Tag Archives: Jessica Bell

Small Achievements – Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal 2014

Earlier this year I had a poem, Elihu’s Meditation on Questions Unanswered, published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal.

And now it is being published in the Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal.

I would encourage you to support small press and publishers as they are pushing boundaries and discovering brilliant new literary voices. This edition is full of remarkable vignettes, poetry and art.

Follow Vine Leaves (@VineLeavesLJ) and its editor-in-chief, Jessica Bell (@MsBessieBell) on Twitter.

Orders can be made directly through the web site. Order HERE. It would make for a wonderful Christmas present for the book lover in your family.

Best of Vine Leaves 2014

Degenerate Dictionary Giveaway – Arsenic: A cut on the bum

Let’s have a bit of fun!
Enter for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card + more!

Degenerate Dictionary stemmed from a party game Jessica Bell’s parents used to play when she was a kid. Her mother and her best friend had so much fun thinking of funny definitions to regular words that they began to write them down. Unfortunately, that little maroon notebook got lost.

But Jessica remembered a couple:

ARSENIC: A cut on the bum.
PROPAGANDA: Having a good look.

In 2013, she began posting these quirky, idiosyncratic, new definitions of familiar words on Twitter and Facebook with the hash tag #Jessicasdictionary.

I  soon chimed in with some of my own:

QUOTIDIAN: one who exclusively uses sayings, proverbs & maxims to update social media status
DIPTHONG: putting your toe into a pool or other body of water to test its temperature

The exchange went back and forth over a few days until Jessica emailed me. The gist of the message was: Would you like to write a dictionary with me?

Me: *brief pause* Yeah!

And so, what once was a party game played by Jessica’s muso parents in the 80s, then became #Jessicasdictionary almost 35 years later, and is now called Degenerate Dictionary and will soon become a BOOK.

Perfect for every school *cough* classroom *cough*. (I am so giving away a class set to my senior English class).

So what’s the GIVEAWAY?

The launch of this project is going great. So Jessica Bell and I are celebrating the speedy progress of Degenerate Dictionary. And we are giving away TWO $20 Amazon gift cards.

Jessica is also throwing in any eBook of hers that you wish to have (i.e. ALL of them if you want them.)
There are two ways you can enter:
The FUN way:
Write an example sentence using one of our Degenerate Dictionary words and tweet it to @DegDic. The author of the sentence we like best will win a $20 gift card + my books. With your permission, we will also include it in the book when it’s published. With credit of course!
Example tweet:
Everyone saw my sparkly string while waiting in the *stationary*. @DegDic Join in to win here: http://ow.ly/uEvA8 #giveaway
Note: When you tweet your example sentence, make sure the word in question is inside two asterisks, that the link is included, the #giveaway hash tag is included, and that the @DegDic handle is included. Otherwise we won’t see it. Don’t forget to replace the sentence with your own!
Enter the contest via the rafflecopter below. The winner selected via the rafflecopter will also win a $20 gift card + Jessica’s books.


You may enter both ways to double your chances.

Good luck! Please spread the word!

Jessica’s Dictionary

Opportunities for creativity come in many disguises.

A little while ago, a writing friend, Jessica Bell, began posting these quirky, idiosyncratic new definitions of familiar words on twitter and Facebook.

For example,

Politics: An involuntary twitch of the top lip only seen on corrupt members of government.

I chimed in with some of my own:

Pantomime – the dance performed when putting on underwear in a public change room.

The exchange went back and forth over a few days until a surprise message arrived in my Inbox.

The gist of it was this: Would you like to write a dictionary with me?

Me: *brief pause* Oh yeah!

And so, Jessica’s Dictionary was conceived. It appeals to our warped sense of humour and our love of playing with words and meaning.

Each day or so we post a new word to twitter with the hash tag #Jessicasdictionary.

One night we had an hysterical conversation making up new definitions with a Greek flavour (Jessica is an Australian living in Greece) with words beginning with “Con-”

Conduct – a Greek who avoided hitting his head.

Conclude – the Greek who finishes first in an exam.

It will be a little while before we have enough words for our dictionary, but you can follow the hashtag on twitter #Jessicasdictionary (via @revhappiness or @MsBessieBell) for the shenanigans.

And I heartily recommend following @MsBessieBell and checking out her awesome blog and brilliant books.

Stay tuned in the near future for the release of Jessica’s Dictionary.