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Image copyright Flick CC user Marcelo Graciolli

Hello Lovelies,

This is a scheduled post because I currently do not have home WiFi until arriving back in Sydney.

I write this as I try to get everything that needs doing before our WiFi is disconnected in preparation for returning to Sydney. Of course I can visit a WiFi hotspot if I really need internet access, but with the soon-to-be absent internet, I’m beginning to realise just how dependent we have become on it.

Gone are the days when we ponder the answer to a questions for hours or days before heading to the library or asking someone more knowledgeable on the subject. Nowadays instead of getting frustrated with an answer that’s “on the tip of my tongue” but you can’t just quite remember, we turn to trusty Google and enter the most absurdly vague search terms imaginable and somehow still manage to find what we were looking for.

I cannot even begin to imagine writing a novel in the days before the internet, especially one which would require significant amounts of research, like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander for example. I have nothing but absolute awe and admiration for the writers who tackled their research without the modern (if somewhat overused) convenience of the internet.

I myself didn’t have internet at home until I was around fifteen or so and that was only the drearily slow dial-up version with the modem that made funny noises. Those noises will be something that the younger generations will never understand as well as the habit of clicking on the webpage you hoped you needed for your assignment and then going to make a sandwich while you waited for it to load. Now we become frustrated when the page fails to load the instant after we click on it.

As a society we have become extremely dependent on the internet, we use it to research, to keep in touch with people, to watch movies, share photos, writing and everything else and to generally procrastinate and waste endless amounts of time. Any information we seek is at our fingertips.

The internet definitely has its uses, but often it is more of a tool for distraction than anything else. Whilst writing I often have several tabs open, researching and checking facts and details as I write, this is extremely useful. However I am also guilty of having Twitter and Facebook open at the same time, definitely a distraction and I would probably get a lot more writing done if I banned myself from social media for a while but it helps me to procrastinate.

I don’t let social media overtake my life though. Sure I have Facebook and Twitter but I’m not on there giving the world play-by-play updates on my life or trying to make my life seem more glamorous than it is. I’m on social media, but it doesn’t rule me.

Sometimes I think we need to take time to disconnect ourselves from the World Wide Web, time to be in the real world and actually experience life and see it through your own eyes, instead of through the screens of our smartphones or through the status updates of our friends on social media.

So get out there, go offline and experience the world the way it is supposed to be experienced. Make memories to cherish forever not status updates for “likes”.

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
 

 

 

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So Long, Farewell

Hello Lovelies,

Sadly the time to say goodbye to the beautiful city of Budapest is drawing near. After almost twelve months, the time has come for us to pack our suitcases and complete the long haul journey back to Sydney.

It seems like only yesterday that my husband and I were packing up our house and travelling with our three young children to the other side of the world. It was a rather daunting and somewhat scary thing to do, but it was something we needed to do.

There are many things I am going to miss in and about this city, but there are many things I definitely won’t miss, like living in a 2 bedroom apartment with a family of five and constantly telling the kids not to run or stomp for fear of pi$$ing off the neighbours below us.

I also will not miss having to travel on public transport with three children. Despite the fact that the public transport in the city is very reliable and reasonably priced and the fact that there is no way I would ever want to drive in the city of Budapest, I do miss being able to jump in my car and pop to the grocery store without worrying how I was going to get all of the groceries home.

I’m also not going to miss the dog sh!t. I mean it’s not like the city is covered in canine fecal matter, but you definitely have to watch out, especially when you don’t have a car and walk a lot of places. A lot of people live in apartments in the city, so of course when their dogs needs to… you know… they have to take it for a walk, but if you choose to have a dog and live in an apartment then for goodness sake, pick up your dog’s crap!

I’m not going to miss the smell that almost every city has, I’m not going to miss the loud rumbling noise of the tram going past and I’m definitely not going to miss the dirt and dust that seems to permeate absolutely everything in the old building!

Yet, there many things I am going to miss from this city like the gorgeous view of the Danube River, Parliament and the Chain Bridge I have right outside the window! I’m going to miss the amazing food (but my pants will be thankful) and I’m going to miss the history. Australia is such a young country when compared to Europe and I revel in the rich and long history of this country. Each building, each street, even the trees tell a story, a piece of history to be marveled at and admired.

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I’m going to miss the castles, the manor houses and all the amazing architecture. I’m going to miss having front row seats for any fireworks or special events on the river Danube.

I’m going to  miss the way the lights of the Parliament shine on the feathers of the birds flying above at night, making them look magical like the glowing wings of fairies.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at home again and sleeping on a mattress that is actually on a bed instead of on the floor (I’m hoping my back will thank me for that one). I’m not looking forward to returning to the “real world” though and having to hold down a day job and do school drop-off and everything else!  I’m going to miss being able to stay up until some ridiculous hour of the morning writing, without having to worry about having to get up and work or get children ready for school the next day.

It’s time to start a new adventure, please be kind to me, world.

Budapest, you gorgeous city, I am going to miss you dearly. I will miss your beauty, your history, your inspiration.

I give thanks to the city of Budapest, for inspiring me to keep writing and to start József’s story. Being surrounding by the world of my characters has truly been an amazing experience, allowing me to immerse myself in their history and time and inspiring  my writing. My goal was to write a draft of József’s story in the form of a novel of 80,000 words. I am almost at the 80,000 word mark and their story is far from over, but I have finished the part of the story that is set in this beautiful city, now it’s time to explore the next setting of Sydney, luckily that’s where I’m heading.

