About Life (Part 2 of 2): Be A Rebel, Just Like Everybody Else

In Part 1, I covered a lot of ground generally, talking about my belief that we all possess much potential; we’re all special. I discussed how we tend to have funny ideas on what success is and that we sometimes believe in all sorts of things just because the majority does whether we admit it or not (and I mentioned both the safety and danger in doing so). My time is no less strained for Part 2, so this will also be fast and furious with little regard for editing, sadly. Given what’s on my plate, it’s the best I can do. If you liked my last post, I hope you’ll stick around none-the-less. And if you missed my last post, you might want to go back and read it! I currently have 5 writing projects on my lap, a freelance art project, other art that needs doing, and more on top of that, so yeah, time to get rollin’!

This post focuses on the concept of being a rebel and being cool, two things that go together like James and Dean, but the concepts can be not only very misleading, but they also have some negative undertones. Now, don’t get me wrong, I, like just about every guy I’ve ever known, has at some point (or many points) coveted a black leather jacket or trench coat! I’m not sure if James Dean started it all or not, but he certainly glamorized the concept during his short life.
ImageMost of us who haven’t given up on the idea yet, likely want to be thought of as cool or having been cool and like to think that we live outside the box, not so straight-laced as others might think, that we’re a bit of bad boy or girl. Confidence is a good thing; the ability to stand on your own two feet and be a man or a woman who others look up to, rocks! Desiring that is quite natural and not a bad thing per se, so don’t tar and feather me yet! It’s what else that tends to go with the territory that has always bothered me.

I’ve owned a black leather jacket at one point and I currently have a med-length leather jacket that I wear now, and I still kinda wish I owned a trenchcoat, but I’m not wearing my jacket to be cool (it’s not even black), though I have received a number of compliments on it. My wife bought it for me about seven years ago for one of our anniversaries. Trench coats however, are so iconically cool that I’m not sure I could actually wear one without feeling a little like I was wearing a costume, to be perfectly honest. I would probably feel the need to wear dark sunglasses and it would be hard to keep from smiling ear-to-ear, which you generally don’t want to do if you expect people to think you are cool. If you want to be cool, you have to remember to come off like you don’t care. Unemotional is the key. The Fonz broke that image again and again, but he was an early icon and a good guy despite his rebel/cool label.

Now, James Dean was before my time, but I remember the Fonz! (I fortunately missed the episode in which he jumped the shark.) If you are like me, you’ve probably known someone who has gone to great lengths to try and get people to think of them as a rebel or as cool (or both), but while they might look cool, you know it’s a gimmick; you know it’s hiding something else. What was James Dean hiding? The Fonz? Ok, the Fonz was a TV character, but you get my point. You can spot cool people a mile away. What are they selling? Is the image they are attempting to portray genuine, or is it hiding a hurting heart? (I’m not really attacking any of these people. They are just cool, so they made for good examples.)

ImageHalf the concept behind being a rebel or being cool is actually distasteful when you think about it. (Um, is that tar in that pot you are heating up?) Who hasn’t wanted to be cool? Nothing can hurt you! Again, remember: exuding a lack of emotions or any concern for another’s well being are very strong elements of being cool. The cliche that girls want to date a bad boy but marry the nice guy? That’s got to be one of the dumbest concepts I’ve ever heard. After all, what does a woman really want? Does she want a guy who understands her feelings, recognizes how valuable and important she is, treat her like a princess, let her know that she is loved and cared for? Does she want someone who will be there for her, who knows how to say they’re sorry when they are wrong? And they ARE wrong sometimes! Does she want someone who is bottling up their feelings and always has the answer, never making mistakes?

How arrogant and proud is this person going to be if they really are like that, and aren’t just pretending? And if they are pretending, what sort of things are going through their bottled up brain if they are playing the role? You see where I’m going with this? How absurd! Why would anyone want to date a person who is acting cool and like a rebel? If they really are a rebel, then that means you can’t count on them being safe, out of jail, reliable.

