A Big 300! The Jay Dee Show 9

My main channel reached a big milestone. 300 subscribers! And then after that, the number of subscribers increased fairly quickly. 13 new subscribers in a week! Things are looking pretty good.

On my main channel, I was able to post 8 videos, which is more than usual.

We start off with my daughter’s questionable sense of humour in a library book haul.

And then we get to the 300 subscriber video. Actually, part 1! It’s a special video where I talk about some of my best stories from Japan.

The next day, I posted part 2, which has some more stories from my life in Japan.

With the end of the month, I talked about my November Wrap Up, what I read during the month.

And then it was the books I plan to read in December, my TBR video.

Then I followed that up with a brief video, showing my failed attempt to go up Tokyo Skytree.

As usual, Friday had the Retro Book Review, this time The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

And last, I talked about what would stop me from writing in Authors Answer.

On to my vlog channel now. I’m still behind in posting videos, but I’m attempting to catch up. Some videos are covering two to three days at times.

I had an issue with the internet one night, and complained about it in a vlog.

And then I did a lot of walking one day. Most of this vlog was outside.

And finally, my daughter had  performance at her Japanese school. Although I don’t show the performance, I talk a lot about it. And there’s a zamboni!

That’s it for this week! If you have a favourite video, please let me know in the comments section below. I also invite you to subscribe to my channels so you can see them as I upload them. Thanks for watching!

Authors Answer 109 – Seasonal Writing

Winter is coming. I’m not talking about A Game of Thrones. The seasons are changing. Weather and seasons can affect what people do and how they do them. But can seasons affect writing? That’s what we talk about this time.

img_3296Question 109: How do seasons and weather affect your writing?

H. Anthe Davis

I’ve spent the majority of my series in either autumn or winter (mostly winter now), so it’s not so much that the seasons affect my writing as that my writing affects my perceived season.  I live in the desert, okay, so it’s never actually winter here — not as I knew it when I lived in New England — but the story has kept New England-style winter trapped in my head for several years now, to the point that I actually forgot what season it was while I was talking to my boss once in October.  I’ve gotten seasonally displaced like that a few times, just in my mind — I don’t walk around in winter clothes in July or anything.  But if you asked me what season it was off-the-cuff, while I was distracted, I might blurt that out no matter the month.

C E Aylett

Massively, actually. I get most of my writing done in winter. I live in a really rural area, jobs are seasonal, and not a great deal happens in the darker months because most people live out in country lanes and don’t want to drive 10kms to get to a bar (which they can’t guarantee will even be open). And it’s just too cosy in front of the wood burners! But I love it. When I get fixed on a project it’s all I want to do. Plus no one nags me to get out and get some sunlight as it rains so much and so heavily, so I’m practically hibernated.

In the summer I get nothing done on writing projects. The world and his wife arrive to their holiday homes, family and friends come to visit, there’s an event going on every other day and a million invites to dinner. Not least, the kids are off school for a whole two months — ten weeks some years! I get quite grrrowly that I can’t write, even though it’s something I should anticipate by now. I keep up with my editorial commitments at The Colored Lens, though.

I should have a ‘Beware of the Writer’ sign up in my front window, and a scalped crocodile’s skull to back it up. Basically, for the safety of the public, I need a camper van so I can drive off somewhere quiet. I’m working on that plan. Seriously.

Beth Aman

It depends.  Sometimes, summer or Christmas break means I have tons of time (and motivation) to write.  Other times they seem to mess me up.  Really, it just comes down to me being committed to my story and making time to write.  Or my story being loud enough in my head that I have to write it whether I’ve made time or not.

D. T. Nova

I definitely write better in the summer, and think that whoever decided that NaNoWriMo should be November (which is often the most stressful month) made a mistake.

Despite barely being able to see light from outside from where I write, I still write better when it’s sunny, though there’s no impact if it’s just cloudy or raining for the day. Extended periods without sunlight are what weaken my ability to get motivated.

Eric Wood

The seasons don’t really affect my writing. Other than I might write more in the winter when it’s cold and dark.

Jean Davis

In the few weeks of spring and summer when the weather is nice, I just want to be outside. That means I don’t get much writing done. But as far as the dark of winter or rainy days, weather doesn’t affect me. My writing room doesn’t have windows so it’s always comfortable, sunny creative time in here.

Elizabeth Rhodes

They honestly don’t.  When I was an active participant in NaNo I could really get in to the spirit around autumn.  Now, I can procrastinate all year long.

Paul B. Spence

In oh so many ways. Since I’ve broken most of the bones of the bones in my body more than once each… rainy weather and cold seasons are not my friends. Also, as an archaeologist, I often spend nice days outside working. You can see how this would make writing difficult sometimes.

