Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta new. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta new. Mostrar todas las entradas

viernes, 12 de mayo de 2017

Singing

   She was in a city she had never been in before. But Claudia didn’t mind at all. She couldn’t pay attention to anything else. Her turn on stage was scheduled in about two hours and she was very nervous.  In the car, she looked at her hands frequently and sang her song in her head, repeating it over and over, in order to prevent any accident to happen. Her hands were already a little bit sweaty and she knew her makeup had to be retouched once they got to the arena, which would be in just some minutes.

 Her agent looked at her and told her she didn’t have any reason to be nervous. The contest she was in was crowded with first timers and Claudia was all but that. She had been singing since she was a little girl and hadn’t stop for a moment. Her first public appearance at a singer had been in a local state fair, back when she was only five years old. Even then, people fell in love with her voice and the magnificent range she had. Many people thought her voiced was tricked or something.

 But that wasn’t the case. That little detail made her instantly well known among the people of her town as well as some others in the vicinity. That was the beginning of her singing career and year and years of investment in a voice that was very particular but incredible subtle too. People just loved it and she made the effort, every single time, to make the best out of every single concert she had. But, somehow, this contest seemed to really make her nervous, beyond anything she had felt before.

 The day she entered the contest, she didn’t really feel she was going to get the spot. After all, many other young singers wanted to be there. The trials for the event were very harsh and it was the first time Claudia was authentically scared for her voice, the reason being she was using it almost everything, without any rest whatsoever. Thankfully, she was able to sing the day she was chosen to be in the contest. The very next day, she decided not to talk for a while in order to preserve her voice.

 The car finally arrived to the arena, entering an underground parking lot and stopping just in front a big door and a woman holding a notebook. She was the one verifying everything was all right. She checked their papers and then told them where to go next: the assigned changing room where Claudia would have the chance to dress up for her performance. She had brought a very nice dress that her mother and father had bought for her just after they received the news of their daughter participating in the festival. The dress was just perfect and so were her parents.

 She thought of them as she put on the dress, which was blue with many sparkles all around. The outfit came with a pair of earrings and a necklace, both made of silver. They had once being the property of her grandmother, another woman in her family that had been known for her amazing voice but did not have the chance to sing professionally. Partly because she decided to have a family before a career, but also because she had to suffer a lot and singing was not a priority.

 Claudia, on the other hand, realized she had never really suffered anything. The irony was in that her song was about exactly that. So she felt a little bit like a hypocrite. So bad she felt, that she decided to try and change the song chosen to be performed in the contest. But it was impossible to change her entry at that late point in the process. She had to sing what she had decided to sing in the beginning, no matter if she liked it or not. She had to look inside herself a connection to the song.

 Many people think that’s bullshit. They think that an artist can just speak about whatever subject they want and there won’t be any trouble and all. But that’s not true. If you don’t feel the subject that you’re going to be handling, there’s a big chance you won’t be able to deliver. An artist is supposed to shake you to the core, by making you realize things about yourself that you didn’t even know about. No matter what art for it is, people expect to be moved in one or the other.

That was the problem that Claudia had with the song and she had to really learn the lyrics and understand the meaning in order to find her unique connection to the song. It took her several weeks to connect to it but she finally made it. The improvement of her performance was notable. Before, it just seemed she was a very good singer, doing a nice job with a random song. But after properly exploring it, her voice and the lyrics appeared to turn in the whirlwind of emotions, pure heart.

 That’s why she always cried after each performance of the song. She did it all the rehearsals and she did it the night she was chosen to be in the contest. And she will probably do it there again because that was the connection that she had created to her song. She thought about all of this looking at the mirror, once she was fully dressed for her presentation. The first performer of the night was already singing and now she had to go and stand in line for her turn to come. It was nerve-cracking and every other singer there looked worried, none of them tried to hide it.

 Thankfully, she was in the middle of a thirty people group. So she didn’t have to wait a long time to sing but she wasn’t thrown into the stage too fast either. She just sang the song inside her head over and over and tried not to look at the other competitors. Claudia also tried to tune out the voice of the person singing at the moment, which was very difficult because only a thick curtain separated the singers on the line from the one performing on stage. It was a rush of energy.

 Finally, her turn came. She walked slowly towards the microphone, that way prevent herself to trip or step on her dress or something. She controlled her breathing and closed her eyes the moment she arrived on the spot she had to be in. She had to wait for her music to begin and that seemed to take years. Of course, they were only a few seconds but it seemed forever then. She even had time to think about her parents, the only people she really cared about in the whole world.

