Times Are Changing.

In these days of uncertainty in the world, there is one certainty left for me.

I apologize for the long absence. I’m currently taking 6 college classes (about 18 units) and I’m also about to embark on my Digital Marketing career (I plan on eventually having at least 3 different networks). But for the time being, I have 1 hour of free time right now. In truth, I’m putting aside my Anthropology 101 homework to do tomorrow instead of today. But in my defense, I’ve finished my Humanities 115 ten-page essay and I completely finished reading through my History 118 book, so technically, I created extra time to spare for this hour.

At any rate, I wanted to talk about change in terms of how it’s affecting me personally. I’ve always thought I had gone through drastic changes before, but now I realize I’ve never experienced such an emotion until these last four weeks. It’s not only that I feel different, but more over, I feel changed. Changed in a way I simply can’t describe to you.

In these days of uncertainty in the world, there is one certainty left for me.

I can see the hard work in front of me, and I don’t tremble at the thought of it. I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge, but now, I feel even more reckless and fearless. Ironically, I wonder if I’m at least scared of what’s happening to me personally. I’ve lost all sense of fear it seems. For the last four weeks, I’ve gone through some strange transformation where I simply don’t care if I fail or not.

I don’t care what others think of me, how I might face an obstacle, or even my own thoughts on life. I’ve begun to see both the beauty and horrors in life and I don’t want this experience to end. I know I just turned 24 three weeks ago, but I believe I’m already feeling a sense of my mortality. I know that might seem strange, but when I was younger, I never thought much of my life and the many possible ways I can take it.

Now, I feel ready to take on the world. I’m ready to take my life into my own hands; ready to become responsible for my very livelihood in ways I never thought of before. In some way, I had it difficult growing up. I had to raise myself essentially because my mom used to work 60 plus hours in the home-loan industry. But in other ways, I was protected by the outside world growing up.

Luckily for me, I was always a curious child.

So at a fairly young age, I was always learning all that I could from books, whether they were fiction, non-fiction, or any other arrangement of genre. I’ve always connected with people, even those who came from incredibly different backgrounds compared to me. That’s not to say I was naïve of the cruelty that some people in the world harbor inside of themselves for reasonable reasons, but more of a sense of observational understanding of their life’s many hardships and quarrels.

There are so many things I wish I could share in this one single post, but I must go now. Time is short these days, but surprisingly enough, I don’t much mind it.

I’ll leave you all with this one simple thought: in the world, gravity keeps us down. But don’t ever let life get you down.

Until then.

Forever in Your Debt,

R.S. Noel

Understanding How to Maneuver Through the World

For what we see, is often times, not what it always appears to be at first glance…

Over time, there’s a truth none of us can ever wish to escape. We must understand how we will maneuver through the world. Whether this come as an easy task, or a tumultuous and unfair disadvantage, we are all marked with trying our “best” to “make it” in the world. All jokes aside, this easily translates into: how well can you and I survive in the world?

Failure is a part of us, it’s a part of our nature to attempt, and sometimes fail at it. Other times, we may make an attempt and actually succeed at our end-goal. In the context of life, this can mean a myriad of different situations. It can be the difference between finding “the one”, it can mean the difference between whether you make the varsity team in college or not. It can mean successfully landing a job that you’ve always wanted (it’s obvious none of us want to work, but you get the idea). But what really makes a failure such a “failure” is our reaction to what happens to us.

You’ve likely heard this kind of phrase countless times before, and you might be rolling your eyes right now (or not?) but the truth is much harder to swallow sometimes. If you getting pissed, sleep for days in your bed, or generally just lounge around and skulk at the fact that you didn’t get it your way, you will likely face a life full of further hardship then it already needs to be. I understand we live through hard times, coming from a personal point of view, I’m currently almost 10,000 dollars in-debt. Life happened to me late last year (2016) and I had to find a way to scramble and pick up the scattered pieces. Sufficient to say, I knew I had to do two things. Continue with my college career, and also, work on finishing the absolute last edit of my first book in a series to come. So this reality became my base for a very tumultuous and seemingly never-ending rock bottom. To be completely honest, I still feel as though I am barely getting my life back together (whatever that means, life is never truly stable).

