Dark Entries

The title is a Bauhaus song. Honestly, though, it has nothing to do with it, but I’m going to put it here for you to listen. Enjoy!

“Dark Entries” by Bauhaus

There are so many times when your mind goes blank. Total emptiness breaks through your brain, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Or maybe you can, but it’s hard to think clearly. The sounds around you become a distant echo, gradually disappearing.

There are so many distractions; all of them become one, forming a massive wall made of everything and nothing, all at once. Any inspiration to do anything is kept on the other side of that wall; it’s so hard to break that you end up going back at the beginning to the point of giving up.

It is part of any creative process to lose sight. It is part of any creative process to make one, three, thousands of mistakes as long as these don’t keep us on the floor. We learned that from movies or some others from good parents. Perhaps it’s easier said than done for a good percentage of people; of course, I made this up, I didn’t look for any statistic to give.

Motivation is just a little bit of what someone needs to write constantly. The balance between life and the inner self is also another bit of what it takes to keep writing in form.

I am not sure if other factors determine what we need to reach a specific goal. Whatever that goal you set, of course, this last point is different for me, and it is different for you, just like it is different for each individual among millions.

Dark is always there to consume us. We usually call them the inner demons, but we don’t know if those demons are just the negativity within ourselves. I am not a person who believes in a certain mindset; you know, that bullcrap we hear from self-improvement books. Our life stays the same while the author’s wallet gets fat.

What is the actual advice, then? I’ve looked at some of my past posts on this blog, and I asked similar questions. There are points in life when we need to take a break, ask ourselves questions, see if we’re heading in the right direction we wanted.

How long do we have to keep asking ourselves questions, though? I’m curious for real. May we ask a successful friend or family member, and we’ll find out that most of them have questions too. Even when we look at those families that seem perfect, I bet they wonder about things. Who knows.

It’s good to have a distraction once in a while. Music, movies, friends, games, or anything that releases your stress can be good for a recovery process. A good song, your favorite, is a tool that could give you a push. Sometimes we need a little push or a heavy push; it all depends on the kind of darkness you’re into. See if there’s something that would help alleviate stress, or see if you actually need a little extra from somebody else. The only thing that matters here is that you don’t remain in the dark. Or at least look for something within and bring it to your reality.

Now I feel somewhat guilty. I feel like I’m the one talking like those self-improvement phonies. But I have to be honest, though, and say that this post was for me. I wrote it for myself, and I don’t even know why I’m sharing it. I guess that is the purpose of a blog. There are different sections/pages on this web, and everything’s coming from my brain. I hope someone enjoys it, at least.

Welcome, New Year 2021

There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, there is always a civilization at the other side of that tunnel. It is always a good thing to see something waiting to be discovered. Although, we know that in that little or big community there’s always A GROUP waiting, (un)intentionally, to make things worse for the rest of society. This is life! Imperfect all the time, and I am not going to lie, that’s exactly what makes everything more interesting.

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

I am eager to see what’s coming for us. I won’t say there is something, a goal, waiting to be fulfilled—most of the time these New Year goals are nothing but a lie. Of course, that depends 100% on us, but you know what I mean. My suggestion is to make what actually makes you happy without being careless of the important aspects of life; your family, your income, and the pastimes that make you whole.

We tend to believe the lie that there is a purpose for each one of us, which is A LIE. Do not get me wrong, though; I guess it is good to have something to believe in. The problem is when we depend on that belief, sit on our butts and wait for that “life purpose” to come and say hello to us. That is not how it works. The true purpose is what makes us whole, as redundant as it may sound with the previous paragraph.

The world is getting tougher each day that passes. If you are reading this, it means that you are privileged enough to have internet. Just like I am. Keep in mind that there are people out there that are really struggling; it is sad that it is physically impossible to help everyone in need, although we can do our best to keep our families and loved ones safe. Occasionally lend a hand. It is easy to make hash tags and trends on social media without moving an actual finger. It is up to you and me to truly do something for our fellow humans.

I am not going to bother to insult that people traveling (job-required does not count, they are cool) or partying. Just want to let you know if it weren’t for this dumb “Cancellation Culture,” and the WP politics, I would let you know my real thoughts on this post. You all need a leash.

With no further thought, I wish you all a HAPPE NEW YEAR! May your dreams come true and the story unfolds the way you wish.

