Month: March 2014

UK Writing Competition Websites

I want to start writing for a purpose. Up until now I’ve just been writing whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like. To get some perspective and an idea on what it is like to write to a deadline, I have decided to enter some competitions. When I googled UK Writing Competitions I found loads and because I am a Generous soul, I thought I would share a few sites with you.

 

The Bridport Prize – You can submit a poem, short story, or flash fiction. The entry fees range from £7-£9 depending on what you are entering. The Poem and Short story first prize is £5,000, second prize £1,000 and third prize £500 there are also another ten prizes of £50 for ‘highly recommended’ entries. Flash Fiction prizes are £1,000, £500, £250 and three prizes of £50 for ‘highly recommend’ entries. Your entries cannot have been published anywhere else, or been a winner in any other competition. Full rules are on the website.

 

Writers Online – You can submit short stories and poetry. The prizes are £200 and £50 for short stories, £100 and £50 for poems. Entry fee is £4 or £3 if you are a subscriber to their newsletter. The entry must be original, unpublished and not submitted for publishing or any other competition. Full rules are on the website.

 

Writers and Artists – This site has more than one competition running at any one time. All details are listed for each competition with rules etc.

 

The New Writer – Lists various competitions run by other sites.

 

Book Trust – Lists many many competitions run by other sites.

 

Prize Magic – Claims to list “the most interesting” writing competitions run by other sites.

 

Lets go win some money!

Advertisements

Illusion – Flash Fiction

Image

Professor Inlusio hesitated outside the door of her classroom, preparing herself for the lesson to come. While they were still young compared to a lot of other children in the school, the students in her next class were the most intelligent and resourceful in the whole school. She would be foolish to underestimate what they had planned for her the second she opened that door. Their tricks were getting more inventive each week. The other professors thought she was crazy and would have put a stop to it a long time ago. They were always warning her that some day something would go wrong and one of the children, or her herself, would be hurt. But that was life, sometimes people got hurt. When teaching combative and survival skills, you can’t gloss over the risk. It wouldn’t prepare them for was they could potentially face out in the world.

 

Taking a deep breath, She pushed up her sleeves, gripped the door handle, and pushed open the door.

 

Chaos erupted as the students yelled and jeered and stamped their feet. I bucket of ice water tipped over above the professor’s head as she pushed the door open. Paper planes zoomed round the room, darting in and out of the students and diving towards Professor Inlusio before breaking away at the last second. A piece of chalk hovered in the air in front of the blackboard writing “Prof Inlusio is a…” and, worst of all, a burning fireball flew straight for her head.

 

The attack was over in seconds. With a smile, Professor Inlusio removed the Illusion spell on the fireball with a flick of her right hand, turning it back into a ball of crepe paper. Her left hand evaporated the water above her head and a few muttered words dropped the paper planes and piece of chalk to the floor. The students gave a collective groan of disappointment then fell silent, waiting for a reaction from their teacher. Professor Inlusio cleared the blackboard then turned to watch the disappointed students settled at their desks.

 

“So! A fireball illusion today. I don’t recall teaching you that; you had help. Kai, I suppose that was your brother Blaize’s influence? Fire is your families dominant element isn’t it?” A boy with messy auburn hair in the back row smirked in acknowledgement and and nodded. Professor Inlusio smiled.

 

“Tell him I said nice try, but he still can’t get fire past me. The secondary distractions were new too. Distraction is a good way of confusing your combatant, should you find you need to defend yourself. It was a good effort and cleverly done. Now, since you decided to use a new element, Lets take a look at fire illusions and their uses. Please open your books to page 571.”

 

Nameless – A Short Story

I wrote this in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge. Click here to see the challenge details.

Image

Nameless

I would introduce myself but I don’t know my own name. They say I was hit over the head and mugged. I had no wallet or phone when I was found. They say I should thank my lucky stars that I am alive; that I woke up from the coma. How do I know that’s a good thing? I can’t remember anything about my life. I have a wedding ring on, so I guess someone should be looking for me. But then I might be separated or divorced and in denial. Or maybe I’m a spy for some government agency and I have amnesia and someone is coming to kill me, like that film with Liam Neeson. What’s it called….? Dammit. Why can I remember his name and not the name of the film? Why can I remember his name but not my bloody own? I know who the prime minister is too. That’s a good thing apparently. It means I haven’t lost years of memory, just memories of certain things. Like myself. I mean honestly, who forgets themselves?

