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Danny Ballan
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I enjoy writing like nothing else in this world.
I enjoy writing like nothing else in this world.

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Do you know what it means when something costs and arm and a leg, when something or someone gives you the creeps, when someone gives you the ax, or when something or someone saves the day?
The words are easy on their own, but they make no sense put together this way. Well, this is because these are idiomatic expressions, which means they do not carry the same literal meaning of their individual words. We usually use them together in the same order every time to mean something else other than their literal meaning. Don’t you want to learn more about idiomatic expressions? There is a weekly section in For the Love of English on Hungry Writer dedicated to idiomatic expressions. Here is a part of it.
BREAK THE NEWS
(to) break the news = to make something known
Samantha and Michael are getting married, but they haven’t yet broken the news to their parents.
You’d better break the news to your father carefully. After all, you don’t want him to have a heart attack!

COST AN ARM AND A LEG
(to) cost an arm and a leg = to be very expensive
A college education in America costs an arm and a leg.
All of the furniture at Honest Abe’s costs an arm and a leg!

DEAD-END JOB
dead-end job = a job that won’t lead to anything else
Diane realized that working as a cashier was a dead-end job.
Jim worked many dead-end jobs before finally deciding to start his own business.

(LET'S) FACE IT
(let’s) face it = accept a difficult reality
Let’s face it, if Ted spent more time studying, he wouldn’t be failing so many of his classes!
Let’s face it, if you don’t have a college degree, it can be difficult to find a high-paying job.

GIVE ONE THE CREEPS
(to) give one the creeps = to create a feeling of disgust or horror
Ted’s friend Matt has seven earrings in each ear and an “I Love Mom” tattoo on his arm. He really gives Nicole the creeps.
There was a strange man following me around the grocery store. He was giving me the creeps!

GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
(to) go back to the drawing board = to start a task over because the last try failed; to start again from the beginning
Frank’s new business failed, so he had to go back to the drawing board.
The president didn’t agree with our new ideas for the com¬pany, so we had to go back to the drawing board.

GO BELLY-UP
(to) go belly-up = to go bankrupt
Many people lost their jobs when Enron went belly-up.
My company lost $3 million last year. We might go belly-up.
That’s not everything; there is more. In fact, there is much more on Hungry Writer website. There are words, collocations, usage notes, common mistakes, weekly themes, allusions and idiomatic expressions. There are also downloadable worksheets for free and a quiz to test your word power.
Check it out on http://ow.ly/maTZ50dHGvT
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When was the last time when you were reading something in a book and you had absolutely no idea what the writer meant by expressions like, ‘Their Dionysian life …’, ‘their lotus-eating days…’? These words cannot be understood literally without knowing the stories behind them which made them be used over and over in literature without having to tell the stories every time for the writers would assume the readers should be clever enough to know. This techniques is called allusion, and For the Love of English on Hungry Writer will tell you every week about one theme and the most famous allusions linked to it. This is the very first week of the series, so I have chosen happiness to start with. Take a look.
Allusions of Happiness
ADAM AND EVE
Adam and Eve In the Bible, Adam was the first man, created by God from the dust of the ground and God’s breath, and Eve the first woman, formed from one of Adam’s ribs. They lived together in innocence in the Garden of Eden until they were tempted to eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge. As a result of this original sin of disobedience, they were banished from Eden.
Adam and Eve can represent a state of utter contentment, particularly when preceding the loss or destruction of such happiness.
We are Adam and Eve, unfallen, in Paradise.
GEORGE ELIOT The Mill on the Floss, 1860

CORREGGIO
Correggio Antonio Allegri da Correggio (c.1494-1534) was an Italian painter of the High Renaissance. His best-known works are a series of frescos in the Camera di San Paolo and other Parma churches, painted in a sensual style, with a soft play of light and color and striking use of foreshortening. These frescos often depict frolicking putti (cherubs) with an exuberance that captures the vitality and joyfulness of children.
The rush of conflicting feelings was too great for Maggie to say much when Lucy, with a face breathing playful joy, like one of Correggio’s cherubs, poured forth her triumphant revelation.
GEORGE ELIOT The Mill on the Floss, 1860

