Suggestions for brand new learners?

Can you suggest ways of practicing, or arranging exercises that would be helpful at the very beginning of learning?

Also, if there are any left-handed underwriters here, how far clockwise do you turn your steno pad to get the elliptical shapes to go to the right?  I usually turn mine about 45 degrees, and haven't found a comfortable combination yet.  Could be that it's because I'm learning a new alphabet.

I'm using the Anniversary edition and the angelfishy site, and a pre-Anni book is on its way to me.

Thanks much.

(by Shorthand-learner for everyone)

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