A Different Ending | Book Review

Title: A Different Ending
Author: Amanda B. Jaworski
ISBN: 978-0-578-76617-1
ASIN: B08H824CQ1
Copyright © 2020 by Amanda Burke Jaworski.

Love is a weird thing. Love is a feeling so intense that it could be either beautiful or horrible, the freedom of your body and soul that blends with your other half, or the chain that ties you up in a place where you should not be in the first place. This is one of the things we rarely speak about love.

Let us begin by telling you how the author wrote the book. A Different Ending is a first-person story written using the present tense. Considering the nature of the book, it is adequate to the situation and theme.

Our story is about Aliza, a normal woman that lives with her boyfriend. His name is Tyler Smith, a despicable, abusive, and the purest form of a burden. The man does not work, does not help in home at all, and goes out without telling Aliza where he’ll be.

The relationship between them is progressively getting worse. Tyler is the kind of person you want to punch in the face. It is unfortunate that our protagonist, from the beginning, talks about codependency, a feeling that is not letting her move away from that toxic partner.

I guess I have always been codependent in a way, and that is never NEVER a good trait. At this point, I’m not sure if I have always been this way, always needing another person around, or if this is something that started after all of the things I have been through.

Excerpt from Aliza’s diary

When you fall in love, or when you spend too long with a person (family, friend, or romantic relationship,) one might end up getting used to that company, regardless of the situation they put through, or even if the relationship gives a 180 turn. From Aliza’s eyes, we will see how desperate she is to walk away, but it is not as easy as it seems.

There’s another character in the book, her friend Nolan. The man that is always there to support Aliza. The man, always caring and playful towards her, accidentally creates different conflicts. The most obvious is triggering Tyler’s jealously. Then the conflict within our protagonist. We see that they could be the perfect couple, always joking with each other, laughing, giving a hand whenever needed.

“All I want to do is grab him and tell him he’s a damn moron for not being able to see that I want to be with him, but I’ll keep playing the role of the not-interested asshole, like I have been for years… yes, years.”

She wants to be with him. But she is also afraid to ruin that friendship.

Then again, we have Tyler in the middle. As Aliza mentioned in the book, Tyler is also a narcissistic person who does not recognize when he is wrong. In fact, even when he does betray the relationship all the time, or does NOTHING to help, he manages to come up with an excuse to blame her. You have no clue how many times we hear (read) him saying everything is Aliza’s fault.

One interesting thing is that, every two or three chapters, we have an entry of Aliza’s diary. I think this is where she speaks to the reader. Every entry tells us what she is feeling on a deeper level; what is happening in her head. I mentioned that the author wrote everything using the present tense, so in theory, we see through the story her feelings and such; but I believe these diary pages go into a more personal level, as short as they are. A diary is for Aliza like the only friend who’s been there for so long. That only friend who is truly capable of understanding.

In the end, I must admit that the story didn’t end as I would have wanted. Tyler had a way better ending than he deserved. But we should not forget this is not a story about karma; the book is meant to show us an abusive relationship. It is a problem that unfortunately exists, and it could be happening to your friend or neighbor next door.

I don’t want to use “eye-opener” to describe this work. I believe it should be common sense to know this is a problem that always has existed.

Overall, this book does a good job of speaking about domestic abuse. You feel empathy for the main characters and hate for Tyler, and you know it is a good thing when your emotions toward the characters are genuine. The book also has a couple of moments that feel very intense, and it hooks you in; it is almost impossible to put the book down.

Highly recommended.

Light Novels

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

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

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

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

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

What is a light novel then?

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

Bookstore in Macau (photo I took from Wikipedia)

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

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

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

How is the content like?

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

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

One thing does NOT replace the other

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rob Sheffield

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black Fields: First Entry

Let’s talk a bit about my current writing process. I have mentioned before that the project Black Fields came to (temporarily) replace For Her Moon which hurts me a lot, but it was a necessary change. I would never recommend to work on something else if you have not finished one thing first, because you’re never going to finish anything if you pile up your duties. However, things change when you had been stuck for a long time and the process stops completely. If you see a dead end and you don’t see a way to return to the road you were looking for, take a different street. Again, it is not recommended but it is not bad, either. You already know there was a dead end there, and by the time you decide to continue thorough the first journey you will know to avoid a certain path.


