Tag Archive: Vlog



Well, I just got the official word from Kickstarter that my crowd-funding project failed.  No surprise really, not since I told everyone I considered it over already a few days ago. Will I try another Kickstarter down the road?  Quite likely.  It was a good experience I felt.  Also, I got a number of good compliments on the video I made for it, which also pleases me.

For those who don’t know, I began running a Vlog (video blog) about a year or two ago, but haven’t touched it in a long time.  I may start creating more videos just for giggles.  I’ve had several comedic ideas in mind for some time, but just haven’t had the time or inclination to get out and shoot some new material.  For the most part, I tried to make my videos informative (usually about writing or being creative).  But when I look back on what I did in the past, they were very informative, but static.  A guy sitting there and talking at you.  Whereas my Kickstarter video I put a lot more thought into angles, a bit of a script, and even a few visual effects.  Nothing by Hollywood’s standards, but it was definitely more fun to watch.  If I could add some more comedy touches to it, I might have something a bit more fun for people to watch.

The few where I did add comedy were my most popular videos in the past.  And I’ve often been told I have a good sense of timing and comedy, so we’ll see.  I’ve already got one idea for a Christmas video to a very amusing song which I definitely want to put together for this coming December.

But I digress.  I learned a lot from my Kickstarter experience and will probably employ it again down the road.  One of the things I learned was to be more careful about the timing.  Starting one up around Christmas was a BIG mistake.  A number of people wanted to contribute, but times are still hard and they didn’t have much to spare and I understood this.  That was my bad and it won’t happen again.

Do I recommend Kickstarter or crowd-sourcing to other writers and other creative minds who are trying to raise money to help finance a project.  Absolutely YES!  It’s worth a shot and the most you’ll lose out on is time, but you will gain insight about your idea.  Was my book a bad idea?  Not in the least.  I know a lot of people are out there chomping at the bit to get their hands on it when I release the book.  Some of you may be saying, “If that’s the case why didn’t any of them help fund your Kickstarter?” Once more I point to TIMING!  Even when the book comes out, they may not be able to buy it right away, depending on their finances.  But they will buy it eventually.

I’ve noticed books with artwork do pretty well on Kickstarter (children’s books, comics, original artwork books, etc).  I think partly because the contributors can see more of what they’re money would be going into, plus a lot of artists can offer original pages or images as part of the rewards they offer contributors.

All I had to offer were copies of my book in various formats (Nook, Kindle, PDF, signed paperback copies, 1st editions, and even the artwork that became the book’s cover).

Also, keep in mind the levels you make available for people to contribute.  Don’t just aim really high, aim low too.  My goal was $600, if I had 300 people give at $1, then another 60 give $5, I would’ve made it.  Remember, it’s a bit of a numbers game.  Not everyone will be able to donate a huge amount, but a large number of small ones can take far enough to hit your goal.  Just make sure you get the word out there.  Kickstarter isn’t going to spread the word for you.  That’s YOUR job!

I know this is a lot to take in, but that’s why I’m posting it here.  So you can refer back to it again and again.  Part of my creating this blog was so others could learn what worked and what didn’t as I travel this road to become a well known author.  There’s still a lot of the journey ahead of me, so stay with me.  There’s still a lot more experiences I have to share with you.

And remember, if you go the crowd-sourcing way keep in mind the time of year.  You may not want to start one around April 15th when people may be having to find money to pay the Tax Man and whatnot.  Think about what may be going on in the lives of others.  Now the the major holidays over may be a good time to start putting your project together and getting it out there.  Will I re-release my project again?  Possibly.  But it won’t be a for a few months if I do.  I’ve pushed the release date back to late May to try and get “THE SHIP” out there as the perfect time for a nice book to read during the summer, which is when the story is taking place.  They say timing is everything.

So until next time, take care and keep writing everyone.

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I Have Vlog On YouTube…


For those who didn’t already know, I have a Vlog over on YouTube. I know I’ve gained more readers since the last time I posted one of my videos here. And I believe the last ones I did post were just about Christmas here in Marina California.

Normally, my videos are all about different parts of writing: getting ideas, settings, plot, finding inspiration, dealing with trying to get published, etc.

