Category Archives: Blog

So Much Happening!

I am not dead! But I feel like I’ve mostly disappeared from a lot of social media, though I do talk on Twitter and Facebook regularly. I have news, though. And this is something I’ve been hoping for since returning to Canada from Japan.

I won’t be mysterious about this. I’ve returned to teaching English! I taught English for 11 years in Japan, and now I’m starting again in Canada. The focus is on business people this time, and I’ll have to help develop a lot of the curriculum, so it’s going to be an interesting challenge.

Due to the hours of this job, I have less opportunity to record videos, unfortunately. And since I got a new car last month, my commute isn’t a one hour bus ride. Unfortunately, I get less time for reading, because I often read on my commute. I’ll figure out ways to get reading in, and I might do it during lunch breaks.

I still have so much I want to do: write, read, make videos. I’ll find the time for them all. And this blog, too. When I was living in Japan, this was my big project. This was my baby (other than my daughter). I devoted a lot of time on this blog, and there is absolutely no way I would let it die. While I’m settling into my new job, I’ll probably be busy with preparations, but once everything is routine, I’ll have time to get back to everything I enjoy doing. I know I’ve said I’d be back to blogging earlier this year, but I found I was getting tired and unmotivated about so many things. Now, I feel energy again. I’m definitely back, and soon!

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The Problem With Social Media

I have a very specific problem with social media. And it has a lot to do with why I stopped doing VEDA. I was so motivated about posting a video every day in April, but then one of social media’s most irritating problems interfered.

In recent months, YouTube has been tweaking things in their search algorithms, as well as how they push out videos to people. It’s the latter issue I have problems with. You see, they changed how subscribers see videos of channels they subscribe to. When you click on the subscribe button for a channel, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll see each and every video of theirs as they’re published on the subscription feed.  This has been verified by several of my subscribers, saying that they saw only a few of my videos or even none of my VEDA videos in their subscription feed. I talk about it in this video:

And you know what? I checked for myself if I’m receiving all videos of people I subscribe to, and I’m not. There are some very popular channels I subscribe to that I’m not seeing in my subscription feed, either.

But you know, YouTube isn’t the only place I have problems with their feeds. On Facebook, it defaults to Top Stories, which are often stories I’ve already read, and I never see posts from the majority of people I’m friends with. The option to see most recent posts is still there, but it never defaults to it. I want to see most recent.

On Instagram, it has some algorithm that shows what Instagram thinks I want to see. It used to show the most recent, but now there isn’t even an option for that. I miss most of the pictures of people I follow.

On Twitter, they all seem quite random, rather than showing most recent.

Social media, can you please just let us see all posts in chronological order? Please?

I Swore This Wouldn’t Happen

No, this wasn’t supposed to happen! Okay, it’s been a while since I updated, and all those plans I had written about didn’t actually happen. I had every intention of doing it, I just got caught up in life and many other things.

First of all, let’s get Authors Answer up to date. It will come out of hiatus later this year, I hope. I’ll also get to work on more international books, writing posts, world building posts, and maybe even a few reviews. And I’m going to talk about a big topic that’s happening to people who have small YouTube channels. And the deadline is tomorrow! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ll see soon enough.

Anyway, updates are coming, this was just a little hiccup. Thanks for reading, and I will be posting very, very soon!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! And welcome back to the blog. I’m rejuvenating the blog this year, and I have many exciting things to come. Many of them are things you already know about, but there will be some new things, as well.

First of all, I’ll do a minor refreshing of the design. I’ll make it look more bookish. Second, more of my own writing on this blog. Third, a desire to do some collaboration with others. And fourth, a bit more of an integration with my YouTube channel.

But I think the biggest thing is that I’m going to concentrate a lot on writing. In particular, Ariadne and short stories. I really need to focus on the main reason for this blog, my writing.

Another thing I’d like to do with YouTube is profile booktubers (book vloggers) who I subscribe to, and think you should watch if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

I’m going to leave you tonight with a video of mine, which is all about the year 2018. It’s all about plans related to my writing, YouTube, and business. While watching, I’d like you to think about what your plans are for 2018. Let me know what they are in the comments section.

Happy New Year!!