DIONYSIAN
Dionysian In Greek mythology, Dionysus (also called Bacchus) was a Greek god, the son of Zeus and Semele. Originally a god of the fertility of nature, associated with wild and ecstatic religious rites, in later traditions he was a god of wine who loosened inhibitions and inspired creativity in music and poetry. ‘Dionysian’ and ‘Dionysiac’ usually describe frenzied and unrestrained aban¬don or ecstasy.
He longed to be possessed by the spirit of Dionysian abandon.
DAVID LODGE The British Museum Is Falling Down, 1965
And the people in the streets, it seemed to him, whether milling along Oxford Street or sauntering from lion to lion in Trafalgar Square, formed another golden host, beautiful in the antique cold-faced way of Blake’s pastel throngs, pale Dionysiacs, bare thighs and gaudy cloth, lank hair and bell-bottoms.
JOHN UPDIKE Bech: A Book, 1970
Oh, how Sir Gerald . . . would love to be able to wallow in that filth with such Dionysian abandon!
TOM WOLFE The Bonfire of the Vanities, 1987

EPICURUS
Epicurus The Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-271 Be) founded a school of philosophy that espoused hedonism, described by Epicurus in one of his letters as: ‘We say that pleasure is the beginning and end of living happily.’ In his philosophy, happiness is achieved by becoming free from pain and anxiety by, among other things, freeing oneself from fear of the supernatural and death. A hedonistic or supremely happy state can be described as Epicurean.
Ten o’clock was the hour fixed for this meeting, and Wimsey was lingering lovingly over his bacon and eggs, so as to leave no restless and unfilled moment in his morning. By which it may be seen that his lordship had reached that time of life when a man can extract an Epicurean enjoyment even from his own passions-the halcyon period between the self-tormenting exuberance of youth and the fretful carpe diem of approaching senility.
DOROTHY SAYERS Have His Carcass, 1932

HYPERBOREANS
Hyperboreans In Greek mythology, the Hyperboreans were a fabled race worshipping Apollo and living in a land of perpetual sunshine and happiness beyond the north wind (known as Boreas).

LOTUS-EATERS
The Lotus-eaters, as described in Homer’s Odyssey, are a people who live in a far-off land and eat the fruit of the lotus which puts them into a pleasant state of dreamy forgetfulness in which they lose the desire to return to their homes.
Her presence brought memories of such things as Bourbon roses, rubies, and tropical midnights; her moods recalled lotus-eaters and the march in ‘Athalie’; her motions, the ebb and flow of the sea; her voice, the viola.
THOMAS HARDY The Return of the Native, 1880
The summons to this lotus-eating existence had come from my son, Nick … who had crowned his academic career by becoming Head of the Department of Social Studies in the University of Miami. He had also acquired a sizeable house with a swimming bath in the garden.
JOHN MORTIMER Rumpole’s Return, 1980

NIRVANA
Nirvana is the final goal of Buddhism, a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self.
He began to feel a drowsy attachment for this South-a South, it seemed, more of Algiers than of Italy, with faded aspirations pointing back over innumerable gener¬ations to some warm, primitive Nirvana, without hope or care.
F. SCOTT FITZGERALD The Beautiful and Damned, 1922
That’s not everything; there is more. In fact, there is much more on Hungry Writer website. There are words, collocations, usage notes, common mistakes, weekly themes, allusions and idiomatic expressions. There are also downloadable worksheets for free and a quiz to test your word power.
Check it out on http://www.hungrywriter.com/for-the-love-of-english-01
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Did you know that we are talking about reactions and emotions in our weekly theme section in For the Love of English on Hungry Writer? Would you like to know more about what it means to crave, covet or hanker? Or different words and expressions we use to describe happiness. Come on, let’s do that!
SOME MORE WORDS REFERRING TO BEING EXTREMELY HAPPY
to rejoice = be extremely happy
Everyone rejoiced at the news of her recovery.
exultant = feeling great pleasure and happiness, usually because of a success
Sarah was in an exultant mood for weeks after doing so well in her exams.
jubilant = expressing great happiness especially at a victory
There were jubilant shouts as the results of the referendum were announced.
rapture = extreme pleasure or happiness (adjective = rapturous)
He listened to the opera with an expression of pure rapture on his face.
bliss = perfect happiness (adjective = blissful) Note that the adverb blissfully collocates strongly with happy, ignorant and unaware
They are blissfully happy even though they are poor.
And here are some colloquial expressions which mean to be very happy
You look full of the joys of spring today.
My daughter’s just had a baby girl. We’re thrilled to bits at the news.
I feel on top of the world. It’s great to have a good job again.
I’ve been floating/walking on air ever since I heard I got into drama school.
How did you feel when you scored the winning goal? – I was over the moon!
That’s not everything; there is more. In fact, there is much more on Hungry Writer website. There are words, collocations, usage notes, common mistakes, weekly themes, allusions and idiomatic expressions. There are also downloadable worksheets for free and a quiz to test your word power.
Check it out on http://ow.ly/9CER50dHG6Q
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Are you the one who makes common mistakes? Of course not. No? Yes? Not sure? Don’t you worry because common mistakes are named as such for they are so commonly used, but they are still mistakes. Shape up your usage of words by using them correctly. In the common mistakes sections, you will always learn something new about words you already know, so join Hungry Writer’s quest to purify your English from those imperfections.
ABILITY
X These machines are destroying our ability of thinking.
✓ These machines are destroying our ability to think.
ability to do sth (NOT of doing):
Nobody doubts his ability to get the job done.
We need someone with the ability to work under pressure.
X I want to improve my ability of reading.
✓ I want to improve my reading ability.
reading/writing/teaching/acting ability:
Her acting ability was recognized at a very early age.
X I want to improve my ability of English.
✓ I want to improve my ability in English.
ability in a language or subject:
Sarah has demonstrated considerable ability in both maths and chemistry.

