Black Fields: HIATUS

This post is a little announcement. It’s been a while, but it is fair to talk about it while I still can, while I feel motivated to say something about it. It’s already on record, so regardless of the number of people that have seen the project journals, I feel responsible for telling you what’s happening to the Black Fields project. It is unfair to keep on record that “I’m still working on it” when in reality, I reached a dead end.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I know there are times when we have what is called writer’s block. It is normal to lose your inspiration or have a mental wall that won’t let you move forward. It is not the end of the world. I didn’t trash the project; I am just going to pause it. I tried to bite off more than I could chew (was it the correct phrase?) The project started as a novella, but it turned out to have material for a long novel. As I kept writing, the problem was that I found it impossible to tell that story within a single book. To come up with more ideas and more words to add was a challenging task (at least for me), and I don’t want to keep unnecessary filler—this is why I have a blog. Laughs Out Loud

To keep this short: I’ll pause Black Fields for a while; I don’t feel like continuing if there’s not a good idea in my head. That does not necessarily mean it’s not going to happen. I have the whole picture, but not everything that goes in the middle. For now, I will move on to my next project, which I plan to announce very soon. No worries, that one is a little more…simple? You’ll see why I say it when it happens. I believe it’s not a good thing to talk about that much at the moment. I want to announce it and, of course, add it to the Project journal section of my web.

I’m looking forward to showing it to you! I expect to schedule the post in the following weeks.

It is official: Black Fields goes on hiatus.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Dark Entries

The title is a Bauhaus song. Honestly, though, it has nothing to do with it, but I’m going to put it here for you to listen. Enjoy!

“Dark Entries” by Bauhaus

There are so many times when your mind goes blank. Total emptiness breaks through your brain, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Or maybe you can, but it’s hard to think clearly. The sounds around you become a distant echo, gradually disappearing.

There are so many distractions; all of them become one, forming a massive wall made of everything and nothing, all at once. Any inspiration to do anything is kept on the other side of that wall; it’s so hard to break that you end up going back at the beginning to the point of giving up.

It is part of any creative process to lose sight. It is part of any creative process to make one, three, thousands of mistakes as long as these don’t keep us on the floor. We learned that from movies or some others from good parents. Perhaps it’s easier said than done for a good percentage of people; of course, I made this up, I didn’t look for any statistic to give.

Motivation is just a little bit of what someone needs to write constantly. The balance between life and the inner self is also another bit of what it takes to keep writing in form.

I am not sure if other factors determine what we need to reach a specific goal. Whatever that goal you set, of course, this last point is different for me, and it is different for you, just like it is different for each individual among millions.

Dark is always there to consume us. We usually call them the inner demons, but we don’t know if those demons are just the negativity within ourselves. I am not a person who believes in a certain mindset; you know, that bullcrap we hear from self-improvement books. Our life stays the same while the author’s wallet gets fat.

What is the actual advice, then? I’ve looked at some of my past posts on this blog, and I asked similar questions. There are points in life when we need to take a break, ask ourselves questions, see if we’re heading in the right direction we wanted.

How long do we have to keep asking ourselves questions, though? I’m curious for real. May we ask a successful friend or family member, and we’ll find out that most of them have questions too. Even when we look at those families that seem perfect, I bet they wonder about things. Who knows.

It’s good to have a distraction once in a while. Music, movies, friends, games, or anything that releases your stress can be good for a recovery process. A good song, your favorite, is a tool that could give you a push. Sometimes we need a little push or a heavy push; it all depends on the kind of darkness you’re into. See if there’s something that would help alleviate stress, or see if you actually need a little extra from somebody else. The only thing that matters here is that you don’t remain in the dark. Or at least look for something within and bring it to your reality.

Now I feel somewhat guilty. I feel like I’m the one talking like those self-improvement phonies. But I have to be honest, though, and say that this post was for me. I wrote it for myself, and I don’t even know why I’m sharing it. I guess that is the purpose of a blog. There are different sections/pages on this web, and everything’s coming from my brain. I hope someone enjoys it, at least.

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!

My First Novel: Translation (WIP)

El Bosque Donde la Vida No Cesa

Cover of the original release of El Bosque Donde la Vida No Cesa

Well, it was a quite calm journey. Can’t deny one of my biggest weaknesses, and that is the motivation. If something does not go the way it was intended from the very beginning, everything goes down.

Everything changed this year, though. The moment I opened this webpage/blog, I realized how much of a stress reliever this is. Therefore, I went back to my writing. One of my goals is to translate my first novel. I wanted to leave it behind and take a “fresh new start,” and keep on writing the new project called For Her Moon, there’s a post about the new project already, if you wish to read it to know more. Now, the problem of just ignore the first novel, as that this particular work was intended to introduce something to the audience; that something is relevant as a prologue to my following works—though not necessary to understand or enjoy them, so don’t worry about it that much.

Yes, I plan to talk more about it. But first, I’d like to get more reaching from this place. I can’t talk a lot about my books, and I wouldn’t mind, to be honest; but I rather gather more people to let you all know more, and see exactly what I am doing, with my WIPs and my preludes.

PROLOGUE SPANISH

A fragment of the Spanish prologue of my novel

For now, the only thing I want to say about my novel is its genre: fantasy. I enjoyed the writing process a lot, and I’d love to share my stories to the world. You don’t know how excited I feel for the illusion of getting more people to know my works.

