The Dark Side….of Editing

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage–as long as you edit brilliantly.”
― C.J. Cherryh

Hello Lovelies,

The time has come, the time to explore the dark side. I’m not talking about the dark side of my characters – that’s already well on its way, but the other dark side, the dark side of editing. I’m the first to admit that I’m not an expert when it comes to grammar, but I’d like to think that my grasp of the English language isn’t too bad. Something that is rather frustrating though is the fact that I can usually quite easily spot a typo or error in someone else’s writing, but I often miss the most obvious of errors in my own. My excuse, of course, is that I know what it is supposed to say so even though the actual text on the page is wrong, my brain is on auto-correct and reads it the way it’s supposed to be. This is why I’ve decided to recruit myself a couple of Beta Readers, people to read and critique my writing as I go and spot those pesky typos and errors and the parts when the story simply makes no bloody sense at all!

This is a big step for me something different to posting excerpts on this here little blog, it’s definitely scarier and sort of soul exposing. I mean, I’m actually asking someone to take a look at my writing and tell me their honest opinion, they need to tell me if it’s crap, if it doesn’t make sense and ask me what the heck I was thinking when I wrote it. I’ll be stepping out of my little world, where I take the hits on my blog and ‘likes’ on my Facebook page as little boosts to my ego, I’m now giving someone the opportunity to tell me that my writing is pretty much rubbish. Whilst I admit the possibility of telling me I’m a crap writer is also available through commenting on posts and on Facebook, it’s a little more daunting when you’re actually asking for it.

It’s an important step to take though, as scary and soul-exposing as it may be, it’s a step in the right direction and a step away from procrastinating. I think if I’ve promised someone, besides myself, another chapter then I am more likely to actually get it done without procrastinating.

Below is an excerpt where Rose is wondering if she will hear from Thomas after his dinner proposal, a messenger boy delivers an envelope and she is surprised and intrigued by what it contains.

So here we go #LonelyHearts2015, let’s get serious about writing!

Enjoy,

KK

Picture from Flickr CC user Snow Kitty
Picture from Flickr CC user Snow Kitty

I glanced at the envelope not knowing if I wanted to open it, perhaps it was an apology from Thomas, telling me he was unable to follow through on our dinner plans. Perhaps it was the opposite, detailing the plans. I wasn’t which option I preferred, I knew that calling off dinner would be a smarter and easier option, but I couldn’t deny the disappointment I would feel if that were the case. No matter how bad of an idea it was for something to happen between Thomas and I, the thought of nothing ever happening scared me more. Well, there’s only one way to find out, I had to open the envelope. As I held it in my hand, I felt something weighted inside of it, I slowly opened the envelope and tipped its content onto the front counter. Out of it slid a gorgeous and obviously expensive diamond and emerald necklace. As I held it up the sun caught and shone rays of light at every angle, it reminded me of him. The diamonds were the light that shone from within him despite the darkness and the emeralds, the green of his eyes. Placing it carefully on the countertop I picked up the card that had come from the envelope. Beautifully formed handwriting is on the small card, the message short and almost cryptic;

I saw this and it reminded me of you. Wear it tonight.

            

                                                                                                         -T.H.

© Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within, (2013-2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Remembering Those We’ve Lost

Hello Lovelies,

This week I have taken a step back from writing and I would like to take this opportunity to remember the victims of what is now being dubbed as the Sydney Siege. 

Around 9:45am (Sydney EDT), news spread worldwide of a gunman holding hostages in the Lindt Cafe on Martin Place, Sydney. As we all prayed for a peaceful resolution, in the early hours of Tuesday morning the Sydney Siege came to an abrupt end. Three people lost their lives that morning, two were innocent victims, the other was the gunman. Now I am not going to post pictures of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson throughout this post, in a similar fashion to the media. I am not going to speculate on the situation and how it could have possibly been avoided. No, that is not something I am going to do, it’s not reason I am posting. I am not going to discuss the personal lives of the victims and their families, especially without their permission. If you’re interested in that then Google it yourself, there is more than enough of that in the media coverage. What I want, is to remember those we’ve lost, particularly Katrina and Tori, the eight children murdered in Cairns and the victims of the Pakistani school massacre. All innocent lives taken violently, long before it was their time.

Sadly, these families are now preparing to lay their loved ones to rest, instead of preparing to spend the festive season celebrating with them. I’m not at all trying to put a “downer” on your celebrations, I’m simply asking you to take a moment to remember those who are grieving, those who have experienced loss, those who need a helping hand.

Perhaps you have seen on the news the sea of flowers being placed at a makeshift memorial on Martin Place, whilst this is an amazing sight and a wonderful tribute to the victims, flowers don’t last forever. In Katrina’s honour, The Katrina Dawson Foundation has been established. The foundation will focus on the education of women. Of course the foundation is still in it’s early days of establishment, if you would like to, you can find more information about the foundation here. Lindt Australia and Tori’s partner have requested that donations be made to beyondblue and with their help, a webpage has been set up so people can make donations in his honour. If you like, you can view the page here.

