Age Old Traditions

Hello Lovelies,

What an interesting week it has been. Not much progress in writing has happened unfortunately, but I have been busy learning about Hungarian traditions and both Jewish and Christian traditions in Hungary.

I’ve also been looking into the notion of interfaith marriages in the early 1900s and have discovered that although it was quite rare, marriages between Jews and Christians did occur during this time period in Europe. The reason I have looked into this, is of course research for my current WIP. You see, at first I thought József’s marriage was just your straight forward Jewish boy marries Jewish girl marriage. The more I thought about it though and of her physical appearance, I began to realise that things are never as straight forward or simple as they might seem and I speak from personal experience. My own marriage was not a simple boy meets girl, fall in love, get married kind of affair, it may have seemed like that for some people looking from the inside, but in actual fact, we had to fight for it, our love gave us the strength to fight, but we still had quite a battle.

In understanding the intricacies of the character’s backstory and the complexity of their relationship, I will be better able to understand what they think and feel and how they would react in the different situations they will find themselves in throughout the novel.

Before starting a new project, I always have a rough outline either in my mind or on paper. I always find, however, that as I explore the characters in more details, this plan will often change and develop in directions that I had not originally thought. Sometimes it’s a little frustrating, all the twists and turns, most of the time though I love that I get to know the story and the characters as I write and explore, it’s as though I’m reading a story, as opposed to writing it. I could have a guess at what will happen on the next page or in the next chapter, but I never really know for sure what is going to happen or the direction my characters will take me in, until it is written.

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

E.L. Doctorow

Before I head off to further explore the backstory of my main characters, I’d just like to congratulate two of my cousins, who have recently become engaged! (to their respective partners not to each other, our family isn’t that close!) One of these newly engaged cousins is also the godmother to my children and in  way, is also the one responsible for me starting this blog almost two years ago. So congratulations to Samantha and her fiancé, Jarrad and to Sean and his fiancée, Lauren. Wishing you all every happiness for the future.

Also a special thanks to Samantha who inadvertently gave me the final push to start this blog. With now over 100 posts and over 130 followers, I feel humbled by all the love and support, from not only my family and friends but from the writing and blogging community that I am able to connect with through the use of modern technology.

Enjoy,

KK

© Katherine A. Kovács 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. Kovács and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The Little Things

Hello Lovelies,

Even though 2015 has been a difficult one in our family, I’ve really learnt to appreciate the little things, those things that we usually take for granted or don’t stop to appreciate in the craziness of life. After everything that has happened and all the changes that have happened this year, it’s the little things that make me happy.

I am not American and have never celebrated Thanksgiving, but I do know that Thanksgiving is coming up this week. So I guess it’s the perfect time to acknowledge all the little things that I appreciate like the sunny autumn weather we have been having, when we can take the children out to the playground before it’s too cold.

When moving from a house you have lived in for 6 years to another country and an apartment that is apparently furnished, you also start to appreciate the little things like a dish rack. Yes, you did read it correctly, a dish rack. You see, in our own house we have had a dishwasher for the last 3 years, a great convenience for a family of 5. However, since we arrived in Budapest, both of the apartments did not have a dishwasher, which is completely understandable, but they also did not have a dish rack, so every time I did the dishes I would strategically be trying to balance all the plates and things on the draining board in a way that would hopefully allow them to (mostly) dry, but also so they didn’t fly off and onto the floor. On Friday however, my MIL came to visit and when she walked in the door, she was holding a brand new dish rack just for me! I stupidly couldn’t wait to do the dishes and try it out (the novelty wore off quickly though).

At this point, you might be saying something like, “first world problems” and rolling your eyes. I get that, I know it didn’t need the dish rack, there are people in this world who need a lot more things than a dish rack, people without running water, without homes, without peace living in war-torn countries. The point I’m trying to make is this: appreciate what you have, no matter how little or how much it is. Appreciate the little things that make your life a little easier. Take notice of the little things that make you happy, the things that bring your family together. Find something to be thankful for in each and every day no matter how bad of a day it’s been.

There are so many crazy and terrible things happening in this world, that it’s important to recognise and appreciate the little things that make us smile, make life easier or more convenient so we are able to spend more time with those we love and care about.

