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Friday, April 3, 2015

AtoZBlogChallenge:C is for Cigar Factory and Hats Off Corner Welcomes Alex Cavanaugh





Join in the fun! 
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My theme this year is Burma AKA Myanmar. I used to live in Laos, so this was a return to Southeast Asia that I looked forward to. I spent a little over three weeks exploring this country, learning about its culture: its history, religion, and language. I thought others might enjoy a bit of what I learned and see some of what I saw.  




I'd never seen tobacco like this.
The Cigar Factory seemed to be women's work, and while they worked, some enjoyed a cigar. 


The woman wearing pink took a lot of smoking breaks.

See what I mean?

I don't smoke, so the aroma in this building wasn't all that great for me.

Answers to B: What do you know about Began, Burma?

F 1. Began is a landlocked city in the middle of Burma. (It's on the Irrawaddy river.)
F 2. Began was founded in 1942. (It was founded in the 2nd century.)


NOW what do you know about cigars?

T/F 1. The Burmese facial feature is called a cheroot.
T/F 2. Some Burmese cigars are rolled in dried banana leaves.

Answers tomorrow. :-)

Hats Off Corner Welcomes Alex Cavanaugh 




Curious About the Kargrandes?

What are the Kargrandes? This has been the ongoing question for the past twelve weeks. Ever since I launched the website http://whatarethekargrandes.com/ and started sending out Tweets with #whatarethekargrandes, people have been trying to guess. What are they? What role do they play in my book Dragon of the Stars, coming out April 7?

We’ll focus on their inspiration. One of the hints states that the Kargrandes are suited for a harsh environment. I needed a life form that could withstand extremes and adapt to new surroundings. Believe it or not, there is a real life creature like that – the Tardigrade. It can survive being frozen and boiled. It can live without water and has even survived space radiation. While not quite as tough, I did take inspiration from the Tardigrade, down to giving the Kargrandes a similar name.

What are the Kargrandes though? For more hints, visit http://whatarethekargrandes.com/. Otherwise, you’ll just have find out on April 7 when Dragon of the Stars is released!


Dragon of the Stars
By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military
Print ISBN 9781939844064 EBook ISBN 9781939844057

The ship of legends…
The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter. But when the Alliance declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray and told he won’t make captain. One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?

Pre-order:

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.
BLOG  IWSG  TWITTER    

70 comments:

  1. Thanks, Lee!
    I couldn't stay in that building long either.
    And I believe they are rolled in banana leaves. Smoking bananas is a joke, but there it might be real.

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  2. Too bad the women smoke and have to breathe that in all day. Loved seeing your pictures.

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  3. Great tidbit about the Kargrandes. Alex's book is fabulous! Have a happy Easter. :)

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  4. I don't like the smell of cigars, either! Great pictures, though. :)

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  5. Interesting. Looking forward to the answer to your questions, because I haven't a clue. And soon we'll know the answer to the Kargrandes. Yay.

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  6. That would be an overdose of tobacco.

    That is the best clue yet about the Kargrandes.

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  7. I definitely would not be able to handle the cigar smoke. Awful smell.
    Congratulations to Alex! Lee, Great BIG shout out to our fearless leader of the Muffin Commando Squad. I sent an email to Alex about a suggestion for the A-Z bloggers check in with him. I'd love to hear your thoughts! I'm in Boston the next two days completing a whirlwind of six college visits and will be checking-in off and on. Catch up with you later.

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  8. Well, I know #1 question is false. But #2? Personally I can't imagine smoking a banana leaf, though of course in the 60s there was something about smoking banana peels (they call it mellow yellow...) so who knows, maybe they DO roll cigars with banana leaves.

    The Kargrandes sound very interesting, indeed.

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  9. Interesting about Burma. I don't think I would want to visit the cigar factory either. Not very healthy.

    Alex, I blogged about the tardigrade a while back, a fascinating critter but ugly, boy are they ever.

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  10. Thanks, everyone!
    Jo, they are freaky looking creatures. But they made for great inspiration.

