What Just Happened?

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“1965 Rambler Classic 660 4-d blue-white VA-t” by CZmarlin — Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1965_Rambler_Classic_660_4-d_blue-white_VA-t.jpg#mediaviewer/File:1965_Rambler_Classic_660_4-d_blue-white_VA-t.jpg

Guys! I think Zach hit me over the head and hid me in the trunk of his car! Because, I just woke up from what appears to be a week long block out to find a whole bunch of stuff going on with the site.

Let’s start at the basics. The colors on the site have changed . . . or maybe that’s just my eyes readjusting from the lack of light for the past few days. Nope. They changed. Wow, the site is looking better than ever. I mean, I would have been okay with that change. I don’t really understand why he had to hit me over the head and lock me away to do that, but okay.

Oh, and we have a charity challenge going on! We are each writing the first draft of our upcoming episodes. He’s off writing Gone to Wonder Episode Two, and I’m working on the first Episode of Insular States. Whoever finishes last gives away 25 percent of their earnings for a year to a charity of the winner’s choice. Nice! I love charity! Who doesn’t. But again, I wonder why he had to knock me out to go ahead and do that . . .

And look at that, another change for the site! We’re going to start writing some long-form articles on comparative mythology, mono myths, archetypes, and troupes. Well that should be both awesome and interesting. I love comparative mythology, in fact, I’m currently working on an article about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their relationship to serpent myths throughout history. Weird . . .

And we’re giving our ebooks away for free to anyone who asks? And Zach is offering Gone to Wonder for free on Amazon? Well, there you have it, Zach has gone crazy. New site design, new direction, chartist challenge, free ebooks. I guess him knocking me out makes sense now.

But, hey, I’m totally okay with all of it! I just wish I had seen it happening instead of being locked up in a dark, stuffy trunk for the past week.

Let’s be honest, guys. Zach and I both love what we are doing here with the site. And we want to offer you the best possible experience, one where we can intrigue you with our ideas and stories, and then give back with charity and free ebooks to those who ask. So, keep tuned. Things are picking up at Bearded Bards, and they don’t look to slow down anytime soon.

Oh, and if you see Zach, let me know. I think he may have my wallet.

Music To Write To: “Alone”

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Well, this has been a shitty week. There’s not much an individual can do to change things. Ultimately, we’ve got control of our own thoughts and not much else. When we do get a chance, we’ve got to step up and do our best. Andrew and I made a wager this week, which we hope will give a little back.

And there’s also the ever-present hope that, through writing, we may affect the world, even if it is just to entertain for a short while.

Please enjoy this week’s Music To Write To, a song I first heard on The Way Way Back and which has become a regular in my repertoire of music to listen to while writing. It reminds me during the lonely process that writing can be, I am never truly alone.

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: Gone To Wonder Edition 3

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Today’s MtWt is a song that routinely appears in the ‘soundtracks’ I assemble for my various projects. It is a song that resonates with me, clearly. From their album Ganging Up On The Sun, it’s Guster’s ‘Lightning Rod’.

Actually a lot of Guster songs end up on my playlists. Particularly, ‘Empire State’, ‘Hang On’, ‘Keep It Together’, ‘Come Downstairs And Say Hello’ (which was freaking incredible live with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra!), and ‘Architects and Engineers’. These songs line up with characters and themes in my works like few others can. ‘Lightning Rod’ feels like a very lonely song. It’s an odds-stacked-against-you, back-to-the-wall, facing-the-storm-alone moment that fits perfectly the journey of my main character, Wendy Danek.

Gone To Wonder Episode One: Absent Hero is coming soon. Later this week I hope to share the cover art. In the meantime, enjoy the tunes.

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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