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This Week on Writers Abroad
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Tags: this week writers abroad

Hi all, a quick This Week, apologies for the delay

Membership Update: Jayme has decided to leave the group as she is finding it difficult to commit so her planner duties will be reallocated. 

Monday Muse: Jo has provided some prompts to hopefully wet your writing whistle this week and provide some distraction from all that chocolate!

Blog: Angela has written our blog this week on words and how they go out of fashion. Which words would you bring back and which would you ban to a dusty shelf? 

April Challenge: Plenty of opportunities for you to dust down an existing piece of work or write something new. Jill has submitted a short story so please check in and provide some feedback. And Paola has submitted more chapters of her book in the Chapter Forum.

Bragging Stool: Jill is keeping the seat warm having been shortlisted in the Chudleigh Phoenix competition along with some big names in short stories. Well done, Jill!

The next formal Chat is this coming Sunday, 27 April at 11am via Skype. Agenda will follow shortly (Gap Options and the emag will feature so check out the forum) and Doreen is in the chair.

Have a Happy Writing Week! 


Death of Awesome, Birth of Digital Dementia Tags: English language millionth word Room 101 annoying words

On Good Friday I got back home from a brief sojourn in the Yorkshire Dales with some dear friends. One particularly glorious morning we went for a walk and met a farmer coming back from his flock. He greeted us with, 'Grand day, in't it.' The word grand encapsulates the down-to-earthiness of the people of the Dales. Showing outright enthusiasm or using the more common, 'lovely' would be just big-girl's-blousy. My friends and I bemoaned the demise of the word grand amongst the general population and decided to resurrect words and expressions that have fallen out of popular use. At odd moments during the week we came up with; stipend, retinue, crenellation (there was a turreted wall outside the cottage) jollification, serendipity, and blotting your copybook. All of which might come in handy if we ever decide to write a sequel to Pride and Prejudice.

English recently gave birth to its millionth word. Towels and hot water please, just one more contraction and there it is, glistening and screaming its little lungs out, the unimpressive, Web 2.0! In case you are not of the geeky persuasion, it refers to the second generation of web development. Also new is digital dementia. A term which describes a condition affecting many of us as we rely more and more on our gadgets to remember phone numbers, birthdays, addresses etc. 'Jai ho', of Slumdog Millionaire fame, meaning 'may you be victorious,' came in at 999,999th place. Not so victorious after all then. The 999,998th word was 'N00b', a derogatory term for those new to the gaming community.

That's covered resurrection and birth on this Easter weekend, let's move onto the Grim Reaper. The word I would happily consign to Room 101 is the ubiquitous and vapid, awesome. Like, used as anything other than a verb can go meet its maker too. 'At the end of the day' is vacuous and loathsome, so that's banned from now on. Totally, as a superlative has also got to go.

Anyway, I think I've like, come to the end of this totally awesome blog, and at the end of the day, all we writers have got something pertinent to say, haven't we? Which words or terms would you resurrect and which would you like to kill off?  ​

This Week on Writers Abroad: 14 April
Category: Site News
Tags: Writers Abroad writing

Jo is away in the UK this week and I think we’ve had a slight mix-up about the This Week slot, so I’ll stand in.

Doreen has posted this week’s blog, a thought-provoking piece exploring the distinction (if there truly is one) between literary and popular fiction. Doreen points out that Dickens, now considered a literary writer, wrote the popular fiction of his day.

I have posted the Monday Muse prompts for this week, including a couple of picture prompts. Have a go (sez she!) if you’ve a spare half hour. A short story, poem or a piece of non-fiction – whatever takes your fancy.

The April challenge is still open, so post up your competition entries or a piece of work in progress on which you’d like some feedback. Jo posted up a ‘first chapter’ competition, for which you are given the first para of a first chapter and you have to continue in 800-1,000 words. Deadline early May, so still time.

Paola continues to post up her fascinating chapters from ‘Joyriding in Dhaka’, which is really taking shape. Well done, Paola.

On the bragging stool, Vesna is in the hot seat with her ‘bragette’ about her creepy piece ‘Calico Pie’, which has been shortlisted in a flash fiction contest on . Well done, Vesna, and fingers crossed for the final round. Let me know if I’ve missed anyone who deserves an accolade.

Jo has already emailed everyone about the change of date but this is just a reminder that the Formal Chat has been moved from next Sunday (which is, of course Easter) to the following Sunday 27th April at 11h00 CET. Doreen is in the chair.  

Please let me know if I’ve forgotten anything.

Happy writing and Happy Easter. I hope everyone’s enjoying the lovely weather we’re having down in SW France this week. It might even stay fine over Easter…

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Death of Awesome, Birth of Digital Dementia
Posted by Angela

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