Pre-Christmas 2020

A new Christmas is coming. A few hours left before the most beautiful celebration of the year; a holiday most people love to spend with their families. I dare you to tell me a prettier day. It only rivals with Dia de Muertos, though this is a bittersweet celebration, and that put it just a little beneath Christmas.

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

The year 2020 has been crazy, not in a good way however. Sometimes we just need to look around to see the countless things outside that keep us apart from each other. Society, even though technology helps us stay in touch with everyone, it seems it is exactly a tool to keeps us apart from each other. The visits at the restaurants were curious because we had seen a table with a big family; but each member texting someone else. That communication is even worse now. The best recommendation to endure and help our respective nations is to avoid contact as much as possible.

How are you going to spend your Christmas? That is a difficult question to answer. I know some folks miss their families so much that they are willing to risk health and safety measures, which is not responsible, and it is understandable at the same time. I’ve said it on previous posts that, personally, I don’t mind being alone, but that does not mean that everyone has to do the same. In fact, a majority is social; I am nothing but an exception. I really want to believe that there will be a reward at the end of the tunnel for those that are suffering. I want to believe that they, the ones respecting the rules despite dealing with personal issues by themselves, are going to be very happy once this gets better. Let’s just keep in mind that nothing is going to be normal ever again. This should be a lesson for everyone, to take care of each other, friends, families, and strangers alike.

I also know that “this should be a lesson for everyone” is just a wishful thinking. If another pandemic comes in the future, a lot of people is going to make sure to screw everything up. So you do you, my friends!

And for those that actually care (have a brain), I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Reintroduction

This is just a reintroduction. This is not an emergency. Nothing to be worried about. I need to say this first paragraph is a personal message from me to… me. It’ll be understandable that anything that I say here about my long break may be taken as an excuse from my part, so I think I need to save whatever words I have and just reintroduce myself for the new people that happen to find this little website, blog, or just a bunch a words scattered on your screen.

Some music to start the day

Everything got me by surprise. WordPress’ interface has changed a lot. While I write this post I am having a hard time finding some of its old functions. I don’t now (yet) how to divide with a line a paragraph like I did in the past with some of my previous posts; remember, for me it was a good opportunity to add more personal notes into the subject. Though now that I think about it, adding a more personal note is a bit redundant, isn’t? I mean, a blog is supposed to be personal in the first place. I have a blog section, and that one is supposed to be more personal than anything. When I talk using a different category, Reviews for instance, I try to talk about games, books, anime, or movies from the eye of a consumer and critic, as professional as a tiny website could be.

Manners!

What is this reintroduction about?

As some of you know, this web has been inactive for months. There were reasons, yes, but I rather push myself forward and retake some of the projects I left abandoned. My novel, Black Fields, is safe. I am making like thousands over thousands of backups just in case anything happens; I still have memories of the first novel I wanted to write when I was a teenager, I had a lot of pages and an entertaining story, and then my mom’s PC died. Quite the experience! Of course, it was entertaining for me, it was an awful story…but that was a good experience that prevents me from not taking preventive measures.

At the top of the page you will find different sections. Some of them might interest you, some of them might not, and that’s cool. I am trying my best to make this a diverse place for you to enjoy. Although I love writing, I must be clear that I am just one person. The most active section I believe is going to be the blogs. Why? The reason is simple: as a blog, anything is more personal (not too personal, of course), and it’s going to help me to kill some stress. But hey, do not worry, the other sections will be updated as well. I am always open to suggestions!

Find me on social media

You can find me on social media. I do have a Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Feel free to follow me. I know I am not very active on social media, but I’m always happy to read your thoughts.

Your words are important

I am open to suggestions and feedback. I’d love to hear from you about this site. Of course, the website is called Jesus Delgado Reynoso Writes (J. D. R. Writes for short), but that does not mean I don’t want to hear from you; the comment section on every post will be open for EVERYONE. Do not hesitate to share your thoughts with me.

Also, do not forget that sharing is caring.

Final note: I want to thank each of you for staying here and the new followers, too, for clicking the follow button even though the site was in a coma.

Have a wonderful day.

Spotify, My Love

Dear Spotify,

I must thank you for existing. After services like Netflix or Crunchyroll, I wondered if there was something similar for music, and I appreciate the fact that there is. There are others, of course, but Spotify is my favorite. I love you even when you don’t have the original soundtracks of the Shin Megami Tensei/Persona series, or Blazblue and Guilty Gear.

