I’m Back! An Imprompto Leave of Abscence

So I know I haven’t been super active on here in general, but for the past month I wound up having to get my computer fixed, so didn’t have a ton of access to the computer.  I had a really old phone  I could do limited stuff on which was a Godsend, and my brother was letting me use his computer here and there for small things.  I didn’t want to hog his computer though, so didn’t do toooo much.  I remember last year I did an intentional media fast where I just wasn’t going on unless I needed to, and having one forced on me this year honestly was really nice, and something I wasn’t expecting!
At first it bothered me, because I have a lot of projects going on.  I have an EP I wanted to post up, a document I was working on and all in all it just was really annoying to have all of that draw to a hault because of my computer deciding to randomly die on me.  Plus the anxiety of will my computer work again?  Really made me discouraged.


But luckily, my family helped me and having a PS4 to play on really helped my stress levels stay to a minium.  And also luckily, I didn’t have to replace my computer!  Just had to get a new charging cord, as per usual.  So now I’m back in business!


I luckily didn’t have too much of a backlog, but I’m working on stuff right now.  Like I just posted said album release that is in the process of being sent to stores, and working on setting up a mixing commissions document to post, and start opening up commissions for audio mixing services.  I’ll be sure to post both on here when they’re done, very excited for this new chapter:  I’ve never tried charging for audio mixing services, so I’m a little nervous about doing that.  But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?  We’ll see what opportunities come just by putting that out there.


But yeah, I’m back, and very happy about it!  I’ve been working on a new set of original songs, and all in all I’m happy I got a forced media fast.  It’s nice to recharge your batteries and just disconnect from the internet.  I think doing so is what got my inspiration to rework and retool this one original song I didn’t put on A Warrior’s Heart, and turn it into a full on concept for another EP that tells a story.  I’ve been super churning out ideas and lyrics for that one, and I feel like I wouldn’t have decided to just nix the idea I had for the 1st song that inspired the EP originally if not for my lack of YouTubes and the like.  Always a good idea to take a break and refocus yourself, and having to do that is something I wouldn’t have done if my computer didn’t die for a bit.


And that’s all for me now.  I’ll update when my album is out.  Hope everyone is doing well!


Crystal Chats Episode 3: Blind YouTubeing vs Sighted YouTubing

Hey guys, it’s been a while!  Honestly my main reason for being quiet over here is I’ve been posting more on YouTube.  I’ve sort of moved to vlogging about things I’d normally talk about here, but I’d still like to keep the blogs active so will try my best to still post on both this and The Blind Nerd!  I have a lot of YouTube links to share from last month honestly, but figured I’d start with the latest one and work my way back XD


Since people seemed to enjoy my first blindness related vlog, I figured I’d do another one about how I do YouTube as a blind user.  Why is this episode 3 when last you saw was episode 1, you may ask?  My 2nd one is a vlog about my A Warrior’s Heart EP, that’s why!  I’m thinking of making a playlist for the blindness related stuff, even though every video is going to be called Crystal Chats when I vlog…or maybe I should give it a sublabel, who knows~


Either way, enjoy the video!  Will try and be more active over here!

Getting Into Yet Another Hobby, Drawing!

Since I don’t have enough things to do in my life (if you’re new to the blog, that’s total sarcasm, I have more hobbies than I know what to do with them) I decided to get into yet another thing!  It’s something I’ve thought I’d never be able to do again, but after reading a few articles on the subject, decided to give it a go because I used to do it when I had vision and really enjoyed it.  That my friends, is drawing!


It all started when I saw news that a 3D Doodler pen  was accessible to the blind.  I found this out through a blind gamers forum I joined recently, in their off topic section.  I expressed interest in how cool it would be to be able to draw again, and a user commented with alternative ways to draw that the blind have utilized, and linked to a few source’s.  The one that stuck out to me most was this one  and it got me thinking…why not try it again?  Of course I’m not going to start out as a Mozart  or anything, but I really would like to just draw and color, and see what happens.  So I ordered a sketch pad, some art grade pencils, and am going to start watching drawing tutorial videos on YouTube to get a general idea of how to do things!  I know there’s no surefire method to drawing, and practice is key, but I’d just like to learn some basics I can use as building blocks to start sketching.
How am I going to outline my drawings?  Is something you may be asking.  Well, let me show you!  The user who replied to me mentioned these and how the blind use them to outline their  work.  They then take a pencil, and draw with the wikki stix still down, and color in with them down also, and when everything is done, you pull them off, and you have your drawing!  I had used wiki stix in the past, like way back when they weren’t even remotely popular.  In high school, my brother would use them for his geometry class, and his assistant would make raised shape outlines with them.  So when I saw that people used these for that same sort of purpose, only with drawing, I was like “Duh, because that’s how we used to use them”.  So I bought a pack of wikki stix along with my sketching supplies, so I can do that method.  The 3D pen would have been cool, but I’m more into hand drawing than making 3D models and stuff.  Plus, with the wikkis, you can make 3D models too, so win-win with having both around the house.


