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.

Let’s Have a Look

We walked for two hours after dinner. Some say it’s good to take a walk after eating, but my stomach hurt. Helen, my friend, seemed to be happy, though. She was weird in high school, always wanted to walk at night carefree. We’re adults, and she had the same fascination for the after-hours. 

“Hey,” she interrupted my thoughts, “Want to check it out?”

I followed her gaze; there was a huge cemetery in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t realize we were this far from civilization. I shook my head. 

“C’mon, chicken. It’ll be fun.” 

She looked at me, smiling; I recognized those eyes, just like when we were teenagers. I was speechless. We’re adults now, girl, but the words never got out of my head. 

She grabbed my arm to drag me with her. The gates were closed, but the walls weren’t tall enough. She was crazy. I couldn’t believe we went from a normal conversation at Cici’s to invade a goddamned graveyard. 

Helen was braver than me, that’s for sure.

“Help me up.” I frowned when she said that. I thought she only wanted to have a look from outside. 

“No,” I responded, “I don’t think I need to explain why this is so wrong.”

“Don’t worry, chicken,” she hit my shoulder with a playful fist, “you don’t need to come with me. Help me up.” 

I don’t know why I ended up helping her. “I’m going to wait a few minutes and then leave, okay?. Do whatever you’re supposed to be doing inside quickly.”

She left without a single word. I lost sight of her. I repeated out loud that I was about to go, but I didn’t get a response—complete silence. 

In the end, I went inside to look for her. She made me jump with a boo, and laughed at me. I recovered from the scare and called her idiot, and then I smiled. 

“Want to have a good look at the place?” She asked. 

I nodded. I guess this could be fun. 

Light Novels

I’m a person who enjoys anime. Most anime series are easy and fun to watch. It has a lot of genres for all types of individuals. I enjoy all of them; if I feel like a high-action and funny anime shows, I watch a shonen anime (One Piece, Jujutsu Kaisen, just to name two). If I want to watch some comedies, Asobi Asobase and Konosuba are my favorites.

Suppose I want to watch something more serious; romantic, paranormal, sci-fi, or other genres that take themselves more seriously. In that case, there are so many recommendations I’d probably make in the future.

As some of you already know, most of the anime shows came from Japanese comics, better known as mangas, with a few exceptions. Some people like to collect merchandise, and that includes the sources from their favorite shows. One of my friends is a hardcore One Piece fan; he watches the show on Crunchyroll and collects the mangas.

I’m not much of a collector, but there are a few shows that I loved so much I got tempted to acquire the mangas. Boogiepop and Others, Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World, and Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! are just a few shows that I loved so much no I want to collect the original material. I was surprised, though, when I realized these shows didn’t come from a manga. These shows came from something called light novels. It was the first time I heard of such things as light novels.

As an avid reader, the term got me intrigued. At first, I thought a light novel would be pages full of dialogs with one illustration to complement it; you know, left page the image, right page the dialogues, something like that. I was wrong.

What is a light novel then?

A light novel is a style of Japanese light novels for young adults, although there are some series for adults. Most of these novels have an average length of about 50,000 words, which is the minimum word count for a traditional book to be considered a novel.

Bookstore in Macau (photo I took from Wikipedia)

Many light novels, like their manga older brother, is serialized. There is more than one volume of each series. I like to think of light novels as books for anime/manga fans. This format is becoming very popular, with publishers like Yen On and J-Novel translating them into this language; I believe some English original light novels exist. Perhaps it’s a format that’ll become something more in the west. For now, it’s a niche that will get some strength; time will tell.

Another similarity with mangas is that some of them get compiled as omnibuses, two or more volumes in one book. The first light novels that I bought were the Boogiepop series, which unfortunately didn’t get translated past volume 6.

Today you can buy the English version of the Boogiepop light novels, whether you’d like to buy the six individual volumes or two omnibuses like I did (image above). Just saying!

How is the content like?

