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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mario Packs for Cuban Research Excursion

Mario has his passport and a ticket. He's decided to travel to Cuba to soak up some colonial atmosphere, so he can "encourage" me to branch out in my settings for stories. 

This Road Trip is going to involve a couple of planes, but once on the ground, Mario's cruising in his Mariomobile. 

The Mariomobile. Did you notice it's pink?

He's listed Finca Vigia as one of his first stops. It's about 12Ks outside of Havana and used to be Hemmingway's hideout. He wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls and Old Man and Sea here. 

Hemmingway at Finca Vigia, Reading!


He's going to take a camera, so I'll have pictures to refer to while writing the next For Whom the Bell Tolls. Have you been to or wanted to go to Cuba? Any place(s) you'd like to go to soak up settings? Would travel be a theme you'd consider for April 2016?

Monday, October 5, 2015

The A-Z Process

Since I'm a procrastinator, I still haven't settled on my theme for the 2016 Challenge. Not good (although I still have time). There are just so many good themes that I'm running off in a different direction every time a shiny new idea hits. The thing is though, no matter what I decide on, I basically take the same approach to the month's blogging.

Read – I do copious amounts of reading whenever I'm embarking on a new adventure. It's a way to steep myself in my subject matter and get a good feel for it.

Research – This aspect is the fun part. Of course, this can mean information overload which makes it difficult for me to settle my mind and sit down with the aim of putting it all together. Balance is key here, since I sometimes get so carried away with research, I find it hard to move past this phase.

Write – This is where the action comes in—knitting all the useful bits together into cohesive articles that will be of interest and help people who stop by to read each day.

Revise – When all the research and writing are done, I take a bit of time to re-read what I've prepared to make sure I'm on point with the data I'm sharing.

What else do you do when you're preparing your articles for the Challenge?

J.L. Campbell writes fiction and non-fiction and blogs at

Friday, October 2, 2015

Five Fairy Tale Blogs to Follow

Do you like fairy tales?
Do you like blogs?
Do you ever wonder how fairy- and folktales can be combined with the blogging sphere and made intriguing to regular readers?

In honor of our ever-expanding Mythology and Storytelling categories during A to Z, as well as all the people who blog about fairy- and folktale-related topics in April (and all through the year), here is a list of 5 fairy tale blogs to keep an eye on!

Breezes from Wonderland
Maria Tatar's forum on Storytelling, Folklore, and Children's Literature. For those of you who don't know who this amazing lady is: She is the chair of the Folklore and Mythology program at Harvard. If you are interested in fairy tales at all, you have probably seen her work. If not, here is your chance!

The SurLaLune Fairy Tales Blog
Once again, if you are online and you like fairy tales, this is a place you probably are (or should be) familiar with. The blog is a great and up-to-date source of book reviews, fairy tale-related news, and... stories, obviously.

Once Upon a Blog
The Fairy Tale News Blog is exactly what it sounds like: It brings you the latest hot news items about age-old stories, be it about books, movies, TV shows, or other pop culture events. Regularly updated and full of interesting stuff at the crossroads of fairy tales and modern media.

Storytelling + Research = LoiS
Professional storyteller and story researcher Lois Sprengnether Keel shares her experiences and her work. The best part of the blog is Keeping the Public in the Public Domain - she regularly posts folk- and fairy tales that are in the public domain, making them readily available to everyone.

Fairy Tale Fandom
Adam Hoffman's regularly updated and amazingly organized blog on fairy tale-related topics: Actual stories, book reviews, media news, etc. Well thought-out posts, and a whole treasure trove of new things to be a fan of.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Weekend Follies Star Trek Style Featuring Sulu

My name is Stephen Tremp and I’m a writer of speculative fiction. I blog at Breakthrough Blogs

My fourth novel, Salem’s Daughters, is now officially available for download, although I'm not officially kicking things off until Monday October 1st. To download a copy today for $2.99 Click Here

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Crazy Signs Along the AtoZ Roadtrip

You can't drive very long without passing a sign, right? Well, here are some that I'd love to see if for no other reason than it helps to make the trip fun.

Since I just had the pleasure of driving in Ireland, this sign spoke to me. 

What to do is the question.

Now this is my kind of sign.

Which of these is your favorite?