes without training wheels last year so I put some longboard wheels on my skateboard so I could keep up with them. We had tons of fun cruising around this weekend, and I even landed a couple ollies! I should just stick to cruising.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 70
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Download the .mp3

In this 70th episode, I review classic novel Black Beauty. I was surprised by just how much I loved this heartwarming story. It has some great moral lessons, touching stories, and you learn a ton about horses. It really made me feel like I knew the characters, even though most were horses!  

Buy the Book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
Black Beauty

Learn more about the author:

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

Visit my website:

Support the show AND get a free audiobook!

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week:

Black Beauty (Affiliate Link)
Written by Anna Sewell
Narrated by Simon Vance

This episode of Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews has been brought to you by Audible. Visit 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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