Listen to my Short Story "The Forest Trail"

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien & Christopher Tolkien
Book Review

Wow. What a journey. A lot of it went over my head. The only way I was able to make it through this dense but beautiful tome was by reading it a chapter at a time and then listening to episodes of The Prancing Pony podcast where Alan Sisto and Shawn Marchese astutely and lovingly go through the chapters talking about them and helping you understand what all is going on. I can't wait to read The Hobbit with this podcast as a companion, though I've read the Hobbit half a dozen times already! I could see maybe revisiting this book again someday in the future. I feel like it will take several reads to maybe scratch the surface of understanding all of what is going on and all the names. Tolkien indeed rendered a rich world!

Grab your copy at Amazon, the mass market paperbacks are cheap. I read it by listening to the audiobook. It was excellently narrated by Martin Shaw.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

My First Story

659 words. That is how many words I managed to write at my parent's old IBM computer in high school. I knew I wanted to write a story about someone on a quest to find the greatest sword ever made. I couldn't have even told you at the time that I was attempting to write a fantasy story. I didn't even know that word or what "genre" meant. I just knew I liked stories and wanted to try my hand at my own. It wasn't until finished college that I started to actually pursue writing, and even that was after I got married and quit the heavy metal band I was in. I wanted to have something to continue my creative output into. Unlike being in a band, which required a lot of time practicing, I could write on my own whenever I had time to. And so, I started to write. If you click on the BOOKS tab above you can see I have written some books. A search on eBook retail websites will show you I've written a couple dozen short stories as well. I had the idea today, wouldn't it be fun to finish what I started all those years ago? Now that I've learned a thing or two about story structure and have gotten a lot of words down on the page. Maybe now I could tackle this story. It would be a Young Adult fantasy adventure. My original title was simple: "The Swordsman." I doubt I would stick to that if I ever end up publishing it but there it is. It smacks of "The Three Musketeers" which I remember getting from the Library and reading one summer. That's where I picked up the word Zounds. So here it is in all of it's terrible glory:

Splat! A drop of rain was sliced into several pieces by his perky aggressive hair. It welcomed grease and always reached for the sky. It was easily pleaded, for who it rode upon was constantly on the move, sweating up a fight, or escaping death once more. The clothes of which he wears, with reasons, are replete with lush forest shades, and a worn look. They are tattered from much good use, and carry little stories with each rip or tear. His eyes are resplendent, and yet wise. With his current sword grasping his left hip, he walks always briskly (that is, when he's not running of course). His forest flavored eyes are constantly mimicking the ways of his body, jumping around and dodging from place to place.
“Zounds, there he is!” shouted a castle guard.
“He mustn't get away!” yelled another.
He raced down the dark lonely alley, jumped off a wall, and kicked himself the other direction to just catch the top of a gate. Quickly he jumped over to the other side, set down a long plain sac, and drew his sword. 
“Take this in return you undeserving pitiful swordsmen; you have my sorrow for your great lack of skill. Tell the king this sword I have throne to you is of equal value, just not quality.” 
Or so I hope, he thought. 
“I guess they don't make royal guard standards as high as I remember.”
The guards just tried to ignore him, even though they knew he easily got the best of them. They were all trying to get the gate open faster, but with little luck. It was but a small side gate rarely used, and rather rusty no less. The long brown sac was quickly snatched, and taken away. The guards, knowing they had failed, simply gave up with the gate, and watched the stealthy figure disappear into darkness. Then they heard a strange sound, perhaps a whistle being blown, and then the trotting of a horse. Yet all of this was out of sight, for the darkness had already set in long ago; just as was planned by this mysterious crafty swordsman.
“Was not that the man who goes any and everywhere in search of the greatest sword ever built?” said a guard breaking the silence. 
“Could be, let me have a look at that there…” 
The guard's face turned to stone.
“It had to be! For look upon the sword he left behind!”
He gazed upon the long missing sword of the Vanchester Castle. "This sword tis from a very far away land! Lord Byron shant be as mad at us with this, but we still have it coming to us."
Slowing the pace through Everglade Meadow he threw down the sac revealing a majestic sword of almost perfect weight, balance, and length.
This one better be superior to the last one, not that I had to go to any trouble to get it, he thought.
Having his sword he continued on his way towards the nearest forest his eyes met. He knew not of where he was going, or why he was going that way. He only knew that he was going somewhere, and that somewhere was a place to test out his new sword to see if it was good enough. If it wasn't an adequate sword then he would search word of an even greater sword, and then head that way as he liked.
As of now, he had wandered into a cheery forest. As he roamed through he found a small trail far off from the beaten path he was presently following. He only cared for an adventure at the end of the way, therefore, he began to follow the smaller harder to ensue trail. After a matter of ten minutes he saw the trail begin to broaden, and finally the musty appearance of an old shanty came into view.

