Monday, June 24, 2013

The Thrill of it All and Hot Newsflash

Tara Taylor and Heather M. Gardner are hosting The Thrill of it All Blogfest.

On June 24th, share a big thrill with us to be entered into The Thrill of it All blogfest contest! We will judge the biggest thrills and give out some thrilling prizes.
Entries may be real or fiction. All we ask is that you keep them to a paragraph or so. 
AND...we are giving out some REALLY great prizes!
1) A copy of MAGUIRE'S CORNER, ebook
2) An ARC copy of POP TRAVEL
3) A $20 Amazon GC
4) A banner or caricature by Tara (or substitute if the winner has another need)
So mark us on your calendar, sign up on the linky list below, and grab our button... THRILL US! (I'll try.)

Centuries ago, I made a Venom costume for a Halloween competition at the most popular bar of the city. I was very ill and could barely walk so I talked a friend into competing in my behalf. Few hours before the competition my friend backed out. I was heartbroken. If only I were healthy enough! Watching my disappointment, my brothers decided to step in for my sake. My eldest brother hates confined hot spaces. He offered to wear the costume in spite it was very hot but he needed a companion. Mother Dragon hates crowds and electronic music. She disguised herself as Maleficent (make up and all) in order to be his last minute-partner. She would enter a young adult-only bar with deafening electronic music and long rows of people crowding the door. My younger brother, who is the personification of composure and elegance, climbed a light pole like a monkey in order to signal his gate keeper friend to let "Venom" and "Malificent" enter first. And my youngest brother, who has absolutely no patience at all for waiting, sat in the car for the four hours the event lasted.

Years of brothers' quarrels becoming meaningless in the blink of an eye, and my family uniting and bearing what they hate most out of love for me will always be one of the greatest thrills of my life.

Samanta Geary at writerlysam  is collaborating with the motion picture music production house, Audiomachine, for their album release "The Tree of Life" beginning July 15th. She will be hosting a "Tree of Life: Branching Out" writing challenge/contest for guest writers. Each writer will contribute their own 150 word excerpt to a continuing story collectively written over the course of 25 days. Guest writers can spin the story in whatever direction they choose, as long as it relates to the previously posted excerpt and is inspired by the featured Audiomachine track. When the collective story is complete, fans will vote for their favorite excerpt -- the top three writers will be awarded prizes. Keep an eye on her, this promises to be fun.

Tyrean Martinson is having a giveaway of her new book Dragonfold and Other Adventures!

Azami has a gift with origami. Will she master it in time to save herself from bondage? Find out in "Dragonfold."
Joanne lost more than her honor in the war, she lost her will to live. When bandits attack her homestead, will she stand or fall in "Enough to Do?"
 And just who is Captain Wrath under that itchy, false wig Find out more in “The Identity of Captain Wrath.”

Click on the links and check it out!

Antonio del Drago from Mythic Scribes Fantasy Writing  was kind enough to send me a copy of his new book to review.

The Mythic Guide to Characters covers three basic layers for characters. Layer 1 covers the Unconscious Mind and The Enneagram. The way Dr. Del Dragon explains things made it easy to understand even if the reader has no previous knowledge of psychology, which was my case. The fact he includes specific examples of famous characters in his explanation was excellent to help me understand the types better. His observations were fascinating to read and it gave me better idea of how to work my own characters.

Layer 2, covers Bartle Types and the Five Great Relationships. Not being a fan of video games, I found the Bartle Types a bit harder and complex to grasp. However, I got to see their useful application through famous characters he used as examples.

Layer 3 covers the Archetypes and the Soul Triptych. I think it is the clearest information I have read about Archetypes so far. The Soul Triptych also gives good insight of things that may help the story.

Although Dr. del Drago clarifies at the beginning there are no writing rules set in stone, his three layers contribute for a better and deeper characterization. He includes a Character Worksheet at the end of the book as an excellent guideline for character building.

There is a section called Further Considerations where Dr. del Drago covers subjects like Dialogue and Speech Patterns (Writing Dialogue, Vocabulary, Jargon, Slang, Sentence Structure, etc). In my opinion this is the only part I find weak in the book. It covers too many subjects too briefly to get something really useful out of them. Personally, I would have preferred he would cover less subjects in exchange of more depth (and include examples) like he did it, and very well, in the Layers.

In general terms The Mythic Guide to Characters is a pleasant and interesting book, easy to understand and full of insights to avoid two dimensional characters.

Don't forget to check out and follow his site. You'll find a lot of interesting information there!


  1. The blog fest seems a great one but a bit late to get something up together. Enjoyed your post. have a good day.


  2. Aloha,

    My Spanglish is horrible, but me gusta tu familia :)

    PS: It's great to see that in this instance blood was thicker than fear and impatience.

    Wishing you a great, happy and healthy week, *dear friend.*

    PPS... to give you a laugh... originally I wrote "amiguito" because 22 years since I lived in Spain, I thought I remembered this word meaning "dear friend" - but I wasn't sure of the spelling...

