2,000th Blog Post Q & A Extravaganza!

From the moment I started this blog until now, I have done 1,999 blog posts. This is the 2,000th blog post! A couple days ago, I asked you to ask me some questions for a major milestone, and this is it! It’s hard to believe that I’ve now made 2,000 blog posts.

So, let’s get into the questions. They’re not easy.

The first question comes from my sister, leeannarcher.

What is your favourite location on your world of Ariadne?

I can’t go into much detail about this, since I don’t have finalised names for a lot of the places, but I’d have to say for now, I like New Brasilia. It’s the second colonial site, and it’s situated on an inland sea in a tropical rain forest. It will eventually be a major city and a very important one in the series.

Next up are some questions from Myrea.

If you could be any animal in the world, which would it be and why?

Could you ask anything any more difficult? Well, I like living a long time, so I wouldn’t want to be a short-lived animal. I always thought I wanted to have a dog or cat’s life, but they don’t live long enough for me. Maybe a parrot. They live long, they can fly, and they can talk! That’s what I’d like to be.

What was your favourite book when you were a child?

The encyclopedia. And that’s the reason I named this blog I Read Encyclopedias for Fun.

Which “authors answer” is your favourite and which is your least favourite?

To be honest, I really, really loved #52, where I brought some much more established authors in to contribute for just one question. That was a lot of fun, mostly because I got to communicate with some well-known authors, even if they declined. Though this month has had some really fun Authors Answers. My least favourite is much more difficult, because I haven’t really thought about it. I don’t think I can answer that one.

Who do you look up to most in the author world? 

Also a difficult question. I have some favourites, but the one I was reading when I started developing my world is probably the one I look up to the most. But also partially because she is what got me into worldbuilding. And that is Anne McCaffrey, the author of the Pern series.

And finally, I got several questions from Gradmama2011!

If you could combine the best qualities of life in Japan and those in Canada, what would the combination be like?

Very interesting question! While both countries are quite similar in terms of quality of life, there are some things I prefer about Japan, and some I prefer about Canada. First of all, what I’d like from Japan are the transportation system and convenience stores. The way the transportation system is built make it so easy to get around quickly without relying on cars. I love the train system. As for convenience stores, there’s always one within a 5 minute walk from wherever you are. If I had to add anything else, I’d say that I love the atmosphere and history of the place. Oh, and the climate. And can’t forget the quality of customer service!

What I’d take from Canada are the friendliness of people, cost of health care and education, and central heating. People in Canada tend to be friendlier in public than in Japan. It’s real friendliness, while Japanese politeness is a social responsibility, and not genuine (a lot of the time, that is). People in Canada will say “hi” to strangers when walking down the street. That never happens in Japan’s big cities. Health care in Canada is free (paid for by taxes), but not in Japan. Our daughter’s birth cost a lot of money. In Canada, there would’ve been no cost to us. As for education, kindergarten is free in Canada, but not in Japan. Public school is free in both countries, but private schools and cram schools are extremely popular in Japan. I’m glad the public school system in Canada is good. And finally, central heating. I’m not cold in winter in Canada!

If it were up to you to choose what your daughter would be like when she is an adult, what would you prescribe for her?

First, I’ll just say that I would never choose how she would be as an adult. She’s her own person, so I want her to be her, not what we want her to be. But I would hope that she would be kind and considerate and go for what she desires. Life is short, so you should be able to live life to its fullest. I would also want her to be strong against any kind of discrimination or injustices.

When you sit down to write, do you have an idea in mind? Or do you just wing it and start out with what pops out? Do you keep a notebook or other list of things to write about?

Three questions in one! When I sit down to write, I always have an idea in mind, whether it’s my fiction or blog posts. I never wing it. However, I do let the story write itself, in a way. I don’t want to rigidly plan everything. I like it to flow naturally. And I do keep a notebook, but many of my notes are spread out between notebooks, my phone’s Notes app, my computer’s desktop, and a couple folders of loose papers.

If you were told that in 30 years you will be permitted to go out into space to a planet that is being colonized with Earth people…..how would you begin to prepare for that journey? You may take ten items besides clothing…what would they be?

Interesting question. Of course, it would be difficult for me to leave my family, unless they come with me. Hopefully, they aren’t one of the ten items. I would definitely make sure any loose ends are taken care of here on Earth. Ten things I would take:

  1. A Kindle filled with my entire to be read list.
  2. Computer
  3. Photo album of my life on Earth.
  4. A full set of Star Trek DVDs (or whatever format movies and TV series are sold on at that time).
  5. The player for those DVDs.
  6. A camera/video camera.
  7. A sketchpad
  8. Pencils
  9. A jetpack
  10. A personal water filter/bottle for when I go wandering and exploring the new world.