 

My brain


When I reached that dead end I found myself in a dark alley, figuratively speaking; I did not know what to do, and when your projects don’t go the way you want it’s easy to feel completely useless. Not everyone is like this, I know, and I am glad. Unfortunately for me, I can’t help but feel that way. A few years thinking about this cool fantasy project, and just when I thought I had it all figured out, I realized there were many things missing. I cannot explain exactly what happened, I just feel that the characters and certain events are leading to nothing. I could not feel any emotion on my own creation. And the simple and yet important magic system I wanted to add did not feel organic; it was forced at a point I should not tell until I get back to that first project.

Black Fields

The project Black Fields is too literal. You’ll know why next year. For now, I’m only telling that that dark alley transformed itself into this story. A story where there’s no light. Only at a certain hour where a dim light shows up. Revered as a deity, people uses it to see their surroundings.

I kinda feel sorry for them because there’s not much of a difference when it illuminates. Even if that small community the story focuses its first chapter on, the tale is going to head into a different direction as it goes forward. They are in a situation where the only thing they have to worry about is to remain alive as long as possible. Uncertainty. Something tells me as I write that there’s no such thing as hopes and dreams, only the expectancy for death. A feeling a person gets when there’s nothing to lose or to fight for.

I’ll share more on the next report.

abstract black and white blur book

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Note taking

I’ve been taking notes. One of the things that helped during a writing process is to DO IT non-stop. I used to believe that we need to take care of each paragraph we have written before heading to the next. That was a huge mistake; rookie mistake. Many writers say that we need to go forward and edit everything once you’re finished. That is why I write notes, too; some ideas come up after two or three chapters, and these new ideas may or may not be in conflict with some of the lines on the previous chapters.

Yes, indeed, if you think about it, this process becomes more difficult because that’s going to force you to read YOUR whole story many times, and every time you will need to make corrections; add or remove full paragraphs until you feel happy with the project. And once you feel very happy with it, guess what? CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have finished… the first step. Now it is the turn of the beta readers and editors.

I am getting too far ahead, though, and this is not the point of this entry, right? Although I think this is a good way to start. Writing some reports, telling a bit about its process and keep doing everything.

Progress

The progress has been very significant, but not much considering I have started on July. By the moment I have finished writing this first official entry my word count is a bit above 21,000. I cannot tell you enough how excited I feel to show you the final product.

I am not sure how would people receive a story like Black Fields but my curiosity is really high! I really hope you like the book I am writing. If you don’t, feel free to write a honest review about it. I am always open to criticism.


Music to write

I usually write in silence, sometimes I don’t. The music I listen to while writing is anything instrumental; I feel any lyrics could be very distracting when you need to concentrate. When it comes to videogame soundtracks you’ll find a lot of treasures there for any mood. I wish people would take the original soundtracks more seriously, they don’t  know what they’re missing.

The music of a visual novel called VA-11 Hall-A made me fall in love. The visual novel itself is one of the best thing I have ever “played” (if you could call it that), and with the soundtrack as a complement to the story is just phenomenal. The name of the song I shared represents exactly the opposite of Black Fields, but one cannot deny the possibility of hope, even in the darkest situation you might face.


And this is the conclusion of my first report. I am still afraid for the final work. This is going to be a self-published novel, I don’t have any plans for querying; this is my debut (in English) novel, and I think keeping myself with the “indie” status while making  myself a name, if that ever happens, will be better than just trying to make it into a traditional publisher house.

Applying for the “big league” is something I’d love to do in the future. For now, let’s just do baby steps. I don’t want to rush things out before releasing my ideas first.

By the way, the only plan I have for sure after I’ve finished my novel is to take a three-month break before starting the next. I will be able to return with the normal scheduling here.

Nothing more to report here, so I wish you have a great week. Enjoy your time as much as possible. I know this “new world” is getting crazier everyday. I would have said that we’d learn from our mistakes to prevent a pandemic or any other kind of disaster… but we all know how humans work.

Peace, I’m out of here to continue the journey through the Black Fields.

Se you all!

The Fields

now or never quote

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Ladies and gentlemen,

This is me again with one of the so many posts about my fantasy projects. I have mentioned that every update will be added to the Project Journal section of this humble little page, and at the top of the home screen until I come up with a new post.