Cyrus Keith

Well, that’s a hard one to answer, to be honest. I might think that summer gives me a little more freedom to do outdoor things with the family. But once I’m in the Zone, that’s pretty much it, no matter what it’s doing outside.

Gregory S. Close

I think the weather can affect my mood in good or bad ways, which can then have an impact on the style or content of writing.  I wrote a lot of winter scenes while buried under a snowstorm in Boston, but then again – also wrote a lot of the same while living on a tropical island under swaying palm trees.  The experience of the seasons and climates is definitely a plus, though.  Although a lot of writing comes strictly from imagination, having direct experience with tropical storms or blizzards or tornados does hep describe them all with a little added nuance and realism.

Jay Dee Archer

When I lived in Japan, the seasons definitely affected how I wrote. When it was winter, thanks to the poor insulation in typical Japanese apartments, I tended not to write much at all. When I write, I want to be comfortable. I need to be at a comfortable temperature, and I can’t concentrate on writing when I’m cold. I’m able to do a lot more in other seasons. Now that I’m in Canada, and it’s warm inside in winter, the effect should be a lot less.  The main difference is how much privacy I can get. In summer, my daughter’s off from school, so she’s around a lot more.

How about you?

If you write, how do the seasons affect you? If you read, do you read more or less in different seasons or weather? Let us know in the comments below.


Month in Review – November 2016

What a strange month. The numbers were not what I expected. I continued with posting once a day, but that didn’t hurt the numbers at all. In fact, this month had the third highest number of visitors for the year, but the second lowest in terms of views. But that’s not where the strangeness ends. November ended with 1,633 followers, a respectable increase of 59.

November Stats

November was the second slowest month of the year in terms of views. That was not unexpected. But it was still better than October. The average number of views per day was 76, which is the second worst of the year. Only 3 out of 30 days reached 100 views, which is a slight improvement. The best day was November 2nd with 112 views. The total number of views in November was 2,290, the 26th month in a row over 2,000. November ended with 95,563 views. There were 32 posts in November, bringing it to a total of 2,142.

In November, there were 221 comments, which was very low. That brings it to a total of 16,499.

The top ten countries were:

  1. United States (1,029 views)
  2. Canada (256 views)
  3. India (176 views)
  4. United Kingdom (146 views)
  5. Japan (83 views)
  6. Australia (73 views)
  7. Germany (39 views)
  8. Netherlands (34 views)
  9. Sweden (27 views)
  10. Philippines (21 views)

Top Posts

The top five (six) posts of November were:

  1. Authors Answer 108 – Bad Advice for Writers (35 views)
  2. International Science Centre and Science Museum Day (34 views)
  3. Really, Americans? (32 views)
  4. Authors Answer 107 – Our Works in Progress (31 views)
  5. Authors Answer 106 – What Authors Learn (29 views)
  6. Authors Answer 105 – New Knowledge Wishlist (29 views)

The most popular post written before November was Authors Answer 104 – Best Advice for Authors, which had a whopping 183 views.

For the first time ever, the majority of views on the blog were from older posts. This means that the older content is now enough to carry the blog. What concerns me is that my posts from this month didn’t gain many views. This is partly my fault, again with the lack of engagement in social media, delays in responding to comments, timing of my posts, and too many generic posts. December is going to be different. Let’s take a look at the posts that didn’t do well, and I feel they deserve another look:


Nothing done. Need to get on this in December.

Social Media

On Twitter, I have 3,684 followers, which is a very small increase of 26.  I follow 3,687, which is up by 76. I finished with 9,872 tweets, with 203 coming in November. I need to manage Twitter better.

On YouTube, I uploaded 30 videos in November.  I have 302 subscribers, which is an increase of 34 from last month.  The month ended with 20,663 views, which is an increase of 1,751. It was a better month, an improvement on October.

On Facebook, my author page has 85 followers, which is an increase of 3.

On Patreon, I have 0 patrons contributing $0 per month. I don’t expect much until I really start to promote it.

Looking Ahead to December

I’m taking a completely different approach to December. This is the month I return to what worked well before. I will be trying to move away from video digests (I’ll still have the weekly one, which does reasonably well) and back to what I used to do a lot of. This includes:

  • Book reviews done in a timely manner
  • Worldbuilding posts, which tended to be fairly popular
  • Quick Facts posts, focusing on the moons of the solar system again
  • An author interview

Something I plan on expanding is the TV reviews. I already do Star Trek episode reviews, but I also plan on doing other science fiction and fantasy TV and movie reviews. But not episode by episode, just season or series reviews for TV.

As for social media, I’m going to do a big cleanup on Twitter for people who I follow, but don’t follow me. There are a lot who follow me only to get followers, then immediately unfollow as soon as I follow. I’ll be weeding those people out. I don’t appreciate people who do that. When I follow someone on Twitter, it’s because I have an interest in following them. If they follow me first, and I return the follow, I expect they want to follow me. However, if they unfollow me immediately, I unfollow them. I really don’t like those tactics. Follow because you want to follow, not because you want followers.

