Posted by: Kibrika | April 11, 2008

Fan post: Neil Gaiman

I want to write about a recent favourite author of mine. Hes name is Neil Gaiman.

A few years ago I took a bunch of audio-books from an acquaintance. He talked a lot about self development and he was quite a leader and read books on those things (self development and leadership). Among his books was one called The American Gods. I figured it’d be a book about the large corporations in America and power struggle between them. The beginning of the book, though a bit surprising, didn’t contradict this assumption too much. Later on I was astonished and surprised all the time, because the book was not at all what I thought it would be. I loved it.

I wasn’t sure why I loved it so much, was it because how it surprised me (for the best) or because it was genuinely so well written. It had details that I love so much – in the beginning of the book something happens that doesn’t quite make sense at the time, but does near the end when so much more has been resolved. It has culture in it and lots of fantasy.

I blabbered the authors name all over my relatives and got Stardust for my birthday. I also got a glittery stone tied up in string at the same time, though it was a souvenir from some trip that my father had been on and not intentionally related. But it was such a great combination of presents for a dreaming girl like me. I loved the book too. Even though I now didn’t expect anything boring of it.

I’ve also read Anansi Boys now and I want to get my hands on the Sandman comics. I’m also looking forward to the Graveyard Book. But it’s not near all he’s done.

I admire him even more for interacting with readers so much. I read his blog and he answers such a great amount of letters, I think. Even though I don’t agree with everything he does, I think it’s great that he doesn’t do just books. And I am happy that he isn’t conservative about how people get to his work. I have gotten a few of his works for free, but I have also purchased some because of it. And he understands and encourages it.

If I ever become a writer, I want to be just like him, except female, and obviously I want to be original and everything. What I meant was that he’s great with so many words. English is not my native language, but I think I’d learn a few words from his books even if it was. And he does great research for his books.

Now I’ll be one of the over 2500 websites that link to his page every day and I’m proud of it.

Posted by: Kibrika | April 6, 2008

Don’t Be Offended

Life is all about balance. Eat enough tasty things to make yourself happy, but little enough not to make yourself fat. Save enough money to become more wealthy and ensured, but don’t become obsessed with it and let yourself buy an occasional treat. Work hard enough, but don’t become overworked. Have belief, but also be reasonable. And so on. Today I want to talk about freedom of speech and abusing it.

The trigger for me to talk about this was a few articles in a local newspaper site about abusive advertisements. I didn’t find those advertisements abusive. One was an advertisement for a cell phone that stated three things why a phone is better than a secretary. It was a bit lame instead of being actually funny, but it wasn’t abusive. Not even to female secretaries (as it was claimed it was, because of a picture of a woman in a suit and with a pensive expression). I think if we go around saying that’s abusive, we’ll end up not being able to say a lot of things. From this I concluded that I’m all for freedom of speech.

I’m not the firs to talk about this. Violent Acres talks about overly applied political correctness and illustrates it with a story that very deeply touched me. And yes, I’m a great fan of hers and would love to get noticed by her, but I’ll link to her posts often because they stick with me (not to get noticed). I remember what I’ve read at VA’s and more often like and agree with it than not.

In my country and my life political correctness is not such an issue yet, because we’re still a pretty monotone community. Probably in time we’ll get there, though.

I could use the above mentioned story to illustrate the point that people can feel offended by anything if they want to. And if they’re confident enough and don’t want to achieve anything by being offended and needing an apology they can shrug and laugh at almost anything.

I have a suspicion that for any given text there is a person somewhere who is offended by said text. I was offended by Terry Pratchett when he did a word play on the game “Poohsticks”, which is a game I love since “Winnie-the-Pooh” by Alan Alexander Milne is my childhood favourite book. But it was a good joke and I would not let anyone forbid it, because it offends me.

It’s like with most things in life. We can be very careful and strive for not being offensive to anyone and end up not being able to talk much, or we can be open and talkative and not be offended by so much stuff. I vote for the second option.

Posted by: Kibrika | March 28, 2008

Perfection or work done

I am not yet an immensely successful, but I intend to be. I’m not rich, but I intend to be. I’m not famous and I don’t really care if I am, but I suppose it comes with success. I’m young enough to manage those things. What I need to do in order to become all that is work. A lot of hard work. For now the work would mostly be in the area of learning things, but it still needs to be done. By me. I think I’m not doing enough now.

There are tons of advice out there about how to become successful, happy and other things. And there is enough of advice about getting work done too. The tricky part is to pick the one that helps you. I mean for me the tricky part is to find the one that helps me. I have problems getting work done. Especially if I get my hands on an interesting fantasy or science fiction book. There are a few categories of work I have problems getting done, that I’ll try to describe.

It took me quite a long time to begin a proper blog, because I wanted to write one only when I was ready for posting regular meaningful entries. Like I was ever going to be if I didn’t actually start writing them. Of course “to learn to write blog entries” is not motivating enough to write something. I think this could be called “perfection syndrome”.

When I try learning something new, I sometimes don’t do more practising after the first few attempts. I hate the thought of doing the thing so clumsily again. This happens when I’m trying to learn musical instruments or programming. It is the silliest reason ever. Of course I suck at doing something I’m learning to do, but I can’t learn to do it better if I don’t practise. But I just want to be good all the time. “Perfection syndrome” again, only in a more bizarre form?

And last but not least are the things I’m not bad at, but I am afraid of getting stuck at. There might appear some kind of problem, like some calculations wouldn’t match or I wouldn’t know how to describe some results, so I don’t want to even begin. Mostly these are school exercises. Today I spent all day not doing my physics homework. And since it was what I was supposed to be doing, I wasn’t doing anything else useful either. The ridiculous part is that those problems can be overcome, but they take a while and more work.

It is said that realising the problem is already a step towards the solution, so I hope I have pinned the right problem. I am too frightened to fail or even to not be perfect, to do as well as I’m capable of doing. I must overcome my fear of failure and fail more often, work harder to learn more and therefore succeed more in the future.

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