Ok so maybe it's a little early to celebrate but hopefully by the time this is read by anyone, my blog would've reach 1000 views.  When I started out with this blog, I would've been happy with 100 views, but a thousand in less than a year....phew I'm flabbergasted.  I never thought that my journey would mean so much to people.  I hope over the last year I have inspired as many people as I can to chase their dream.  Because the support that you have all lent me over this past, albeit difficult at times, year has kept me going and pushed me on to pursue my dream of making a living writing.

Admittedly, it was a passion that I was supported to pursue by those closest to me years ago.  I just had to find my own way and chose this path for myself in order to make it feel right.  It's like anything in your life, be damned what anyone says, if those that know you best (yourself included) see this light in you, then perhaps they're on to something.  Even if your dream has no base in reality (or so some say), you'll make it work.  I have faith in you. :)

All my love and prayers to all of you in the future and your chosen paths.  Do what makes your soul happy.

© 2012 S. Stevens

I'd admit this premise seemed trivial to me when I first read it.  It didn't make sense at all, to me at least. I suppose that's the challenge in learning the fundamentals of a language that I've written and spoken for 28 years.  Although, now I realize not well at all.

Count simply refers to a common noun that can be preceded by many or fewer and can always be made plural.

Many trees, fewer ponds

Non-Count is a common noun that can not become divisible, can be preceded by much and less, and are often abstract.

He has less authority, I prefer less cream
bravery, humour (both abstract words and can not be made plural)

This is a simplified explanation and the difference between the two is not always black and white.  In the grand scheme of things it's not overly important to know whether a noun is count or non-count, just know which words are nouns and how to properly make a common noun plural.

That leads me to my topic for next week, the proper spelling of several well known common nouns (count) in plural form.

If anyone would like a topic covered in the future or have any questions feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly.  Also, if I make any mistakes, please point them out, I'm still learning too and welcome any kind of pointers, corrections and criticisms.

© 2012 S. Stevens

Lutz, Gary and Diane Stevenson. Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2010. Print.

Hello all.  I am very excited to be starting a new chapter and growth to my blog.  It's been a struggle to decide how I wanted to help people with my blog and give it some purpose, as opposed to my own whining platform! :)  So read on and enjoy.  And I hope that somewhere down the road these new posts will help you with your writing, school or just for a reference.

For my first week of covering grammar rules, I figured I'd start with something easy, nouns.

We all know that a noun describes a person, place or thing (things can be concrete or abstract, such as a couch or thought, respectively).  But there is a variety of ways in which nouns can be classified.

Proper nouns are specific, are always capitalized and can not be made plural:
Mrs. Johnston; The Bicycle Thief; The Lord of the Rings; Starry Night; etc.
Proper nouns can eventually evolve into common nouns (some brands are well known for this, French fry later became french fry).

Common nouns are abstract, refer to an entire class or group and to a whole of something:
happiness, exercise, speed, opinion, etc.
Common nouns can be preceded by a, an and the and can sometimes be made plural.
(We will go more in depth with regards to common nouns, count nouns and noncount nouns next week).

Plural-only nouns are automatically in plural form but are not plural in meaning:
measles, economics, linguistics, etc.
They can also be singular or plural, which depends on context:
acoustics, tactics, hysterics, etc.

Possessive nouns show possessiveness by adding an apostrophe and an -s:
Mike's sweater, the dog's bowl, the child's shoe, etc.
Plural nouns that are possessive have the apostrophe after the -s:
dishes', dogs', houses', etc.

Gender indicating nouns are straight forward, they distinguish masculine from feminine:
man/woman, boy/girl, prince/princess, lion/lioness, etc.

Collective nouns refer to a group as a whole and can be plural:
class, team, family, audiences, etc.

This is only a broad introduction into the world of nouns and next week we will be covering count nouns vs. noncount nouns.

If anyone would like a topic covered in the future or have any questions feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly.  Also, if I make any mistakes, please point them out, I'm still learning too and welcome any kind of pointers, corrections and criticisms.

© 2012 S. Stevens

Lutz, Gary and Diane Stevenson. Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2010. Print.