I forgive you for that. Your catalog is big enough to compensate! Just joking, I know it doesn’t depend on you. Atlus and Arc System Works are weird companies.

spotify-playlist

This is an irrelevant talk. This is just a blog about nothing, to be honest. This is a post where I’ve decided to share more of the music I listen to and why. The vast Spotify catalog is a poor excuse for me to write anything. Come, listen to some of the songs that I love, and feel free to share yours. I am also looking for a good excuses and recommendations to add songs to my playlists.

I remember my love for music as a kid. Believe it or not, my parents punished me by taking the music away from me. They never touched my videogames, as my biggest hobby was music.

My story began when my uncle played a VHS tape (damn, I am old). A cousin recorded a lot of music videos from MTV. Believe it or not, the M stands for Music, and they had actually shown music videos. INCREDIBLE! Back to topic: that VHS tape included a lot of rock videos. Before that, I loved music, but I didn’t really care much about it. I was a little kid, so my knowledge in music was so little. Then a song began, “Falling Away From Me” by Korn. From that moment on my interest in music started.

At first, I only listened to English songs, even though I had no clue what they said. Hey, now I have to thank that music that I’ve learned the language. Yet, I was an ignorant fool thinking that only music in that language was worth. Then a popular channel in Mexico proved me wrong. There was a Top Ten show on Saturday mornings; of course, they only played songs in Spanish, so I had zero interest. Then, a song started–a song from a duo from Spain: Amaral, with a song called “Te Necesito”, featuring Beto Cuevas (the singer from a Chilean band called La Ley). I’ll show you below.

Some inspiring music

One of the things I love most is writing, that’s the purpose of my blogs, just write and write until I feel tired. There are other sections as well, that I wish to use for reviews, stories, and promote my future novel.

I know some prefer to write or do homework in complete silence. I understand that, I love silence, or I prefer a very low volume at home when I watch anime or play videogames. Music being an exception. When I listen to music I like it loud. Punk, rock, metal–these genres are meant to be loud.

There’s another exception, though, and that is the exact moment I sit down to write. I only need enough space in my head for soft music and imagination. I realized that videogames have a vast selection of music that could work perfectly to do activities that require concentration. I would never get tired to recommend it, and I would never end naming examples of videogames with great music. It is a shame that not everyone is going to take that music seriously, “it came from videogames, how could that be good?” Nothing I can do to change their minds.

The only thing left for me to do is to write and see if anyone is curious to listen.

“Hopes and Dreams” is the title screen song from a game called VA-11 Hall-A, a cyberpunk visual novel available on all gaming platforms. That moment the title screen shown up, I feel in love with its soundtrack. The music fits perfectly; there are many hopes and dreams gathered in a city where the game takes place. Hope and dreams are the only things you could strive for in a decaying city. You are a bartender, and your job is to serve drinks and listen to the citizens tell about the problems and what’s happening, while the music you’ve chosen for the jukebox plays in the background, giving a temporary feeling of relief.

The full soundtrack is available on Spotify.

English is not the only language for music

Imagine one being so disrespectful to music that automatically assumes that there’s only one language for music? I feel ashamed, but I was one of them, and I don’t want to believe that people that only knows one language is the same today as I when I was twelve years old.

I am so glad I changed my mind after listening to this duo from Zaragoza, Spain, because they helped me to look further into them and other artists as well. One of my dreams was to assist to one of their shows. Unfortunately, I always lived close to the border, and they usually visit the most important cities in the country. So any hope died back then, and I never had the opportunity to travel when I was a kid. That changed as an adult, though. I traveled to Guadalajara, Jalisco (my favorite place in Mexico) in 2017 just to assist to their concert. Not only that, I was able to take a photo with Eva Amaral.

One of my dreams came true. I respect them. They gave us an epic show! I hope to repeat it someday.

A cure for bad nights

The Cure has a legacy, that can’t be taken away. This is one of the many bands that never wrote complicated songs, but somehow they managed to add a lot of magic to its simplicity. Robert Smith is indeed a genius songwriter.

From their most teenager post-punk album Three Imaginary Boys, to their darkest work called Pornography, to their pop rock Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, you have the perfect album to satisfy your mood.

Depending on the context, The Cure is also helpful if your intention is to write or study. I don’t know how to describe the sensation, but they are perfect for any activity.

When Metal tells a story

The Metal genre is well loved by many and hated by others. As any other genre, there are good and bad bands out there. It’s hard for many of these bands to not get compared to Iron Maiden and other veterans of the genre. Don’t you dare mention that a band because “Iron Maiden is better” (which telling that band is better than newer bands is just getting stuck in the past). A legacy is what they left, and we all should respect that.

