A Year Ago, Steve Soto Passed Away

Steve Soto

Steve Soto (August 23, 1963 – June 27, 2018). A year ago, the bass player of one of the most important punk rock bands in history, The Adolescents, has passed away.

I am not a person that likes to make any noise for any artist; but in this case, I believe I must do a certain kind of tribute. Punk rock music has been an important genre in my life. Since I was a little teenager; it helped me to enjoy music as a true form of expression, the loudest way to make a revolution without violence. Only as art.

The Adolescents, just like Bad Religion, Pennywise, Social Distortion, among others, had occupied my compact discs collections and now my digital playlists. And one of my dreams was to meet all the members that recorded one of the most important punk rock albums, the self-titled album, also known as the Blue Album, for obvious reasons. I knew they weren’t on tour very often, and also that it was not very common for these band to come to El Paso, Texas, so I decided that the only chance to fulfill my dream of met the original members, was to visit California.

Steve Soto old

After looking every week about concert dates, the bad news came to my feed: Steve Soto passed away. And with it, one of the most iconic members of the purest punk rock era. And a piece of my dreams to meet a punk rock gentleman.

Steve Soto, I know you wasn’t even aware of my existence, but the music you made with all your friends will accompany me in my journey until my last breath.

Rest in Peace

Still a Ravenclaw

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My favorite genre in literature is fantasy. And the last time I was so in-depth with a fantasy novel was with the Harry Potter series. A lot of people criticize Rowling for many things, sometimes without a real fundamentals. It is impossible to deny that she carved a good mark in a whole generation of kids, teenagers, and adults alike. I arrived late to the party; I got Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when I was 22. I tried to avoid it due its popularity—don’t judge me, the popular thing I read before that was the Twilight series, so please understand how reluctant I had been when one of my friends insisted me to read them.

That is a summary on how my introduction to Hogwarts began. Today, I have the seven Harry Potter books, a collection in Spanish and a bundle in English, and I regret nothing. There are a lot of complaints against the author, and with all that have been happening the current decade, everything being offensive and politically incorrect, there might been many opinion about her points of view. Does that really matter, though? I don’t think so. As many others forms of art, I believe we shouldn’t care too much about the author; only his/her work. Authors are people like you, like me; and like you and me, they have different ideas and opinions, some of them we might not agree on, but that doesn’t make them bad (unless their ideals are straight up harmful).

If you follow J. K. Rowling, you already know what I refer too when I mention complaints against the author. Out of nowhere she’s causing a lot of noise for her declarations about some of the Harry Potter characters. I say we should be respectful and take those commentaries as a “curiosity” or just ignore them completely. As for me, I love the Harry Potter series, but to me it begins with The Sorcerer’s Stone and ends with The Deathly Hallows. I’ll keep it this way, and I’ll love it the way it is.


Of course, feel free to comment your own points of view about the author and her books!

I took the photo from DevianArt. This is the link: http://fav.me/d499xqy 

Amaral and My Musical Ignorance

Amaral

Eva Amaral and Juan Aguirre

Amaral is simply my favorite band in Spanish. There’s a good story, though; when I was in elementary/primary school, my love for music started to grow. Actually, I need to admit it was an obsession to me. Whenever I got grounded, my mother never take video games away from me, she let me without music, and that was my weak point. I guess most mothers know how to punish their spoiled children.

I remember I was living in a little bubble. “Every song in my language is shit, and whatever is not punk or metal is shit.” That’s what I used to say. My ignorance was so big that I thought that every pop song sounded like Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears, or that every song in Spanish sounded like a trash copy of something that was being popular in English—Belinda being a copy of Avril Lavigne; Panda (or PXNDX) a copy of Blink 182, Sum 41, and others pop punk bands.

I denied all songs in my language so hard that every time my grandma turned the television on to watch the top popular songs in Mexico, I ran straight to my room to play games or put on my headphones to listen to my favorite songs. One day, while I was just daydreaming in my room, I heard a song from my grandma’s room:

The version I heard was the one featuring Beto Cuevas, from the band called La Ley, but I honestly prefer the original song

That was the moment that a song in my language got my attention. From the music to the lyrics, I couldn’t help but wonder about that song. Though when I had finally decided to take a look, the song had ended. I had to wait another week to catch the song again. When it happened, I knew it was something great. I knew I loved it so much, but I went into a state of denial; I didn’t want to admit that a “pop” (that’s how I called it), could be that good. I managed to ignore it after two or three weeks, but didn’t forget. The song disappeared from the top ten and everything went back to normal. A time had passed, years. And another song caught my attention while I was playing games in my room:

“El Universo Sobre Mí” from their fourth studio album called Pájaros en la Cabeza, and I fell in love with it. I couldn’t get it out from my head. It took me some time to realiza that the song was from the same band that released the song “Te Necesito” from the album Estrella de Mar. From that moment, I wanted to know more about Amaral. It was impossible to resist the urge to listen to all their works. There was—well, still is—a music store called Sounds in Juarez, that was almost like a sanctuary to me back in middle school. I had visited it at least once a week after class, always looking at my favorite albums. But had never visited the Spanish section before Amaral. After Amaral, of course, the first thing I did was to run straight to that section, and my excitement reached its top when I saw both albums. I rarely spent any money at school, so I had enough to buy one, so I bought Estrella de Mar, and the moment I pressed the play button, the moment I couldn’t stop or skip any song. That moment I realized that being stalled in just one genre—or language—was a huge mistake. I had missed a lot of good music, and there is a lot of songs and artists out there to be discovered.

Hacia lo Salvaje

Photo from their sixth studio album, Hacia lo Salvaje

I have learned that every  genre has a treasure, you name it. It is a big mistake to believe that every artist sounds the same. I just wanted to talk a little bit about my experience listening to this SPECIAL duo from Spain. I had the opportunity to go to one concert in Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico back in November 2017. Believe it or not, if you watch one of their shows live, you’re going to see a true definition of love for music.


As you know, this is not an informative post about the Spanish duo. It was a way from the to tell you how much I love their music, and that you should have a look if you’re curious about music in different languages. I hope you like it.

My First Novel: Translation (WIP)

El Bosque Donde la Vida No Cesa

Cover of the original release of El Bosque Donde la Vida No Cesa

Well, it was a quite calm journey. Can’t deny one of my biggest weaknesses, and that is the motivation. If something does not go the way it was intended from the very beginning, everything goes down.

Everything changed this year, though. The moment I opened this webpage/blog, I realized how much of a stress reliever this is. Therefore, I went back to my writing. One of my goals is to translate my first novel. I wanted to leave it behind and take a “fresh new start,” and keep on writing the new project called For Her Moon, there’s a post about the new project already, if you wish to read it to know more. Now, the problem of just ignore the first novel, as that this particular work was intended to introduce something to the audience; that something is relevant as a prologue to my following works—though not necessary to understand or enjoy them, so don’t worry about it that much.

Yes, I plan to talk more about it. But first, I’d like to get more reaching from this place. I can’t talk a lot about my books, and I wouldn’t mind, to be honest; but I rather gather more people to let you all know more, and see exactly what I am doing, with my WIPs and my preludes.

PROLOGUE SPANISH

A fragment of the Spanish prologue of my novel

For now, the only thing I want to say about my novel is its genre: fantasy. I enjoyed the writing process a lot, and I’d love to share my stories to the world. You don’t know how excited I feel for the illusion of getting more people to know my works.

Hope you stay with me in this journey!

Reading is a Hobby

reading

As the title says, reading is a hobby. Good. Now, time to explain myself. Why did I come up with this now? It is unfortunate that in my country, Mexico—and some other Latin American countries, I think—, the people never read, we are really famous for that, and I think is kind of a shame. However, you’ve been given the opportunity to meet people and you start to know why. You realize that half of the blame falls on these pseudo intellectuals that roam around believing they’re smarter than anyone else because they read. Wrong. If anyone reads, it is because this person likes it; that must be the only reason. Reading is a hobby.

Indeed, there are so many genres and types of books. From college books, which are there to show you some references about a certain class, call ir physics, government, history, philosophy, you name it. There are also fantasy and fiction books that aren’t meant to give you life lessons—though some actually manage to give greater messages than these so-called “self-improvement” books, but that goes for another post in the future. Just like television and games, fiction/fantasy books are there to entertain you, nothing else. One of the reasons a lot of people are reluctant when it comes to reading is because—and thanks to the mentioned pseudo intellectuals—it appears to be more of a task than anything. It is still common to see someone with interest in literature changing mind the moment some others say that you must read [insert a classic here], and if you don’t, then you are a fool. NO! Please, do not listen to them. There are a lot of books out there for everyone. There are so many things out there for you to sit and enjoy, get lost in the thousand worlds that are being created. It shouldn’t be taken as a task.

READ

This should only apply at school, don’t be like Snape if you’re not a teacher

Can you imagine? At the end of your shift, you’re tired after your 5-10 hour routine (doesn’t matter if you work part-time or full-time), you bought a few bargain books because you want to start a new hobby, sit on your sofa, and then you remember that guy at your school or job calling you [insert your favorite insult based on self-ignorance] because you’re not starting with one of the classics. I don’t know, but I would do something else instead; something that doesn’t feel like something with rules that must be followed in order to understand what’s going on.