  "The pen is mightier than the sword." Google that phrase and the origins and variations through out history of it is truly wondrous.  It is taken out of context with whatever origin you choose to follow, but the meaning behind the quote remains very powerful.
  I myself pondered it's meaning to great lengths over the past few days.  I originally remember hearing the phrase in Indian Jones, The Last Crusade, when I was a child.  At the time in the movie it is more of a pun, but the phrase has stuck with me over the years.
  Having been on both sides of the argument surrounding this phrase, I would have to say that I personally agree with it.  Words, whether written or spoken can do harm or good, it's all dependant on their meaning and desired outcome.  Swords or weapons have but one outcome, harm, even if the wielder intends to do good.  I'm not trying to come across as a tree hugger, as I said I have been on both sides of the argument and I happen to be an avid collector of swords, but think of it this way perhaps.  If someone kills another, some where in the world, is it not the written word and journalism that broadcasts it across the world, rallying people to either side of the conflict?
  In the perfect world, words would be enough to diffuse and solve any disagreement, but, alas, we are human and, like every other animal on the planet, we often resort to violence, even though we tend to be more extreme about it.
  That's just the thought in my head and I wanted to get it out.  Maybe, one day, the quote would even make a wonderful tattoo!!!
  Now on to some news.  Next week, I will be starting a new direction with this blog.  As a aspiring writer and editor, each week, I will be covering a basic english grammar rule.  I know that my own grammar is atrocious, and seeing as that I want to start school next year, I need to brush up on my rules.  I hope that it will help my readers with any writing endeavours.  I do not want to step on any toes, but I personally have been out of school for 10 years, and after sleeping through most of my grade 10 english classes that covered extensive grammar, I need the practice.
  If anyone has a grammar rule or topic that they would like covered, please leave a comment and I will be sure to look it up and reply with the answer.  And I will also make it a topic for a future post.
© 2012 S. Stevens
Hey all.  It's been a couple of hectic weeks.  Life has a way of hitting you all at once and fast.  From good news to bad news, it all happened at once.  Looks like there is going to be alot of change expected in the new year, and all for the better.  That being said, I find that my creativity is coming back in waves.  Somedays, creative works seem to take no effort.  Other days, well I may as well be bashing my head against a brick wall.  As my health begins to slowly get better, my drive and determination to follow through with my career path becomes stronger.  I am hoping to go to school full time next year and I am truly excited about that.  It will be by distance for sometime, but it will give me a good starting platform.  Finally completing my BAs will show myself that I can accomplish large goals, a feeling that I've been stripped of these last few years.  And the further down this road I travel, the more I begin to feel like myself, a free spirited, soft spoken writer.  A self that I had lost for some time.  I am glad that I found the path after stumbling through thick forests and mucky swamps.
© 2012 S. Stevens
How many people out there are living and working at their passion?  How many times, when the going got tough, did you want to quit or give up?  These questions, among many, have been on my mind lately.  I knew when I picked writing as a career that it wouldn't be easy, and in the past, I've often gave up on things when the going got tough.  When I decided to take a couple months off from freelance work it was for health reasons, but then I found myself feeling like I wasn't progressing or going anywhere.  It seemed a catch 22.  I love writing and freelance work and I'm good at it.  Did I perhaps quit when the going got tough once again?  Part of me wants to say yes I did, but on the other side, I was able to focus on where I want to take my writing career, and improve my thought and creative processes.  I will never give up on this career, and taking a break has allowed me to reenergize, and I will not give up on my down time either.  I promised myself that I'd take a break till the new year, no applying to jobs, no stressing over not going anywhere, no stressing about starting school.  I've been able to effectively focus on more important things in life over the last month.  I hated the down feeling I was having, feeling like my life has been on hold.  I was unable to start school when I had wanted, but being patient will pay off in the end.
I have been practicing my writing.  I'm actually working on greeting card poems, as well as a variety of other projects.  I've actually even been able to finish a couple of projects that have been collecting dust for a number of years, which is something that I tend to do as I tend to be a little flighty at times.  This focus and dedication that I have grown into, is a welcome change.
Also, a new addition to my site.  I wanted to showcase some of my art, but I didn't want to do it on Facebook or get a deviant art account, so I figured I would showcase my art on here.  Combine one of my passions with another.  Feel free to take a look and leave any comments.  I will update it as I create new and wonderful pictures.
© 2012 S. Stevens

It's been a relatively relaxing weekend.  The recharge has left me feeling more inspired and confident in my abilities.  I still haven't written anything in awhile, but my art has become more reflective of this confidence.  But while I've been spending my time in nature and buried in video games, my large samoyed here is reminding me to get off my butt and clean the house, which desperately needs it.  Nothing like getting tackled by a large, white and fluffy exuberant dog.
I realize that my posts have become shorter and rather vague, but I need to let the part of my brain where the writing comes from rest and recuperate.
© 2012 S. Stevens
I missed my weekly update, but I've been crazy busy this last week.  A fancy business dinner, a ceremony and took up a new hobby, geocaching.  So haven't been around or in doors much.  I'll update more next week.
Have a great weekend everyone.
© 2012 S. Stevens
Funny how when you are on a professional break, your dream jobs start popping up.  One is a little to demanding, for the time being, but the other is relatively stress free and will help me expand my portfolio some more.  So I'll ponder the idea some more and decide whether or not I want to apply.  I am leaning towards not applying, but it is nice to know the jobs I'm looking for are out there.  Now lets see if there are equally as good jobs in January.
But other than humming and ahhing over recent job posts, I have made great use of my time recently.  I learned how to loom beads and have made a lovely couple of bracelets.  I helped out a family member by making a logo for her work's fundraiser, a job that I was excited to do and happily did for free.  I also spent most of my time working on a design for myself to submit to a contest, but something from scratch is proving to be more challenging than I initially had thought.  I think that I'm over thinking the whole thing and am waiting for my muse to grant me with a worthy idea.
I'm adding another pic today.  It's another from my archives, but is an indicator of the weather today.  On that note, my grumbling stomach is demanding lunch, and one can not come up with a revolutionary idea on an empty stomach.  See you all next week.

© 2012 S. Stevens

Hello, everyone.  Well so far since I've been on break, I've been busier than ever.  I shouldn't complain cause I'm sure in a couple of months I'll be twiddling my thumbs and itching to do some freelance work.  I did find this time off helpful though.  I was able to focus on how I want to make a living writing and how to go about doing it.  Again as always, I need to get my BA finished, then from there some more coursing, mentorships and internships.  It'll be a long road, but I'm excited that I feel like this is such a right fit and the path before me is friendly.  Apart from doing freelance everything, I want to work towards becoming a publishing editor.  Or an editor for anything really, but I dream to be in publishing.

It is funny that my birthday is in a few days and it dawns on me that I never thought I'd figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  I've always felt lost and pressured to find out what I was good at.  Just like most things, I was looking to hard and couldn't see what was in front of me all along.  Funny how that works out.  It is funny though that my appearance finally matches the career or life style that I want.  I have frazzled, dark hair, mis-matched clothes and am slightly tattooed.  Granted I realize I sound like a crazy person or a hobo, but I am happy with how I look.  I never thought I'd say that, but I do.  And I know I'm not the most talented and I often put the cart before the horse, but I love being creative either with words or art.  And on that note, today I am going to share one of my digital art pictures that I love doing.  This one is by far my favourite.  Thanks for reading, everyone.  Bless you all.
© 2012 S. Stevens
Well today I finished up any remaining freelance work that I had.  And I am officially taking a break till the new year.  I want to focus on some other projects that I've been holding off on, not having enough time to work on them.  And I have a ton of Christmas presents to work on!!!

I want to write a short story for a writing contest next year, do some drawing and just plain enjoy the fall.  It is my favorite season and always seems to be the most creative for me.

I will keep my blog updated regularly and I will keep my eyes and ears open for any opportunities that are to good to pass up. And I will take a bit of a breather before I start on my next series of courses towards my BA.

So I am now officially on sabbatical.

© 2012 S. Stevens
Well this week has been full of frustration, victories, enlightenment and conquest.  I learned, unfortunately, how to deal with picky clients that refuse to communicate what they actually want.  I still have time to finish exactly what they want, but the emails, accusations and general negativity left me a little bummed, but luckily I had a job from another client to do, a transcription.  The speaker in the audio file was beyond wise, and even though he was speaking of his own experiences, I found it calming and comforting with my current situation.  And armed with this new sense of calm, I am able to tackle the strenuous job and see it through to the end.  And learned an important lesson on what to look for in a client and when applying to freelance jobs.

