I finally got a ring light from B&H that wasn't broken!!!!
Hooray! Third time's the charm, right?
I plugged it in and it worked too! So my used "generator" works, my ring light works.
So it's time to set up a shoot. I'm excited.
To summarize the advice I've gotten here:
1) Watch out for red eye .
2) Keep a fixed distance between the light and the model. Exposure changes rapidly.
3) Consider using a tripod. It does seem unwieldy without a camera attached.
4) Use the model's body to block the hotspots from the light.
5) Keep the model a couple of feet in front of the background to get the all-around shadow.
6) Shiny backgrounds look best I think.
I'll post pics when I get them.
Thanks you all who answered my questions and put up with me whining while I was waiting to get a non-broken light, especially Andy Pearlman.