Here is the latest video I posted a couple of weeks ago. You might want to check out some of my other videos as well. I went for a bit more comedy in this one, but the main point of the video is not lost. I tried to keep things relevant as well as amusing.

New Post On My Vlog…


Just a quick new post on my vlog.  Basically a quick update of what’s been going on and where I’m headed…

Return Of The Author…

Why The Video Posts Allan?


Greetings all.  I’m sure everyone has been noticing I’ve been putting up more and more videos lately as opposed to my usual entries.  Well, part of the reason for this was to get more traffic to come to my Vlog on YouTube.  But there is another reason.

Those of you who watched the video on my last entry: https://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/another-entry-about-character-creating/will already know what I’m about to say.  I have a chronic pain condition.  The doctor who diagnosed me gave me a sad smile as he said, “The good news is that it won’t kill you.  But you’ll be in pain the rest of your life.”  The condition is known as Fibromyalgia and based on my own research over the years and from speaking with experts, I’ve had this since childhood.  I’ve always suffered pain more readily and easier than my peers back in grade school.  No one ever believed me when I told them how much I hurt especially after one of the numerous bully assaults because of my apparent weakness and vulnerability.  I was never good at sports even when I tried my damnedest to get good.  My muscles never responded correctly.  I was clumsy and awkward and on rare days when I was feeling ‘good’ I was able to excel in ways no one could believe.  But then a day or so later I’d be back to my usual lower performing standards no matter how HARD I tried to push myself.  I was tired a lot as well, which comes with being in pain.

Now let me point out that the pain levels I normally experience are the kind of low (somethings off but it’s not going to get in my way) kind of thing.  They can take their toll but I’ve found exercise routines that really work for me without exacerbating the pain.  I’ve taken a lot of dance and have learned a lot of core and endurance building exercises that have helped a lot.  But even these are no match for when the Fibromyalgia comes out of its remission stage and goes into “FLARE”.

During “Flare” the pain levels shoot up and my motor skills become clumsy and awkward.  I feel terribly drained and even have to resort to using a walking stick to get around (even inside my home).  Even putting my thoughts together can be difficult, as if I were trapped in a fog which is why this particular symptom is referred to as FIBROFOG.  Overall, it’s like having a terrible case of the flu with the deep body aches and fatigue, without the high temp or other symptoms.

Now, what does all this have to do with the videos?  Simple.  I have limited energy reserves during these periods.  And what little I feel up to doing is getting through my college classes and my daily life period.  I budget my reserves and try to focus on writing my novels as best I can (the Fibrofog can mess me up on that front something fierce and I can’t really write some days even though I want to).  During periods like the one I’m going through now, it’s easier to sit and talk rather than type.  And since I don’t want to neglect all of you who’ve been so kind and generous with your comments and views, I’ve been resorting to the videos.

So, now you know what’s really been going on.  I hope you all understand and I hope this particular ‘Flare’ will soon pass.  Until it does please bear with me.  I will still be posting in one form or the other.

In the meantime I’m going to take advantage of my being a writer to bring up another subject.  In my earlier entries I talked about giving your characters skills, hobbies, talents you have or someone you know has to help make them more real to your readers.  The same still holds true with bad stuff.  Losing a loved one, a bad childhood, an unhappy relationship, or having a health condition.

Now I’ve already started using my personal knowledge of dealing with Fibromyalgia with one of the characters in my novels.  Her name is Cassandra Elliott, a billionaire heiress with a heart of gold.  With looks, beauty and money, she would seem to have it all.  But Epstein-Barr plagues her, depriving her of love of dance and other activities by making her bed-ridden for days or weeks at a time.  She hates the feeling of helplessness and being an invalid at times.  But how she deals with her condition helps shape the person she’s become and her drive to be as normal as possible especially around her new love interest.

We’re all shaped by our experiences.  Good or bad, how we react to them helps make us the people we are.  So look into your own life sometimes for sources of material to help shape and make your characters into real people.  People your readers can relate to and want to keep reading about and cheer on.

