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 adaptations, but somehow these have never hit the mark for me before. I'm not sure why. The adaptations have great casts, imaginative sets and all the zaniness of the originals, but they've always left me unsatisfied.
The only answer I can come up with is that they lack the genius of Terry Pratchett's language. His are the only novels that make me laugh out loud, but he has more than a witty turn of phrase. He creates word pictures in the reader's imagination that are far too vivid for any visual representation to compete with. Take the opening lines of Pyramids for example: 'Nothing but stars, scattered across the blackness as though the Creator had smashed the windscreen of his car and hadn't bothered to stop to sweep up the pieces' or this, later on: '... the silence beyond the cell, which had been the silence caused by absence of sound, very slowly became the silence caused by someone making no noise.' How on earth can you put that on a screen? The visual portrayal is the equivalent of telling rather than showing.
So what was different about Going Postal? I think it was the fact that it was about the postal service. I have a lifelong association with the Royal Mail. I used to work on the counter in a Crown Office, I collected stamps as a child, and my father was a postman, as was a next-door neighbour. I love getting letters and cards (not bills, so much). Generally, the postie delivers good things. I know lots of people who have a secret affection for the post office and posties, in the same way they do for milk floats and milkies, or double-decker buses and clippies. It's comforting to know they're there, even if you no longer use them very often. They're everyday heroes making sure we all stay connected whatever the weather, no matter how remote, and even in these days of instant digital fly-through-the-ether messages, I wouldn't want to be without them.
 

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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Merry Christmas to One and All

December 24, 2018
If you get a moment after the last-minute shopping for the festivities, and find yourself without a plate or glass in your hand, you might take stock of what's happened and what you've done in 2018. You won't be alone. Most of us do it at this time of year: another 12 months gone, and what happened to all the things you thought you'd achieve?
I know there are plenty of things on my list that I haven't been able to put a tick next to yet. Some things are no longer a priority, others have progr...
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Quick Thinking

December 16, 2018
When someone finds out I'm a published writer, I can guarantee I'll be asked one of two questions: 'Does it pay well?" and/or "In anything I've heard of?" Whether it pays well depends on whether you're used to champagne and flying on private jets, or dine regularly in your bedsit on beans on toast. Some people think that unless your earnings are in the J. K. Rowling bracket you aren't a proper writer. Maybe a list of my credits would impress them more.
I've had hundreds of pieces published or...
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Gentle Persuasion

December 4, 2018
One of the great things about the internet is that it's easier than ever to have your say about things. Put up posts on social media, blogs or reviews and potentially your views will be seen by a worldwide audience.
    However, being persuasive means doing more than firing off Tweets as the impulse takes you. Look at the derision President Trump's brought on  himself, and the ammunition he's handed to his detractors by not checking for typos. It always pays to spend a little time shaping wha...
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No Need to Speculate

November 19, 2018
When I was a member of a science fiction writers' group there was always one topic that would liven up the conversation: what is science fiction? If Third Flatiron Anthologies' latest offering,Terra! Tara! Terror! had been around then we would have had plenty to wrangle over. There are SF stories with elements of fantasy or horror, fantasy with twists of SF, folktales, and myths brought up to date. In fact, there's the full range of speculative fiction in all its wonderful mutations.
    There...
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A Week in the Life

November 9, 2018
A writer's life consists of sitting in front of a computer, tapping at a keyboard and pressing 'send', doesn't it? Not quite. Even when real life such as shopping, doing the laundry and walking the dogs doesn't intervene, things are rarely so straightforward. This is how my week went from Friday 2nd to Thursday 8th November.
    As usual, I started the day on Friday by checking my emails, Facebook and Twitter pages. Even if I don't post a tweet, I like to respond to any likes and retweets, and...
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Be Counted!

October 28, 2018
Does your vote count? Did your favourite couple get voted off Strictly? Did your friends choose the worst film to download? Fear not, there are places where your voice will be heard.
    If you enjoy a book, you can give it five stars on sites like Goodreads or Amazon, and if you really want to make an author's day, you can vote for their story in a magazine or competition readers' poll. Which brings me to the Pen 2 Paper competition. This year's finalists are now online at https:www.txdisabil...
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So It's Said

October 7, 2018
Whenever I check out Twitter or Facebook I'm bound to come across a host of inspirational quotes about saving the planet, becoming a better person, the good old days–whatever subject you can think of. I confess to scrolling past most of them, but I can never resist the ones connected with writing. Here are some of my favourites, found in all sorts of places from social media and the back notes on novels to how-to websites and radio interviews.

"To hold a pen is to be at war." Voltaire

A fre...
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Count to Ten

September 30, 2018
I've had a few little irritations in the past week or two, so I wasn't best pleased when I received an email from Amazon announcing that they are amalgamating with their print company, CreateSpace.
    All paperbacks with the latter will be transferred to Amazon. Authors will find a few differences, especially if anyone has books in the process of being published. Some covers may need to be tweaked, if not replaced, if they were made with CreateSpace's cover creator. Royalties will be paid af...
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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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