What if the people on the Colony all speak different languages, but otherwise are of similar age and educational background? Would that present a major problem for you?

I don’t think that would be much of a problem. I like languages, and have studied a small amount of several languages. I’d definitely study a lot more in the next 30 years, though. But I would wonder about a colony of people who are all around 70 years old. It would be unsustainable!

If it is up to you to decide who, what…etc. gets to go to the new planet, how would you decide? Lets say you have complete say-so, who gets to go, where they are from, what they know, all features. No relatives or friends…just all the people of the world to pick from.

I don’t care about where they’re from, but I would hope they’re all educated and have skills that are useful for a colony. They must have ambition, but are well-balanced and not power hungry. They’d need to pass psychiatric tests to make sure they are well-adjusted people. I’d like them all to be generous, excellent at teamwork, and not self-absorbed. I’d need a good balance of scientists, engineers, construction workers, farmers, teachers, planners, artists, architects, and doctors. Of course, there may be more kinds of people we need, but no politicians or career military. Some ability to use weapons for defense only may be required if there’s hostile life on the planet, though.

So, those are all the questions! Thank you everyone for all of your questions, and I especially thank all of my readers for coming here regularly. That’s 2,000 blog posts, and hopefully we can do something again when it reaches 3,000 (in about a year and a half, I think).

And of course, comments are always welcome! I look forward to reading them.

Big Q&A Post Coming! Need Questions!

Yesterday, I posted that a big milestone is approaching. Well, that milestone is coming so close that there are only a few hours left. And I only have one question asked! Not enough! So, please go to this post and ask me anything. Absolutely anything you like. Let’s make this a big Q&A. If not, I’ll have to think of something less interesting, and quite frankly, not as fun. So, what are you waiting for? If you’re reading this post, then you can definitely ask me a question. That means you, you, and you. And you, too.

And here’s a nice cloud picture.

Authors Answer 95 – The Personality Dealer

It’s the final story of the month. Can our authors bring us a compelling story to read? Would you buy it? This time, we’re dealing in personalities!

Check out last week’s winner for “Lessons of a Jolly Hermit“, Tracey Lynn Tobin!

So, let’s check out today’s story and then you decide whose is best in the poll at the end.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 95 – The Personality Dealer

Gregory S. Close

Science Fiction

Rory wanted something more from life.  Something exciting.  Something different.  But he couldn’t afford an upgrade from BASIC, not even an A4 Quirk or a back catalogue Recessive Trait, so he’d given up hope of moving up in the social hierarchy and out of his dead end job as a doctor.  Celebrity wasn’t meant for everyone.

Then Magnus Cain shows up on the clinic doorstep, bloody, paranoid and on the run from the law, and he brings with him the hope of something more.  Once a lowly, unaltered med school peon like Rory, Magnus’ career at PsychCorp took an illegal – and highly profitable – turn when he started dealing in high end augments to powerful Celebs.  But Magnus is in trouble.  He’ll need Rory’s help if he’s going to close the biggest score of his career… and Rory will need Magnus’ help, and just a little personality, to survive!

Eric Wood

The Personality Dealer is a fantasy about a being who is responsible for handing out personalities to children before they are born. However, when the being accidentally hands out two wrong personalities it could mean World War III.

Jean Davis

The Personality Dealer is a paranormal novel set in Los Vegas. Sometimes fate deals you a hand you have to live with, other times it’s a card from Lucy Butler’s deck. Down on her luck, Lucy turns from tarot card reading to dealing poker to pay her mounting bills. When a magical deck finds its way to her table, Lucy finds she can not only begin to repair her dismal credit score, but also fix the lives of others.

Elizabeth Rhodes

“The Personality Dealer,” a dark fantasy set in Medieval England. The “fairy godmother” is a myth; everyone knows the job of Personality Dealer is a more serious and powerful undertaking. A Dealer is responsible for shaping newborn children into decent – or sometimes, indecent – human beings. One young mother, afraid her son’s personality is defective, seeks her old Dealer to ask for a new one.

D. T. Nova

Urban fantasy

Present day Chicago

Hate your personality? Trade it in for a new one. But the prices are suspiciously low, and no one knows what the dealer actually does with the used personalities.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Genre: Horror/Thriller

Setting: Modern-Day American Suburbia

Have you ever wished that you were braver? Cleverer? More outgoing? The Personality Dealer has you covered, with hundreds of thousands of personality traits to pick and choose from. But remember: everything comes with a price, and the Dealer always collects his payment.

