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!

A Short Term Effect

focus photography of sun

Photo by Ali Arapou011flu on Pexels.com

This is crazy. Sometimes we have a certain project and we end up doing something completely different. I have mentioned on a previous post that I had to take a break from the main novel, For Her Moon, in order to start something else. I don’t have any regrets so far.

The secondary, now main, project in which I am putting my time into is coming along pretty well. I will update my Project Journal very soon, so stay tuned.

For now, I do not have much to say. COVID has been weird. I’m just going to share a song that I have been listening today.

Also, I’ve been playing Bayonetta, my favorite hack n’ slash that exists today (I wish I had a Switch to get Bayonetta 2 as well), and just for fun I am silently streaming it on my Twitch channel, though I don’t have a microphone or a good resolution, that why I would not recommend you to follow it as it is at the moment.

I hope you’re all doing well, beautiful people.

Peace out!

Don’t Be Ashamed

Hello, everyone, and welcome to one of the posts I think important. Everything I do here is for your entertainment and mine. It is refreshing to write anything on the internet, especially when you’re not very good at using your own voice to speak. Today, a problem that according to the internet, everyone should be aware of, but at the same time, in reality, seems like no one really cares about (including those who are supposedly “helping”). As always, it’s easy to be a self-proclaimed social justice warrior on the internet, while never raise a finger for the person that is in need in your community. 

First, I need to clarify, I am NOT an expert, I am NOT a psychologist or psychiatrist. I just want to talk as a normal person. A normal person that went through a recovery process and took bad decisions in the process. I know that a healing process is different for everyone—our bodies and minds differ from each other. I will talk from MY experience, what I think we should start doing, at least as a start. I just hope that some of the things I’m going to say here could help, a bit at least, for a temporary relief.

There’s only one advice, though, that you should take here and one that I am going to repeat many times on this post: SEEK FOR HELP. DO NOT BE ASHAMED TO REACH OUT FOR PROFESSIONAL HELP.


Depression, an issue that is commonly being mistaken as sadness, ignored by the people you’d thought they were close to you—cared about you. Sometimes, family is the first group that ignores the issue. Mental health is unfortunately common in society. Age does not matter, as any other disease, depression could come at any time. Maybe it’s been there, waiting for that drop to spill the glass; maybe the glass it’s going to spill by itself. It is not a weakness. Depression does not mean you are weak, never think of it that way. And DO NOT think that reaching out for help is going to make you weaker, no. On the contrary, it takes guts to seek for professional help. In a society that needs to pretend in social media to care, one must take action and walk towards a professional, one or more if you’re not feeling confident with one opinion.

DON’T BE ASHAMED, SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP

Let’s start with the most obvious, yet ignored, symptoms that urgently tell you might need to start looking for help. Have you ever felt as if your life lose its colors? Sit down, take a moment to relax and think what you love and what you’d stopped doing; one of the many passions that I had in life was music, I talked about it in a few posts on this website/blog, how the only thing that had made me happy was to lie on my bed, or walk around the house, listening to music. I think it’s obvious that most of my time as a childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood, I had spent a lot of time learning about music. I used to know how to play piano—my favorite instrument.

My second favorite hobby is playing videogames. The main inspiration to write came from a videogame called Earthbound (Mother 2 in Japan) for Super Nintendo. Thanks to that particular game, I sat in my room, playing the game, and as I didn’t know English back then, I used to make my own stories in my head, and let’s be honest here, that game is very open to interpretations; I don’t speak only about the ending, but the story in general. It gives you the opportunity to imagine your own adventure!

What does this have to do with anything? The reason I mention favorite hobbies is because they give you a good view of what you’re losing in your life. I lost the first, music; my biggest passion, my dream. After some events that happened in my life during 2016 (and no, it has nothing to do with a breakup), I continued listening to it, yes, but not as I had in the past. The music transformed from something I’d fell in love with, to something I just needed to ignore my surroundings—a background sound that I needed to distract myself from thinking. Just a distraction.