A band caught my attention the first time I heard of them. Avantasia released an album called The Metal Opera, and my first thought was of a band that wanted to sound pretentious. Yet, my curiosity moved me, and I got the album (yeah, I bought it the same instant I listened to it)–as soon as I got home from a long trip to downtown in Juarez, I turned on my uncle’s CD player and listened to the album. Wow, I loved it. Every second of that album is gold. The “Opera” in the title was a real deal. It wasn’t just a title, its intention is to be a real Metal opera, and Tobias Sammet did an epic job. The album tells you a story that is written in the booklet. The booklet describes a scenario while the lyrics and the singers (each singer representing a different character) their conversations, as if it were a script. A real opera.

Tobias Sammet made something I never thought possible. Back then, I didn’t know if the project was 100% original, or if there was another Metal band with a similar concept. The only thing I know today, is that Avantasia surprised me. It made me look at music as more than just poetry, a thing that could tell you a story as literature does.

I am thankful

With all of it, I really appreciate services like Spotify being here for us. Giving us all access to a lot of music.

Misiones

I rarely go to the movies. Hell, the last time I went to the movie theater to watch anything was to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. After that, I just went lazy. Just kidding, I don’t watch movies often, to be honest. However, a few movies got my attention this year; I decided to make an exception.

An anime movie called Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll was announced for the love weekend (February 14th, 15th, and 16th), and since I liked… no, LOVED the anime, which is available on Netflix, by the way, I bought the ticket automatically. I am not joking here, my fingers moved by themselves.

Though that only made me realize there were more movies on the list. Two movies that caught my eyes were Jojo Rabbit and Parasite. Bought the tickets. of course, and went on Friday 7th, a week before Violet Evergarden. And also got tickets for two more anime movies, Goblin Slayer and Konosuba. Believe it or not, five movies on February is more than I’ve watched during 2018 and 2019 together. And I regret nothing.

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I took this image from the mall’s official site: plazalasmisiones.mx

The first thing I noticed when I went to Las Misiones mall is the nostalgia. I used to visit kinda often. Las Misiones is the biggest mall in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and though it opened its doors in 2004, I started to visit it after work back in 2007. The gap in time is definitely something that affects our lives.

Cry, cry, cry

Las Misiones, the richest mall in the city I grew up in, had a lot of teenagers. That’s obvious, I believe teenagers are the majority of visitors of a mall; is really cool to hang out with your friends and look at the different stores. Today is different. You see a bunch of adolescents, but they don’t wear anything related to a subculture. Back in the days, the place was packed with emos. That time when My Chemical Romance was at its peak with the album Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. I liked it, but not enough to get any interest on Black Parade and whatever came after that.

I thought it was the greatest irony that a subculture that somehow romanticized things like sadness or depression, mainly consisted on high class teenagers with no need for a job while attending high school or college. Good for them! The emos vanished, at least from Mexico, a few years later. They just stopped. It was almost as if they all decided one day to drop the emo clothing and mood.

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There are many stores to visit in Las Misiones mall. If you’ve ever been there, though, you should know that the most attractive thing about the mall is Cinépolis (its movie theater). And most, if not all, people from the United States of America that visited any cinema in Mexico knows that these have quality. You have to see it for yourself.

Memories

I am not a person that saves memories. Most of them are triggered after certain events, or just by visiting old places. Like this, Plaza Misiones mall. Not my favorite place when I was a kid, but I admit I felt good just by visiting the place again, and imagine the 15 year old emos complaining about just having from their parents a normal credit cards instead of platinum in their wallets.

Not treasuring those moments really. But I guess it was a time when everything was easier. I guess that matters.


Feel free to leave your comments below. And feel free to follow me on Twitter and say hi!

Single Valentine

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Alone?

I know some people can’t grasp the idea of being alone in a “special” day like Valentine’s Day, and I don’t know why, to be honest. But I am being selfish here; not everyone thinks the way I do, and that’s fine. The only thing I’d like to say is that you matter.

There’s always someone waiting out there for you (as long as you’re not an asshole, and as long as you are being true). Remember that Valentine’s Day is just a normal day, and if no one is there by your side maybe that person will come next month; maybe your birthday, or Christmas. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t a “special” day.

First love

Not counting parents, whenever we talk about our first love we always think about our first girlfriend, or maybe our first kiss. The truth is that there’s someone that we MUST learn to love before anyone else in order to be better when the right person comes. Who’s that, you ask? Ourselves.

