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

Week of Mid-Terms & Spring Break

April 22nd is also my birthday!

Hello everyone, this is just a quick update to let you know that I’m still here, and that I will be putting up articles during my school’s Spring Break! (Which is from April 17th to April 22nd).

April 22nd is also my birthday!

The reasoning for this post will be made simple: I’m here to notify you of my absence for the following week (that being of April 10 – April 16). My midterms are this coming week; and also of the week April 23-29. But 3 of the 5 classes I’m taking have midterms this week (April 10 – April 16), so I’ve been preparing all of this week (which also explains the lack of articles this past week as well).

I’ll be back shortly during Spring Break to upload 1 article a day! So look out for those between April 17th to April 22nd. 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

Gaining New Perspectives in Writing

We show only the parts of ourselves which we want the world to see, and this is what makes perspective so intriguing.

When you write, a lot of the times there are many different angles to look at any given situation you’re focused on. Whether you’re writing a non-fiction or fiction book, you’ll usually find yourself wondering which way is the best manner in which to view a topic. It’s always important to see something from multiple viewpoints, you never want to look at a piece of writing and wonder why you’re even writing it.

Some of the best methods of gaining a new perspective in your writing, is to imagine what your life would be like in different people’s positions. Better yet, you can also imagine what the world must feel like on a daily basis. Just imagine what the life of a mouse can be like. Or how a clock ticks. The possibilities are endless with this type of thinking when you’re a writer. There’s no end to creativity, the only limit is yourself. Never be too afraid, always question the validity of a person, a situation, or even the state of our world. The more you start to question, the more you begin to realize that everything in life is permitted. With this viewpoint, you can better understand a lot of the current world affairs in today’s globalized society.

A defining moment in any writer’s life, is characterized by a sense of awakening, or even a sense of understanding herself/himself in the world and where they stand in it. It can be a truly humbling, and sometimes even terrifying, realization when you begin to understand and come to terms with a lot of the realities of our existence and what it even means to be human in this ever-changing environment. To grasp your own identity is the single best thing you can ever do, not only for yourself, but for those around you who truly love you and cherish you for who you are as a human being in the world.

On a more transparent note, I want to let you know, that there are crueler fates out there in the world. Perspective also helps you to heighten your sense of awareness of this global injustice. Because in some manner, you will realize that even if you’re just one person in a sea of others, you can change the world, even on a micro level. Your actions, especially during times of hardship and uncertainty in your society, can help to further strengthen the bonds and connections you have with those around you.

Perspective of different people, different life-forms, and different ideologies, is probably the best tool to have if you are a writer. You’re able to understand so many otherwise mysterious concepts in mainstream society. You’re able to better analyze why something happened, and what caused it.

It’s kind of like being a detective, but the only thing is, no one in the entire world knows you’re paying attention.

If you choose to be naïve or willingly ignorant, I cannot judge you. I used to judge people on being ignorant, back when I was a teenager. But now that I’m an adult, I’ve come to understand that everything (and I mean everything) has a reason for being the way it is; and those things don’t necessarily change all the time. Some things can stay the “same” for a very long time. Inevitably, however, things do change. Whether it be in minutes, hours, days, months, years, or centuries – everything eventually succumbs to change. From people acting in peculiar or serious ways, to the very actions conducted by those in positions of power; to the differences between you and I, to the similarities two very different people might share – everything works according to what is being reflected or shown.

We show only the parts of ourselves which we want the world to see, and this is what makes perspective so intriguing.

I could go on further, but my time is limited today. I have a lot of work to do, and so little time to finish it. If anything, I’ll leave you with one simple thought: hold the deepest parts of yourself close to your soul, but let the world see you for who you truly are. In this way, you can better build your own character through the different tribulations and trials out there in our shared environment.

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

Where You Can Find Inspiration

Make it happen, and the world will open up to you…

Inspiration comes in many forms. Ultimately, when you really think about it, there are many different kinds of inspiration. There are the sad kinds of inspirations, there are the happy kinds that make you smile to yourself, and then there are the kinds that really just make you ponder about life in general. It’s almost contagious, infections to the very soul.

In a way, if you permit yourself to open up to the world, even if it’s dangerous and risky to do such a thing, you end up learning more not only about yourself but also more about the environment of different places around the world. Traveling helps, and unfortunately, traveling cost a lot of money. Not everyone, myself included, can afford to travel to “exotic” locations (I put “exotic” in quotations because such places are not exotic to the humans and inhabitants living there). Yet even still, there are numerous ways for you to find inspiration.

Take for example, a silent moment to yourself. Such moments like these can help you further expand on imagination, to seize moments of otherwise escapable memories. These are the times when you can use your mind as an advantage over anyone who gets the luxury of traveling and garnering inspiration from their travels. Undoubtedly, some of the best places are not even found here on this world, but in other worlds; other places.

But if you don’t write fiction (or if you do and it takes place here on Earth), you can still use this method of gaining inspiration. Our minds are amazing structures, undoubtedly remembering even the smallest of details or creating new information altogether. The brain is the single most amazing source of understanding and comprehending life and the many different complexities to our existence.

In essence, there are a variety of countless new ideas that come to us, even when we’re not consciously thinking about writing. Inspiration is not only found around us, but more so, within us. We must not underestimate our capabilities to find inspiration of hope, of sorrow, and of miracles within our minds. As we observe the world, and thus, observe our place within it, we begin to better understand the very concepts which may have once eluded us once before when we thought we were “naïve” or “unaware” of the world around us.

For the truth of the matter is much more different. If you allow yourself to have an open mind, anything’s possible. The only thing required on your part, is to be determined and persistent enough to pursue that which you desire.

Make it happen, and the world will open up to you…

Forever in Your Debt,

R.S. Noel