Copyright Dan Absalonson © 2022

Monday, October 25, 2021

Haunted House Flipper this Halloween

My novel Haunted House Flipper is a perfect read for the Halloween season. I describe it as Supernatural meets HGTV with a Christian mythology.

Here's the synopsis:

Ray is a friendless realtor who stumbles on some supernatural tools, including a sword, that can rid a property of evil spirits. He decides to use them to change his career and finally become a house flipper, but on a grander scale. He plans to flip old haunted mansions that no one else will buy, rid them of their evil spirits, renovate them, and sell them for a hefty profit. Getting them to leave isn't as easy as he'd hoped and he has some competition from Bill Baldock, who buys up haunted mansions to destroy them and build apartment complexes in their place. Discover a new world within our own with Ray as he tries to learn how to use his new tools against demons, make new friends, and outsmart new enemies.

Purchase Links:

Click your preferred online retailer above and grab your copy today! Available in both Paperback and eBook at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and in all eBook formats at Smashwords.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Seekers Tales by Nathan Lowell | Book Review

Review for "In Ashes Born"
I don't know how he does it. These books are like no Sci-Fi I've ever read. They are more akin to classical literature where not much happens externally in these quiet beautiful stories, but a lot is going on internally in the main character. This book was written with heart. I really enjoyed the many quiet scenes and descriptions of good meals among old friends. It's certainly a treat for those of us who set off on our first voyage with Ishmael when he was but a kitchen rat who knew how to make good coffee. I really enjoyed this story and can't wait to read the next book in the series. Time to set sail once again with some of the old crew and some new friends. Nathan's done it again.

Review for "To Fire Called"
It is so awesome to get more stories with these characters. I loved most of this book. So many great scenes with characters I've come to love. I really enjoyed all of act 1. There were a few slow parts near the end of act 2 that left me pining for more to happen and the plot was a bit confusing, but I was happy with the book once I finished it. Of all of the Solar Clipper stories this one is a 4 and every other book has been a 5. I'm done with this review because I'm ready to start reading the next one right now!

Review for "By Darkness Forged"
That was a really fun ride through the deep dark with some very beloved characters. It was so fun to set sail with them again after reading the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper books when they first came out a while back. It was great to see the protagonist, Ishmael, back in action in this book. He was like his old self again and seeing him emerge once more was very satisfying. I really enjoyed this last book and it was bitter sweet to read the last few chapters. I had a huge smile on my face and tears in my eyes because I loved it and it was coming to an end. So glad to have more adventures with Ishmael after the other books ended. 

Head on over to Nathan's site to grab copies for yourself:

Thursday, September 9, 2021

I'm Writing Fiction Again

Accidental Minecraft Family Book 1
That's right. I'm writing fiction again and you'll never guess what kind it is. It's not the Kindle Vella story  "I Can Fly" that I started as I wrote about a few posts ago, though I would like to keep writing episodes for that. 
I am writing an Unofficial Minecraft Book. 
My good buddy Pixel Ate has been making a living writing these books! It's not just the genre either, he's a great writer who puts out books consistently. Read the first book, "Accidental Minecraft Family: Book 1" and see for yourself. The coolest part is, his own son couldn't get into reading until he read books like these that take place in the world of Minecraft. Once he found them he devoured dozens of them so my friend tried his hand at it and he's doing really well at it. His books are fun and funny. If you have Kindle Unlimited you can read his book for free! It's about a family who wakes up in the game Minecraft. If you like them like I do, he's up to the 16th book available for pre-order now!

My story is going to be about a boy from medieval times who dreams of fighting real monsters and becoming a hero. He walks through a fairy ring which acts as a portal transporting him into the world of Minecraft where he was told he could fight monsters, but he knows nothing about the world and must figure it all out the hard way. I'm on chapter 2 of 40 so I have a ways to go but the great thing about these books is that they're short. I don't have much time to write it but when I do have a small amount of time I'm able to knock out most of a chapter.