I would also like to touch on the support that I have received from my family, which has been outstanding.  From advice, to patience and understanding, to providing the necessary distractions to allow me to recharge, they have been immensely supportive and my biggest fans.  This last year, after deciding to start down this path has been rough and intense, but that stress has been eased by loving family.  A shout out to all of you, I love you all dearly.

©2012 S. Stevens
It's been a crazy busy week.  I worked like mad to finish the transcription job I had.  Got it done in 2 days, but I learned an important lesson.  Transcription takes alot longer than I initially thought.  I thought, oh only a 40 min recording, that'll only take me a couple of hours.  Nah uh!!!!  Like I said 2 days.  It took awhile just to get used to the voice I was listening to and how he pronounced words.  But it's done and another type of writing under my belt.
The 25 page report that I'm also working on for a client is taking forever.  I'm enjoying it, but I'm finding it harder and harder to keep motivated.  This is a good test of my writing endurance.  And it's also testing my ability to write at a university level.
I am getting many different styles to work on.  I really want to get a contract to write a press release, but without ever having done one before, most are hesitant to award a contract to a first timer.  But that will come in time.
I have a friend who asked for my help with his independent publishing business.  He needs an editor.  I'd basically be working for free till he can generate some income, but it'll give me a world of experience.  I'm thrilled about that opportunity.  I'll still stick with my freelance, because it brings me tons of happiness and fulfillment, but something that has a prospect of being a full time job at something I love doing, well makes me bounce with excitement.
Well I better get back to work.  Have a great weekend everyone.
© 2012 S. Stevens
When it rains, it pours.  So not only am I currently writing a 25 page white paper through freelance work, I am also waiting on an audio file to write a transcription and just got hired to write for an athletic news website.  Wow, I'm not sure whether to cry with joy or at the thought that I'm gonna be typing my fingers to nubs.  Either way I'm ecstatic to be getting somewhere.  Since I've started documenting this journey, freelance jobs have been hit and miss.  It's nice when fortune changes.
The funniest part is that I've been off work all week after I developed pneumonia.  Good thing writing just involves brain power and lots of coffee!!!
Well lunch break is over.  Time to get back at it.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  It occurs to me that everyday I am gaining experience and honing my craft.  Every time I read, write or even "write" a passage aloud, I am slowly perfecting my skill.  Granted I have a long way to go still, but I never realized how much writing I do in the run of a day and how much I think about what to write or how to write it.  I've been doing it naturally for years that it is just second nature to me.
  It's a bit of an annoyance really.  Coming from a home that prided natural talent over anything else, I often struggled to find mine.  I've dabbled in everything at one point or another.  Although that approach left me with lots of "useless" knowledge.  Not saying I'm a Shakespeare.  Far from in fact, but I struggled to find my niche for years, only to have it slap me in the face unexpectedly.  And I have to say that it seems the most comfortable fit yet.  I say that while I'm writing in a blog, wearing pajamas, wrapped in an old blanket and seriously contemplating coffee.  I just can't wait till I can actually write for a living.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  I often find myself being hesitant to apply to jobs that I do not meet all of the criteria for.  However, I was once told that if I ask, the worst they can say is no.  You never know where you're big break may come from.  I will keep trying and pestering potential employers to hire me.  Yet, as I am writing this, I realize that a job that I recently applied to, I forgot to send writing samples.  Apparently, I must also be a little more vigilant.
  Writing is my secondary job, I guess you could call it that at this point, and it occupies more of my mind than my current full time job.  That has to be a sign.  Again, back to getting that big break.  If I could make the same amount of money with my writing or enough to afford a regular diet of Kraft Dinner, I'd be attached to my Macbook, writing until I ran out of coffee.
  That being said, I really should peel myself away from my computer and go see some daylight.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Good morning, everyone.  Or good afternoon, good evening and good night.  There everyones covered. :)
  It's been a particularly productive couple of days.  I reactivated my ifreelance account and have much hope for it.  Canceling my account was, in a way, giving up and that I can not allow.  So I'm not going to let it get to me if I don't get any contracts and I'm not going to get overly excited when I do.  Ok well maybe just a bit.  Either way, I never should have let my writing fall so far into the back of my mind.  I even picked up my violin yesterday, albeit it's extremely out of tune and a couple of the strings have stretched, so it's in need of some TLC.  And off to the music store.  I knitted for about three hours last night, working furiously on a scarf that I want to finish for christmas.  I guess my point being that I allowed myself to be bored for far to long.  I missed my writing, violin and knitting...although when the world grew quiet they were always there trying to creep back into the forefront of my thoughts.
  And with that I finish my morning coffee and waking up.  And so, dear readers, good day, good evening, and good night.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Hello, dear readers.  Things have been pretty quiet on all fronts.  My business is going well and even progressing, albeit slowly.  But slow progress is better than none.  I recently finished an online course which kept me busy for awhile.  But with vacation coming soon I find it hard to sit still and commit my thoughts to anything overly creative.  So hopefully I manage some time while on vacation to write, even if I get struck by a muse and commit to writing down some poetry.
  On that note, I must end this entry.  I find my attention is being drawn away once again.
© 2012 S. Stevens
Ok so I did it.  In September I will begin my BA English Major.  I know, I know, my earlier posts were a little on the rebellious side, you know not wanting to go to school because my talent and passion should be enough.  But after looking at many of the courses offered by universities, well my curiosity and sensibility got the better of me.  Besides, to grow we have to be willing to take the necessary steps to achieve our dreams.  I could never hope to become a great writer if I first don't learn the craft properly.  Sure I have high school, but so do most people.  I need to refine and grow my craft and university will help point me in the right direction.  And with the right direction I get closer to my dream.  After all, a lump of coal can not become a diamond without a little help and refining.
© 2012 S. Stevens
Well it's mid afternoon on a very warm day and I'm stuck sitting at a desk bored out of my tree. But there is a good part, I spent my day writing the first chapter for my new story. I think I found one that I can finally stick with and eventually finish cause it is such a real but not real story. So I'll keep you all posted on that. Other than that I'm just buying time till summer vacation. Does anyone have any special plans this summer? Oh and a shout out to my devoted fans, thanks to all of you that keep returning. I really need to make my posts a regular scheduled thing. And as one fan commented, no more hiatuses. My business is going well and I'm looking towards the future of getting into more design. But that's a whole other ball of wax. Well it's time go out and enjoy this lovely day. See you all soon.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Well this last week has been pretty good.  I was ill for awhile but it gave me time to think and brainstorm and come up with more story ideas.  I really need time to sit down and begin writing these out.  The first story I started I still want to work on and have my ideas in place.  I just need time.  At least I've never been unfortunate enough to experience writers block.  The ideas just keep coming and coming, but one day I'll get to writing them all down.  I just need one year or so to do nothing else other than write.  Slaving away in a drafty old room, the constant clack of a typewriter, wearing old ratty clothes and sipping away at a coffee that lost it's heat hours ago, at least thats how being a writer looks like in my mind.  A slightly romantic ideal and none of those are true for me right now.
  Applied to a couple of jobs today so we'll see how that goes.  I do love the thrill of applying to writing jobs, checking my email twenty times a day to see if I got hired.  Then once I get hired, putting all of my focus and brain power into that job, loving every second of it.
  Well, dear readers, it's time for some lunch and perhaps take a stab at my latest creative inklings.
© 2012 S. Stevens 
So my blog isn't getting updated on a regular basis, but such is life.  It's summer, my garden is calling, getting out and running occupies my mind and everything indoors falls behind.  Being outdoors allows me to think clearly without the distractions that inside presents.
My thoughts lately have been slightly anti-institutional.  It's sad that your professional and intellectual value is measured by whether or not you hold a degree or a piece of paper that says that you know something.  Great knowledge is no longer passed down from generation to generation in a one on one setting.  There is no longer learning as you go in a field of work.  Instead people are stuffed into a classroom and lectured with maybe some hands on work tossed in there.  I admire people that attend a higher learning school but there has to be a better way.  Maybe my thoughts are a little old fashioned.  I think of days when blacksmiths taught their apprentices, cooks learned as they went, and healers spent a life time learning and relearning their skill, and everything was taught one on one.  I guess now it's just in a more formal setting.  I guess that what I'm trying to say is that knowledge can be gained in any form, and why should people be looked down on because they don't hold a degree?  If knowledge and talent is there, doesn't that equate for something?
I apologize if my view seems slightly jaded or deemed wrong.  I know my writing needs work, so does my art and design, but what I learn on my own will never be deemed good or professional until I go to school, no matter how good it is.  Doesn't that seem wrong to anyone else?
Now on to lighter thoughts.  A fan mentioned cupcakes a moment ago, so here you go!!!

