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Open Book: How to Transfer a Library e-book to Your NOOK

August 7, 2011 Leave a comment

While I do not consider myself a tech person, I am not a newbie either.  However, when I first tried to transfer a library e-book to my NOOK,  I was having some difficulty.  I looked on the Barnes and Noble website, the library website, called BN and my local library.  Everyone was  helpful, but not quite enough. So, I thought if I was having issues, others must  too. 

The problem I found was that BN’s emphasis was not in downloading free or  borrowed  books.  They want to get you to buy a BN book, so their explanation of transferring a library book was glossed over.  “Oh, it’s just like buying a book,” the BN woman said. 

 “Not quite,” I thought as I scrolled and clicked on the NOOK menu screen.  I then went to the library for help.  The librarians were gracious, but didn’t really understand the process themselves.  Obviously, they were still reading hard texts.

I won’t bore you with my errors, but I finally succeeded.  The instructions on how to transfer a library e-book to your NOOK are as follows:

The Set Up

1. On your computer, go to your library online.  Click on the tab or icon that will open up the ebook library selections. 
2. The library page will have a login icon/hyperlink that will bring you to the login page.  If you haven’t already registered, you will need to do this before anything else.
3. Then, view the library ebook  choices at the library site.  The library site  may provide you a link to another site or take you there directly.  My library site took my to “Maryland’s Digital eLibrary Consortium.”
4. Pick a book that is either in a pdf or epub format.   Add it to your cart (look for a link near your book selection).
5.  Click on “Proceed to checkout.”  In Maryland you can only borrow 4 books total at any time. Borrowing library ebooks are usually for two weeks.  There are waiting lists.  My screen then shows the book, the lending period and the devices the book will transfer to.  Click “confirm” to checkout.
6. When you checkout, another box will ask if you downloaded Adobe Digital Editions on to your computer.  You need to do download this software to acquire the book.  Follow directions to do so.

The Transfer

1.  You can now transfer the book.  Under the image of the ebook, click the “download” button.
2.  Click open and the epub/pdf will transfer to the Adobe Digital Editions software on your computer.
3.  When you open the Adobe Digital Editions on your desktop, you should see the image of the ebook you borrowed.  If not, you need to authorize the computer you are using.  To Authorize: In Adobe Digital Editions, click on the drop down menu Library.  Chose Authorize Computer.  All it wants is a valid email address (The same one that you used when you downloaded the software).
4.  Connect your NOOK to your computer.  You will then see that your  NOOK will show up on the left side of the Adobe Digital Editions under Bookshelves.
5.  Drag and drop the ebook on to the NOOK at the left.  Wait a few seconds for transfer.
6.  Then, disconnect your NOOK from your computer by clicking on the safe removal tool at the bottom of screen in the navigation bar.
7. Check to see that your NOOK has the ebook transfer. 

This seems like lots of instructions, but if you do it once, the process will seem effortless going forward.

One nice thing is that you can now read the book at your computer or on your NOOK.  Happy reading.

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Open Book: Grammar Rules You Can Break

August 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Did you ever write a sentence and wonder if it was acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition?  Or begin a sentence with a conjunction?  Or write the way we talk?  Me too.  Even though I have seen magazines, printed articles, and newspapers write in an informal style, bucking up against Strunk and White’s Elements of Style somehow seemed incorrect.  (I have to admit that my elementary education had brainwashed me as far as grammar rules and the mighty diagramming sentences tool.)

A couple of days ago, Erik Decker posted the blog The writing rules you’re allowed to break  http://www.prdaily.com/writingandediting/Articles/9060.aspx.  You don’t have to wonder any more whether you are the writing rebel.  Decker lists 5 common rules of grammar that have gained flexibility over the years.

1. You CAN end sentences with a preposition.           
2. You CAN start a sentence with or, and or but.
3. You do not have to start a sentence with a dependent clause.  You can end with one, if it makes more sense and doesn’t form a misplaced modifier (a dependent clause should be adjacent to the noun it describes).
4. You CAN use incomplete sentences sparingly.
5. A sentence DOES NOT always have a subject, verb and an object.  A paragraph is not always contain three to five sentences.        

These bendable rules are nothing new to the slick, contemporary magazine writers.  

However, one writing rule you CANNOT break is that every successful writer knows his audience.  (Decker should have added a sixth rule…You CAN use the pronoun he in a sentence to refer to an individual.  For a decade or so, it was a political taboo to choose a gender. The only way around this is to either reword the sentence to avoid using pronouns reflecting gender or adding the words “he and/or she” everywhere in an article.  Both options halted the flow of thought and sounded awkward.  So kudos to society for allowing the use of either one gender or the other.)  If your audience are professionals, writing along the accepted grammar rules is expected.  Anything less might decrease your credibility. 

