Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Beware of the Dragon! (Laugh with me or Ignore me)

I have plenty of reasons to feel insecure lately. My year didn't start so well. First, this family problem that fractured my confidence. Then a relapsing old issue with my scales, the doctor prescribed an antibiotic that was extremely aggressive, but I didn't know it until all side-effects kicked in. While my scales improved, I was suffering kidney and liver pain, headache, nausea, tachycardia, intestinal problems, and a maddening anxiety. Needless to say I was not in a bad mood. I was in the worst mood EVER.

Now, a dragon in the foulest of moods is VERY dangerous. Chemical induced anxiety is hard to control with breathing and willpower. I try not to bite but I've growled quite a few people away. I want to hug those around me breathless and I also want to chomp their heads off, just not sure on what order. Although I'm not taking the freaking antibiotic anymore, my kidneys and liver were already fragile from past ailments so they are now giving me hell for it. And I feel mad about feeling bad. Some say I'm venting my anger on myself because suddenly I've become amazingly prone to home accidents. I've also accidentally dropped and  broken a few things I liked a lot.

Yet I can't let this spiral down go on indefinitely, regardless what started it. (I just had to interrupt typing this post due to the heck of a liver pain that made me sweat.) But I've seen enough doctors in my life to learn to fear them. In my experience, they don't seem to be able to fix one thing without screwing another.  My right side screams about it right now.

Anyway, this is NOT about my insecurity regarding hospitals and my unwillingness to go see another doctor but it's related.  I am not quite myself. I am unbalanced. That's why I chose to retreat from the spotlight and let the dwarves run the Cave for now. Plenty of insecurity in many levels. First, Father Dragon claims temporary madness. Second, dwarves are not writers or sages. They are silly little creatures created with the sole purpose to amuse me and make me laugh. Third... did I mention I was volatile?

But as I've always said; when everything else fails, seek for laughter. Natural painkiller with lots of benefits  and no side-effects to regret. Soooo.... that's why the philosophic dissertations are replaced with comic strips. It was either laugh or be silent until further notice.

Now, I am not any Marvel's artist but I am studying to get there. The Dwarf Cheering Squad's project gives purpose to my practices and make homework fun, plus it keeps my mind focused on a healthy, constructive, positive goal. Besides, my dwarves are dragon proof. Absolutely nothing happens to them if I suddenly yell at them, bite them, drop them, throw them, burn them, or sit on them. As long as I don't ignore them, they're okay. I'll be okay too if I don't take things or myself seriously for a while. In case you're wondering, Alex Cavanaugh and Mark Koopmans -the finest gentlemen who agreed to take active roles in this nonsense- will be okay also because their clones are made with State-of-the-Art technology and resilient material for this project.

I'm terribly insecure about this but you can either laugh with me or ignore me. I will leave you talking to the dwarves and watching an amateur's practices towards professional graphic novel.  I am not following any particular writing law for the script because I don't want to distress myself further with writer's "holy commandments". Actually, I think I chomped part of them in a recent outburst. I am not seeking to steal Stan Lee's audience -yet. I'm just trying to keep the humor in my life (and hopefully in yours). I am trying to  channel my energy while I balance my Zen into the nice cuddling dragon I used to be not so long ago. It's still there somewhere, it's just that dragons (like all indomitable beings) also bare teeth when they're caught on their bad side.  Eventually, I'll find my way back to a reasonable balance. I always do. Then, I'll resume my philosophic dissertations about life wisdom. Right now I'm too busy keeping it in force.

This post is part of Insecure Writer's Support Group, the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanugh. Visit the group's website.

Talking about Alex Cavanaugh, this is a reminder that his Epic Giveaway is still on-going. He wants to reach 2000 followers and he's very close now. Only 20 to go. If you already follow him, help spread the word!

Prizes are: First place – Signed copy of one book, $10 iTunes card, and one book donated to the library (middle school, high school, public) of your choice.

Grand prize – Signed copy of all three books, $10 iTunes card, t-shirt of your choice from Neat-O-Rama, designed by Retro Jeremy Hawkins, and three books donated to the library of your choice. Click on the link above to learn more about it.

$.99 special!
CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh – Amazon Best Seller! 
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9 

Purchase: Amazon KindleAmazon UK  

CassaStar was only the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren's civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan's technology and strange mental abilities.

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves, the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

“This sequel to Cavanaugh's first novel, CassaStar, delivers on the promise of its predecessor, combining military action sequences and political intrigue with strong, memorable characters. Reminiscent of the action-driven stories of Robert A. Heinlein's early fiction…” - Library Journal

Back in December I had the honor to be involved in this wonderful project called Composers for Relief. I contributed with a story called The Power of Will.

Today, I am excited to be part of....



Embark on an exciting journey “Beyond the Binding” of the imagination with 29 authors from across the globe, in a groundbreaking collaboration where music meets fiction. Surrender to soaring compositions as they surge through the veins of every story, capturing the triumphant pulse of the notes in heart pounding sci fi, enchanting fantasy and gripping slices of realism.  