    I am *so* glad I checked :)

  3. What an aweinspiring story of family solidarity and love. Thank you - I am smiling very loudly.

  4. Your brother stepped up for you. That speaks more of brotherly love than any words.
    Your entry is definitely the winner.
    And excited for Tyrean's new book!

  5. Great story of family love and cooperation. It certainly would be a thrill. Its a long time since I used Spanish, but surely its su familia or doesn't it matter in Mexico?

  6. What a great brother you have! Tomorrow, I am helping my daughter create her elaborate creation for the next Coz Play, with the help of my mother. A real family affair!
    Thanks for the info regarding 'writerlysam'- I will drop by and investigate!

  7. Wow! Lots of truly excellent info on your site. I'm glad I came over from Tara's house to visit.
    CD Coffelt ponders at Spirit Called
    And critiques at UnicornBell

  8. What a great family you have.
    And the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. :)

  9. That was so sweet of your brother!

  10. What would we do without our families? True love shines through this post today.

  11. That was really awesome of your family! And seriously, those costumes are hard to make!

  12. Your family is awesome!!! Love that they helped you out! Every time you write about your art, I am amazed again - you are one talented dragon!

    Thanks for the awesome shout out! I really appreciate it!

  13. What a great story, Al! Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday so I totally understand being crushed when you were unable to entre your costume! Your family could have been dressed as superheros under their other costumes for the way they swooped in and saved the day!

  14. Ah, Al. I got a little teary eyed on that one. I love that story. No matter how much family's fight, they come together when it counts.

  15. What a touching story about your family. Loved it. :)

  16. What a heart-warming story of your sweet brothers and MD! I bet it was magnificent!

  17. This is such a great story Al!
    Family coming together and being there when it really counts...
    Thanks for sharing!
    Writer In Transit

  18. Your family is great and I think this is a great story, very touching.

  19. Now -that- is a story of family truly coming together.

    Loved it!

  20. I can see why that was such a thrill for you. Such a wonderful heartwarming story of family love. Yes, all those quarrels and disagreements mean nothing when love wins out!

    Great blog, so much information, and a review too!

    Samantha's writing challenge sounds like fun!

  21. Family is great. We fuss and fight as sibblings, we don't see eye to eye on a lot things but when the chips are down, we stand shoulder to shoulder. Does feel good, doesn't it?


  22. thrills and exciting news. i love your family rescue story! beautiful!

  23. That's family at its best...rallying on behalf of their own. My kids will band together against me. And it may sound awful, but I love it. One gets in trouble, they try to help the poor sap hide and come to the evil mom to testify on the guilty's behalf.

    There sure are some excellent books out! I need more time to read them all!

  24. A beautiful story of brotherly love. Thank you for sharing it.

  25. That is a fantastic story, Father Dragon. What a wonderful family you have - going way above and beyond. I have a soft spot for Maleficent.

    The layers approach sounds very interesting. Thanks for the review.

  26. Wow. That was a really great and thrilling story about your family. Thanks for sharing it with us and thanks for participating.

  27. Aww! That's so awesome your family stepped in and helped you out! :D

  28. How touching that your mother and brother faced what they didn't like to help you. Love is a thrill in all its forms. :)

    So much going on. Sam is great. I'll be participating.

  29. What an awesome dragon family! Glad.things worked out. And.good.luck to Tyrean and!

  30. Our family did something similar to help my son write a paper for school. We all took part of the project to help him get it in on time. Probably didn't help his research abilities but did make him beholden to us for a long time. That was the thrill.

  31. I always like when true stories have happy endings. :)

  32. That thrill tops all in my book Father Sir.

    Samanta's challenge sounds like fun. And wow, I need to tell someone who loves me to buy del Drago's book for me!

    Have a good week Sir.


  33. That was a touching story - your family really came through when you needed them most:) Nothing beats the thrill of knowing your loved ones have your back!

    Really appreciate the shout! Audiomachine just sent over the digitally remastered tracks - hot of the orchestra! This is gearing up to be an EPIC ride, my friend!

  34. nothing beats like a caring brother! dragon word!

  35. Sounds like you have an amazing family. Thanks for sharing such a touching story. :-)

  36. awww. sweet of your brother to step in!

  37. That's what real families do, put aside their differences in times when someone needs help. You have a great family Father Dragon. :)

  38. Man I wish I could see a picture of that Venom. Family tends to come when you need them, that is what makes them so special. Great story.

  39. That story about your thrill was so awww...
    Do you have pictures? ;)

  40. Hi Al,

    Okay, sorry, I know how you've been eagerly waiting for my comment :) A touching and inspirational story of families getting together when it really does matter.

    Check out all the links and I have been 'begged' to get involved in one of your links :) Oh, before I go, Argggghhhhh!!! blogfests!!! Okay, I feel better now. LOL

    Peace and friendship, your way,

    Gary :)

  41. Ah yes , dear families can make life interesting !!

  42. I am so glad you are back. I have missed looking at the awesome tbuy work that you Gym fitness accessories

  43. Great story! Ah, brotherly love. He took one for the team. Very cool indeed.

  44. Thanks for the information... I really love your blog posts... specially those on Local Tamil News

  45. I enjoyed reading your post and I like your take on the issue. Thanks. csbe