It was my experience only, but I applies to anything really. Think about your hobbies, perhaps your favorite pastime was to hangout with your friend; but all of a sudden, you don’t want to see any of your friends. It probably tires you just the fact to have something planned. At first you might think is a temporary thing, but how long has it been? A month is probably boredom, or just taking a break from everything. That is sometimes necessary, take a good time for yourself only. But how about a year or more? That’s not normal, considering it used to be your favorite pastime. Once your life starts losing its colors, and talking or distracting yourself is not helping to recover them either, it is a good time to ask for help. Professional help.

DON’T BE ASHAMED, SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP

Friends. Friends are a difficult group to find. We have a lot of people around us, walking down the same street and sidewalk; sharing a classroom, a school, a laboratory; going to a same bar or party; sharing the same public space. But there’s always a time that the word friend is used differently. The cultures around the world are different, and sometimes is necessary to take a look at others and take the “difficult” ones, take some Asian cultures as an example: they won’t call you a friend or hangout with you just because you both had a conversation for hours, the friendship is earned with time and knowledge of the other individual. In occidental cultures, that doesn’t happen; even when we look at the Asian cultures we tend to call them cold. However, I believe that time is required to know a person to actually consider it a friend.


Note: I am aware that some Asian cultures have a high suicidal rate, and that putting it as an example of a health awareness topic is kind of contradictory. What I’m saying here, is that I happen to believe we, in America (as a continent) should adopt some customs from different countries. Not to pretend to be better than anyone else, but to improve as individuals, as long as these customs can be 100% applied in our society.


Friendship is not perfect, even the best friends have their disagreements; the difference is that they know what to expect from each other, and they end up forgetting or fixing whatever issues they had had.

This does not happen with a friend you’ve known for a week or less. Sometimes is easy to fall in the void, accepting any hand that apparently wants to help us. Unfortunately, that hand never reaches you, and it was never its intention in the first place to save you. Take a look at them. Are they really the people you want to tell your problems to? Are they friends or drinking buddies? Since the time you’ve met them, how many times they had been genuinely interested on the thing you’d said? There are many factors to consider before trusting anyone enough to tell the things that are destroying you from the inside.

Does that mean you shouldn’t have that kind of buddies? No, I didn’t say that. They could be a good distraction, whenever you don’t want to spend time with yourself. The only thing I say is that you should not tell too much if that’s the case with the group you’re hanging out with. Just look at it like this: if you tell them the issues you have, you’re going to notice if they really care or not, sooner or later; they’re going to forget, with the excuse of being drunk (even when you’d told them prior drinking), or they’re not going say anything about it. If they care, you’re going to find out. However, if they don’t, you’re going to find out either way AND that’s going to hurt even more your stability. Probably you won’t be taken seriously or, as it commonly happens, they will tell you that you’re sad and that “time fixes everything”.

Unfortunately, everything I said above can be applied to family as well.

If you feel as if your colors are disappearing, and you feel there’s no one out there to look for any relief. There’s always one option. Even if you had someone to rely upon, do not discard that option:

DON’T BE ASHAMED, SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP

There’s no shame in needing help. There’s no way you’d be considered a coward if you want to reach out for help.

I’ll probably talk about more this topic. But, as I’ve mentioned at the top, I am just telling you about my own experience, and what I think could help you get hold of the situation a little better WHILE YOU REACH FOR A PROFESSIONAL.

I am no expert on the mental health subject, I know all people thinks differently, and I know everyone has their own way to treat with the issue. Just think about it, and look for help before reaching the bottom.


For helpful and detailed information: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health

Do not be ashamed!

Desk Lamp = Happiness

I am here again, to tell irrelevant tales, as I always do. Ha! Who would have thought that a little lampo would bring me happiness?


This is literally what happened:

I bought a little rechargeable desk lamp. I’ve been reading for years, and I had never thought about buying a lamp; always read with the room light on, and that’s a normal habit, at least for me.

There’s the photo. I wasn’t expecting to find such beauty on a small desk lamp. I came across that little lamp on Amazon. I had never had one, so I decided to try; the Hot Sale was here, and I was recovering from a disappointment that happened the day of my birthday. I do not celebrate my birthday (or any holiday), but having an awful birthday is not a good thing to have. Sadness aside, it was cheap, less than $20 dollars, so I said to myself, “why not, Jesus?” I bought it.