Believe it or not, self-esteem is important. Without self-esteem it’s harder to approach a girl or a boy. And if you don’t approach that person, that person is not going to wait for you. We’re not protagonists of the Earth, and the world keeps moving even if you keep quiet. Love starts with ourselves. Once we learn how to love ourselves, we’ll be ready to love someone else.

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Another day, just that

Need a lot of emphasis that Valentine’s Day is just another day. Just like any other holiday. Sure, some holidays may be important to you because you had a lot of great memories of your childhood, and that’s fine. Personally, I love Christmas so much–I don’t celebrate it, but Lord, I LOVE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS. In the end, though, it’s just another day.

Valentine’s Day is just a title for February 14th, and one shouldn’t feel forced to be with someone to enjoy it. Yeah, everyone gets massacred with romantic ads, couples wearing red while grabbing hands, kissing, and walking in the park (under the rain sometimes). And it actually happens that  some folks get affected by it: they fall into the impression that if no one is with them on that specific date, they’ll be alone forever. And that’s not it. Or it’s worse when some people genuinely enjoy their solitude, friends or acquaintances start acting as retards trying to make them feel as if solitude was something bad. Believe it or not, friends, there are people out there that TRULY wants to be alone. And you know what I meant, I don’t think I need to explain it doesn’t mean they’d act as Gollum (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings). These people have friends and family, but they don’t need to see them every week to feel good.

Personally, I see my friends once or twice a month, and that’s more than enough for me.

Conclusion

Being single is nothing wrong, even if you’re 20, 30, 40 or whatever. If you want to be alone, it is okay, that doesn’t make you a bad person. You matter.

And if you want to find someone, learn how to love yourself first and then go look for the person that makes you happy. but DO NOT FORCE anyone to be with you, and be yourself, authentic, that’s the only way you’ll know if one person wants to be for you. Someone’s always there.

Vambrace: Cold Soul

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I played Vambrace: Cold Soul on PS4. The influence it took from Darkest Dungeon is clear. However, I have no more references than that; I haven’t played Darkest Dungeon so take my opinion as someone that only knows this game.

The game is also available on Nintendo Switch, XBox One, PC, Mac, and Linux.

A dark place

The game takes place in a frozen city that has been suffering a curse inside its walls. Life is just getting harder and harder, and people have lost hope.

I must say that the atmosphere in this game is really good. I was expecting a few mentions of the world but not something very substantial. To me it was just a place covered in ice, but as you progress and talk to the the folks, is when you realize something is very wrong, and that you actually need to help them;the NEED help, even though some have already given up, and others are have lost their minds already.

The gameplay is easy to understand. You are alone, and as any dungeon crawler, you’re going to need to explore dangerous places, so you better go and recruit party members. There’s a specific place on the map and as you get near you get the indication.

Recruitment

When you recruit your party members, you’re going to find different type of adventurers with different abilities, ready to help you in your journey. Be prepared because if they die, THEY STAY DEAD.

Battle mode

During your exploration, there are many dangers that you will find: the first and obvious are the enemies. These will come at random encounters while walking–you’ll fight them in a battle mode, your party fave to face against an enemy party. And depending on your companions, the fights can be easy or very hard, so take with you whomever you think will be more helpful. A healer is strongly recommended, but they are not always available, so make a good balance between their abilities and yours in order to get buffs for the team and debuffs for enemies.

Even when you have a good balanced team you should remember that the enemies have different attacks that might kill you immediately, or at least leave you with a stat that will affect combat or exploration. A lot of precautions are never enough here. The difficulty varies, and doesn’t help that you have a Fear (green) meter that will increase as you walk into another room or rest. There’s yellow bar that indicates your vigor, and once this reaches zero (this drains way faster when the fear meter is full), you’ll die instantly, unless you’ve been taking some breaks camping doing bonfires in the rooms that allow it; but every time you rest at a bonfire, your fear meter increases. You have to be well-prepared for that situation, explore and go straight to your goal. Do not be afraid to give up if you see there’s no way you could make it to the end of your mission. You’d have to start the dungeon from the very beginning, but at least you learned from the previous experience.

Whenever you return to a dungeon, though, it will be completely different. It randomizes. And the problem with it, is that all the traps that you had avoided, reset in different locations. In other words: you have to walk through the same but different rooms if you decide to go back and continue later.