LONG
X I am afraid it will take long to improve my Spanish.
✓ I am afraid it will take a long time to improve my Spanish.
Use take long in questions and negative sentences:
How long does it take to get to London by train?
Use take a long time in affirmative sentences:
It might take a long time to sort out the problem.

MAJORITY
X The majority of houses in Germany have fitted carpets.
✓ Most houses in Germany have fitted carpets.
The majority of (=more than half) is usually used in formal styles:
The majority of the government voted against the bill.
In other styles most (=nearly all) usually sounds more natural:
Most people have never even heard of him.
X The majority of members is opposed to the scheme.
✓ The majority of members are opposed to the scheme.
the majority + singular/plural verb:
The majority is/are in favor of abolishing the death penalty.
the majority + plural noun + plural verb:
The majority of the voters are in favor of abolishing the death penalty.

OCCASION
X The scholarship provided me with my first occasion to travel overseas.
✓ The scholarship provided me with my first opportunity to travel overseas.
X I never had occasion to take the Proficiency examination.
✓ I never had a chance to take the Proficiency examination.
occasion = the time when an event happens:
I’ve been to Rome on several occasions. (=several times)
opprotunity = a time when it is possible to do something that you want to do:
The meeting on Tuesday will be a good opportunity for you to make some new contacts.
She has considerable ability and should be given more opportunity to use it.
chance = an informal word for ‘opportunity’:
If I had the chance, I’d like to be an airline pilot.
I’ve been so busy this morning I haven’t had a chance to sit down.
X I remember that in the last occasion he had a very bad cold.
✓ I remember that on the last occasion he had a very bad cold.
on a particular occasion (NOT in):
I am honored that you have invited me to join you on this special occasion.

PUBLICITY
X I think governments should ban the publicity of tobacco.
✓ I think governments should ban the advertising of tobacco.
If something is given publicity, there is an attempt to inform the public about it:
Scandals involving prominent politicians always receive widespread publicity.
Advertising is the activity of trying to persuade people to buy something:
The big software companies spend millions each year on advertising.

That’s not everything; there is more. In fact, there is much more on Hungry Writer website. There are words, collocations, usage notes, common mistakes, weekly themes, allusions and idiomatic expressions. There are also downloadable worksheets for free and a quiz to test your word power.
Check it out on http://www.hungrywriter.com/for-the-love-of-english-01
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Do you know the difference between Ingenious and Ingenuous, Credible and Credulous, Human and Humane, Everyday and Every day, and last but not least, the difference between Moral and Morale. Come and join us on Hungry Writer to learn about the proper usage of these words and how they differ from each other.
INGENIOUS, INGENUOUS, INGENUITY
ingenious is the older word, having been borrowed from French in the 1400s. It is derived from the Lain ingeniosus, which means “talented, clever.” Ingenuous was first used in English in the late 1500s. The Latin from which it arose is ingenuus, “native, free born.” Both words have developed several senses since their first use in English, but the fundamental meaning of ingenious has always been “clever”:
…the plot is ingenious and the going is good-humored — New Yorker
ingenuous had some early use in the sense “noble or honorable,” but its primary use in English has been to describe a person or personality characterized by frankness and openness, owing either to good character or—now more often—innocence:
…the jolly, disarming, ingenuous friendliness of this farm boy — Johns Hopkins Mag.
ingenuity, although originally derived from ingenuous, does now serve as the noun of ingenious not its origin word, ingenuous.

