After a couple false starts, getting lost in the desert, dying to a zombie horde, things are looking up! I spent the night doing some minor mining and found a couple nice pockets of iron, so I have some raw materials to work with now. My little hovel on the beach is nothing special, but it'll serve for now.
The next morning I decided I wasn't going to get lost any more. First thing, after the usual morning creeper fight, I discover something new. Apparently there are witches in the game now!
How do I know she's a witch? She looks like one of course.
Hmm. Wonder if I can trade... OW, poison! Guess witches are hostile mobs! Time to fight, and at this point I wonder if perhaps I should have made an iron sword last night... I win, but barely.
Witch defeated, I set out to the top of the nearest hill to build a beacon for this house. Of course when I get to the top I spot something odd, a couple blocks of yellow clay sticking out of... Oh crap, guess what I've found? My hole in the wall from day one!
Night's coming, so, guided by my beacon, I dash for home. Time to do some digging and crafting. I dig a bit more in the mine, but I'm not devoting a ton of effort to this. I expect to move on when I find a more attractive area to build in and explore. The next morning it's time to head out and set up my first trail markers. I decide to go east, so following the rising sun, I lay out a half-dozen torch-lit markers across the desert. I'm just about to turn back, when I spot a village in the distance (across a deep deep valley and stretch of ocean).
I don't have time to explore it, and I need to get some food before nightfall, so I run back to base, do some fishing, and pack it in for the night. Oh yeah, iron sword! And a bucket. Buckets are the best. Tomorrow I'm going to head straight for the village and see what plants they have available. Hopefully I'll find an end to this clay desert too. It looked like the village was in a traditional sand desert. Not much better, but at least it's not orange.