Still, it’s not all bad news; the doctor says this type of amnesia is often temporary. I should get most of it back, except maybe the actual accident. I’m happy with that. I’m not particularly keen to remember being knocked about and robbed.  The doctor said that if I could remember something to trigger my memories like, I don’t know, my name; it’s likely I would start remembering things pretty quickly. I have been warned that it might be distressing, having all those memories all at once. I guess I won’t know till it happens, but it can’t be worse than this. I have tried and tried to remember something, anything, about my life and my past but I just can’t. I am nobody: no age,  no family, no friends, no home address, no job, nothing. All those unknown things, all outside of my reach because I don’t know what my name is. I’ll never underestimate my name again. I will cherish it and wear it with pride, even if my name happens to be something silly, like Ivor Biggen or Reginald Rumplebottom. It’s better than having no name at all. It’s like I don’t exist, like I am a ghost, observing the world but not being able to live in it because I don’t know my place.

The doctor says someone is coming to see me shortly. He didn’t say who, but said he was hoping they would be able to help me find my name in this mushed up brain of mine. It’s probably a psychiatrist or hypnotherapist or something. Maybe they will dig my name out of my unconscious and give it back to me. Maybe it will be written on a shiny plaque. That might be nice. Oh, they are here. It’s a woman. A rather attractive woman if I may say so myself. I like her already. Wait, that perfume. I recognise that smell. My wife wears that….. Julie.

“Julie? Is that you?”

I start to cry as I regain precious memories of my life with Julie. The day we met, our first kiss, my proposal, our wedding, the birth of our first child… I’m a daddy! To some, two, I think, my name is Daddy. It’s too much, far too much to take in one go. Leave me be for a while. Please. I need some time to….process.

 

*     *    *

 

My name is Graham Henderson. This is my wife Julie. I got my memories back when she came to see me in hospital eight days ago. My birthday is August 23rd, 1980. I am thirty-three years old, and I am a mechanical engineer. My wife and I have been married for six years and have a four year old son and two one year old twin daughters. Their names are James, Lily and Rose. I can’t wait to see them. I remember them now, but the memories are hazy. I want to see them. I want to be sure that they are real. I want to be sure that I am who I think I am. The doctors are happy with my progress. My stitches are healing nicely and my bruises have faded to a pale yellow. I should be going home this weekend. The first thing I am going to do is sew my name into every single item of clothing I own. I never want to go through that again. When I caught the scent of Julie’s perfume (one I first bought for her) it was overwhelming. At first it was just a name. Julie. Then I was assailed with memories all at once of everything, relating to Julie. After that, my regained memories triggered more and more. Just like that, within two days, I knew who I was. I couldn’t speak at first, it was just too much. I am man enough to admit I cried like a baby, quite a bit. It was frightening, and upsetting. I relived the loss of my father, my older brother, and our first baby when my wife miscarried at four months. That’s a lot of grief in a very shortspace of time. It wasn’t all bad though. I found I have a younger brother, and he has a wife who is expecting. That news seems somehow even more exciting the second time around. I also have a baby sister who has just been accepted to her first choice university.

My name is Graham Henderson which means I am also a husband, daddy, uncle, colleague and friend. You may think a name is just a name. It’s not. Your name contains your entire life within it. Your name is not just what you are called, it is who you are.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years – Why I Am Not Looking Forward To Turning 30

Image

Picture from www.zazzle.co.uk

This is in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years

As you read the title for this post, I can hear you all saying “Pfft. Thirty? You’re still a baby! What’s not to look forward to?” And i would agree. I don’t think turning 30 is bad because it means i will be old, far from it. I have a completely different reason for not exactly greeting my 30th birthday (which is just over a week away) shaking a set of pompoms whilst doing a happy dance.