I already have colored pencils, even though I would have liked to buy some prismacolor ones lol.  But they were just an added unnecessary price tag, since I have some already.  I’m more excited about the artist grade pencil set, that’s going to be cool to use!  And I got 2 sketchpads, so plenty of paper to work with – which I read is a must for beginners.


I’ll keep you guys posted on how this goes!  If anything, I’ll do it as a relaxing hobby.  I’m really excited to be able to even do this though, and it’s all thanks to finding other inspirational blind people on audiogames.net.  I’m so happy to have found this community, because there are tons of fellow blind gamers, musicians, game creators, and it’s just such a nice breath of fresh air as opposed to older blind communities I’ve been a part of back in the day.  Of course there’s forum drama, because what forum doesn’t have that, but all in all, a great community, for both sighted and the blind.  If you want to check it out and are sighted, go ahead!  There are some sighted people on the boards that hang out too, which I find super cool.


I’ll be sure to post my pictures when I get started!  But don’t be surprised if when I start, it’s just a ton of colored in shapes haha.  But excited to add drawing to my long list of hobbies in 2018!

My Thoughts on the YouTube Partnership Changes

I tried to condense this into a tweet but 280 characters is too small for me on this issue so time to blog about it!


If you haven’t heard, YouTube has changed their guidelines for becoming a YouTube partner – aka, putting ads on your videos to make one billionth of a cent on each view of your video.  Because of a big YouTuber doing something incredibly stupid, (which happens entirely too much), YouTube has decided to “crack down” on…everyone who has done nothing wrong.  The new Partner guidelines require a channel to have 1000 subscribers, 10000 overall channel views, and 4000 hours of watch time within a 12 month period.  They’ve sent an email out to all their smaller creators, myself included, and have said if our watch time doesn’t get to 4000 in a month, then our partnership is terminated.  If I get to that I can reapply for partner, but seriously YouTube?  Punish everyone who has a smaller channel and let the bigger people who caused all of this drama get off scott free?


I have such mixed feelings about this.  Was I planning to be a full time YouTuber?  No.  Is it going to effect my channel?  No:  I put monetization  on my videos because I could, but have only made a dollar on it and you need 100 to be paid out by Google.  I have to reach 20 dollars on Soundrop, and have, because it’s a far easier goal to reach.  It’s conflicting because it’s not like I was making any money at it, and not like I was planning to be a full time YouTuber – it’s just a hub for my music, which I sell elsewhere and a creative outlet for me.  But what it makes me feel like is a piece of trash that YouTube could care less about.  Why upload videos to a platform that decides to change the rules to hurt everyone, accept the person/people that did the wrong thing?  Oh wait, YouTube is the only massive video hub, so you’re stuck with it if you want to post videos people will actually run across and possibly watch.


I’m not going to change the way I run my channel, but I legit was getting pumped about getting back into making videos.  I’ve been enjoying making let’s play videos, was planning to start recording choice videos of me singing on camera, wanted to live stream some mini concerts, was going to start vlogging eventually.  Like I said, I’m not going to stop doing any of this, and am still going to post on YouTube, but after they showed their utter lack of consideration and care for any small creator, I’m not going to put all of my eggs in one basket so to speak.  I’m glad I was already planning to distribute my music more openly this year on Spotify, iTunes, etc etc, and I’m going to make a more active effort to promote my patreon, as well.  Because if YouTube isn’t going to support ALL of their creators, then why should their creators support them?  It sucks that they are the only big video distribution platform out there, but I don’t see that changing so it’s between dealing with their garbage policies, or not making videos at all.  I love making videos, and stopping making videos I feel is letting YouTube win, so to me the best alternative is to use YouTube for what it originally was intended for:  posting and sharing videos, and not making money on it.  Make money elsewhere, where you’ll be treated far better.  Heck, with as little as spotify pays out per stream, at least once your content is on there, they don’t yank your chain when they feel like it.  I’d much rather build a spotify following because of that, and since my medium of creation is audio, it’s a win-win for me.


So yeah, TL;DR:  I’m just going to use YouTube like I usually do, and branch out to better oppurtunities for actually making money.  I’ve had this mindset of post whatever you want on YouTube, and if they are going to treat everyone like this, that just reaffirms to me that I’ve made the right choice in not trying to bend to their whims.  My channel won’t be adversely  effected – I’m pretty sure.  I saw someone mentioning that a demonetized  video is harder to search for?  But I highly doubt that.  Hey, look on the bright side:  It’ll save me going to another tab while uploading a video!


