Which band/singer made you get off of your comfort zone to other kinds of music?
I’d like to hear about it from you.
I’ll share first:
I wrote about it a while ago; I don’t remember if it was 2018 or 2019. The band that popped my pop-punk bubble (or happy punk) was Amaral, a duet from Zaragoza, Spain. I was still a kid in middle school, but I still remember when I only liked pop-punk like Blink 182, Sum 41, New Found Glory, and other similar bands. However, it all changed when I heard on television a song by Amaral. It was not a catchy song, but it was so different, so beautiful, that I couldn’t stop listening to it.
From that moment on, I knew there were great musicians that I didn’t know, not only in English-speaking countries but also worldwide. Pop, metal, punk, ballads; everything had something to offer me. Now I know I shouldn’t focus on one genre or language.
Let me know in the comments if you had a similar experience.
Perhaps I should not do this, but I really want to know about followers, algorithms, and internet magic that affects interactions in general. It’s not rare to hear about this on YouTube because, let’s face it, YouTube has more potential to gain views than blog entries. Unfortunately, the algorithm attacks anything that is on the internet.
I am not complaining, though; I understand that I should’ve taken the opportunity to blog from the very beginning of the blog era if that is (or was) a thing.
Okay, now that I think about it, it would have been a bad idea to start blogging when I was young. Honestly, I didn’t have much to offer back then, just my love for music and nothing else; perhaps a short story or two? It doesn’t matter now; it didn’t happen. It should be left buried in the past and burn the bridge.
The thing I want to do starting on Monday 26th is to post a daily question. I want to do this for the sole purpose check activity and, of course, get to know others. Some of these questions may involve your work, channel, or blog, so your responses won’t be considered spam. I don’t mind when people post their own things in the comments below, but I think it’s better to start with a dialogue about it. If anybody posts a link without context, it usually seems suspicious. If it’s a book you’ve published, feel free to post the title and where we can find it! Just make sure it is a response to the actual question.
If I don’t see responses after a month of QOTDs, I guess I’ll stop doing them and keep working on what matters the most. Besides, with the vaccinations and the new normality coming soon, I hope I can start doing my blogs about Juarez and a little bit of El Paso.
Another thing I want to say. This QOTDs does not mean it’s the only thing I’m going to be posting from now on. QOTDs won’t interrupt normal blogging, so you might expect two posts a day from time to time.
I’ve been doing some cleaning. My home is small, so the space is not big enough to keep what I bought when I was younger. I found some cool stuff I forgot I had, but it is sad to accept that some things have to go away. I might put some of these items on eBay or any other marketplace.
But I found something significant, to me at least. An old notebook where I wrote a lot of short stories in Spanish. What’s so important about it? Easy, it means a lot of stories are coming to this little place. Do not worry, though, that I plan to translate and edit each story properly. I won’t use Google translate, upload, and that’s it; no. I wouldn’t dare to say some of these stories are good or not; I can’t do my own judgment when it comes to creative works. You know that the comment section will always be open for comments, good or bad (except for weird links). I am against censorship, and as long as I’m on the internet, posting stuff publicly, I know I’ll be exposed to criticism, constructive and destructive alike.
I’ve already uploaded old stories, but looking at the very beginning of my humble journey feels good, for some reason. Although I’d be lying if I say some of these aren’t cringy, so I’ll just skip some of the writings that are beyond salvation, haha.
Do you have a diary or random writings you feel proud or ashamed of? I know some internet people and friends had old notebooks or journals where they kept some of these. Now I know first-hand why they’ve kept them. It’s nostalgia. Just like playing a game, watching a movie, or listening to a song you loved when you were a kid, and life was easier and happier. I mentioned in previous posts that nostalgia does not affect me, but finding something I WROTE by my own hand, is a beautiful feeling, good or bad.
I bet this will be interesting to see; me fixing all the mess I had as fiction.
Oh yeah, the moment I felt more motivated to do stuff here is precisely when my laptop has finally decided to die. It seems technology wanted to play jokes on me.
I had been using an old laptop my uncle sold me almost a decade ago. It was old, but it did the job. It took its sweet little time to perform essential functions, and it all got worse with newer updates. Still, it was a cool thing to keep and save money, right? It was still breathing; why bury the machine if it insisted on saving my days?
Well, two weeks ago, it decided my motivation wasn’t worth it. I don’t know what happened that everything I did was for nothing. Even saving updated Word files or images didn’t work at all. After making some changes on a Word document, I clicked save and waited, just in case. Nothing happened. When I restarted my document, it turned out it didn’t save a single modification. The same thing happened with some Canva images I made online: I rewrote a few words and changed the background, and when I tried to download the picture, I got the old one, without any change that I made after clicking save carefully.
I am not an expert in computers. I asked around Discord servers to see what to do, and the majority agreed that a new PC was urgent. Honestly, I was thinking of an excuse to fix that laptop and keep it until it exploded, but in the end, I was the only one making things more difficult. Writing is the most important thing that I have, and putting obstacles on my own made me think if I genuinely cared about my words and stories. That maybe I didn’t care much about writing and literature in general. Imagine how I felt at that thought—doubting after all this time.