So here I am, sharing this very personal part of myself to a complete stranger who I’ve never met in person. To the unheard voices of many, I stand with the disadvantaged; because I realized how easy it is for those in positions of power to stampede and trample over the “everyday” person in our ever-faltering society. It’s a fact of life that the only way anyone will ever attain a semblance of happiness, is to be in-tune with their spirituality and ultimately, to be in-tune with each other as human beings. There’s no denying that there are countless lost souls in the world, traversing the world and following the rules that rule over our lives. This is good, of course, because admittedly enough, society is the only “good” thing we have left from the creations birthed from western civilization originating from ancient Greece.

We must work together, or fall as one. There is no in-between when it comes to protecting the innocent and naïve; and to allow them to grow into strong adults and productive members of our shared society.

Truth be told, those who are in positions of power don’t care at all what we, as common “everyday” people do with society. Society, in their eyes, is futile and set-up to fail. It doesn’t concern them, because again speaking from a place of honesty, I can see in the eyes of the materialistically wealthy individual, that they feel powerless and helpless to do anything about the situation. Too often we vilify those in positions of power, because it’s easier for us to do so, then to actually question why those people act the way they do, or commit the actions that they do. It’s much easier to just pin someone as evil due to his or her selfishness and egotistical ways.

Surely, I agree that to some degree, it’s quite disheartening to see such wealth distributed to only those who are fortunate enough to wield such “power”. But to be completely honest, I forgive such actions committed by such vile people. I forgive them, because I understand that this world we live in is about greed. We cannot escape it, it has become entrenched into our very livelihoods whether we as a collective want to admit this or not. We are all guilty of this crime, for we are still living and breathing after all. To be greedy and self-centered (to varying extents) simply means one is looking out for his or her assists (see what I did there). How can we get angry with people like this, when truth be told, if they didn’t act in such greedy ways, they too would fall to the wayside of society and ultimately life altogether in our world.

So what does this mean when we look in the reflection of our modern world?

It means that greed and selfishness is actually rewarded in our society. Yes, you read that right. Like many double standards in our ever-confusing society; we as a collective acknowledge and praise those who can successfully grow a business and sustain it over the long haul. If life were in fact fair and justified, this wouldn’t be the case then. But unfortunately, this isn’t how humans operate the world we live in. By nature, humans aren’t evil, we are just misguided and lost; because the truth of the matter is, we are all lost. We may find who we are, and what we stand for – but in the world, we will always be lost in the shuffle. This realization and truth will set you free, and help you realize that nothing is impossible to achieve. The only obstacle getting in the way between you and your desired future is how you deal with your past failures and how you move on soon thereafter. Make your own path, no matter how you manage to do it, and create a piece of worthwhile life for yourself. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and don’t limit yourself based on judgment alone.

For what we see, is often times, not what it always appears to be at first glance…

Forever in Your Debt,

R.S. Noel

Death of Your Character (For Writers)

Unmistakably so, the fate of one character undoubtedly alters the fate of another.

There are many interesting fates each character in a book, movie, or even video game, are faced with. From the harrowing tale of Romeo and Juliet, or that of Game of Thrones, there are so many different ways a character can become a hero, or become killed. Today, I’ll be touching on the basis of death, of how this affects your other characters whom are still amongst the living, and how each death has a lesson to be learned.

I’ll never tire of the many different creative ways authors’ create the death of their characters, whether they are main ones or side characters. To being, there are a multitude of physiological aspects to writing out a story. To create each character, to build up their very life from the ground up – takes quite a lot of energy, time, and dedication to understanding each and every single one of them.