© 2012 S. Stevens
Well after a brief hiatus I've gotten back to my writing.  I dabbled a bit with my own business and intend to continue with it, but it's been quiet lately.  I enjoyed focusing on design and web programming but I missed my writing.  My hope to encompass all of my passions into one enterprise still continues, but I have to be realistic as well.  I can only do so much while I have a full time job.  Unfortunately my writing can not pay the bills yet :)  But someday it will.

Thanks again to those who checked back to see if I had updated.  Sorry to keep you all waiting.  I'm happy to back at it. :)
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Been a crazy yet quiet week.  Awaiting feedback on a couple of job offers, tweaking my business a bit and relearning HTML to build my own website.  It's amazing what I've forgotten from high school computer programming courses and how quickly it comes back to me.  The same can be said for my writing courses as well.  But it's all slowly coming back to me and I'm pushing myself as much as I can for now.  Once I am able to go back to school in a couple of years I'll fill in the gaps of what I've forgotten over the years and learn lots of new things.
  Well that's about it.  Wish I had more to write about, but it will all come in time.  See you all next week.
© 2012 S. Stevens
Hello, readers.  My weekly post is a couple days late.  My weekend was full of brainstorming and tweaking of my business idea.  I am going to register my business tomorrow so I'll have my official name local and the whole shebang.  My website will have to wait but my Facebook page will be updated frequently.  Thanks for sticking with me, dear readers.  From my start as a freelance writer to discovering a new passion in my business.  You all mean the world to me.
© 2012 S. Stevens
Hello, readers.  Pardon my lack of entries.  My full time job eats up most of my time and majority of my evenings I want to spend playing video games.  But I am still chasing freelance jobs and working on my business.  I recently finished my first job with my business.  It is a local newspaper ad for friends of mine. I look forward to actually seeing it in print in a couple of weeks.  The freelance work has been rather quiet but I am still practicing my skills as much as I can.  Apart from that I intend to make a Facebook page for my business and I will link it from here.  Also, my blog will only be updated weekly from now on so that I can better balance my time.  Stay tuned, dear readers, and thanks for all of your continual support.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Well my new business is going well.  I'm so proud of myself for making my own business cards.  I'm still doing some freelance writing and waiting to hear on a couple of jobs.  My business won't be a huge success overnight.  That only happens in Hollywood.  But I'm gonna stick with it and put as much effort as I can into it.
  That's about it for now.  Later.
© 2012 S. Stevens
Well here it is the very thing that has kept me busy for over a week.  I am finally announcing my business!!

S. Stevens, Advertising Solutions
Let me promote you

If you are a small business looking to start your advertising and don't know where to start, contact S. Stevens.  From Local Newspaper Ads to personalized Websites I do it all.  After I conduct extensive marketing research on behalf of your company, I will compile an in depth report on the best strategy for you.  I will work closely with you and keep you involved every step of the way.

