Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

Archive for July, 2010

SIDEKICKS AND RWA

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 29, 2010

I blogged today on Sidekicks as Secondary Characters at http://ffnp.blogspot.com/.  Check it out and leave a comment for a chance to enter my drawing for a $7 gift card to TWRP.

Attended RWA conference today: State of the Industry Talk with publisher Lou Aronica, keynote luncheon with Nora Roberts, and two panels today on paranormals and writing in multiple genres.  More details to follow when I’m home.

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GETTING A NEW COMPUTER

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 25, 2010

GETTING A NEW COMPUTER

I got pulled kicking and screaming into the new computer age.  Loathe to upgrade, I waited until my computer crashed with no hope of revival to throw in the towel. First decision was what machine to get. I browsed the aisles at Office Depot and Best Buy but saw only one model on the floor that I liked. The sales guy said it was out of stock. I called another store, and that person said it had been discontinued. So I went my previous route and ordered direct from Dell. I got an Inspiron 580.

After a breathless wait, the new machine arrived about a week later. I just needed the CPU because I had all the peripherals. Or so I thought. When I saw all the usb connections on the CPU and the parallel and serial ports on my printer and ergonomic keyboard, I gulped with dismay.

Fortunately, I’d saved the extra usb cable that had come with my monitor, so we switched cables and that worked fine. Then we found a usb cable for my five year old printer, too. My computer consultant fussed with the printer driver and got it to work.

No luck with the keyboard, though. It’s years old but has saved my wrists from carpal tunnel problems with its split keyboard and touch pad.  So add this item to the List of MUST HAVES:

  1. New ergonomic keyboard

I already knew my scanner wouldn’t work and set that aside as a loss.  Add this as a maybe:

  1. New Scanner  (or more likely an All-In-One color laser printer)

Next we start up the computer, connect it to the Internet, and install my only new program so far, Microsoft Office 10 ($279.99). I knew I’d have to buy it because my version from 2003 was seven years old.

My heart sank as I tried to install my other essential software that now has to be replaced:

  1.  Screen Shot by Parsons Technology that allowed me to print whatever is actually on the monitor screen with the Print Screen button on the keyboard. 
  2. Adobe Photodeluxe.  I’ve been using a free version for years.  Maybe my camera program will work instead. I have to install that disk yet. Let’s hope it works.
  3. WordPerfect.  All of my old files are in WP, so even if I want to use Word primarily now, I have to remove the WP codes before converting the files. I still need WP for things like my brochures since I don’t have Microsoft Publisher. But after installing WP 12, my Outlook crashed. I restored my computer to an earlier restore point and Outlook worked again. WordPerfect Office X5 is another expensive program at $159.99. I don’t want to get it unless I know it’s compatible with Outlook  10 but I may have to take the chance.
  4. Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred 10.  I have version 9. It would not install on Windows 7. Dragon 10 says it works with Vista 64 bit and will work with Windows 7, but is it really made for the new system or will they be coming out with an upgrade soon? I already turned down the chance to get Dragon 10 for the initial upgrade offer of $99 and now I’d have to buy it for $199. Plus the specs say you have to have a processor with SSE2 instructions. They refer you to a free online program to determine if your computer meets this requirement. Why does technology have to be so complicated?

Meanwhile, I am struggling to figure out how to do the simplest things like address an envelope, change the font, and print selected pages in Word 10. Everything seems to be there but in a different place.  Where is the Select All button?  How do I change the lines per page?  What are all these new tabs for?

I am so lost!

Next Day:  I’m getting used to this interface and even learned how to print what’s on my Internet page by using a new tool call Snippet with Windows 7.  I’m ready to resume my normal activities and will just have to learn as I go. Still have to add Dragon and WP and my photo program, but one step at a time.

***AUTHOR INTERVIEW TODAY at Smart Girls Love Sci Fi  http://smartgirlsscifi.wordpress.com   Come check it out!

Leave a comment  and you’ll be entered into my July drawing for a $7 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press!

