A few bits and pieces

Dave HaslettI’ve often recommended Google Reader as a way of keeping up-to-date with the ever-changing information on websites. I’ve mentioned it in several of my books too. The thing is, whenever I recommend something useful the powers that be tend have a tendency to kill it off – and such is the case this time. Google have decided to terminate Reader from 1st July. What madness!

Fortunately there are several alternatives, and the best one I’ve found is Feedly.com. Even better, you can sign into it using your Google Reader account (just click a button to allow it – there’s no need to enter your details) and it automatically sets up your Feedly account and copies everything across from Google Reader. It’s more flexible than Google Reader too, so I’m more than happy. (I’m less happy about having to update all the books I’ve mentioned Google Reader in, but at least there’s something decent to replace it with.) Obviously, if you don’t have a Google Reader account you can set up a new one on Feedly and use it to subscribe to all the websites you want to keep tabs on – such as the ideas4writers blog!

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I’ve been out of action for the last couple of weeks, getting over a virus. I haven’t felt like doing any writing (which is definitely a sign of ill health), and I gave up watching TV at Christmas (for the simple reason that there’s nothing on worth watching). With nothing but reading and Facebook games to fill my time, I decided to try something more productive – so I’ve been learning Chinese.

I like to take on a seemingly impossible challenge every now and again, and learning Chinese has always seemed utterly impossible to me. But a website called Memrise makes it quite easy and fun – and quite a lot like playing a game. (You can even compete against your friends to get to the top of the leaderboard). Unlike the usual games though, this one actually has a purpose.

There are plenty of other subjects and languages you can learn on the Memrise site. I’ve also been learning how to memorise a deck of playing cards. (I haven’t tried it in real life yet, but I’m pretty sure I could do it now. If only I could find a deck of cards…)

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A quick reminder that all our books are now available on Kindle. Just go to Amazon’s website and enter ideas4writers in the search box to see the full list. You”ll find all 35 books from our writing ideas collection, plus The Fastest Way to Get Ideas, The Date-A-Base Book 2014, and How to Win Short Story Competitions. We’ll be adding The Date-A-Base Book 2013 this week, and The Fastest Way to Write Your Book (2nd ed) should be released in about a month.

All of these books are also available in PDF format from the ideas4writers website, and The Date-A-Base Books are also available as printed copies (though the 2013 edition is almost sold out). Printed copies of the other books will be available later in the year.

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How to keep in touch:

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ideas4writers – inspiring you since 2002!

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