These days that also means they are more likely to be into experimentation, and that can get pretty extreme. Maybe you are into that, but if you aren’t, being rebellious and being cool doesn’t sound all that hot when you think about it, but the rabbit hole goes deeper still. [Please don't think I'm being insensitive of the hard times some young people face who just want acceptance and approval, those people who just want to be loved and everyone deserves to be loved. This post isn't so much a rant as a wake up call, or reminder if you will.] It seems nobody is immune from wanting to appear cool…

ImageOf course, any post on being cool that leaves out Terminator or the Matrix is probably committing a grievous sin, so here they are, and I’ll be the first to say I wouldn’t have these guys any other way. Love it! In the early 90′s, my wife and I went to Universal Studios where they were featuring a wonderful Terminator 3D live action movie/ride thingy. It was our anniversary and one of the things she got me was a pair of terminator sunglasses that had this red light in it. Very cool. :)

ImageI’m into drama. I run a small drama group that I formed in 2001. I write, produce, direct and even act in some of our productions. I’m writing a script this week despite how busy I am (the show must go on), but there’s something odd I discovered when I was a little boy that has always stuck with me. I become more confident and feel like I can do anything, and be anyone if I’m simply wearing a pair of sunglasses. I don’t know why. It’s just the way it was for me. I still feel that way.

Yes, it’s true, the Matrix featured some of the coolest characters ever to come to the silver screen. Unbelievable! I would not have enjoyed the movie nearly as much if they weren’t being cool. Even if you hated the movie, you couldn’t help but keep watching because when someone’s this cool, you can’t take your eyes away…

ImageWhen we play the role of someone who’s cool, whether on stage or on the street, we are doing it “right” if we exude characteristics that come off like we don’t care what other people think, like we own the room. We’re doing it our way. We of course attempt to not trip over our own shoelaces or words. We act fearless and try to present ourselves like we’ve got our act together, and when we screw up (because we all do), we keep telling ourselves we’re cool as long as nobody noticed.

We all do stupid things, yet we still like to think of ourselves as cool. So, we try to hide our weaknesses. Sometimes we hide them behind shades, sometimes behind outrageous clothing, implants, tatts and other things (I’m not saying tatts are bad, they are only bad if you are getting them for the wrong reasons, though I don’t care for them myself).

Doing all sorts of crazy stuff to show that we don’t like being told what to do or that we’re cool in most cases, is completely missing the point; at the least it’s usually unproductive and unhealthy psychologically, IMO. Before you totally give up on me, I do think some tatts look especially cool and sexy, but that doesn’t mean I’d ever want one or that I like the idea of what amounts to a piece of jewelry you can never remove. We all change our clothes, so why would we want to wear the same tatt all the time, unless it held some deeper personal meaning, which in some cases it does.

Now, I totally get the desire to fit into the crowd and get along with your friends (or just get friends period), gain acceptance, all of that, but you are already loved and accepted just the way you are (whether you are drop-dead gorgeous or funny-looking). It really comes down to who you are looking for acceptance from? You may not be getting the love and acceptance in the circles you run with, and I’m so sorry if that’s the case, but there are circles of decent folks who love you just the way you are (and God loves you more than your friends do, obviously, since his love is unconditional where as us mortals always put conditions on things. Hence all the divorces. You are very special and precious in God’s eyes, but ignore that at your own peril).

ImageIn Stephen King’s movie, Christine, we see this nerdy guy who becomes obsessed with this demonic car and starts to become really cool, which of course meant that he also became a really big jerk. One nice advantage of becoming cool, however, is that your eyesight improves and so does your hair. His jacket was red, not black, but that was symbolic to more closely identify him with the demonic car. Well, I’ve picked on being cool enough and this is getting long, so let me dip into my big beef with being a rebel (at least what most people think of when they say rebel these days).

In most of the cases I’ve seen, being a rebel (and I’m not talking a George Washington rebel, but a modern rebel), amounts to no more than the opposite of the concept of a true rebel. Being a rebel usually ends up meaning you jump off the older generation’s bandwagon and you jump onto a different, and huge younger generation’s bandwagon. You’re just going from one box to another when you dress funny (just like everyone else), try to act like you are cool (just like everyone else), stab in some tatts or implants or wild makeup, (just like everyone else), listen to music not generally considered polite and acceptable to the older generation or that’s loud enough to hurt sensible or at least older ears (just like everyone else). Is that a bag of feathers?

Hey, I am making at least some sense here! I could talk about how colleges tend to breed a certain type of rebelliousness as well, again many who think they are rebels, really aren’t. They are the opposite since they are still jumping on a really big bandwagon.