Paul B. Spence

Genre: Western

Setting: American West 19th Century

Summary: Joseph had found out the hard way that most of the outlaws and thieves he was forced to rub shoulders with in the small mining town of Silverpaw lacked much in the way of personality. He was going to change that, even if he had to do it with an iron fist, a six shooter, and a badge.

Jay Dee Archer

Genre: Science Fiction

Setting: 21st century North America

In a day when unemployment is high and competition for jobs is fierce, Katrina Curry has a stranglehold on the newest field of employment. She is a personality dealer. But when a homeless man comes in after receiving a generous donation from a mysterious benefactor, the personality alteration procedure goes very wrong. Now she must go after a homicidal nymphomaniac or face prison time herself.

How about you?

Now it’s your turn. Choose a book that you think should be written. Which best fits the title “The Personality Dealer” in your mind? Vote below, then leave a comment explaining your choice.

Big Milestone Approaching! Ask Me Anything

This blog has a big milestone coming up, and I thought I’d do something a bit different for it. I’d like to do a Q & A. This will happen on Saturday night, so you only have two days to ask me questions!

What exactly is this milestone? I’ll tell you on Saturday. It might surprise you. But in the meantime, the comments section is at your disposal. You can ask me anything. And I mean anything. Whether I answer the question or not depends on if it’s too personal or inappropriate.

So, ask away! I want a lot of questions, so please share this post. I’m looking forward to your questions.

My Reading Challenges

I’ve talked about my reading challenges before, but not quite like this. This time, I’ve asked the Booktube community on YouTube for some help, since they’re a different group of people, though they tend to enjoy reading more young adult books than anything. But I asked anyway! Here’s the video.

Since I’ve asked before, here is the list I compiled from my blog readers. If you have more suggestions, that would be great! Let me know in the comments section.

150 Subscribers on YouTube!

Well, I have a milestone to share. I now have more than 150 subscribers on YouTube! Feels like I was celebrating 100 not too long ago. Actually, it’s at 153 now. And I have another milestone coming soon, but it’s about this blog. More on that when it happens. It will be soon!

So, of course, I made a video talking about making 150 subscribers, but I talked mostly about future plans for my channel. I have a lot I want to do, and I hope to do something very important: increase audience retention. My goal is to get to the point and make things faster. No rambling at the beginning. Stop with introductions about what different series are about. I’ll mention that at the end of the video. And I need to inject some humour into my videos. The worst performing videos are my Star Trek ones. They have poor audience retention, so I need to do something that’ll make them more entertaining. Maybe more cut takes with some poor acting on my part.

Anyway, here is the video! And please watch to the end. My daughter has a very profound message for you.

If you’ve been watching my videos, do you have any feedback for me? I’m always looking to improve them, increase audience retention, and increase subscribers. And if you haven’t done so, please subscribe! Comments in the comments section below, please!

Proxima Centauri b – Our Newest Neighbour

This is the biggest exoplanet news ever. 4.25 light years away, a tiny red dwarf star has revealed something extremely important: a potentially Earth-like planet. The ESO announced today that they have discovered a planet orbiting the nearest star to our solar system, Proxima Centauri.

Artist's impression of Proxima Centauri b. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser. Source.
Artist’s impression of Proxima Centauri b. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser. Source.

So, how big is this planet? At least 1.3 times the size of Earth, or possibly up to 3 Earths. This would mean it’s either an Earth-like planet or a Super Earth. It is most likely to be terrestrial and due to its proximity to its star, it’s tidally locked. One side always faces its star. However, it’s in that very special place in a star’s orbit where liquid water can exist. That’s the good thing. The bad thing is that ultraviolet and X-rays from Proxima Centauri could make the surface of the planet potentially uninhabitable. With that being said, life could thrive below the surface.

What would it be like on the planet, though? The side facing the star would be hot and blasted by radiation. The side facing away from the star would probably be extremely cold, possibly covered in ice. The area that’s perpetually at sunset would be the most habitable and comfortable. If there’s a significant atmosphere, then temperatures could be stabilised all around the planet, and likely to be a constant wind flowing from the day side to the night side.

Breakthrough Starshot, a project started by billionaire Yuri Milner, physicist Stephen Hawking, and others, now has a destination. This project, designed to send tiny probes at 20% the speed of light into interstellar space, could reach Proxima Centauri b in only 20 years, then another 4.25 years to transmit data back to the Earth. The probes would take pictures and send them back. However, the estimated launch date is 2060, so many of us today would unlikely get to see this. Well, I plan to be around in 2084. I’ll only be 107 years old. I want to see this planet!

This has a lot of people excited, including me. I really want to know more about this planet. I wish we could go now. To see the surface of a world orbiting another star would be the dream of any astronomer or astronomy enthusiast. This is big!

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

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