CREDIBLE, CREDULOUS, CREDITABLE
credible If something is credible, it can be believed.
His latest statements are hardly credible.
This is not credible to anyone who has studied the facts.
Note that credible is most commonly used with negative sentences.
credulous People who are credulous are always ready to believe what other people tell them, and they are easily deceived.
Credulous women bought the mandrake root to promote conception.
creditable A performance, achievement, or action that is creditable is of a reasonably high standard.
He polled a creditable 44.9 percent.

EVERYDAY, EVERY DAY
everday is an adjective. You use it to describe something which is normal and not exciting or unusual in any day.
People could resume a normal everyday life.
…things that were common and everyday to him but luxuries to them.
every day is an adverbial. If something happens every day, it happens regularly each day.
Adam asked the same question every day.

HUMAN, HUMANE
human means ‘relating to people’.
…the human body.
…human relationships.
humane means ‘showing kindness and sympathy, especially in preventing and reducing suffering’.
…a humane plea for mercy and compassion.
…the most humane method of killing badgers.

MORAL, MORALITY, MORALE
moral is used as an adjective, a count noun, or a plural noun.
When you use it as an adjective, it means ‘relating to right and wrong behavior’.
I have noticed a fall in moral standards.
It is our moral duty to stay.
The moral of a story is what it teaches you about how you should or should not behave.
The moral is clear: you must never marry for money.
Morals are principles of behavior.
There can be no doubt about the excellence of his morals.
We agreed that business morals nowadays are very low.

morality is the idea that some forms of behavior are right and others are wrong.
Punishment always involves the idea of morality.
Sexual morality was enforced by the fear of illegitimacy.

morale Your morale is the amount of confidence you have when you are in a difficult or dangerous situation.
The morale of the men was good on the battlefield.

That’s not everything; there is more. In fact, there is much more on Hungry Writer website. There are words, collocations, usage notes, common mistakes, weekly themes, allusions and idiomatic expressions. There are also downloadable worksheets for free and a quiz to test your word power.
Check it out on http://ow.ly/WIF550dHFyT

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I am sure you haven’t had enough of the 20 words posted yesterday as part of For the Love of English 1, so here are some collocations related to some of these words. Collocations help you go further with your active usage of the words you learned; You get to know the appropriate words to use with the words you learned.
DENOUNCE (VERB)
• ADV. angrily, bitterly, fiercely, strongly | publicly He was publicly denounced as a traitor. | formally
• PREP. for The government was bitterly denounced for the emergency measures. to Someone in the village must have denounced them to the authorities.
• PHRASES be widely denounced These new regulations have been widely denounced.

INEPT (ADJECTIVE)
• VERBS be, prove | become
• ADV. very | quite | rather | politically, socially It would be politically inept to cut these training programs now.
• PREP. at He was rather inept at word games.

INGENIOUS (ADJECTIVE)
• VERBS be, sound The idea sounds quite ingenious.
• ADV. extremely, highly, most, quite, very a most ingenious device

INSTANTANEOUS (ADJECTIVE)
• VERBS be Her death was almost instantaneous.
• ADV. almost, virtually

LIBEL (NOUN)
• ADJ. alleged | criminal, seditious
• VERB+LIBEL sue (sb) for | claim | deny
• LIBEL+NOUN action, case, proceedings, suit | writ | law, lawyer | damages
• PREP. against He has issued a writ for libel against the radio star Michael Clery.

MISGIVINGS (NOUN)
• ADJ. considerable, deep, grave, great, serious
• VERB+MISGIVINGS be filled with, harbor, have | express I felt I had to express my misgivings about her decision. | share She shared my misgivings about the planned weekend. | allay, quell
• MISGIVINGS+VERB be/prove unfounded, be/prove well-founded
• PREP. despite/in spite of sb’s~ He agreed, despite his misgconsiderable~ I viewed the process with grave misgivings. | ~about She had serious misgivings about the whole affair, but they proved unfounded. ~at He had considerable misgivings at the prospect of moving jobs. ~over The local people still harbored considerable misgivings over the flood of workers into their village.

RECEDE (VERB)
• ADV. a bit, a little, slightly His fine dark hair was receding a little. | further | gradually, slowly THe pain was gradually receding. | fast, rapidly The January flood waters receded as fast as they had risen.
• PREP. from These worries now receded from his mind.
• PHRASES recede into the background/distance His footsteps receded into the distance.