For the details of the permissible writing rule changes, click on Decker’s blog:     http://www.prdaily.com/writingandediting/Articles/9060.aspx.   

Open Book: Airplane Mode for the Nook Made Easy

August 1, 2011 Leave a comment
My mom had a hard time with the concept of Airplane Mode on her new NOOK.  She is not the only one.  Below is an easy explanation of airplane mode.
 
If the airplane in the upper right hand corner of the screen shows, it means that the NOOK is in airplane mode.  It is ON. (Logic dictates, the pilot doesn’t want to have his passengers’ electronic frequencies interfering with his radio reception, therefore, airplane mode ON means that your NOOK cannot, is not receiving or transmitting and therefore, not interfering with the airplane’s frequencies.)
 
AIRPLANE MODE: ON
No 3 G reception.
No Wifi.
No buying books or surfing the web.
No reading email.
 
AIRPLANE MODE: OFF
3 G reception.
You have the option of turning on Wifi.
Barnes and Noble welcomes you and your credit card to buy books for your NOOK.
 
How do you turn airplane mode on and off?
 
When your NOOK first comes up, the bottom screen offers you choices to select what you want to do.  Scroll the images to the left by gently moving your finger lightly across the bottom frame from right to left.  Tap on the image that says Wifi.
 
You will then be able to tap on the airplane mode choice when you want to toggle between off and on.
 
Tips for Easier NOOK Usage
1.  When you are not using the Internet, you should put your NOOK airplane mode on ON.  This will preserve the battery.  I’m not sure if Wifi on vs. 3G on uses more power. B&N tells me that Wifi does. 
2.  Saving battery charge = airplane mode ON
3.  You will be able to read the NOOK whether the airplane mode is on or off.
 
 

How to Plot by Example

July 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Are you a writer who can sit down and have dialogues and scenes stream onto the computer screen with little regard to structure?  If you are, and are happy with your results, you are one of the lucky writers with a gift.  Most writers need to craft the plot through scene summaries and outlines.

I am not so gifted.  I need to plot to make my stories come together in the end.  For many years I let my writing drift.  It was easier and fun, but always when I read it back, the only salvagable sections were description. 

One day a couple of years ago, I found a talented blogger, who writes about the technique of novel writing.  If you feel like a hamster running the wheel when you write, check this website out.  www.storyfix.com.  Currently, Larry Brooks is deconstructing the novel The Help.  He shows us how to plot by examining Kathryn Stockett’s plotting strategy and how this is a major factor that catapulted her novel into recognition.  (I read that she had many, many rejections in earlier drafts, but she did not give up.)

He has a book out called Story Engineering: 6 Core Competencies.  You can see a preview on his website.  You can get a better idea by rooting around in his blog archive, because Brooks does an excellent job describing the core competencies individually.

Okay, I took a hiatus from blogging.  You would think when I unexpectedly became unemployed I would have time to blog more.  Instead I used the time to figure out what to do.  I spent most of the day doing job search activities in a very dry market.  Blogging sounded interesting as a public journal on personal impressions when I first began the journey.  I had envisioned it more like the journal I wrote as a pre teen.  Months later, my thoughts have evolved.  My goal for this blog is to make it more content rich.  In the next few weeks, I will be examining the topic blogging for money.

 

Not Writing? An Act of Self Sabotage?

March 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Lucky bambooWriting is all about discipline.  I know that.  Then, my question is, what does it mean when you like to write but in the end find writing to be a task?  For those finding it difficult to settle down and write, is it part of our DNA to prefer activities that don’t chain ourselves to a chair?  Or are we running away from ourselves?  Will our writing reveal more about ourselves than we want to share?  All interesting questions for the writer who finds they are not writing.

Recently, I found out that I am not alone in this struggle.  A talented writer/ friend is exploring that very same question.  What in the world is holding us back?  Why are we self-sabotaging ourselves?

Probably the answer is different for all of us.  However, I do see a similarity as I listen to other potential writers (there are oodles of us out there), read writing threads, and read blogs.  It simply comes down to avoidance behavior. 

If you look closely at your favorite writer, or for that matter, any successful person, you will see that people who show up every day and work at their craft, their business, their passion are the ones who eventually reap rewards for overcoming the challenges from every day demands. 

So, I’m talking to all those out there, and I’m talking  to myself —  If you want to be successful at writing, you need to show up and write every day.  Although the editor in you will say “This sucks!”  Keep at it. You’ll get better and faster with just the commitment to working at your writing with consistency. 

If you have experienced yo-yo dieting, you know it doesn’t work.  All those successful weight loss stories come from a place of discipline and exercise.  Sorry to say, I’m learning that writing is no different. 

You are like your first novel.  Just like every character and every scene must in some way advance the plotline of your novel, so must the writing and reading activities of your writing time. 