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    Replies
    1. I am claiming original inspiration. I blogged about them in 2013 and you commented "And that creature is bizarre! I wouldn't have believed it was for real either." Just emailed you.

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  11. Cool photos. The smell must be overpowering.
    Play off the Page

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  12. I can't handle cigar smoke too. I feel sorry for the women. Huh! what Alex said about smoking banana made me crack. And I'm over excited about his book, the premise is so good :) besides I never heard of Tardigrade, wow!
    "Haneen/I Will Never Give you Up (479)"

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    1. I am here to amuse!
      Glad you are excited about the book.

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  13. Cigars put me off smoking for life - tried an old butt I found in an ashtray at a young age and was absolutely positive I never wanted to try that again :) I've never been as put off by cigar smoke as I am by cigarette smoke though - it doesn't smell quite so bad - not great, but not quite so hideous.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  14. Some cigars have a nice smell but for the most part, ugh. I know I couldn't work in or be around a factory like that. Would drive me nuts.

    Tardigrades are weird looking but they sure are survivors. :-)

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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  15. The aroma would be too much for me too.

    And I'm totally curious About the Kargrandes! Go Alex!

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  16. How exciting to live abroad at one time. The pics are so intriguing. Can't wait to see more!

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  17. Cigars and Alex' books for everybody!

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  18. That was really interesting - thanks for sharing! My post today is C for Cider With Rosie.... and Cats... ( I'm number 590 on the list) and so far enjoying the fun!

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  19. Thanks for sharing this new information from your personal experience and travels. I can't help but feel badly for the women. Cigars? Ugh.

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  20. Thanks for sharing this new information from your personal experience and travels. I can't help but feel badly for the women. Cigars? Ugh.

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  21. I think I'll pass on the cigar factory. Family with lung cancer and all, ya know.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  22. I don't smoke or like smoking at all, but I think cigars do smell better than cigarettes. Not great, but better.

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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  23. Smoke always gets to me, so I don't think I could go in there.

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  24. Never seen tobacco like that either.
    Hey, Alex. You and the Kargrandes are making your way around the blog world!

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  25. I'm looking forward to Alex's books.

    I don't smoke, but cigars smell better than cigarettes to me.

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  26. Love your theme, C. Lee! I've never seen tobacco like that, either.
    Way to go to Alex!

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  27. I have never seen tobacco like that either.

    So excited for Alex! Wishing him the best of luck. :)
    ~Jess

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  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  29. Dragon of the Stars sounds awesome. I'm so curious now.

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  30. LOL on the pink lady always taking cigar breaks. She must love her job a lot and the perks that come with it! I'm gonna hazard a guess and say it's rolled in banana leaves.

    Didn't know about Tardigrade. Lovely trivia/tidbit. Just a few days to go. Good luck with the release, Alex!

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  31. Don't like the smell of cigar, either.

    Congrats to Alex.

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  32. Interesting! I wasn't aware of such a creature.

    That factory is smoke'n busy! :)

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    Replies
    1. Now you know! And yes, we will give Jo full credit for the inspiration.

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  33. Interesting pictures, and I had to laugh about the lady in pink. Guess she has the right job.
    I'm going to google Tardigrade now - my son is going to love this! Good luck, Alex!

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  34. I didn't know you lived in Laos! How very exciting!

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  35. I never knew that cigars were rolled in banana leaves. My grandpa looked like George Burns, and never went anywhere without a cigar in his mouth. He even went swimming at the beach in Miami once, and when he came out of the water his cigar was still miraculously lit! Great photos! Yay for Alex!

    Julie

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  36. I know nothing about cigars! Other than that they sometimes smell pretty good, and other times absolutely awful. That's cool that you toured the factory. I do love to explore different countries.. :)
    ~AJ Lauer
    an A-Z Cohost
    @ayjaylauer on Twitter

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  37. I'm allergic to tobacco smoke, so I wouldn't have lasted a second in there. It's always interesting to observe other cultures and the way people make a living, though.

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  38. I had no idea they made cigars in Myanmar. I love the pics! I think #1 is F; #2 is T. Great feature on Alex and his new book. Those Kargrandes have whetted my appetite for SF - it's amazing they were based on a real creature that can live through being frozen and boiled. Yikes! Wishing Alex much success! :)

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    1. Lexa, just amazing such a creature exists.