Light novel is an accurate term to describe these books. They are easy to read, follow, and finish. There are no heavy descriptions as you usually see in traditional novels. There is a general description of the world and the characters; the reason is that you’ll find a few illustrations in the books. These are basically manga-like drawings of the characters and a situation so that you won’t get lost.

All of this work very well to complete what a light novel is. On one side, you have some descriptions, first-person or third-person point of view, depending on the story; and on the other side, you know how the characters look because you have an illustration.

One thing does NOT replace the other

I am sure new folks looking at this format may wonder if these light novels would replace traditional books one day. Short answer: no.

If you’re new and feel curious about them, you might think that the light novels are like YA (young adult) books that are very popular in any bookstore. Sure, but you need to divide the soul of your favorite book into two: its narrative and illustrations. One is not going to work without the other, even if you add more images. Needs to be a balance between the two to make a light novel.

Also, it is important to mention that this format is clearly written for manga and anime fans. Of course, this does not mean that someone else should not read it; quite the contrary. I believe this is an excellent opportunity for two kinds of hobbyists to approach the other. The anime and manga fans look at literature, and the literature fans look at the anime and manga. For me, this is another good way to break stereotypes, open our minds to other media, and realize there are many exciting works created in different formats for all tastes.

Give light novels an opportunity. I’m sure you’re going to find something interesting.

Love is a Mixtape, by Rob Sheffield | A book review

Title: Love is a Mixtape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time
Author: Rob Sheffield
Publisher: Crown Archetype
ISBN: 978-1-4000-8303-9
ASIN: B000N2HCMY
Copyright © 2007 by Rob Sheffield

I read the Kindle version of the book. It is not relevant, but I must say digital goods are very comfortable.

The book is an author’s autobiography. Here we’re going to find a good place filled with nostalgia. Rob is the narrator, and he’s going to tell us the story of how he met Renée and how the mixtapes became a considerable part of his life.

The mixtapes defined Rob, his passion for music, and his current work. Mixtapes helped him to gather new bonds. Mixtapes made him grow to be the person he is today.

But how is the book written? The book relies on imagery. His memories are well-put on paper since we can imagine everything he’s describing.

We have a couple of time skips, which are required because, as readers, there are many things irrelevant to a story. Just take a look at our own lives. Would you like to read a book about every single second of your life? I sure won’t; there are days, weeks, or even years where nothing exciting happens.

Rob succeeded in taking us on a nostalgia trip. There are many references to the most especial decades of rock and pop, the seventies to the nineties. I could not help but smile whenever I read something about the bands or genres we loved and danced.

We must remember, though, that life is not perfect. Life is not hundred percent about love and success. In everyone’s life, there will be a loss, and this is not an exception. Sheffield, as the title states, talks about something more than just his love for the mixtapes.

I suddenly realized how much being a husband was about fear: fear of not being able to keep somebody safe, of not being able to protect somebody from all the bad stuff you want to protect them from. Knowing they have more tears in them than you will be able to keep them from crying.

Rob Sheffield

It’s hard to think about losing someone. It is even harder to believe that that loss could come at any time. Death is unpredictable; one day, the love of your life is here, and the next that person is gone. This is a lesson the author accidentally gives to the readers. The nostalgic trip among the mentioned decades is part of the story, which is so well-written that dialogs are unnecessary. There are just a few dialogue lines, but these are just a complement to those memories he’s telling.

After Renée died, I assumed the rest of my life would be just a consolation prize. I would keep living, and keep having new experiences, but none of them would compare to the old days.

The second part of the story is where Renée dies. This is not a spoiler; it is mentioned in early pages that it would be an important part of the book—the loss.
Loss is part of our lives, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Everything needs to change, and moving away to give space to the new generations is a cycle the world has.
In the end, we don’t see a devastated man. We actually see someone that has accepted his life as it is.

The nineties moment has been stomped over so completely, it’s hard to imagine it ever happened, much less that it lasted five, six, seven years.

The decades, just like our lives, come and go. Nothing lasts forever, and just like the decades of music we loved, they will eventually vanish; but the songs are going to keep playing to remind the future teenagers that there was life before the 2000s.

