...the Blog

Our April Print Me Puzzle

Posted on: April 17th, 2014 by Deborah Plouffe No Comments

to access this month’s PRINT ME Puzzle!

             Here’s our APRIL Word Search puzzle!
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Compound Possession? What’s THAT?

Posted on: April 15th, 2014 by Deborah Plouffe 2 Comments

Enough with the average, every-day grammar rules. Let’s take a look at a punctuation rule that is commonly misused but seldom explained!

This rule deals with COMPOUND POSSESSION.

What is that, anyway? Well, compound possession refers to having two separate subjects that share joint ownership of one item, or own items separately.

Let’s look at two examples:

Dick’s and Jane’s dogs are brown.

Dick and Jane’s dogs are brown.

In the first case, Dick and Jane do not share ownership of their brown dogs. They separately own two or more brown dogs.

In the second case, they share ownership of two or more brown dogs. Can you see the difference?

So, the rule is this: if the possession is shared by the entire compound subject (Dick and Jane) then only use an apostrophe on the second noun.If there is no joint ownership, then each noun must use the possessive form.

Of course it wouldn’t be English grammar without an exception to the rule, right? If the compound subject is made up of both a proper noun and a personal pronoun, BOTH subjects need to be made possessive.
Here is an example.

Jane’s and my dog ran away last night. This is the proper way to demonstrate the ownership of the truant dog.

Otherwise, you’d end up with something like: Jane and my dog ran away last night. This COULD be true, but it surely has a different meaning from the first sentence. You are obviously implying here that both Jane and the dog ran away into the night. If only one of them ran away, you’ll need a possessive!

P.S. Yes,the dog’s name is Spot!

Change is Good!

Posted on: April 10th, 2014 by Deborah Plouffe No Comments

It is NO wonder that my head is filled with all sorts of new products and services for, now that I have the time to implement them all!

E@sy eZines will be ready to launch by the end of April, so please watch for its release. Banner ad sponsorship is available, so please contact us if you are interested.

Stay tuned for a few changes to the website as well, including the introduction of videos and several new packages.

Watch for a new webinar series premiering at the end of May. We are joint venturing with Dawn Fletcher from Neworld Coaching, so this will be a GREAT show to see! Details will be coming your way shortly.

We will also be launching a new service before the end of the summer. Please visit our FACEBOOK page to weigh in on what service you would prefer.

Once the dizzying sense of freedom settles down, there should be even MORE news to announce. Check out the May issue of TimedWrite for more information!

Or, send us a quick email and we’ll tell you what’s new!

12 Reasons Why YOUR Business Needs an Online Newsletter!

Posted on: April 7th, 2014 by Deborah Plouffe No Comments

As part of the COUNTDOWN TO THE APRIL 2014 LAUNCH OF E@SY eZINES , we’ll be pulling some of our best newsletter articles from the archives and publishing them every Monday morning.

Here is one of our earliest blogs entry, dating back to 2010. So get set for…



We all want to look good, and your written materials continually project your image to your clients and prospects. Email newsletters can be one of the most effective mediums for promoting your business and keeping in contact with both clients and prospects.

Consider these 12 reasons why your business needs an email newsletter:

1. An email newsletter is cost-effective, allowing you to communicate frequently with a highly specific audience and saving yourself printing headaches and mailing costs. Email marketing also offers a greater return than direct mail or telemarketing.

2. A periodical newsletter can also help to establish you as an authority in your industry and demonstrate your expertise to your audience. As you differentiate yourself from competitors in this way, your client base will naturally develop greater loyalty.

3. A professionally produced newsletter also helps to enhance your brand image, as well as your reputation and credibility, while making your product or service more identifiable.

4. Regular personalized email contact via newsletter, offered as often as you wish, further cultivates your relationship with your clients and potential buyers.

5. The email newsletters you send into cyberspace translate to increased traffic to your website and can also increase your site’s search engine rankings.

6. Regular contact by email newsletters also helps you to stay in the minds of your database of clients and prospects. They are more likely to think of you as your email arrives in their inbox at regular intervals.

