Season XVIII – Alphaday 12

Hi Alphas,

Welcome to Alphaday 12, Season XVIII. As you know, the season is winding its way towards the end, but this Alphaday is still tightly packed with goodies. It’s only when you look closely at the agenda that you’ll spot the missing item: there’s no new challenge brief. That means that between now and some time in September we’ll be left to our own devices. Is that good or bad? I suppose it’s good because we’ll be able to concentrate fully on our personal writing; and bad, because we’ll miss the interaction with others to egg us on.

September will come along in its own good time, and in the meantime we have plenty to do to finish this season in style and prepare for the next one, starting with today’s agenda.

Alphaday 12, Season XVIII agenda:

  • This Bulletin from me
  • The Open Page 3rd edition collation from Ros
  • Results and feedback for the ‘thank you letter’ challenge from Morgen
  • The Alpha Log 6 news from Phil
  • A Writers’ Reads prompt from Suzanne

You can’t complain, can you? This will keep you occupied for quite a while, methinks.

I’ll leave the Alpha news in Phil’s able hands. Or rather to those who’ve sent their latest news to Phil, of course.

The general news this time steers very clear of the dreadful chaos the world has been flung into of late. In fact someone sent me a prompt for it, and as that’s a novelty I thought I’d take it up, especially as it’s about our usage of words – a topic I can’t resist.

What is an easy peeler? Apparently it’s a citrus fruit that’s easy to peel. Simple. The problem is that it replaces the exotic names of individual varieties in order to stress the one quality that matters to consumers. Gone are satsumas and tangerines; clementines and mandarins. Those names conjure up sweet perfumes and sunny juiciness in exotic settings. As for the easy peelers I’d say they conjure up dry fruits with segments covered in thick skins. Citrus fruit for dummies.

That’s the problem with the word easy. It has a sinister side to it. Easy means avoiding effort and difficulties. The easy way out often involves deceit, lies and dishonesty. The drug addict’s easy way out is to continue the habit; the driver who hits a victim will run. Who knows what the depressed person who’s hit rock bottom will choose?

Also, it degrades the word it’s applied to. Easy morals? An easy read? Forget the title of the book. You can hear it, see it, feel it when you say The Wind in the Willows. Call it an easy read and you’ve lost the effect on the imagination. It insults the reader as well: reading for dummies. The easy peeler avoids the oily perfume that squirts on to you fingers and the bits that go under your nails as your mouth waters and your ears tingle with the sounds and the feel of tangerines and mandarins.

The easy way out for a writer who’s stuck is to call it a writer’s block. It makes you miserable. Put the effort in, do the research, live with your characters and make them laugh and cry. There’s nothing easy about that, but then – the easy ride isn’t always the one that gives you the thrills.

Christine

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