I am old enough to worry about doubts, especially when it comes to something I am so passionate about. Not only that, I mentioned in previous posts that my website/blog has helped me to kill some stress, and to abandon it would have been a bad idea, even though the things out there are getting a little better (I got my second vaccine dose on May 12th, yay!) Perhaps I’ll be able to travel in a year or two if everybody cooperates with health measures. And if this happens, I’ll give you a lot of content about Mexico.
I bought a new computer. And this is going to sound stupid, but it’s been a huge difference. I got so used to old used laptops that seeing this one running made my brain explode; it took me longer to react at its speed than the PC starting up.
I believe this post is short and too long at the same time. My only purpose is to let you all know that I have a new computer, and it is time to return in full strength.
My next post goes for the Literature section of my website, and it is part number two of my uncomfortable reads. Give it some love when it’s published.
How short is short for you? What is the definition of short when you read a blog entry? I’ve been wondering for a while. There’s not a particular reason I wonder, but it would be interesting to know from someone else’s perspective how short is considered short. Does it depend on the word count, or perhaps is the time an entry might take you to read it. If something’s tedious, I know from experience that even three hundred words will feel like three thousand words. It’s a feeling similar to when you are waiting to do something exciting, or when it’s Friday, and you look at the clock; that moment you have a single look at the clock, everything’s going to feel slow.
A blog has many uses. It could be your not-too-personal journal, or the beginning of your writing journey, or both; why not? Although I am always on the side of complete freedom (write what you like the way you like), I am aware that if we plan to share our words with the world, we won’t be able to please everybody. This is not encouraging at all, I know, but this is also part of being true to ourselves. And we also need to know that being too true to ourselves could be counterproductive, though I prefer it this way.
With the data, most bloggers will try to reach that word count, and although a lot of bloggers have a good way to make their posts interesting to the end, some others may add unnecessary filler to make their entries longer. I’m not sure if I’ve done it in the past; feel free to tell me if I did. I cannot speak about other bloggers because the few I read are very good. But I can tell you examples of fillers from YouTube videos.
Think about your favorite youtuber. Maybe you’ve been expecting that person to speak about the title; the video is called “Jesus Delgado Sucks” and you want to hear about that, but the youtuber starts talking about a dog pissing on the vloger on the way home and how the recording is going to blow off some steam. That introduction was almost three minutes long, and the video is ten minutes long. Obviously, that person is just trying to reach a certain number of minutes. Some people like it, for some reason, and that’s okay; but I prefer those introductions to be shorter, or not included in the first place.
I guess I’d be wasting my time if I’m not looking to stand out in search engines, making longer posts without feeling it. Maybe I should not be here writing random nonsense without a goal. Words are unattractive by themselves, and some illustrations help pick the eyes or a good number of followers. In the end, I am here to share a little bit about me; some of my stories, some of my literary projects, my opinions on books, anime, music, and videogames. Of course, I’d love to gain more followers by doing this, writing a lot. But who knows what’s going to happen in the future, right? For now, the only thing that matters to me is to share and promote my upcoming novel.
I will think about it some more. The only thing for sure is that I won’t try to self-publish until my book looks great.
What is your motivation to learn a new language? Music? Literature? Movies? Or perhaps an additional skill for your resume? I guess we all have different reasons for learning a new language; all of them valid and all of them can help you understand a little bit more about a culture. I’ve mentioned before that I learned English for the music and literature.
English is the easiest language to learn, and it also gives you access to a lot of information and entertainment. It’s the language the majority knows and must learn as a second language (unless it’s your native tongue) to get a better chance to find a job these days.
I was not expecting to be learning Japanese anytime soon. Some of you already know I like anime, but not at the point where I would be going crazy with a Pikachu costume. The subtitles are comfortable to me; someone has to be really dumb to believe another language is destroying, let’s say, America. Wink
Remember this tweet about the movie called Parasite and the Oscars?
A man named Bong Joon Ho wins #Oscar for best original screenplay over Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and 1917.
Acceptance speech was: “GREAT HONOR. THANK YOU.”
Then he proceeds to give the rest of his speech in Korean.
Yeah, I apologize; I just needed an excuse to point out stupidity, even though it is not even the point of my entry. Hey, these are the advantages of a freelancer like me, and then I wonder why I don’t have many followers. It is what it is, I guess. Ah, yes, and the tweet is not available anymore, I wonder why? Ah, yes, I am being sarcastic. I bet you remember it, and I don’t really want to forget we have this kind of people with influence.
I am going back to the subject, alright? I was saying I like watching my shows with subtitles, these are just at the bottom of the screen, and I can read lines instantly in English and Spanish. I felt okay with that. Besides, I’ve never been a hardcore fan of a show to wait for something more if not available. If the anime or movie is not on a LEGAL streaming platform like Crunchyroll or Funimation, I don’t watch it, as simple as that. Then I watched an anime called Boogiepop and Others, its first episode was so confusing, but it grabbed my attention until I fell in love with it. It was the first time that I felt the necessity to get the original source. I thought it would be a manga, but I ended up discovering something called a light novel.
