Friday, I am (Not) In Love

Friday is here. Another Friday that makes zero difference among other days. Do you remember when everyone felt excited for the weekends? I am not sure if I do, if I have to be honest. The current events keep making changes to our daily lives.

We need to adapt to the new rules to see if things could get back to “normal” as soon as possible. Yeah, some people seem to lack a bit of gray matter and decide to ignore the warnings or just do whatever they want. And I just want to be positive.

I, after my last post, feel the need to listen to more music. I don’t know why, maybe it was something I had to take out of my chest. It worked. The feeling I get whenever I write about anything is very pleasant. Not sure if it’s a good comparison or not, but the feeling is similar to the one a person gets when talking to a friend or a brother. This is the place where I do post my blogging, reviews, and stories. Or just talk about anything. It feels great.

There’s a desk in front of me. I want to do everything in my power to make worth the time while my hands write on the laptop’s keyboard. Is there a way to fall in love with your ow characters? If there is, would that be normal? Most authors put a lot of themselves into their characters, that is why each book has a notorious difference among each other, even when they use the same trope of a genre. Maybe there’s something I love about myself after all.

In other news

The reason I am sharing a song like “Friday, I am In Love” on a post with a title that wants tell the opposite, well, is because the title was just a parody. I am not in love, but I feel comfortable with a character I introduced on the third chapter of my upcoming novel. I like her, and I feel the interactions with the protagonist are actually giving a light of hope in a world surrounded by darkness.

I’ll probably copy/paste the paragraph for my next project report.


Have you ever felt like writing something random? I don’t know, the times where many words that may not make any sense want to be printed on paper or a Word document. This is one of those times for me. I just feel the need to share words without much context. Just a form of expression that needed to be done.

The quarantine is playing with our heads. I just want it gone already!

NaNo Cheater

I am a NaNoWriMo cheater. Am I proud of it? No.

Why am I writing about this?

The way I see NaNoWriMo is like a game, ranked or just friendly. It lets you play a game in which you’re the protagonist trying to write a novel. In fact, you are your own protagonist in real life, but I know you get what I mean.

That are so many aspiring writers out there, waiting for any opportunity to start writing, or motivation from somewhere. That, unfortunately, doesn’t always come from family or friends; internet is a beautiful tool for artists to get their creative space, big or small.


Logo_of_National_Novel_Writing_MonthNovember 2019, my story began (the real life story, not my novel) when I decided to participate on NaNoWriMo. My motivation reached a very tall peak, I told myself that was the perfect opportunity to challenge myself. It was, truly, but sometimes life smacks you out of nowhere. I stopped. Not only my novel; also my blog, all of its activity stopped because I had matters to attend. Everything’s fine now, but it does not excuse the fact that I wrote an entry for everyone to participate, when I was destined to fail. No, I am not proud of it. Still, I know real life stuff is more important, I can’t help but feel bad about it.

Nothing about me, though

You have no clue (or maybe you do) how small things like this affect a portion of aspiring writers. Not being able to complete a personal challenge as it is NaNoWriMo. We all know that NaNoWriMo isn’t meant to make the writer prove anything. Although the admins there have always clarified that, some of these independent writers start to feel that they have no talent at all. It is sad, I was like that once, I thought if I’d tripped once I would not be able to run anymore. Our thoughts are our worst enemies the majority of time. Damn you, brain!

I think this is the best tweet for them:

I am 99.9% sure my words are irrelevant to any aspiring writer, but how about a published author? This is the best tweet I have ever seen on Twitter. Why? Because she’s right, she’s telling you that if you only write 50, 500, 1000, or more words, you’ll end up with a book. Everyone has different responsibilities, and as soon as you’re determined to write anything every day, then someday you’ll have a story written. Time is gold, and that time should be spent wisely; prioritize your health and family, and then your writing. Also, remember, if you believe your writing sucks, that is not the end of the world either; anything can be edited, EXCEPT the words YOU HAVE’N WRITTEN. Editing is the most important step!

Cheater, you ask?

Indeed, I am a cheater, because I am back. Just in time to keep writing my novel while I keep this blog active. I am also working on short stories that’ll be available for FREE here! Some of these stories are going to work as a prelude for my novel, so I encourage you to keep reading and, if you like my stories, share my work to your family and friends.

Ah, cheater, yes. I am going to participate in 2020’s NaNoWriMo. Of course, my novel will be finished by then (I hope), or at least close to an end. So this is the way I’ll be cheating NaNoWriMo. I won’t get a reward, but I’ll lie to myself to feel better about my writing speed. Am I proud of my ideas? No.

In the end, what matters is the final revision of the story.

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.

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?

If you like my content, follow my blog. If you want to talk to me directly, follow me on Twitter!

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.


If you want to contact me directly or just look at my posts, thoughts and random stuff, feel free to follow me here and/or Twitter.

Music & Words

 

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Imagine your favorite song

Music is definitely a sound that travels through the whole universe. A muse that flies around Earth, looking for those who had lost their way on the path leading to one’s creativity–a good power metal putting elves and dragons fighting in this ancient magical kingdom that was built on a piece of paper. A pop rock song recreating a high school memory with a few liberties as you remember your crush. A piano piece played in minor notes, taking our hands and leading us to the deepest and darkest places that were hidden in our hearts.

Every piece of art tells a story of its author. The message is not always clear, that is up to the spectator to fill the holes with an individual interpretation, but always keeping in mind the creator’s own life and what you have on sight. Music, on the other hand, although it almost works the same way, the meaning for each note goes beyond a single interpretation; a mayor chord might make you feel happy, but there are no words, there are no images to show you what the author felt exactly–you draw your own image in your mind, what made YOU happy. The world that your head builds when the music starts playing is supernatural, even when the song has lyrics, it is hard to not portray oneself along the rhythm.

