Good morning. Another friday is here, and another crazy week down for me. Other than a couple of exams coming up, I am done school till January, but in January the real work begins. In order for me to reach the deadline for my school funding, I have to be able to have my degree done by January 2017. Doesn't sound too bad, right? Well let's just say that next year will comprise of 5 courses each semester, and then after that it'll be 6 courses a semester!!! I'm slightly intimidated by the workload, but all of the hard work that I have been doing up till now has been to prepare me for this. I have a set schedule in place, I have plans for meals and other house chores that need to be done regularly, and I have the support of a loving family, and the best of friends. With all of that pushing me, and my desire to graduate and get a school ring spurring me on....I say BRING IT!!!! I know that I can maintain my B+ average, and even raise it before graduation. This is what I do, this is what I'm all about.

Unfortunately, my writing, blogging, and editing work will be on pause till I am finished school. I will be finishing up the books that I am currently editing, and then I'll be all about school. I am so grateful to the people of RedemptionHouse Publishing for believing in me, and supporting me this whole time, and for their understanding and support of my decision to commit all my time solely to school for now. And to all of the authors that I have worked with, I will be keeping my eyes open for any future books. All my best to all of you with your future writing.

Regarding my blog, I will try and post once in a while, like I had said before, because it keeps my writing flexible. A writer can not solely write academically, and hope to maintain their creative writing. That being said, I can't wait till my senior level writing courses, because it is all about creative writing. But I need at least a B average to get into those, so lots of hard work is needed in the meantime. :)

To my fellow writers, keep writing, and I'll always be cheering for you, support when you need it, and an ear when your stuck.  And to all of those chasing a dream, keep dreaming, keep chasing, you never know where that passion, that dream, will lead you. Take care, everyone.

© 2013 S. Stevens

Hello, everyone. I have been somewhat preoccupied with school as of late. My preference for formal language is starting to permeate everything I write...

Yeah, ok enough of that :). I have been busy with final papers, and exams, but I am having a blast. I am finally able to start doing research, and spend hours pouring over scholarly journals, and prestigious books. Needless to say, some of the papers that I have been writing, I have more notes than actual words in the paper. And I am finding that some of my useless knowledge is coming in handy.

On top of school, I am still editing, and I am getting the chance to work with two amazing authors. One is already a published author, and I am getting the privilege to work on her second book, and the other author is a young girl that is talented beyond compare. I am truly enjoying working with both.

I had an epiphany the other day. I chose my last career, because I wanted to change the world. I rarely got the chance, and it was disheartening for me. When I chose to change my career to writing and editing, changing the world was part of it. Look at the greats, Shakespeare, Hemingway, etc..(there are more than I can conjure up names for at this point). They changed the world with words, and I realized, I may never write a masterpiece, but whats not to say that I won't encourage or assist the next great. My dream may be a long shot, but I don't think so. Everything we do has a ripple effect. For example, I edit a book, the author publishes the book, the reader is inspired to write, and maybe they write something that changes the world...who knows. I guess I'll change the world through association. After all, it is better to change the world through words, rather than try to change it with force. But maybe that's my optimistic nature in a nut shell!

Well, dear readers. This was a nice chance to get my thoughts down in an informal manner. I will try to keep this side of my writing alive as much as possible. Cheers.

© 2013 S. Stevens
Ever look at your overflowing to-do list and swear that it'll all be worth it in the end? Yeah I'm at that point! From now until February I'm pretty much go to have to turn into a workaholic. I have an exam next week, two more courses to finish before the end of January, and I just took on two books to edit! On top of that I still have a house to take care of, and meals to make....oh and exercise, yeah, yeah exercise!

Funny enough though, I'm not complaining. I love it. I knew working from home would have it's challenges, but I never imagined that I'd be busier now than I was when I worked full time. Sometimes I think that if I didn't have a calendar to write down everything on and assign when to do work, I'd be lost. I'd be in a corner somewhere, surrounded by a fortress of books, hugging a Shakespeare book, and growling at anyone that tries to disturb me, all the while whining "....so much to do, Precious, and so little time!!" Sorry slight derailment of reality there!!

On that note, back to work for me, and I'll be back to write more when time permits.

© 2013 S. Stevens
Hello, everyone. I am removing my art page from here today. If anyone is interested my art will now be at:

My deviantArt Page

I hope to get back to blogging more, but as I said before, school is taking priority.

Cheers

© 2013 Samantha Stevens
© 2013 S. Stevens

I've hit my first milestone as a writer...I've endured the crippling writer's block.  The last couple of weeks, as I'm sure you can see, my writing has suffered. I couldn't concoct the simplest rhetoric, and I was growing concerned. In an attempt to break my block before my exam next week, I decided to take today off. Well, until I felt inspired again.

Today, I learned a lesson that I will never forget. I was looking in an old trunk of mine when I came across some of my old writing. And I don't mean writing from a couple of years ago, there is a story that is almost 20 years old, I was 9 when I originally wrote that particular story. I had to sit down and read my old stuff, with the expectation that I'd groan and laugh at my horrible attempts at writing. However, I was stunned...the characters in my old story are amazing, they are dynamic and colourful characters. The imagery is outstanding, and the dialogue is engrossing. There is even one part of the story when one character makes a speech, and it brought tears to my eyes!

I couldn't believe that I was 9 when I wrote this. It seemed that as a child I knew what I was to do with my life, but somewhere along the way I forgot. I became so wrapped up in the world around me that I forgot to listen to the muse inside. I stressed about finding the right career, one in which I would make enough money to live on. No wonder I could never settle on anything; no wonder nothing else seemed to fit. Up till now I had thought that I had picked writing just because it held attractive prospects for me, and I knew that I could write well, I just.....I doubted myself. I was too focused on perfection and with creating the perfect prose that fit the guidelines for school, that I forgot how to just let the words flow. I was more concerned with mechanics and grammar that I forgot how to write, I forgot how to just let go. Writing is not something that you should try and control, it needs to be turned loose in order to feel sated. When you write, you shouldn't expect to get it right the first time, it will need to be tweaked, and polished. You'd think that since I'm an editor I'd remember that. But it is hard to remember the basics when you're faced with a blank screen or a sheet of paper, and you are trying to will the words to come to you.

