Tuesday, November 23, 2004

NaNoWriMo in the Spotlight

As I drove back to work after lunch today, I heard Neal Conan announce that in the next hour of NPR's Talk of the Nation, they would be talking about writing a novel in one month! Yes, National Public Radio dedicated 45 minutes of programming to NaNoWriMo, The National Novel Writing Month project.

Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, was the guest. They took calls from people who are currently endeavoring to write 50,000 words in 30 days... people like me! What I managed to listen to was fun. It's nice to see the project get some national attention.

Read more about NaNoWriMo on NPR.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Cory Doctorow: the Baroque Cycle is Worth It

Cory Doctorow just finished System of the World, Neal Stephenson's final book in the Baroque Cycle. In his post on Boing Boing, Cory makes the case for reading all three, saying it's a big, sometimes irritating investment, but it really pays off. He describes the Cycle thusly:

...these books are like a good curry. They're mild and interesting when you first taste them, but after you've swallowed, they grow on you, spreading a warm fire throughout your digestive system, making beads of sweat appear on your forehead. Since finishing the first two books, I've been practically haunted by them. Ever time I spend money, or walk through London, or see a ship, or think about math and science, some snippet of those books springs to mind, a lens through which to reexamine my thinking and assumptions.

I never made it past about page 50 of Quicksilver, but maybe the time has come to do my chores and get my reward.

Monday, November 15, 2004

New Short Story from Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow, one of my favorite new authors, has published a new short story in Salon, entitled Anda's Game (you need to subscribe to Salon to read the whole thing, or just read my PDF version below).

Here's an excerpt from Cory's posting to Boing Boing:

Salon has just published a brand-new short story of mine, called "Anda's Game," which is a riff on the way that property-rights are coming to games, and on the bizarre spectacle of sweat-shops in which children are paid to play the game all day in order to generate eBay-able game-wealth. When I was a kid, there were arcade kings who would play up Gauntlet characters to maximum health and weapons and then sell their games to nearby players for a dollar or two -- netting them about $0.02 an hour -- but this is a very different proposition indeed.
This is the first story ever published by Salon under a Creative Commons license-- which means it can be freely distributed if it is not modified and no one profits from the distribution.

Here's a PDF version of the story.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Fallujah: Up Close and Personal

Kevin Sites, a freelance reporter currently embedded with Marines in Fallujah, has posted some new photos and insights to his personal blog. Kevin is seeing the sweep through Fallujah up close and personal, no doubt closer than he would like.

His writing is personal, and moving. I recommend it to anyone hoping to gain an understanding of what our troops are going through in Iraq.

Latest report: 22 U.S. deaths since the assault on Fallujah began.