Aside

How to Stay Out of the Temple of

How to Stay Out of the Temple of Padded Walls and Win the Writing Game

There is something magical about a quiet morning, a full cup of coffee, a computer and T I M E –

Time to explore and to finally look at instructions.

That’s what I did one morning, tooling around Windows 8 and discovering for the first time –

Microsoft Blogs!

Voila! Wonderful instructions, one lesson at a time, one application at a time. Word. Excel. OneNote.

Now, maybe you’re the kind who reads directions on the back of the game box and goes forth confidently into Microsoft Candy Land, but I am not. I’m the kind who sets up the board, dumps out all the pieces, throws the dice and lands on “Go directly to  Padded Cell”. I jump in with both feet, start to write… and write… and copy/paste into a new document… and loses her words because she didn’t press save… and writes some more… renames the file… adds to the file….

Totally unorganized. I’m lucky to find my files and last night’s doc.

Well, maybe not that bad – if I were any worse though, I’d never get anything done.

Anyway, here’s the link for Word’s blog, which offers up spiffy webinar videos on things like:

Setting Margins in Word, Tricks from Word Expert [and Editor] Hilary Powers (author of Making Word Work for You, a handbook for Editors), Change the Footnote and Endnote Separator (Oemgee I think this one will be a lifechanger for us!) and more.

Maybe it sounds silly and trivial and gee whiz Pamela what are you doing reading tech’y blogs again when you’re in the middle of writing your great American novel?

But you know what…?

If you’ve ever been on Facebook in the middle of  procrastinating and another writer posts a frantic SOS to tell them how to delete a page break line that’s sitting right in the middle of a  contest entry or query or requested submission and minutes are ticking down out loud and way too fast… you’ll understand. And now you can be a hero and point them to this post.

Oh okay… bookmark the Word blog instead and point them to that and be a hero. Just don’t forget where you got your green lantern. If I say it a third time it’s a “Pay Pamela $200 in 10s and 20s kind of thing. Heh…I used the control K shortcut to do that.

Tomorrow: Lessons from the App side – OR – What the heck is a third party app on Facebook and why do I need one?

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