Now inspiration is filling me from my toes to the tips of my hair. I want to work on that story again, and incorporate two other stories into the first one. Mostly just bring the characters together, because they will all work so well together.

I am well aware that I haven't fully recovered from my block, but finding this has given me hope, and the confidence that I'll need when it comes to my exam on Tuesday.

© 2013 S. Stevens
Today I want to share with you photos from a very talented photographer. Geneieve Ferris captured these wonderful pictures of smelt spawning in a river last spring. A brilliant photographer, Geneieve was able to capture these pictures despite the bright sun that was reflecting off of the water. Great job!!



© 2013 S. Stevens
After completing a psychology quiz today I am finding it hard to compose anything. In fact, I've been like this all week.  I attribute this to barely studying any english this week, and focusing on completing another unit in psychology. That being said, next week I'll probably be tired of writing since I'll be working on my final paper for my prose class, and studying like mad for my upcoming exam in a week and a half. Looking at my calendar with nothing but notes and scribbles on it outlining my many tasks to do, I feel slightly over-whelmed. But I remind myself why I am going to school, and I take some time to listen to some of my favourite music and create a picture.

Yes, this is what I come up with when I have a couple of hours to myself, and am listening to heavy metal :). And now I am going to let my brain recover, maybe do some light studying later. Cheers, everyone.

© 2013 S. Stevens
Yes, yes! I know! I have finally settled on what I want to do with this blog. I have tried to force it into having a purpose, but in the end, I decided that I am going to let it settle into the same approach that my life philosophy is built on. This blog is gonna change, morph, and always be different; it will go with the flow, and as inspiration fills my head, this blog will act as a conduit to get that inspiration out. So needless to say, no two posts will be the same, there will never be a pattern, or any sense to why I have a blog. Realistically, I realize that I will never have a ton of readers, or followers, but it is nice to write something for people, and if I can inspire one person, I'm happy. Although my blog is mainly focused on writing, I will fill my posts will all kinds of art, photography, blurbs, music and, anything else that catches my attention.

I also would like to mention once again that if anyone has any art, photographs, or writing that they'd like to have displayed, or to get out into the world, please let me know.  Please refer to my post Calling all photographers and artists for all rules and regulations.

With that being said, my days have been extraordinarily busy.  I am managing four university courses, keeping a house clean, making meals, and, quite recently, editing a book. I have still found time to keep up my fitness, and go out on hikes. In fact, the last hike my husband and I attempted took us over 9 hours!!  That was a trial, and physically exhausting.  But we survived, and the food and beer that night at Jack Astors was amazing. I never thought I'd be so happy to have a french fry.

Today I am finishing up reading a novel for school, so this is a quick post. The road to dream fulfillment is a long, and bumpy one.  One day when school is all done with, maybe my blog will have a purpose once again, but for now it's a great way to warm up my brain for a day of creative thinking.

But before I go, I want to make a quick book plug.  For anyone that likes fantasy novels, this is the book that I just finished editing.  The author is a very talented young woman, and it is nice to see her dream come to fruition, and I was ecstatic to be part of it.  Order your copy of Star Spirit here

One of the views during our recent hike.
© 2013 S. Stevens
Hello, dear readers. I realize my posts have been pretty sparse lately, and for those who signed up for my newsletter, I will be switching it to quarterly, with the first one expected mid-September. Not for lack of content, mind you, it's because I lack enough hours in a day. I am now juggling four university courses, working full swing on editing a novel-that I am super excited about-and still finding time to get out on big hikes and long bike rides with my husband.

So things are going extremely well. I am loving the editing, getting a feel for what being an editor entails, and I couldn't ask for a better team-a patient and understanding author, and an employer that trusts my judgment calls. I got lucky, and I count my lucky stars daily, even when I am stressing over university papers, of which I am writing three of at the moment.

When I started on this path, I never would have imagined that things would be going this well this quickly. And although my calendar beside my desk is so scribbled on with reminders that I can barely make out the dates, I wouldn't have it any other way.

As far as university goes, I am still doing well. My marks are still high, although not as high as I'd like, but I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to school work. That hasn't changed at least from my high school days, although being older and going to school, I find that I am more prepared for the heavy work load. It does help that for the time being I am doing school from home, but some day I look forward to being on a campus.

Now to satisfy my inner book worm, I want to share a poem that I recently came across thanks to my poetry school book. I know it's a well known poem, but I wanted to share it all the same. I was a little disappointed that it is not in the curriculum anywhere, this far, but this poem seemed to resonate with me:

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost

Yep, I love this poem. The poem, or how it reads to me, spurs me on any time I feel discouraged about my writing, or worry about whether or not I made the correct career choice, or if I am good enough to be a writer/editor, I repeat the last stanza in my head, and it instantly makes me feel better. I don't buy into the whole regret theory that some who have analyzed the poem deem it says, after all a sigh can be a positive expression if combined with a smile, and being sorry about not being able to take both paths, well life would be easier if we could. But others may read it differently then I perhaps. That's the great thing about poetry, each poem reads different to every person. And besides, I personally find nothing more inviting then a beautiful, yellow, fall forest.

A bit of poetry to get your weekend started.  I hope to post again soon. Dear readers, take care.

References
Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken.” The Harbrace Anthology of Poetry, Fifth Edition. Ed. Jon C. Stott, and Raymond E. Jones. US: Nelson Education Ltd., 2012. 205. Print.


© 2013 S. Stevens
It's Friday again, and the long awaited summer weekend has finally arrived. After a week of studying and writing another essay, I am ready for a nice relaxing weekend. I am happily maintaining a 3.0 GPA, although I am still striving for higher. I just registered in my next 2 courses, poetry and psychology, and will be starting those in August. Upon completing those I will be taking philosophy, I am very eager to take that course. As much fun as I am having with these two courses, and the next too, there is nothing like arguing philosophy.