The Future of This Blog and More

Have you noticed how quiet I’ve been? I think I lost my way. But never fear, I am coming back and stronger than ever. There are going to be some changes around here, some streamlining, and a much stronger focus.

I started I Read Encyclopedias for Fun to review books and use as a means to launch my writing career. Somewhere along the way, I started talking about other things, stopped writing, and even stopped reviewing books. The only thing that really kept going was Authors Answer, which I haven’t updated in quite a while.

The last three months have been a trying period. So many things have happened that took priority. Surgery (not me), health issues (not me), employment issues (me!), a new puppy, and a complete reassessment of what I want for myself and my family in terms of business and creative endeavours. I haven’t been very active in the blogosphere, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. That will change.

This blog is very important to me, and important to my future in writing. But this goes back to early 2012, and the whole reason I started this blog. As a platform for me to showcase my writing, talk about the publishing industry, and, this is extremely important, make like-minded friends. I feel I did the friend thing, and I am happy for all the people who have helped out and contributed to this blog in Authors Answer.

But I should get to the point. What’s going to happen?

The Blog

The blog will be given a mild makeover. Actually, the theme will stay the same, I’ll just redo the banner. I want it to focus more on the book and writing aspect of things. The topics I write about will change. Actually, they’ll be more focused on the core of this blog: writing and books. I’m going to take the time and actually write fiction. I will talk about the writing process. I will talk about my writing progress. I will give little insights into what I’m doing in my writing. I will talk about world building once again. This is a very important and interesting topic to me.

Authors Answer is going to go on an indefinite hiatus. It’s become increasingly difficult to think of topics to talk about every month. It may come back in the future. Actually, I want it to come back in the future, as it’s been a staple on this blog for three years. I think it needs new and fresh ideas, though. There are three posts I still have to make, and I’ll be doing them on every Friday for the rest of this month. Unfortunately, due to all of the events that have happened since summer ended, I didn’t take the time to get my traditional “big authors” to contribute to the anniversary question. This time, it’s only focusing on the core contributors of Authors Answer, and to be honest, they deserve the spotlight. I can’t thank the contributors to Authors Answer enough. You don’t know how much I’ve appreciated you all.

Expect to see a bit of an integration between my main YouTube channel and this blog, as well. But it’s nothing new. I plan to post each of my book-related videos to this blog, but I will have a lot of things to say, as well. I won’t just post the videos. They’ll be a part of a blog post, not the purpose of the blog post.

YouTube

That takes me to my other creative outlet, YouTube. I’ve been focusing a lot on my channels, especially in the past couple weeks. I have three channels that I will be uploading to regularly. Only one of those channels will be talked about on this blog regularly, though. In case you don’t know about them, here’s your chance to discover them.

Jay Dee Archer is my self-named channel, and it is my book/writing/scifi/fantasy channel. I do talk a lot about Star Trek and things like that, but that’s my main non-bookish series (except the Japan videos). This is the channel that I will be posting videos of, but only the book-related videos (except Star Trek). That is actually my “official” author’s channel, so it is highly relevant to what I talk about on this blog. The reason I will continue posting my Star Trek videos here is because that series is a huge influence on my science fiction writing. It’s been an important part of my life since I was a kid, and I will not stop talking about it. Anyway, click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph to go to my channel and subscribe.

Science: Not Just a Theory is my second channel, and the one that requires the most resources and time to produce videos. As a result, I’ll only be doing one video a week for now. I don’t want to take too much time away from my writing, but this channel requires a lot of research and plenty of editing. The main focus is space, but I will talk about other sciences, as well. It’s also the channel that has the largest potential for growth on YouTube, and as a result, could be a major source of income for me. While the prospect of it becoming an actual business for me is quite possible, I do this channel because I love science and want to promote the importance of it to people, as well as show how it can be very interesting.

Tommy and Dad is my third channel, and this is a more relaxed family vlog featuring my daughter and I. I’ve started vlogging on it just this past week, and hope to maintain regular uploads at a pace of around videos per week. This channel requires the least amount of time to edit and produce videos, so I can do them more frequently. I don’t do anything fancy. Just record, edit the clips together, and post to YouTube. It’s more of a fun thing for my daughter and I, but it also has a lot of potential. If you’re interested in seeing a bit about my life with my daughter, then check it out!