When i was young and naieve I decided that i didn’t want to have children too young. This was partly because i didn’t want to regret having children too young and embarrass the life out of them by attempting to have a ‘second youth’. So there i was, at 16, deciding that 30 was the perfect age to start a family. I’d have plenty of time to experience work, settle down with Mr whateverhisnamewillbe, get married (at around 26/27) and have a few years as a married couple before having children. When i reached 25 i started worrying. If i didn’t meet Mr whateverhisnamewillbe soon, i’d never be able to enjoy married life before starting a family at 30. When i was 28 i decided i’d better relax my plans. As long as i was in a committed relationship when i turned 30, with plans to get married and have babies on the near horizon, i could live with that. I was in a relationship so i was reasonably happy with how things had turned out to that point. Unfortunately my boyfriend got a new job which meant he was constantly on the road, driving this huge truck thing around. Slowly but surely i started to hear less and less from him. Our chats became little more than “Hi baby, i’m really tired, been driving all day so i am going to sleep. Love you, bye x” by text. I was heartbroken. We loved each other, but i wasn’t getting what i needed from him. I was willing to wait, as long as i knew we had a definite future. He couldn’t even commit to making time to talk to me anymore, let alone take time off to actually spend time with me. I booked flights to California for a two week holiday that he cancelled because he said he needed to work. I tried to re-arrange twice, but he cancelled those too. In the end i confronted him. I wasn’t a priority in his life and I needed to be. I want to settle down, I want to have a family. I don’t want to be sitting at home waiting for a quick “Hi, love you, bye” every couple of weeks over the phone, and waiting months or longer to actually spend some quality time with him.

Image

Picture from www.invitationtemplatesworld.com

We broke up. It might not make sense to some, but i would rather start again now, than wait another couple of years and still be where i am now. So here i am, about to turn 30. Not feeling old, but feeling frustrated that I am not where i thought i would be. To me, the 20’s were for having fun, finding love and getting married. Now i am entering the family making decade, but i have nobody to make a family with.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. I’m not sure what the reason is yet, but maybe i am not supposed to. I just have to keep hoping that things will work out in the end. One thing my impending birthday has spurred me on to do, is to look into other areas of my life that i have more control over and see what changes i can make there. I have started a creative writing course and i hope to write fiction, just because i enjoy it. Who knows. Maybe it’ll lead me to my Mr whateverhisnamewillbe and my happily ever after. Maybe it will lead to a new and exciting career.

I guess i just have to keep on living and loving and one day, as my mum always used to say, “it’ll all come out in the wash.”

Homonyms Explained

Homonyms Explained

For a long time i had wondered how we managed to have words in the english language which are spelled exactly the same, but have different meanings. Were we just deliberately trying to make life difficult for ourselves? Recently I decided to google it and found the website i have linked above.

Thank You Internet!

The explanation given on this helpful website as to why these words exist in the first place, is that English is an invaded language. The Romans, and vikings etc have all influenced the english language in different ways. Slang will often do the same. Old words are given new meanings on websites such as The Urban Dictionary. Sometimes these new meanings and slang terms become so popular that they make it into the dictionary and are made ‘official’.

This website lists the double meanings of around 150 words. It makes for an interesting read. Go take a look!

There are a few not currently included on the website, like ‘live’ and ‘does’. “To live your days live on TV must be awful.” “Does a stag get his pick of the does?”

Can you think of any others?

 

Dear Google, You Should Have Talked to Me First

I agree with this. We had levels of books when I was learning to read. I have no idea how many levels I skipped, but I know I skipped a lot! I had to read certain books (silver and gold level) before I could go on to ‘free reading’ and it was a chore. Fortunately I’m a fast reader and was 7 when I was finally allowed to do at school what I was already doing at home. Reading whatever I want.

teach from the heart

Dear Google,

I wish you’d talked to teachers like me before you made that $40 million investment in Renaissance Learning.

I’ve seen the damage Accelerated Reader can do.

I witnessed it for the first time when I tutored a struggling 5th grader…eighteen years ago.

He hated to read.

He hated being locked into a level.

He hated the points associated with the books.

But more importantly, he was humiliated when he didn’t earn enough points to join in the monthly party or get to ‘buy’ things with those points at a school store full of junky prizes.

I’ve seen kids run their fingers along the binding of a book, a book they REALLY wanted read, but then hear them say, “But it’s not an AR book,” or “It’s not my level.”

I’ve watched them scramble to read the backs of books or beg a friend for answers so they can get…

View original post 651 more words

The Importance Of A Mother’s Instinct

When my mum called to tell me my sister was pregnant, I tried not to get too excited. My sister had suffered 2 miscarriages in the previous 18 months. The most recent having happened on Christmas Day, the very day that she had announced the pregnancy to the family. Whilst my sister and her boyfriend had not planned to have a child, they had begun to fear that they would never be successful and so some months after the second miscarriage, began trying to conceive. Out of fear of a further miscarriage, my sister didn’t tell my mum until she was almost 12 weeks pregnant.

