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Helpful Tool For Nonfiction Writers

endnote logo for Robb Lightfoot blog posting

 

I’m back in Grad School, seeking a second master’s degree, after a 30-year absence.

Man how things have changed.

Of course ,the biggest difference is in the tools I now have for researching and writing.

Back in 1986, when I started my first degree in speech communication, research was done in the library by going through the card catalog and magazine indexes. Quaint, isn’t it. And I wrote my graduate thesis in an Apple IIc. Years of hard word lived on a couple of floppy disks that looked like a pair of Goth-Inspired Hallmark cards to celebrate a total solar eclipse–dark, mysterious and ominous.

Now everything is backed up on an automatic hard-drive, in the cloud, and if I lose it all I can just ask Donald Trump or the Russian Embassy for another copy. Nice, I guess. The latest version of Word, not “Word Juggler,” allows me to do amazing things and have the results look better than they deserve.

But the best thing of all are the tools for more effective researching and cataloging of all the information I find. No longer do I have to lug around or shelve stacks of photocopies, I have many PDFs that are the fruits of searches in academic databases. Of course, Google is handy, especially Google Scholar. But all these tools mean that I now have way too much information.

Enter Endnotes.

I am happy owner of this software, and it allows me to download my library searches, have the citations correctly formatted–usually, you still have to double check them, and upload the PDFs and any notes I make all in one central–backed-up-in-the-cloud place.

It’s heaven. This is all te more sweet because, as I write, I can just click a button and insert a citation, and–get this–a bibliography is generated on the fly. Amazing.

I’ve long though about taking on a research project and aspiring to do the sort of cool things Malcom Gladwell does. But how, I wondered, would I ever keep it all straight?

Now I know–Endnotes.

So, you don’t have to be in grad school to tackle a book-length project, and buying your own copy isn’t horribly expensive, considering what Word costs.

Check it out. I think you’ll be as impressed as I am. Here’s the link. http://endnote.com/

And if you are strapped for cash, there is a sort-free alternative, Zotero, https://www.zotero.org/. It only starts costing you when your data files get over a certain length. I went with Endnotes because it seems to be the gold standard for many scholars. YMMV.

#Humor Book – My First YouTube promo for Problem Child

Humor Book Looks At My #ADHD Childhood

photo of robb lightfoot graduating from kindergarten humorous book Problem Child

Hello all

All the advice I’ve been getting lately suggests that I need to have a variety of promotions in play, including a brief clip on YouTube. Today I took my first stab at doing just that, and so it’s up and running at this link https://youtu.be/ePIwBHjce7E

Let me know what you think. Karin says the audio could be a little crisper, but I was going for mellow. After all, one of the ideas I’m trying to get across is that people can chill out a bit when they grow up. But if the consensus is that it needs work, then I can redo it or just sharpen it up a bit in Audacity.

I rummage around and found some shots from the family album, and I think they work. I thought that would be better than pointing a camera at myself and just having a talking head. But… it might not be a bad idea to add in a contemporary image.

Thanks to all of you who have helped spread the word about my book. It helps, too, to encourage readers to go on Amazon and review either the print or Kindle versions.

Thanks. The book can be purchased at any number of places, including Barnes and Noble. At the moment, though, I am working on getting more attention and reviews on Amazon. Here’s that link.http://www.amazon.com/Problem-Child-Principals-Improbable-Hyperactive/dp/0988785463/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Robb

Meet The Authors – Shasta College – Oct 22 @ 5:30-7 pm

Shasta County Writers Jim Dowling, Kathryn Gessner, Melinda Kashuba, Robb Lightfoot, and Charlie Price will read portions of their work and discuss the writing process. This event is free and open to the public. Shasta College’s main campus is at 11555 Old Oregon Trail, Redding, CA. The event will be in room 806 from 5:30-7 pm on Thursday, October 22, 2015.

flyer to invite the public to a creative writing discussion