On top of school work, I have begun editing for RedemptionHouse publishing. I am eagerly delving into the challenge, learning to balance school work, house work, and editing work. I still manage to get my house chores done, an essay a week completed, and on average a chapter a day edited. Needless to say, I am a time management master. I'll even tout my books around when I have to run errands or go to appointments, and take advantage of downtimes to get a couple of pages read.

Well, dear readers, it is time to wrap this up.  Take care and have a great weekend.

© 2013 S. Stevens
     There is a certain level of anxiousness that comes with schoolwork.  I have the worst kind right now, the "after submitting an assignment" anxiety.  After spending a week writing, editing, re-writing, editing, proof-reading, re-writing, sacrificing a chicken for good luck, and finally submitting an essay, I am now on the anxious high of awaiting my marks.  Which I should have sometime next week.  So until then, I must press on, reading the assigned novel and writing another essay for a different course.  It was pleasant to wake up to receiving my marks from a previous assignment, which was higher than I had expected, so I can only hope that the one I had just toiled over will receive a similar, or preferably higher, mark.
     There has been little time for anything else in my days.  If I'm not obsessing over schoolwork, then I'm working on my house chores, which I try to not let pile up and overwhelm me.  Much to my dog's dismay, I haven't been able to give them as much attention as they would've liked, but it allows them to sleep the hot days away, lounging in the sun for hours at a time.  Luckily, my husband, while encouraging my hard work, provides much needed relief when I start to go overboard.  However, considering my courses only started 3 weeks ago, I am planning on finishing both in August and beginning my next 2 courses....poetry and psychology.  I couldn't have arranged a stranger combination had I tried.
    Well time to put this energy to use, I have a lawn to cut and a house to vacuum.  Have a great weekend, everyone.

©2013 S. Stevens

I know today isn't my typical posting day, but as I rambled on in my head forming this post, it occurred to me that perhaps I ought to just type it down and get it out of there, to make room for other information.

I want to comment on the importance of keeping physically fit as a writer.  I know there have been countless papers, articles, etc. commenting on this, but I want to say my piece about it.  There is a special symbiotic relationship between our brain and body.  As anyone can tell you, physical fitness is important for health reasons, but I think it is downplayed on the importance fitness has for writers or other creative professionals, that often find themselves bound in one spot for hours at a time.

It is always suggested that if you find yourself drawing a blank on what to write next, take a walk, run, or garden, just do something else.  But that got me thinking, and paying attention to the way my mind works when I exercise-or more specifically for myself-lift weights.  I began to notice that when my body begins to move, not only am I writing something in my head or quietly mumbling it under my breath, but the words start to overflow.  What seemed a roadblock only moments before, is smashed down and the stream of words pours out of my psyche.  I have little knowledge of psychology or physiology, but I think that this is an important phenomenon for anyone, and it makes me wonder, at what point is the mind-body relationship strong enough to be able to tap into this resource?  Is there a special connection to the level of physical fitness?

I believe there is a very strong connection between your level of fitness and the clarity of your thoughts.  Recently I have lost a great deal of weight due to an increased focus on fitness and healthier eating.  And I haven't changed my habits all that much; I just began to listen to the needs of my body, not what others said I should do.  I found that gradually overtime my thoughts became clearer, as my body grew stronger.  I focused on muscle mass building and toning, and minimal cardio (I've accepted the fact that I'm not built for speed, but rather endurance and strength).  During my workouts I would force myself to stop thinking and focus on the task at hand, and as a result, after the workout the ideas would start coming to me.  Sentences that I couldn't manage to piece together only an hour before, would begin to write themselves, and then this began to happen even during menial tasks.  In fact, before I started typing this, I was sweeping the floor.

I have noticed the increase in my clarity and frequency of meaningful thought since I have lost the weight and become more fit.  I even began to understand that if I am hungry or thirsty, my writing and thought processes suffer drastically.  Thinking back, I realized how cloudy my thoughts were when I had the excess weight and treated my body like a trash can, filling it full of junk food day after day.  And because I felt so sluggish all day, my sleep quality suffered.  Even my mood suffered, I was constantly down-in-the-dumps and couldn't process my emotions or thoughts.  Now, I rarely eat junk food, in fact the few times I've tried to, I've felt fairly ill afterwards.  There are many days that I still feel lazy, because I tend to be a procrastinator at times, then I remind myself of this lesson that I have learned and think to myself is it really worth it?  Can I afford to skip my workout today?  The answer is always no.  If I want a fit mind, I need a fit body.  That is more than enough incentive for me to stay fit.  I treasure my mind and intelligence, and the fitness of my mind relies heavily on the fitness of my body.  And after years of being upset that I wasn't the "ideal" size or shape, this way of thinking gave me a different way to look at fitness.  I now see it as more of an investment rather than a goal.  Also, the energy I save by not obsessing over how I look, is energy that I can put into my writing or other pursuits.  I now feel more at peace with myself; I still have my down in the dump, frumpy days, but then I go for a walk or read something that I've written, to remind myself that as long as I am healthy-mind and body-that's what is important, not what some "expert" feels I should look like.

Now, I'm not suggesting that anyone start up a crazy diet or exercise routine, I am simply suggesting that you make an easy change over time.  Even if it's making a commitment to walk once a day for 20 minutes, or eat a salad.  There are literally hundreds of things that you can do to start tapping into the one resource that is readily available to us all-our bodies.  Personally I hate going to the gym, I find them very uncomfortable, but I made a small investment in some small weights to have at home and I haven't looked back.  I've even gotten back on my bicycle after many years of ignoring it, and am eager to do chores around the house.  It all helps, no matter what the exercise or activity is, just get up and move.

I guess the best way I can explain this is by referring to my desktop computer.  I have two dogs, both who shed a ridiculous amount this time of year.  The fans in my computer suck up the fur and dust, and the computer begins to slow down.  It heats up, the processing takes longer and it soon stops working all together.  I take it apart, remove the dust and fur-clean it up nicely-put it back together and it works like new again.  I guess I am saying that we all need to get up and shake the dust off on a regular basis, before our processing stops all together.