When my sister was 16 weeks pregnant my mum called me for advice. My sister was unable to keep even the slightest quantity of food or water down and was losing weight rapidly. They had been to see a doctor who had sent them away with “it’s morning sickness.” My mum didn’t know what to do and my sister was exhausted and terrified that her baby wouldn’t get the nutrients he/she needed. Fortunately (though my poor friend may not think so) one of my closest friends had suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum during her pregnancy so I recognised the symptoms. (The Duchess of Cambridge was in hospital with it during her pregnancy.) I emailed my mum some information and told her to go back to the doctor, tell him what we thought it was and to request a second opinion if they did not take the situation seriously. My mum and my sister visited the doctors again the next day and when the doctor tried to brush them off, they did as I suggested and asked for a second opinion. The doctor called up a specialist at the hospital to placate my sister that she was just overreacting. However, upon answering the specialists questions, the doctor was surprised when the specialist requested my sister be admitted to hospital immediately. At this point in her pregnancy, about 16-17 weeks, my sister had already lost 2.5 stone. Now my sister is pretty stubborn and refuses to go to hospital if she can possibly avoid it. The doctor and specialist eventually agreed on twice-weekly visits to the doctor to test her hydration levels. If her level of hydration dropped below a certain point, she would be admitted by ambulance to hospital immediately. The doctor prescribed some medication to stop my sister from being sick and sent her home. Although my sister was sick through almost her entire pregnancy, the medication reduced the frequency, meaning she was able to eat properly and didn’t lose any more weight.

At 28 weeks my sister had a scare. She’d stretched in bed one morning and heard a ‘pop’. She leaped out of bed in fright to find a wet patch between her legs. Her waters had leaked. At the hospital, they checked the baby, deemed that there was plenty of fluid around him/her and he/she wasn’t distressed, and sent her home. The rest of my sister’s pregnancy passed without major incident.

20140304-204458.jpg

My sister went into labor in the morning of 22nd February 2013, 3 days before she was due to be induced. She spent the day with my mum and went home to attempt to sleep through the contractions where possible. The next morning she went to hospital with her boyfriend and both grandmas to be. My sister has a slipped disc in her back and before long the pain in her back was too much to bear and she requested an epidural. Unfortunately, her baby’s heart rate dropped just after the epidural had been carried out. Apparently this is a common effect of the epidural. The doctors decided the safest thing for the baby was to deliver him by emergency caesarian. My nephew was born by caesarian section on 23rd February at 17:27. My sister and her boyfriend named him Leo.

Before Leo was even an hour old, my sister was convinced there was something wrong with him. She called a nurse to look at him and said that he kept shaking. The nurse told my sister that there was nothing wrong and that it was natural, as a first time mother, to worry unnecessarily. My sister wasn’t convinced and resolved to ring the bell every 5 minutes until a doctor was called to take a look at Leo. Eventually the nurses got so fed up with the constant bell ringing that a doctor was called up from SCBU (Special Care Baby Unit) to calm my sister down. From what I have been told, it was clear that the nurses had spoken to the doctor before he entered my sisters room because he was talking before he was even through the door.
“Right Miss Harvey, now it’s perfectly normal for a newborn baby to…”
The doctor stopped mid sentence as he glanced down at my nephew in his cot. A split second later, he had snatched Leo out of his cot and gone running out of the ward. My poor sister was left alone in her room with no baby and no explanation.

A nurse quickly came to find her and let her know that the doctor had taken Leo for some emergency tests because he hadn’t been shaking, he had been fitting. At just an hour old, doctors took spinal fluid from Leo for testing. The results came back confirming the doctor’s fears. Leo had meningitis. He was moved to SCBU an put on an antibiotic drip. The doctors warned my sister that Leo could have some brain damage, or loss of vision or hearing as a result of the illness, but that thanks to her determination to have him seen, he had the best chances of a full recovery.

20140304-220456.jpg

Leo responded so well to treatment that he was allowed home after two weeks of antibiotics. The relief of finally being allowed to take her son home was obvious in my sister and she soon settled into motherhood. My sister was only 21 (and two weeks) when she gave birth and she was invited to attend a local group for young mums. The staff at the group were impressed with her story and invited her to talk to the younger mums there about a mother’s instinct and how important it is to listen to it. The nurses told my sister Leo was fine. If she had been any less stubborn, she may have accepted this and Leo may not have been diagnosed for days. This could have had devastating consequences. On a fairly regular basis my sister repeats her story to younger girls who are expecting or who have just given birth, teaching them now important their instincts are. My sister theorises that her mother’s instinct is as strong as it is because of everything she had to go through to have him. While my sister has been careful not to become too over-protective, she knows that her mother’s instinct saved her son’s life.