Thanks for reading, sorry this post is so long, but I felt it necessary to address some of the concerns I’ve been reading in the comment sections or in private messages.  Take care everyone and I hope to have another entry up shortly.


This latest installment not only deals with creating characters, but also explains a bit why I haven’t been making as long an entry as I’d like lately.  I hope to do a more proper entry shortly.  Thanks…


Wow, my latest video seems to be my most popular one to date. It’s sitting at 65 views in just 3 days. It weeks for any of my other installments to reach that number. If you haven’t already checked it out please do. I’d like to see it reach 100 by the weekend. And if you enjoyed it, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and also spread the word to help me reach more viewers. Part of a writer’s job is to get their name out there and this one of the methods I’m using to make that happen. Thanks everyone and I’d be happy to return the favor, just ask.


Ah the joys of unpacking after you move.  This was totally unscripted.  I was originally aiming to do a new Vlog entry about my new home.  What I landed up with was this.  I hope you all get a laugh out of it.

I’m Back Baby…


In the immortal words of Bender the robot from Futurama “I’M BACK BABY!”  Things are finally settling down from our recent move from Santa Cruz to the Monterey Bay Area.  Both my wife and I have started up with more classes.  She is going to a university, while I’m still studying at a local community college and looking for work.  I’ve been getting applications put in but little response so far.  But hey, at least I’m trying.

In the meantime I’ve been making some serious headway on my 2nd novel “THE SHIP”.  Things had ground to a halt on that front even before we started the move.  I kept finding myself going back to one particular scene I’d done about a third of the way into the story.  Something about it kept nagging at me and I had to keep going back and looking at it.  It was a good scene with plenty of action and even some serious foreshadowing of things to be revealed later in the story.  But there was still something not quite right about it and I just couldn’t get myself to work on the rest of the story because of it.  Eventually I realized I was having a strange type of writer’s block that I dubbed “STEALTH WRITER’S BLOCK” in my other blog.  It was so subtle I hadn’t realized what was happening and that it had brought my whole project to a grinding halt.  However, I finally broke through it in the last few days.  I realized as good as the scene was there was more I could do to it in order to really help the overall story along.  Better foreshadowing along with an important glimpse into Cassandra’s family history, that will play a major role not only in this novel but the next one as well.  I’ll probably post a section of this rewritten scene here in my next entry.  I don’t want to make this entry too long.

I’ve also been working on my Vlog a bit more and have decided to open up a bit more about myself to all of you in it.  Sometimes talking or showing is easier than writing.  I’ve got several videos planned out, one of which will be a sort of tribute to one of my favorite types of film, the silent comedies from the early 1910’s-1920’s.  Another will be about settling into my new place and getting acquainted with the area a bit.  While the third one will go deeper into how I create and develop characters for my novels.

So stay tuned for those.  And as I mentioned before, I’ll also be posting more of my 2nd book here very shortly.  Thanks for reading and take care.  I’ll be back with more soon.


I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor because my cell phone will only allow me to e-mail videos only once and I accidentally lost all of them on my laptop. So I just sent all the vids to YouTube and edited the puppy here (http://www.youtube.com/editor).

Anyway, this is the finale about my setting changing. I know you all have been supportive and maybe wondering a little bit about why I chose to do this series. Well here’s the answer, setting affects people. Especially it affects your characters. Their drives, dreams, motivations, how they feel (excitement, boredom, anger, resentment, etc.) And changing settings can have a huge impact on them and what choices they make with their lives and how they react to it. You’ve seen me go through a range of emotions and seen some parts about me I’ve never revealed to you before (like saying goodbye to a place and thanking it for all it had done for us). Can a place be sentient or aware? I like to think so. But you would’ve never known about it until this video. So give more thought about the settings in your writing and how it affects your characters and their world views. And make sure there is some interaction between them and their setting you can wind up with some powerful ideas you never thought about before. Thanks for watching.

My next video will be about my new setting and the joys of unpacking. And trying to find where some of our stuff landed up when we need it. Take care and thanks again.

 


Here is the 3rd installment of my 4 part video story about me and my wife moving away from Santa Cruz to the Monterey Bay Area.

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