There aren’t too many people that would call me a rebel. I fall into the older generation, but I feel like a rebel in some ways. I’m a Christian who actually believes what the Bible says, and since Christians who are serious about God are a very small number compared to how many people are out there that are Christians, but aren’t really doing much to grow closer to God, walk in his ways and act a lot like the rest of the world). So, if modern day rebels can call themselves rebels and that’s a huge number of people, then I can call myself a rebel, not that I really care about the term one way or another. Just sayin’. Most of society is going in a different direction than I am, and I’m Ok with that. I’d love it if more went down the path I’ve chosen, but if most people say red is blue, or we evolved from fish, doesn’t make it so.

And because Nick Fury and the gang are looking pretty cool here, and to break up some text, here’s one last pic!

Image

So, in summary, many people who are trying to be rebels are actually being conformists and many who are trying to be cool are missing the coolest parts of being cool. The ones worth being! Those who are trying to gain approval from others just might be trying to please the wrong folks. We need to be true to ourselves (unless what we are is rotten on the inside, in which case we likely need a change of worldview). But we shouldn’t be changing ourselves to conform just to become accepted by a circle of friends. God’s approval is worth far more than someone who refuses to love you if you don’t have the right shade of pink hair, tatts all over, join their gang, drink or sleep around. I’d just go find another set of friends.

Thinking back, smoking became very cool. Doing illegal activities became cool (i.e. being a rebel is cool). Listening to Satanic music became cool though that’s fortunately slipped back in popularity, I think. Doing anything that annoyed your parents was flat out cool. Heck, even doing drugs became cool. Thankfully, many of the things we used to think of as cool are no longer. But some of the questionable elements remain.

Me, I say thinking for yourself is cool, a rebel for the right cause is cool. Being a good husband is cool. Loving your wife and kids is cool. Loving God and trying to be a good person is cool. Working hard and doing your very best is cool. Showing respect and appreciation for other people is cool. If you happen to be wearing a trench coat while doing all those things, well good for you, but frankly the trench coat is optional.

Is that tar ready yet? Excuse me. I have to go to the bathroom (quietly slips out the back).

[Note: Please take no offense by what I said. I certainly don't mean to offend anyone. Yes, I touched on several touchy topics, but if you are offended by my comments about God, for example, think about how your telling someone you are offended by their faith is actually pretty offensive in and of itself as it is basically judging and rejecting a person's most deeply held beliefs. Heck, even that might have offended (sigh). It's impossible not to offend people, sadly. I just want you to know that I am not trying to be mean or judgmental so much as expose some misconceptions and offer my two cents, which you are free to ignore or call stupid if you want, but they came from a heart that wants nothing but the best for you, whether I'm right or wrong or stupid. 'Nuff said! If nothing else, I hope you enjoyed all the cool pics!]

If you are tired of hearing all this controversial talk, no worries, while I had 1 more part I was drafting, I’ve decided to put it off and dig back into Cosmothea goodness! As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! And, if there are certain topics you would like me to touch on, especially related to the Cosmothea Blended-Genre Roleplaying Game or Cosmoverse Campaign Setting (or my Arcane Synthesis Kickstarter), let me know and I’ll see what I can do. [My next post will be way shorter. Your welcome. :) ] Have a great week, all!

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About Life: [Time Sensitive] … or “Don’t be a Zombie!”

For those of you who haven’t heard, our Arcane Synthesis: A Blended-Genre Anthology Kickstarter funded! Yay! I thought for the next few posts I would (as with my last post) again deviate from my regular posts on my Cosmothea Blended-Genre RPG or Cosmoverse Campaign Setting (I have been eating, breathing and sleeping Cosmothea the whole month of January, so a tiny break here, if you would be so kind), and touch on some other topics before digging back into the roleplaying goodies! Fair enough? No promise on the exact number of posts for this topic, and I admit upfront that I am currently too busy to edit this thing to the degree I probably should (so it might be a tad rambly or repetitive, though I hope not), but I still think it’s worth reading. Have a little faith in me and I hope by the end you’ll agree it was worth reading as well! Here goes…

Part 1: You are special! What a cliche! And yet, how true it is! Being special and doing something special are two very different things! Life is full of opportunities. Every day is filled with decisions, and sometimes losing is winning. Life’s funny that way! How we respond to our situations can usually make all the difference in the world. Life is a gift and sometimes working your tail off is the most important thing we should be doing, while at other times we really just need to take a nap or sit on the couch with a loved one and spend some time doing nothing together.