Do you have a YouTube channel?  What are your thoughts on this change.  If you wanted to make a channel, does it make you second guess doing so?

Working on Doing New Videos on my Channel, Excitement Abound!

The end of last year I started taking a lot more risks.  Like, out of my comfort zone risks, but things I really wanted to be doing.  Releasing a Christmas EP on spotify, iTunes, Amazon and Google is something I would have never done earlier that year: why, I have some album art I had made like, 2 years ago for a release I wanted to do of an original track but chickened out because I thought that track wasn’t good enough.  Now, I’m thinking of redoing said track, and using said art to make an EP of my originals that I did back when I didn’t have the technology I have now to use real instruments.  Once again, something I would have never thought of doing, that I’m thinking of doing now.
My Mom went to the store yesterday and got me a shirt that says “Take a Risk” on it.  When she gave it to me, she said “I know Christmas is over, but I thought of you when I saw this”.  I thought it was super sweet, and gave me a confidence boost that I didn’t realize I needed.  I wasn’t aware my risk taking was so noticeable to others!  And I didn’t think such a small gesture would mean so much to me – the shirt is nice, too 🙂


Along those lines of risk taking, I’m planning to do something new on my channel. I know most people say if you’re going to vlog or let’s play or whatever, make it a different channel than your main one, but I figure…why do that?  I think it’s kind of silly to split views when you can just have everything on a central hub channel, and not have to worry about the maintenance  of multiple channels.  I’ve wanted to do different content for ages and just never mustered up the courage to do so, but now I’m definitely getting excited after messing around with video settings last night and can’t wait to get started.


Because I always second guess, or talk myself out of things, I find the best way for me to do anything is just…do it.  It may sound haphazard, but it’s what works for me.  So I just made the decision  a few days ago to do this particular content, figure out everything involved in making it, do it once and see how this goes.


I’ve had OBS installed on my computer for months (Open Broadcasting Software) because I wanted to live stream.  Once again, something I planned to do but talked myself out of, may be something I try later.  I got pretty confused by the interface when I first got it, but last night I just decided to sit down, and mess with the program until I figured out how to use it.  Lucky for me, everything I need to do to set it up is accessible!  So thanks to some tutorials on audiogames.net about setting it up with my screen reader, and another article I found explaining how all the sources work in detail, I’m ready to go with this little video project!  I have to show my test footage to some sighted peers, but I’m pretty sure I got it to record how I wanted it to.  And I’m soooo excited to start making this content!!  I didn’t think I would be but I did a little test run of talking while recording footage yesterday, and it was tons of fun.  It’s going to be a Let’s Play of a visual novel I found a while ago and just bought, and I’m going to blind run it, so pumped to get going!  I thought it would be hard to talk in the beginning, but the 3 minutes I recorded was pretty easy to do so we’ll see if doing the rest of the game goes.


I’m so happy to be taking this risk.  The way I see it:  People will either watch it, or not watch it, but I doubt it’ll negatively effect my channel in any way.  One of my resolutions was to do more personable content on my channel, with me talking and interacting with things and people, sharing stories, maybe do some live singing videos – all ideas I’ve had in the past, but have been to afraid to do.  But as my new t-shirt says, time to take a risk!  I’m excited to do this first set of videos, and I realized last night that now that I figured out OBS, I can do some other tutorials I’ve wanted to do – like showing how I mix in Reaper or audacity as a blind user of the software, now that I can easily record windows in OBS!  Honestly I’m really amazed at how easy it is to use the software, I can’t wait to use it for other projects in the future!


I hope you all are getting in gear to take risks this year.  I know it may be scary, but in the long run you won’t regret it, and will always learn something from it!  Fingers crossed I’ll have at least one video in this Let’s Play recorded by next week!

My 2017 Year End Review and 2018 Resolutions

2017 Resolution wise was great for me.  I didn’t do a lot of my non-musical goals, but the ones that were more important to me I did and followed through, and really grew from the experiences.  A brief outline of my 2017 goals are this:


Read 30 books in a year/watch 30 anime in a year:  I didn’t do either of these, but I did read more books than I ever have in a year!  In all honesty, I just wasn’t really into doing either halfway through the year for personal reasons  I got way more into arranging music the 2nd half of the year, and it was getting harder and harder to find books, and anime that I wanted to read.  I did read a lot of fanfiction this year, because I realized that publsished books just aren’t suuuper my thing – I found one series I really enjoyed, and that was it.  Probably read about 10 books this past year, so better than the 0 I had done previously!

Baking 1 baked good every month:  I did this the entire year!  I learned so much from doing so, too.  I actually did more because I baked a lot in December.  This year, I want to learn more advanced baking techniques.  I never would have wanted to do that this year if I didn’t stick to baking something every month, and growing from the mishaps, and successes of doing so.  I found out I really enjoyed baking, and can’t wait to get more advanced skills under my belt!