Hope you stay with me in this journey!

Reading is a Hobby

reading

As the title says, reading is a hobby. Good. Now, time to explain myself. Why did I come up with this now? It is unfortunate that in my country, Mexico—and some other Latin American countries, I think—, the people never read, we are really famous for that, and I think is kind of a shame. However, you’ve been given the opportunity to meet people and you start to know why. You realize that half of the blame falls on these pseudo intellectuals that roam around believing they’re smarter than anyone else because they read. Wrong. If anyone reads, it is because this person likes it; that must be the only reason. Reading is a hobby.

Indeed, there are so many genres and types of books. From college books, which are there to show you some references about a certain class, call ir physics, government, history, philosophy, you name it. There are also fantasy and fiction books that aren’t meant to give you life lessons—though some actually manage to give greater messages than these so-called “self-improvement” books, but that goes for another post in the future. Just like television and games, fiction/fantasy books are there to entertain you, nothing else. One of the reasons a lot of people are reluctant when it comes to reading is because—and thanks to the mentioned pseudo intellectuals—it appears to be more of a task than anything. It is still common to see someone with interest in literature changing mind the moment some others say that you must read [insert a classic here], and if you don’t, then you are a fool. NO! Please, do not listen to them. There are a lot of books out there for everyone. There are so many things out there for you to sit and enjoy, get lost in the thousand worlds that are being created. It shouldn’t be taken as a task.

READ

This should only apply at school, don’t be like Snape if you’re not a teacher

Can you imagine? At the end of your shift, you’re tired after your 5-10 hour routine (doesn’t matter if you work part-time or full-time), you bought a few bargain books because you want to start a new hobby, sit on your sofa, and then you remember that guy at your school or job calling you [insert your favorite insult based on self-ignorance] because you’re not starting with one of the classics. I don’t know, but I would do something else instead; something that doesn’t feel like something with rules that must be followed in order to understand what’s going on.

The only question you must ask yourself is: What am I looking for? Maybe you’re looking for fantasy—you might want to start with Harry Potter, or the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. Maybe you’re looking for science fiction—you might want to start with Isaac Asimov that, even though he’s one of the classic authors of the genre, his stories are easy to follow and very enjoyable. Of course, these are only my personal recommendations, and the library for each genre is huge. There’s something there for you; something that’s going to become part of your life or the most beautiful of your literary memories.

Remember, reading is a hobby. It is a hobby that’ll make you PLAY with your imagination, even let you be the protagonist. You might end up liberating a Kingdom, or saving the world. Who knows!


I found the photo at the top of this post from Google Images

New Stories

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Unrelated photo for this post

Ah, this is a marvelous place to say whatever we want, share our trips, our songs, our photos, experiences and more. One of the most beautiful things, though, is the fact that we’re able to schedule posts and keep this place active for you and your friends or viewers; the purpose of each blog is different, and this is another world yet to be explored. I must admit that most of the upcoming posts are scheduled, except for this one, and the reason is that I have a normal life like you and a good percentage of population. So, now that I have a few scheduled posts waiting to be published by themselves, I am here to let you know that I will be available to focus on my short stories. This blog, indeed, has its main focus on my fantasy, and now I want to pay all of my attention to do it the right way.

It’d be easy for me to just write anything that sounds good enough for a blog and get feedback, comments, or whatever you’d be so kind to give; but that is exactly why I want to do things the right way. If you’re taking your time to read my posts (reviews, journal, stories, or anything from me), the least I need to do is make things as professional as possible for a single person. A journal, might be something completely random, but my stories are like my babies; my own characters, my own worlds, my own building and destruction of it will be all mine, and I want it to be properly done.

As soon as I have one scheduled, I’ll let you know with all details!

Thank you for your time.

Project: For Her Moon

IMG_3097

For Her Moon is my newest project. Well, my first, considering my previous works have been written in my native language, Spanish. For many years, I had this idea of writing my own stories; you can read more about it on my post related to Earthbound (Mother 2 in Japan). Finally, the first book of a series is going to be real. There’s no release date yet. I need to be honest: right now I am focusing more on this website. My intention is to gain some attention before starting to announce, keep writing, and start the editing process of this new novel. Can’t tell if this is a good idea or not, but I believe is better if I start showing you my… skills? As I have mentioned, this website/blog is not going to be focused only on my fantasy; it will also include a lot of random thoughts as a journal and a few reviews whenever I want to take time to write something about a specific game, movie, book, or something else. All of this is going to help me polish my writing even more, so I want you to expect a lot of content here!

HOWEVER, it is a fact that the main purpose of this is to show you my stories and this place is the best way to do it. There are two old short stories posted already. Though they are kinda random, I think it’d be good to keep them so I can see how much I improve from here on!

I will be posting preludes to my novel every month (or every two weeks, if possible). These preludes are coming to tell you a few things about some characters and places, though it doesn’t mean these characters are appearing in the novel. They are more for world building than actually tell the plot. I want to introduce my universe to you, and putting my hopes up to make you dive into it and enjoy the trip.

The only thing I could say now, is that Her Moon is closer.

Main Inspiration: Earthbound

Earthbound banner

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.