That’s not everything; there is more. In fact, there is much more on Hungry Writer website. There are words, collocations, usage notes, common mistakes, weekly themes, allusions and idiomatic expressions. There are also downloadable worksheets for free and a quiz to test your word power.
Check it out on http://ow.ly/vrj050dHFyN

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Do you know the meaning of these words?
apparel, besiege, compress, denounce, dispatch, douse, expressly, famished, forsake, gainful, immense, inept, ingenious, instantaneous, irk, libel, misgivings, oaf, recede, repast
Maybe, you know some or all, but you will always learn something new about them in the weekly For the Love of English on Hungry Writer. Here, check it out:
APPAREL
(n.) clothing, that which serves as dress or decoration; (v.) to put clothes on, dress up
Winter apparel should be warm and cozy.
Let’s apparel our cats for the party.
Synonyms: (n.) attire, garments; (v.) deck out
Antonyms: (v.) undress, unclothe, strip, denude

BESIEGE
(v.) to attack by surrounding with military forces; to cause worry or trouble
If troops besiege their stronghold, the rebel forces may be forced to surrender.
Synonyms: blockade, encircle, pressure, hound

COMPRESS
(v.) to press together, to reduce in size or volume; (n.) a folded cloth or pad applied to an injury
The editor helped to compress my rambling 25-page mystery into an 8-page thriller.
A cold compress may soothe headache pain.
Synonyms: (v.) condense, shrink, shorten
Antonyms: (v.) expand, enlarge

DENOUNCE
(v.) to condemn openly; to accuse formally
The United Nations decided to publically denounce the tyrant’s crimes against his people.
Synonyms: criticize, censure
Antonyms: hail, acclaim

DISPATCH
(v.) to send off or out for a purpose; to kill; (n.) an official message; promptness, speed; the act of killing
We’ll dispatch a repair crew right away.
He approved the request with dispatch.
Synonyms: (v.) slay (n.) report, communication
Antonyms: (v.) recall, withhold

That’s not everything; there is more. In fact, there is much more on Hungry Writer website. There are words, collocations, usage notes, common mistakes, weekly themes, allusions and idiomatic expressions. There are also downloadable worksheets for free and a quiz to test your word power.
Check it out on http://ow.ly/r6bW50dHFyE

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I am launching a new concept design for my website Hungry Writer (http://hungrywriter.com)
There will be three major weekly posts:
- For The Love of English every Monday: For writers and anyone else who would love to learn new words, collocations, idiomatic expressions, allusions, and more. There are some activities and a quiz at the end of this long post. Check it out starting today.
- Writer's Toolbox every Wednesday: For writers who want to keep their tools sharp with weekly information and examples about literary devices, writing techniques and writer's technology (coming soon) and much more.
- Culture Zone every Friday: For writers and readers alike. Every week, there will be a new poem to highlight, a new piece of music, movie, song, book and an art masterpiece to give some inspiration to writers and some entertaining content to readers.
Don't miss the new concept launch at www.hungrywriter.com and remember that life is worth writing for.
Danny

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Check out the weekly prompts by Robert Lee Brewer on Writer's Digest. I have been adding poems in response to these prompts for three weeks now. The prompts are really interesting and encouraging to write about a variety of different things. #keepyourwritingalive

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I have an announcement to make. I am proud to present to you my third book, "The Antichrist." This time, it is not a poem collection, but a short story collection. I have just published the book and it is available on Amazon at the following link:
https://www.amazon.com/Antichrist-Stories-Danny-Alexander-Ballan/dp/1542344611
The Antichrist short story collection has an array of realistic and fantasy stories derived from what is happening around us in the world if we just pay a little more attention. Some stories are funny, and some are sad, but truth and sincerity lie in every story in this collection.
There are stories that may question your beliefs like The Antichrist, or others that explore the origin of what we tend to take for granted and live by as The One. Other stories contain some irony and sarcasm like Saving the Cat and The Mansion. But that's not all, there are much more to read and discover in this short story collection.
The book is also available on Kindle and I am offering the book there for free on Thursday and Friday, June the 1st and the 2nd.
Read the book if you have the chance and I would love to hear what you think.
The fourth book is going to be a novel, which I am writing at the moment, so I would really love to know if you like my prose writing.
Thank you for supporting me all the way through my first three books. Your encouragement keeps me going after my dreams.
I have published my third book, yeahhhhh :)
#TheAntichrist #ShortStoryCollection #DannyBallanPublishing
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