20140304-221529.jpg

My nephew turned 1 just over a week ago and I am happy to say that he suffered no ill effects from his upsetting start to life. He is intelligent and cheeky and already running around causing my sister all kinds of trouble. Her advice is always this. Never let anyone talk away your fears without investigation and never be afraid to ask for a second opinion. You know when your child isn’t right because you know your children better than anyone in the world.

This post is inspired by the Weekly Writing Challenge.

Themes

I have just completed module 1 of my creative writing course. Essentially, module 1 is all about…well…writing. The importance of writing regularly, how to go out and be inspired, and how to draw on your own experiences for ideas and themes for your stories. One of the exercises was to write a timeline of my life, with significant events marked out on it and identify recurring themes within those events. This could be anything. Births, deaths, breakups, moving to a new place, travelling etc.

At the end of the module there are a few self assessment tasks to make sure you have taken in what you have been taught so far. One of those tasks is to pick a theme from your timeline and write the opening scene of a story, a poem, or an essay supporting this theme.

I chose death and loss as my theme. (Cheerful, I know, but I wanted to pick something challenging.) this is what I wrote. Please leave comments below with what think of it, and what themes you can think of that would feature in your timeline.

I ran across the hospital car park towards the entrance to A&E with my heart in my throat. The fear and panic was bubbling up inside me and escaping in small terrified whimpers. The ambulance containing my father had already pulled up outside the doors as I scrambled out of my friend Gary’s fiesta. By the time I reach the ambulance, my dad has been whisked away through the doors. Gary catches up with me at the reception desk inside. I am a mess; tears are streaming down my face, my long wavy brown hair has been blown into knots by the wind and I am wearing Gary’s huge hooded jumper over my t-shirt and jeans. “My dad was just brought in by ambulance. His name is Andrew Parker. Can I see him?” The last on reception checks her computer and for my father and pauses, before looking up at me kindly. “The paramedics and doctors are with him at the moment. If you would like to go and sit in the family room, someone will be along as soon as they can to talk to you about your dad.” “Family room…” I mumble to myself as my head starts to spin. The family can’t mean good news. They don’t separate you from the rest of the waiting room to hear good news. I pay no more attention to the woman on reception, leaving Gary to answer any questions and find out where the family room is. He leads me off through a door to the left of the main waiting area. I walk into a plain white rectangular room with the door in the wall at one narrow end, and a plain frosted glass window opposite. It smells strongly of disinfectant in a way only a hospital can. Plastic chairs like I remember from school are lined up along the two longer walls. In the far corner there is a small square table. On it sits a pale blue plastic vase full of silk flowers in blue and white. There are a couple of watercolours on the wall, tranquil scenes of a meadow and the sea. I pay little attention to them and sit on the chair furthest from the door, staring silently at the floor between my feet. Gary sits next to me and takes my hand. It’s comfortingly warm and I look up to flash him a brief attempt at a half smile before resting my head on his shoulder and staring at the floor once more. As I sit waiting, my thoughts turn to my mum.

My mum passed away when I was 5. My parents told me that Mummy was sick and she would have to go away because she wasn’t getting better. When my mum went into hospital I didn’t understand that I would never see her again. I remember feeling confused that she was crying because she had to go to hospital. Hospitals make people better. That is what she told me the year before when I had fallen and my parents had thought I had broken my wrist. On the day of my mum’s funeral I went to my schoolfriend’s house. I remember it was a warm sunny day in early June and Katie’s parents took us to the park. We played on the swings and had a picnic on a big tartan blanket. When I was dropped off home, it was full of my aunts and uncles and lots of strangers my dad told me were mum’s friends. Everyone was sad, my dad was crying and I didn’t understand why. He told me that mum had gone away and that that was a goodbye party. I cried, then, too but I still thought mum would come back. As time passed my dad refused to talk about her. I don’t really know how I came to realise the truth of what had happened to my mum. I just know that when I was 10 a girl joined my class at school and started taunting me, saying things like “you dad picks you up from school late every day because your mum is so fat her belly wobbles like jelly when she walks.” When I could ignore the jibes no longer I glared at her, looked straight into her eyes and told her “My mum is dead.” It was the first time I had ever said it out loud.

