Meet Me Halfway

Hello Lovelies,

Sorry about the delay with this week’s post, but I was having a few technical difficulties thanks to an uninvited Windows update, but now I’m back online I have a few exciting things to share!

I did it! Not only have I met this month’s word-count goal, but I am also halfway through the first draft of An Anguished Heart. In fact, with a final goal of around 80,000 words, I am actually a little over halfway with a current word-count of 46, 549! I’m not sure whether the story will be finished once I reach the 80,000 word mark, with the way things are going it looks like An Anguished Heart  is actually going to be longer than 80, 000 words, but as far as goals go, I’m totally kicking ass!

I usually do most of my writing at night, when everyone is asleep and I am be alone with my thoughts and my characters. This usually results in me heading to bed around 3 a.m. and being so wired from the excitement of making my characters come to life (outside of my own head!) that I can’t sleep until almost 4 a.m. This is fine while I’m here in Budapest and not having to get up later that morning and drag myself to work, but what about when we are back home and back in the real world?  I think there’s going to have to be some sort of compromise, unless someone wants to give me a well-paid publishing contract and pay me to write before I even have a finished manuscript.

It’s not easy to be a writer when holding down a day job and raising a family, but it’s not impossible and I’m determined to keep chasing my dream. Whether that chase leads to self-publishing or following a more traditional road to publishing, I’m not quite sure yet, but I am determined to keep writing, to tell my characters stories and perhaps one day others will enjoy their stories as much as I have enjoyed telling them.

So come on world! Meet me halfway and help me keep chasing my dream to one day make writing my day job!

Enjoy,

KK

Here’s a little sneak peek from the latest chapter I’ve been working on in the first draft of An Anguished Heart:

 “So… How’s he doing?” Anna asks, as I slump onto the bed.

“Better than he will be in the morning with the thumping headache he’s going to have.” I say, feeling a little sorry for him.

“I overheard a little of what you were saying, sorry but I couldn’t help but hear.” I shrugged, not caring whether Anna heard every word of what Dani and I spoke about, we had no secrets between us.

“Do you really think your father could get him assigned to an office position and keep him away from the front lines?” She asked sounding hopeful.

“Honestly, I have no idea, all we can do is hope.”

 

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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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Don’t Be Afraid to Open the Door

“I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I’m not afraid to look behind them.”
― Elizabeth Taylor

Hello Lovelies,

Over the past week, I’ve started to notice just how many beautifully amazing doors there are on the different buildings here in Budapest. Of course the buildings themselves are beautiful as well and you can see and explore many different styles of architecture within the city. Yet people always see and notice the buildings themselves, so naturally a considerable amount of effort and detail has been put into many of them. However, the same time, effort and detail as also been put into the many doors and doorways of the city. Even some of the more basic ones will have beautiful carved stone doorways and some of the doors themselves are pieces of art in themselves.

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Image copyright of Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within 2016
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Image copyright of Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within 2016
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Image copyright of Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within 2016
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Image copyright of Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within 2016

A door can allow people to enter or perhaps to leave. We can close it to shut out the outside world, to close ourselves off from the weather perhaps. We must try, however, to not be afraid of opening the door, for if we spend our lives living in fear of what is on the other side of a closed door, then we are not really living at all.

Sometimes when we open a door it is for a goodbye, other times it is hello.. Whatever the reason and whether it is a person, a job or something else we are greeting or saying farewell too, we must stand tall, open the door and step through the doorway, because we will never know what is on the other side if we don’t have the courage to open the door and see.In my relatively short life-time, I have opened quite a few of these metaphorical doors and I’m not going to pretend that I was never afraid, I was petrified at time, but eventually I pushed the fear aside, deciding that I was more afraid of never knowing what lay on the other side of the door.

Not all doors will lead us to where we want to be, but sometimes it might be where we need to be until we are ready to open the next door.

So push your fear aside and go forth and open up some doors!*

Enjoy,

KK

*metaphorical doors, I mean. I’m not encouraging anyone to commit the crime of break and enter.

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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.

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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.

Let’s Go Fly a Kite Somewhere Over the Rainbow!

