4 Tips for Showing the Possessive Form of a Proper Noun

Apostrophe word or phrase in a dictionary

One of the things I see in my editing is that many authors are unsure as to how to show the possessive of a proper noun ending in S. Here are some things to remember to clear up this confusion.

Tip 1: When you have a name that ends in an S, add an apostrophe to show belonging, but only if the apostrophe S is not pronounced.

The ball belongs to Sanders.

It’s Sanders’ ball.

NOT: It’s Sander’s ball. [the S is a part of the name and cannot be separated to add the comma]

Tip 2: If you would pronounce the S to show the possessive, you must add an apostrophe S at the end of the name.

The ball belongs to Cyrus.

It’s Cyrus’s ball.

Tip 3: If a family name ends in S and you want to show the possessive for the whole family, add es’ to the end of the name.

The ball belongs to the Sanderses. [the whole of the Sanders family]

It’s the Sanderses’ ball.

Tip 4: Limit the apostrophes to one per name (or word).

It’s Cyrus’s ball.

NOT: It’s Cyrus’s’ ball.

Keeping these tips in mind as you write is sure to help you avoid these mistakes in the future. It has been said that, on average, it takes about a month to build a habit, so the more you practice applying these tips, the quicker these rules will become second nature.

If you are still unsure of whether you are using apostrophes to show the possessive form of proper nouns, be sure to use a grammar-checker like the ones built into Microsoft Word or Google Docs or an AI grammar-checker like Grammarly to help you with this.

Mahj was my mother’s game and now it is mine

Mahjong is a centuries-old Chinese game with tiles, usually with four players (and a fifth so players can rotate out and have a break), with the goal of making up hands containing sets and runs. I grew up with my mother playing Mahj every Wednesday. Once every four or five weeks, her weekly game was held at our house, and we were confined to the upstairs from seven o’clock until bedtime. That didn’t stop us from hearing the click of the tiles and their voices calling out the values of the discarded tiles (“One bam.” “Five crack.” “Soap.” “Flower.”). The best part of Mahj night was around 8:30 or so when the ladies took a snack break in which we were allowed to participate. We always tried to persuade my mother to order pizza for break time at our house. That’s also where I learned my appreciation for anchovies and tomatoes on pizzas, something I still enjoy today.

As an adult, my mother always suggested that she teach me, my sister-in-law and my daughters how to play so we could have a regular game of our own. We thought there would always be time for that, and one day she would teach us, but then she took sick and lived out the last four or five years of her life in and out of hospitals and the last three years of her life in the hospital. She passed away nine months ago, and her dream of teaching us never came to fruition.

After she died, I inherited her Mahjong set, and it seemed a shame to let it sit around and continue to collect dust as it had the previous twenty years or so. My sister-in-law and I mentioned this to our cousins and their Majh group, who graciously agreed to teach us how to play. Later, we taught my daughters and began playing semi-regular games, sometimes with my mother’s set.

There’s something about playing the game, especially when we use my mother’s set, that feels as if I am honouring her with every click of a tile and every call of a discarded tile. Playing evokes a warm nostalgia hearkening back to one Wednesday a month in my childhood when my mother and her friends (all of which have now passed) used to play, tinged though it might be with regret that she wasn’t the one to teach us.

3 more seasonal shows

A huge shoutout to Bare Canvas Marketing for their wonderful 3rd Annual Jingle Bell Market. The turnout was amazing!

Thanks also for these amazing photos of me and my merchandise.

If you can’t make any of my shows, all of my books are available on Amazon, and my merchandise is available on Etsy.

Cookies and Holly Jolly Market

My next show is on Saturday, November 26, 2022 at Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic High School, 2170 Kipling Avenue, Etobicoke from 10 am to 3 pm. With over 40 vendors, this looks like it will be awesome!

Holiday Market

After that is the Holiday Market at Temple Sinai on Sunday, November 27, 2022 from 2 to 5 pm. Come on out for some great holiday gifts and (in the case of my merchandise), some unique hand made gifts, as well.

Old Fashioned Christmas Craft Show

My last stop (so far) this year is the 7th Annual Old Fashioned Christmas Craft Show on Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Newmarket Community Centre, 200 Doug Duncan Drive. This always proves to be an amazing show with a great turnout and some amazing gifts from (over 70!) talented people. This show is worth the wait!

#BookTok

Braelynn’s Birthright–Book 1: Wendigo BookTok

What is a booktok, you might ask?

A booktok is a video posted on TikTok in which readers discuss books they’ve read. This is supposed to be a great marketing tool, as well, so I’ve decided to dip my foot into the TikTok waters.

Creating this video was no mean feat. First, I had to write the script. Next, I filmed myself which necessitated getting used to seeing myself on the screen. After more than twenty takes, I managed to de-sensitize myself to this phenomenon. Lastly–and perhaps the most daunting–I had to figure out how to edit the video. This meant learning how to use Adobe Premiere Pro. If you’ve ever used any Adobe Suite products, you know just how complicated and confusing a task this can be. I managed to find an amazing video describing the basics (Thanks to Justin Brown an Saj Adibs for their amazing YouTube how tos).

