Office Update, Beards, and Fantasy

Video update here! In fact, I have two videos for you. First of all, an update to the office. It’s ready for me to use and I should be using it tomorrow. Take a look.

Second, the theme of beards continues, and I talk a bit about beards, fantasy, and authors with beards.

Mine is getting shaved off tomorrow. What do you think? Who has the better beard, Patrick Rothfuss or George R. R. Martin? Discuss in the comments below.

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Should You Directly Sell Your Books on Social Media?

When you go on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, do you enjoy reading ads? Probably not. This has been one of my main problems with how I use social media. That’s changing, and I’ve seen the results. While I do publicize my blog posts on social media, I’ve been sharing/retweeting others’ posts, as well as just talking and socialising on social media. On Twitter, that’s resulted in more than doubling the rate at which I gain followers. I don’t use it as an advertising platform anymore. I found this recording of a Google Hangout by Author Hub, and it has some good advice about using social media to sell books.

What do you think? And how do you like Ashley Hewitt’s moustache? Let me know in the comments below.

Choose My Best Instagram Photos – Round 1, Group 38

I’ve finished adding Japan photos to Instagram, so it’ll be capped at 63 groups for the first round. Once we finish group 63, we’ll move on to the second round, which will be randomly sorted photos that passed the first round. It’ll basically be the same format.

But now, on to the 38th group. This time, you get to see trains, buildings, and darkness. Enjoy!

The rules are simple. I post 10 of my Instagram photos every few days, and you get to vote on your favourites. It’s multiple choice, so please vote for 2 to 4 photos (3 is ideal). Leave a comment saying why you voted the way you did. The poll comes after the photos.

Here are the photos:

¥100 only

A post shared by Jay Dee Archer (@jaydeejapan) on

Sotetsu train car 7

A post shared by Jay Dee Archer (@jaydeejapan) on

Marker in the station

A post shared by Jay Dee Archer (@jaydeejapan) on

Sotetsu Shonandai Station Staff

A post shared by Jay Dee Archer (@jaydeejapan) on

Hina Matsuri is today

A post shared by Jay Dee Archer (@jaydeejapan) on

Cyclist in the fog

A post shared by Jay Dee Archer (@jaydeejapan) on

Remember 311

A post shared by Jay Dee Archer (@jaydeejapan) on

Venus and Jupiter meeting

A post shared by Jay Dee Archer (@jaydeejapan) on

Venus and Jupiter up close

A post shared by Jay Dee Archer (@jaydeejapan) on

Walkways in the sky

A post shared by Jay Dee Archer (@jaydeejapan) on

 

And now the vote. Please vote for your favourite photos (ideally 3, but anywhere between 2 and 4):

Please leave a comment with a reason for your votes. I’d like to know what works with my photography. Thanks!

Is It Easy to Restart Sports After Many Years?

The last time I rode a bicycle was in 2005. The last time I went swimming was in 1996. The last time I went skating was in 2011. The last time I went skiing was in 1993.

This week, I’m going swimming for the first time in twenty years. In 2010, I went skating for the first time in 17 years. I’m going to go skating later this year. But is it easy to get back into it?

When I went skating in 2010, I used rental skates in Japan, and I had a bit of a difficult time at first. My ankles weren’t as strong as they used to be. That or I was heavier than I used to be. Well, I skated for a couple hours, finding that I was getting back into it fairly easily, other than the muscle strain. A year later, I went skating again, and it was much easier. I wonder how it’ll be later this year when I teach my daughter to skate.

But this week, the pool at the local recreation centre is finally reopening after some construction/repairs. It’s been twenty years since I’ve gone swimming. I wonder how well I’ll do. When I swam, I was more interested in just having fun. But this time, I want to swim laps, as well as have fun. Thankfully, the pools are open for public swimming many hours every day of the week. I’m looking forward to it.

Have you returned to a sport after many years? How well did you do? Let me know in the comments below.

Week in Review – May 29, 2016

Another week down, more stuff happened. Of course stuff happened, but not everything I hoped to happen happened. But let’s see what actually did happen!

Reading

I’m at 41% at Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds still. I set a new reading order for the new books I received last week, though.

Writing

Turns out I didn’t get any writing done. Caught a cold, and haven’t felt up to it. I’m getting over it, though. I’m going to work on the office tomorrow morning and then I can start writing.

Patreon

A week after starting up Patreon, it’s still at $0. But then, I haven’t had any writing done, which is something that should help. Of course, if you are interested in supporting me, then please head on over to my Patreon page!

Languages

I finally got back into studying again. I did a bit of Esperanto this week.

Canada

My wife’s English lessons have started. We also started exercising at the local recreation centre. This week, the pools should open.

Videos

I got a new video out, and it’s a look at the state of my office. As I said above, I’m going to start working on it tomorrow.

The Blog

I’ve been talking more about writing and books in the past week. I’ve also been focusing a lot on social media, especially Twitter. I’ve seen an increase in the following rate in the past week, which is nice to see.

Studying

I actually signed up for a couple free courses on FutureLearn, one about the British Empire, the other about Japanese philosophy. Sound interesting?

The Next Week’s Goals

Go swimming. At least twice. And I intend on getting my daughter swimming, too. I also plan on writing and getting the next three parts of Journey to Ariadne up for critiques, so I can edit them. I will also be working on the outline of Knights of Ariadne, my first novel. Hoping for a good chance to edit a new video, one that should’ve been made two months ago.

How was your week.

You’re Probably Using Too Much Space After a Period

periodspacingI’ve been doing it wrong. Actually, I know I’ve been doing it wrong for a long time. You see the space after the period in these sentences? Double spaced. It used to be pretty standard. It was used to make sentences appear more separated. I was taught to do it that way.

You see, I was taught to type on a typewriter. When I started typing in school, we didn’t use computers with word processors. We used electric typewriters. And since their wasn’t variable spacing for the letters, and we only had one font, we used a double space after the periods. I got used to doing that.

These days, word processing software has made this obsolete. In fact, using a single space has been standard for many years. There was no need for me to learn to use a double space. But over the years, I was using a double space because that’s what I was taught and I was used to. Out of habit, I’d been using double spaces while knowing it was wrong.

Now, I’m typing with single spaces after the period. What about you? Do you use single or double spaces?

Doing Art for Ariadne and More

If you read my story for the A to Z Challenge, you may remember the art I did for the first couple stories. I found it a little difficult to maintain that, since some of the stories were kind of difficult to draw. However, I do like to draw quite a bit, and will be doing a lot of concept art for Ariadne. Here are examples of what I drew for the challenge.

Cloud Tree
Cloud Tree
The Column of Ariadne
The Column of Ariadne
Chisel and Wood
Chisel and Wood

They’re pencil art, but I can do pen, as well as adding colour. The above pictures were sketches done in less than thirty minutes. If I take my time, I can make them look much better.

One of the rewards I have for Patreon is an advanced look at any concept art and sketches I do, as well as the chance to get an original drawing based on Ariadne.

But that’s not all, I’m interested in doing some science, science fiction, and fantasy style artwork that’s not related to Ariadne.

Any of you do art? Have any online? Let me know in the comments below.