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This Week on Writers Abroad 25th September
Category: Site News
Tags: Writers Abroad writing ex-pat writers

The news feed is whizzing past at the moment, so it is not easy to keep up, but great to see so much activity. I have added an image at the top to see if we can stop Facebook posting our mug shots! (It didn't work...).

First and foremost, we have two new members this week, both of whom have contributed to Writers Abroad anthologies. Welcome aboard, Susan Eames and Bruce Dodson!

Monday Muse this week is a great selection of word prompts and picture prompts from Crilly. Alyson has posted them on behalf of Crilly, who is recovering from a hip operation Ė see below. Usual drill Ė 500 words (or poem) in 20 minutes or so. Just go where the inspiration takes you.

Richard is down for this weekís blog post and we wait with bated breath to see what topic heíll cover.

Apologies if Iíve missed anything, but the Bragging stool was unoccupied last week. Considering the fabulous run of WA successes recently, members have to have a break sometimes! But I can mention that Nicola has a new release today: Unspeakable in her ĎBeyond Humaní series. Dianne recently released the fifth book in her WWII series ĎThe Yankee Yearsí, Only One Remedy. Those are certainly worth a brag.

Contributions are due for the WA Magazine 7th edition by 30th September. Ideally, please post yours onsite for others to comment on if you have time. Mea culpa, just about to post mineÖ

The October Challenges and Opportunities are still on, but the November ones will be posted soon. If you know of any appropriate competitions or opportunities, please post details and links in the forum once itís up.

Crilly has been out of action for a short time while having a hip operation. We wish her all the best for her recovery and trust that she is using any period of immobility to get a lot of writing done!

Thatís all this week. If Iíve missed anything or got anything wrong please let me know.

Have a creative week.

Question Time
Category: Writing
Tags: Writers Abroad writing writers

You know that thing where you look at the WA planner and realise itís your turn to write the weekly blog post and youíve been occupied with visitors all week and your head is devoid of ideas and other members seem to have far better ones than you do. That.

So I sat down to chew over what I could write about. After a few minutes looking at a mental blank sheet of paper, my thoughts turned to other things. Chief among them was an author session Iíve been invited to do at a literary festival soon. Iíve done a few of those in recent years (pic of me above signing copies at one) and I always enjoy the opportunity to talk with readers and other writers in person. You get some great insights and they are an excellent sounding board.

Occasionally, though, you come across someone who wrong foots you with an undiplomatic or just slightly daft remark. These are the ones that leave me struggling for a response.

So, today Iím imagining that I have carte blanche to be honest with impunity. Here are five selected observations/questions Ė all of which have been addressed to me Ė and my imaginary responses.

Will I like your book?

Since I donít know what you like to read, itís hard for me to answer that. Naturally, I hope you will, but if you donít, please donít give it one star on Goodreads without saying what didnít appeal to you about it.

How much money do you make from writing?

I think you might object if I asked you what you earn. You would be surprised at how low the figure is, anyway, at least for fiction. Very few authors make a living from writing fiction.

I lent my copy of your book to all my friends.

I hope your friends enjoy it, too. And if they do, perhaps they will buy it as a present for their friends and family.

Iíd love to have a copy of your book! (I.e. please give me one).

Iím so pleased youíd like to read it, and you can buy it from these retail outlets (list).

Iíve just finished a novel. Would you read it for me?

I lead a busy life. I work, write and have plenty of other activities to keep me occupied. I also do this for a number of writing colleagues already. So, no, Iím afraid I donít have time. And if I criticised it you would probably be very unhappy. I suggest you find a writing buddy/buddies and/or a writing group and share your work with them.

This is all tongue in cheek, of course, and the vast majority of the time one has sensible and enlightening conversations with readers.

As fellow writers, what tactless questions have you had to parry? And how did you reply?†

This week on WA 17th July
Category: Site News
Tags: Writers Abroad ex-pat writers writing

Dianne has posted this weekís Monday Muses, a great selection with something for everyone. An image will follow later today.

Jill has written a fascinating blog post about how her extensive travels have inspired her writing, both fiction and non-fiction, and that she derives more inspiration from far-away places than those on her doorstep. Some of the people sheís met while travelling may appear in stories (that sounds familiar!).

The Bragging stool is groaning under the combined weight of the members occupying it this week. I think we had better invest in a bragging sofa.

  • No less than 5 members have stories in the Ad Hoc line-up this week: Angela, Crilly, Chris N, Laura and Sue (how many is that in a row, Sue?);
  • Sue is on a roll with her story ĎTrip of a Lifetimeí shortlisted in Writing Mag;
  • Angela also continues her winning streak with a highly commended and a place in Stringybarkís anthology for ĎCaged Birdsí;
  • Lauraís spooky story was awarded third place in Morgen Baileyís 100-word comp; and
  • Lesley read out via Skype her story during the launch of Chris Fieldenís Nonsense Challenge Book.

Phew! Have I missed anyone? Huge congrats to all. Thatís a fabulous result for WA.

The July Challenges and Opportunities are up, with something for everyone, but feel free to add competitions or writing opportunities. And there are some pieces for critiquing.

WA Magazine. Although itís now a while since publication, the mag is still current, so please do let people know about it if you get the chance.

Membersí writing visions. A number of us have now posted up our visions of where we see ourselves in 5 yearsí time and what part WA can play in getting us there. Itís not always easy to plan so far in advance, but none of it has to be engraved in stone and I found it a useful exercise. It will also give us more clarity in recruiting new members. So if you havenít done it yet, have a think about where you want to be Ė and get some inspiration from the visions already posted.

Thatís all this week. If Iíve missed anything or got anything wrong please let me know.

Happy writing week.

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