The traps aren’t a real problem if you have a party member with good Awareness points (three or four points) in front. Dwarves are highly recommended to avoid traps, they have a good probability to get rid of them and keep walking without getting a negative status.

If you fall into a trap, you’ll get a negative status, from a broken bone, to a blurry vision (which reduces that probability to avoid traps), bleed, and some others that’ll make your journey through that dungeon more difficult. And believe me, you don’t want to make the game harder than it could be if you’re not careful.

While you walk in a dungeon, sooner or later you’ll end up triggering an event. From finding anything suspicious, from gas pipes or weird ghosts. You can pass some of these events, but others are unavoidable. Once this happens, you’ll get to choose one of your companions to do it. I believe it doesn’t matter which part member does it, the result is randomized, so I believe this was unnecessary in the first place. I guess the developers tried to add luck to increase the difficulty a little bit more, because hard isn’t enough nowadays.

Seriously, I looked and couldn’t find if the result depended on something else than luck.

If you fail, you’re going to get a negative stat, lose health or vigor, or increase your fear meter. If you succeed, you get an item, a little more health or vigor, or a buff.

Side activities

There are side quests in the game. Some of them are interesting and some of them are not. Some of them expands the story a little more, and some others are simple. These are entertaining, I’m not going to lie; and most of these are completed while you explore the dungeons, so you can get the side quest item, “give up” the dungeon and return to the city to deliver the item. You won’t get punished for abandoning the dungeon before finishing it. You have to repeat, as I mentioned, the same but different dungeon with the enemies, traps and random events reset.

For each side quest you complete, you won’t get experience or very important items. These aren’t meaningful, to be honest. And I bet this is the main reason this has been called Darkest Dungeon: Waifu Version. And as you can see in the photos, the characters are very good-looking, especially the female characters. So, after completing a side-quest, you get a different outfit for Lyric.

Dressing room, only shows what you’ve already unlocked

I am not going to lie, they are cool. Some of them look great, some of them look sexy, and some of them are less interesting (in my opinion). This is a good addition that, if you look at other games, they’d cost $5 dollars each. So let’s appreciate our rewards.

Final impressions

If you’ve played Darkest Dungeon before, you might not find something new here, or maybe interesting.

But, if you haven’t played Darkest Dungeon (like me), then this is an interesting dungeon crawler that makes you dive into its atmosphere if you pay attention to everything that’s happening. Your protagonist, Lyric, is charismatic, and your party members have a few dialogs, too, to help you believe they are actually living being and not just soulless bodies that you control during your journey.

The game has replay value. Not the kind of replay value where you want to start immediately after the credits; believe me, you’re going to need a good break before you even think on coming back because the game is punishing at times. But you have costumes to unlock, different decisions to make to see a different conclusion. Of course, the game is not for everyone, but if you enjoy a good dungeon crawler with a hard difficulty and a dark and sad world, then I recommend you give it a try.

An Indie Title

Twitter, my favorite social network, I can’t explain why but I love it so much! I rarely check Facebook nowadays. I do have a “like page” on Facebook for this website/blog, everything I post here automatically publishes to FB, but I don’t go there and I don’t even have the link displayed anywhere on this J. D. R. Writes site.

Sometimes I go and explore social media randomly and find news, trending topics, and thoughts from other users. This time I came across a tweet that got my attention, and not because it was popular or had a lot of numbers, but it reminded me a lot of conversations I had in Juarez with friends and acquaintances about the independent movement.

This is the tweet, by Nicole Tone.

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Follow her on Twitter

It is incredible to read this years after having all these conversations about the indie scene. Back in 2012 I had a few discussions about artists and the new platforms in which they could have their work published; thanks to the internet many doors have opened for content creators. Blogs, YouTube videos, among other platforms are there, waiting on the web for anyone to take advantage.

The problem that I had back then, is that in my country the support to artists that weren’t on TV or radio 24/7 is from little to none. The first thought people adopted was that “if isn’t on TV or isn’t famous, then it automatically sucks.” And well, we already have a whole different idea about the TV nowadays, right?

Same music all day all night

To me, it was frustrating to look at bands playing in bars amazing music with no payment at all, and no support from the crowd, those bands were basically just a background sound. And the people that went to those music bars, only wanted to listen to covers. New covers, no! They wanted to listen to the so-called “classics” Spanish rock bands like Maná, Caifanes, and Fobia. Same when they played English music–Metallica, Nirvana, Radiohead, and the most popular songs from the 80s and 90s.