The good news are that everything is coming along just fine. I feel ready to start sharing bits from that project I have been working lately. For Her Moon can go to hell for now, because we’ll be visiting the black fields very soon. By very soon I mean somewhere in 2021. As much as I wanted to say that it’d be released this year, plans change, and I believe it’s for good this time.

The bad news, however, is that all of this will stop me from doing  any more reviews for a while. As much as I love to play, watch animes, I think I can step away; take a little break until this has been finished.

I’ll keep reading books. For entertaining  purposes, not for content to be added.

Black Fields was originally planed as a novella. The idea that invaded my mind when the project (and most likely official title) Black Fields came into my brain is that the book would be too short to be considered a novel. That has changed; I couldn’t find a way to make the story short. I feel excited to show you the final product. Though I must say that writing using English, my second language, has been a nightmare. One thing is to write stupid posts like these once or twice a week, and a whole different thing and level to write a literary work.

I have a person, a native English speaker, willing to help me do the beta reading; that comforts me a lot. The problem is that I am so afraid that his eyes start to bleed thanks to me. I should prepare myself to be sued by his wife. I guess there are risks everywhere. Ha!

One more thing, though, and that is that I have been asking myself if it would be a good idea or not to write here on my blog (again, on my Project Journal section) daily, or every two-days a report. Of course, it would not be something dumb like:

“Yeah! I did it! I wrote [insert your favorite number] word today. I AM RAD!” PERIOD

No, I want to write a full report telling the number of words I’ve written, perhaps put a graph just for the visuals; talk a little about my characters and the world itself, just hints to avoid any weird to-be-considered-spoiler thing. Maybe talk a bit about what’s the inspiration behind a scenario and the music I was listening in the process.

I welcome any ideas.

For now, I am going to leave it here. Need to figure out things.

See you all soon!

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman

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“It’s Coraline, Not Caroline. Coraline,” said Coraline.

Coraline, as it is described by the author during its introduction, tells the story of a little girl called Coraline, not Caroline.Caroline… sorry, Coraline is a kid that is bored. Her parents are always busy, rarely paying any attention to their daughter. Even her breakfasts are bland. One day, Coraline wanted to explore but a dull and rainy day traps our little hero in her house. She must entertain herself, and her parents, as I have mentioned, are too busy, and one might believe they don’t even care.

She finds a little door in the drawing room and a key that fits in. That takes her into the otherworld where it looks like her house. However, Coraline does not find her parents there; she finds her other-parents, and guess what; her other-father and her other-mother are perfect! Both other-parents are very attentive with Coraline and the breakfast they cooked for her is so delicious.

“You will always be safe here with me.”

We’ve learned from movies, games, literature, and other media that whenever something seemed perfect, it means something is not right. Coraline is not the exception. Her other-parents have buttons instead of eyes, and this is not even the beginning; I mention it, but apparently our protagonist didn’t mind much. Though as the story progresses, we see the world is weirder than we’ve initially thought.

I want to tell you how much the other-neighbors are weird, too, but it would be too redundant. Is not like the real neighbors weren’t weird in the first place. They are not very relevant to the story, it is just part of the “scenery”, to call it a way. They do have a purpose, though, and is to tell you that everything has changed, not only in Coraline’s flat.

Coraline is very short, and it is a good book to read at any age. There are very creepy moments accompanied with some creepy illustrations (at least in the edition I have read.) It is the adventure of a little girl that wants to explore out of boredom, and ends up doing her best to be brave to get out of that world and its situation. Highly recommended if you are looking to read a child’s book that does not look for children!

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

“Mum’s away. Dad’s in charge. There’s no milk.”

Unfortunately, the Milk, is the adventure of a dad (I call him the Not-Gaiman) that went to buy milk for his children’s breakfast cereal, and his tea. It takes a lot of time to return home, so when he finally arrived, the kids start asking what happened; this is where Not-Gaiman starts telling them a fantastic story, which begins with an abduction.

The odd thing was the beam of light that came out of the disc—a glittery, shimmery beam of light that was visible even in the daylight. And the next thing I knew, I was being sucked up into the disc.