Business

I am taking a business-like approach to a lot of things now, because I want to provide a secure future for my family. But it’s also important to enjoy doing what I do. I don’t write or make YouTube videos for money, but if I can focus and make it into a business, then I will. Over the past year, I’ve been doing a lot of research on SEO (search engine optimization), marketing, and promoting. I need to do a lot more to become good at it, though. The promotion of this blog, my writing, and my YouTube channels is important, and I will do my best to get them out there for people to discover. At least I won’t be spammy about it.

There are other avenues I’m looking at. For my science channel, I’m using Patreon, which I have yet to promote. I’m going into Patreon not as a way for me to ask people for money. No way. Wrong approach, and I definitely don’t like that way. It’s a business platform, as well as a community I want to develop. I’ll be offering value to it. There will be perks for Patrons, and depending on how much a Patron contributes, the perks increase. It will also allow me to improve the videos and devote more time to both making videos and writing. As the channel is educational, I believe it has a lot of value for people. There are exclusive benefits to being a Patron, such as behind-the-scenes videos, input into the production of the videos, private discussions about science, and opportunities for discounted merchandise.

And that brings us to merchandise! I’ll be opening a Cafe Press store to sell science, education, and literary themed merchandise. You might want a mug, or maybe you want a t-shirt. I’ll have those and more. I hope to launch the store in the next couple months.

What do you think?

So, what are your thoughts about this? What kind of merchandise are you interested in? Do you have any video ideas for any of my channels? And what kind of bookish/writingish (I made that up) blog posts would you like to see in 2018? Leave me a comment! All the feedback you have is greatly appreciated.

*taps the mic* Hello?

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I guess you deserve an explanation. To put it simply, the past month has been unusual. Life intervened. Many things happened back to back that were both unexpected and expected. I won’t go into too many details, but this is the tl;dr version:

Emergency hospitalization (not me!), new job, short trip, and new puppy!

The puppy!

Mostly, I’ve had to do a lot of running around, adjusting to a new schedule, and many other things. But I have to say this:

This blog is not ending!

So, what’s going on then? Where’s Authors Answer? There are still three more Authors Answer for October not posted, but they will be. I didn’t announce it publicly, but Authors Answer is on a hiatus until the New Year, as I try to figure out what direction to take it. It’s getting more and more difficult to ask questions. Have they all been asked? No, but they’re very difficult to think of. The final Authors Answer of the year is a big one, though. Look forward to that one!

If you’re a subscriber to my YouTube channel, then you know I’ve been somewhat active there. I haven’t been as consistent as I should be, but that has a lot to do with what’s been going on. I’ve also been in the planning stages of a new series for my science channel, which I hope will be well-received and popular. I’ll update you this weekend on what I’ve posted on YouTube.

I also have an office now! This means I should be able to do some writing in privacy, at least during certain times of the day. I’d like to get a couple short stories out in the coming months while I’m working on Journey to Ariadne and my first novel. Progress!

With all that said, how about you? What have you been up to lately?

Week in Review – July 10, 2017

Well, it’s been two weeks since the last update. My personal life has gotten in the way of posting a bit, as well as doing some more complex videos on YouTube. That and more below!

Reading

I swear, I’ll do it!

Writing

Again, current events have made it difficult for me to concentrate on this much. I hope that things will settle down soon and I can get into a good routine.

Videos

In the last couple weeks, I uploaded 7 videos to my main channel, including a live stream! I’d also like to mention that my subscribers have increased dramatically recently. That is very promising! I also uploaded a video to my family vlog.

Patreon

This has stalled a bit, but I’ll get on it when things have settled down a bit more.

Languages

Nothing recently.

The Blog

I haven’t been posting like I said I would. I was hoping to get back to posting daily, but real life has interfered, and I haven’t been able to do everything I wanted. Maybe next month.

Studying

Nothing.

The Next Week’s Goals

Hoping things will look up this week. I’m planning on doing some more Star Trek blog posts and videos. I have several videos to do, and I’d like to get to work on reading.

How was your week?