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Image Copyright Katherine A. Kovács,                         The Writer Within 2016                      Rainbow over Buda Castle, Budapest 13.05.2016

 

Hello Lovelies,

I guess it’s no surprise that we’re already midway through the month of May and I haven’t even made any progress on this month’s word-count. Procrastination may have reared its ugly head, just as it always does, but research, thinking about writing and daydreaming about your characters definitely counts as writing-related activities even if I haven’t actually added any words to my WIP, right? Never fear though, with a couple of nights staying up until 3 a.m. I’ll definitely have this month’s word-count goal met and avoid a virtual arse-kicking from my friend.

While I’ve been procrastinating from actually adding words to my current WIP, I guess you could say I’ve been living life and enjoying the little things, something which I try to focus on as much as possible (as I’ve written about here and here).

After our kite flying fun a few weeks ago, I have been meaning to introduce my three kids to Mary Poppins, which I finally did a few nights ago. Not only did they thoroughly enjoy it, especially the “singing bits” as stated by Master 5yo, but I enjoyed it too. No matter how many times I’ve seen Mary Poppins, there’s always something magical about it and each time I notice something different or get something more out of watching it.

This time, not only did I share in my children’s joy and excitement, but I also saw the characters and the story from an adult’s point of view. When I was young, I always thought that Mary Poppins came to help the children and kind of hated her for leaving. As I got older though and especially after watching it again with my children, I came to realise that Mary Poppins wasn’t there to help the children, not really. Sure, she looked after Jane and Michael, took them on some of the most amazing outings you could ever imagine and showed them an awesome way to tidy up the nursery, but in truth she was there to save Mr. Banks and the entire Banks family. This understanding of Mary Poppins saving the Banks family was reinforced when I finally got around to watching Saving Mr. Banks, the same night I introduced the kids to Mary Poppins, after they were all tucked into bed. I know that Saving Mr. Banks is the Hollywood version of a “true story”, however it reinforced for me, the importance of the character of Mary Poppins in the lives of countless readers and viewers, and perhaps in the life of author P.L Travers, creator of Mary Poppins.

I think that the story of Mary Poppins and the Banks family, reminds us as adults, that while it is important to earn a living and support a family, it should not be at the expense or detriment of the family itself.

Too often we focus on earning the money to support our family and in the process we fail to truly support them by being there for them and spending time together as a family. Supporting a family is much more than earning coin, of course money is needed for food, clothes and a roof over your heads, but we also need to remember the reason why needed to earn money in the first place – to support a family.

I know things aren’t always easy, far from it most of the time. The bills don’t stop piling up just because you want to take time to be with your family, the mortgage payments aren’t put on hold every time you want to take the children on a holiday or out for an ice-cream, even. There will always be something that needs to be paid, something we need money for and sometimes we are overwhelmed by this, just trying to make ends meet. Spending time with your children though can be something as simple as reading a book together, watching a movie or going for a walk and spotting a rainbow or flying a kite.

Earlier in the week, when I got the children ready for bed, instead of choosing a picture book for reading a chapter of one of their favourite Roald Dahl books before bed, I decided to read them a story I wrote for them that I intend to be a children’s picture book one day. This story was inspired by the endless questions that my children (and all children I suppose) ask. One day, when I told my children that I loved them, instead of asking, “how much?”, one of my boys (although I can’t quite recall which one it was now) asked me, “How many?” This is when the children’s story How Many Do You Love Me? was conceived. I’ve been sitting on this story for a couple of months now and the other night I finally read it to my children before bedtime.

They listened carefully, without interrupting (a very rare occurrence) and at the end of the story Miss 8yo asked, “Is that story about us?”, I nodded, then Mr. 5yo said dreamily, “That was lovely.” Now they wish it was a “real” book, with pictures and pages and everything, so I guess I need to find a way to make it so. Not for fame or fortune or any of that, but for the children. My own and for children everywhere, because each and every child needs to know how much (or “many”) they are loved and cherished.

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Image copyright Katherine A. Kovács, The Writer Within 2016.    Flying a Kite Budapest, April, 2016

So let’s go fly a kite somewhere over the rainbow and make memories that our children (and us) will cherish forever.

Enjoy,

KK

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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.

 

 

 

When Did That Happen?

Hello Lovelies,

This past couple of week’s I have been busy kicking procrastination’s arse again and also doing a little research and organisation of my scribbled notes. As part of trying to organise myself, I’ve started developing a timeline, plotting all the major events in the series I am working on, which includes my current WIP An Anguished Heart, AKA József and Anna’s story,  as well as at least three other novels in the series that tell Thomas and Rose’s story.

