Month in Review – October 2014

October, the month of two typhoons.  That was quite a month for the blog, as well.  I broke some records.  The blog now has 566 followers, an increase of 32.

October Stats

After a slow September, I thought October would be better.  And it was.  By a long way.  The busiest day was October 6th with a total of 257 views.  That was the biggest ever.  There were 4 days with more than 100 views.  Best ever, too.  And October had a total of 2,129 views, exceeding 2,000 for the first time. The total is now 21,331 views.  There were 49 posts in October, bringing the total to 636.

The month ended with 3,298 comments, 228 coming in October.  Only a slight improvement over September.

The top 10 (11) countries were:

  1. United States (1,245 views)
  2. Japan (258 views)
  3. Canada (190 views)
  4. United Kingdom (97 views)
  5. Australia (49 views)
  6. India (29 views)
  7. Singapore (18 views)
  8. Spain (16 views)
  9. Lebanon (10 views)
  10. Philippines (9 views)
  11. Pakistan (9 views)

Top Posts

The top 5 most popular posts written in October were:

  1. Live-blogging Typhoon Phanfone (73 views)
  2. Live-blogging Typhoon Phanfone – Late Night Fun (62 views)
  3. Live-blogging Typhoon Phanfone – It Has Arrived (52 views)
  4. Live-blogging Typhoon Phanfone – Evacuation Order (51 views)
  5. Questions Answered by Authors (49 views)

My most popular post written before October was the often popular INTJ – An Analysis of My Personality with 42 views.

Posts that deserve another look, but weren’t given enough love were:

Reviews

I got only 2 of the 4 reviews I promised last month, but I have 2 finished books that I’ll be reviewing very shortly.  But here are last month’s reviews:

Social Media

Let’s see how Twitter and YouTube are going.

On Twitter, I have 2,170 followers, an increase of 57, while I follow 2,214, an increase of 59.  I have 6,165 tweets in total, 86 coming in October.

YouTube was very slow this month, as I’ve fallen behind on videos thanks to YouTube being incredibly slow at processing and uploading videos recently.  Kind of frustrating.  I still have 35 subscribers, which is unchanged.  There are 6,800 views, with only 273 in October.  I told you it was slow.

Looking Ahead to November

It’s the anniversary of my start of daily blogging here, and I’ve made some big strides over the year.  Look for at least 3 book reviews coming up.  I’ll have some short books coming soon, as well.

Part 3 of Journey to Ariadne will finally be posted on my official site, so look forward to that.  I also will work on part 4, part 5, and maybe more, if I can find the time.  I’ve been encouraged to join NaNoWriMo, but we’ll see.

Thanks for reading, and thank you everyone for the best month yet!

Woefully Unprepared for NaNoWriMo

The past three days have taught me something.  I am not ready to tackle NaNoWriMo this year.  I have an idea which wouldn’t be a novel, but a nine part serial of short stories.  However, my inability to edit and post part 3 of Journey to Ariadne shows me that I certainly couldn’t write 50,000 words in the next month.

Part of my problem is my daughter.  She’s at a stage in which she completely occupies my time when I’m at home.  Also, she hasn’t been going to bed at a decent time, as she refuses to sleep before midnight most of the time.  My prime writing time, which is late evening and into the early hours of the morning, are often taken up by cooking, eating, and trying to get my daughter to sleep.  And now she’s sick with bronchitis.  Her sleeping habits will be unpredictable.

Anyway, I don’t want to work on another story when I’ve got Journey to Ariadne to work on.  I’d rather focus on that while my motivation is high (and it is).

There’s no point in me taking part in NaBloPoMo, either.  I already write a blog post every day.  I did it last year, and ever since, nearly every month has been NaBloPoMo.  I post daily, and haven’t missed a single day since March.

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo?

Honestly, Earth is Tiny

Ever wonder how Earth compares in size with Jupiter?  How about the Sun?  I found this article with some pretty good pictures showing just how big the Earth is.

Not impressive enough?  Well, how does it compare with stars?  You know, the Sun isn’t that big when compared to the biggest stars in the galaxy.  This video illustrates that perfectly.

Impressed?  Discuss below.

Editing, editing, editing

What is it about editing that makes me hesitate?  I have a story that’s been looked over, and I know where I need to make some changes.  But when I sit down to edit, I find that sometimes the words don’t come.  Writer’s block?  No, editing block.

This time, I’m making a big change to the opening scene, but I’m trying to figure out the words to use.  I’m not doing a large amount of editing overall, but I hope to finish it in the next hour (honestly, it’s not a very long story).  With any luck, I’ll have Journey to Ariadne part 3 up in the next 16 hours.

For those of you who write, how do you feel when you start editing something?

4 Books and a Photo

As the British might say, Rowan Atkinson is bloody brilliant.  But that’s not what I’m posting about.  Far from it. And I’ll be brief.

First, the four books.

I’ll be posting a review of a book I read a little while back, but haven’t gotten around to posting it yet.  It has some things in common with James Bond, which I love, but this is nowhere near as good.  It was rather meh.

I finished another book last night which had an interesting idea, nice worldbuilding, terrible pacing, characters with questionable intelligence that were difficult to like, and a badly placed cliffhanger for a trilogy.

One book I’m currently reading has an interesting idea, but utterly dull characters that I don’t care about.

And I just started a new book that has me hooked from the opening scene.  Very nice!

As for the photo, it’s not just one photo, but many.  You may or may not know that I like photography.  I’ve begun updating my iPhone photography blog again, so please head on over and take a look.

Ending My Study Break

As many of you may know, I’d been taking several online courses through Coursera and FutureLearn.  However, I’ve let six courses go by without me even touching them.  I’ve done a bit of housekeeping and removed myself from those courses.  I now have two courses that have just started, and I’m thinking about getting to work on them.  They don’t seem very intensive, so that’s good.

There’s one course I started in the summer than I still have an interest in, and that’s about the time of Richard III.  It looks like I can actually continue to go through the course.  So, I will do that.

I also need to go through future courses to see what’s interesting for the new year.  The courses I dropped may be available again next year, so I’ll see about them.  But this time around, I’ll make sure I don’t enroll in too many courses at once.  I think I burned myself out.

Wagyu Beef

Kobe beef, Matsusaka beef, Mishima beef.  These are the better-known types of wagyu beef, or simply Japanese beef.  Japanese beef known for its marbling and high fat content.  When you eat wagyu, it almost melts in your mouth.  It has a very high level of umami flavour.  You just keep wanting to eat it.  It is so delicious.

Tonight, I ate wagyu beef.  I had sukiyaki.  Now I feel heavy.  My stomach is a bit unsettled.  That’s what happens when you eat a lot of wagyu beef.  But it’s sooooo goooooooood!

But that’s not why I wanted to talk about wagyu beef.  I have a little bit of trivia for you.

Have you ever been to a restaurant in the US, Canada, or any other non-Japanese country that advertised Kobe beef?  Did you go in and try it?  Did you brag to your friends that you ate Kobe beef?  Well, guess what.  You probably didn’t eat Kobe beef. Before 2012, Kobe beef was not exported.  But some has been exported since then, though it’s still most likely that Kobe-style beef is served.  But if it was authentic Kobe beef, then congratulations.

So, I ate wagyu beef tonight.  I feel a bit blah, but it was sooooo gooooood!

Exploring new worlds, real and fictional.

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