 The music began and her voice began flowing out of her body, filling every single part of the enormous stage and beyond. People looked at her ecstatic but she didn’t looked at the audience. She was singing to herself and to her parents, looking up, to a point far away into the bright lights that bathed her with a bluish light. Her arms moved, her legs were in tension and her chest was doing a lot of the work. But everything went perfect, even better than expect. When she finished, she cried once again.


 The cheers and screams and expressions of joy from the audience were just overwhelming. Everyone seemed to love her song, her voice and her performance. She had really managed to make the song her own and now, even if she wasn’t able to win the contest, it didn’t matter. She had proven to herself what she was capable of and that was something she had not expected to learn there. She had just come to sing and she pulled away from the stage having changed as a person and a singer.

lunes, 30 de enero de 2017

Early hours

   For some reason, he wasn’t able to sleep properly, as he would have wanted. Ever since he could remember, his eyes opened automatically very early, always around seven o’clock in the morning. Every single time he tried to keep sleeping, staying in bed and covering himself up with his bed sheets, he failed miserably as his eyes wouldn’t close for anything, no matter how much and how long he tried. When he had something to do late some day, he just woke up that early and then waited.

 If he ever had to wake up earlier than that, then there was no problem. It was over sleeping that was the problem and not the other way around. Certainly, it was a very uncommon thing, but very real nevertheless. Craig, that was his name, had become an expert in handling all those hours that he normally had to spare on days he didn’t have to work or on weekends. He tried to use them for exercising or doing some of the things he never got to do when he was busy like his taxes and stuff like that.

 It was this early, once he went cycling around his neighbourhood, when he met someone that had a problem with his bike. His name was Rick and he his bicycle on the lawn of a park, trying to figure out what was wrong with it. As Craig had gathered a considerable amount of expertise related to cycling, he decided to stop and help the guy, carrying the bike to a near gas station where they could check the tires for any problems. Indeed, the issue was that something had cut through one of them.

 Rick felt really silly and blamed his accident to the fact that he hadn’t been sleeping much. That small phrase caught Craig’s attention, who rapidly responded by smiling and confessing he rarely slept too much, instead doing things like cycling to spend the time. Rick was very intrigued by that, so he asked Craig if he would like to join him for some lemonade while walking towards his house. There was a place nearby that made an excellent, sweet, lemonade.

 They each bought one and talked about everything as they sipped lemonade and walked with their bicycles on the side. Craig realized, once he got home, that he had practically neglected to actually exercise that day. But he didn’t mind because of two reasons. The first was because he didn’t cycle to exercise as such but to get distracted and spend time he didn’t want to waste. And the other reason was because he had enjoyed Rick’s company too much and would have wanted to spend even more time with him. It had been a nice thing to ask for his phone number.

 He had to wait a week, until next Saturday, to receive a text message on his phone. Rick wanted to know if he was going to go out on his bicycle again, as he had already fixed his bike’s tires and he was looking forward doing it correctly this time. Craig wrote him that he was indeed coming out with his bicycle and that he would love to meet to exercise together. Sure enough, Rick was on the front door of Craig’s building very early on Sunday, yawning a lot but with a smile.

 That day, they both really exercised a lot. They went very far, some ten kilometres away. There they looked for some place to have something to drink and then they came back to Craig’s apartment. As the only thing to drink they had found was a store they had bought some water bags from, Craig decided to invite Rick to his apartment, for a proper breakfast. Rick refused at first, saying he still had to go to his house, but as Craig knew it wasn’t very far, he accepted the invitation.

 The bikes stayed on the basement, behind Craig’s car. On the elevator going up to the apartment, the two men realized they didn’t know what to talk about. They were tired but at the same time they both felt it was necessary to speak, as they were going to spend some more time together that day. But not a word was said in the elevator. On the fifth floor, Craig grabbed his keys from his pocket opened the door. Rick was visibly uncomfortable, as Craig walked stretching his arms into the air.

 They both entered the kitchen and then decided to make omelettes for breakfast. Realizing how tense Rick appeared to be, Craig decided to make the moment very interactive: he would ask the other guy fro every single ingredient for breakfast and Rick would have to look around for it. Surprisingly enough, he was very fast with everything, finding all necessary items in just a few seconds. The game was a very smart way to break the ice and initiate a proper conversation.