And not to sound overly cheesy or nerdy, but one of my favourite anime series Soul Eater quotes it best: "A sound soul dwells within a sound mind, and a sound body."  I think that sums it up rather nicely.

I just wanted to share this tiny piece of enlightenment with you.  It has changed the way I think about fitness and eating healthy, and has helped me become a better writer.  I hope it'll give you a different perspective as well.

© 2013 S. Stevens
Good morning, everyone.  How is everyone doing?  I am currently hiding in my den, listening to japanese anime soundtracks, hiding away from the pending storm that's supposed to be on it's way.  School is going well.  I just received my first couple of assignments back.  I was somewhat disappointed at my marks, bother averaging in the 70s, and the stupid mistakes that I had made.  One was mostly punctuation errors, lack of details and not recognizing a couple of rhetorical devices; the other was a couple of misused words and more punctuation errors.  I was fairly upset, and am feeling slightly stressed.  I also saw the irony between my blog and my most common errors on my assignments; punctuation errors should not be something I do.

However, my husband was excited and happy about my marks, and when he noticed my disappointment, promptly informed me not to get discouraged and work harder.  I love his direct approach.

Yesterday I spent the day with a friend, and she was also excited about my marks.  When I told her I was upset, she gave me fantastic advice.  The 70s is a great place to start, so when I progress it will look and feel even better.  And not to worry, I will progress and get back into the swing of things.  Had I gotten 90s on my first assignments, I would've gotten cocky and slacked off.  Made sense to me, thanks for that advice.

On the bright side, I now know what an onomatopoeia is.  I still struggle with recognizing similes and metaphors, however.  I had the same problem in high school.  I register them when I read them, but I always fail to pick them out when I analyze a piece of literature.  Does anyone have any advice about similes and metaphors?

It is nice to be writing in a more formal academic fashion again.  Where I worked before, the writing that was accepted was at a grade 8 level; occasionally more formal writing was seen, but it was very rare.  I am enjoying brushing the dust off and flexing my mind.

On that note, dear readers, time for school work.  I'll leave you with a photo I took last week.  The sun was bright, the weather warm and the beach was calling.  So I took to the streets take some wonderful photos.

© 2013 S. Stevens
Hey there, Noob-fans.  Well, as much as I hate to say it, my blog will be placed on the back burner for now; I officially start university next week.  I am finally on the path of fulfilling a dream.

I've had a couple of weeks head start, and I am throughly enjoying it.  I am off work full time now, and able to pursue my degree in English.  So far I am enjoying it, loving exercising my brain again.  The blog was a great way to bring back the feeling of how good it felt to write, and then expanding on that skill and polishing it.  But hey, isn't that what a writer's supposed to do?

I want to take time to thank you all for your support and encouragement over the last year.  I have to say, that this choice of life path, is the first time in my life that I haven't doubted myself and the career that I am pursuing.  The interest and encouragement of my writing that you have all given me, has sped me along my path.  Without all of you, I'm not sure I would've made it this far.  I would've given up within the first month, doubting what I had.  But I now know in my heart, what many of you have been trying to tell me for years, this is my path, and I feel in my soul, that this where I am meant to be and be doing.  I'm not sure where it will lead, business writing, book editing or journalism; or even one day writing my own story, but writing flows from me.

I know it won't be easy, and I have yet to refine exactly what I want to do, but as long as I am writing, I'll be happy.  I'm not in it for the money or fame, but the joy of being able to express myself through art and writing, like so many talented individuals before me have.

I will be keeping on with my-designers, writing for them as long as they'll have me, so feel free to take a gander at their online store.  They are a great bunch and fantastic to work with.  I will try to do the monthly newsletters for as long as I can, for those that expressed interest in receiving it.  I will also occasionally be posting pictures and the odd post on here, but I will be sure to advertise anything new.

So, farewell, noobs, one-and-all, and one day in the future I will have much to share with you.  Until then, chase your dreams, take chances, and be yourself.  Or as I like to say, f*ck them and do your thing :)

Cheers,
Samantha Stevens

©2013 S. Stevens
A short post for today.  I came across this video and I think it sums up a lot of common mistakes.  Enjoy everyone and have a great weekend.


Good Morning, everyone.  For those who haven't signed up yet, the first issue of my monthly newsletter is out today.  If anyone would like a copy and hasn't sent me an email yet, I will send out this issue till the end of today.  After today, I will only send out May's issue upon special request.

I am also still looking for original photos and artwork to display on my blog.  Again, contact me for more details.

And just incase anyone tried to contact me using the form on here, I'm not entirely sure it works, so if I haven't gotten back to you, that is most likely the case, and I can be reached at:
sstevenswriter@me.com
Technology is only great when it works, and when it comes to HTML and programming, my limited knowledge requires me to rely on second hand information and apps.

Today, I'm going to cover commas with direct address.  This is pretty straight forward, and yet it is not often done.  It can resolve any confusion in your writing, in regards to who is speaking to whom.

Sir, please follow me.
Come here, Rachel, and sit with me.
Mom, I have something to tell you.

As you can see, the comma is utilized to create a pause after the name of the person being addressed.  It is most often seen in written dialogue.

Short, sweet and to the point today.  The sun is shining, my dog is nudging me, and the house is in desperate need of a good cleaning.  Have a great Friday, everyone.


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

© 2013 S. Stevens

References
Lutz, Gary and Diane Stevenson. Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2010. Print.
Hi, everyone.  I am looking for original photos and works of art to showcase on my blog.  With the emphasis of blogs being focused more and more on the visual aspect, as well as content, I am looking to incorporate more pictures into my weekly posts.  And my skills are pretty limited.  I figured you've all stuck with me this long, reading my gripes and encouraging my progress, so I want to pay it back in kind.

So I am inviting you, my readers, to submit any work to me that you would like displayed.  I will ensure that you receive full credit for your piece and it will be copyrighted to you.  All rights will remain with you, the artist.  I will contact you the week that it is to be displayed with the link to the page, so you can promote your work as well.

