Thursday, November 11, 2004

Wikiquotes, Neil, Yasir Arafat dead, new MSN search engine, writer's block, NYC real estate

I just found a cool new extension of the excellent Wikipedia--Wikiquotes! It's not as extensive as it could be (yet), but it's fun to browse nonetheless.

Also, I've been nurturing my obsession with Neil Gaiman by writing an article about him for my school newspaper. I'm afraid it's a little too gushy and obsessive, especially since I want all the anti-book kids at my school to read the article and then discover the genius that is Neil. Oh well, a girl can hope. I'll put the article up here as a separate post so you all can tell me what you think of it.

Speaking of Neil, I've begun to frequent the Neil Gaiman message boards, and consequently I've discovered more about the intricacies and hidden mythological connections in American Gods. I finished AG a while ago, but the more I think about it, the more I love it. Being me, I'll probably buy a copy of it soon, re-read it, and mark it up with annotations so I can lend it to my friends with all the clues and foreshadowing revealed. I have this weird feeling that I've already mentioned this in a previous post...but oh well, a second time FOR EMPHASIS.

And, the news in brief: Yasir Arafat finally died (woot!). This is a win-win situation: he dies thinking, "Good, I did all the evil I possibly could in my lifetime" while we think, "Good, you're dead and you can't do any more evil in your lifetime." I just hope that Palestine doesn't sink into a state of political turmoil as they try to figure out the power structure without Arafat. Ideally, the new leader or Prime Minister of Palestine would agree to Israel's offers of land to become a Palestinian state. Everyone would be happy. And I also think that Jerusalem should become its own state, like the Vatican or Washington D.C., so that the Israelites and Palestinians would stop fighting over which religion it belongs to. But that's a topic for a whole different post.

Another news item from today mentioned that Microsoft just unveiled its post-beta search engine. It looks pretty good but I couldn't find an image search easily, which is a BIG drawback. My dad said he used the engine a couple months ago and it was "pretty rough," so we'll see. Incidentally, did you know that Bill Gates gets only four hours of sleep a night? And he's a billionaire!

Alright, I guess that's it for the news. On the book front, I've been doing a lot of brainstorming and thinking and character-developing (in my head) lately for my two books-in-progress, The Hidden City and Seacraft. But I've done almost no writing in the past week, which makes me sad. The thing with me is that I'm always very enthusiastic about getting new ideas and developing the story mentally, but I have to be in a certain mindset to really be itching to write a few pages. Because with creative writing, unlike with blogging or essay-writing, I am very slow. I want every sentence to sound perfect. And it's always kind of defeating, because whatever I write seems awful to me until I look at it a few weeks later--then it seems pretty damn good and I think, "I WROTE that?" Ah well, maybe I should just take up the Philip Pullman approach of writing three pages a day, no matter what. I SHOULD. Maybe I will. But NaNoWriMo is a third of the way through and I only have 10,000 words, so... Alas, I don't think the book will be done in time. Maybe if I really crack down.

Oh, and for a completely random thought: I was reading about real estate in New York City today. It's veddy expensive. But I REALLY want to live in NYC when I grow up. I've wanted to for years. I want to live in a busy place with coffee shops all around and live music every night...a place where I can write and make friends with interesting people. But how am I going to get all that money? I always wonder how all the taxi drivers and poor immigrants manage to afford an apartment in NYC. I want one of THOSE apartments. We'll see.

Bye all.

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