Remember, “if it wasn’t on the radio, it isn’t good. So don’t even bother about playing original songs.” Still angers me to hear this.

Many books to read, people stalled based on a false self-proclaimed intellectualism

Literature is a beautiful art that is difficult to appreciate, and it’s usually misjudged by those who don’t even take the time to actually read something.

Why is it difficult to appreciate? Maybe it sounds like I am exaggerating things here, but let’s think about it: when you listen to your favorite songs, you can do it anywhere, and it takes one button to start appreciating it, or just making it your companion while you relax, work, exercise, or want to fully listen to it. An illustration, a painting, photography, or any visual art, they have the advantage that the image is there for you to watch; you might look at the colors and figures and come up with different meanings, for your eyes a red and blue means one thing, and for my eyes the same colors have something completely different to tell; it is a matter of perspective, even when you just want to appreciate the beauty of the painted landscape or human body.

Literary works, though, are a different story. You have pages among pages with only text on them. And the same amount of attention is needed, whether you want to read a fiction novel or a philosophy book. Yes, the philosophy book is heavier than the fiction novel, but to get inside the story or the thoughts of the author, you have to read every single word on every single page. Now, imagine yourself, tired from work, or doing your homework, cleaning your home, or walking around—try to pick a book while you do one of the mentioned activities. It won’t be comfortable. Sure, we have audiobooks, and they totally rock; but they also have a problem: you need to pay attention to every word—the author might be in the middle of a description of a fantasy world, but you ended up distracted by other thoughts, maybe thinking you forgot something. If that happens, you have to rewind a little, and that’s also a distraction.

I am ashamed to admit that a majority in my country, Mexico, don’t have the habit to read. I don’t really feel that it’s a huge problem if your interest is not focused on literature. The problem begins when the few people that read, they have a focus on the classics—it’d be nice if it was just that. No, they aggressively bring the classics as an intellectual self-proclamation. And this is exactly the issue here, which is so alike to the time when some thought that “if it is not well-known, it sucks,” but this goes to a next level: “if it isn’t a well-known classic that was written for one the greatest minds in [whatever] century, then it sucks!” or the worst of the worst: “there aren’t good Mexican writers.” Yeah, because I am sure they, at least, had tried to give an opportunity to many writers, Mexican or not. I’ll write a full post about my fellow Mexicans and their thoughts on literature in the future—for now I’ll get a general overview of the indie authors.

Indie works matter?

Of course. And nowadays indie works get more appreciation than they did a few years ago. Even people have a better reception of others that talk about independent musicians, and not to mention independent movies. Some independent movies are more likely to be categorized in the Art sections. This is indeed revolutionary, with the internet and all the information that’s there, anyone with a certain amount of funds (at least for a good recording equipment) has the chance to do something. Same applies to music, of course.

Literature, again, is another story.

Dear indie writer

I know your struggle. It is even hard for people to pick a book that is not on the best seller section of your favorite bookstore. And it is hard to get information about a book because our only guide is a synopsis on the back and a few reviewers on YouTube and blogs (and they rarely cover an indie book); don’t forget that the majority of these booktubers and book bloggers are small, they don’t get many followers as I believe they should. I understand, though, that is not so entertaining to watch/read them, they don’t have many visual aids. When youtubers talk about games or movies, they can borrow clips (though I believe they have more restriction to take clips from movies), or post photos and speak about it and make memes out of the images. Booktubers, well, they can quote a few things and speak about it or joke, but it isn’t as appealing as a photo, don’t you think?

There are a lot of independent platforms to self-publish, Amazon KDP being one of the most relevant, and it is as cheap as you want or as expensive as you want (one doesn’t mean better than the other).

Talk about low budget

Some writers only care about writing a story. A book shouldn’t be judged by its cover. Unfortunately, the cover is the presentation, the first thing a customer is going to see when exploring a bookstore or any online retailer. If someone is looking for new books, I am sure that they’ll ignore the books with a cover with just a title and its author. So the first recommendation, and I believe anyone would say the same, is that you commission a cover that makes it attractive for a potential customer. Or if the author is also an illustrator, you’re great!