I’d like to hear from you, if you had many starts and stops to your writing.  How did you eventually move past your hurdles?

August Doldrums

August 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Ooops!  Where did August go?  Was I having fun? Some. Was I working? Yes. Was I writing?  More like outlining. 

I hate putting my writing at the bottom of my to-do list.  Every time I try moving it up, I succeed for one or two days and then I let external demands derail me. I don’t imagine that I am alone.

August has been a month for reading…mostly background research for my germ of an idea for a series based on the Chinese immigration in the late 1800’s.  I should be taking notes, but I am so engrossed in the material that my eyes glide through the pages like a document feeder. 

August has been a time to ponder the direction of this blog.  I didn’t want this blog to be specifically about HOW to WRITE.  There are oodles of websites that can do it well and obviously are better at time management than I seem to be.  I thought maybe the journal angle would be fun, but who really wants to listen to me moan and groan about my inertia?  I certainly wouldn’t, but then again, maybe it would attract attention because global journal sharing seems to be the trend.

I could blog about my research, but then, why would I write the novel, if it is already out there for people to see?  Anyway, I am superstitious.  I don’t talk too much about these things in order to avoid being jinxed or too many people asking me questions like why isn’t it written already.  Maybe I should stick to reviewing a particular topic? 

Hmmm.  Well, it gives me pause for thought about which direction to take this blog.   Stay tune.

Finding Time to Write

July 5, 2010 Leave a comment

When I was in my 20’s I lived paycheck to paycheck for many months.  Eventually, as the Universe would have it, I would have to learn to be more responsible.  I had to have a major repair on my car and had saved nothing for an emergency. 

I did what everyone else would have done.  Charged it.  “Don’t worry too much. You have two paychecks before the bill arrived, ”  I told myself.  It was a very tight 90 days.  I don’t think the Universe expected me to be a financial wizard, but I knew that I had to do something different because living like a pauper wasn’t cutting it for me.   The lesson learned here is obvious:  Save something from every paycheck and don’t spend more than you earn.

That said, I need to take this page out of my experience playbook and apply it to my writing.  No money. No time.  Same difference.  I didn’t put my financial health high on the priority list and sooner or later, the inevitable expense threw my financial equilibrium off (and notice it only took one good size invoice).  Just like my financial negligence, I am doing the very same thing to my writing.  There are other things obviously more important to me, although I espouse how I value writing time. 

So I am applying what I have learned at work…well, intellectually learned at least…to my writing.

Here’s what the business coaches would say if I made novel writing my career:

Make writing the first thing you do each day.  Once the day has begun there is too much competition from distractions and external energies vying for your attention.  DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO OPEN YOUR EMAIL FIRST!  Guarenteed you will not have time to write.

Apply the Pareto Principle.  Those in business may know it as the 80/20 Rule…80% of your desired results come from 20% of your effort.  An example of this rule:  80% of all the books sold are written by 20% of authors.  So, it makes sense, that if you spent 20% of your day or about 2 hours on your writing, would that book be written and published by now?

To apply the Pareto Principle, you must drop all the busy work that gets you nowhere.  You may have to work on defining this, because we all get into habits of just doing.  Before each activity, ask yourself, “Will this task help me finish my novel?”  Some you will say overwhelming ly yes.  Some will be a little less connected.  For instance, a trip to the dentist.  The results of a dental visit is integral to the success of getting that novel done.  If you neglect your health, you will not have the energy, concentration to complete a novel.

You will have to learn to prioritize and organize.  If these traits do not come naturally to you, you need to step up to the plate and figure out how to make this work.

Writing a novel is like running a marathon.  You need to keep going until you reach the finish line.  Any distractions will certainly derail you from your goal.

On your computer create a tme tracker for your writing.  No doubt you have heard about food tracking for dieters. Well, you should track how much time you spend each day on your writing tasks. 

Ask for help and learn to delegate in your family.  Even though your family wants to support you, changing their behaviors to help you might be a challenge especially if you are dealing with teenagers.  I suggest you explain to your family what you would like to accomplish and what it means to them.  Some families will get on board with the change immediately; some will need more time to adjust. 

Learn to say NO.  This is one of the hardest lessons learned for women.  Women seem to be better at multi tasking and well, the nurturing and caring strengths actually work against women novelists.

Write a goal list for your writing.  You do it at work all the time.  You have a list of tasks you would like to get done that day.  You write grocery lists, errand lists, and procedual lists.  You will find better results if you know that you will finish writing a scene with the protagonist that day and read Publisher’s Weekly.  Accomplishing only two things a day for your writing is huge.  When you complete those two things. you know you have gotten something done and are that much closer to the finish line.

Are you ready?  Get set. Go.