It would be "stupid white woman who can kill any fire". It's not that I dont try. I have been counseled by many, many people. I know how to lay the wood, placing it just so with the small stuff on the bottom and the bigger wood above, put paper and/or cardboard under it, make sure there is enough room between all of it to draft up the chimney. Make sure the flu is open. All of these things I do, faithfully. That being said, the fires never want to catch. A bit of flame then nothing. Poke and prod with stoker, a bit of flame then nothing. Move logs around...same bit of flame then nothing.
I know if I had to count on fire for warmth I would freeze to death and if I had to cook with it the food would be au natural ( aka raw ). I eventually do get the flames going and then I dont let it die. John wonders how I can go through so much wood but once I get it going, there is no way I am going to let it die.
The really pitiful part of this whole thing is that there is a propane starter inside the fireplace and one would think that should make it easier. I dont know why it doesnt but all the situations above include the use of said starter. Maybe I should forget the wood and just enjoy the gas flames.