Editing. One thing that many aspiring authors ask is if it’s enough read and re-read your book to edit it by yourself, and that’s a HUGE NO! Yes, if you want to write, you have to read and re-read your own work and polish it as many times as you like. However, YOUR editing, not matter how many times you change and edit it, that’d be just the FIRST RECOMMENDED step. Just take in account that it’s harder to detect our own mistakes, and this is a reality. A second, and maybe a third, person is recommended, too, in order to find other mistakes you didn’t even consider. This could be a bit tricky, though, because if you choose a family member or any friend to help you edit, then they might go soft on you and won’t even tell you a good critique to avoid any conflict or hurt feelings. The problem is, that if you get a customer and the work isn’t too well-polished (there’s not a perfect piece of art, so don’t look for perfection either), could mean a one-star review (even it your work doesn’t deserve that low review), and the greatest problem with this, is that most people don’t even read the reviews—the moment they see the one-star review, they’ll just pass. Extremes aren’t good, and I know many one-star reviews are there just because that customer didn’t like the book.

Indeed, maybe a book is the cheapest art to make, but as cheap as it might be, the effort put in a good story, characters, world-building, and even a small thing as a synopsis, is big and tiring. And maybe sometimes with the risk of getting nothing in return. it is discouraging.

Conclusion

Whenever you see an author, give him/her an opportunity. There are a lot of independent authors with digital books for less than four dollars (of free if you have Kindle Unlimited), or other authors that have their book completely free on Amazon, just building a fan base and looking for reviews. Or bloggers that just write their own stories for free.

Have a look, write them a nice comment. And sharing is caring!


Feel free to tell me your opinion on indie authors, or artists in general. Do you have any blog or book available on Amazon?

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Thank you for your time.

Time, Time, Time

Time, time, time.

Time always go on. Time doesn’t see the difference between people and objects. Time just go on.

Time is not waiting for you or me. Time is always heading towards future without looking back.

We’re not important in its eyes. Time just go through an infinite path forward. It doesn’t care if the world ends, the time will still flow through the Universe, ignoring its beauty.

Not even Death can stop it.


Sometimes we go telling excuses when we don’t want to do something. It’d be nice if we could just tell the truth, it isn’t hard and it’s way healthier than lie and make that lie bigger. It is understandable that we want to manage our time according to our situation, we need time for ourselves, time to entertain ourselves, time to be alone, time to hang our with our friends and our families. Balance! You work hard, you study hard, or do your best to do both. You deserve that time to do whatever you please.


The problem began when you want to start a project. We’ve seen successful people on the internet, and we only see the superficial part of it; them living a good life with free time 24/7, while most of us need to work full-time, sometimes working overtime, and not even close getting enough payment to have a good life for us and our loved ones. We get frustrated, and believe they shouldn’t earn that much when they don’t work all day all night, and I wonder: is that the truth? Projects are difficult to achieve, and some don’t know how to even start doing something having someone (an employer, a boss) telling them what to do, directly or indirectly, and a contract in the middle of it.

I remember wanting to start a podcast with some friends. We’d never intended to make sound too “professional”, we just wanted to talk about random things and hobbieshave fun, and that’s it. The thing is, that each of us had different jobs and different schedules, so we decided to divide the audio editing, topics to talk about, and equipment. Well, even though we made a fun project, we abandoned it right away. We recorded the audio, but “we” didn’t make enough time to edit, and the division of each function didn’t start. Once we’d headed to our homes, the podcast was left forgotten, and we only talked about it when we reunited.

Dreams don’t matter until you make time to pursue them. And pursuing them don’t matter either if you stop. Time is always there, reminding you of the things you’ve done… or haven’t done.

We say successful people don’t deserve what they have, but we don’t know their sacrifice to get there. Maybe some didn’t do much, but THEY DID.


T1

I’ve been playing Steins;Gate Elite on PS4 in my free times lately, and I made it to the point where they mention that “time flows like a river…” and showed the illustration above. The river flowing to the future, and a leaf representing the present; a leaf is the present, and all of us traveling on it, non-stop until we fall off (die). However, when we die the leaf still goes on, and we see how insignificant we are for the Universe, and how insignificant is the Universe to time.

T2

The second illustration reminds me of the time a person asked if a tree falls would it make noise if no one is there to hear it. To me, this represents us how much we believe we are somehow superior to nature, and that is wrong. Sure, I understand that if no one is around, any sound would be lost in the distance, there would be no receptor of the sound that has occurred in a forest, or an abandoned town, but that doesn’t mean nothing’s happening. Our planet is moving non-stop in the Galaxy, whether we perceive its movement or not (day, night, seasons).

The time and the Universe won’t wait for us.


How do you perceive time? Do you have enough time to do exactly what you want? Or at least what is the most important to you?

Tell me your thoughts.


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