Crumple up Newspapers and stuff them between the kindling. Place a few big logs at the base so that they will catch on fire after the kindling burns. Light a match and set the newspaper on fire in a few places. If the stack of wood you made has good airflow the fire should start fairly easily.
Taking care of your fireplace
One of the drawbacks of wood burning fireplaces versus gas fireplaces is that they are messy and require routine maintenance. Its a labor of love to enjoy the real thing.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends that wood burning fireplaces should be cleaned once each year. If you use your fireplace frequently I would stick with this guideline. If you use the fireplace rarely, then once every couple of years is sufficient.
Soot, also called Creosote, is tiny unburned solid particles and oils left over from the wood. These particles are flammable and stick to the walls of your chimney. Overtime if your fireplace is not cleaned this soot can build up and may become a fire hazard. Chimney fires are dangerous and totally preventable with occasional fireplace cleanings.
I recommend hiring a Chimney Sweep to clean your chimney.
Getting out the Soot Stains
After using your fireplace frequently, you might start getting soot stains around the mantel. Usually this is because you are building fires that are too big, or burning fires without opening the flue, or burning green wood.