Tag Archives: coming soon

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.

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Three Book Reviews Coming Soon!

I admit it, I’ve been slacking off in the book review department. I don’t think I’ve done one this year. At least not on the blog. I have three books I finished earlier this year to actually write the full reviews. And they’re finally coming!

Interested in knowing what they are? Well, here they are:

  • The Dragon Reborn, by Robert Jordan
  • Mercury, by Ben Bova
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis

I’m not sure why I haven’t written these reviews out yet. But I’m going to change what I’ve been doing and write the reviews within a week of finishing each book. I’ll be finishing Redemption Ark soon, so that’ll be a fourth review within a couple weeks. Not bad for a month. And maybe even a fifth.

Which review are you looking forward to the most?

YouTube’s New End Card Feature

There’s something on YouTube I’ve been waiting for. It’s not available for the general YouTube public yet, though. It’s the new end card editor. This new feature makes it much easier for you to create end cards by incorporating interactive, clickable links to videos, channels, and other features. Let’s face it, annotations look ugly. I’m using annotations in my new Star Trek videos. However, I’m doing it in a way so that when the end card editor is available to me, I can switch them to it. But for a bit of a preview, here’s a tutorial about how to use them so you can see what’s coming.

So, I’m excited to use it. I really want to use it. It’ll make the videos look so much better.

What do you think? If you make videos on YouTube, do you think this feature will be something you’re interested in?

Got an Itch for Birdwatching

Ever since coming back to Canada, I’ve been watching the birds whenever we’ve gone out. My wife has been taking pictures, I’ve been listening to the birds. I’d like to find my field guide to birds of western North America and start birdwatching.

This is going to be a bit bigger than just finding the birds. I plan on taking pictures and posting them, but not on here. I’m going to start a separate blog for birds of Alberta (and more). I’ll just keep taking pictures and posting them, even if they’re birds I’ve taken pictures of before. I may take a very good picture that has to be shared. On that blog, I’m going to keep a checklist of the birds I’ve seen, and update whenever I find a new bird.

So, in addition to this blog, I’ll have the bird blog and an Edmonton Asian and burger restaurant blog.

What do you think?

Authors Answer 74 – What We Are Working On Now

Are you curious about what we’re writing? We’re all writing something, whether they’re novels or children’s books. We have some great things planned for you to read. I hope you really enjoy what we’re going to be publishing in the near future.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 74 – Can you tell us about a future book that you’re working on?

S. R. Carrillo

I’m excited to be working on a futuristic, feminist, freaky, queer western set in the clouds where worlds are ruled by demons and horses are fueled by fire.

Elizabeth Rhodes

With my recent blending of crime and science fiction, I want to try more genre blending. How about sci-fi/romance? Bodice rippers in space? Sounds like fun. Stay tuned.

H. Anthe Davis

In the War of Memory Cycle, the protagonists have faced off against malevolent necromancers, fanatical armies, and even the direct focus of a wicked god!  But can they handle….high school?!  Coming next, Cob and his companions find themselves trapped on the idyllic campus of Firebird High, where the landscaper has claws and the chemistry teacher breathes acid!  Can they juggle study-hall, sleepovers, soccer championships and senior prom, all while hunting for a way home?  And what is that groaning that filters up from the school basement at night?  Does it have anything to do with the recent grave-robbings, and the dirt that Principal Enkhaelen tracks into the halls every morning?  Find out in…the War of Algebra!

Eric Wood

I just finished the manuscript for my next picture book. It’s about how a donkey and a giraffe become best friends. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is ninja training, a raccoon playing a ukulele, and a duck who thinks he’s a chameleon.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Well, I’ve been thinking about taking a break from writing stuff like horror and fantasy, and maybe trying my hand at something a little more relatable. So I’m working on this romance novel… It’s a bit of a Romeo and Juliet plot in which an extremist feminist and a Men’s Rights activist fall in love when they meet at a protest. They’re totally willing to abandon their ideals for love, but their respective “families” are determined to keep them apart. I think it’s going to be a huge hit.

Jean Davis

Well I was skimming through the spam in my inbox a while back and I got this great idea to combine all the subject lines into a plot. So here goes: Billy the endangered elephant needs an enlargement to satisfy the females so he can save his kind but he needs cash. He has enslave the monkeys in the rainforest to pick all the acai berries to sell to the humans so they’ll do the surgery. Unfortunately, the prince of Nigeria takes all his hard earned money and sends it to an elderly woman in Minnesota to keep the elephants from voting in the next election. The only way Billy can get his money back is to convince the woman not to email the prince with her bank information. But can finish his online college language and typing classes in time to save the elephants from extinction and defeat the prince?