There have been many instances where I’ve read a line that intrigued me, or garnered my attention, even more then it should have. This is solely due to the prowess a writer harbors. It’s truly remarkable how life, even in a book, can be so unpredictable. In this manner, a book harnesses the mystic secrets of life, and translates it in such an amazing way, that even a reader can be left wondering how impactful a situation truly was, and the lasting impression it has left on them for the rest of their own life.

I usually find myself contemplating the fates of my own characters at times, wondering how long each one will live in the entire span of the series I have yet to pen down completely. It both amazes me, and overwhelms me, with unspeakable emotions. Just to think about the countless possibilities, creates a whirlwind of life in me. As ironic as it may sound, the idea of death in the stories I have written, gives me an unknown rush of mystery. To contemplate whether a character will live on to see another day, or whether a character will met their demise just a couple of words away, gives me a sense of humbleness and humanness. It reminds me, that no matter who we are as people, we will always remain susceptible to both the beauties of life, but moreover, to the esoteric tragedies of life as well.

For the most part, I usually don’t kill off my main characters so easily. Of course, there will be two or three instances throughout the series when a main character dies so unexpectedly, that even the reader will be left speechless and completely floored. But for the most part, each of my character’s death has meaning, it has purpose, and it leaves the reader with more unheard questions then it does solid answers, because if we’re honest with one another – life works in this same manner. We as people are usually left with countless more questions then we are left with stable answers when someone we know dearly passes on from this life.

Unmistakably so, the fate of one character undoubtedly alters the fate of another.

There are many reasons as to why certain characters are met with death throughout the span of a story. It’s important to realize that just like in life, the death of a character holds the very same weight as a death in real life (for readers, at any rate). So you should not only be careful about who you kill in your stories, but you should moreover, have a time of grieving for each fallen character. I’ve seen at times, some characters die off with absolutely no mention after their death. It’s as if they never existed, and to some degree, real life can work in this manner as well. But as a reader, nothing turns me off more then a senseless death. Because ironically enough, even senseless killing in a story should leave a reader with the same amount of mixed emotions that a meaningful death leaves.

Every death, to a varying degree, should hold some kind of emotional scar or mark. It just doesn’t seem realistic if all emotions are voided out of a death-scene. Of course, the only true exception to this, are completely sociopathic characters. But like I sated before, even senseless killing in a book should still leave the reader in awe and disturbance. It shouldn’t feel shallow and dismissive; otherwise, you risk losing the attention of a lot of readers.

As I sign off for this day’s post, I’ll leave you all with one piece of writing advice: Never be too afraid to push the limits of your characters, for in strength, comes the possibility of a mighty and honorable death.

Forever in Your Debt,

R.S. Noel

During Turbulent Times of War

Somewhere down the line, there is a misunderstanding, or a desire for greed.

During times of war, every single person is affected. Whether there are two countries fighting each other, or a nation having a war internally, war consumes everyone’s life in different ways. Today, I want to expound on this topic: of war. It’s a dirty word, marked with the countless stains of past blood and present sorrows. It’s an experience that nobody likes to acknowledge, but everyone knows it exists. Whether we try to ignore it, or bring light to it, it never gets better. But the one thing I realized is the ultimate truth of war, is that it begins with a lie.

Somewhere down the line, there is a misunderstanding, or a desire for greed.

This is summarily how a war begins at the very core of its origin. Whether you wish to accept this as fact is a personal question you must ask yourself. But the fact of the matter is that our realities are shaped by this unfortunate event.

In particular, I want you to imagine for a moment a small town in the middle of a peaceful nation. Imagine what the lives of these people must have been like before war even touches their lives. I’m not asking you to sympathize, what I’m trying to get you to imagine is the scenario. Once you do, you will better understand what I’m trying to express.