What can I say. It was delivered to me a few days later, and I was not expecting a good time with it. I had always read with the room light on and it was fine. That, tough, was because I had never experienced before something like reading with just a little light with enough illumination to read without hurting your eyes.

The main light of your room serves the purpose to see everything inside, this is clear. To me, whenever I pick a book, I have to maintain all of my focus on the words and pages; I don’t want to see what’s around me. I’ve explained this in the past, we know that the objective of literature is to make you “travel”, escape reality and walk into an adventure while you’re sitting on the couch or lying on your bed. The power of books!

A small lamp has another power. It is the artifact that contains the power of dreams within. From afar, it looks like a normal lamp, and it will work as such. However, once you put it close to you, turn the all the lights off—except for the lamp—and that’s the exact moment the magic is freed from that little artifact. The book and the lamp, with their powers combined, you’re set for the greatest journey that could be done without traveling expenses. Everything is obscured, it is only you and the book you’re getting into.

Be ready to face look at the new worlds, and also be aware for the dangers that lie ahead!


Do you have any special token when you’re reading?

Feel free to comment and follow me on Twitter, and/or Facebook if you like the words I share.

Forced Not-Vacations

Day whatever of the quarantine. We’re forced to stay at home, this is our contribution to society today. It isn’t hard, but it seems some fools can’t follow a single instruction, as if they were asking for something difficult. Thanks to these people, the quarantine could be longer, and they feel fine because, apparently, everything is a conspiracy of power. I suppose there’s nothing we can do when part of our communities lacks gray matter.


man walking on the empty street

Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

While we work from home, and the beautiful people that are risking their lives every day to keep important services going, all networks have noticed a lot of changes. Honestly, I am curious myself to see how everything’s going to be once everything is, kinda, normal. The way we see things, the way companies work; nothing’s going to be the same.

A busy day

I am amazed how adaptive we could be. When everything started, being forced to work from home, I thought we’d have more time to spend for ourselves. I was wrong. Not every employer has the same rules; all depends on the type of industry you’ve been working with. Some companies let you work from home and take all the breaks, and there are others where you must take your seat for several hours until your work is done.

Can’t imagine all employees that are forced to go to their work places, pending of all required services. Hospitals, groceries, construction, just to mention a few; everything that they have to do with all the procedures that have been added as precautions. They deserve respect, more than ever.

Activities

How do you spend your time at home? Personally, I am taking my time to read more, play more, listen to more music. Remember when we had many excuses before trying something new.

Always the Music

This is another comforting post for me. I just want to share some of my favorite singles (songs) of all time. I’ve previously mentioned how much I love music, and how much I hate nostalgia. It seems that many people can’t just listen to other thing but “classics” or believe that whatever was made in a certain decade was better than the new stuff, and dare to claim knowledge. 

But this is not a post about me ranting. This is just me, sharing some of the music I love.


I always try to talk about those songs that didn’t make it into a single. You know, these songs that are chosen by the record label or the band to promote a new album. They usually pick the most radio-friendly songs to have better reception. And, as we all should know by now, that doesn’t mean the singles are the best songs from the new album; again, these are just the most radio-friendly.

However, I understand that a good way to introduce new bands to people, is to pick these catchy songs from YouTube, and send the link to your friends. If they like it, they’re going to buy the album, or stream it on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, or other services I forgot.

analog audio cassette cassette tape

Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 on Pexels.com

This list is a reminder for me, and maybe others, that music is a huge wave of nostalgia that is ready to take us out to the sea of good and bad memories. Music has that power, and I also believe that music is even more powerful than literature when we want to travel to a world beyond imagination. Don’t you agree?

RISE AGAINST

I know, this is unbelievable; the first song I heard heard of Rise against was “The Violence” from the album called Wolves (2016). I’ve been late to the party. This is weird for a persona like me, being so close to punk music since I was in middle school. Even I ask myself what in the world happened to me for not paying attention to this band, THEY ARE GREAT! The message they want to deliver is clear when they talk about politics, in a very mature way; and same thing happens with their most romantic songs, and more personal songs. This is a band that lyrically care about what is happening with society. There’s also a humble feeling in each song that makes me truly believe they know where they come from. After “The Violence” I write down the mission to myself to listen to all their albums, and found my favorite: Siren Song of the Counter Culture (2004).