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  39. Lee, I'm guessing here but I'll say. #1 is false and #2 is true.
    Alex, I've never heard of that creature but the scientists must have tortured it to learn all that.

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    1. Sadly, I'm sure they did, including sending it into space.

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  40. I vote True for #2 about them being rolled in banana leaves. If that turns out to be so, I think it's kinda cool. In all my life so far, I've rarely seen a women smoking a cigar. It's always something that's been associated with (or at least I've associated with) old, rich men on Yachts, lol. Needless to say, the photos are an interesting sight. The factory looks peaceful and comfortable....if all factories and workplaces were like that, we'd probably have a happier, more productive population :)

    ~Nicole
    A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    The Madlab Post

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  41. I don't think I could take it in there either. I think I tanked at the last quiz:) So this time I say False to the first question but true to the 2nd. I have to look up this animal as I have never heard of it. Glad to know more about the Kargrandes and how nice to see Alex being talked about here:)

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  42. Hello, Lee. And Alex--I am so looking forward to the release of Dragon of the Stars. You also made me check out the tardigrade. Talk about a freaky creature!

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  43. I'm with you- I wouldn't have been up on the smell in there, either!

    Congrats to Alex on his forthcoming release!

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  44. I have never associated Burma with cigars or tobacco for that matter. I'm going to guess the banana leaves answer since I associate cheroot with something else that I don't rightly remember.

    Alex is on fire for April! And I don't mean like a cigar.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    A Faraway View

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  45. I don't blame you for not liking the smell of that cigar factory. I wouldn't like it, either!

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  46. Oh gosh, I'm not sure I could stand the smell for long either. But interesting post!

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  47. No idea about the questions I guess I could cheat and find out but I'll just take a guess 1=F 2=T
    Interesting theme and love how you present it.
    Dropping by from the AtoZ Challenge
    Suzy at Someday Somewhere

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  48. What a nice foray into a land I have never seen and know little about. Thank you, I will definitely be back to see what else I can glean. (Plus I have to find out if I'm right about the banana leaves)). The photos are so nice.... happy A to Z! Jeri visiting from storytellingmatters.wordpress.com

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  49. I reckon number 2 would be true. But yeah, I can't stand cigarette smoke so I wouldn't hang around long in a place like that either!
    Dan Brown A-Z

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  50. Too funny that she enjoyed the cigars so much. Hey, if you're smelling them all day, anyway, why not imbibe?

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  51. Wow. Some wacky tabacky. Cheers Alex!

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  52. Great pictures. Everything I know about cigars I learned from this post. :) Sounds like it was a wonderful trip.

    Scribbles From Jenn - Visiting from the A to Z Challenge

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  53. Hey Lee,

    I never knew you lived in Laos :) WOW!

    Have you ever blogged *that* adventure??

    PS... I'm guessing both questions are true :)

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  54. Hi Lee - how fascinating to be able to see a cigar production unit - I suppose the workers could so easily get hooked on cigars ... and that smell must have been a shock to you - I wouldn't like it much now ..

    I too think probably both are true ... cheers Hilary

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  55. God, I hate the odor of cigars! Funny, I seldom think about women smoking cigars, yet here they are. So interesting.

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  56. I'm reading all of your comments each day, but, as you can tell, I can't get back to each person to tell you how much I appreciate your stopping in to say hi. I can't even respond to some of your thoughtful comments. But I do enjoy reading them. Here's to another letter and another day.

    Glad Alex shared this space on C day. Hope you've pre-ordered his book.

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  57. Well, I'm super-late!
    I've been sooooo pressed for time, but hopefully I'll get back into regular A to Z blogging mode by tomorrow...
    Great C-post!
    Alex's book comes out tomorrow!
    *waving*

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  58. Thanks, everyone!! Tomorrow is the big day.

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  59. Love the post. Great work!
    I never knew cigars came from there.

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  60. Nice photoes. You learn something new all the time; who knew about Tardigrade.

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