My message to you all is this, take a little time each day to appreciate the little things, even if it is just a dish rack or some sunny weather, because who knows how long we will be able to enjoy these things for. Live for today and appreciate the little things while you still have them and to remember those who don’t.

Today I am thankful that I am able to do some writing, that although the weather is cloudy and cold, my husband was able to take the youngest out the the playground whilst the other two (and myself of course) enjoy some quiet time. Those are the little things I am thankful for.

Live for today and appreciate the little things!

Enjoy,

KK

 

© Katherine A. Kovács 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. Kovács and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Story Never Really Ends

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

Frank Herbert

Hello Lovelies,

This week has been one of reflection as I contemplate the intricate details of József’s story and how they will impact on Rose and Thomas’ story in the rest of the series I have planned.

I came across the quote at the top of the post when I was searching for inspiration to describe my thoughts over this past week. I began to reflect upon where I started with the “Heart Series” (what I am currently using to refer the series of novels), the way the series has evolved into what is now four, possibly five books and where the story of these characters will end.

I started this series in the middle,without even realising, set in the 1930s.  As I’ve explored the characters and as the story has evolved I’ve discovered that there is much more to the story than I originally thought. After starting two separate novels in the series and now a third and moving back in time from the 1930s to the 1910s before the outbreak of WWI, I feel pretty confident that I have now finally started at the beginning of the story. However I am still not quite sure where this story will end. Every time  think I have it planned out in my mind, I realise that there is still more to tell.

So what I put forth, reflecting on the words of Frank Herbert, I begun to consider that the story perhaps never really ends, but as a writer we choose what parts of the story we share with our audience. Have you ever finished reading a book or series and wanted to know what happened next? I constantly have that feeling. I remember watching movies as a kid and how however “neat” the ending of the movie would be, I would still be incredibly cranky wanting to know what happened in the rest of the story.

So you see, the story never really ends, it just stops for the audience at the place the writer chooses. I think though, for the writer, the story will always continue, parts of the story that are perhaps only for the writer, the one who created the world and the characters. The story and its characters will forever be part of of the writer, firmly embedded in their imagination, the story continuing in their dreams and daydreams, because I don’t think you can ever really let go of the world you have created, even if you have moved on to a different world and different characters, each world and character you create as a writer will forever be a part of you.

So the story never really ends.

Enjoy,

KK

© Katherine A. Kovács 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. Kovács and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Marriage and a Promise

Hello Lovelies,

Well if you follow me on Twitter (@WriterWithin_KK) or have “liked” my Facebook page, you would have already known this happened during the week.

Image copyright Katherine A. Kovács -The Writer Within
Image copyright Katherine A. Kovács -The Writer Within

After, what seems like forever, scribbling notes and researching, I finally have a working title for József’s story, a prologue and the start of the first chapter! So things are getting pretty exciting! The name of József’s wife has come to me also, but I might save that reveal for a later blog post, when I’ve finished finding out exactly who she is and her appearance.

Whilst I haven’t written thousands of words (hopefully soon though!), I have been busy planning and researching, including revising Jewish marriage customs, something which I studied in high school. What I have found most intriguing is the use of the number seven, the bride circles the groom seven times, the seven blessings are an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage ceremony. Whilst this is something I have read of before, whilst reading about these customs and the symbolism of the number seven, I realised a connection to myself. You see, I have always considered the number seven to be my lucky number, I have no idea why, but for as long as I’ve understood the concept of “lucky numbers”, seven has always been mine. My soccer jersey was number seven and I know this is going to sound like OCD (and it probably is), but as a teenager I used to set my alarm in multiples of seven, so if i needed to be up at 6:30am, the alarm would be set for 6:28am. Weird, I know, but it’s something I couldn’t help at the time, needless to say that no longer happens, I take as many minutes as I can and hit snooze several times, but still the number seven is my number.

The number seven is considered one of the greatest numbers in Judaism, symbolising Creation, blessing and good fortune. The use of the number seven in Jewish marriage customs is to bring blessing and good fortune to the happy couple as they create their “new world” together (this is another reference to the Creation story). I have always found Jewish customs and traditions have always been an intriguing subject and am enjoying the opportunity to research these in more detail. In my years of teaching in Catholic schools it’s also fun to point out to students that Jesus Christ was actually Jewish.