From my experience and my perspective, most of the world is fairly clueless about what’s really important in life and about what true success is. You only have to look at the divorce rate, crime and other societal ills to see that society has a pretty bent view on reality. We are part of society, of course, but it’s extremely easy and common to get sucked into societal ideals (mob mentality) and make poor choices or simply become unproductive or be less than what we could be. We start to believe nonsense when we hear it enough.

I recall witnessing a room full of people being told that brown-eyed people are less intelligent than blue eyed people, then later they were told the truth was blue-eyed people were less intelligent. They covered the gamut of eye colors. It was all very silly, but an interesting social experiment that made everyone in the room look really dumb. I’ve seen similar social experiments done in classrooms. The whole thing was an exercise in showing how quick we can be to believe something that isn’t true and jump on the bandwagon and act upon such nonsense, but I’ve seen it in other arenas as well.

Someone considered an expert in their field makes a claim and because they are an expert, others assume they are correct and then others who are not experts assume they are correct because, well, “those guys are experts,” and pretty soon people believe the nonsense just because, “Well everyone believes it, so it must be true,” and other nonsense. I see it happening all the time.

We need to make sure we are not zombies, but it’s Ok to read about zombies! Ever read a critic’s review of a movie, then see it for yourself and enjoy it less? Or ever see a movie you thought was great, and then hear a friend talk about it and soon find yourself liking the movie less? The movie didn’t change, just your opinion of it did. Now, sometimes what we hear is correct, but we need to make sure that we aren’t changing borrowing someone else’s belief systems or concepts without thinking more deeply about it. If you enjoyed the movie, you enjoyed the movie. Who cares what anyone else thought about it?

Sometimes we need to trust what the majority says. If a bunch of doctors or scientists say taking a certain pill will kill you, I’m not likely to take that pill. But we need to be discerning as well. We can’t be experts on everything, so we do need to trust others, but we also need to make sure we’re thinking for ourselves too! Sounds obvious, but I see the opposite happening more often than not, which is what compelled me to make this post in the first place.

But back to being special… I’ve found that as I shift my focus inward, I make more mistakes, not because I’m an idiot, but because I’m limited my ability to see the bigger picture and use all of the tools at my disposal. I’m not perfect, after all, so why rely solely on myself? Don’t hamstring yourself this week. Don’t believe everything you hear or read (including this post), and don’t be a zombie! I hope you return for Part 2 later this week!

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Why We Should Invest In Dreams [Time Sensitive]

[Please note: This post has nothing to do with going to bed and having a dream]

It’s partly about my Arcane Synthesis: A Blended-Genre Anthology Kickstarter Campaign, but it goes far deeper than that, and I think you will find the read a good use of your time – and I do appreciate your time!

For those coming from my Kickstarter campaign Comment Page to this blog post, you can skip the rest of this paragraph and jump to the next! I hope that those folks not backing my Kickstarter campaign read this, because I’m so proud of those that are currently backing, so part of this blog post isn’t so much aimed at my backers as to the multitude. As I said, the topic goes well beyond my campaign and beyond my dream. This is big period. It’s time to act, not just on my dream, but others. Here’s why….

We have a solid, creative campaign (no, it’s not perfect. Nothing’s perfect). We have a solid team of very talented and wonderful people on board. We have a solid set of generous, creative rewards (some you won’t find anywhere else!) and the campaign represents a theme that millions already love (just look at the box office numbers on how many people attend blended-genre movies, or go to a book store and see how much shelf space is devoted to fiction).

Cosmothea-skyworld

There are enough hard-core fiction fans out there to fund this Kickstarter and every other fiction Kickstarter or crowdfunding project on every funding platform many, many times over! Even with tiny donations we can make a world of a difference in the lives of others. Some might want to back us just as an investment, so they can get goodies they can’t get anywhere else on the planet! Some might invest because they realize the huge potential Cosmothea and the Cosmoverse have and want to see us get over this small hurdle and onto greater things. There’s so much talent in the world that is ready to be unlocked, if we will invest in it, even a little!

We are an unknown, and that is our “flaw”. That is my greatest “weakness”. But we have nothing to be ashamed of here and one’s value cannot and should not be measured by one’s public success. Wealth is not even remotely a measure of success, but of your ability to acquire wealth. Let’s invest in each other’s dreams!