D. T. Nova

A team of trained apes engage in asymmetric warfare against a totalitarian government. The title is Gorilla Guerrilla.

Linda G. Hill

I’m working on a non-fiction book about how I’ve traveled the world to take each and every one of my WordPress followers out for coffee to convince them to follow me. The resulting restraining orders are in the hundreds, and yet real life being stranger than fiction, even some of those people are following me! The title of the book will be, I’ll Follow You ‘Til You Follow Me. It’s sure to be a best seller!!

Gregory S. Close

I’m currently putting the finishing touches on a new epic called The Dread Squirrel Prince Trilogy. Most epic fantasy has been told from the perspective of humans, or humanoids, with elves, dwarves and similar races.  I think that’s been played out.  Instead, I’ve tried to touch on themes and characters that are both different and immediately identifiable and relatable – the struggle of oppressed and downtrodden dogs against the Great Squirrel Empire.

The series will follow the rise of a Lab-mix named Sundance.  A pup with a good heart, he sometimes rushes in without thinking things through.  His mentor, an old wolfhound named Big Blue, is a drifter and a charlatan that once sniffed the butts of nobles and kings before falling into disfavor, and landing in exile in Sundance’s out of the way village, Barknuwwn.

Sundance and Big Blue will have to confront the truth of their destiny – hidden lineage, secret powers, a dark power rising again to threaten the last hope of peace for all dog kind, and the great evil behind it all… The Dread Squirrel Prince!

Paul B. Spence

I am currently working on a novel where a conservative millionaire with hateful rhetoric is running for president. An investigative journalist discovers that he is actually a reptilian alien in disguise and planning to plunge the most powerful nation in the world into chaos and civil strife to ease the way for an invasion by his people. The race is on: can the journalist get the information out there in time, or will life as we know it soon be over?

Too much like life?

Jay Dee Archer

I’ve kept this story under wraps for a while, but I thought this is a good time to unveil it.

In a post-apocalyptic world, humans have been reduced to animals, while others have moved on up in the order of intelligence. Birds have become the newest masters of the world, and with their superior intellect, have genetically engineered a super race of birds: the return of the dinosaurs. However, they are still quite small, and have developed robotic suits of armour the size of humans. The purpose? An evil mastermind, one of the rare humans who have retained their intellect, has plotted a second apocalypse against the Dinobirds, and a major battle is coming to determine the future of the world. This sci-fi action thriller has it all, suspense, drama, and a little romance. Look for it soon!

How about you?

If you’re an author, what are you working on? And which story looks interesting to you? Let us know in the comments below.

Taste of Japan – The Videos to Come

I have a lot of videos to edit and post to YouTube. They were mostly taken back in October while my sister was visiting for two weeks. You’ve been waiting a long time for the videos to come out, so I thought I’d give you an idea about what you’ll see. So, here’s the grand list of videos I will post.

  1. Enoshima – This will be a long video
  2. Enoshima Aquarium
  3. Hamarikyu Garden
  4. Tsukiji Fish Market
  5. Ginza
  6. Tokyo Skytree
  7. Miraikan (The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) and Odaiba
  8. The Railway Museum
  9. Ofuna Kannonji Temple
  10. Tokeiji Temple
  11. Jochiji Temple
  12. Meigetsuin Temple
  13. Hasedera Temple
  14. Kotokuin Temple (Daibutsu)
  15. Dinosaur Restaurant
  16. Oyama (hiking to the top of a mountain)
  17. Shinjuku Gyoen (gardens)
  18. Meiji Jingu Shrine
  19. Shibuya Crossing and Hachiko Statue
  20. Tokyo Station
  21. Imperial Palace East Gardens (this will be a big video)
  22. Tokyo International Forum
  23. Marine Tower
  24. Yamashita Park
  25. Hikawamaru (an old passenger ship)
  26. Yokohama Chinatown and Chinese food
  27. Motomachi (shopping district)
  28. Yamate and Berrick Hall
  29. Samukawa Shrine

And there will be another video from Izu. Or maybe more than one. We’re supposed to be going there later this month to see the kawazu zakura, which is a kind of early-blooming cherry tree. They’re bright pink. The area we’re going to has other attractions, as well.

Any of those look interesting to you? Let me know which ones you want to see in the comments below.

And just for a little taste, here’s the last Taste of Japan video. It’s a ride on one of the world’s largest Ferris wheels. It’s also the world’s largest clock. The view is amazing!