So if attracting new clientele, not just locally but from all over, is a vision for your small business, then email me for further information or visit my Facebook page.
Advertising Solutions

© 2012 S. Stevens
  So it's been a couple of busy days and haven't had much of a chance to sit down and write.  I'm still applying for freelance jobs and doing little jobs that way.  I did receive an email as well asking me for a quote for a job.  That was great to see.  Still working on my business plan and waiting to see where that will lead.
  Well off to get some chores done.  Later, everyone.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  With a full time job it is hard right now to concentrate on my writing.  I would love to spend all day just working on writing and refining my business.  I am lucky that where I work I do get some time to work on my projects from time to time.  And it is nice that the freelance jobs that I get I manage to complete quickly.
  Well that's it for today.  Thanks for sticking with me, readers.  I will soon be able to dedicate more effort to my craft.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Well it's Monday.  My not so favorite day, still suffering from the flu and a wicked headache.  I am hoping that this week I get to do some more writing in some form...and....ok totally just drew a blank on what to write today.  Sorry folks, these last couple of weeks just aren't my best.
  Hopefully I can come out swingin' tomorrow.  Later.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Well after suffering through a short stomach flu yesterday, I still managed to complete some freelance work and tweak my business plan a little.  But most of the day was spent playing Star Was TOR.  Today I have a meeting with a very experienced small business owner.  They are helping me a great deal and pointing me in the right direction.  There is much to learn when you look at starting your own business, although I recently learned that technically I've had my own business since I began freelance writing back in October last year.
  I hope everyone is having a great weekend and I will try and keep my up my blog over the next week.  It already seems like it is going to be a busy week.
© 2012 S. Stevens
Yes I have been slacking. I've been so preoccupied with my business venture that writing has fallen behind. At least for now. Still waiting to hear about a freelance job. I'll have a ton more to write tomorrow but for now this is it. See you all tomorrow.
  I should buy a lottery ticket!  I have had amazing luck lately and startling moments of clarity.  I spent the day refining my business plan and even though tax laws still have me banging my head against the wall, I sort of understand them.  And according to the laws, I am currently running my own business.  It was a huge relief moment when I realized that.  I still have a long way to go to become self-sufficient, but everyone starts somewhere.
  In the next couple of months I will be announcing my official business and getting it off the ground.  It may not be a total feasible business venture, but I will make it work.  I think that there is a need that gets overlooked or is grossly over-priced.  Just a hint.
  Oh and I also got a freelance job today.  I learned today that it pays to follow up.  After all, it's not nagging if it leads to a mutual benefit (feel free to use that).  So we will see where that leads.
  With that, I'm off.  Time to get home, eat chicken burgers and play some video games.  After a day of learning and brain storming, I'm exhausted.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Evolution is an amazing thing.  Whether it's the evolution of an animal, idea or business.  When I started on this writing venture I never thought that I would feel so confident in an idea.  For years I struggled trying to think what I want to do with my life.  Now I spend most of my days working on a business plan, refining my ideas and looking 10 years into the future.  I'm not sure that my business plan will ever make me a ton of money but that's alright.  I love writing and if I can help other people with it, then it makes it that much better.  My determination is my inspiration.
  I don't want to give away the details of my plan just yet.  Once I get something a little more established, well, wait and see.  The first step is going to be a webpage then it'll be on to some advertising.  So stay tuned.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Learning the name and definition of something that you are already doing, and enjoy doing, can be liberating.  Today after much Googling, I came across an article that described various forms of freelance writing.  I discovered that what I have been doing is actually called media relations.  Now I would feel like a total dumb ass if someone comments, telling me how they heard about it years ago.  Remember I'm new to this.
  Anyways, I Googled further.  Media relations encompasses product descriptions, press releases, web content, and so on and so forth.  The required skills are ones that I already possess.  Actually finding a niche where they are applicable is amazing.  And the best part is that I still get to be somewhat creative in my writing.
  So without further delay, I declare my niche.  FREELANCE MEDIA RELATIONS!!!!  And yes I still need to go to school for it.  But the two (SIGH) freelance jobs that I have already completed fall under that category.  Yippee I have experience. :)  Now I must update my logo, resume, ifreelance profile, etc..
  I hope everyone enjoys what is left of their Monday.  I usually hate them but this one turned out to be pretty good.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Ok so I've been goofing off so far this weekend.  It is really needed.  I feel like I haven't stopped doing...anything....in weeks.  I did, however, get an email back from Reliable Writers.  I was put on their list of writers so now I just wait till they assign me a project.  Still no freelance work but I'm not too stressed about it.
  Hopefully I have more to write about in the next couple of days.  But for now its pizza, beer and Skyrim for me.  Have a great weekend, everyone.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  One loyal friend and fan looked up "corperateness" for me and bluntly pointed out that not only had I not looked enough I also misspelled.  My apologizes, not only is my grammar horrible but my spelling isn't doing so well either.  It is spelled "corporateness" and now I know, even though I hope to God that I never have to use that word again.
  Well my applications to Demand Studios and Skyword (I applied to them ages ago) were both rejected recently.  A little upsetting but it's just making me more determined.  Still no freelance work at the moment either.  MUST NOT WHINE ABOUT LACK OF EMPLOYMENT!!!!  Sigh.  This freelance writing is very tough.  More so than I would've expected when I began all of this.  As I've said in the past I'm caught in a vicious cycle of too little experience.  And it goes on from there.
  I also want to point out the purpose of my blog.  I began writing this for writing experience and to have some semblance of a publish article.  I did not start it to impress anyone, try to be funny nor as a fleeting pass time.  I am very appreciative of my loyal fans, you all mean the world to me and I'd be no where without your encouragement.  And for people that may pop in once in awhile and turn up their noses to the thoughts in my head, leave a comment.  Please, I welcome it. :)
  Thanks again, everyone.  Have a great rest of your Friday.
  So this post comes alittle earlier then most that I've done.  I just have alot to say this morning and I don't want to forget it over the course of the day.
  First, I think my full time job is killing my vocabulary.  I am often required to write performance reviews but they are required to be worded in such a vague way that they are left up to interpretation.  Either way I find myself lately trying to think of a word to use and all I can think of is the twisted words that I am so used to writing.  I'm pretty sure most of them aren't even in a dictionary.  Last night I had to look up corperateness because I was almost positive that it is not a word.  I could be wrong but I had no luck finding it.  But I still had to write it, twitching as I pressed "Ignore" on the spell check.
  Secondly, I have yet to hear back from Demand Studios about a writing position.  Although I am greatful that they are so stringent with their applicants.  I also applied to Reliable Writers last night.  We will see what comes from that.  Had some bids expire last night but no word yet on who they were rewarded to.
  Lastly, for this morning's rant, I am looking for some small distance learning course to take.  I think I may have found one on internet writing but I was hoping to find more.  Most are grossly over priced or not what I'm looking for.  If anyone happens to know any good distance learning schools, that aren't $500 a course, please let me know.