While I don’t have much money, before starting the campaign, I backed 19 others. Since starting this campaign, I have backed 11 more Kickstarters plus 2 from other crowdfunding platforms, and not just for a buck either. I say that not to boast (as I know some have backed many more and in some cases, for much larger amounts – I’m unemployed after all), but to show the power we have! If I can do as much as I have in this one arena of life, (and it wasn’t a ton of money, but my pocketbook is much lighter) if many invest just a little, it really adds up! And I have also retweeted and posted on facebook and elsewhere about other campaigns. We can all do that even if you were laid off, like I was! There’s so much we can do. Let’s pay it forward and see what happens!

I have a dream… we all have dreams. It’s past time we start to see about how we can help make more dreams come true (now not every dream is worthy of being backed – they shouldn’t just be whims or for stupid stuff (I don’t think I need to give examples – you’ll know silly dreams when you see them). I have poured my heart and soul into this dream. I have considered it carefully, brainstormed, prayed over it (no offense to those who aren’t the praying sort, just sayin’). This isn’t a whim. It is Phase 1 of a bigger dream that I believe is worth pursuing. Have faith in my dream. I am quite confident no one will regret backing it!

And if we see that someone’s dream needs some refinement, rather than bash them over the head, or ignore their dream, let’s gently see if we can come along beside them, those of us with a little more experience, wisdom or insight, and mentor them, see if we can help others get their dreams ready to be realized, or uncover a deeper, better dream they might have, that they didn’t even realize – help them find their diamond in the rough!

Everyone is special and everyone has something to offer. If you’ve been sitting on the fence or have been feverishly nursing your own dream with little success over the years, take heart… anything’s possible! Not only that, under the right conditions, dreams can be realized in ways that would knock you out of your socks. Have hope, all is not lost, but you might want to change tactics a bit. It just might be time to invest in the dreams of others! How is that going to help your dream? If you begin investing in the dreams of others, you just might find your own dream being realized one day. As we come together, we are a powerful force that can accomplish much. Help people with their dreams, and allow them to help you with yours! You are as blessed as you want to be. Let’s invest in others!

As for Arcane Synthesis, please spread the word! Let’s get this campaign funded well (there’s great art and the Divine Synthesis anthology to be had, and that’s going to be amazing as well!) and then let’s move on to helping another campaign and see more dreams come true! If we stand together, we can one by one begin to make dreams come true! No one needs to be left behind!

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8 Days Left for 8 Stories!

ImageHi all,

Well, we’ve got 8 days left for 8 stories – our Arcane Synthesis Kickstarter has almost come to an end! I’d like to think it’s just the beginning, however, as we really are just getting warmed up. We’ve had a lot of relatives across the whole team and some close friends, but it’s time to get more fiction fans involved! Won’t you consider standing with us? I’m sure we can reach our goal over the next 8 days. Please consider a buck and/or spreading the word to help this lifelong dream become a reality! (And get some wonderful rewards to boot!) What does Dead By Dawn (pictured above) have anything to do with this Kickstarter? It’s one of many cool rewards we have. Dead By Dawn is an interactive “Living” story puzzle!

I will write the bulk of the story, but everyone who pledges at the $5 Scribe tier, in addition to the other rewards you’ll get, if you want to, you can submit a small piece of the story and then I get the challenge of making all of the puzzle pieces fit into the story to make a fun, coherent story! It’s just one of the many fun things we’re doing. Rather, we can’t do any of this if we don’t get the funding we need. Every little bit helps!

See, this whole Kickstarter really is only the beginning. We are doing this campaign both because we have a love for blended-genre fiction, but also to spread the word about my Cosmoverse Campaign Setting, an RPG setting I’ve been working on, along with an RPG and writing stories for nearly 35 years now. I’ve never had the money to publish before. We’re sitting at just over $5,000, but I know we can get the rest of the distance. And if your Kickstarter is hurting, let me know and I’ll try to help. I haven’t much money, but I can spread the word and/or give a little (I’m out of work, so I honestly can’t give a lot yet, but I can give).

Bob Whitely
QT Games LLC
P.s. Need encouragement? Read my Update #4. Nothing is impossible! We cannot fail if we do not give up. Stand with me, friends! Thanks in advance!

