Blog Spotlight – lindaghill | Life in progress

Linda G. Hill is the only blogger/author I have actually met in person. And so her blog is next! She actually has two blogs, one is a more general one that includes a lot of writing, while the other one is completely dedicated to her writing. I’ll be doing her more general blog, lindaghill | Life in progress.

lindaghillAt first glance, you can see a neutral background with a very nice header image that makes you feel like you want to walk around that neighbourhood.  You can see that she talks about several topics.

The menu at the top contains the usual About Me, but also Boy Series – One Through…, Life, Parenting, Poetry, and On Writing. You can see most of it is about writing.

The About Me page gives you a brief bio, photo, and some links to social media and her fiction writing blog…and 402 comments!

The Boy Series menu option takes you to her fiction writing blog, and part one of a series called One Poor Boy.

The other menu options, Life, Parenting, Poetry, and On Writing, take you to the category pages for those topics. She is, of course, a parent, so you can read about that, as well as life in general. And finally, you can read some of her poetry and writing topics.

Her fiction blog, inspiration in progress, focuses more on her writing. She recently completed a full year of writing a scene every day. You can read her post about this accomplishment here.

So go on over and take a look at both blogs. There’s a lot to read, and I’m sure you won’t get bored.

Personal message to Linda

Linda, thanks for being a big supporter of mine, and of course, for taking part in Authors Answer. I look forward to more of your comments, posts, and answers in the future. Also, enjoy your trip to Japan!

Dear Teacher

It’s that time of year. The kids go back to school. I thought I’d share a post made by Eric, aka stomperdad. He’s a parent who understands what teachers go through.

All In A Dad's Work

Dear Teacher,

Today is your first day of school, again. Though, I know today really isn’t your first day. You have been at inservices enhancing your teaching methods. Those inservices, which use up your precious classroom time. A time you use to get your classrooms in order. Figure out your desk arrangement and where to sit your new, eager learners even though you nothing about them. A time you use to decorate your walls, bulletin boards and chalk boards. This, I know, is no easy feat. But you’re creative, you’ll have no trouble. Your walls and boards will be adorned with bright colors and all things educational. Regardless of the all meetings and inservices, your classroom will be open, ready, and eager for new learners.

Those inservices that use up your precious planning time. You get very little of it in a normal day. So little, in fact, that you…

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But That’s Not My Name

My name is not very common. Jay Dee Archer.  Well, there is an American who’s been in trouble with the law, but I think his name is hyphenated.  But aside from him, I don’t think you’ll find anyone with the same name as me.

It seems everyone gets my name wrong when they first meet me.  In elementary school, I always had to correct the teacher. It’s not Jay, it’s Jay Dee. This continued all through junior high school and high school.

Then I come to Japan. I’ve been called Dee Jay, Joy, Jamie, Joy Dee, you name it.  Many thought Dee was my last name.  As a foreigner in Japan, it’s also not easy to convey the pronunciation of my name to others.  Typed out in Japanese, it’s アーチャー ジェイディー, or Archer Jay Dee.  But today, I went to get my annual health checkup done, and they had my name as アーチャー ジェイビー, or Archer Jay Bee. They kept calling me Jay Bee.

But I guess my name is unique enough to attract some attention. Think it’s good for an author’s name? Or do I need a pen name?

Does anyone get your name wrong?

I Can’t Eat!

I have doctor’s orders not to eat. It’s not because I’m sick or anything. I have my annual health checkup tomorrow morning.

In Japan, we’re often required to get a medical checkup every year for our job. It’s a pretty easy process. Basically, I can’t eat anything after 9 pm the night before the checkup. I can only drink water. At the checkup, I first have to pee in a cup for a urine test. That’ll check for things like blood sugar level. Then they take a chest x-ray. After that, there’s height, weight, and measuring the waist. Then it’s on to blood pressure, hearing test, and checking eyesight. Finally, it’s a very brief talk with the doctor about any existing conditions, and listening to the heart and lungs.

If I was 35 or 40 and over, I’d also have to have an ECG and blood test.

If all goes well, I’ll be done quickly, but I can’t guarantee that. I’ll be glad when it’s done.

Journalist Judges Terry Pratchett’s Books Without Reading Any of Them

Jonathan Jones has just shown himself to be a poor journalist. Absolute garbage. He’s an art writer for the Guardian, and he wrote about how Terry Pratchett was just a mediocre writer who he never intends to read, and that a big deal is only being made about him because he died earlier this year. What?

Terry Pratchett is one of the best selling fantasy authors in history! He’s just behind three other authors, who are all heavyweights in fantasy writing: J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, and C. S. Lewis. Even before he died, a big deal was being made about him. His witty satire is some of the best and funniest fantasy I’ve ever read.

Jones says he’s not a literary genius. How does he know? How can he boldly state that without ever reading even one of his books? That’s like an art critic saying he doesn’t like Picasso without even looking at a single painting of his. It’s like saying you don’t like the burgers at Five Guys without ever trying their burgers. You cannot judge something while being totally ignorant of it at the same time.

