Foreign Tongues

July 14, 2019
Here I am again–only a few days until I go abroad and having nightmares about it. Why do I do this to myself? Because I know I'll have a great time when I get there, and I'll find so much inspiration. On top of experiencing new places and cultures, I'm hoping that I'll gain more than new material.
I always try to learn at least a few words of the host country's language. I'm not sure how much use my few sentences of Castilian Spanish will be as I'm going to Bilbao (I'll at least learn 'yes', 'no', 'please', thank you', 'hello' and good-bye' in Basque, it's only polite), but not trying the language seems to me like going abroad and only eating fish and chips. I'd miss so much of what the country has to offer.
More than this, learning how another language works makes me think about how English is constructed. When I try to speak another language, I have to strip sentences down to their simplest form. It makes me realise how much understanding relies on context, body language and intonation.
It also feeds into problems the Iyessi exiles would experience on their travels, such as impenetrable accents, even when the language is the same. Sayings and idioms often don't make sense when translated, and gestures and tones can mean the opposite. Added to this, if Lalli can't hear the words and Ro can't feel the underlying emotions, how much of a disadvantage would it be, or would the different language be a leveller, reducing everyone to pointing and gestures?
Maybe I'll have some answers to these questions when I get back, as well as a suntan. At the very least, the trip should help me avoid the usual withdrawal symptoms after Wimbledon ends. I'll let you know when I get back. Meanwhile, don't forget you still have time to treat yourself to some FREE books at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ksdearsley
 

Optimistic Predictions

June 30, 2019
Grr... technology and I just aren't getting along these days. I'd get a divorce from it if I could, but then I'd have to say goodbye to most of my readers, so I'll have to stay joined. The current irritation is that after a break of two months from this blog, I try to add a new post and get a notice to say that Firefox no longer supports the text edit and I need to go on Google Chrome instead. Now, I'm not a fan of Google Chrome, I think it has secret plans to take over the world. Recently, I...
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Grasshopper Mind

April 16, 2019
You could say I've lacked focus for the past week. It started well enough on Monday with a few thousand words of Discord's Shadow written (I know, it's well behind schedule). This was despite receiving my contributor's copy of Diabolical Plots Year Five book. Somehow, I managed to resist the lure of its 26 stories, as I want to binge read it and write a review, but it was still a temptation that diverted my attention.
Tuesday took me to a writing lunch with a friend, Trevor Smith. Trevor is a...
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Late Night Listening

April 1, 2019
I had a cough recently. One of those itchy, tickly ones that can hide in the background all day only to come out at night and keep going until you've not only woken up the other half, but the dogs, and probably the neighbours too. Having coughed and coughed all the air out of my lungs, and seriously doubted whether I could inhale again before I'd pass out, I ended up sitting up in bed listening to BBC Radio 4 Extra. I was in luck, I thought, an adaptation of E.M. Forster's A Room with a View ...
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Marching On

March 2, 2019
After a few months when nothing has seemed to move, everything has suddenly rushed on.
I've had news that my short radio play, Wingbeats, is one of the three winners of the eighth annual Midnight Audio Theatre contest. I don't have a date yet for when it will be broadcast, and as MAT is based in Columbus, Ohio, the chances are that you won't be able to listen to it then, but the theatre also has a weekly podcast. I'll post details as I get them.
My story, 'The Inspiration Machine', is due out...
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Everyone's a Critic

February 11, 2019
Inspiration doesn't always appear when you want it to. When you're short of ideas there are several recommended ways to get your creativity flowing. You could try an exercise like describing the room you're in, or writing a letter to a friend (real or imaginary), or simply writing down the first things that pop into your head without attempting to edit them. These are all good, so take your pick.
One of my favourite ways to get my writing brain working is to write a review. There are benefits...
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Fancy Meeting You Here!

February 4, 2019
A few weeks ago, I met someone who had been one of my closest friends as a teenager, but whom I'd not seen for decades. We'd lived in the same town for most of those years, and could easily have bumped into each other shopping, but we didn't. That's probably more remarkable than the fact that when we did meet, in ludicrous circumstances, we still recognised each other.
It was a real coincidence, and if I write a memoir I might put it in, but if I ever tried to base a short story around it, it...
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It's History, but Not as We Know It

January 22, 2019
When I first saw trailers for The Favourite, I was delighted. I've been interested in Queen Anne's reign since someone gave me G. M. Trevelyn's England under Queen Anne when I was a teenager. It's a period that gets little attention compared with the Tudors or the Napoleonic era, yet it was pivotal in many ways. Not that I expected the film to be a history lesson. After all, it's a drama, not a documentary, so I wasn't disappointed that the film concentrated on the relationships between Queen...
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Word Pictures

January 13, 2019
I watched too much television over Christmas. I don't suppose I'm alone in that, but I probably watched more bits of things than most people because I didn't buy a TV guide in the mistaken belief that I wouldn't be tempted to watch as much that way. Consequently, what I saw had an element of pot luck.
One of the things I almost missed was Going Postal, the television adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel. I love Terry Pratchett's books, and I've wanted to love previous television ad...
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Resolving to Think Lateral

December 31, 2018
Where did this tradition of making resolutions at the new year come from? Frankly, I haven't a clue, other than the link with new beginnings, but it's very hard to escape it. Perhaps the reason so many resolutions are broken before the end of January is because they are half-hearted to begin with, made for form's sake rather than a true desire for change.
I'm not going to suggest what promises anyone should make themselves, and if you're heartily sick of being asked what your New Year's resol...
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About Me


My writing career began as a freelance feature writer for the local press, businesses and organisations. Now a prize-winning playwright and short story writer, my work has appeared in numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic. I write as K. S. Dearsley because it saves having to keep repeating my forename, and specialise in fantasy and other speculative genres.

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