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Preview: Dan Absalonson | Author of SciFi & Fantasy

Dan Absalonson | Author of SciFi & Fantasy

Dan posts book reviews and shares in his fiction writing journey.

Updated: 2018-04-23T02:24:01.903-07:00


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 3/28/18Traveling 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 milesSUNDAY 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 rocksTUESDAY 4/3/18Went 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 4/4/18We 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 milesFRIDAY 4/6/18We 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 4/7/18We 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 ENTRIESWe 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.[...]

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:

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


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


(image) 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. (image)

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):

Book Memes | A Christmas Carol


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!

Book Memes


While reading the wonderful classic "Black Beauty" I had the idea to create a meme image for it. I think this is something I'm going to start doing for every book I read. It seems like a fun little project, and I can post them all on a new page here on my website called Book Memes. Should be fun!

plural noun: memes
  1. an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
    • a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell | Book Review


This was such a charming book. Though some modern, or younger, readers may find it a bit dull in places, I loved it! It did a remarkable job of chronicling the life of a horse in first person, er um... first horse. As it's subtitle suggests it is like reading the autobiography of a horse. If that doesn't sound like an enjoyable read, just give one chapter a chance and I think you'll find that you'll soon be dissuaded of putting this book down. It breathes so much life and personality into the horses in the story. It was a real treat to read. I learned a lot about horses and I loved spending time with the main character Black Beauty. You can feel the love of animals, and especially horses, the author Anna Sewell had from her writing. If I could I would climb into the pages of this book, apple in hand, and give Black Beauty a treat for bringing me along with him on many adventures. I loved how personal the narrative was. Black Beauty, and other horses he speaks with, share of their dealings with men that either have a mean or kind demeanor. It was heartwarming to see the change brought about in a horse from their treatment being changed from cruel to kind.Without spoilers I'll just also say that when certain characters have to part ways it was heartbreaking. This is something that happens more than once so I'm not giving any of the story away in sharing this. That's how real the horses were as characters to me while I read this book. I also really appreciated the morality shared in this book. It is shown how kindness, even when it requires a more difficult path, is the way that leads to men being persons others desire to be like. It also shares a lesson that when you see something terrible being done, you should do what you can to stop it and not simply go on your way. This book has some great lesson for children, actually everyone, to read.I was so pleased with the ending that I cried like a little baby reading the last chapter. Man this was a good book. I loved it! I was expecting it to be dull and boring, but it was so heartwarming and lovely. Black Beauty is now a dear friend. What a fantastic read.Get the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):Black Beauty (Dover Children's Evergreen Classics)Learn more about the author:[...]

The Landing by Donald Conrad | Book Review


(image) You are thrust into a very desperate situation in this thrilling little sci-fi adventure. The pace worked really well and made me want to keep reading. Nothing is easy for the character and this intense struggle makes for an intriguing read.

This short story is written in first person present tense. You don't see that in most fiction and it makes for an interesting read. I think it works well to give the story an even greater sense of urgency then the situations present on their own. It helps you feel like you are right there with the character in his perilous situation.

The entire story isn't just a gut wrenching race, however. There was some great description that also added to the feeling that you were right there with the character. Just little moments where something is described with just enough detail to pull you further into the story. The author Donald Conrad did a good job of imagining himself in his story and then describing the things he saw in his mind that the character was going through. I look forward to more stories from this author. (image)

Get the book on Amazon (Affiliate Link):
The Landing(image)

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