You're asking physicists, not biologists, so we can only give a bit of the answer. I'll start with the easy part.
"Are viruses even living?" That's purely a matter of what you
choose to mean by the word 'living'. Viruses reproduce, evolve etc.
However, they cannot do so except inside of some more complete
organism, borrowing some of its machinery. It's not much of a life.
"ARE viruses the simplest form of "things" with genes?" They're the
smallest semi-independent genetic reproducers. However, many bacteria
have seperate genetic components called 'plasmids' whose reproduction
is not tied directly to the bacterial reproduction. These plasmids can
be fairly easily exchanged between different bacteria, even between not
very similar bacteria. They're a major source of evolving and spreading
bacterial resistance to antibiotics. So you might say that they're
'things' smaller than viruses but with genes.
"HOW are viruses created?" I'm not sure whether you're asking how
different lines of viruses are created (I don't know the answer) or how
each individual virus is created reproductively. The answers to the
second question are complicated, depending on whether you're talking
about DNA viruses, retroviruses, etc. A virologist would be able to
give a detailed, accurate answer. Also, a virologist might know enough
to understand the question about 'freezing'.
I hope this at least gets you started, although it's far from complete.
(republished on 07/17/06)