And so now I say so long, farewell beautiful Budapest, I hope to experience your beauty again some day.

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

 

Wilder Than Fiction

Hello Lovelies,

It’s been just over a week since the world lost the magnificent Gene Wilder. Just over a week and it still doesn’t seem real.

Wilder had many iconic roles throughout his career, but his most memorable role for me was as Willy Wonka in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 

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“Pure Imagination” Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in the 1971 film. Image retrieved from Flickr CC user David Churbuck.

Wilder’s portrayal of Willy Wonka was fabulously eccentric and with so many quotable lines and memorable characters, in addition to Mr Wonka of course, it’s no surprise that this movie is still a favourite movie for many, including my own children.

Wilder was memorable in all of his roles, his presence, style and eccentricity were a trademark he brought to all of the characters he portrayed, as well as the depth of his feelings.

I regret I never saw the 1974 film The Little Prince as a child, but even watching it as an adult, I marveled at Wilder’s portrayal of the The Fox. The Fox showed the same depth of emotion Wilder brought to all of his characters, the characters he portrayed were real, because he brought them to life.

In recent years I have also seen many of Gene Wider’s comedic roles, especially the films with Richard Pryor such as See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Stir Crazy. In these roles we get the same remarkable eccentricity and emotion that we expect from Wilder, along with brilliant comedic timing.

What is even more amazing than Wilder’s film roles is the man himself and Gene Wilder was every bit as brilliant in his own life, you might say that the truth about Gene Wilder is Wilder Than Fiction, hence the title of today’s post!

In fact, when offered the role of Willy Wonka, Wilder accepted on one condition that they allow him to make some changes to Wonka’s entrance (you know the one when all the winners of the Golden Tickets, along with a huge crowd, are eagerly awaiting for Wonka himself to appear at the gates of the factory?) These conditions were granted and we now have one of the most memorable scenes from the movie, where Willy Wonka first limps out leaning heavily on a cane, for the cane to get stuck in the cobblestones, leaving Wonka falling forward to the ground upon realising this, only to turn the fall into a forward roll at the last minute. Here is where we glimpse the wilder than fiction greatness that was Gene Wilder.

Another glimpse into the wilder than fiction Gene was when he wrote a letter to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory director Mel Stuart, giving some advice on the costume design for his character,

 

July 23rd

Dear Mel,

I’ve just received the costume sketches. I’ll tell you everything I think, without censoring, and you take from my opinion what you like.

I assume that the designer took his impressions from the book and didn’t know, naturally, who would be playing Willy. And I think, for a character in general, they’re lovely sketches.

I love the main thing — the velvet jacket — and I mean to show by my sketch the exact same color. But I’ve added two large pockets to take away from the svelt, feminine line. (Also in case of a few props.)

I also think the vest is both appropriate and lovely.

And I love the same white, flowing shirt and the white gloves. Also the lighter colored inner silk lining of the jacket.

What I don’t like is the precise pin pointing in place and time as this costume does.

I don’t think of Willy as an eccentric who holds on to his 1912 Dandy’s Sunday suit and wears it in 1970, but rather as just an eccentric — where there’s no telling what he’ll do or where he ever found his get-up — except that it strangely fits him: Part of this world, part of another. A vain man who knows colors that suit him, yet, with all the oddity, has strangely good taste. Something mysterious, yet undefined.

I’m not a ballet master who skips along with little mincy steps. So, as you see, I’ve suggested ditching the Robert Helpmann trousers. Jodhpurs to me belong more to the dancing master. But once elegant now almost baggy trousers — baggy through preoccupation with more important things — is character.

Slime green trousers are icky. But sand colored trousers are just as unobtrusive for your camera, but tasteful.

The hat is terrific, but making it 2 inches shorter would make it more special.

Also a light blue felt hat-band to match with the same light blue fluffy bow tie shows a man who knows how to compliment his blue eyes.

To match the shoes with the jacket is fey. To match the shoes with the hat is taste.

Hope all is well. Talk to you soon.

All my best,

Gene

I think Gene Wilder was one of the only people who could get away with such a letter, accepting the role on his own conditions and then giving constructive criticism on the costume design.

We all know the magnificent person Gene Wilder became, actor or film and theatre, author, screenwriter and film director, but where did the magnificence of Gene Wilder begin?

Gene Wilder was born on the 11th of June, 1933 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as Jerome Silberman. He became interested in acting around the age of eight, when his mother was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and the doctor told him to try and make her laugh. Many things led to his desire to act, including seeing his sister, who was studying acting, performing on stage when he was eleven. With the support of his parents and encouragement from  teachers, Wilder went on to pursue his desire to become an actor, adopting the stage name of Gene Wilder at age 26. (Information retrieved from Wikipedia)

With a long list of film and theatre credits to his name, as well as his published writings, Wilder has left us his legacy. His loss is felt by those across the globe, but the gifts that he has left us will last forever. So far in 2016 we the world has suffered the loss of many great contributors to the Arts; writers, directors, actors, musicians and the list goes on.

Gene Wilder inspires a world of “pure imagination”, he was a man that was “wilder than fiction” and will be missed forever.

Thanks for the memories

gene wilder flickr cc alberto botella
Image retrieved from Flickr CC user Alberto Botella

 “Wilder than Fiction”

Gene Wilder

11.06.1933 – 29.08.2016

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