  Well that is about all for my morning rant.  I am slightly awake now.  Maybe I should write in the mornings as well.  I kickstarts my brain that's for sure.  Have a great day, dear readers.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Again another quiet day in the world of writing.  Well mine anyways.  I bid on a couple more jobs and hope for the best.  Even if all I do is this blog every day then that's ok with me.  It is still practice.
  So the blog was deemed not eligible by Demand Studios so I applied there as an article writer as well.  I figured that I'd give it a shot.
  Well I got some work to do.  See you later, readers.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Ok so today I found myself cursing another author for winning a bid.  Both of us bid on similar projects and she usually wins.  Why?  Because she, unlike myself, has an incredible amount of accomplishments in the writing field.  I even thought of assigning the label of arch-nemisis to this person.  However, I realized that that would be incrediblly immature and instead of thought of an alternative.  Perhaps she is suffering, like us all, from the world wide economic downturn.  Maybe she needs all of these freelance jobs to take care of her family.  Who knows.
  Now that did quell my fury towards another writer, but I'm still miffed that I didn't get the job.  But there are some more on their way and maybe my lack of contracts is a sign that a large, future project is on it's way.  I still want to give this website a chance and I have already paid for my year subscription.  It would be nice to be able to turn a profit though.
  On to another new development.  I applied this blog to Demand Studios.  I've read alot of good and bad points about this site but I'll never know till I try.  As anything we do in life, we are our own best judges.  Unless, of course, you are lucky enough to have the company of an extremly wise person in your life.  I have one of those and I would be no where without his wisdom.  I even would've given up on this path long ago.
  Well that's about it for now.  I'll keep you posted on any news and developments.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Well I learned one important lesson this weekend.  When you are signed up to a freelancing website ensure that you also checked the auto renew box for your subscription.  Yeah not one of my brightest moments.  Lesson learned.
  I got some writing done this weekend.  I helped someone with an essay and it was great practice for dictation.  I also had to remember how to write an essay.  It has been awhile since I had to write them for school.
  I finally finished my resume today and am looking forward to applying for a couple of jobs.  Yes it was a no work weekend for me.  Which most people would be excited about, but I've learned that to get started in writing I have to be willing to be available at all times.
  I have some information on an up and coming website for yours truly.  The person building it for me is an outstanding individual and I appreciate her help in this endeavor.  Lord knows that if it was left to me it would be a horrible mess and result in me either hating the internet forever or going the easy route and just getting a downloadable template.  I like computers but they are not my forte.  But look for more updated information on that.
  My book as fell by the wayside as I have been seduced by business-like writing.  I've decided that I enjoy fields like web content, product descriptions, press release and so forth.  I look forward to getting more proficient in that area.
  Well, dear readers, I need food and my dog is demanding attention.  Look forward to updating you all tomorrow.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Well I have officially gone brain dead.  I've been racking my brain trying to find ways to expand on my portfolio.  I would prefer to have actual work to include in my portfolio instead of works that I write just for fun and practice.  Having a full time job restricts a lot of what I can do.  So until next year I think I will continue to pursue a few freelance jobs.
  Which brings me to my next point.  Even with freelance jobs I am competing against published authors with BAs and MAs and credentials up the wazoo.  That's hard to compete against.
  Well no point spending my weekend stressing about it.  Time to play some Skyrim :D
  Have a great weekend everyone.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  I DID IT!!!  I finally grew out of Odesk.  Sure it was a free web page but I only ever got one job on there, had to compete again 50+ people, and they took a cut of the money that I made.  I was a great starting platform but I think that I am better than $1/hour article writer.  So now I'm closed my account and I will concentrate more on iFreelance and a couple of bigger jobs.
  Other than that just waiting on news of a couple of jobs and will work on some story ideas where I can.  Have a great evening.
© 2012 S. Stevens
The highlight of my day today was going onto a web page and seeing something that I had written.  It was so astounding that something that I had created was now out in the world, on it’s own, influencing people.  I’m so proud (sheds a tear).  What blew me away more was that I am still picking up mistakes.  Still learning from what I write.  Just small grammar mistakes that elude me sometimes.  Although rereading my blog, my grammar isn’t that great.  I’ll claim ignorance till I finish university.  Either way here is the link: http://www.bargain-camera.com/store/ProAm-7-On-Camera-Crane-LCD-Monitor-Kit.html .  It was a great experience and I was lucky to have such patient employers as I learned about Google Adwords and SEO.
  Well other than bidding on a couple more jobs it was a relatively quiet day on the writing front.  I hope to be working at something soon.  But in the meantime there is a ton of short stories, poems and blog entries buzzing around in my head.
  Take care, Dear Readers.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Getting started at freelance writing is a lot more difficult than I ever could have envisioned.  I decided on this path because I recently discovered that a regular 9-5 type of job wasn’t for me.  I love the idea of having the freedom to choose my route in my career.  Still seeing how cut throat and bloated the world of writing is, can be a little discouraging.  Thanks to the internet anyone can claim that they are a writer if all they do is 50 articles a day for $1.  What happened to the image of a writer?  I have this romantic idea of being a half starved, eccentric writer pounding out story after story on a typewriter in an old and draftee apartment.  Maybe it’s not appealing for everyone but it’s heaven for me.  Ok perhaps my fantasy needs an update.  I can imagine sitting at my Wal-Mart special press board desk, my Mac overheating from being on for so long and my dog tirelessly squeaking his toy in my ear.  Oh and I wouldn’t be half starved because I’d spend the days nibbling on Swedish Berries.  Ok I will really need to find full time work after university.  Otherwise I’ll be 300lbs from all of the Swedish Berries.
  What is nice about this new discovery is that I won’t have to endure all of these hard lessons after I’m done my schooling.  As one article stated “you can’t be a freelance writer if you never write”.  Keep my chin up, bid on jobs and just write when I can, where I can is what I need to do.  I still have yet to find my niche to write an article for a magazine but that will come in time.  I just need to find a magazine that caters to Jack-of-all-trades.  Then I’d be set.
  Have a great evening readers.
© 2012 S. Stevens
Ok so my writing has fallen by the wayside for now. Well my book at least. I am trying to update my blog as much as I can to sharpen my skills and keep up the practice. And as always I am tirelessly applying for freelance jobs. This bidding and competing business is addictive. Never knowing what each job will bring, it's exciting.
Oh did I mention that I'm posting this from my iPhone? Please bare with me if there are any grammar or horrible spelling mistakes. I'm in a car, struggling to keep focused while waiting for my husband to finish work. Did I also mention that I can see snowflakes? Don't worry I'm not driving! Could you imagine? Getting pulled over by a cop and explaining that there are no laws against blogging while driving :). That wouldn't be pretty.
But I digress. Wow what a random rant. See how slow things have been lately. I can't wait to have the time to go back to working on my book. Ok trying to type on a very tiny screen is getting really frustrating. I will bid you adue, dear readers.

