Yet Another Nat’l Novel Writing Month Ends, or Hello December!

As it was last year, National Novel Writing Month sadly came to an end. I did my silly novel:

Finished the story, not just hit the 50k word minimum. We’re all winners!

I’m not sure if I’ll touch this story again – something I’m calling “The Mystery of the Venerated Chalice” (take a guess – the mystery isn’t exactly about the chalice itself) – it’s a historical romantic murder mystery, with too many characters and coincidences. Plus, taking place at a historical time that I’m not exactly up on (research? what research?). But, the murderer’s sanity completely cracked and the male inspector and the woman of interest reached an understanding. It ended in a nice way, but I didn’t quite feel I knew the characters and it can be quite confining to write a mystery with clues along the way and not make it that obvious that I know who’s the murderer already (short of, say, putting an anvil on the murderer’s head, along with big red glowing arrows).

But, it was fun to have hanged out with other NaNos and cheering each other on, and maybe I’m creatively re-charged to get back on track with non-NaNo projects, of which there are many!

On to items, of the more usual triscribe note (as I dust around here while my fellow triscribers are… not here…)…

Asians/APA’s in the news… (for better, or for worse!):

On a belated note, Yahoo’s CEO Jerry Yang stepped down as CEO. Well, there are many reasons for this – not getting that Yahoo/AOL merger was probably one thing or the thing with Microsoft, and maybe getting pommelled by Google… There seems to be discussion that he wasn’t enough of a leader – perhaps even too… “apologetic.” The latter link there is to a NY Times blog post that kind of concerned me – if Jerry Yang were a white man, would the commenters in that post say the same things? Am I reading more into this than I should? After all, poor business judgment transcends cultural/racial backgrounds. Plus, Yang seemed too wishy-washy about things. Maybe.

Part of me could be more concerned for Yang, but for the moment, I’m just hoping that Yahoo keeps going, since I’ve tons of e-mail there.

Speaking of other CEO’s with trouble… I don’t envy the situation of Vikram Pandit of Citigroup. His 11/25/08 interview on Charlie Rose could’ve been more interesting, but there wasn’t much Pandit could say about the developing situation other than “let’s see what will happen next in this unprecedented situation. Thank God we’re getting help from the government.” Or maybe I got bored because finance and economics bore me until they scare me. But, it’s cool that Charlie Rose got this exclusive. He really asked questions, even if he got mostly non-answers (and probably shouldn’t be blamed for what his predecessors caused).

Time’s cover article is about Michelle Rhee, superintendent of the public school system of Washington, D.C. Another person whose job I don’t envy. After reading the article, I can’t say that I quite agree with her tactics, but I guess it’s clear that her intentions and ideas seems genuine. There’s also an interesting accompanying on-line video.

Plus, this issue of Time has this fascinating article about a walking desk (that is, a desk with a treadmill, so you can walk and work). The article’s author, Belinda Luscombe, was even generous in demonstrating the device in the on-line video. In high heels! (visually confirming what she described in the article). How she managed to do any work amazes me. Plus, her British accent made the whole thing seemed very authoritative. But, was Time awfully nice about putting such an item up – the video, that is. But, the article was illuminating too, so read it!

Fascinating bit on Newsweek.com – a Q&A with Jean Ping, Chairman of the African Union Commission, on whether Africa may have a federation much like the US (well, we’re still one nation, with various states) or the European Union (hmm – now that’ll be interesting – a whole continent in economic collaboration). Turns out that Jean Ping is half-Chinese and half-Gabonese – which might give him a unique perspective – at least, I wonder if it does?

Yoga is a centuries-old Asian exercise, so… kind of interesting to read that various Muslim clerics in Malaysia are now saying that yoga makes a Muslim less… Muslim, just when yoga’s turning into quite a trend for middle class people looking to find ways to relax and be fit. Hmm…

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