All proceeds of the Composers for Relief  album and Companion Collection ebook will go to Gawad Kalinga (“give care”) and GVSP (Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme), to support the relief efforts for victims of the deadliest natural disaster in Philippines’ history, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Ebook will be available on Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, Sony, Diesel & Smashwords.

Composers for Relief album available on ITunes, Amazon, CDBaby & Spotify

**Thanks for visiting and thanks to all those brave, most loyal souls who armored themselves in order to give this dragon a much needed hug. You're worth more than Smaug's treasure!


  1. The music and your story went together well for the Composers for Relief contribution. A sweeping, epic venture with lots of promise for redemption. I liked the combination. I'm sure you will do as well with the Binding project. You have a great heart Sir, and your passion shows in your creativity.

    My hugs are Hobbit sized, but every bit as well meaning as your Dragon hugs. And even Dragons need courage to face incapacitating illness and the minions of health and well being. Their potions are both marvelous and mysterious, a thing to question and endure. You are brave and courageous to acknowledge your shortcomings and keep on getting through your days.

    As Legolas says: "Your friends are with you." We will tap your nose with a steady finger and smile at your growling. Thus our love will get you through your rough spots as you get humor us through ours.

    I will share cheese cake and pink wine with you.


  2. Love your shining sense of humor in such a dark, painful time for you. Sending you a dragon-sized hug and lots of positive energy.

  3. Al, your creation Monday was amazing. Stan Lee would be envious. And no clones will be harmed in the process. Just keep at it, because we can't wait for the next installment.
    Thanks so much for mentioning CassaFire's sale and the Epic 2000!

  4. I look forward to the day when doctors can just shine a fancy flashlight at us and fix us that way. At the moment it often feels like they just throw the latest drugs at any problem. Laughter and a little sunshine tend to have far fewer side-effects, in my experience.

    Moody Writing

  5. You are one busy and very creative dragon. The dwarves help, I'm sure. Although they probably mess things up from time to time and create more havoc. But that's dwarves for you. Still better than an army of gnomes.

  6. Wow! Congrats with the book anthology! And I agree with Stephen - you are one busy and very creative dragon!

  7. I hope you feel better soon, my dragon friend!

    And you're so creative! The drawings are fantastic and congrats on being in the anthology! The cover for Beyond the Binding is beautiful!

  8. Laughter can do amazing things. I've seen it happen. Here's to laughter entering your cave so that your HP will max out. Your recent art has stunned me, and you know I'm going to have to check out your work in that anthology! :)

  9. Nothing worse than feeling like crap...We understand FD, and if you need to vent by growling, spitting fire, comping on a dwarf or two, we won't stop you. Just don't bury yourself too deep. We all need you here in the blogosphere. Your heart is the one organ you are US can't do without and that is as strong as ever!

    All the other parts my wind down or trouble you, but your heart is as hard as the bedrock most great cities are formed upon. Take you time and heal and if venting is part of that healing than so bit it.

    Sending you a BIG BEAR HUG.... No worries, I'm wearing my fireproof suit. LOL.

  10. How I can relate to this post, let me count the ways.... I have been through some painful stuff with lots of doctors over the past few weeks and will be embarking on an even bigger journey with them in the next two. I don't relish the thought of relinquishing control over my body to them again, as I completely agree with you, like when I bring my car in for service, after they mess with it, other problems arise that I never had/felt before.

    Since I fight an ongoing battle with my health, I often tell people that it's much harder on my husband, than it is on me. When I am hurting, he takes such good care of me and so many responsibilities around the house fall all on him. Yet, I tend to breath fire in his direction more than anyone else's. He is courageous and strong and oh so patient with me. I make sure that I tell him how sorry I am and that it's the chronic pain that turns me into a cranky old bird sometimes. Not that this is a valid enough excuse to ever be mean... I'm working on it. But I'm a work in progress, that's for sure. Al, I'm praying that you feel better and things turn around for you. Laughter is truly the best medicine I've ever taken.

  11. i appreciate your candor and your positive attitude! what an example you are, spreading smiles in the midst of tough times. i pray for you and support you and hope your jester dwarves make you laugh!

    stay strong, mighty dragon!

  12. I think you are a WONDERFUL artist, and I love the comics you drew.

    The dwarves sneaked a special potion to me that makes me temporarily impervious to dragon bites, so come here and let me give you a great big hug. Hurry, before it wears off! :)

    IWSG #298
    (Yup. I got culled and had to start all over. *blush*)

  13. If there is any Greater Truth that I have learned is that when we are sick we are NOT functioning at our best. Our nearest and dearest tend to get the worst of us. It isn't right or fair, but seems to be the way that it is. And, as you say, doctors often do more harm while helping us out of the initial problem. I think that more physicians should be seeking natural "cures" since they don't have the bad side effects. Ah, but there is no money in that for the big Rx companies. Gah. So, laugh when you can and keep on keeping on. I am choosing to laugh with you. And here's a hug.... ((Hugs))

  14. Congratulations on being a contributor to Beyond the Binding, Al! Its a great cover. I hope you feel better soon, and will keep you in my thoughts! Hugs to you my dragon friend ;)

  15. Sending loads of hugs and waves and waves of laughter! It's pretty hard to ignore a dragon, unless you choose to bury your head in the sand. The cover is wonderful and your contribution one of the best!
    Spring is around the corner - rebirth!