20 years after my mum dies, here I sit in a hospital, waiting for a doctor to walk through the door and tell me whether or not my dad is okay. It’s a strange feeling; you are impatient for news because not knowing what is going on is torture. Your mind running through all kinds of possibilities and ‘what if’s. At the same time you dread the moment that doctor walks through the door in case they are there to confirm your greatest fear. I don’t even realise I am crying again until Gary puts his arms around me and pulls me close murmuring “You’ll get through this Becca. I’ll help you through this no matter what.” I turn my face into his chest and sob into his navy blue jacket. He smells comfortingly of Armani Code; my Christmas present to him. After a few minutes my tears slow again and I pull slightly away to settle my head back on his shoulder after wiping my tears away with my sleeve. He leans his head against mine and we stay that way for what feels like hours, but is probably only about 25 minutes, when the door opens and a doctor walks in. He is about 6 foot talk with black hair, going grey at the temples. “Miss Parker?” He enquires. “That’s m-me” I stutter, my voice trembling with fear. I try to stand but my legs feel weak and I fall back onto my chair. Gary stops me from attempting again and, removing his arm from around me, takes my hand again. I look up at the doctor and take a deep breath in, holding it in as I wait for him to continue. “Miss Parker, I am Dr Collins. I’m afraid your father suffered a severe myocardial infarction. A heart attack. We did everything we could but the damage to his heart was too great. I’m afraid he didn’t make it. I am very sorry for your loss.” I stared blankly into the doctor’s face, unable to comprehend. My dad, the only real family I had left, was gone. “If you would like to see him I can take you to him.” I barely registered Gary whispering “I’m so sorry Becca” as my whole world fell to pieces around me. I felt like a hole had been punched through my chest. It ached painfully. Fresh reared courses down my cheeks. I couldn’t breathe. As my mind floundered, trying to come to terms with what I had just heard, I started hyperventilating. I tried to stand once again and instantly felt dizzy and disorientated. The last thing I remember before the world went dark is the feel of Gary’s arms as he reached out to catch me.

International English

When I am not working, reading or writing, I like to waste away a little time with online multiplayer games. I think it’s a great way to meet people all over the world and you can learn a lot about other cultures just by talking to people from other countries. A lot of the people I have met are American. Talking to them has taught me a lot about how the English language differs on the other side of the pond.

I decided to write about this after one of my American friends messaged me asking “If I said I wanted to snog you, would that be a compliment or an insult?” He had found a British programme on YouTube called Snog, Marry, Avoid and didn’t know what snog meant. (For all you readers who may not know either, it’s a British term for french kissing.) That got me thinking about, and talking to my friends about, how English and American English differs.

In 1806, 30 years after The Declaration of Indepedence, Noah Webster published America’s first Dictionary. Webster introduced American spelling of words like customise (customize), colour (color) defence (defense) and centre (center). The idea was that they were no longer British, they were American. They wanted an American language.

As the two countries developed they created their own words to describe things. For example:

Sidewalk – Pavement
Trunk – Boot (of a car)
Hood – Bonnet (of a car)
Sneakers – Trainers
Fall – Autumn
Traffic Circle – Roundabout
Diaper – Nappy (interestingly, the word diaper originates in England. It’s use died out in Britain but continues to be used in America).

Then there are the words which are the same, but have different meanings.

Jello/Jelly/Jam
This is an example of English and American English just confusing everything. Jello in England is known as jelly. The wobbly stuff you have with ice cream at parties. Jelly in England is known as jam. That’s the fruity stuff you put on toast. America then has a jam all of it’s own which is like English jam only more runny.

Pants
Pants in America are what British people called Trousers. Pants in England are underwear. It’s what the Americans call panties; only in Britain pants works for male underwear too.

Bangs
In America bangs is the term used to describe the hair covering your forehead. In England we call it a fringe. Bangs are loud noises/the sound of explosions.

A lot of American slang has made it’s way into the British language and vice versa over the decades. Sometimes these words are introduced through literature. Take Harry Potter for example. Now these books were translated into American English which is how ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ came to be released in the US as ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’. Some British words slipped through however. More and more Americans are now using the term ‘ginger’ to describe redheads. A term largely introduced by the Harry Potter books to describe the hair colour of the Weasleys. Another British word left in the Harry Potter books; bringing me full circle; is snog. It would appear that it is not so popular as a new slang word though as it hasn’t really been taken up in America.

I hope this post has been interesting to read. I just want to leave you all with this. Stick with your writing and maybe someday you will have an effect on the language of a country in a small way with one of your stories.