© 2012 S. Stevens

  Well after a very hectic week, I am happy to be able to sit down to write.  This week I faced a number of ideas and notions.  I also got some great advice.  That person helped me realize that I have been focusing too much on the bids and jobs that I don't get.  In truth, even though I've only had 2 paying freelance jobs, I'm a successful writer.  What is my perceived failure to that?  Considering that I have a full time job and a life to manage, I am still finding time to indulge my passion.  I owe my advisee a great deal.
  I am getting more and more excited about going to school next year.  That is September 2013, providing I get in.  Fingers crossed.  I think that a double major of a BA in English and Creative Writing with a minor in Journalism.  I can't wait to be back in school.
  Well, dear readers, I wish that I had more to report and I am sure there is more that I am forgetting, but for now, have a fantastic rest of your Saturday.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Well job well done on my last contract.  I got an amazing review and lucky to have a patient employer.  I was ecstatic to make my first $100.  It will go to good use.
  Tomorrow I'm back to my full time job, but I will still do as much writing as I can.
  Do any of you, readers, enjoying writing?  Or any other art forms?
  Well job #2 finished.  I was very happy with how it turned out and that I completed it so quickly.  Now to apply to some more jobs and see what happens.  Just a question, if you apply to someone through email and they want to talk out the finer details over the phone, is it polite to request to only communicate through email?  That is what I did today and not too sure how it's going to turn out.  Once I get more of a client base then I may allow phone conversations, but at this point I am a little hesitant to give out my home phone to someone on the internet.  That is just my thought.
  Tomorrow is Sunday and I hope to get more written for my book.  That is unless I get lazy, play video games and prepare for the work week.  Back to reality and a full time job.  Bye bye vacation.  But even though I'll spend my days away from home my mind will never be far from my writing and my pen will always be at the ready.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  So the past couple of days I have been working on the freelance job that I am currently doing.  It is a product description and it is challenging me to learn how to write more in a sales aspect.  Thankfully my employer is being very patient and helpful in teaching me.  Even sent me some fantastic links to websites that outline how to put some pizzazz into product description.  I am really enjoying it.
  I also put bids on a couple of jobs that I am really hoping to get because I am very excited about them.  Wait and see.
  My full time job has kept me rather busy the last couple of days so there has not been much progress on my book.  But that will come in time.
  Well readers, this will be a short post today.  Time to get back to work and enjoy the rest of my day.  And just in case an idea strikes me I'll always keep my pen at the ready. ;)
© 2012 S. Stevens
I got to writing in my blog tonight much later than I had planned. Everything today seemed to take much longer than I had intended. But I still got to it and that's what is important to me. Sitting at my laptop, in my pajamas and quickly jotting down my day.
So today I was awarded my second contract. I am super excited about it and it definitely made my day. It's for fixing up a product description for a camera store based in South Carolina. I am glad that I am dong this and taking chances in bidding for jobs.
I never would have imagined embarking on this path of becoming a writer. This time last year, if someone told me that my greatest joys of the day would be bidding competitively on writing contracts and spending my evenings writing in a blog and working slowly on a book, I probably would've told them to stop smoking pot. But it's amazing how an idea out of the blue and taking a rare chance can lead to so much enjoyment. I always enjoyed writing as a child but never thought that I would be even slightly good enough to do it as a profession. But it hit me that as long there is some talent, no matter how raw, schooling and practice will make it good enough to be suitable for a profession. And that is the future that I am looking forward too.
Well, readers, it's late and I need to go relax. One more thing though. My blog is a little one sided and I would like to generate some discussion. So as a start and an attempt at getting to know my readers, I would like to know what your number one passion is. What gets your mind racing and excited? Leave your thoughts in the comments box. Can't wait to get to know you all more.
Keep your pens at the ready, friends. And have a lovely night.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Not an overly progressive day on the writing front.  I began approaching freelance writing as a business and learned a lot today about copyrights, taxes and how to be professional even at the beginners stage.  Still that isn't what made my day today particularly revolutionary.  It was a small bit of wisdom from a movie.
  If you have never seen "It's a funny story" watch it.  It was a story that seemed like my own.  A story about someone that struggled with life's everyday pressures and expectations and found their way in the end by following a path that had never occurred to them before nor did they think that they would find themselves on.  I don't want to give to much of the movie away for you, but needless to say, I'm glad that I watched it.  And as a story like that touched me, as many stories have before, it reminded me why I want to become a writer.  So that somewhere down the road, someone that I've never even met, will read something that I have written and will be touched by some small bit of wisdom.  And maybe they will share that wisdom with someone they love.
  Ok so it was a pretty sappy day.  Either way readers, good luck on your search for wisdom and keep your pens at the ready.

