recreation

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every year in November thousands of aspiring writers start writing a novel with the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. A small portion finish a first draft, but they all start and they all learn something.

There’s no fee and no prize, just a chance to be part of a group and get your novel started. Books that started out as NaNoWriMo books include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus, and many others.

Won’t you join me?

https://nanowrimo.org

 

Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.

amazon.com/author/mariebrack

Hurricane Irma damaged my windows. Want to help me get new ones? /Widgetflex.swf

 

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HDMI Switcher Saves the Day

Only one of the HDMI ports on my TV works. I want to connect both cable and Roku. I thought I’d have to buy a different TV. Luckily I entered “HDMI port” in my TV search on Amazon and the first thing that came up was a “switcher.” I had never heard of this, so I Googled it and learned that it can convey input from several different sources to the TV, and it automatically displays the one that’s turned on. So for $30 I can seamlessly switch from cable to Netflix.

 

 

amazon.com/author/mariebrack

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Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.

Free Book

I’ve published my first mystery novella, Further Investigation. People who have read it have surprised me with their enthusiasm. They seemed sincere, so I started writing another one. The Kindle version of Further Investigation will be free from tomorrow, the 6th, through April 10th, if you’d like to check it out.

 

Duolingo is Great, Muy Bueno

http://www.duolingo.com offers free lessons in several languages. Last year I learned quite a bit of Spanish very quickly and easily. Maybe it just so happens that my personal learning style fits their methods, but I think it would work well for most people. You hear it, say it, see it, type it. I find it goes more easily if I hurry, because I’m not stressing about remembering each word this time, it will come around again. I think it might work just as well if I didn’t have audio.

Languages have always interested me, but I haven’t had the self-discipline to study tapes or CDs on my own. I bookmarked Duolingo on my bookmarks bar and most days I went there and did a few short lessons, or sometimes many short lessons.

I like it that if I miss a word it doesn’t make a big deal out of it, and a few clicks later it comes around again, until I finally get it. It never says I failed or makes that raspberry noise some games have. And when I get a section right it plays a “ta-da” kind of music and awards me some internal currency I can use to buy enriching extra lesson in things like proverbs and sayings.

Coming soon: Klingon!

52 Weeks: Vacations – Staycations

“Staycation” is a recently coined word for a period of time when you are on vacation from work, but you don’t travel anywhere. Lodging is not an issue and you aren’t driving or flying anywhere. You’re cooking at home so there aren’t any additional costs as there would be with actually going somewhere. I’ve done this more often than not, before it had a name. Having plenty of time to rest and to catch up on household projects does relieve a lot of stress. You could also take day trips to nearby interesting or educational places and activities. Perhaps there’s a time-consuming creative project that could enrich your time off.

 

 

Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=marie+brack

52 Weeks: Credit – Return that movie! Take back the library book!

My credit union’s newsletter this week tells me that libraries’ budgets are now so tight that they are taking late fines more seriously than ever. If you don’t pay up, they may report it to the credit bureaus. That could lower your credit score. Some movie rental places have been doing this for years. Someone I know moved his credit rating from mediocre to bad by chronic movie return lateness.