I seriously don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner (probably because I like to procrastinate), but now I am almost half-way through the first draft of An Anguished Heart, it is getting increasingly difficult to keep track of everything, especially when some of the major events in the series include both the first and second World Wars.

With a little shy of 40,000 words now, its’s also becoming time consuming to scroll back and check the dates of certain events and so on. This is why a timeline has become quite crucial in helping me to plan and write this series. I can’t keep going back through pages of text or multiple notebooks, looking for a date, an age and so on. So my aim is that every time I have to ask myself, “When did that happen?” instead of scrolling through pages of writing or trying to find the right notebook, I will be able to simply look at the timeline and check – hopefully.

On another not, every month when I have reached my word-count goal, I email and updated version of my WIP to my friend who is my nominated arse-kicker as proof that I met the month’s goal. I also send a copy to my parents, my father who is a self-professed ‘non-reader’, reads it each and every month and asks for more, he has even offered to help with the first round of proofreading when the time comes. My mother who does enjoy reading a book or two, (unlike her husband)  also reads the updated manuscript each month and when she messages me and tells me I made her cry and she had to put it down for a few moment to compose herself, I guess I must be doing something write. I was cry myself when I was writing the part she was emotional over, so I guess I was able to convey the emotions well enough in my writing for the reader to also experience those emotions. So, yay me!

The message from my mum about her tears brought to mind one of my favourite quotes from Robert Frost,

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

 

So overall I think I’ve had quite a successful week as a writer, deciphering the scribbles in my notebooks and making my readers cry and still beg for more.

Yes, definitely a successful week!

Enjoy,

KK

 

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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.

Through Their Eyes

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Image courtesy of Flickr CC user ClaraDon

Hello Lovelies,

As I dexterously inserted the entire pack of PEZ into the R2D2 dispenser on the first try, my five year old son exclaimed, “Wow, that was amazing!”

“Was it?” I replied, unbelieving. Sure, I had just placed the PEZ into the dispenser without dropping any, but I wouldn’t really have thought it was particularly “amazing”.

“Yes!” He exclaimed again, clapping his hands excitedly, “It wasn’t just great, it was AAAMAAAZING!” He said again, with further emphasis on the word ‘amazing’.

It was then that I began to see myself through the eyes of my children.

Being a parent isn’t easy. You are constantly questioning yourself, hoping that you’re doing what is best for your children. As a parent, you will experience some of the most difficult days of your life (and I’m talking about after giving birth), there will be days when you try to function on just a couple of hours sleep, there will be days when your kids will drive you so batshit-crazy that you’ll even begin to question why you chose to have children in the first place. Then there will be days when your heart will ache, when they are sick or hurt, afraid or upset, and all you want to do is wrap them in your arms and protect them.

Then there will be days like the one I had today, when the seemingly insignificant task of filling a PEZ dispenser without incident, will turn you into an instant hero in their eyes.

Through their eyes, you are their hero – most of the time anyway. You are the one who can magically make food appear in front of them, the one who can change them into their pyjamas, whisk them away into their beds and tuck them in – all without waking them up. You are the one who makes the hurt go away when they are sad, sick or injured, the one who comforts them when they need it, the one who can make them laugh and the one who can make the “tickle-bug” go away when they’ve had enough.

Even on the most difficult days of being a parent, your child will say things like, “You’re so beautiful mummy.” And they will mean it, with all their heart. It doesn’t matter that you haven’t showered or even brushed your hair, because in their eyes you are just that, you are beautiful, perhaps even a little magical.

My favourite is when one of my own tells me that I’m a great ‘cooker’, unfortunately it’s usually when I have prepared the simplest meal imaginable and not when I’ve slaved over the stove for hours, but it’s still nice to hear.

Of course this childs’ view of their parents is subject to change without notice, particularly in the dreaded ‘teenage years’, or so I’ve been told. Until then though (and even after that), I will continue to strive to be the best parent I can.

Even when I think I’m simply doing the day to day things any mother would do, through their eyes I am a PEZ dispenser filling Wonder Woman  and that is what gets me out of bed every morning….

And the fact that they’re whinging for breakfast…

So carry on parenting my fellow PEZ dispenser filling super heroes!

And enjoy it while it lasts!

– KK

 

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2016). 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.