Posted in The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Author Roast and Toast

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 23, 2010

For a super space blast, hop over to http://www.authorroastandtoast.blogspot.com and join the party. Prize drawing from all commenters. It’s a hilarious visit to Bartlett Space Station where Silver and Jace are toasting the success of their mission.

My new computer arrived. Now my printer and ergonomic keyboard won’t hook up because they don’t have usb connections. Will have to get some sort of converters for serial and parallel ports. Oy.

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SCENE STRUCTURE

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 21, 2010

Ever wonder how a writer constructs a scene? Check out my blog on Scene Structure today over at Savvy Authors: 

http://bit.ly/9dzBIl

Congratulations to the winners of my guest blog/interview Prize Drawings:

The Galaxy Express:  Erica Anderson

SFR Brigade: Mason Canyon aka Pamela Mason

You still have a chance to win a $7 gift certificate to TWRP by commenting on any of my sites in July.

Also watch for my discussion on Diversity versus Intolerance in Science Fiction Romance over at http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net

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BOOK LAUNCH PARTY

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 19, 2010

This is a frenetic week with lots of online visits re blogs and author interviews.  Visit the Science Fiction Romance Brigade TODAY to read excerpts from Silver Serenade and author interview. Leave a comment to enter a drawing for a free pdf copy of my new release. http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.com/
We’re in Orlando helping our son move so I’m using our condo computer. Every now and then, this one makes strange noises. I cringe, because this will probably be the next machine to break down. When we get home, I have to work on my laptop until the new Dell desktop arrives, then hope I can reinstall everything including my email files. We’ll see. This may be the first time I use the restore feature on Mozy online backup. It leaves me unsettled and anxious not to have an office computer up and running. I use an ergonomic keyboard so I miss that as well when I use the laptop. And in another week is the RWA conference so I won’t have time to do much in the interval.
If you’ve sent me important emails recently, please be advised that I am doing my best to print or save them or send them to my alternate email addresses but things may get lost in transit. Resend if you don’t get a response.

Posted in Author Interviews, Business of Writing | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Cheryl’s Book Nook Review

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 18, 2010

Review of Silver Serenade:                                 Silver Serenade

 Cheryl’s Book Nook
 
Silver Malloy works for Earth Centrum Security Integrated Network. Her latest mission involving taking down Tyrone Bluth. Tyrone is the leader of Tyrone’s Marauders. The toughest bandit crew around. Silver almost had Tyrone when she came face to face with another opponent. His name is Jace Vernon.

Jace is also tracking Tyrone but for a different reason. Jace doesn’t really want or planned to team up with Silver but in order to achieve his goal, Jace must work with Silver. Who will win…Silver or Jace?

Silver Serenade by Nancy Cohen is a fun, entertaining, out of this world read! I really liked this book. It was a nice change from Mrs. Cohen’s mystery novels. Though Silver Serenade has all the same great elements that I have come to expect from Mrs. Cohen’s books…great characters, a strong storyline and the need to want to read more. Silver can kick some serious butt. I like that she had a take charge attitude and could hold her own with Jace. Speaking of Jace…can anyone say H-O-T! Jace and Silver were good together. I would recommend Silver Serenade to anyone.

Posted in Business of Writing, The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

INTERVIEW AT SAPPHIRE PHELAN’S SITE

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 18, 2010

I’m being interviewed today over at Sapphire Phelan’s Passion Corner

Leave a comment for your chance to win a $7 gift certficate to The Wild Rose Press.

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SETTINGS THAT SIZZLE

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 17, 2010

Join me for a discussion of Settings that Sizzle over at Babes in Bookland!

Prize drawing for $7 gift certificate for TWRP from all my blog commenters in July so please leave a comment.

Here is the Babes in Bookland fabulous review of Silver Serenade:

Silver Malloy is an intergalactic assassin for S.I.N. from earth. Her first assignment is a dream come true – to eliminate Tyrone Bluth, the cruelest, most ruthless outlaw in all of the galaxies. Tyrone is also responsible for the death of her family, which he must pay for with his life.