Honestly, Jonathan Jones should just retract that piece of garbage he calls an article. He chose Terry Pratchett simply because he died this year, and a lot of people made a big deal about it, while other authors recently died and not much was said about them. You see, Gunter Grass was a “true titan of the novel.” Terry Pratchett was not, because…well, just because. Actually, because he thinks that Discworld is just light reading, so it’s not real literature. If he’d actually pick up a Discworld novel and read it, he may find that it’s very intelligent. And it most certainly is. It also tackles a lot of social issues, takes on a lot of different styles, and continues to be very engaging and entertaining. I guess he doesn’t think it’s ambitious writing. It’s lazy writing. Far from it.

It irritates me when someone judges something without actually knowing a single thing about it. Jonathan Jones, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Sam Jordison, another writer for The Guardian, and someone who actually is in the publishing industry, wrote a rebuttal. You can read it here.

What do you think of this situation? And what do you think of Terry Pratchett?

Have You Ever Created a Religion?

L. Ron Hubbard created a religion. He made a fortune off of it. He was a science fiction author. Like any new religions, it’s highly controversial. But what about in fiction?

It’s quite common for fantasy authors to create religions for their worlds. Since they are totally original worlds that usually have no link to our world, their religions are extremely likely to also be original. The author has complete creative control over the religions, and can make them as conventional, bizarre, or extreme as they like. And they’ll often form the basis of the world’s culture, magic system, and even interfere with what happens in the world.

In science fiction, real religions are already available, but over time, religions tend to change or branch off into cults or new denominations. It’s happened in the past, and it’ll happen in the future. Many of the science fiction novels I’ve read deal with religion of the future extensively (Hyperion with Christianity, Reality Dysfunction with multiple religions, and Dune with its far future mix of Buddhism and Islam).

What I’m doing with Ariadne is no different. There are three religions I have already created: a form of militant fundamentalist Christianity, a kind of mix of Christianity and Neo-Paganism, and something entirely new that develops out of an obsession with Earth.

Have you ever created a religion?

Month in Review – August 2015

What July didn’t have, August had plenty of. I was disappointed in July, but like last year, August rebounded, and in a big way. Not only did the stats improve, it became one of the best months yet. It reached a new milestone, as well: 50,000 views. This month ended with 1,051 followers, up by 50, my best increase in a long time.

August Stats

August was up and down, with some great highs and some mediocre lows. As for the highs, 18 out of 31 days were over 100 views, some of them pretty high. In fact, 4 days reached 150 (almost 5 days) views. The average views per day was 108, which was the second best, after January’s remarkable run. The busiest day was August 18th with 169 views. In August, there were 3,361 views, the 11th in a row over 2,000, and the 5th time it went over 3,000. The total views at the end of August were 51,069. There were 64 posts in August, bringing it to a total of 1,251.

The month ended with 8,787 comments with 808 coming in August, which is the busiest it has ever been by a wide margin.

The top 10 countries were:

  1. United States (1,901 views)
  2. Canada (394 views)
  3. Japan (278 views)
  4. United Kingdom (272 views)
  5. Australia (58 views)
  6. India (28 views)
  7. Germany (27 views)
  8. Norway (27 views)
  9. France (27 views)
  10. Spain (21 views)

Top Posts

The top 5 posts in August were quite popular. At least the top 3 were. These are the top 6, though.

  1. Reaching Out to the World (209 views)
  2. You’re Japanese? My Daughter’s Future (156 views)
  3. Authors Answer 42 – To Be PC or Not to Be PC (106 views)
  4. Disney Japan, What Were You Thinking? (59 views)
  5. 1,000 Follower Celebration: Meet and Greet (57 views)
  6. Authors Answer 43 – Promoting the Book (57 views)

My most popular post written before August was exactly the same as last time, INTJ – An Analysis of My Personality with 272 views. This is slightly up from July.

These are some posts that I think deserve some more attention. Please check them out.


I should have had one done. I didn’t get around to doing it, but I will soon. I finished that very long book finally, so look for it soon.

Social Media

On Twitter, I have 2,825 followers, which is an increase of 81.  I follow 2,725, which is up by 5. I did a little purge of some I was following that haven’t updated in months. I finished with 7,461 tweets, with 213 coming in August.

On YouTube, I uploaded no videos in August.  I have 39 subscribers, an increase of 1 since last month.  The month ended with 8,188 views, which is a small increase of 100. I’ll be making a lot more videos coming soon with content about Japan, especially on location in October.

Looking Ahead to September

Hard to beat August. Things are getting busier at home, so I hope I can keep up with everything. I’d love to top August, though.

Expect a review, that’s for sure. I’d like to finish another book and get a second review in, too.

Writing has slowed down a lot, but I don’t expect a lot of writing to be done until after our move to Canada next year. But who knows? Maybe I’ll get some done this month. And maybe I’ll do some critiquing so I can have Journey to Ariadne parts 4-6 critiqued and edited.

There may be videos coming this month, as well. I’m going to get my channel back up to speed, especially because I’ll be taking a lot of videos when my sister is here in October. I’ll have a lot of videos to show about different places.

I started something new with blog spotlights last month, so that will continue. Authors Answer will continue, this time with the return of Elizabeth Rhodes. And I’m working on something behind the scenes that you won’t see at all this month, but you’ll get to see next month. Also, expect more Astronomy Quick Facts, and hopefully a start to Geography Quick Facts.

I’ve started participating on Reddit recently, so if you’re there, you may see me, especially in the fantasy and scifi subreddits.

I’m looking forward to how September goes. It should be another interesting month!