Archive for October, 2006

Word of the Day

If you have a home portal and are looking into writing as a living. I’d suggest adding a word of the day to your portal. I use NetVibes as my portal and it was actually hard for me to find a decent word of the day as they apparantly didn’t have any in their list of content.

I had to do a google on “word of the day” and am currently using Merriam-Webster’s service and added that to Netvibes. That’s part of the reason I like Netvibes, not only can you rearrange stuff and add what you want, but you can also go find newsfeeds and put them in manually if netvibes doesn’t actually have it themselves. I only chose to have 1 word entry. The little entry doesn’t do exactly as I want but it’ll do. I actually wanted the definiton of the word to be on the page, but instead i have to hover over the word to get the definition. It works but is more work for me which I never like.

Today’s word is Prescind, which essentially means to detach in purposes of thought. I heard a long time ago that if you use your word three times in the day that the word is yours forever. I don’t generally agree with that after having a horrible time remembering Spanish words no matter how hard I try, but it can’t hurt to do so. So this is my first use of it hehe, a little bit of a cheat=P But I honestly don’t know how I’m gonna use this in every day vocabularly. When it all comes down to writing though, the more words that I can get in my vocabulary, the better a writer I will be because I will have more tools at hand to write.

Improv Everywhere: We Cause Scenes

I recently heard of a comedy troop called Improv Everywhere. What they do is go around in public and have these artificial scenes. They do have some that require just a few people, but I think the really good ones involve a large number of people. One example is they took something like 60 people into Best Buy dressed in Blue Polos and Khakis and then proceeded to freak the managers out. They have apparantly been doing this for like 8 years and you’ll excuse me for being behind the times and just finding out about this but it is pure genious to me. In fact much of what they do resembles art in my eyes.

The whole thing makes me wish that there was someone doing this here in Madison. I think given that it is a smaller town we could make do with just 20-25 people per even (which would likely mean about 40 active members), but I think this would be rather difficult to set up considering I don’t know a lot of people (read none) who would likely do it with me. Plus I’d need to find a few people who have a decent video camera that wouldn’t mind taping (I’d tape too honestly). So if you live in the Madison area (even Milwaukee area as I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do it over there as well), then feel free to email me or leave a comment here and maybe if we get like enough people together we could do something sometime.

In the meantime I thought I’d leave you with what is probably my favorite of the Improv Everywhere skits… the megastore:

Link

Another stab at it

Ok here is my second stab at putting video on the site through WordPress. This time it is Bill O’Reilly attempting to know more than David Letterman, this shouldn’t be that hard.

Online Personals

Today was a bit of a waste. I basically used the day to destress from what was a pretty hectic week. I played Civ 4 most of the day playing around with the religious aspect of the day as I was told by some classmates that you could really do quite well with the religions. I was able to make money a bit better with the religions, but overall it took me a lot longer to develop my country. Once I did I generally zoomed by everyone else with technology and was able to take the world quickly. I think that probably the best idea is to try to discover 1 or 2 religions quickly and then get the big wonder that gives 2 gold per state building and be done with the religious aspect of the game. Basically to just use it more to supplement my normal playstyle. Because really there isn’t a lot in the game built for the religions, but I had been ignoring them completely and I have seen some use for them even if it isn’t alot.

I did answer a personal online today. I honestly don’t expect a real reply from her. She seems to have had some fairly bad experiences previously and is pretty high on guard on this. I don’t really know why she even keeps her profile up, it says its cause she is shy in real life and doesn’t have a good opportunity to meet people, but if you already had bad experiences I’d be done with this avenue too. Still I wanted to answer because she was cute and I don’t know. She had many of the same personality traits as me, while not being at all like me. She is far more artsy than I am for one, she’s a composer, I have my moments but I am more mainstream culture. So we’ll see. I don’t really have the opportunity to meet anyone in real life either. Who knows what will happen.

Choosing First Novel Topic

Ok so my new “feature” didn’t really work last time. Apparantly WordPress requires some special code when you post youtube videos and such so I am going to have to give that a second go a little later.

But I thought I would post today about how I went about choosing the topic for my first novel. I have dozens of ideas for novels, as I am sure any aspiring writer would have, and this was actually quite a difficult task.

The first thing that I think that you need to do for your first novel is really make a strong, what I would call “normal” book. I have ideas for sci-fi and fantasy books but overall I think these genres might be rather difficult to get into as I think people are more weary of new writers, since there are a lot of them in this field. If you are targeting an existing world such as Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance than this is nulified quite a bit as those particular series get sells just on the name brand alone. However,  I have little interest in these series (not that I don’t like them, I just want my own series), so this is out. Plus I have also noticed that people who write sci-fi or fantasy tend to only write in those genres, and while I have ideas for those genres I don’t want to be in one specific genre like that. One way that I think you can get out of this is by writing a more traditional work.

Next, I fully believe in the “write what you know” saying. This is going to be my first book so I think being fully aware of the subject is very very important. I don’t want to have to worry as much about this side the writing since I am largely using this book to get my sea legs. As I progress in writing I can advance my topics into ones that I’m less familiar with and thus would need to research more. Researching is something I’m not quite prepared to get into full blown, especially since I am currently a student and research enough as it is.

With these two things in mind I originally decided to write an autobiography. On top of the two above reasons, I also feel like the autobiography is a genre that seems to be really blossoming in mainstream America currently, thus I have a good chance of selling because of it. Also, while I may not be famous or powerful in any paritcular way, my disease does provide me with the ability of showcasing something not many people really know that much about and going through how exactly that affects my life.

After writing a couple short chapters on the subject though, I decided that this wasn’t exactly what I was looking to write either so I morphed the original idea somewhat. Instead of a straight autobiography, I am planning on doing a fictional autobiography. What this essentially means is that I will take some of the larger moments of my life and sort of mash them together into one story and try to explain how it affects my life in a more indirect fashion that way. This also allows me to make more subtle commentaries on the medical society as well as society on a whole. I think it is a great idea, I have a lot of stuff I can put into, and putting it into a real story can make it more interesting to read. We’ll see how this works!

New Feature

Too Busy

Well yesterday I didn’t post if you didn’t notice, that is because I had a big paper due today and a quiz due that I hadn’t even begun to study for before yesterday. I just didn’t have the time for a post.

I think my outlining helped quite a bit for the paper and as expected I used almost none of it. If I used none of it I am sure many are wondering how exactly it helped. Well like I said previously I think it really does do a service to me to go in knowing about what I wanted to write about. When I sat down to write the paper, I knew exactly what I wanted to say and I think my paper worked out a little better than my previous ones because of it. It did take a small new direction that I hadn’t expected, that being that I brought in real life history into the differences between Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle… something that really I wouldn’t have done without looking up some random thoughts gotten by the outline. So overall I am quite happy with it and assuming that I have time, I plan on using it more in the future.

Now that those two big things are done… I feel alot more relieved, like I have more time to relax which I haven’t really felt for awhile. I already spent a couple hours this afternoon playing video games, but I think I will spend the rest of the evening working on my Geometry class in hopes of finishing it off tonight or tomorrow so that I can get my test in by next week sometime.