 

SOCIAL DISTORTION

Before I take a step into another genre here, I want to speak about my “new” favorite punk rock band. Social Distortion is a particular case here. I’ve been listening to them for decades, even when I hadn’t had the opportunity to get any of these albums. I grew up in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and the music stores are very small, no punk at all. No Social Distortion, no Bad Religion, no Pennywise, no Rancid; nothing. Thanks to the power of the internet I found about more bands. I became obsessed with a lot of music that wasn’t even available in the whole continent! It was a paradise to me. Unfortunately, the only option I had is to stream in a very bad quality and a lot of lag. But that’s what we had back then!

I have to say that I hadn’t loved Social Distortion so much until they visited El Paso, TX. The Tricky Falls existed (and now it’s gone, sadly) and many cool events took place. I was living a tough situation; and I wasn’t in the mood to attend any concert. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I ended up buying the ticket for Social Distortion concert. I don’t know why, Mike Ness’ words went through my heart. I wrote a whole post about it, so I’ll keep the whole story out of this post.

I wanted to put this on top, but if I let my inner fanboy goes out, it’d contradict the message that I always try to tell about listening to different stuff.

AMARAL

Amaral, the duo from Zaragoza, Spain. Other musicians that have a meaningful story in my life. There’s a post about it, but I’ll summarize it for you: I loved music, but I underestimated all music in Spanish, but thanks to Amaral I regretted being ignorant for so long.

Music that comes from the heart. It is often called pop rock, but I wouldn’t be tagging Amaral just like that; their music has a lot of substance, since they have a variety of genres combined, mainly folk music. The poetic lyrics is another big highlight and, as strange as this will sound, one of the reasons I believe they’re not as popular as many other musicians in the mainstream circle. I’ve heard several people telling that their words don’t make any sense, but that isn’t truth, specially once you’d taken time to learn a bit more about Eva Amaral (vocalist) and Juan Aguirre (guitarist).

This duo is special. It surprises me that is not that popular as I thought they would be. Yes, in Spain they are a big deal. That changes in this continent; sure, there’s a good fanbase, but not big enough compared to other pop bands.

THE CURE

The Cure, a band that I believed an introduction wasn’t necessary, but today, I don’t see many people talking about them. I needed to look deeper for any mentions on social media.

This band, I’m not going to lie, is living out of their hits. Any album or song released after the 90’s is like it hadn’t existed in the first place. “The End of the World”? “Alt.end”? From their self-titled album? Yeah, I thought so. It is sad, their audience (me being part of that audience) is still there, waiting with all hearts for a live show.

I remember a post on Twitter from Kristin “Dee Dee” Gundred (ex-Dum Dum Girls) saying that listening to The Cure is like going to church. I couldn’t agree more. Magic is a word that I’ll always use to define The Cure’s work. Even though the majority of songs are simple, Robert Smith and company did something; put an enchantment to every single song that’d been released. Their versatility and deep lyrics (in the most part) took the band to a well-deserved position in our musical history.

It’s still sad, though, that so very few speak of The Cure nowadays.

AVANTASIA

When everything comes to Metal, the first and last band that comes into my mind is Avantasia. A band that started as a “solo” project by Tobias Sammet (Edguy), and ended up gathering the best of the classic and contemporary metal.

For me, Avantasia’s first album, The Metal Opera, brought something old and yet new to the table. I got the album from one of these weird and hidden music stores in Juarez, and all because it had the word “Opera” in the title. I wasn’t a big fan of Metal back then (I was more into punk), but my curiosity and the money Mom had given me made me feel in the liberty to pick a random music CD.