Also, any of you that are writers that would like any written works, short stories or poems promoted, contact me as well.  I am all for promoting the skills and talents of my fans, after all, like I said, you've all stuck with me!! :)

Contact me using the contact page above, letting me know that you will like to submit an original piece of your work, what you are looking to have showcased, and the theme or topic of the piece you would like displayed.  I will contact you within 2 business days to discuss your submission.

Please be sure it's an original piece, I will be checking.  And be advised, I reserve the right to refuse submissions if I deem that they are not appropriate (i.e.. racist, pornographic, plagiarized, hateful content, spam, etc..).  If you use a model, be sure to receive their permission to have their picture on the site, I will ask.


Good Morning, Noob-fans!!!  A nice, quick lesson for this morning.  And remember, if you are interested in signing up for my monthly newsletter, the first edition is out next friday, so sign up soon, using the contact page here on my blog.  It's sure to be full of announcements, any news, helpful tidbits for any budding freelance writers, etc..  Don't miss an issue :)

Today, I will be going over commas setting off sentence-ending participial phrases.  That's just a fancy way to say adding information to bulk up your sentence using a comma.  For example:

Both women chose not to dress up fancy to welcome their old friend home, instead they opted to keep their outfits simple.

As you can see, after the comma the amplifying information added to the overall flow of the sentence.  I could have made the bit after the comma a new sentence, however, commas add a nice pause to sentences, and create an elegant flow, instead of a dead stop that the period represents.  And just in case you hadn't noticed, I tend to be a huge fan of the comma, and the versatility of it as punctuation. :)

That's it for today, folks.  Nice and easy, the perfect way to usher in the weekend, which I'm hoping is going to be nice and sunny.  The constant rain that has chased me inside, is depressing.  Although, my lawn is greening up nicely, and my lilacs are finally starting to wake up.  And, the swan photo above is just a reminder to those still stuck in the snow, you know who you are, spring is on it's way. :)

Have a great weekend and I look forward to next friday, and the first issue of my newsletter.


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

© 2013 S. Stevens

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


Good Morning.  To let everyone know, my weekly posts will no longer contain any of my weekly news updates, projects, lessons learned, etc..  If that is the part of the blog that you especially enjoy reading, please feel free to contact me using my contact page above and subscribe to my monthly newsletter, which will be coming out the first friday of every month.  Just be sure to specify in your message that you would like to be on the monthly newsletter subscription list.  If you do not receive the newsletter on the day it comes out, check your junk folder, as it may end up in there.  Also, don't worry I will not share your email with anyone.  It will be kept strictly confidential.

Now, as promised, today I will be finishing up explaining the introductory elements.

Commas After Introductory Elements Continued

6. Introductory appositives are used to provide information about another noun.  Provided that the appositive is nonrestrictive, in other words it provides only disposable information.

    An avid skier, she skied every day the hill was open.

7. Introductory absolute constructions are always followed by a comma.  An absolute construction consists if a noun or a pronoun, and a participial phrase.

    With her hair in her mouth, she watched the teacher write the notes on the board.

8. Introductory adverbial dependant clauses are followed by a comma, and are usually at the start of a complex or compound-complex sentence.

    Even though the man wore bright clothes and had a light on his bike, the cars passing by could barely see him.

Note:  Remember that adverbial dependant clauses begin with subordinating conjunctions (because, although, when, even though, since, until, etc.)

And that wraps up the introductory elements.  Next week, I will be covering commas setting off sentence-ending participial phrases.  Have a fantastic weekend and I'll see you all next friday.


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

© 2013 S. Stevens

References
Lutz, Gary and Diane Stevenson. Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2010. Print.
I have a quick question for everyone.  Would anyone be interested in signing up for a monthly newsletter?  It was a random thought that I had, I would share any posts that I have done that month, quick tips and lessons learned (hopefully they can help others), things like that.  And don't worry, I won't share your email address with anyone.

If anyone is interested, please contact me using the form on the contact page.

Also, if you have any suggestions for a newsletter topic or a post topic, I'm always open to suggestions.

Look forward to hearing from you.  And for those interested, I will write the first one the beginning of May.
Happy Friday!!!  What a week it has been.  The product description writing continues on steadily and my boring taxes are all done for the year.  Much more went into small business taxes than I realized and I will be more than prepared for next year.

It has been a great week to shake off the winter dust, both in my house and in regards to my fitness.  I am aiming to be as active as I can be this year, so I can get in the habit of it and keep it up.  Being back on my bicycle is definitely helping.  It's like being a kid again.  We are also training our samoyed to do some bikejoring.  He's having a blast with it, and it's good to see how much of a natural he is at it.  Sad to say, but I can't wait for winter again to start with a small sled.

The post is a little late today because I took advantage of the beautiful sunshine to get outside and start waking up my gardens.  Early weeding makes the rest of the season that much easier.  And with feeling more energetic lately, I will be able to get out all the time and take good care of the gardens this year.

Today I want to discuss the comma, and it's usefulness in writing.  I case you haven't noticed, I happen to be a big fan of comma use.  Run on sentences are a big no-no when writing, and commas offer a relief from that, creating pauses and elegant structure to any sentence.  In older literature, it was common to see sentences run for an entire paragraph, using commas and other punctuation to create the necessary pauses and structure.

There are many principles for using a comma, 38 of them in fact, so I will break up this discussion over several weeks, so as to save from an extremely long post.  We will start out with the basics for today.

Commas After Introductory Elements

1. A single-word adverbial introductory elements is almost always followed by a comma

    First, they had to clean the dishes before they could go outside to play.

* Note: Do not insert a comma after an adverb at the start of an inverted sentence (a sentence in which the verb precedes the subject).  Do not insert a comma after a coordinating conjunctions (and, but, yet, or, nor, and for) when such a conjunction is used as a transitional word at the beginning of a sentence.

2. A transitional phrase should be followed by a comma.

    On the other hand, she was a very talented musician.

3. It is wise to insert a comma after a introductory prepositional phrase that is five words or longer.  However, this principle tends to be ignored at times.

    But at the Christmas Eve party, she felt a warm glow of happiness overflow her.

4. A comma must follow a participial phrase at the start of a sentence.

    Coming from another actor, this statement might have seemed self-serving.