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Arcane Synthesis: A Blended-Genre Anthology Kickstarter Update! [Time Sensitive]

Hi all! I just wanted to touch base with you regarding the state of the campaign. There’s 9 days left! I am excited that we are at 62% and rising, though like many of you, I was thinking the amount would be much higher this late in the game. I still believe it’s very doable to reach our $8,000 goal and well beyond to the exciting Stretch Goals! Why? Because we have a solid campaign with wonderful products to offer, talented people involved, generous rewards, an ad and marketing campaign up during the whole event, lots of loving family and friends and even some kind strangers, backing, talking and sharing about it, but also because I believe in miracles! Check out the campaign here!

No, I’m not some nut job, though you may not agree. I’ve seen plenty of miracles in my life and have experienced a few of them intimately, so I know they do happen! Nothing is impossible for God! And that’s very comforting to me. I firmly believe in miracles and since we are a relatively unknown publishing company, I knew there was a possibility it might come down to a miracle, and I’m OK with that.

Do we really need a miracle, and if so, why? Is this project so lame that we need a miracle? No, certainly not! There’s still a lot of fiction fans who don’t even know about the campaign yet, despite our spreading the word. There’s some who do know about it, but are distracted by the many other campaigns and fiction out there and don’t realize we’ve got something special to offer!

There’s also a fair number who said they would back us, but for one reason or another haven’t done so yet. Many of those who have backed are not even fiction fans, but relatives and close friends who just love us, are fans of Ed Greenwood’s Forgotten Realms and just want to see what he’s going to write next, or love the game design work of Steven Schend and Darrin Drader, follow Joseph Stirling’s blog, my own, our website, one of the other author’s on board, love Jason Rainville’s art or one of the other artist’s, want to invest in some wonderful, exclusive Kickstarter-only content, etc.

We don’t need a miracle, but as we are just an indie publisher, we could use one, and I’d be grateful for it! See, when you are a relatively unknown, it’s easy to fall into the cracks. People focus so much on the stars in an industry that they often don’t realize the real stars are all around us: The elderly lady working in her garden might have incredible talents that no one has begun to realize and may never discover, because they are looking in the wrong places! Their eyes are on the wrong people.

Some of the most talented people in the world have yet to be discovered and given their chance! We’re starting to see that turn around to some degree, but there’s still so many who have yet to be discovered. I’m not saying I’m great, but I am saying that this Kickstarter’s success doesn’t define any of us. It’s time to believe that big things can come from small people and stand together to help out those with true vision who may not have had the opportunity yet to shine!

People seem so impressed when they hear of the latest America’s Got Talent star who was an unknown. I saw one the other day where the young man had been homeless, yet had a tremendous singing talent. Together, our team of Arcane Synthesis (which includes a few well known, but mostly unknowns) have incredible talent, just like so many of you do, but people haven’t been taking the time to notice what we have to offer. Perhaps that’s my fault to some degree as this is my first Kickstarter, but I’m doing my best!

All of us have much to offer and I believe that God may yet do a miracle here. We’ve already had some surprising spikes of late that has been very encouraging, some from relatives and others from complete strangers! Thank God for both! Whether God does a miracle here or not, I am grateful for the opportunity to present this campaign, to possibly see a dream come true, and to meet so many wonderful people! I am thankful for what we’ve been able to accomplish thus far.

If a miracle does happen, and despite being an unknown, we get discovered and blessed with the finances to move forward, rather than having to push this project off until some unknown future date that may never arrive, I will be eternally grateful for this is the first step in a lifelong dream and people stood with me to see it through!

There’s plenty of reasons why miracles happen and why they don’t happen. I’m not sure what’s going to happen over the next 9 days, but I’m not stressing out. I’m looking forward to the days ahead, come what may! I know that we’ve done our part. We continue to spread the word daily and are doing our best. Many are considering backing us this very moment, and we have much reason to remain hopeful!

QT Games and our projects are not prisoners of whims or fate, whether someone will back us or not. We need this campaign to fund and people to back us if we are to get the ball rolling, but if that doesn’t happen, life is not over. We will pick up the pieces and find funding somehow or another, if this is meant to be, and I think it is!

Again, I am grateful to those who stood with us and firmly believe we are doing what we’re supposed to be doing. Whether that manifests in reaching our goal or not, is anyone’s guess. We’ve put together something that has loads of potential, something that many people could fall in love with! It’s something to be proud of, something to get excited about.