The result is fairly successful (I think), particularly for a first try. Take a look for yourself (see video embedded above).

Here is the transcript for this booktok:

Hey, there.

Author Elise Abram here with what I hope will be one of many more BookToks to come.

Today’s book is Braelynn’s Birthright—Book 1: Wendigo. If you’re a fan of Supernatural, the Nancy Drew television series, or Legacies, you’re sure to be a fan of this book.

In the book, Braelynn inherits her grandmother’s ring, but the ring has been cursed, making her a magnet for supernatural entities. As she learns to navigate her new powers, she’s joined by her friends Sommer, Shannon (who happens to be a werewolf), and Winona, an Ojibwe shaman-in-training. The four of them band together to vanquish the wendigo threatening to destroy the local watershed.

This book explores what It’s like to feel as if you are different from everyone else and you don’t belong. It shows how powerful you can be when you embrace your differences instead of try to fit in and be like everyone else.

Braelynn’s Birthright is available at all major online retailers.

I hope you’ll let me know what you think if you read it.

Until next time, goodbye!

To buy Braelynn’s Birthright–Book 1: Wendigo, please see my list of YA books for purchase links.

New Release!

Braelynn’s Birthright–Book 1: Wendigo

I am proud to have published Braelynn’s Birthright–Book 1: Wendigo. This is the first in what I hope will be a series of books featuring the same set of characters. Book1: Wendigo is a young adult supernatural/horror urban fantasy novel.

Book 2: Fallen Angel is near completion. This book is a new adult novel, taking place a few years after Book 1. It also unites characters from a number of my books including Phase Shift, The Revenant, and Revamped. Look for the release of Book 2: Fallen Angel in November of this year.

If you’re a fan of Supernatural, Nancy Drew (current TV series), or Legacies (Vampire Diaries spin-off) you will love the Braelynn’s Birthright series, as well as the other books mentioned here.

Here is a closer look at what Braelynn’s Birthright–Book 1: Wendigo is about:

Imagine a world where the creatures of nightmare are real. This becomes fifteen-year-old Braelynn Hanlon’s world once she inherits her birthright in the form of her grandmother’s ring and is tricked into putting it on. You see, the women in her family have been cursed, doomed to defend humanity from things that go bump in the night. On the upside, the ring comes with super-healing powers, but it also makes her a magnet for all things supernatural. Her mother has had years to come to terms with her fate, but Braelynn’s about to get a crash course on how to be a hunter of all things paranormal.

Her boyfriend, Seth, turns out to be a vampire. When Braelynn vanquishes him, the leader of Seth’s gang sends a bugbear to seek revenge. If that’s not bad enough, her best friend, Shannon, is a werewolf, and Shannon’s girl crush is enchanted. To make matters worse, the school’s activist, Winona, is an Ojibwe shaman in training, hot on the trail of a wendigo disguised as a local businessman who is threatening to destroy the local watershed. Braelynn and her friends agree to help Winona vanquish the wendigo, but will her ring and her new-found powers be enough to keep her safe?

Braelynn’s Birthright–Book 1: Wendigo is available at Amazon (paperback and eBook), B & NApple Books, and Rakuten Kobo.

Keto Berry Cheesecake Waffles

I went shopping this week and picked up the most gorgeous berries I’ve ever seen. The blueberries were at least a centimetre in diameter and the blackberries were at least two centimetres long. Not only did they look phenominal, but they tasted better than any berries I’d had in a long time. I knew I had to do something special with them.

That “something special” was berry cheesecake waffles. This recipe combines my standard pancake and waffle recipe with a slightly sweet cheesecake topping that makes this an over-the-top yet keto-friendly meal. My mouth watered so strongly while photographing it, I almost couldn’t wait. And the flavours and texture did not dissapoint.

Without further ado, here is my berry cheesecake waffle recipe along with approximate carb counts.

The Recipe

For the waffles:

2 large eggs (1 net carb)

2 tablespoons almond flour (1 net carb)

0.5 teaspoons coconut flour (<1 net carb)

0.5 teaspoons psyllium husk fibre (<1 net carb)

0.5 teaspoon baking powder

0.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

pinch of salt

For the topping:

2 tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature (2 net carbs)

1 tablespoon butter at room temperature (0 net carbs)

1 tablespoon Swerve confectioner’s sugar (0 net carbs)

0.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon Tutti graham style crumbs (~1 net carb?

6 blackberries (1 net carb)

8 blueberries (1 net carb)

Instructions:

Mix waffle ingredients well and allow to sit a few minutes while waffle maker heats up. Pour batter into waffle maker and wait until preferred doneness.

While cooking, use a whisk to beat topping ingredients minus the graham style crumbs and berries. The consistency should resemble melted marshmallows when ready.

When waffle is done, top with berries. Drizzle cream cheese topping over berries and waffle. Sprinkle graham style crumbs over top.

Enjoy!

It’s Finally Here!

As an English teacher, my favourite course to teach was Writer’s Craft, as it gave me the opportunity to inspire and coach young writers along their writing journeys. It was always my goal to publish my lessons and/or create a series of online courses, and that day has finally come.