5. A comma must follow an introductory infinitive phrase.

    To stop car thieves, the car collector invested in a garage security system.

Well I think we'll leave it there for today, and I will finish off the introductory elements next week.  Have a great weekend and next week, everyone.




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.

© 2013 S. Stevens

References
Lutz, Gary and Diane Stevenson. Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2010. Print.
Good morning, everyone.  How was everyone's week?  I hope the Easter bunny was good to everyone.  We here took advantage of the long weekend and beautiful weather and got the first hike of the season in.  Was a perfect time for it, no bugs, sunny and a slight breeze.  Visited an out-of-the-way national park, nice and far from civilization.  The scenery was spectacular, half frozen waterfalls, old trees with stories to tell, beech tree glens where the snow still clung onto the frozen ground, and clay cliffs that gave way to extremely large beaches and extraordinary tides.  And due to a navigational error on my part, we were there for majority of the day.  Here is a picture of part of the beach.



As far as writing goes, it's been a bit quieter here, although I'll be getting my butt into gear today and getting some work done.  I also have to do some much dreaded accounting, gotta love tax time.  It has been a huge learning curve, learning how to do basic accounting and what I can claim as a small business.  Yep without realizing it I have become a small business, and I was just writing for fun.

Today I want to introduce the best weapon that a writer can have, a dictionary.  I know most of you are going, well duh!!!, but hear me out.  When you know what you are looking for, a dictionary is a great tool, but what happens when you want a word with some punch yet you aren't sure how it should be used, or where it belongs in a sentence.  The key to creating impact with writing is using proper words and proper sentence structure.  In this case, a dictionary combined with a thesaurus is a fantastic duo.  I recommend that anyone who writes on a daily basis, or would like to expand on their vocabulary, invest in these tools.  Don't laugh, but I was a very nerdy child and read the dictionary on several occasions, along with entire encyclopedias.  But that led to my love of the English language and eventually to my love of writing.

In regards to a dictionary, I would like to talk about some of the abbreviations used.  In most printed dictionaries there is a table at either the beginning or end of the book that explain the abbreviations used, however not all online or dictionary apps do.

Here are some common ones:

Abr.     abridged
Acad.   academia
adj.       adjective
adv.      adverb
c.          century
c           circa
comp.   compound, composition
def.       definition
ind.       indicative
lit.         literal
m.         masculine
masc.    masculine
obj.       object
pa. t.     past tense
phr.      phrase
v.         verb

This is just a short example of some abbreviations used.  For further reading, I recommend:
Oxford English Dictionary-Abbreviations

That is all for today.  Time for me to get cracking and get my work done.  And for anyone out there, if there is ever anything that you would like covered or discussed, or any ideas for future posts, drop me an email at sstevenswriter@me.com or leave a comment below.  Feedback is always welcome.

©2013 S. Stevens

Here's my latest pic.  Still want to play with it some more but this is one look I came up with.  Enjoy!!

© 2013 Samantha Stevens
Good day, everyone.  My apologizes for not posting last week.  These past couple of weeks have been crazy busy, and I'm loving it.  The bit of time I get to sit down, well usually it's to crash and sleep.  My product description work for my-designers.com is keeping me occupied and I am loving every moment of it.  It is a great challenge for me and my mental stamina has definitely increased.

This week I want to do something different.  In the past, I have heard my blog called "The Writing Knob", "The Writing Nub", you get the picture.  So I want to talk about the word Noob, it's origins, and meanings, as best as I can.

I chose the word noob as I happen to be an avid gamer.  Well I was, I find less and less time for that kind of stuff now.  Either way, it was a word I came across regularly while playing MMOs and fellow players often spat the word at each other in jest.  So, I chose it to include in my title partially because of my love of video games, and partially because well I am a noob to the world of writing, blogging and starting up my own business.

The meaning of noob can be somewhat of a grey area.  It is often referred to a slang for someone who is new to something.  It can be quite the derogatory term if used so, hinting that someone is new at a skill and is too stupid to learn how to do it properly.  It also refers to the person's ignorance of that skill.

Being the optimist that I am, I take noob as an endearing term.  I am ignorant to the world of self-employment, self-study and the courage and skill it takes to tackle a big industry.  But I am learning, and I have learned many rough lessons and exciting new skills.  One crucial lesson is not slacking off even though I work at home.  I have no boss, no one to yell at me when I slack off, but when I reach the end of a day and haven't accomplished anything, well that's worse then being yelled at.  I still have my full-time job and I am trying to balance the two, but I am making the transition to working at home slowly.  And then there is not over working myself, making myself break for lunch and playtime with the pups.  I take the time to exercise everyday, even if it's just for a bit, after all you can't keep a sharp mind if you are out of shape.  And making time for my family and friends is always the priority.  Even bad habits that I used to have like sleeping in and just lounging around have gone by the wayside, replaced by the rewarding sense of accomplishment.

So, yes, I am a noob, but I am curing my ignorance each and everyday.  And with everyday, comes new challenges and lessons learned.  For all of you out there, remember that as life changes, don't be afraid of tackling your dreams.  Do what you love and the money will come.  And don't listen to those who say there is no validity in your dreams, chances are they aren't living theirs.  It's amazing how living your dream can change your life.

So now that I've gone off on a rant and gotten that off my chest, I am proud to call myself a noob.  And maybe one day, when I feel I have risen above being a noob, perhaps then I will change my title.  And maybe I won't.

Have a fantastic weekend, dear readers.  And next week I'll pick back up on the grammar.



©2013 S. Stevens
Here is another piece of digital art I cooked up.  It is also on the Art and Inspirations page.


Good morning.  Another week of busily writing away.  Got a ton of product descriptions done, but I feel that I could use a good thesaurus and dictionary.  I learned that my vocabulary has become severely limited over the years.  Perhaps I should take a lesson from my childhood and read a compendium of encyclopedias.