Flowers at Martin Place. Image from The Daily Telegraph
Flowers at Martin Place                                            -Image from The Daily Telegraph

Now, don’t go thinking that I am now out to solicit donations from all of you, this is not my intention either. In our rush to organise everything for Christmas, I am simply asking you to perhaps stop for a moment, offer a thought or prayer for those who are experiencing grief and loss at a time when others are celebrating a joyous time with their families and loved ones.

I cannot begin to imagine the heartbreak that these families are experiencing and how difficult it must be. May they take some comfort in knowing that Tori and Katrina touched the lives of many and their memory live on.

Whether you are a religious person or not, place your thoughts with those who have experienced loss and with the loved ones of Tori and Katrina as they prepare to lay them to rest. I offer this prayer,

Eternal rest grand unto them O Lord,

And let perpetual light shine upon them,

May they rest in peace, Amen.

So as Christmas comes near, take a moment to remember those we’ve lost and celebrate with those you love.

Enjoy,

KK

© Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within, (2013-2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

One Distraction Too Many

Hello Lovelies,

For those who have been following my blog for a while, you would know about my tendency to procrastinate and I have blogged about it several times (usually when I am procrastinating). Well, I guess in a way I am procrastinating again as I am giving in to every possible distraction.

Being a good writer is 3% talent and 97% not being distracted by the internet

-Anonymous

I have barely written anything in the last week and I am beginning to think I’ll never finish anything. It’s been almost a year since I started this blog and since I started to embrace the writer within and as I look back I have accomplished quite a bit. I am humbled that so many people have joined me on my journey, either on Facebook or WordPress and it is quite an amazing feeling that people have enjoyed my writing enough to do so.

But it’s time to get serious, I need to give more time to writing without constantly giving in to the distractions of the real world. So, lovely followers, if you catch me writing a post about procrastinating again, do me a favour and remind me that I have a novel to finish (one of many that I have started). If you’re like using hash-tags, try out #LonelyHearts2015, just to keep me on track. Feel free to harass me now and then on my Facebook page and remind me to do some serious writing, because quite often my nature and personality get the better of me and before I know it I’ve wasted two hours browsing Flickr Creative Commons looking for a great picture to go with my latest post.

To hold your interest in Thomas and Rose’s story, below is a small excerpt. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not very good and unless I can do some serious editing later, then it probably won’t make the final cut.

Enjoy,

KK

It has been two whole days and I haven’t heard from Thomas. I figured he was just being nice when he offered to take me to dinner, but I couldn’t forget the way I felt when he was near. No matter how much I try not to think about it, about him, I can’t help but think wonder if I had the same effect in him. Perhaps though, this is the way it’s meant to be, maybe this is what mother’s words meant. As I sit behind the front counter and try to busy myself with work I glance at the clock and congratulate myself on lasting five minutes without thinking about that man, then I inwardly curse as the bell rings and I stupidly wonder if perhaps it is him. A young messenger boy, no older than fifteen, carrying a satchel across his body, “Good morning Miss, I have an important delivery for Mr Szabo.”

“Thank you, I’ll see that he gets it right away.” I take the thick envelope from the young boy and know that it’s the business papers from Thomas. As I expect him to be on his way, the young boy smiles at me, “You’re Miss Greene, right?” Before I could wonder how on earth he could know who I was he continued to speak, “He said to look out for the pretty girl at the front desk, told me if her name was Miss Greene then I was to give her this.” He handed me a small envelope and before I could ask who ‘he’ was, the boy had gone.

© Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within, (2013-2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Meredith Wild’s Hacker Series

Hello Lovelies,

I’m not usually one to advertise and this is not something I intend to make a habit of, but I’ve been (guiltily) reading Meredith Wild’s Hacker Series and have decided to take part in the Release Blitz for the fourth book in the series Hard Limit. Even though I am not a published author and maybe never will be, I still would like to show my support for fellow writers.

If you even slightly enjoyed the Fifty Shades Trilogy or Sylvia Day’s Crossfire Series, then this is another series for you.

So here it is…

hacker banner

Hard Limit by Meredith Wild (The Hacker Series #4)

Release date: 9th December

Genre: Contemporary Romance

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22474626-hard-limit

hard limit cover

Synopsis

Blake Landon is a man who has everything—wealth, good looks, and the love of Erica Hathaway. The power couple has been through hell and back, and when life has torn them apart, somehow they have always found their way back to each other, more in love and stronger than ever.

Erica has never been more ready to say I do. On the verge of making the ultimate commitment, she uncovers an unsettling chapter of Blake’s history. As she makes peace with her own past and the family who left her behind, she presses Blake to tear down the last walls between them. Determined to know the man he once was, she opens a door to a world beyond her wildest imagination—a world that has her questioning the limits of her own desires.

As danger lurks and dark secrets come to light, will the past destroy their promise of forever?

Meet the Author

mwild

Meredith Wild is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of romance. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.  You can find her at www.facebook.com/meredithwild

http://www.meredithwild.com/

https://twitter.com/wildmeredith

All the books in The Hacker Series can be found at: http://meredithwild.com/books

Click on the link below to win a signed set of Hacker Series paperbacks!

Giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/95cb0282112/

Searching for the Window

“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” -Maria (The Sound of Music)

Hello Lovelies,

This week I’ve hit a few road blocks and so as the title of this post suggests, I’ve been searching for the metaphoric window in my writing and in my real life. The good news is that I’m getting closer to that window in my writing, unfortunately in real-life it isn’t so easy.

But enough about the negative, let’s focus on the positive. Last week I told you all that I hadn’t had much time to write as I was working on something else (if you missed it, you can read last week’s post here) and I promised to share with all of you what I was working on this week. Well, a week has passed and as promised I’ll let you all in on the secret, yesterday was my Grandmother’s 80th birthday and as her birthday present I made her a “This is your life” themed book, documenting the years from her birth up until the present. It included her ‘story’ (which I cut down to only 8 pages long!) and a collection of photos over the years including her the childhood, courtship with my Grandfather and her family, only about 110 photos, as I managed to cut it down from around 150! It was an amazing experience to exploring my grandmother’s story and I found out some pretty amazing things not only about my grandmother, but also the world which she grew up in. Here is a short excerpt from her story about the world she was born into,

It was the year 1934, the world had lived through the horrors of World War I and it was still enduring the aftermath of a severe economic recession caused by The Great Crash on Wall St in 1929. It was an era that is now known as The Great Depression.

It was in this year that Meccano Ltd introduced the first Dinky Toys and Percy Shaw patented the ‘cat’s eye’ road safety device. It was also the year when the “surgeon’s photograph” of the Loch Ness Monster was published in the Daily Mail –although it was much later admitted to being a hoax.

King George V was the reigning monarch and Ramsay MacDonald was the Prime Minister of England…”

What made this even more interesting, is the similarities between the world that my grandmother was born into and the world of Thomas and Rose. I did not purposely make this connection and as you may have read in some of my previous posts, Lonely Hearts originated from a dream I had, however terribly cliché that may sound, so perhaps on a subconscious level the link between the two worlds was made, but it wasn’t until I started to create this book for my grandmother that I realised the depth of the connection. My grandmother lost her mother at a young age, as did Rose (and Thomas) and what makes this subconscious connection even more startling is that my great grandfather’s name was also Thomas.

“…but in a small cottage in a village in the London Borough of Barnet called Arkley, Thomas and Bessie were eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child.”

retrieved from Flickr Creative Commons Copyright of wiatrak1
Retrieved from Flickr Creative Commons Copyright of wiatrak1

My grandmother was also an only child, both Thomas and Rose were only children. The more I think about this, the deeper the connection becomes, perhaps I knew these details of my grandmother prior to writing her story, but I know that I did not consciously make this connection between the two worlds when beginning Rose and Thomas’ story.

And…. there’s the segue into discussing where I am in Lonely Hearts. At this point I am exploring Rose’s relationship with her mother and how that has shaped her. I am also up to the point in the story where reader’s are given a small insight into the connection Rose has with her mother in the present tense of the story (just a reminder, Rose’s mother passed away several years before the story’s timeline). Reader’s also gain a little more information about the underlying cause of Rose’s nightmares and the darkness that gives the book its title and I can’t wait to explore these ideas in even greater depth.

Today I have a small excerpt to share with you all. Some of it may seem a little familiar from previous posts, as I usually do a small amount of editing as I attempt to bind one idea with the next. Although I can quite easily spot errors in other people’s writing, I am still horrified at my ability to miss the errors in my own writing, so be kind. Sometimes even in the way I speak, I cringe afterwards at my lack of correct grammar, I think some of my student’s are rubbing off on me!

Enjoy,

KK

“What am I thinking? Why am I even considering this? Thomas and I are from two different worlds, it would be best for both of us to go our separate ways. One evening, which will be lovely, I’m sure – perfect even, but it cannot go further than that. I cannot help but feel as though I am throwing something of immense value away and as I catch my reflection in the window, I see my mother’s face looking back at me and as she does in those moments when I need her help or advice she spoke to me, “Rosie, some things are just meant to be.” What does she mean? That Thomas and I are meant to be or are we are meant to go our separate ways? But before I could ask she was gone, the same as always. I missed my mother so much, she was the only family I had ever known. I am thankful for having József in my life, but it’s not the same, a girl needs her mother and she was taken from me when I needed her the most.

I thought about the days after she died, I had felt so alone and afraid. Sometimes I still feel like that, when the darkness closes in and another nightmare consumes me, pulling me down. It’s always the same, it’s dark and lonely, with nobody to love or care for me, then they appear and I’m no longer by myself, but the darkness grows deeper and fear and pain surge through me. Then I hear her voice, telling me to stay strong, pleading with me to hang on and to reach up out of the darkness, then he is there – József is the one pulling me out of the darkness, taking away the pain and the fear, offering me a father’s love and beginning to heal my lonely heart. Lately though, having József didn’t seem to be enough and the frequency of my nightmares have increased. Perhaps it is because I am now older and no longer the young girl he saved, but I feel the darkness pulling me down and the loneliness closing in again, I have to find a way to keep the darkness at bay, I cannot let myself slip into the darkness again, for I fear that if I do, it will be the end and the darkness will consume me.”

© Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within, (2013-2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.