The first thing that surprised me, was the story; and no, I don’t mean the story behind the album or how it was made. The album itself contains a story. Every song has a scenario, and each song has one or more singers, each representing a role/character in that story. A dialogue between two or more characters, a monologue, a narrator, all singing their part as a metal song. Did I mention that each album has well-known guests? Alice Cooper, Candice Night, Sharon del Adel, among others. Give Avantasia a listen!


I don’t know why, but this quarantine lacks of something. Recommendations are always welcome, and I believe listening to different things or new things is good. Do not hesitate to write down your favorite bands or songs, I’ll listen to them! 

Short Thought

It’s been a while… since the last time I’ve last scheduled a post. I thought the situation the world is currently going through would gave me more time here. Life said NOPE. At least I am healthy, and is all that matters. 

Anyway, I’m back to my regular scheduling.


person holding film strip

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

I’ve been thinking lately about what’s happening. Also, I’ve been thinking lately about our memories. It is funny how our perception of things vanishes as we grow up, and how some of the best memories fade away, too, while the ones we wish to forget remain there, punching us in the face. Over and over. Or is it just a minority?

I clearly remember 2017, when two of the most important events in my life happened. One a concert, the other a trip to Guadalajara (now being my favorite city in Mexico). Every hour I spent walking on the streets, exploring by myself. Discovering that, in my opinion, the best way to travel to another city, and perhaps another country, is doing it by yourself.

A reminder that you did good things

No exception here. How could we underestimate ourselves when something does not go as expected. A little mistake is more than enough to feel as a deception; mistakes that could’ve been fixed by sharing a few words, or just by not overreacting. These errors stay there, yes, but perhaps is just a reminder that you need to avoid the same rock, if you know what I mean.

Sometimes thinking things through might help not to do repeat an undesirable event.

A short term effect

Easier said than done. Make uncomfortable thoughts short is just hard. We mock ourselves all the time, probably because we want to improve as individuals. The thing, though, is that overthinking, and I mean when we don’t stop to the point it becomes just one image in our heads that won’t let us overcome the past. The past is dead and gone. It is a part of what we are today, but it doesn’t mean we have to carry everything over our shoulders until the end of times. It is not even healthy.


This is short, I know. Weird times we’re all living. The best thing we can do is to follow the rules, laws, and wait for everything to gets “normal”. We should be grateful for those who’ve been outside, working for the public service so many of us can be safe at home. 

One Game, Another Time

Videogames have evolved. Decades ago, gaming was so different than nowadays; they were meant to give you some entertainment. As a novelty, though, they had caused addiction, even when you look at their simplicity—just a plumber that runs from left to right, with the goal (or excuse) of rescuing a princess.

photo of man playing super mario bros

Photo by Anurag Sharma on Pexels.com

These games are meant to play, yes, but as time goes forward, technology does too, and with that, everything about videogames.

It’s 2020, and people, especially old (boomers?), see all games as things for kids. We all know it’s too far from the truth now, with jewels rated for adults like Grand Theft Auto, Mass Effect, The Last of Us, The Witcher, Persona, among a list that is so huge for me to remember.

Not only that, the budget used for the AAA games is greater than Hollywood movies. Check Grand Theft Auto V as an example, ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ has made more money than any movie ever, and there are many others. The thing is that the production put on videogames nowadays is big. It is now a multidisciplinary art!

Art?

Yes, I called it an art, and we should agree on that; there’s no question about it. Think about it: most of them have music, design (both industrial and artistic), stories (and some better than any movie has nonetheless), and programming. Engineering and arts working together to bring one of the best things that have happened to the entertainment industry! Also, we must not forget that these games were made by companies that have everything, including accounting and human resources.

Isn’t beautiful to see them all working together? A true multidisciplinary field.

photo of men holding weapons

Photo by Rene Asmussen on Pexels.com

Role-playing

When we were kids, us Millennial at least, we had to use our imagination to get into a story. Not to mention, I grew up in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico; all the games were released in English. Imagine a kid like me in the late 90’s or early 2000’s trying to play a JRPG like Earthbound (Mother 2)—the only choice I had is to create make up my own stories based on the things I saw on the screen. It was fun, I’m not going to lie. The genre is called Japanese Role-Playing Game, so I was doing my role-play, except for the Japanese part. I loved the art style, and it invited me to be creative with my own childhood. I still enjoy Earthbound on my New 3DS, but I never let nostalgia cloud my judgement; after the Super Famicom and the first PlayStation era, many other titles came to my knowledge, and they got a place in my heart immediately. Also, by the PlayStation 2 era I was able to understand this language better, so it helped me understand what was happening while I played.