Releasing music, arranging my own tracks:  I’m just going to group this in here as a whole, because I had a lot of tiny music related goals I wanted to do.  But I did wind up growing in my craft, getting tracks released on online distribution stores to sell, and am now working on getting more albums out for this year.  Wouldn’t have done that without actually taking my first musical steps, and having the support of my friends an family, so I can’t thank them enough for that.
My 2018 Goals are really just continuations of my goals from 2017:


  • I want to continue baking, with more advanced skills in my recipes. Like I did some super new stuff for me baking wise this year:  I made pastry cream, cream puffs and my own pie crusts and tart crusts.  This year, I want to finally tackle making my own buttercreams, and finally get over my fear of frosting cakes lol.  But making buttercreams, meringue, and using eggs in general are all things I want to work on and get good at – one thing I know I’m going to try soon is making French macaroon  cookies, and that uses all of those skills I want to practice soon.
  • I want to make music, but I want to have 2 Eps out before June. I already have 1 EP done, but have to wait on releasing it because one track is going to be on another album that I can’t release until that album is out.  But overall I want to grow my music catalog, and not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone and just go for releasing music.
  • It’s been working so well for me the past few months, but I want to continue not being afraid to ask for help. I’ve gotten so many good critiques on my music form my family, and so much help with videos because of it so I don’t want to get shy about asking for help when needed.
  • I want to make more content on my YouTube Channel! I’d really like to vlog, and possibly do a let’s play or two with some audio games and Visual novels.  But overall I just want to make content that’s more interacting with me as a person, along with my music composition posts.
  • I really want to get back on track with blogging on both of my blogs. Fell off the wagon somewhere around August, so want to retool my schedule.
  • Finishing my Bible! I’m in the Old Testament right now and I’m going to continue my reading pace and see how long it takes to finish it in order – I read all of the New Testament  last year but haven’t read it in order, so it’ll be interesting to read it after I’m done with the old.
  • I want to get back into my Renpy coding. I started to dabble in it last year but then fell off of the wagon with that too.  But I thought I could learn the code by doing a text adventure game instead of trying to do a full scale VN with graphics, so hopefully I’ll have something to show for that this year!

And those are all of my resolutions for this year!  What are yours?  I hope you had a great new year, and that your 2018 is fantastic!

An Eciting Surprise!

I got a statement email from Soundrop, the site where I distribute my music to selling/steaming platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Google Play etc etc.  Now, I only have 2 tracks up to distribute – one the Smile Bomb collab I did months ago, and the other my Terra’s Theme with lyrics.  I would get occasional updates from my collaborator on Smile Bomb, saying it streamed this much on Spotify and things like that and it was cool hearing how much people were listening to it but I didn’t really think of the actual money being made because I knew it wouldn’t be that much.  And, I knew Terra’s theme wasn’t doing too well – last time I looked at it, it had made one cent USD.  It doesn’t bother me at all, but like I said, I just posted up on distribution platforms, realized doing singles wasn’t my thing (I’d much rather make full albums of covers so I don’t have to get a piece of album art for everything I do and realized that while getting Terra’s theme together).  I figured, “Distributing music really doesn’t make a difference, no one is going to buy my stuff anyways because I’m some nobody that if they did want to support me, they’d just listen to my videos on YouTube”.
Until I got my first payout from Soundrop!  Wooooo~


Like I said, I wasn’t expecting this at all!  You have to hit a certain payment threshold before Soundrop pays out any money to you, and it isn’t a big threshold but I hadn’t hit it yet.  I need to still look at the stats for Terra’s theme, but I’m like 100 percent sure all the revenue is from Smile Bomb, and it’s so cool!  It made me realize that no matter how small an amount you think you’re going to make, it’s worth putting stuff up there on platforms you can get paid for because someone may just be looking around and see your song or something.  Like it’s so cool to me that this is 100 percent passive income, and all I did was pay the 9.99 to distribute a few months ago and got this money now!!  Not something I really ever foresaw happening, but it did and it’s amazing!!


I’ve been thinking about making music to be able to sell/license  out royalty free style, and also been thinking about releasing compelation Eps/albums of my covers from the year I’m able to make money off of (aka the ones I made myself, using no karaokes for).  I think God was like “Yes do iiiit” with that because I log onto my computer today and see this, and it just inspires me to not slack on making music, and vocal warmups, and really hone my craft so I can make whatever amounts of money at this that I can.  This payout wasn’t expected, but such a blessing!


Don’t know how to close this post out because it’s really just me gushing and being excited so…I got my first Soundrop payout today!  Wooooo!!!