The little story is a wonderful read. A perfect book for your kids (including the one that still lives within you). Or perhaps this could be a guide to these parents looking for an excuse whenever they go to “buy cigarettes” (see what I did there—no? My jokes are genuinely bad, my apologies) and tell a fantastic story, put a smile on their faces. 

Unfortunately, the Milk, put a lot of memories in my head. I am guessing this could be the adult-with-a-heart-of-a-child version of the small adventures we’d had in our heads using any object; that little box that turned into a spaceship, or the stick that in our eyes was the most powerful sword in a kingdom that existed in our innocent minds. 

Looking for a short tale takes you to a journey with aliens, space dinosaurs, pirates, tribes, time travel, and vamp… sorry, WUMPIRES? Fortunately, the milk got you covered.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Sanderson became one of my favorite authors. I consider the Mistborn trilogy to be masterpieces of fantasy literature. I’ve recently read Warbreaker, and this is not one of his best works. Does that mean Warbreaker is a bad book? Well, let’s find out!


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The story is political and colorful. Though there’s something missing in this book. I know I should treat every book as its individual thing, especially since Warbreaker is a stand-alone work, even though it shares the Cosmere.

The book itself is more character-driven. We have a few descriptions of the world of Nalthis. The events happen in mostly in the kingdom of Hallandren, where the Returned (people that came back from the dead and are revered as gods). We explore a few points of the conflict between Hallandren and the country of Idris (where our protagonists, daughters of the King Dedelin are from). And though it is interesting how the story develops around it, we don’t really see much of it.

Warbreaker is a character-driven story. We have our focus on three characters in a third-person point of view:

  • Sisirinah, she is the reckless daughter of King Dedelin. Siri is sent too Hallandren to marry the God King instead of her sister. Her father thought it would be better to send her impulsive, hasty, disobedient daughter, while keeping his pride; the eldest daugher, Vivenna in Idris. And as for her character, we see a Siri that doesn’t change the attitude much, but unlike what some of her acquaintances might have thought of her, she is very smart; her forced relationship with the God King has a little twist after a few funny (or perhaps uncomfortable) performances to fool some priests.
  • Vivenna, the eldest daughter of Dedelin, she was originally meant to marry the God King. Her manners, education, and intelligence, made her the best candidate to represent Idris. Her father couldn’t let her go, Siri replaced her as the God King’s wife. When Siri was sent to Hallandren, Vivenna felt responsible for it, and believed that her sister was getting between a dangerous plot, so she went to the kingdom to rescue her. This is where the character has to deal with different problems; I have to say she’s got an interesting development, because we see that her royal training and education is not enough, not even close, to deal with the intern conflicts the kingdom and her country are dealing with.
  • Lightsong, and to me, the most interesting character among the protagonists. He is a Returned, revered as the God of Bravery. We see this character not taking anything as seriously as he should. In fact, he insists so much that he is useless, doubting his own divinity all the time. This is the most unpredictable character, in my opinion; his mocking attitude and his self-proclaimed ineptitude made him a box of surprises.

The other characters are good, but nothing special; it is hard for me to see anyone else standout, perhaps the little twist with the God King’s personality.

The thing that have personally disappointing me is the magic. This is where I am going to feel a little bit guilty, because I don’t see appropriate to make comparisons; but this magic system, based on breath and colors is very interesting, I really liked it. Unfortunately, we don’t explore enough of it. We know how it works, but we see it put into good practice until the second half, perhaps close to the end, of the book. After reading Mistborn, is hard not to take this magic into account; we know that Sanderson is an expert creating magic systems in his stories.

The book was supposed to be a stand-alone novel, taking that into account, the ending is kinda abrupt, in my opinion. It wasn’t satisfying. Today we know that Sanderson has confirmed a sequel in the future, so I guess I should not be mention it now.

Would I recommend this book to anyone? Definitely, it is a good fantasy story with good protagonists and a few twists that are going to make you feel excited. It is a quick page turner; it is indeed hard to put down once you start reading it. However, if you’re a fan of Sanderson works, perhaps you will find this just a little disappointing.


Have you read the book? Feel free to share your thoughts.

A Sight of the Moon

nubes jesus dA sight of the Moon. It is all is left.