Love is a Mixtape is a nostalgia trip. It is the mixtape that took the form of a book, the words that will make us look at the past and appreciate the moments we shared with our friends, family, and loved ones.

This is a book written in the United States of America, and of course, the life Rob describes might not be relatable to many people, especially the readers from foreign countries. However, the fascination for music and the constant references to those particular decades in music is more than enough to fall in love with this work. It is unfortunate, though, that perhaps in the future, most of these references, including the mixtapes, will be forgotten.

Unreliable Head

Long ago, I visited Guadalajara, Jalisco, in Mexico. I was excited when I put my foot out of the plane. The city from the airport looked like most Mexico cities, but I can’t tell you how it changed when I arrived at my hotel in the downtown area. There are a few things I hadn’t seen before, but there are so many details I’ve forgotten due time; it happened five or six years ago, so do not blame me.

I walked down its streets, enjoying the light breeze while I walked past the museums and college campuses. There was a concert close to a park, a couple of blocks from a place with a name that would make you lose your head if you know what I mean.

It was an enjoyable mix of different genres and bands. I stood in front of the scenario for more than two hours. Then I returned to my hotel, and for some reason, I felt like a lot was missing; you know, the sensation you feel when you forget something, and you need to go back and look further.

The only difference is the fact that it was darker. People were leaving downtown and a few night owls came to enjoy night bars where they play the music I hate most. The majority of places in this country play that genre, and I tend to avoid them. That time, though, I felt like it would be better to enjoy all moments, good and bad, to have a better grasp of what a tourist would like to know when visiting a city this big. I did not enjoy any of it, but the experience I lived is now part of me.

The irony came a few days back when I tried to remember every single second of my trip, but I ended up thinking about those bars instead. I didn’t dance, my nose was burning for the smoke, and the smell of pee blended with the place. Ask me about the churches, the museums, and the concert; I barely remember a damn thing. The city I loved most, my head tricked my memories into the parts I disliked.

At the Coffee Bar

Okay, this is a difficult one; I am still ignorant about past centuries, so I’ll pick a general response. Feel free to remove points for this one.

I’d probably be with someone “different”, part of a minority (no-white), and segregated from society. A black person, Asian, or anyone that looked different centuries ago.

The best part of diversity is the way we learn something new from different cultures, traditions, and ideas. Some of these could be adopted in our society nowadays. I can imagine that there was a lot to learn from the people who had to remain quiet back then. Perhaps our views would have been a lot different today if we’d known from diverse groups. I would love to hear how people felt when they truly had no rights.

I’m a quiet person in general, so I’d be listening most of the time. But if I had to talk, I guess my words would be of encouragement. I am Mexican, so I’d be part of that minority too, and I think I’d be in the exact situation as that other person. We’d both be segregated individuals from society, very likely having a hard time making a living.
Mutual interests could be a good topic to start a conversation. Everyone, regardless of any obstacle, has different tastes in music or ways to kill time, which would help us forget about the horrible life we had during that century.

White Flowers

A young woman smells the white flowers as she waits in the park.

The young woman sat at the park on the usual bench. She took one of the many white flowers that rest near her, holding it between her fingers; its fresh smell made her remember the first time she met him near the fountain that rests in front of her.

People were walking around, each person holding a share of happiness or grief. But the woman does not notice any of them, only blurry figures moving from left to right, while she tries to find that silhouette of the man she cares about. Nothing else matters.

Listening to all the voices gathered around was hard—many words at once, unintelligible, unimportant; not his voice between the other noises.

The woman never asked herself how long she has been waiting there. The sun is about to hide behind the mountains. The blurry human forms reduced their numbers, and no one reminiscent of Michael has shown up yet. She never stopped smiling at the hope. Anything could have happened that was making him late.

A tear fell. A smile got warmer on the young woman’s face. An old man approached the bench; he did not say a single word, just let out a sight.
The old man left a white flower on the bench and walked away. She was glad to see him again.

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.