The only question you must ask yourself is: What am I looking for? Maybe you’re looking for fantasy—you might want to start with Harry Potter, or the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. Maybe you’re looking for science fiction—you might want to start with Isaac Asimov that, even though he’s one of the classic authors of the genre, his stories are easy to follow and very enjoyable. Of course, these are only my personal recommendations, and the library for each genre is huge. There’s something there for you; something that’s going to become part of your life or the most beautiful of your literary memories.

Remember, reading is a hobby. It is a hobby that’ll make you PLAY with your imagination, even let you be the protagonist. You might end up liberating a Kingdom, or saving the world. Who knows!


I found the photo at the top of this post from Google Images

New Stories

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Unrelated photo for this post

Ah, this is a marvelous place to say whatever we want, share our trips, our songs, our photos, experiences and more. One of the most beautiful things, though, is the fact that we’re able to schedule posts and keep this place active for you and your friends or viewers; the purpose of each blog is different, and this is another world yet to be explored. I must admit that most of the upcoming posts are scheduled, except for this one, and the reason is that I have a normal life like you and a good percentage of population. So, now that I have a few scheduled posts waiting to be published by themselves, I am here to let you know that I will be available to focus on my short stories. This blog, indeed, has its main focus on my fantasy, and now I want to pay all of my attention to do it the right way.

It’d be easy for me to just write anything that sounds good enough for a blog and get feedback, comments, or whatever you’d be so kind to give; but that is exactly why I want to do things the right way. If you’re taking your time to read my posts (reviews, journal, stories, or anything from me), the least I need to do is make things as professional as possible for a single person. A journal, might be something completely random, but my stories are like my babies; my own characters, my own worlds, my own building and destruction of it will be all mine, and I want it to be properly done.

As soon as I have one scheduled, I’ll let you know with all details!

Thank you for your time.

My Plans, Pt 1

It’s been a while since I this website. I haven’t done any official plans yet. As you know, a blog/website could be something like a stress reliever; I have my own paperback journal, and I love it so much, but of course there’s a limit on how much you can write on it, and the limits are called pages. Here, one can do almost anything when it comes to writing, it is basically your personal space, without being too personal—I wouldn’t recommend making this a literal personal space. Though I recommend you come here and show your work to everyone. Yes, go ahead and tell us all whenever there’s something bothering you about society or your hobbies, every person has an interesting word to say, I am sure of it. Share the photos you take when you travel, like the one I’m posting here, even though is from 2017 when I went to Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico; tell us about it, recommend restaurants, or do whatever you feel like doing at the moment of writing your post.

I want to make sure I am doing the right thing, though. I am finally able to keep something like this flowing; you’ll have at least one post every two weeks, and I am really happy doing it because I can talk to you about whatever I feel like. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but everything I plan to do is by heart. Spread my words around and finally show you my short stories before my novel. Yes, the short stories are going to be free for this website/blog. No cost at all!

I’d feel like a greedy individual if I ask you to share anything, any support comes by your own will. But, of course, my short stories (still working on them) are very important to me, and I’d love if anyone spread the word about those once they had been published. But, as I’ve mentioned, by your own will… AND if you like them! It wouldn’t be fair if you share my work if you’re not liking it, unless you want to make fun of my stories with your friends (I guess that’s acceptable, too).

Oh well, I feel so nervous but I need to share my short stories with you eventually.

Project: For Her Moon

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For Her Moon is my newest project. Well, my first, considering my previous works have been written in my native language, Spanish. For many years, I had this idea of writing my own stories; you can read more about it on my post related to Earthbound (Mother 2 in Japan). Finally, the first book of a series is going to be real. There’s no release date yet. I need to be honest: right now I am focusing more on this website. My intention is to gain some attention before starting to announce, keep writing, and start the editing process of this new novel. Can’t tell if this is a good idea or not, but I believe is better if I start showing you my… skills? As I have mentioned, this website/blog is not going to be focused only on my fantasy; it will also include a lot of random thoughts as a journal and a few reviews whenever I want to take time to write something about a specific game, movie, book, or something else. All of this is going to help me polish my writing even more, so I want you to expect a lot of content here!

HOWEVER, it is a fact that the main purpose of this is to show you my stories and this place is the best way to do it. There are two old short stories posted already. Though they are kinda random, I think it’d be good to keep them so I can see how much I improve from here on!

I will be posting preludes to my novel every month (or every two weeks, if possible). These preludes are coming to tell you a few things about some characters and places, though it doesn’t mean these characters are appearing in the novel. They are more for world building than actually tell the plot. I want to introduce my universe to you, and putting my hopes up to make you dive into it and enjoy the trip.

The only thing I could say now, is that Her Moon is closer.

Personal Writing Advice, Pt 1

Okay, so this is going to be one of these posts that serve little purpose, needed to be honest. I am not a professional writer, and this blog, as I shall explain on a scheduled post, it is to show you my writing style and my improvements. There are still pending short stories yet to be published, so hang on!