7. Email newsletters are also interactive. As your message is received by your audience, they are offered the opportunity to connect back to your website, blog or other link.

8. A good email service will also allow you to track the effectiveness of your newsletter, providing statistics concerning contact activity, bounces, un-subscribers and other tracking results.

9. An email newsletter encourages further Internet networking activities. It can also encourage word-of-mouth advertising when your recipients forward your email to their friends and associates. Those names might in turn make their way to your subscriber list

10. When you send an email newsletter to subscribers, you are reaching a captive audience. They have already asked to hear from you and are more likely to be responsive to your promotions.

11. As with other communications, and email newsletter can add value to your website when you invite visitors to subscribe.

12. Best of all, you are helping other people when you share your knowledge with them. Whatever value you offer to others, it almost always makes its way back to you several-fold.

Every business owner should be sending a regular email newsletter, both as a first rate marketing tool and a proven method for turning prospects into clients.

Guess What I Did Yesterday?

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by Deborah Plouffe 2 Comments


“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”                                                         ~ Calvin Coolidge

Or, perhaps I should ask, “What do I have in common with this little fellow?”

As of this week, I have officially left the “day job” behind and I’ve taken the plunge, head-first, into full-time entrepreneurship! Depending on your point of view, you might chastise my recklessness OR you might applaud my sense of daring…maybe BOTH?

It is SO easy for anyone to say, “Go for it, just do it!” but in most cases this is a decision that requires a lot of thought and soul-searching. Before you or someone you know decides to heed the tiny (or screaming!) voice inside your head that urges you to break away from the 9 to 5 routine, please take a moment to consider some of the things that I’ve been mulling over in my head for FAR too long!

It look a LONG time to develop sufficient confidence in myself and enough faith in the longevity of my business. Likewise, it took a LONG time to convince myself that I just could NOT dedicate the necessary time and energy to my business while I was still working for someone else. I had a good job, after all, and a boss that I really liked, but it was becoming harder and harder to give 200 percent (100 percent to my job, AND 100 percent to my business) day after day!

You know what was the ultimate deciding moment? A good friend and fellow entrepreneur said, “I don’t know why you don’t quit that job and do this full time.” It wasn’t just her matter-of-fact statement that convinced me; it was the fact that I couldn’t find reason to justify my actions anymore. There was just no reason to be “working” any more!

So, here I sit on the day after my “retirement” writing this blog and preparing the newsletter that will announce my BIG NEWS.

If you’re struggling with the decision of whether or not to go full-steam on your part time business, please add your comment.

OR, if you’ve already taken the leap, PLEASE share your thoughts with the rest of us!


A Book Trivia Twist

Posted on: March 28th, 2014 by Deborah Plouffe No Comments

Do you know the answer to this month’s Trivia Quiz? Send an email with your guess, and we’ll reward the correct entries with a prize. Or, if you’re into suspense, we’ll publish the answer in the next issue of Timed Write. 

Here’s something a little bit different. Arrange the FIRST letter in each of these one-word answers to spell a word, email us the word and win a prize. Pretty simple…maybe! Do YOU know…

1.    The liquid that Alice in Wonderland swam though
2.    The Greek name for Percy Jackson’s pen
3.    Ms. Rowling’s middle name
4.    The ONE novel title by Jane Austen containing ONLY a woman’s name

Email us your word today!

P.S. The answers to last month’s quiz were, in order,

Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dick
ens. Recommends…

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by Deborah Plouffe No Comments

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Neworld Web Connect is our email marketing service of choice here at and since they have graciously agreed to sponsor a banner ad in our new E@sy eZines product, we’ve decided to recommend them here.

Please take a moment to check out their website and sign up for a 30-day trial of this great service. Be sure to tell them that WE sent you, so that they’ll know how much we appreciate all that they do to enhance the quality of our business marketing!

CLICK HEREto learn more about Neworld Web Connect.