Another thing I need to do is comment on other blogs. I need to get back to doing that.


NaNoWriMo 2016 turned into my worst one yet. I managed to write 254 words, then I just couldn’t seem to get anything else done. let’s look at the reasons.


I had very little privacy. I can’t write upstairs, because the TV is on, and I’m never alone in the room. I couldn’t write in the kitchen, because it was a high traffic area. And whenever I was able to go down there, it was only for a short time while my daughter was at school.


I worked more than usual this month. I had less private time at home. And if I had time at night, I was usually too tired to concentrate on writing.

Getting in the Zone

Because of the first two issues, I was unable to get into the zone. I couldn’t concentrate like I wanted to.

So, this was not a very good NaNoWriMo. But really, I prefer to write without the pressure. And if I can get my own space and be able to go in there at any time to write, that’ll allow me to relax and write like I want to.

How was your NaNoWriMo? Did you succeed? Let me know in the comments.

About December

So, December is almost upon us.

I have plans for December. I talked about how I plan to get back to the basics before. December is the month I start to do it. I have a pretty solid plan for it. Now, keep in mind that my work schedule is pretty heavy during the holidays, so I will be working longer hours and more days than usual then. Regardless, I’ll maintain a post a day. But what I post about will be back to the roots of this blog. This is what to expect:

  • Five book reviews. That’s right, five.
  • An author interview.
  • Resuming Quick Facts Astronomy.
  • And at least one worldbuilding post.

I really want to get back to doing these things. It’s part of what gave this blog its character. I also plan on doing something else new. You know I’ve been doing Star Trek episode reviews. Well, I plan on doing reviews of full seasons of different TV shows and movies. Coming soon will be season 1 of The Walking Dead, as it’s pretty short, and I just have two more episodes to watch.

Are you looking forward to December? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Can No Man’s Sky Be Salvaged?

It’s been nearly three months since I’ve played No Man’s Sky. It’s gone through some major issues with losing most of its players, many people complaining about false advertising, and a game that seems to have no direction. Well, it’s finally being updated! It’s called the Foundation Update, which adds many features, such as the ability to construct bases, build and operate freighters, hire alien workers for your base, and more. And these are some of the things that were originally promised. What’s even more interesting is that this isn’t the biggest update to come.

Check out this video about the updates. Don’t mind the people in the video. They always joke around about the games.

Will I resume playing it? Of course! I want to see how it’s been improved. Unfortunately, the update is buggy, as my sister has found out already. But they should be ironed out. But I’m not particularly interested in spending all my time building things. I still want to explore every planet I discover. That’s what I like about the game, despite its issues.

Is anyone considering playing again? Let me know in the comments below.

Week in Review – November 27, 2016

A very contemplative week. I’ve had a lot of time off from work, and I’ve had a lot to think about regarding writing, videos, and more. So, what exactly happened? Let’s find out!


I finished The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N. K. Jemisin! Nice to finish another book. I started reading The Martian, by Andy Weir, and I’m now 6% finished. After I read that, I’ll watch the movie. Enjoying it so far.


With NaNoWriMo finishing this week, I won’t be able to do much in the way of writing. This was actually my worst NaNo! Oh well.


Some milestones were reached! I achieved 20,000 views on my main channel! I tend to get more views on YouTube than on the blog, yet I have fewer subscribers on YouTube. It was a slow week on my vlog channel, though. I had some trouble a couple times. So, I published 7 videos on my main channel and just 4 on my vlog channel. My main channel reached 300 subscribers in the past 24 hours, and will have a special 300 subscriber video tomorrow! Actually, it ended up being too long, so it’s a 2 part video, which will go up over the next 2 days.


Nothing. Major revamp coming very soon!


After my daughter’s performance at her Japanese school’s play, I feel like I want to focus on Japanese again.

The Blog

Nothing really special happened, but I’ve been noticing the stats are very interesting. I have no blog posts in the top 7 or 8 for views this month. All of the top performing posts are from previous months. This is the first time that old blog posts carry most of the views for my blog. Not only that, with only one post per day, it’s actually outperforming last month in stats! That is very interesting. December will also be only one post a day, but I should return to twice a day in January. Going to focus a lot on established series on my blog, worldbuilding, reviews, interviews, and more! And a big welcome back to some science posts.



The Next Week’s Goals

With the end of the month coming, I have some regular end of month things to do: Month in Review blog post and the monthly wrap-up and TBR videos. I keep telling myself that I’ll be writing reviews. I need to do that. And I’ll also be doing more experimenting with SEO, as well as doing some new thumbnails for my YouTube channel.

How was your week?

The official blog of Jay Dee Archer. Exploring new worlds, real and fictional.