 As the eggs cooked, Craig explained Rick everything about his rare condition, where he couldn’t sleep past seven o’clock, how he blamed his childhood for it and some funny things that had happened as the years had gone by, during those early hours. Then, it was Rick’s time to talk about himself. He chose to acknowledge the fact that he was very shy but that he was always trying to push himself forward, in order to meet new people. He confessed that was the first time his experiments had actually been successful. Craig proposed a toast with orange juice.

 They spend the morning eating and talking, until they realized the moment was becoming very awkward again. Thankfully, Rick’s phone rang and broke an uncomfortable silence that had settled in. They didn’t write or called each other during the week. But, at least Craig, certainly thought about Rick when his mind wasn’t busy doing something else. He realized he felt something but he didn’t know what it was and it bothered him. So he tried not to think about it too much.

 The next weekend, nothing. Rick didn’t call or sent a text. Nothing at all. That was the first Sunday in a long time that Craig spent in his bed. He decided he was tired of exercising and instead chose to watch an animated movie he had never paid attention to. He surprised himself by doing that, as he wasn’t the type of guy to watch cartoons but he thoroughly enjoyed his morning, complete with a big bowl of cereal and sliced bananas. He felt like a younger self again, for some time.

 That afternoon he decided to go to the supermarket, as his refrigerator was becoming more and more empty. He normally didn’t worry too much about it, as he normally ate outside of the house, but an urge to eat better thing took over him, so Craig decided he wanted to start cooking more. He was on the pasta aisle when he heard a familiar voice. At first, he thought he was imagining it and got very embarrassed with himself because of that, but then he realized it was really happening.

 Slowly, he moved his shopping cart around the corner into the next aisle. There he was: Rick was talking to a small girl. Apparently she was deciding which cereal she was going to buy. The decision was down to a pink box with princess related stuff painted on it, or a red box with a big panda on the front, eating something that looked like tiny chocolate cylinders. The girl grabbed the pink box and hugged it. Rick smiled and then his eyes moved up, to see Craig standing there like a lamp.


 There was no way of pretending he hadn’t been looking so he only waved and smiled. He didn’t come closer; somehow his legs wouldn’t move his body forward. There was a tense moment, in which the only noise was the girl trying to make Rick move from his spot. They didn’t say anything. Craig was the one who moved first, turning around, almost sprinting to the nearest paying point. Once he was at home, he decided that his early hours would never be used to do any exercise again, or at least not one that involved meeting strangers, as if that had anything to do with his embarrassment at the moment.

miércoles, 21 de septiembre de 2016

Thoughts on family

   You don’t have to cry in order to be sad and you don’t have to smile every time you fell happy. Each person deals with moments, with feelings, in their own way and there is nothing bad about that. We are just different and that is what makes us interesting to each other. If we were all the same, there would be no point in meeting each other and building up relationships. Being different makes us unique and better, in every single sense of the word.

 However, it is always better to be able to demonstrate what you feel in order for other people to notice what’s going on, especially if some of those people are of any interest to you. For example, you have to be able to talk or at least show your parents how you feel and why you’re feeling the way you are. You don’t have to be able to do that with every single person in the world but it is very important to be able to communicate with family.

 Family is the group of people we have never chosen to be with and the group of people we should know better than anyone else. And I say should because it is clear that many people do not live like this, meaning that some of us don’t even know that much about our siblings or our parents. It is very typical that, as children, we don’t really see our parents as equals. We see them as people that are just wiser and move in other circles that we just don’t understand. When we’re little, they seem so mysterious and difficult to understand.

 However, as we grow older, we realize parents are just like us: they are a couple of humans who’ve had a life before we entered their lives and will continue to live independently from us once we get out of the house or even as we are still living in there. That’s why divorces are so tough on a family: it breaks up a whole bunch of connections and many things you have learned about your parents don’t really mean anything anymore. In that case, everything seems to become something else so you feel lost and confused but the truth is that, with a little effort, everything comes back to what it once was or at least something like it.

 Then there are siblings, who depending on the age gap, can seem like friends or like some other strangers, like parents. If they age gap is not so big between siblings, the possibility of having a true friendship develop between them is very high. That’s simply because you treat the people your same age as friends and equals and you tend to get closer to them because interests are similar and you are able to understand each other. When the age gap is too big however, the level of friendship can be high or very low, reaching the level of friendship you have with your parents when you’re young.