The sky has turned black and purple. The starts shine differently, and the Moon is reflecting their light. The sun is hidden, somewhere out there, as if Earth moved away from its gaze. A silence embraced everything. A few insects are singing from afar, while a person is sitting alone on a bench, smoking a cigarette.

That person has long golden hair that dances with the air. The nocturnal breeze that whispers an unintelligible language. It makes the smoke she blows to disappear. How long had she been there already? Time turned out to be irrelevant, it should have been morning already, according to the hour shown on her phone. 8:46.

The girl believes it’s a dream that went beyond the deep unconsciousness. It is too tangible to be false; a trick that her brain had been playing. The detail of her environment is real. The fountain with the alligators is there, right in front of her, and the streetlights on, as if the world had stopped by the will of someone—something greater.

The tobacco’s taste is as she remembers it. Downtown should be occupied by now by those that are heading to school or work. Only the breeze kept its whispering. No engines, no footsteps approaching, nothing else to count as a company. It seems the world had just stalled, and just a few might be there, conscious, embraced by the same solitude as hers; though the girl doesn’t seem to care. In fact, she seems comfortable; maybe she was waiting for something like that to happen all along, without really knowing. A hidden wish that had always lived within her, trying to escape without a will.

The girl with the golden hair, without a proper perception of her surroundings, closed her eyes. An abandoned town couldn’t be dangerous; and the inhabiting ghosts were silent to her presence. She’d found a certain beauty on a moon and many stars that emit a strange, pretty, purple light. A beauty that is present, just for her.

Suddenly, she realized something: as much as she’d wanted to convince herself for that to be a dream, there was something wrong. The girl knew it wasn’t a dream, and yet, she didn’t want to let that sense of comfort go. She walked through the streets of El Paso, never too far from downtown. Nothing. Only the echo of her own movements against the pavement.

Offices, restaurants, and other public places; even those that are supposed to be open 24 hours, have their lights off. Only the streetlights are working. Is the whole world gone? She thought, and then repeated it, this time using words, in case someone could hear.

A few hours later, at the time that was supposed to be noon, she returned to her apartment. The lights worked well. The other buildings had their lights off. Probably the people are still sleeping, waiting for the sunlight to hit in their rooms. Or worse, maybe they were gone, to a place where the sun is actually shining. Another version of the Earth.

In the end, what could a human do in that situation? There was a self-portrait in her room next to the bed. She’s an art student at the Texas University. There are a few drawings scattered on the floor, some of them abstract and some others realistic. All of them had her signature, but only one of them a name—it had been written using Cyrillic characters. In Roman characters, it reads: Alena.

Alena didn’t feel the need to sleep. She grabbed an empty canvas and two colors: black and purple. With that, she could immortalize that moment, in case the thing that had caused the strange event decides to return everything back to normal.

What of her family? What of her friends? She never gave a single thought about them. Painting became her priority.


This is just a prelude of my project called For Her Moon. More preludes to come.

By the way, if you like my content, feel free to share it. Sharing is caring, and that helps me a lot!

Thank you for your time.

Go Fantasy

I read The Hobbit last month. I thought it’d be nice to make Tolkien a Christmas tradition for me. There’s no reason in particular, though, it is just that December’s Holidays are my favorite. And what could be better than to just read something by someone that started with your favorite genre—Fantasy.

I am not here to bring something new on the table. Actually, I just wanted to add something of my own to this so well-explored topic. If you like fantasy literature, you probably know what I’m talking about. And yes, you’re right: clichés.

A cliché is a “formula” that is repeated on and on. Every writer/author has their own way to write it, but it’ll end up being the same. Now, do I believe this is bad? Absolutely not. Actually, one of the most beautiful things in literature comes by the fact that you have no images of the book you’re reading (unless you look for fan arts before any read, and I believe you’re a monster), anything is described within text and text only. And sometimes a protagonist has a vague description, so you can imagine yourself being that silver knight that slew the Arch-Demon-Dragon-Supreme-God in the story you read, and hey, that is so cool! I am 30, and I must confess that I do exactly the same sometimes. Imagine yourself giving that opportunity to read and dream to your children!