 While implementing her mission, Silver is tackled by a tall, handsome Kurashian named Jace Vernon. Jace is a wanted man on the run with a similar mission; only he needs to capture Tyrone Bluth to clear his name and regain his royalty status on Kurash. The future of his world and the lives of many depend on this.

 Jace needs Tyrone alive; Silver needs him dead!

 The unlikely duo team up in their efforts to locate Tyrone and the excitement begins! They face Crockers and Weavers; find themselves in the most daring of situations; attend a very strange auction that takes them to the ultimate fantasy land most are unable to ever leave; and even acquire an additional Elusian companion.

 Having not been exposed to many sci-fi writings, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first opened this book. I am ecstatically surprised. If all sci-fi futuristic books are written as Ms. Cohen has written Silver Serenade, I would add many more to my shelves.

 Amazing Heroine, Sexy Hero, lovable sub-characters that truly complete the ensemble and the attention to detail is remarkable. Furthermore, I was impressed with the way Nancy Cohen incorporated the need for peace among worlds, their politics, and their leadership to this enchanting tale. Silver Serenade is a futuristic romance that holds a lot of worldly realism. Past, present, or future; there will always be war, a need for peace, differences of opinions, good, and evil.

 Silver Serenade is strangely captivating and oddly intriguing in an exciting, first-rate way. This is not your 1960’s Star Trek story. This is an exceptional, fast paced, futuristic book that takes you to different worlds and introduces you to a whole new outlook on this genre of writing.

4.25 Shoes

 Babes in Bookland

http://www.pfd.bravejournal.com/entry/54599

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NEW RELEASE DAY!

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 16, 2010

SILVER SERENADE is now available in print and digital formats from The Wild Rose Press!

You can read all about it  over at The Galaxy Express where I’m interviewed by Heather Massey.   Prize drawing for a free copy of Silver Serenade from all guest commenters on her site!  Winner will announced at The Galaxy Express on Sunday night.  Interview goes live at 9am today.

And don’t forget about the drawing for a $7 gift certificate from all my blog commenters in July for here and blog tour! See Appearances tab for other dates.

Posted in Business of Writing | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

ONLINE BLOG TOUR

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 14, 2010

NANCY J. COHEN’S ONLINE BLOG TOUR STARTS JULY 15!

  • Prize Drawing From All My Blog Commenters in July for a $7 gift certificate from The Wild Rose Press

  July 15, Thursday

Interview at Believing is Seeing

http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com/

July 16, Friday

Interview at The Galaxy Express

http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net

Prize drawing from commenters!

July 17, Saturday

Blog at Babes in Bookland

http://www.pfd.bravejournal.com/

Topic: Settings That Sizzle

July 18, Sunday

Interview at Sapphire Phelan=s Passion Corner

http://SapphirePhelansPassionCorner.blogspot.com

July 19, Monday

Book Launch Party at SFR Brigade

http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.com/

Prize drawing from commenters!

July 21, Wednesday

Blog at Savvy Authors

http://bit.ly/9dzBIl

Topic: Scene Structure

July 23, Friday

Author Roast and Toast

http://www.authorroastandtoast.blogspot.com/

July 29, Thursday

Blog at Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal

http://ffnp.blogspot.com/

Topic: Sidekicks as Secondary Characters

July  ??: TBA

Blog at The Galaxy Express

http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net

Topic: Diversity versus Intolerance in SFR

August 6, Friday

Blog at Coffee Time Romance

http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts

Topic: Secrets and Suspense

August 24, Tuesday

Blog at Pop Culture Divas

http://www.popculturedivas.com/

Topic: Favorite Films for Mystery Fans

  • Prize Drawing From All Blog Commenters in July for a $7 gift certificate from The Wild Rose Press

Posted in Business of Writing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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