 What’s great about brothers and sisters is that you get and instant set of friends that way, or at least the possibility of having them in the house, different from school friends that come and go because hey have their own separate lives that may run close but never really parallel to your life. Of course, sibling don’t have similar lives but at least the first fifteen years of life is frequently similar as you probably all go to the same school, you share all those meals during the week, the holidays, the moments with the parents and a very large array of things that come with the fact that you live in family.

 Of course, there are many types of families, some of them not even having siblings or both parents or even parents at all. Besides that, there are families that do not really believe there should be a tight relationship between parents and children as in the old days people believed children only had to respect their elders and that’s what was required in a family. Love was something that people supposedly felt but it wasn’t the same kind of feeling we think of today. People tended to be colder before because it was more practical, especially as families were a lot larger: there could be up to ten children in one household or more so there was no real sense of “having to” love them all deeply and without reservations. There was responsibility and respect and that was it.

  Of course, the fact that there should be love in a family doesn’t mean that it’s going to be perfect every single day. Family relationships can be as difficult as relationships with other people and that frequently has a lot to do with how complicated things are in the household, the moments of life you and your family are going through and the personalities of each person. There can be days when everything is laughter and beautiful and everyone gets along in the most respectful but also thoughtful manner. On the other hand, you can have days when everything is a constant fight, everything is a problem and all the words that you speak might be cause for some sort of quarrel.

 But that’s exactly what a family is supposed to look like, The old days when everything had to be said in the most proper of words even if you were addressing your brother or your mother are done. And doesn’t mean that everyone speaks in the most awful manner to their family but that the relationship has evolved and its now possible to get closer through the language and through the best words that you can use to communicate with people you have loved and seen for so long. Family is something very strange and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are so many forms of it all around the planet. Even in the building we are living in there could be dozens of varieties.

That probably why beginning a new family is so strange at first. No one really knows how to properly do it but you always have the example that you received at home. Even if it isn’t the best example in the world, it should be enough to get you started in the basics of creating a new family. And nowadays, the process can be done much slowly that before because in the modern world not many people are able to establish themselves outside the familiar home and then not many are willing to stop their careers and so on in order to create a home, which often includes bringing a new member of the family to the world.

 Some people think it is better to save some money before “looking for” their first kid. Some others think it’s better to have a child early in life, in order to enjoy the upbringing and being able to cope with what childhood entails. It’s not the same to be a parent in your twenties than in your sixties. There are both advantages and disadvantages to each way of doing it. And then, there are also the “unexpected” arrivals, which normally happen when people are young but can also happen later. In those case, you’re just pushed into adulthood and family.

 Pieces tend to come together when a family is being formed. Money may not be coming in huge amounts and it may be difficult to find a proper place but people always seem to be able to make it no matter what. Like in the past, families today can thrive despite of difficulties. The difficult thing, probably, is to keep yourself in that perfect balance as you try to make it all better for you and your new family. They are probably many things missing but it’s just like a game of domino’s or a puzzle: every piece will find its spot in time, if things are done correctly, with the best intentions.

 Families have always been here, in whatever shape or forms it was, and they will continue to be here in other forms we might have not consider at this point. It is silly to think the family structure is just one and that only that one should be achieved and respected by every single human being, when most humans have thrived among what people now call “non traditional families”, as if tradition wasn’t something that keeps evolving every single days without stopping.


 Anyway, our family is that group of people life got us to be with. It put us with them for a reason and it is up to every single one of us to find out, if we want. But we don’t have to. The best thing is to appreciate all of those people that surround us as we grow up and help us be better and achieve everything we want from life.

sábado, 16 de julio de 2016

Gaming

   The video game presentation was going perfectly. Everyone in the arena was talking about booth number 45 and its very interesting game. Of course, as many games in exhibition, it was a virtual reality game. People put on some glasses and that was enough to immerse themselves in a very big and interesting world. The people at Rakami, the company that had created the game, were very nervous about the reception of their new product but after one day, they had to be confident everything was going to be just fine with their sales.

 The second day of the expo, they were named the game to be looking for, Lines formed from an early hour to try out the game and Rakami had to send another console and copy of the software in order for people to try it out. And even with two copies, it wasn’t enough to show everyone willing to try the most fascinating game ever. Or at least that’s what the people in the booth started calling it after the very warm reception.

 The truth was that Rakami had been born very recently, not even five years ago. It had been a group of friends who had decided they wanted to create the game they wanted to play. In other words, they wanted to make the best video games in the market by making the players and integral part of them. Of course, the player is always the most important part of the creation process, but these guys wanted the future gamers to be very involved in their creative process.