I do have a post about light novels, so please check it out if you have not already.
Boogiepop is also known as the granfather of light novels. This means it is one of the series, if not the first, that introduced what we know as a light novel today; it amazes me that Boogiepop never received enough attention. The 2019 anime adaptation was not popular either. I understand, however, its lack of success; the story can be confusing. The novel/anime constantly jumps from one character to another and from one time to another. It is not a linear story, and you need to put the pieces together. The anime adaptation does not even tell you where it is, and you get prequel episodes without notice. The light novel at least gives you a clear hint that you’re reading from another character’s perspective.
It is a shame that these novels are not going to be popular in our continent ever. It’ll need more than another anime season or reboot to get the attention it deserves. I am not even crossing my fingers because I know that train has been long gone. There are comments that even Boogiepop’s fanbase is moving onto different fandoms as we speak, but these are only speculations. If this is the case, though, I would not be surprised either. The industry in constantly moving on, never waiting for us to catch up with it. A company is always about business and money before pleasing ALL customers. They try to please a majority. And because I love something with all my heart and soul, I know that I don’t represent the majority.
After everything I said and the title of this post, I think you already know what’s the remaining option if I want to read Boogiepop.
Learning Japanese From Scratch
Learning another language to watch your favorite TV shows is as valid as learning it for your resume. In the end, even if it was entertainment the reason you’ve learned a language, the skill is going to be there, and it can be used in your professional life. Just please, do not tell the interviewer you learned a language to watch [insert any show from any country] without subtitles.
There is a huge difference between a language that uses the same writing as your own and a language that uses different writing. My mother tongue is Spanish, and my secondary is English. Even though these languages are different, both use Roman/Latin alphabet; there are tiny differences between pronunciation in both languages, but in general, you just need to adjust to the other to learn, right? Imagine growing up with only one alphabet and then trying to jump to a language with different letters, like Russian, Japanese, Chinese, you name it. It is a world (or a continent) of difference.
With the internet, anime, cosplay, and otakus in general, Japanese exposition has grown in our continent, giving a lot of relevance to the culture, which has been an important milestone for diversity. We have many things to choose from, and from different countries; we are not forced to watch or listen to local or American media anymore. We have access to bits of many countries from the commodity of our homes. Unfortunately, there are so many other things out there that never get an official translation or release near us. No, I DO NOT support piracy!
Boogiepop Missing: Peppermint Wizard is the 7th volume of the series, but it is also from here that the light novels haven’t gotten an official translation. The last book we got officially translated was Boogiepop at Dawn, a prequel to the series. I want to believe that at least it was a good place to stop, except that I fell in love with Boogiepop. I know many people are waiting for Seven Seas Entertainment to release more official translations, and I know that will not happen ever, so there is only one way to read the following novels. What a weird place to start, right?
I might update my progress if I feel like it.
To conclude this post, I need to tell you I feel excited. The perfect opportunity AND motivation reached me. You should check the light novels if you haven’t already. There’s also an anime adaptation of the novels 1-3, 5, and 6, available on Crunchyroll, but you need to go with an open mind.
Have you heard about Boogiepop? Have you learned another language for entertainment purposes?
I need to start with a big spoiler: Yes, my writing improved a lot.
One of the things that helped me realize I needed help was the etude assignments. I was always honest; etude workshop was a lot of fun and having some feedback from my classmates helped me notice some mistakes I’ve made in the past.
It’s hard to make a good self-critique. Some of us used to believe we got everything right the first time, and that’s a huge mistake when speaking of any creative work. We just need to take a look at some of our favorite literary works. If we pay attention, we’ll notice one or more mistakes, so why would we do everything right the first time without professional editing? It’s certainly easier to point out someone else’s errors than our own, that is for sure. That’s one of the things I learned from this class, and I bet that is the most important if we think about it.
Writing takes time; just like learning or creating a new recipe, you need to screw up a couple of times, but it’ll eventually be tasty for you. You are the chef, so that means it won’t be enough if it’s tasty for you. After you try many times to get the flavor you like, the chef has to take a second, a third, or the looks it needs to be good enough for the customer, too, and that’s a summary of any creative process. Writing, alpha, and beta reading; one or more editing process comes next, and the final touches; the manuscript is not going to correct itself, right?
Now, some of the details I noticed more as we took the classes are the error patterns. I made a lot of vague emotional or physical descriptions instead of showing the readers what I meant. Also, I believe I didn’t do this much, but I remember from my classmates using the past and present tense. That got corrected on the latest etudes, but it was common at the beginning of the semester.
Overall, I’ve been enjoying this writing journey. It makes me feel some kind of strange freedom, and I’d love to continue through this.
The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know much.
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!
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.
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’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.
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.