That being said, I did enjoy myself, as I always do writing product descriptions.  And writing a large number of them was an exciting challenge, especially given how much I learned about fashion and clothing.  I have to say I have a new appreciation for designer clothes, although that appreciation may not make my wallet very happy.  The amount of artistry and care that goes into designing clothes is astounding.  And learning some of the backgrounds of the top designers in the world was interesting.  Most started from humble beginnings and as their art grew, fabric became their canvas.  I always admire extremely artistic people, because in a way there is an art in everything we do.  Some people just have that gift to go the extra mile with their art and actually make money off of what they love doing.

In saying that, let's discuss progressive tenses.

Past-Progressive Tense

Indicates a past action that occurs at the same time another past action takes place.

I was eating breakfast when the phone rang.

Present-Progressive Tense

Conveys a sense of something happening right now.

I am swimming

Progressive tenses are formed with the present participle, which always ends in -ing.

Short and sweet for today.  Have a great weekend everyone.


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.

© 2013 S. Stevens

References
Lutz, Gary and Diane Stevenson. Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2010. Print.
Good morning on this cold and snowy day.  Perfect day to curl up in the den and write the day away.  This past week has been a juggling act.  Not only did I get an article published, but I also landed a great full time gig with my-designers.com.  After writing over 50 designer biographies, some of which are on the site now, I have moved into writing product descriptions, which I love.  It can be a great challenge and test of your writing skills trying to describe a product to a potential consumer, while making it sound intriguing, passionate and charismatic.  That being said I have enough work to keep me busy for weeks and I am loving every moment of it.

So between balancing writing, house chores, spending time with my husband, my dogs ensuring I spend time with them, and getting out of the house and away from the computer, I caved and finally started a schedule.  Now I have designated writing times and not feel so swamped and stressed.  I even started doing accounting, tracking what I make and where with my freelance work.  I was doing better than I thought.  I am excited that I am getting into the tempo of this.  Apart from the fact that I still work a couple of days a week with my full time job, a full time freelance writing life is getting closer to my grasp.  It sucks that school is still up in the air, but with the money I earn writing now, I will be better off paying for small things like text books, and my brain will already be in the mindset of writing all the time.  It took a surprisingly long time to remember what that felt like and how to do it.  You definitely have to develop mental stamina and overcome a great deal of procrastination and laziness.  At least, I did.  That being said, I am writing my blog while I drink my morning coffee in my PJs :).  Once this is done, I'll get ready for work.  I have about 20-40 product descriptions to write today, depending on how long my brain holds out.  Once again, as soon as I'm in the groove I can type all day long.

By the way, can anyone recommend any great music to listen to while you write?  I'm not big on silence while I write and my music selection is getting old.  I'm just looking for some fresh stuff.  I love all kinds of music, so suggest away in the comments box below.

But right now, as promised, onto discussing tenses.  Tense is simply defined as when the action of a verb occurs.

Present Tense

Describes an action or event occurring now, can indicate a habitual action, and a general truth.

Tom is eating now.
I live here.
Home is where the heart is.

Past Tense

Describes an event that happened in the past but did not progress into the present.

I worked at a park during the summer.

Future Tense

Describes an event that hasn't happen yet but is expected to occur sometime after the statement.

I have soccer after school.

This was a quick introduction into tenses and next week we will get into perfect and progressive tenses.


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.

© 2013 S. Stevens

References
Lutz, Gary and Diane Stevenson. Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2010. Print.
Hey, everyone.  Had to announce my first published article on Stack News.  I'm very excited and hope to follow it up with many more.


My First Published Article
Good Morning, everyone.  So I'm not going to make excuses and I know I've been neglecting my blog the past couple of weeks.  Truth is I've been working on a freelance job for an online luxury fashion store.  For them I was writing quick short biographies for all of the designers that they carry.  Had to say I enjoyed it.  Getting to admire wonderful clothes and read how some of the designers progressed their careers was quite inspiring.

So now I'm taking a break this weekend and getting ready to tackle my next job.  Next week I will get into verb tenses.  After 52 biographies I am quite brain dead today.

So here is the link of the site I worked for.  Feel free to check it out, they have some beautiful clothes and accessories.  I will also have the link on my links page.

My-Designers.com

Have a great week and I'll pick up again next week.

© 2013 S. Stevens
Hello, readers.  This has been a relatively quiet week.  Had a couple of requests for quotes, which was nice and flattering, but so far no work.  But I don't mind, between hunting for a new car and battening down the hatches in preparation for a crazy winter storm, I've had little time to write.  And I spent the better part of Wednesday afternoon battling my old nemesis...math!!!!  Yep I tried to be a responsible adult and build a budget, and I did, after a huge learning curve and much aggravation. :)

Now onto today's topic...verbs.  Verbs are simply action words.  They can be singular or plural and denote past, present and future.  It can be used with a first-, second- and third-person subject.

I live there.
We live there.
You live there.
They live there.
I lived there.
We lived there.
You lived there.
They lived there.

It's as simple as that.  However next week we will be taking a more in depth look at tenses.


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

References
Lutz, Gary and Diane Stevenson. Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2010. Print.
Good Morning, everyone.  I've got a busy schedule today and a new freelance job to get started on.  I'm really excited about it and I am already brain storming.  I had planned on a longer post today stemming from a brainstorming session at 3am last Sunday, but that will have to wait.  Now on to the remainder of the functions of nouns in a sentence.

Subjective complements
A subjective complement is a noun that completes a meaning.  It is also referred to as a predicate nominative and it is always necessary in a certain construction.  For example:

Cindy is funny.

The complement is the word funny, without it the sentence would make no sense.  It's a pretty straight forward explanation.

Direct Objects

A direct object is a noun that receives the action of the verb.  For example:

Maggie failed the test.

The test is the direct object and it received the action of being failed.  The sentence would not make sense without describing what Maggie had failed.

Indirect Objects

Nouns as indirect objects appear in sentences with direct objects.  Indirect objects show for whom or for what the action was undertaken.  It often come before a direct object in a sentence.

Mom gave the dog our leftover vegetables.

In the above sentence the dog is the indirect object.  Can you identify the direct object?

Objective Complements

Like subjective complements, they add to the meaning of a noun.  In this case, the noun is used as an object rather than as a subject.

