A Gym-free Work-out

August 6, 2020
Exercise is good for you. I'm not talking about abandoning your office chair or going for the burn, although taking a physical break regularly is undoubtedly wise. The kind of exercise I'm thinking of, is for your writing 'muscles'.
It can be anything from doing a newspaper crossword or wordsearch while enjoying a cuppa, to writing a paragraph about what you can see through your window. There's no need to be stuck for ideas. As long as you have a dictionary, all you need to do is open it at any page and write something involving the first word your gaze falls on. Could you write a paragraph without prepositions or articles? How about avoiding adjectives or subordinate clauses?
You could choose a colour, or one of the senses, and brainstorm everything you can think of connected with them. Take 'blue', for instance. You could write something about its symbolism, blue eyes, a blues club, feeling depressed etc. Maybe you could combine a colour with a sense.
Why not write a description of someone you have seen? It could be someone who passed you in the street, someone in the news, or an acquaintance. Write about the same person in different genres such as a news report, romance or memoir. Try combining things that you would never normally put together–a man in a pin-striped suit on a farm, perhaps.
What you write can be off-beat, full of purple metaphors, or only use words of one syllable. it doesn't matter whether what you produce is 'good' or nonsense. What matters is that you'll be stretching your writing ability and giving your brain a work-out.
 

From Fault to Advantage

July 4, 2020
Last year, I would no doubt have been watching tennis on TV and feeling a little guilty about not writing. From the French Open to the end of Wimbledon, I find it hard to tear myself away. I tell myself the season is short, and it'll have to last me all year, but I still get twinges unless I get a morning's writing in before the matches start. Of course, in England I can usually rely on plenty of rain breaks to catch up with the things I should be doing.
Binge-watching tennis isn't all bunkin...
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Home Travels

June 18, 2020
I should have been in Dubrovnik now. I accepted even before the lockdown that Covid-19 would make it unlikely the holiday would take place, and for the most part it hasn't entered my thoughts. When it has, I've reminded myself that this pandemic has robbed people of far more important things than a few days away. This week, however, I have to admit it's been on my mind.
A dew days in a strange setting, trying to manage in a different language, tasting the local food and enjoying new activitie...
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Take a Different Route

June 4, 2020
Before we were locked-down, you might have traveled along a familiar road, perhaps a daily trek to work or to the supermarket, and not remembered the journey when you arrived. It was probably easy and pleasant and left your mind free to wander, but did you notice anything along the way? If someone was to ask you for directions to somewhere on the route, could you tell them whether it's the second or third turn on the left, opposite the postbox or past the big iron gates? Probably not.
As with...
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How Do You Read?

May 23, 2020
There are different ways of reading. I don't mean whether you do it on the bus or curled up in bed, or whether you start on the last page before flicking to the first, or reading a whole novel in one big chunk. I mean having a different mindset.
I recently discovered that I can have a split personality when I read. The book involved was The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell. It was chosen (pre-lockdown) as a book for discussion with several friends to keep our brains active. Knowi...
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Have a Clear Out

April 22, 2020
Spring-cleaning isn't everyone's idea of fun, but with most of us being confined to our homes for the foreseeable future, they could soon be the cleanest and tidiest they've ever been (providing you aren't home-schooling, of course). Once everything in the house and garden has been titivated to the 'nth' degree, what are you going to do?
Inspiration might be in short supply, and it can be difficult to focus your imagination if you're worrying about the current situation. If you're struggling ...
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More to Listen To

April 14, 2020
It seems particularly cruel that the Easter weather was fantastic. For so many people this was bitter-sweet as they were unable to get out in it, or to share it with family and friends. There's virtually nothing that can compensate for that, but maybe some free entertainment can go a little way.
I had the great pleasure and surprise of discovering my stage play, Antarctica, which was recorded by The Playhouse Theatre in Northampton last year, has been uploaded to Facebook, so if you go to my ...
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Trying Times

March 25, 2020
There's no denying that these are trying times. No doubt over the coming weeks we'll learn what's truly important in our lives, what we need to change, and what we can happily do without. For many people, being at home will mean money worries, health scares, illness, loneliness, or at the very least, disruption to cherished plans.
There aren't many positives to this situation, but as a writer, at least I can carry on working. I am used to being on my own, and there are likely to be fewer inte...
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Good Listening

March 13, 2020
Having stupidly missed the broadcast of my play, Wingbeats, on http://www.wcbe.org, I couldn't wait for it to be uploaded to Midnight Audio Theatre's website (http://www.midnightaudiotheatre.com). I finally got to listen to it a couple of days ago, and I'm thrilled.
The play is about a girl who emigrates and arrives on the doorstep of her aunt hoping to enlist her help to find work so she can send the money home. Everyone involved in bringing the play to life has done an excellent job. The po...
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Worth the Wait

March 1, 2020
The long wait for Wingbeats to be broadcast is over. At 11pm CST it went out on http://www.wcbe.org as one of Midnight Audio Theatre's three winning plays of 2019. If you missed it, it will be available at http://www.midnightaudiotheatre.com in a few days. 
The first of the trio, The Wild Hunt by Jim McDoniel is on the website now. I recommend listening to it. The play concerns a soldier's search for a man, thought to be the victim of a supernatural hunt. It's a chilling way to spend 20 minut...
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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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