Nothing is quite as nice as sitting by a wood-burning fireplace when the weather outside is quite frightful.
The only problem is that the perfect fire isn't so easy to build and maintain. Using the exact same method (the boy scout "tipi" method), has yielded me mixed results for years. I blame the wood (it's too wet). I blame an over zealous amount of newspaper (it makes too much smoke). And then I just throw my hands up and say oh well...this will do.
Then I started reading about the "Upside Down Fire" method. Those who have tried it say it's foolproof. It burns for hours without any attention needed and the fire is nearly smokeless. I definitely think this is worth a try. Check out these detailed instructions.