Announcing: THE SHAPE OF STORIES: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE FOR FICTION WRITERS.

Designed with new and aspiring authors in mind, this book is suitable for use as an independent, self-taught course or as a textbook in a course. This book is chock full of writing tips and tools, prompts, exercises, and mentor texts to use as examples on your quest to unleash the writer inside you.

From the back cover blurb:

In the magnum opus of her teaching career, seasoned English teachers , author, editor, and publisher Elise Abram curates a collection of lesson plans and techniques related to the craft of writing.

Abram’s method uses mentor texts to demonstrate elements of the art of storytelling, including crafting believable characters, gripping plots, and finding your author’s voice. Each lesson includes a number of writing exercises, exemplars, and self-assessment checklists to help you assess your progress as you complete the assigned tasks, building upon previous lessons as you hone your writing chaps. 

  • Use mentor texts to read like a writer
  • Practice showing and not telling
  • Construct believable characters
  • Pen plots that keep the reader turning pages
  • Experiment with different points of view
  • Blog and journal about your experience
  • Self-edit your work

Learn about the elements of storytelling from past and present masters of fiction as you study their techniques and apply what you learn to your own writing. Discover your writing style as you complete the activities in this course as you learn how to shape stories worthy of publication.

THE SHAPE OF WRITING: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE FOR FICTION WRITERS is available on Amazon.

Keto Kitchen – Cheese Danishes

My obsession with cheese danishes began a few months ago when my daughter tried out a cheese bun recipe that turned out amazing. The buns looked so light and fluffy, and the cheese filling and sweet crumble on top made my mouth water. Trouble is, I don’t eat flour or sugar so I couldn’t even take a single bite. I wanted something similar that was keto-friendly so I took to the Internet.

I found a delicious recipe for keto bagels on Gnom-gnom, so I first tried the bagel dough recipe with a cream cheese topping, and they were good, but I kept searching. Then I found the ultimate keto cheese danish recipe on the Keto Diet website.

Fathead doughs (made mostly from mozzarella cheese and cream cheese with a bit of almond flour and a few other ingredients) tend not to sit well with me. Bagels, breads, and pizza crusts made with fathead dough is too heavy and a little oily for my liking, but that isn’t the case with these low-carb cheese danishes. The crust is light and flaky-adjacent, and the cream cheese centre has just the right amount of sweetness. The cream cheese drizzle on top doesn’t hurt, either.

Instead of rolling out and cutting my dough this time, I divided it into 8 equal portions and used a tortilla press to flatten them, which was seriously quicker and easier than using a rolling pin. My cheese filling was a little runny this time (this was probably my third time making them) but that might have been because I put a bit too much vanilla in. I added an extra 1/4 cup of cream cheese which helped, but not a lot. The recipe says to bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes. I started with 12, and they came out a little overdone, but that didn’t seem to affect the flavour at all.

This recipe yields eight danishes, but they freeze well. I like to take one out to defrost overnight or zap for 15 seconds in the microwave if you can’t wait.

I totally recommend Keto Diet’s low-carb cheese danish. This recipe works well and tastes anything but low-carb.

Keto Test Kitchen

Today’s test recipe is Keto Banana Muffins, posted on The Big Man’s World website.by Arman Liew. I have tried several recipes from this site with good results, so when I was searching for a banana bread recipe, this was the obvious choice.

I LOVE banana bread, especially with chocolate chips and pecans, but bananas are a no-no on keto. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one medium banana has 27 grams of carbs. Most banana bread recipes call for two or three bananas, meaning that the average loaf can have anywhere from about 54 to 81 grams of carbs. If you assume 12 slices per loaf, you are looking at a minimum of 4.5 to 7 carbs per slice. And that doesn’t take into account the carbs in the flour and sugar in the recipe.

An unripe banana has only about 12 grams of carbs (adding only 1 gram of carb per slice), but it lacks the sweetness and flavour of a ripe banana, which is why most banana bread recipes call for ripe or over-ripe fruit.

This Keto banana muffin recipe relies on banana extract for the flavour, eliminating the danger of overloading on carbs. I first got the idea to bake banana muffins after purchasing a keto caramel banana loaf mix from Farm Girl. Though delicious, the mixes are expensive, and I wanted to see if I could find a similar recipe online.

I made these Keto Banana Muffins exactly to recipe specifications with the following modifications:

  • My milk of choice was sugar-free vanilla oat milk.
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips seemed like a lot so I only put in 2/3 cup.
  • I used 1/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/3 Krisda semi-sweet chocolatey chips.
  • I substituted pecans for walnuts.

The results were amazing. The muffins were super-moist and really chocolatey. The pecans provided just the right amount of crunch. Though the recipe calls for one whole tablespoon of banana extract, the banana goodness was lost at times, given the other bold flavours, particularly that of the chocolate.

I would absolutely recommend this recipe, and I plan to make them again. I might increment the banana extract by 1/2 tablespoon to see what it does to the recipe next time, but overall, this recipe passes the test kitchen with flying colours.

Note that this is an unsolicited review and I have not received any reimbursements from any of the products, services or websites mentioned in this blog post, nor do I have any affiliations with them.