Tuesday, April 17, 2001

I’m going sort of crazy.

I’ve got over 300 books catalogued in my virtual bookshelves now, and I’m only about two-thirds of the way through, and I’m trying to go through and add abstracts and reviews for them. And when you’re like me, and try to accurately represent every single book, it’s a mind-numbing job.

Which, of course, it isn’t. Provided you look at it the right way, it isn’t, at least. I’m looking at it as 300 little jobs, each of which is pretty easy. Each job says: “Write a paragraph or two about this book.” Not bad at all.

Though it is hard to write a cogent review of things like comic strip collections. How do you describe The Far Side Gallery 3? Maybe I shouldn’t try, and should focus on fiction, or nonfiction that isn’t drawn.

[Cover for Neil Gaiman's new novel American Gods]I notice that Neil Gaiman has an online diary, which focuses on his new book American Gods but generally talks about the life of a book after it’s been published, before it gets into the hands of eager readers. Fascinating, very well-written (gee, what a surprise), and pretty regularly updated several times a week.

I needed to get a few basic personal items — socks and such — so I wandered into a nearby bookstore and grabbed the latest issue of Marie Claire, which is still the only “fashion” magazine I can find that doesn’t exclusively contain “I’m too sexy for this outfit” photos. Lots of good material that I’ll use as drawing references. I also bought the latest issue of Writer’s Digest (with a nice interview with Ursula K. LeGuin), the latest issue of Animerica (please note the URL…animerica.com is a hentai site), plus a Time-Life book on garden design (on sale for USD $8). A pretty good haul.

The issue of Writer’s Digest includes a list of 101 writing websites. Of them, the most interesting for me was The Burry Man Writers Center, in which I found a wonderful article about Just Writing. In other words, if you want to write, stop worrying and spend serious amounts of time every day (or every week; whatever) actually writing. No excuses. It’s good advice, and not just for writers.

Dangit, I just can’t end today’s entry. Came across Culture Shock, a website which lets you choose from a set of images, each potentially unsettling/offensive in some way, and asks if you think it should be used on the front page of their site. Then it presents a barrage of opposing arguments, no matter which you choose. So, if you think it’s good, you’ll get a bunch of reasons why it may be bad. And vice versa. And flip-flopping your opinion doesn’t help. Fascinating.

Oh, and on top of the rant about people’s perspectives on rich people, remind me to talk about Steve Martin’s comments about getting published.

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