I have a personal advice for everyone. I had been struggling to write comfortably, not due artistic block or anything like that. It is something with the easiest solution on earth for any creative mind, and that is a clean environment; in my case, a clean desk. It does sound absurd from afar, I know, buy you should know how this helps. Imagine your laptop among stacked papers, water bottles, cans of soda, random coins, two headphones, a wallet, snacks, keys, and you favorite books. Now that you’ve pictured it, imagine yourself, coming home from a hard working day, and you have a lot in your mind to let your muse flow with your art. I don’t know, maybe you want to write a story, write a song, paint, or edit photography, and the first thing you see on your creative space is a hell of a mess. Just as I thought, you’d be adding a task after a hard day. Probably you’re going to end up doing something else instead.

So, try to keep your desk clean every day. Do not procrastinate when it comes to cleaning or create something. Do not let your muse see you’re not a clean person; she’s going to run away from you until who knows when!

Main Inspiration: Earthbound

Earthbound banner

Videogames are one of the most important hobbies in my life. Since I was a little kid I have played them like crazy, it was fun to run from one side of the screen to the end of it using everyone’s favorite plumber, Mario, and his now popular brother, Luigi (aka Green Mario). We had one mission only: rescue the princess.

Like most videogames back in the era, they had a simple plot, which consists in fighting the bad guy and rescue someone. Typically a woman, but I won’t get into details here because the last thing I want to do in 2019 is to trigger anything, misinterpretation is so common nowadays. Everything was so simple, and I am not complaining; you had to fill a lot of a story using your imagination, or simply go along with the game and have fun. Other games introduced to us an epic story about this warrior that fights using a sword and a shield the forces of evil. The Legend of Zelda had a lot to offer, it made us feel like a brave person and offered a story for us to enjoy and enchant our experience. And yes, the rest is history. It was so revolutionary that its legendary status still prevails, all well deserved. But, it was’t The Legend of Zelda the game that made me think of videogames as art. The truth is, that even though I had played it for hours and never getting tired of it, it wasn’t until Earthbound (Mother 2 in Japan) that everything changed inside of me. It began a revolution inside of me.

Earthbound is another legendary game that, unfortunately, has a cult status. It was not very popular in North America, and even less in Mexico. Let’s say I was late to the party. I feel ashamed to admit that I had to use emulators to play it, I was just in middle school and the PC was my only “console” back then. A funny thing I remember, is that my ability to speak English was null; I couldn’t read or speak that language at all. Of course, the only thing I understood is at the beginning, where you start naming the protagonists, Ness, Paula, Jeff, and Poo. I only changed Ness’ name to a different one I had came up with. I never imagined myself as the hero of any story, so I never used mine.

Mother 2 is a role-playing videogame set in the fictional Eagle Town, and the difference between all the games of the same genre, this is not a medieval-fantasy world. Instead, it is set in an urban town in the United States (I believe, because it does not specify exactly where in North America). You take control of the protagonist, Ness, after something fell from the sky. The game was released on 1994 in Japan, and 1995 in North America. There’s nothing I could say about the game that haven’t had said before by a lot of experts, so I’ll skip telling a long story about the game, because the purpose of this post is a story about my inspiration to start writing. So let’s keep going:

I have mentioned about my inability to speak English back then. It was difficult to me to know exactly what I was doing, it was trial and error all the time, until I had most of its controls memorized. As a role-playing game, everything is focused on the story, of course, so my only option to understand what was going on is to create my own conversations using my imagination. I cannot say that the plot in my head was any good because it was not, but I can’t describe how happy I was by making my own stories. I had enjoyed the “story-telling” in my brain, but then I thought about it for days after my PC was turned off due middle school obligations, and I concluded that it might be a good idea to write original stories. Of course, I changed my mind every time because I had never believed I have a talent for it. To be honest, I was one of these little boys, then teenagers, then young adults that never had any self-esteem. Well, to be honest I still feel that way. But now I just don’t care about my self-doubt. Other thing I have learned about these role-playing games, specially the main topic, Earthbound, is that many things in life, from the fights outside to the hardest ones that are within one-self, is that you have to do this trial and error thing. You’re going to fail once, twice, or maybe a hundred times, but you need to force yourself to rise again, improve by getting experience, and try again until you get into the final boss fight. And even after the boss battle, you can challenge yourself to do another run, even better.

I have written several short stories and a novel in my native language, Spanish. Now, I was so afraid to start doing it in this beautiful language that is English; I am not a perfectionist, but I try to do things right, and adopting a new language for my future works is kind of frightening. I guess this is the new start of my journey.

I hope my new novel, a project called For Her Moon (hashtag #ForHerMoon on Twitter), surpasses my own expectations.


Feel free to let me know your comments. If you had a similar story, I’d love to read it!