I still remember the first time I heard “A Forest” by The Cure. The bass made me feel like I was walking through the nature at dusk, caring about my foot trails. I ended up getting lost, though, and it didn’t matter because I knew there was a mystery at the end of that forest. Never reached that goal. It was a path that felt infinite, but a path that I would walk again if given the chance.

Must clarify that “A Forest” is not even close to being one of my favorite songs, but it’s actually the first song with lyrics that helped as company when I wrote my first short story. That was more than a decade ago, the days I remember how much I wanted to conquer the world.

That music without words is the one that lets you picture your own story. Listen to your favorite bossa nova, synth-pop, “classical,” you name it. The sounds that shield your ears and emotions through your headphones. Following the sidewalk, passing by the city lights as the world around you falls asleep.

Silent. There’s no sound anymore, but you are unable to notice–to care–, a playlist is making your insecurities disappear. Walk, nobody’s around and yet, you could almost remember with clarity and taste the Coca-Cola and beer you had with your friends at the restaurant on the corner of the childhood neighborhood. How long has it been? Months, years, decades, it’s your life and you know what you had lived.

And it starts raining.


Personal note: It’s been hard for me to come up with new stories. I have a few outlines which I really hope I can use very soon to start sharing my short stories on this not-blog. Music has helped me a lot through my life; it’s always been there whenever I need to write or just escape reality.

Feel free to share the songs that make you feel inspired. If it helps you to create your own art, or just to pass the time.

Thank you so much for being here. If you like my content, feel free to follow me here and/or Twitter.

Amaral and My Musical Ignorance

Amaral

Eva Amaral and Juan Aguirre

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hacia lo Salvaje

Photo from their sixth studio album, Hacia lo Salvaje

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


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

Main Inspiration: Earthbound

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Happy Birthday, Mike Ness!

29665237_10156144567234002_8645024652784666745_oHappy Birthday to the one and only Mike Ness!

Mike Ness is the leader, front man, voice and guitar player of the veteran punk rock band called Social Distortion. A band that successfully combined the passion for the punk rock with the classic rock & roll era of music, and a bit of country. One of the best examples is the self-titled album, released on 1990. For many considered their best work; but I consider every single release to be great.

Let’s be honest here, is there a bad Social Distortion album? I don’t think so. Every release takes several years to see the light. And even though I am eager to see a new album, I see why it takes so long; the passion put on each release is noticeable. Their latest album is called Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, and it was released on 2011. It won’t be a surprise that the next record will be as awesome as all their previous works.

Now, why am I dedicating my time writing a post for Mike Ness’ birthday if he doesn’t even know you exist? Well, that is simple. A few years ago, I fell into a heavy depression. It was a very hard time in my life, and not because I was on bankruptcy or hungry or a bad relationship. Depression hits in weird ways, you don’t know if you’re actually depressed, you just feel like everything you do is not worth; you feel hard waking up, even if the days promises to be beautiful; you just feel everything’s wrong, even when you achieve something. 2016 was the worst year for me, and I never sought for any help. Not many people see depression as an illness; most people see it as if you’re just feeling sad, and I was one of these people. Unfortunately, I fell in it, and it isn’t just feeling sad. It is way deeper than that.

2017 remained the same. I never did anything to help myself. I was just wandering around looking for distractions. Videogames, books, walks, food, and whatever kept my brain occupied. Of course, this wasn’t a long-term solution. As soon as I had finished one of the mentioned activities, my world fell apart. Then, while I was looking at the thousand internet memes, scrolling on my Facebook feed, found an event at the Tricky Falls in El Paso, Texas:

20992847_1539504509445682_4127547474319098427_nA date for a Social Distortion show, with Jade Jackson as a special guest. To be honest, yes, it took me by surprise, but I was not in the mood to go to any concert. I remember that a few weeks (or months) before the date, Tiger Army played a show; Tiger Army is also one of the bands I wanted to see for years… and I didn’t go because, seriously, I was so down.

I don’t know what happened. Guess I just bought the ticket, and in the end, I thought I wouldn’t go. Fortunately for me, I was really close to downtown (therefore, the Tricky Falls). It was early, but I had nothing to do, I sat there and the line started to gradually increase. After a few hours, they called the people that had bought the VIP tickets, the doors were open an hour earlier for them. I got the regular tickets. Lucky for me, all of the VIPs went to the bar first; though I went in an hour later than them, I got a place right in front of the scenario. Never been so glad in my life for people and their alcoholic priority.

21317583_1551145784948221_3424897979390255213_nI was there, right in front of them as you can see on the second photo. I took it. Of course my hand is not steady, so I should apologize for the low quality.

There, Jade Jackson opened; started playing her first single, “Aden,” and that’s when I fell in love with a new singer. I got a vinyl signed by her and the band! It was a good moment, yes, but it wasn’t until Social Distortion took the stage that my life changed for good. It is really hard to explain, the energy put into the lyrics and music made my heart explode. Something about Ness’ words between songs, and the songs themselves gave me something that kindled within me. You know, sometimes there’s something unexpected that gives you strength out of nowhere to keep moving forward. Something about words and sounds that grabs your hand and pulls you back to the direction you are supposed to be moving. That is exactly what happened as soon as Mike Ness stepped on the stage.

And for that, I thank you.

Happy Birthday, Mike Ness! A punk rock hero.