In this little town, there are all sorts of different people with their own unique personalities. For the most part, everyone gets along and actually enjoys each other’s company at times. These people are humble and aren’t subjected to such injustice or cruelty. Of course, they are likely resentful towards any taxes they must pay to their siphoning government which insists that all the money is going towards programs of public interest. Of course, not every day is a good day. But overall, everyone gets along and has no major complaints which warrant a coup d’état. So naturally, these people have no real reason to truly hate each other or even those who rule over their lives.

That is, until a neighboring nation invades their homeland. Or even their own country imploding, politically, from the inside-out.

The people begin to hear word of discord on bordering lines, they begin to hear whispers of terrible and tragic fates. This is just the start of the hard days to come.

Once, everyone understood one another and understood how to be a part of a community. But now, slowly but surely, everyone begins to panic silently. Their unvoiced fears begin to crawl through their heart and take over their mind. This is the next stage of what happens to a once normal and unhindered people.

As time progresses more, the people begin to see signs of this war which looms ever the closer. They begin to hear the sounds of distant mayhem, the sound of inhumane suffering. This is when the people begin to either stand as one, or fall apart at the seams, and turn against one another. This is the major turning point in any war; for the innocent people caught in the crosshairs of such turbulent times.

Ideally, it would make sense for the outcome to be the same every time. People in a town, or even city, should always come together and unite as a front against whatever injustice slithers its way towards their community. But, as life has shown us, sometimes this isn’t the case.

When this isn’t the case, that is when the lives of people truly change for the worse. People lose something inside of themselves. They lose their humanity. They become savages, understandably afraid of the world and weary of anything that opposes them in any form possible. We must understand, as a people, that this is the harsh reality of war sometimes. Sometimes, there are no heroes. There are no true or honest saviors who have the best intentions of these poor humans subjected now to such crueler fates.

The unfortunate truth of most wars, is that the mass majority of a society may never truly know what caused it. They may be oblivious to the fact that greed, from those who are in the positions of power, got the better of their leaders. Perhaps it was resources which inspired a nation to go into another foreign country. Or, perhaps it was to gain new territory for an empire. Either way, the people during any wartime are likely feed partial truths with the coupling of partial lies. This kind of façade confuses and off-puts truth seekers from actually finding the real reason as to what caused a war to begin with.

But not all hope is lost.

During these times of war, this is when men and women become tested. They become tempered and aware of their environment and of the true realities of the world – for both its horrors, and shockingly also, for its beauties as well. This is when people begin to realize what life is like at its most basic level, such insight surely makes a people the wiser and more willing to admit to the harsher side of life in the world. Of course, like before, people can react to this internal change in one of two manners. They can either grow and become stronger from this devastating experience, or, they can close-up inside and discard the entire world from their minds and from their hearts. But either way, the experience of war has changed them whether they want to admit this or not.

War affects us all to some level in the modern day world. We have, at some point, heard of atrocities unthinkable and of horrible acts of cruelty which dismantle our very perception of “other” people outside of our own comfort zones. But the truth of the matter is simple; it all goes back to what I once stated before.

Somewhere down the line, there is a misunderstanding, or a desire for greed.

Forever in Your Debt,

R.S. Noel

Beauty and the Beast (2017, Film Review)

It was that good, to the point where I felt overwhelmed with deep emotions long forgotten.

I saw the live-action rendition of Beauty and the Beast this last Wednesday 22, 2017. I went in with little knowledge on the production for this film, so to say that I went in undermining the whole experience, would be an incredibly vast understatement. The whole film was nostalgic from the moment it began to the very ending act. Of course, with the added scenes from both the source material (and from new concepts incorporated into the film), this also added a more wholesome and completed version of the rendition.

It was so simply done, yet the magic of the film felt incredibly real. The musical numbers were astounding in there effect and it often times left the viewer completely in awe with all of the spectacularly dazzling scenes and eye-catching moments. In particular, my favorite numbers were “Be Our Guest” and “Gaston”. It was such a wind-swept journey, that I can’t imagine anyone not seeing this film.