 The first thing they did once they gathered to work together, was define what everyone would do. It was a small group of four people: three men and one woman. The men were mostly fluent in programming and designing and she was very good at marketing and all the legal language they needed to know before starting to do anything. They bought legal versions of every single program needed and rented a space in order to work there, as an office.

 Of course, every single penny invested into it came from their own bank account. Although one of them was fairly wealthy, the other two were not at all so one of the first moves was to ensure they had money to make the first game from beginning to end. Investors were not easy to come by, especially for such a technology and idea, which would take years to actually be a reality.

 However, they managed to receive a grant given by a university who supported young creators all over the world. The money was not a lot but it was a great way to start and not worry about anything for at least two years or a bit less. At the end of that time, the university would demand results and would decide if more money would be invested.

 The first year was the most difficult one as starting such a project is always something very hard. As the boys started doing sketches and different types of screenplays of what they thought the story should be about, the girl decided to ensure they would not have money issues by use of crowd funding. She designed a website with a friend where people could go and give in whatever amount they wanted to make the videogame come to life. But not only that, the particular investors could leave a comment, telling the designers what they wanted in a game, what they were looking forward.

 Picking up ideas from that big pool was very hard and an extensive job that required various meetings during a long period of time and heated discussions about what the game should be about. They were all friends and really loved each other but those few months were very tense and it wasn’t uncommon that they would argue with each other every single day, fighting over every single thing.

However, after a while, they were able to make some compromises and decided to organize their work in a more organic way so everyone was able to do a part of the game. That way, no one would really feel pushed aside from the project and participation would be just in its perfect point. Their friendship was put to test that first year and they were able to show themselves how mature they had become after graduating from college.

 Entering the second year of development, they had many more problems. Money was and wasn’t one them. The problem was not that they didn’t have any but rather that they couldn’t touch it unless they released some kind of sneak peek. They tried to put together some short animation and a video of the designs and thought that should be enough for the people that had invested in the game and the university that supported them

 However, that wasn’t the case. The university told them they were seriously considering removing their sponsorship because of he poor advances in the design and general development of the game. And the reception in their crowd funding website was even worse. People did not get the footage and were not really digging the designs and what they had put together. That response made them get together again and think about hey needed to do.

 The first thing was not to listen to every single thing people said about the game, as it was obvious that not everybody could be pleased. The other thing was that they really needed to step up their game and work twice as hard because the university was right: they had not done enough in the first year and they really needed support if they wanted to fulfill their dream of seeing their game finished.

 The following months were very hard on all of them. They had to stay in the office for several hours, sometimes even sleeping there and having lunch while waiting for the images to render. They bought more computers in order to be able to do more work at the same time and had to make some adjustments to the room in order to make it a nice place to work in. They put every part of their soul and body in the game and they were sure it was going to be good and that people would like it, no matter what.

 At the end of that year, they had a meeting in the university. A board made up of six people would review their results and everything they had on their computers and the amount of work they had done. They would rate every single aspect of their jobs and finally decide if what they had done was worth another investment from them with which they could be able to finish the game as such.

 It was a tense few days and the final response of the university came after Christmas but before New Year’s Day. The university had decided to pass on their game and pulled off any additional funding. Needless to say, the group had the worst beginning of the year ever but once they reunited again they decided to go forward with the help of the people. They would release more of the game and people would love it and they would finish the game with their support.

  However, something unexpected happened. The girl was contacted by a group of private investors looking for new companies and ideas to invest in. She organized a visit to the offices and they were mind blown when they realized it was one of the executives of Garmin Entertainment, who was visiting them. Garmin had released two of the best titles in the last year and was a leading company in the development of virtual reality technology.

 Their proposal was quite simple: they would give the money to finish the game in exchange of the title to be a virtual reality game. They thought the idea they had was perfect for that kind of gaming and they even promised help achieve the level needed to have a playable game in that sort of environment.

 Again, work was very intense and they did receive a lot of support, with very experienced people coming to their offices and helping them with the design of a far larger world that they had envisioned before. Everything had gotten bigger and more ambitious and it was a bit scary for them but also very exciting. They felt they were involved in something important, so the hours of sleep were the least of their worries.


 The expo was just the magnificent result of their incredible work process. And people loving the game was the perfect gift for all of them. However, they were still many surprises ahead, for both the developers and the gamers. The recent born Rakami was en route to greatness.