We need to continue to strive for excellence, spread the word and remember that our lives are not merely some lotto ticket waiting around hoping to be called, but the race isn’t over till we’re dead and there’s still a lot we can do and miracles do happen! If we refuse to believe in miracles, we shouldn’t be surprised when one doesn’t happen! Too many give up early on God, on themselves, and so they fail. We are not about to give up. We are pressing onward, standing together, and that’s a powerful thing!

Cheers!
Bob

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Arcane Synthesis Update and Achieving Excellence

For those of you who haven’t been visiting our QT Games fan page on facebook and haven’t been following our Kickstarter, please do! We’ve got some amazing things going on with Arcane Synthesis: A Blended-Genre Anthology, and I made a big announcement today!

For your convenience, I’m posting the announcement below! And for those of you who haven’t been following along on my personal facebook page, please do! Those that are looking to be inspired, challenged, encouraged, etc. or just find out what I’ve been up to (a lot as usual – I’m a pretty driven guy), I’ve posted my most recent mini blog post below as well.

We are living in a time of opportunity unlike any other. A time where dreams can become a reality using a combination of social media and opportunities like Kickstarter. It’s a time where if you have a talent, you might be able to become noticed on American Idol and similar programs, YouTube and elsewhere.

If you wanted to be in your own sitcom, you could do it and gain followers on YouTube. The world is filled with so many talented people that until recent years might have gone unnoticed their whole lives. If you aren’t backing people’s dreams on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites, please consider doing so. Investing in others is very rewarding! And I’m not just talking about investing in Arcane Synthesis. There’s many fine projects out there and I’m investing in some of them too! But if you are looking for some exciting fiction to read, check out my Kickstarter, if you’d be so kind. Thanks!

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Arcane Synthesis Update #2 (from Kickstarter)

Hi all,

I wanted to wait until I had something exciting to share before posting an update, and I have some exciting news indeed! Two amazing things actually. First, after some brainstorming and legwork, I am able to offer an 8th story for Arcane Synthesis! So, now instead of getting 7 stories in Arcane Synthesis, you’ll get 8 stories!!! This will create a small adjustment to the Print On Demand (POD) costs, mind you, nothing major, but I’m sure you will find it well worth it!

The second bit of great news is that the 8th story will be written by none other than Ed Greenwood of Forgotten Realms fame! Ed is writing not just one story, but two – one for each anthology! How cool is that?!

I am honored to have Ed on board and am excited to be working with him and all of the authors, frankly! I can’t wait to get this Kickstarter funded and off on our new adventure! Well, I say “new”, but I’ve been on this path for 34 years writing about the Cosmoverse, revamping and playing the Cosmothea Blended-Genre RPG, but this is indeed a new adventure. I would have started off on this path years ago and have had some people asking when the Cosmothea Roleplaying Game is coming out and the Cosmoverse Campaign Setting as well, but I have never been able to afford to publish in the past. This is where you come in.

You have a lot of say on how many cool projects hit the market and get onto your bookshelves. Heck, if you pledged at $2 or higher, you even get to vote on the cover of Arcane Synthesis! We’ll do the same thing for Divine Synthesis if we can reach that goal, and you’ll have a chance to vote on it as well!

With this Kickstarter, instead of just reading about the Cosmoverse from my perspective, and my writing style, you have an opportunity to experience the Cosmverse from multiple angles and multiple voices! Well, that is, if we fund. This Kickstarter is in your hands! Do you want to see two great anthologies? One? I am spending many hours every day to reach out to people across the web, but I can only do so much. You have already done more than I could have hoped for, so no complaints here! But since QT Games is not a well-known company, there’s still a lot fiction lovers who have not heard of us or even know about the Kickstarter yet.

Blended-genre stories are getting more and more popular as evidenced by the big, successful blockbuster movies out there, so this Kickstarter should appeal to a large percentage of fiction readers. We just need to locate those fans, share the good news about these books and why we want them to become a reality. I don’t know how many people have seen our second video (below the Kickstarter), but it is an important video to watch if one is a fiction lover. I’m working on a 3rd video, but time is very tight. I’ll get it posted as soon as I can, even if I have to make it a shorter video than I was planning.

