Google Discoveries

September 1, 2020
I think I've mentioned before how googling yourself might seem like vanity or procrastination, but that it can throw up some interesting and useful results. In the past, I've discovered that I'd been shortlisted in one competition and actually won another. I've also found a mini-story on someone's website for a hobby related to its theme (origami–'Stone,Scissors, Paper'), and positive reviews of other work.
I'll confess to a little procrastination when I looked last week, but I'm so glad I gave in to temptation. The best thing I found was that my submission to Fifty-Word Stories (https://fiftywordstories.com) had been published on 4th August. It's titled 'Who's a Pretty Boy?' and you'll find it, if you can spare a minute, in the Amusing category of the Stories section. It's already received some positive response, which is always great to have.
Anyone who would like to have a go at submitting their own 50-word tale will find all the guidelines, which are really simple, and an online form on the website. It's just for fun, unless your offering is chosen as the story of the month. Submissions are limited to the first to the 15th of each month, so you have a couple of weeks to get writing.
My googling also brought to light the use of one of my tweets on a catalogue's website. You can look on this in two ways: either as a liberty using my work as free advertising/to provide them with added interest, or as free publicity for me and a compliment in that they thought it good enough to use. In this instance, it was a tweet, which anyone could retweet from my account @ksdearsley and they credited it, so I'll take it as a plus. I wouldn't be as happy if it was a longer work reprinted without my permission from another publication. Neither would I be amused if it was being used to promote something of which I did not approve. I'm not sure what I could have done about it if that was the case, beyond contacting the site and Twitter to ask for it to be removed, but at least searching for my name gives me a chance to discover what's going on.
Here's the tweet that was used: 'How tranquil it must be to sit in a field of lavender, simply breathing and listening to the bees.' I'll let you guess the website for yourselves–but don't spend too long on it–that would be procrastinating!


 

Good Out of Bad

August 21, 2020
At the start of the lockdown, poet and playwright Trevor Smith included me in a challenge to write something inspired by the pandemic. There has been a plethora of competitions and special submission invitations on the current situation, and I truly have had little desire to respond. I don't know why. Maybe it's too depressing, maybe it's because it's so ubiquitous that it seems every radio and TV programme or conversation has to include it at least once. But this was a friend throwing down t...
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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 a...
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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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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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