© 2012 S. Stevens

  The morning went well.  Nothing like starting off the day with some Yoga before you write.  I now have a prologue, chapter 1 and now a bit of chapter 2 for my book.  I am having a blast writing it.  It's unfortunate that I can only write about 2 hours a time but that is still around 1000+ words.  The story isn't overly intricate but with so many characters to introduce and establish, that in itself is a large project.
  My afternoon comprised of my other creative addiction... Minecraft.  A virtually limitless game of creation and a perfect place to loose myself in when my brain is fried.  My underwater lair will soon be complete. :)
  But other than that folks, I'm hoping for some more writing time tomorrow.  Having a lovely evening with your pens at the ready.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Well I started off the day by creating my own logo.  It's on my profile here if you want to take a look.  From there I bid on a couple more contracts and hoped for the best.  Again I am finding it hard not to get discouraged but the more I try the better off I'll be.
  Tomorrow is going to be a great day of writing.  I have one more week off and other than the occasional errand, I'm pretty much free to write.
  I am having fun keeping up the blog.  Sending my thoughts out into the universe and seeing what comes back.  It's fulfilling in a way.
  So seeing how it was another quiet day, I'll leave this post short and sweet.  Have a great Sunday evening everyone and keep your pens at the ready. :)
© 2012 S. Stevens
  So had a rough and exhausting day yesterday and after burying my head into a video game, the day flew by.   Hence there was no progress on my book or my blog.  Let's just say that it was a "sick" day.  I did however apply for a couple more jobs.
  Applying for jobs... it is a scary thing to do because who knows the outcome.  I am currently waiting 3 more days till bidding is up on one job that I applied for and I got turned down for another one today.  My lack of experience and education is my killer.  Education I can fix and experience will come in time.  I just need to not get frustrated or discouraged.  It is hard to do at times.  Still I have had one freelance job already, which was a huge shock, and it allowed me to see what I was able to do.  I think that if I spend some more time on building my resume, freelance profiles and promoting myself, that will help a ton.  So with that I will get off my butt, polish up my resume and portfolio and hunker down for some serious typing.... on Monday!!!  Seriously, it's late here :)
  G'night readers and keep your pens at the ready. ;)
© 2012 S. Stevens
  So today was a bust thanks to many tasty beers last night into the wee hours of the morning.  Thank god for coffee and greasy food!  Still I had many wonderful ideas last night about writing topics and had every intent on making them into blogs, but I think they would be more appropriate as online articles.  I'll keep you abreast on my progress with that.
  No replies to any job bids yet today, although I did just place one more proposal on a new job.  So lets keep our fingers crossed.  I just hope that I don't get awarded multiple projects all at once with a one week deadline on each.  That could be a little intense.  But then again that is what coffee is for.
  The progress on my book yesterday still has my head abuzz with where I want to take it.  I am finding it challenging to write multiple characters, each with distinctive personalities and still focusing on the descriptiveness of the environments.  My book is going to easily be 500 pages long at this rate.  Big talk considering I'm only on page 7 with almost 4000 words.  I still haven't made much plot progress nor really gotten into the history of each character but the setting that I chose and being able to write down exactly what I see in my head is amazing.  Once my first draft is complete it is going to be hard to go back and self edit.  But that is years away yet.
  Well with miserable weather outside and a still slightly fuzzy head, I think it is time for some video games.  Hope everyone finds one creative thing to do today and keep your pens at the ready.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  Ok so today was surprisingly exhausting.  My brain felt like I had run a marathon and I barely left my chair till 1230.  I did my blog this morning, got turned down for another freelance job, worked on my portfolio by populating my poetry folder and worked on my book for over 2 hours.  I didn't realize how tired I was till I started typing words backwards.  Still not a bad days work for my first day.  By 1230 it was time for lunch and some grocery shopping.
  So my major challenge of the day... maintaining focus.  It's hard being at home and trying to not get distracted by Facebook, email and my eager dog squeaking his favorite squirrel toy in my ear.   Then there are the household chores that every time I look away from my Macbook are screaming neglect.  Still I managed at 830 to write riveting poetry in my pajamas.
  Another challenge I found today was writing in a non-robotic tone.  In my current full time job I often am required to write reports which are often with a robotic tone in a preordained format.  Very dull and not at all colorful.  I use a few descriptive words and suddenly I'm hailed as a genius.  But that's a rant for a later date.
  My last thought of the day is how hard it was to get my brain to shut off and take a break once I had stopped working on my book.  I have always heard various jobs described as "... it's not a job, it's a way of life."  I can see why that would reply to a writer.  It doesn't matter if the clock says that it's time for lunch nor does it matter when I'm cooking pasta, my mind won't stop weaving tales and twisting phrases.
  So how am I going to improve tomorrow?  Well first off I think that I will get showered and dressed before I begin writing, just like I would do for any other job.  Secondly, frequent breaks, about every hour or so.  Even if it's just to play with my dog for 5 minutes.  Lastly,  stopping my brain at the end of the day, like any other job.  The evening is not time to be thinking "... oh I hope I get that next freelance contract."  Still though if an idea pops into my head, I will jot it down quickly before it vanishes forever. I will never turn my back on my hunt for that ever illusive truly original idea.
  And now it is time to end my first day on a wonderful note and remember readers, keep your pens at the ready.
© 2012 S. Stevens
  So while this is technically not my first day of writing, this is my first day at blogging.  I decided that an online journal would be a great way to keep me personally motivated.  I plan on writing at the end of every "work" day to document my progress of the day.  This is just one of those things that I want to toss into the universe and see what flies back.
  At this moment I am not hired to do any freelance work so it gives me time to work on my book and my portfolio.  I am on vacation from my full time job at the moment till mid month.  I just want to get a feel for what my life would be like if I wrote full time.  And so far it feels great.  My brain is engaged and buzzing with thought.  At 8 am that is a feat for me.  I have drank my coffee, got my dogs up, checked my email and any freelance job updates.  Music is blasting in my ear and apart from being a little hungry, I'm ready to go.
  To date I have only done one freelance job and it's a great start, considering I only started on this path in September.  I find that while I apply for job after job, the fact that I have no university/college or experience is a bit of a hindrance.  Still it won't stop me.  I will apply for jobs that range from web content to article writing.  My goal is to eventually just be able to focus on creative writing but I also realize that, like any other artist, I need to be flexible and able to write in many styles and formats.  University is also a goal of mine.  I'd be very proud to have a BA in English and it will come in time.
  So for the rest of this morning I am going to work on my portfolio and if I'm not totally brain dead come lunch maybe some book writing this afternoon.  My book is the project that I am truly excited about, but until I have more progress on it, I am keeping it very hush hush ;)
  Have a fantastic day readers and keep your pens at the ready.
© 2012 S. Stevens