Two of the Greatest Qualities…

Posted on: March 24th, 2014 by Deborah Plouffe No Comments

If you haven’t already done so, do take a minute to check out the Facebook page. We’re just short of 300 likes now and we would love to see YOU there! We keep you up to date on what’s new on the website and blog and always have an interesting tidbit to share with our “fans.” Here’s a recent favourite.

CLICK HERE to add your LIKE to our page today!


Think Before You Contract!

Posted on: March 21st, 2014 by Deborah Plouffe No Comments

No burning grammar questions to answer from our readers this month, but we always have a new common grammar gaffe ready to go. This month, we’ll talk about contractions—which ones to use, and which to avoid.

We all know that contractions are the combination of two (and even more) words made into one, with the missing letters represented by an apostrophe.

Most contractions are just fine in all but the most formal of your documents. This often adds a familiarity to your writing style and can even improve the flow of sentences in some cases. Let’s look at a few examples of problematic contractions, categorized by their common root words.

1)    Contractions with the word IS.

These can cause some ambiguity of meaning, especially when contracted with a noun. For example, the contraction of the phrase “the teacher is” can show up as “the teacher’s flushed,” meaning her face is red. In writing, the meaning is fairly clear but imagine how it might sound to a listener like a plural noun. It may well sound like “the teachers flushed” (the commode, perhaps?) and change the meaning entirely!

If you take the time to think about it and read out what you’ve written, you might end up making a change to something more like “the teacher is flushed.” A good rule to follow is to stick to the most common contractions used with IS (like it’s, that’s what’s) and avoid those attached to nouns and proper names…or just make a point of using the word. It probably even takes less time to type!

2)    Contractions with the words HAVE and WOULD.

We’ve grouped these together, since they’re usually contracted with an apostrophe and a ‘d, as in “I’d rather not go.” With these contractions, your reader might be confused as to whether or not you meant to use the word HAD or the word WOULD. If you add each word back into the example, you can see how the meaning can be different in each case. If there can be any ambiguity as to how your message might be conveyed, again, it’s best to spend the extra second or two to type out the two words in full.

3)    The Most Wonky Contractions of All

Surely, none of YOU would use these in your writing, but just in case…DO avoid what we consider to be the most problematic contractions of all. For us, they usually fall within one of three groups. The first are those pesky “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve” words. While they are correct, they very often spawn the use of their very incorrectly pronounced (and hopefully never WRITTEN) “could of, would of and should of.” YUCK! It’s best to spell them out before you find yourself using them in your regular speech as well.

The second group includes the contractions that sound just as odd as they look and are best left out of all of your correspondence. These include such gems as we see in phrases like “what’d I say?” “when’re they coming?” Man, these are as hard to type and they are to say! Enough said, just leave them OUT!

The last group include contractions that are almost too long to BE contractions! These include words like “there’re” and our all-time LEAST favourite “I’d’ve” which I hazard to say isn’t really a word at all…or if it is, it should NOT be!

Contractions are very useful tools indeed, but please take the time to think through your choices so that you put forth the very best of impressions!

Posted on: March 19th, 2014 by Deborah Plouffe No Comments

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Are you ready for the next installment in the ongoing saga of our new eZine product? It was a glimmer of an idea in January, it acquired a name in February, and now, in March, it has a lovely new logo and branding attached.

Our “EASY EZINES” name has changed ever so slightly to E@sy eZines, and we’d LOVE to hear your opinion! What do you think of the name, the logo and the colours? Your input is always welcome, so send us an email or leave a comment on the blog.

“School” is still set to begin in Spring 2014 (which should be well into April if you believe that pesky groundhog). This will be an in-depth, start-to-finish approach that you can use to produce your own newsletter, whether you are a veteran or “newbie” publisher. There is a LOT of knowledge here—more, even, than we included in our Anatomy of an eZine.

With a bit of perseverance, we should be announcing the launch date in the April 2014 issue of Timed Write.

We are also offering a special rate for non-profit organizations and banner ad sponsorship. If you’re interested in either of these options, send us a quick email for further details.