Now, on to the reason why I have titles today’s post “A Marriage and a Promise.” You see, with all marriages I suppose,not only is it a celebration of two people coming together as one, but it is also a time when promises are made, a promise to love, support and care for each other in every way they can. Some take this promise (or vow) more seriously than others, but with every marriage, promises are made. In considering this, I began thinking about the type of person József is. I don’t want to give too much away, but Jozsef’s story, An Anguished Heart, József has to make some very difficult decisions. He is young and newly married, but the promises he made on his wedding day he takes very seriously, the promise to care for his wife and to always be there for her. In the beginning, it seems that everything is perfect for József and his bride, but the “happily ever after” cannot last forever, war comes and war changes everything. József must choose whether to try and keep his the promises to his wife and be labelled a traitor and risk losing everything or to do what is expected of him and leave for the front line, becoming someone he is not, perhaps never seeing her again and breaking his promise.

This story will address some of the dark realities of war and the anguish and heartbreak of complete loss and devastation, but no matter how dark the night is, the sun will always rise. The question is though, what will be left when the sun does rise? Will József find a way to carry on and stay true to his promises?

I guess all those questions will be answered in good time, so stay tuned!

Enjoy,

KK

© Katherine A. Kovács 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. Kovács and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What’s Love Got to do With it?

Hello Lovelies,

It’s been another interesting week, one that I have filled with exploring (mostly Margaret Island or Margit Sziget in in Hungarian), researching and general ponderings. Oh and let’s not forget the last minute realisation that I forgot to post on the discussion boards of my online unit for uni and had to quickly make up some things to look like I have done all the course work.

One of the main things I’ve been thinking over is love. Not who I love, what I love or anything like that, but just love in general. This line of thought actually began before I left Sydney, when I caught a few snippets of the of the TV mini-series, “Peter Allen; Not the Boy Next Door.” The parts that I caught were showing how Peter met Liza Minnelli and the details of their relationship and marriage. As I sat and watched, I began to wonder if Peter ever loved Liza. From what has been shown in the media and in the musical “The Boy From Oz”, I had little doubt that Peter cared very much for Liza, perhaps he may have been attracted to her at some level (even though he was gay) and perhaps he even loved her, but the problem I think was that Peter was not “in love” with Liza.

You see, there are different types of love. You might love chocolate, your family and your dog but they are not all the same type of love. Love describes the strength of the positive emotion you feel for something or someone, but you do not love chocolate in the same way as you love your mum.

There is also a difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. Whilst Peter Allen probably loved Liza Minnelli and cared for her, he wasn’t in love with her.

Now I’m not about to give relationship advice. However, I am going to try and put into words what I think, feel and believe, based on my experience. I admit that my experience is not extensive, I’ve only ever had one romantic relationship, it wasn’t exactly a plan for it to be like that, it’s just how it worked out, but that’s all I need.

You may have had a relationship in the past that didn’t quite work out. You may have loved that person (or at least thought you did) but ask yourself, were you in love with them? Of course you love the person you choose to marry or spend your life with, but if you are not in love with them, then I don’t think the relationship can be sustained.

You may at this point be wondering exactly how you know whether you simply love someone or whether you are in love with them. How am I supposed to know? I’ve only had one relationship remember! I could tell you that you’ll “just know” or it’ll “just seem right” and sometimes that might be the case, but it’s not always going to help. I’m not going to describe being in love as fireworks or weak knees or some other swooning type of metaphor, because that’s not going to help either. I guess for me it was a little easier, in the beginning it did just “seem right” but I guess you could try looking at your life before that person, your life with them in the present and then try and imagine your future, first with and then without them. If you can’t imagine your future without them, then perhaps it is more than just love.

Being in love isn’t always easy, sometimes you have to fight for it. If you could imagine yourself not fighting and simply walking away, because that’s the easier and safer option, then perhaps you were not really in love with that person (only if the feelings are mutual though, otherwise that’s stalking and there are laws against that crazy-ass sh*!).

So as I go off to ponder the loves of József’s life and the one person he will ever been in love with, remember this:

darkness writer within

Enjoy,

KK

© Katherine A. Kovács 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. Kovács and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.