I am grateful to each one of you who have not only backed the project, but have spread the word. We are 39% funded! That’s amazing! Now it’s time to kick it up a notch, spread our reach farther, tell our family and friends about it, find people that love fiction and let them know what we are up to! Thanks so much everyone!!!

Garbage In, Garbage Out. Achieving Excellence!

There’s a lot of garbage on the web just as there is on TV. It’s important to know what’s trash and what’s treasure. The trick is in learning how to distinguish such matters and who to trust. Bear in mind that if you assume every pile of words is trash, you’ll never find any treasure. If you are still reading, then you can decide for yourselves what’s what in this case:

My two cents: Excellence comes at a cost. Most of the time, you have to set aside the lure of the TV, take a stand against complacency and mediocrity, stare in the face of laziness and give it a swift kick in the rear. It will not come by accident, nor by lottery ticket. Blessings come in mysterious ways, but excellence comes with a lot of elbow grease, refusing to give up on yourself and others and more than most people are willing to give.

You won’t find it by questioning your own worth or someone else’s, nor will you find it by assuming you know it all and the other guy’s an idiot. It will not manifest by ignoring your weaknesses and focusing on your strengths, for you can learn more from your weaknesses and failure than you can ever learn from success, and living a balanced life is worth more than your best skill and will bring you more pleasure to boot in the long run. Your spouse will certainly appreciate you more and that’s worth more than you might know.

Excellence is an elusive beast that requires you first tame yourself, get over yourself, face your fears, recognize which ones are healthy and which ones are harmful. You need to know your limitations, when to talk and when to shut up. You need to accept that your spouse is probably right often enough to give the benefit of the doubt and that your spouse will love you more when you admit you’re wrong than when you prove you’re right. Excellence can be tasted when you realize that money is more properly a tool than a goal, and only a few can use the tool properly without hurting themselves.

Excellence can be felt when you aren’t chasing after it for your own sake, and when you understand that your family is worth more than your career, that comparisons merely lead to depression and letting others help you isn’t a sign of failure, but an opportunity to accomplish something greater than you ever could on your own; it’s an opportunity to share the blessing and that doing something for your own glory is a hollow victory when you’re all alone.

Excellence just might be possible to achieve when you love others more than yourself, and realize that your very best is good enough.

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The Countdown Continues!

As I write this, I hear our adorable chiweenie (chihuahua/dachshund), Tibbets, barking because there’s fireworks going off outside my window (likely illegal ones, since most don’t think twice in my neighborhood about firing off fireworks into the sky). So, with that reminder, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Image(Ok, I live in the desert, so you can be fairly certain
that picture wasn’t taken outside my window!)

While I’m fairly certain that the fireworks are going off because my neighbors know that my Kickstarter is about to launch, ;) since they are a day early, I’ll assume they are celebrating the launch of QT Games LLC (finally!) as we announced earlier that we were opening our doors on the 1st (officially) and are launching our Arcane Synthesis: A Blended-Genre Anthology on Jan 2nd, in the morning! Now, my neighbors are always ready to celebrate anything, so who knows, maybe they are even celebrating the New Year!

So, if you want to take a peek at the Big Event a day early, here’s the preview link to the project!

Come Jan 2nd, that link will redirect you to the live Kickstarter project. If you are sitting on the fence about whether to just get the book, or to tack on some of the other amazing rewards, including Limited Edition Kickstarter-only goodies and figure you’ll sort it out later, I encourage you to instead pledge early.

You can always up your pledge later when you see just how cool some of our generous rewards are (but don’t wait too long as some of them are in limited quantities! And if you pledge even a dollar on Day 1, well, if enough people do that, we’ll catch the attention of Kickstarter.com and maybe get some free promotion to help fund us further! We’ve got some really solid, terrific stories and art to bring you, but I can’t do it all by myself. Now it’s your turn to dive in and have some fun with this project.

I’ve worked my tail off to give you as many goodies as possible and ones I thought you’d get a real kick out of, and I couldn’t be happier with the authors who have come on board for both books (Divine Synthesis is our second book, which is part of a Stretch Goal). Check out the project and let’s get this ball rolling! Thanks so much all!!!

I’ll continue blogging during this busy event, but as I mentioned before, I’ve set aside the 2 for Tuesday and I’ll blog as time permits during January, then relaunch in February.
See you on the other side!

Cheers!
Bob Whitely

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