Always Ask What if

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There is a large percentage of Scotland, somewhere around 45 percent, wondering today, what if? Wondering what may have happened if another 6 percent of their countrymen could have voted with them. There is a large portion of the world who wondering what may have been, too. Flanders, Catalonia, the Basques, Quebec, all wondering if the Scottish bid was in the affirmative, whether or not they, too, would be allowed to pursue their own independence.

Most of them will allow these thoughts of what if to fade into the background. They will perhaps come the front of the mind every once in a while, but they will quickly fade away as real life takes back over. There are a group of people who will not let the what ifs go away.

I am a part of that group. I am one of those who looks at the what ifs and lets them run wild. Lets them run so fast and far that they entangle all of my thoughts. It creates story ideas that are sometimes fulfilled, sometimes temporarily put aside, sometimes completely abandoned.

Asking what if creates ideas like a man dealing with a breakup before the end of the world. It spawns ideas like a girl inside a virtual theme park attempting to save the digital world. Ideas like a kid who can travel though time with a toaster. Or stories like what will the world be like after global warming destroys the globe.

Creators of great and small works alike ask “what if.” And then they take that question as far as they can get it, allowing it to shift in form until it becomes a story that they feel is worth telling.

So, keep asking what if. Ask it as many times as possible. Asking what if is the only way that the Scottish referendum got floated in the first place. It’s the only way that great events happen. It’s the only way that great stories get told. And in the end, asking what if is the only way that anything every changes.

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I am a fan of history and absorber of all things news. I am a writer of books and blogs, and an enjoyer of all things pop culture. There is more about my that I can not currently think of. I will answer any question via email bearded bards at gmail.com, or in the comments below. If your question is, “Can I get your book for free?” My answer is yes, just send me an email. If you would rather pay for the book on Amazon, the link is below.

Tim and the Breakup of Impending Doom.

 

 

 

Bearded Bards Charity Challenge

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Sometimes you hit a lull. Sometimes procrastination takes over. ZT and I both realized this was happening to us after he sent me a text this morning. “How is IS?” He asked (IS being an abbreviation for Insular States, the current book I am working on). Well, Insular States is not going great. I am definitely not writing as much as I should be, in fact, I am almost at a complete stand still. My current average is sitting at zero words per hour.

So, in a way to motivate both myself and ZT to get working–me on Insular States and him on the second part of Gone to Wonder (have you read the first part? No? Well then you should probably take a moment to go over to Amazon and grab it up–it’s free if you have Amazon Unlimited!)–we have decided to begin a challenge. Our last challenge was the Steak Bet, where I did not end up getting a delicious steak. Sad Christmas . . .

This time around we have decided to do something a little more philanthropic. We will both start writing our first drafts, starting . . . now! The first person who gets done with their draft gets to pick a charity, and the person who finishes second will donate 25% of their profits from their book, to said charity, for a year. That’s right. 25% of profits, for a year. To charity.

The race is on. We’ll see who finishes first. Through the challenge we will keep you up to date on our progress, on which charity we choose to have the other donate their profits to, and maybe lay down a little smack talk while we’re at it *cough* I’m gonna wipe the floor with ZT *cough, cough*.

The challenge is on! Let’s see who gets to the finish line first!

 

Music To Write To: Sweet Little Thing

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Sometimes I wish that I were in my late 20s during the heyday of the alt-country scene. The time when bands like Uncle Tupelo were making their mark on the new form of music. Before they broke up into the much less alt-country Wilco and Son Volt.

There are still alt-country bands around, though. And one of those bands is Lucero. They have the same low and gritty vocals as Uncle Tupelo (although the lead singer claims never to have heard of Tupelo before they started making music). What sets them apart from Uncle Tupelo is their lyrics and instrumentals. Both are showcased in Sweet Little Thing. It’s a story of a young man heartbroken over the love that he just can not have.

It’s a love song. But it’s a love song with the longing and remorse of early blues, with a touch of Van Morrison. It’s a song worth listening to if you are trying to find some inspiration for that love story in your book that just won’t click. Or if you’re just looking for a great song about longing and loss.

 

Music To Write To: Tom Traubert’s Blues

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There is just something about Tom Waits. His voice is incredibly haunting, his lyrics are always so familiar yet just out of reach, and you can feel the emotion emanating from every note and chord in every song.

Tom Traubert’s Blues (Waltzing Matilda) gets me into an emotional state that preps me for some deep writing. It’s not the best music to write action scenes to, but when I was writing my recent ebook, Tim and the Breakup of Impending Doom, this song put me in the right frame of mind.

Tom Waits is the kind of artist who, even though his songs often times come off surprising, can still inspire with his voice and imagery.

Screaming Into The Void

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There is a lot of noise out there. In recent years, that noise has become almost deafening. When the internet came about, the noise which was once controlled by publishers and studios grew exponentially. And with self publishing that noise has grown even more. There is just a lot of stuff out there all trying to get your attention.

But that’s not a bad thing for consumers. It means that there are many more choices out there. It means that you are not stuck with only a handful of choices. And, most importantly it means that you will be able to find something that you truly love — not just a summer blockbuster or hardcover best seller that studios and publishers think you will love.

For creators, this is not such a good thing. It’s like I stated above — you are screaming into the void. There are so many different pieces of work out there that it almost seems like when you put something out, it disappears into a void. At times, it feels like your piece of work will never be seen. Then you are left screaming into the void in order to try and get people to look at, and perhaps buy, your work.

I have a little experiment I want to try. I want to see if I can get a few more voices to scream into that void with me, and maybe make it a little bit brighter. If you do scream into the void with me, your prize will be a copy of the newest Bearded Bards publication, Tim and the Breakup of Impending Doom. All you have to do is tweet out, post on Facebook, Pinterest, Goole +, or any other social media of your choice, this link to Tim and the Breakup of Impending Doom (http://amzn.com/B00LKUYKJG). Either link to us via your post (@BeardedBards on twitter, Bearded Bards on everything else), email us with proof that you did the post (beardedbards@gmail.com), or leave a comment here!

That’s it. A little help screaming into that void and you will get yourself a copy of a free ebook. And, of course, our everlasting appreciation.

Oh, and if you are just interested in picking up the book, here is the Amazon link to the title:

 

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Music To Write To: Suicide Medicine

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Here is one that ZT introduced me to a few years. My favorite kind of music to write to is the kind that tells a story. It helps to inspire me to write my own stories, and it helps me to develop deep characters and rich plot lines.

 

Suicide Medicine by Rocky Votolato is a song that truly brings out the story teller in me. And, with any hope, it’ll do the same for you.