Now, to weigh-in both the amazing pros, and the still evident cons, I will give a fair and balanced review since it’s been a couple of days since the high of this film has worn off and allowed me to see it for the entirety of its production.

To begin, Beauty and the Beast did a fantastic job of being a contemporary piece, in terms of how life was like in 18th century France. Parts of Beauty and the Beast felt almost reminiscent to the 2012 rendition of Les Misérable. Not to mention both stories take place in different parts of France. Another aspect of the film they did wonderfully was the fact that most of the actors and actresses (minus Belle) were theatrically inclined. It felt like a true harkening back of the play version of Beauty and the Beast on Broadway (starting in 1993). Possibly one of the best qualities to the movie was its astoundingly clear soundtrack over the voice-overs of the actor’s singing. At times, I truly fell into the movie realm of Beauty and the Beast, forgetting momentarily that I was even watching a motion picture. Overall, the casting (for the most part) felt incredibly perfect (even if perfect doesn’t exist).

Now to address the cons of this movie. The cons are actually few and far in-between, but they are there nevertheless. Like everything else in life, no work of art is ever without imperfections. The reason why this is – is because every single person in the world interprets the same thing completely differently, even on a small scale.

The first con is that Emma Watson was cast for the main role. Now I know what some of you are thinking as you read this: But it’s for marketing purposes, Emma Watson has an image that can appeal to the mainstream public. My gripe with this line of thinking is two-fold. The first layer, is that you are saying that the source material itself, Beauty and the Beast, and all of the history that goes along with it, wouldn’t be enough for people to go see it. Don’t forget, in this day-in-age where social media exists and the spread of news by word-of-mouth moves quickly through social spheres; this movie would have been a massive success from the start.

Not to mention the fact that this film was produced by Disney, it should be a no-brainer that this movie would have been a hit. The only purpose Disney had for adding Emma Watson in the lead role, was because they wanted to break whatever record needed breaking for the box office. So in a sense, like everything else it seems in life, this was solely for money purposes. It’s a shame because creativity almost every single time, takes a back seat in our modern culture.

The second problem is that they incorporated a “gay” theme in this movie, where it really didn’t need to be added. I have a gay older brother, and he was slightly confused by that one particular part in the movie. I’m a supporter of LGBTQ people, but that’s why we create new stories, so that that new and original material can be honored. We should not change Gabrielle Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s work just for the sake of mainstream society in modern times.

My brother actually made me realize (after the movie was over) the slight issue of this scene. In a way, I would have overlooked this otherwise “Hollywood-esque” move made by mainstream Hollywood. But he said in a way, it felt like Disney altered the source material just to bow-down to mainstream society. Being that Disney is one of the 5 major economic giants who run our economy, you would think they would have realized they have the power to honor such work.

It was as if Disney merely added-in new material for the sake of saving facing, not for honoring the original work created by Gabrielle Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.

A woman who had written this successful story (Beauty and the Beast) in her time period in 18th century France, Villeneuve did the utterly and nearly impossible. Her story was quickly shared throughout the world and was critically acclaimed and adapted into theatrical plays as well. In a time when women were truly oppressed in a society that had seen it better for woman to just remain silent and be good housewives and mothers.

In all though, the live-action movie adaptation of Beauty and the Beast was spectacular and breathtaking in its execution. There were raw emotions stirred from within, moments of laughter, moments of happiness, of sorrow, and of tears. Through all of the good (and there was a lot of good) and of the bad, this movie earns a 10 out of 10 stars from me.

It was that good, to the point where I felt overwhelmed with deep emotions long forgotten.

Such magic is rare to find in movies, and especially where money is concerned. I’m shocked this movie came out to be as good as it did in the end. The only other thing I can say to end this review off on a good note is this: don’t allow anyone to tell you anything is impossible, for you can create stories, inventions, and history by speaking up and standing firmly for what you believe it.

Forever in Your Debt,

R.S. Noel