One of my favorite things for me is to listen every week to the 3 Gordos Bastardos (3 Chubby Bastards), a Mexican Youtube channel that speaks about videogames. A few weeks ago they talked about CRPGs (Computer Role-Playing Games). Of course, look for them only if you speak Spanish. Personally, I had never experienced a CRPG before until a sale on the PSN Store of the first Divinity Original Sin. Although I haven’t played the game as much as I want, I can see why the genre is loved; sadly it isn’t popular. These games will remind you of tabletop games like the well-known Dungeons & Dragons.

Life, however

It’s going to make you think about priorities, or put you in situations that’ll make you change your hobbies; less time to enjoy what you love, or give you enough pressure to think about everything but joy. Life is not fair, unfortunately. Whatever happens in your personal existence might affect your appreciation for everything. Perhaps the things that had made you happy just a week ago has changed now, and today it makes you feel completely the opposite; think  of a song you liked and dedicated to a girl you love, you broke up and now it’s hard to listen to it.

Same thing could happen with your videogames. The reason depends on the person and experiences, of course; just looking at your responsibilities, priorities, and time makes hard for you just the mere action of looking at your old console.

I think that if you take a break from that favorite thing of yours can help you to go back to it. Who knows?

Lost in Quarantine

The Coronavirus is something you should take care of. Indeed, it’s not as dangerous as some… people that is easily scared might say, but as any other virus, we need to take care of ourselves. Think about you and your family, think about others; let’s do our best as a human community to avoid spreading a disease.


Many public places have been closed. Including companies that sent their employees to do home office. Some others, unfortunately, have to assist to their jobs. One thing is for sure though: there are a huge amount of people in their homes, breaking a routine, and wondering what to do in this situations.

That’s the answer: now that your routine has been broken, why not break it even more? I mean, how many times have you said that you wish you had enough time during the day to do something, like reading a book or other activity that demands your attention. This is a great opportunity to find new things to do.

person in yellow protective suit reading a book

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

  • READ A BOOK

A book is a thing  that demands all your attention. If you want to read a novel, you’re going to need to follow a story. I know you get home tired from work, and the last thing someone wants to do is pick an activity that seems like a shore. It is not, but it is understandable to feel that way.

This is the time to discover that reading is not a shore. That reading is, indeed, as fun as watching a movie or playing a video game. Do not believe me? Well, hear me out (or read me, actually). Think about your favorite genre in movies. Is it fantasy? Space movies? Romance? Comedy? After that, it is simple: go and look for a book of the same genre. Go to your local bookstore, or look it up on the internet (Google and Goodreads are your friends). Never pick up something that didn’t grab your attention in the first place. Choose from the things you love in other formats.

READING IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!

man holding remote control

Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

  • WATCH A MOVIE OR SERIES

This is the most common activity in this circumstances. It is too obvious that mentioning will give me the title of Captain Obvious, but I’ll do it anyway.

Watch movies or series that you like. Or, why not, break all of your routines. This is totally the opposite from the books; I had said that you should read something the same genre you love. In this case I’m going to tell you to do the opposite. For the movies try something different. Watching a movie doesn’t even look like a shore as if it were a book. So this time don’t be afraid to watch a movie that you wouldn’t watch with a limited time after working for hours! Imagine, you might end up finding a new favorite film; a favorite film you’d never thought it would be good.

Have you tried watching anime instead of Hollywood movies, perhaps? The world is so big. Netflix and other platforms are providing a good variety of formats for everyone. Try those and see there’s more out there than we think!


This is just my opinion, of course, and I don’t intend to make you break your routines at all! Feel free to add more activities if you like, or tell me if you did watch or read new stuff.

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.

screenshot_20200108-143158_twitter6144413369428605045.jpg

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.