Not Such Bad Guys

August 5, 2019
Writers are prone to complain about the treatment they get from editors, but sometimes they keep their promises and more.
Take Brad McNaughton, Kain Massin and Sarah Knight, editors of The Blend, a new anthology from Altair Australia Pty Ld. I have the privilege of having a story, 'No Man's Land', in the first issue. I wasn't kept hanging around for months, or even weeks, waiting for an acceptance or rejection. I received the proofs in good time, was paid in advance, and even though the publishers are based on the other side of the planet, I received a print copy in the post via Lulu.com within days of its release. What more could I ask for?
The issue includes stories by Gustavo Bondoni and Robert Stephenson, as well as poetry by William Joel and Anton Regis among others. They all have speculative or strange elements. There's no overt thread joining them, but for me they all concern something missing or left behind. Two of my favourites are 'Windows of the Soul' by Paul Bownsey and the anonymous tale, 'The Dead Dog Barked'. They range from the poignant to the creepy, and stay with you after you've finished reading. Even the cover art provokes questions.
Sadly, the artist, Conny Valentine, lost most of her work in a recent fire. To find out more about this, The Blend's submission requirements and how to get your copy, visit https://the blendinternational.com.au. At the moment, Altair Australia Pty Ltd. is running the Future Visions Award with a prize of $500 and publication in The Blend for a story representing what it considers the 'best future vision of the world or of people'. The closing date is 15th November 2019.
I hope that redresses the balance a little.
 

Happy Accidents

July 27, 2019
Here I am again, and I have to say thank you to all the people who listened to my attempts to speak Spanish with such patience and good humour while I as in Bilbao. As always, while I was away I jotted down a diary of what we did. It wasn't intended for publication, only to jog my memory, but the friend I was with said ominously that she would like to see it. I'm not sure about that, but maybe it wouldn't hurt to put an extract on here, so be warned. What follows is the written equivalent of ...
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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...
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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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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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