The major characteristic that you’ll find in fantasy literature is The Chosen One! How many times have we heard about a chosen one? There are movies, animated series, comics, and books. A white bearded wizard that finds a young man or woman to be the person destined to save the world from an antagonistic figure, and that antagonist is usually the most powerful being that wants to destroy the world, or at least change it to his own ideas. Or sometimes is just a starting point of a long journey.

Although I am a fan of Tolkien, there are many tales I don’t know. I am calling myself a Tolkien beginner, and as such, the first time I read The Hobbit, it was just weird to me that Gandalf had chosen Bilbo Baggins out of nowhere; the poor Hobbit was enjoying himself until Gandalf came and then marked his door for the Dwarves to find his home and convince… force him, to start the journey. In the end, Bilbo Baggins showed himself worth of Gandalf’s words. He wasn’t the hero, but he got the ring and found Smaug’s weakness.

The question remained, though, and we’d wondered why the wizard picked Bilbo, and one thing about fantasy literature, especially Tolkien, is that his world is so big that many tales of Middle-earth were written on different books. There are legends, and parts that couldn’t be said in said book, or even The Lord of the Rings. And there’s an actual explanation in The Quest for Erebor in the Unfinished Tales. Gandalf met Bilbo when he was a kid, and he saw something different in the Hobbit, being this one the most adventurous among others of his race. There’s more than a simple explanation, indeed, let’s remember that Smaug couldn’t recognize Bilbo’s smell. According to the book, all Hobbits are kind enough to be kind to anyone, even invite them for dinner, but they usually preferred to be in their little houses.

I personally like the fact that there’s an importance behind the chosen one, and J. K. Rowling did the same with Harry Potter series.

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Chosen One in The Hobbit is Bilbo Baggins

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

The Chosen One in Mistborn is Vin

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

The Chosen One in Harry Potter is… well, Harry Potter.

In Harry Potter we know that his parents were murdered by He Who Must Not Be Named and failed on killing the baby Potter leaving a mark on his forehead. And though it seems like hardly a good excuse to make Harry Potter a Chosen One, there an actual explanation on how that made him a person capable of facing You Know Who, and that’s also the most important “enchantment” to make him… okay, enough, VOLDEMORT! To make Voldemort vulnerable again by the second half of the seventh book.

Brandon Sanderon made something a little bit different with his Mistborn series. We don’t have wizards here, but we have mistborns; we don’t have magic, but we have allomancy, feruchemy, and hemalurgy. The concept is similar, indeed. However, we’re talking about the Cosmere, an universe created by the author in which many of his novels take place.

The Chosen One here is Vin, a 16 year old skaa (the peasant class) that lived with his brother, and some scumbags, in poverty. An adult named Kelsier appears to save her. He saw the potential in Vin to be a Mistborn, and he decides to take her with him to his hideout to take care of her. And then, they infiltrate the richest part of the city and start a revolution to defeat The Lord Ruler, the villain of this story (the first book, at least).

I have mentioned three different stories by three different authors and as you can see the patterns are similar to each other.

Do I think that’s a bad thing? Again, no! Having a Chosen One adds to the importance of the main character, and helps you dive into him/her more. It is easier and sometimes more effective to be by the side of the heroic figure.

Do I believe this should be included in all stories? No! It all depends on the author, whether he/she likes to include it or not. If the story needs to let you know from the beginning that you’re following the story of a Chosen One, a figure that might have started from nothing until that person turns into the world’s hero, then the author should go for it!

In other had, if the author doesn’t want to make the protagonist the most heroic figure in his/her fantasy literary work, then it’s also a great choice. It’s hard to find these stories, where the central point of view doesn’t have to be the only reliable being. George R. R. Martin is a good example for it. You read the story in third person, but with different points of view (each divided by chapter), and every character has the same value for the author. One moment the character seems like it’s going to take over the Kingdom, and the next chapter that same character dies pathetically.

Clichés are not bad if they’re used properly. A story doesn’t have to be perfect to be great, and “originality” doesn’t mean good either. Being experimental is good for everything, but let’s remember that not all experiments are a success, but from failures we can come up with good things. I can’t tell you I don’t love these clichés because I enjoy them as much as the majority, and in the end the best part of literature, games, movies, cartoons, is to entertain ourselves, and make new discoveries. Even in entertainment we should look for new things, or discover new uses for these mentioned formulas.


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