The mechanic considered the car a lemon.

Above the car is the direct object and calling it a lemon, the objective complement, renames it.

Objects of Prepositions

A noun can be an object of a preposition.  In other words, in a phrase beginning with a preposition and ending with a noun.  Common prepositions indicate location: of, on, to, in, near, below, and across.

in the right mood

Mood is the noun object.


The next topic that will be covered will be verbs.  Thank you for reading and have a fantastic weekend.

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

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

Hey, everyone.  Today I am writing my blog from a Canadian Tire automotive waiting room.  I'm so proud of myself for making the most of my time.  I am enjoying the ability to work whenever, from wherever.  With that being said, I have begun applying to freelance jobs again.  I'm trying not to stress and know that the more relaxed I am, the better I work.  And I won't be so desperate for work that I take on questionable and harsh clients.  I am aiming more towards editing and proofreading work but I'll still apply to web content, transcription and business writing work, and anything else that catches my interest.  I would love to get more into legitimate article writing, so that I can get some experience on that front.

Now onto today's lesson.  Today we will be discussing the function of a noun in a sentence.  I know we all know how a sentence looks and should sound, but adding the technical terms and discussing the fundamentals leads to a deeper understanding of what you read and write.

First off nouns can be a subjects, what the sentence is about.  A subject can be expanded on or explained with other nouns or modifiers.

The dog hoped through the field.
Chemistry is a difficult subject.
The deer galloped through the forest.

There are also compound subjects which is made by using a coordinating conjunction, which is usually accomplished by adding and to a sentence.

The dog barked and the cat meowed.
Cars and buses flew down the highway.
The deer and elk ate all the corn.

Secondly nouns can be used as modifiers or appositives.  Modifiers are words that modify other words. In the phrase, the wide truck, wide is an adjective modifying trailer.  The very wide trailer, very is an adverb modifying wide.  In a later post, we will discuss adjectives and adverbs.

In regards to a noun acting as a modifier, consider the phrase The Johnston house, a proper noun is modifying a common noun.

When two nouns are used together, the result is a compound.  Compound nouns can be open, hyphenated, or they can be closed.

computer desk
great-grandfather
doghouse

Keep in mind that to many compound nouns in a sentence creates a hard to read sentence.  If you are ever in doubt about how to spell a compound noun, consult a dictionary.

An appositive is a noun that renames a different noun or provides another way to look at or describe it.  If the appositive is needed to identify the noun then no comma is used.  If the appositive provides only additional information about the noun, then punctuation is used.  Appositives can appear anywhere in a sentence, and can be set off with commas, em dashes, colons (but only if the appositive is at the end of a complete sentence), and parentheses.  In the examples the appositives have be underlined and the nouns they modify have been bolded.

Ben's brother Bob helped him build the house.
My sister, Sandy, is a wonderful artist.
My father won a new house in a contest-an elaborate two-story house with a manicured lawn.

Em dashes are more empathic than commas.  These examples follow the same form as above.

The farmer-a weather-beaten, kind man-nursed the abandoned calf to health.

Appositives introduced by a colon come at the end of a sentence.

Shelley got what she wanted most; admission to Harvard.

Parenthetical appositives have an aside quality.

The cake (a desert I usually avoid) was delicious.

Appositives not accompanied by punctuation, cannot be removed from a sentence.  When an appositive is followed by a title, the title is included for the purpose of identification.

I sailed on the boat The Princess for a week.

Next week will be part 2 of the functions of nouns in a sentence, which will include subjective complements, direct objects, indirect objects, objective complements, and objects of prepositions.

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

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


Hello, everyone.  So this is my first post of 2013.  How was everyone's holidays?  Our holiday break was fantastic but I'm back at it, applying to freelance jobs and starting back on my blog.  Once again, I was thrilled when I had reached over 1000 views in less than a year.  It's always a great boost when a goal, no matter how small, is reached.

As my last post said, today I will be covering the proper spelling of several well known common (count) nouns in plural form.  As covered in the last lesson, count nouns can always be made plural.


  • To form a plural add -s:
    • cat/cats
    • dog/dogs
    • flower/flowers
  • For nouns ending in -s, -sh, -ch, or -x, add -es.
    • peach/peaches
    • ax/axes
    • flash/flashes
  • Nouns that end in -y and is preceded by a consonant, change the -y to -i  and add -es.
    • cry/cries
    • berry/berries
    • caddy/caddies
  • If the -y at the end of a noun is preceded by a vowel, simply add -s.
    • toy/toys
    • bay/bays
    • play/plays
  • Most nouns that end in -f or -fe, change it to a -v and add -s or -es.
    • knife/knives
    • leaf/leaves
    • scarf/scarves
  • Certain nouns that end in -f or -fe only add -s.
    • roof/roofs
    • belief/beliefs
    • chief/chiefs
  • A noun ending in -o and is preceded by another vowel, add -s.
    • radio/radios
    • solo/solos
    • piano/pianos (it's an exception to the rule)
  • If the -o is preceded by a consonant, add -es.
    • hero/heroes
    • tomato/tomatoes
  • Although the exception to the above rule is that some nouns can become plural with both -s and -es.
    • cargo/cargos/cargoes
    • zero/zeros/zeroes
    • mosquito/mosquitos/mosquitoes
  • For a compound noun (two nouns that have been joined together), add -s or -es to the last word.
    • doghouse/doghouses
    • checkbook/checkbooks
    • housekeeper/housekeepers
  • For a noun that has an attached modifier, add -s or -es to the first noun.
    • passer-by/passers-by
    • editor-in-chief/editors-in-chief
    • father-in-law/fathers-in-law
  • Some nouns when made plural are formed irregularly.
    • tooth/teeth
    • man/men
    • foot/feet
  • And lastly, some nouns are the same plural as they are singular.
    • sheep
    • deer
    • rice
If you are ever in doubt on how to spell the plural form of a noun, a dictionary will always have the plural spelling of a noun.

The next topic that will be covered will be the functions of nouns in sentences.  Thank you for reading and have a fantastic weekend.

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

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