A Narrow Escape

August 10, 2022
I was scrolling through Facebook the other day when amongst the videos of dogs adopting ducklings and recipes using only three ingredients my attention was caught by a beautiful image of an African woman and a tale of how people in her tribe all have their own song. This immediately made me think of the Iyessi, so I read the whole piece.
The post said that before a woman of this tribe conceive they sit under a tree and listen to hear the song of the child waiting to be born. She teaches the man to sing it when they make love, and teaches the midwives to sing it. It's sung at every major event in the child's life.
I repeat the tale here, so you can appreciate why I was drawn to it. Discord's Child opens with the hearers singing the birth song for Lalli and Ussu. I was so taken with it that I was going to share it on the Exiles of Ondd Facebook page, and was irritated when for some reason I was unable to do so. Thank goodness I didn't! Looking for another way to link to it, I discovered that the whole piece is a myth that has been doing the rounds of social media for months. There is no basis for it in fact.
No one was there to see me blush, but I assure you I did. I have always advised people to check their facts. What is the source of the information? Is it up-to-date? What qualifications does the writer have in that field? What is their goal? Good advice, but I hadn't followed it, and was almost guilty of spreading false information as a result.
In this case, it might have been harmless, and the only damage would have been to my reputation, but it's given me a jolt nonetheless. I was far too eager to believe. I shall take it as a warning and hope you will too. Always check your facts as far as you can, and if you're unsure, either say so or don't post at all. In other words, don't do as I almost did, do as I tell  you!
 

Catch-up

July 21, 2022
It's been a few weeks since my last blog, so it's high time for an update on what's going on. There's good news, and there's no news really.
The good news is that one of my plays, Antarctica, has been published by Silver Birchington Plays. You can purchase a copy for yourself or for your company, and if you decide to produce it, the cost is deducted from the licence fee. Self-publishing a play is easy, but handling the performance rights is more tricky, so I'm hoping this will make life easie...
Continue reading...
 

And the Award Goes to...

June 21, 2022
Not me, sadly. The results have been announced at last for the British Science Fiction Association Awards 2021. Discord's Shadow didn't make it onto the prizewinners' roster, but I'm not crying. Who could object to losing out to a book like Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shards of Earth? It was an honour and a thrill to find Discord's Shadow had been nominated, and makes all the doubts and hard work worthwhile.
I shall use the boost being nominated has given me to get going on some of the Exiles-relat...
Continue reading...
 

New/Old Discoveries

May 26, 2022
It wasn't quite the age of steam when I started writing, but it's long enough ago for me to have used a typewriter to produce my manuscripts, including carbon copies! (Even writing that makes me feel ancient.) In some ways, computers have made life far easier: mistakes can be corrected without making a mess; you can produce a copy at a click, and can easily accommodate different formatting requirements. In addition, you save on postage and stationery. Another advantage is how much cupboard sp...
Continue reading...
 

Time Travel

May 15, 2022
I recently spent a happy few days in Tudor England, reading two very different historical novels. Execution by S. J. Parris is a spy thriller cum whodunnit that weaves its way through the seedy backstreets of Elizabeth I's London and a tangle of plots and counterplots. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell imagines the life of Shakespeare and his family from when he met Agnes (Anne) Hathaway to the years following the death of his son, Hamnet.
In many ways, the two books couldn't be more different. Exec...
Continue reading...
 

Creative Paralysis

April 5, 2022
I know I'm not alone in finding that rather than inspiring me, catastrophes seem to paralyse my creativity. Many people were inspired by COVID-19 to write poetry, essays, diaries and more, whereas I struggled even to find a tweet on the subject. Now, just as the worst of the disruption caused by the pandemic appears to be over, another catastrophe has emerged, with bombardment, death and grief, and I find myself without words adequate to the situation. Writing fiction feels too trivial. What ...
Continue reading...
 

Happy Days

February 22, 2022
You know what it's like when you decide to have a tidy up and throw out the things that you no longer need. You end up going through everything, reminiscing or rediscovering old loves. I finally got around to sorting through my handwritten drafts and notes for the Exiles of Ondd series, and found early incarnations of the novels, several deleted scenes, characters and discarded plot lines that I really did not want to put in the recycling bin. I even found an Iyessi lullaby that I'd forgotten...
Continue reading...
 

Wasting My Time?

February 7, 2022
It had been one of those mornings. I had checked the submission requirements for several publications, sorted out the pieces of work that I thought would appeal to them, and formatted them according to the instructions. I went back online and filled in the submission forms, and in each case when I clicked on submit I received a message that submissions were closed for the time being. It was all the more frustrating because putting the message at the top of the submissions page instead would h...
Continue reading...
 

It's Puzzling

January 31, 2022
My first is in puzzle, but not in quiz; my second is in bubble, but not in fizz, my third is in snappy, but not in bite; my fourth is in sunny, but not in light. What am I? Too easy? You don't have to be a literary genius to work it out, but few readers or writers can resist word puzzles. They might seem like a waste of time, but writers have a good excuse for indulging.
Crosswords are great for waking up and/or extending your vocabulary. Codewords where you are given a couple of letters on ...
Continue reading...
 

Too Good to Be True?

January 25, 2022
Contests can be great for writers. If your work is shortlisted you know it's of a high standard, and if it's a prize-winner both your bank balance and your reputation are likely to benefit.
Most writing contests are run by people with literary or publishing experience, some are organised by charities, and some are organised by charlatans. The latter will take your entry fee, and it's doubtful that any of the entries are ever read, let alone judged by anyone with any literary credentials, and ...
Continue reading...
 

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.

Blog Archive

Make a free website with Yola