  16. I think you have remained a huggable, lovable dragon. Not feeling good is tough on the soul. A dragon like you is full of wit and ideas and when your body can't keep up with your spirit, it has to make you want to roar.

    Hope you're feeling better!

  17. Um...okay, just one tiny word of advice. Regarding the correct order for hugging and chomping off heads, always hug first. If you chomp off the head and then hug, all the squishy stuff inside will squirt out the open neck and get all over your scales.

    just thought I'd mention it

  18. Hi Al,

    I shall keep my comment mercifully short. Besides, having so many issues with blogger I don't even know if this will publish.

    You make lots of contributions. Your art is a Marvel. Keep laughing and smiling, even through gritted teeth. The adventure, the hope, the support we share, continues.

    Look after YOU, my friend.

    Gary :)

  19. Sorry to hear about your health problems--I hope you are doing much better soon!

  20. Dear Grandson, laughter is definitely the best medicine. I am sorry you have been having such a rotten time of it healthwise. I can definitely sympathise. I hope all the pains disappear quickly. Big hugs from Grandmother dragon.

  21. I can't imagine what it feels like to have pain in the kidneys and liver, but they're so deep I'm sure it's difficult. I hope you feel better soon Al and all hail the Dwarf Cheering Squad!

  22. Laughter is life. MY mother taught me at an early age that if I can not laugh at life and with life I was in for a hard road. I can't wait to see your next comic strip it is really great stuff.

  23. I'm so sorry to hear about the medical difficulties. It's unfair that to cure one thing, they mess up other things. Be assured that we understand that sometimes you need a break, but we enjoy dwarven adventures almost as much as tales of the fearsome dragon. Take care and be well. :)

  24. Ailments are hell, plain and simple. I wish you didn't have to go through any of it. I wish I could wave my hand over the sky and direct a blessing of healing all the way to Mexico for you. I hate to see my favorite dragon (okay...I don't know many dragons, but if I did, you'd surely be my favorite) suffer.

    I can't give any advice medically...I'm not a doctor, plus, I don't know exactly what's going on...but, that being said, I know the ingredients for love and friendship can help offset the side effects of your medication. Looks like you have a lot of love and friendship here.

    Graphic novels! There you go...honestly, that's right up your alley and something I think you'll excel in. I already love your artwork, and with your sense of humor and imagination, it's a winning combination. No need to feel insecure. You've got what it takes.

    M.L. Swift, Writer

  25. It's terrible for humans to be sick, but when a dragon's down for the count the universe shifts and everything goes out of whack. May your scales return to their normal luster and may you soar from illness to health. We need our dragons well and at their posts.

  26. I'm sorry you feel down and you're in a bad period. If it can help 2014 hasn't been good to me either yet! But I love the way you always manage to find a way to channel your strong emotion in a positive way! That's why you're a source of inspiration! Do you know I was so tired lately that I though about doing some sketches myself! Nothing serious as I'm not good at all..but still!

  27. Echoing grandmother dragon... please get to feeling better soon. I can't have my favorite dragon feeling all rotten.

  28. Aloha Al,

    I am so late getting here, so I DO Hope you ARE feeling better :)

    Your spirit is awe-inspiring, Al, and I hope you know how much you mean to so many of us :)

    I am so excited for Monday and I have a teaser post going live in 73 minutes:)

    Have a safe, relaxing and Healthy weekend, my friend.


  29. Hi Al .. thankfully I see Hawaii bald-man woz here late too ...

    It's really unsettling being unbalanced - I suppose that's an obvious take ... but my thoughts wing across the ocean fighting the rushing jet stream trying to make me return to our wet Europe ..

    Sincerely hope you're feeling easier now ... good luck with that health issue ... and cheers to you and Mother Dragon - Hilary

  30. Yeeuchh! What a way to spend a day, I hope it gets better soon.

    I've always found laughter to be a good aid in times of trouble, so you keep on laughing.

  31. I'm sorry you've been going through things. I believe your amazing spirit will carry you through. I'm wishing you all the best.

    Great cover reveal.

  32. Oh, my...I could have written this post! If you look really hard you'll see me sitting in the shadowy corner of your cave - yes, right over there. Pancholin is trying to hide me. Don't be mad at him for letting me in but I needed somewhere to hide and the cave seemed my best option. Maybe we can create a super potion that will blow up all the doctors...just kidding...I think...

    I will be thinking healing thoughts for you, my most favorite dragon, and giving you mucho bolitas!