Great Loves

Kumar's edit valentine pic Flickr CC
Image courtesy of Flickr CC user Kumar’s Edit

Hello Lovelies,

For this week’s post I thought I’d share with you some of the great loves of my life, in honour of it being Valentine’s Day.

So in no particular order, here is a list of my life’s great loves:

  • My Husband: for some reason, I thought I’d better include my husband as a part of this list, just in case he happens to reads my blog one of these days. Imagine the size of the doghouse I’d be in if I didn’t include my significant other on a list of great loves. So, what is it I love about him? I don’t think I could really tell you exactly what it is that makes me want to love him. It’s a combination of things, I suppose, like his good looks, muscular physique and super hot Hungarian accent (I may or may not be trying to get some brownie points here), as well as everything we have been through together. I love it when he speaks Hungarian to be by accident, even though I don’t always understand what he is saying. Anyone who tells you that French is the “language of love” is surely mistaken or obviously has not had someone speak Hungarian to them before. I also love to made fun of him when he mispronounces English words (sorry, but it is quite funny). Luckily he is kinder than  I am and he doesn’t laugh when I mispronounce Hungarian words (which is quite often). Oh and he also used to be a baker, so that leads to my next great love….
  • Food: No matter how often I say I am going to eat “healthy” and lose the baby weight (my youngest is now 3!), I still end up eating every delicious morsel of food in sight. I really do want to be good and eat healthier, but I just cannot resist the apple pie begging me to eat it or the delicious kürtöskalács calling to me at the metro station. Luckily we have been walking a lot while we’ve been in Budapest, because otherwise I think I would have to be rolled down the street and I don;t think I would be able to climb the four flights of stairs up to our apartment, there really is too much delicious food in Hungary. After eating and walking around Budapest, we come to my next great love….
  • Nap Time: I am not a morning person at all, seriously don’t talk to me before 10 am unless you want me to stab you in the eye with an ice pick. I am very much a night person and can quite easily stay up until the wee-hours of the morning. However when one stays up until the wee-hours of the morning but then has a 3 year old and 5 year old waking up at 7:30 in the morning (the 8 year old will sleep until you literally drag her out of bed), nap-time is one of my most favourite times of day, the only problem is the kids don’t always cooperate, only the 3 year old will sometimes have a nap with me…
  • My children: “Have kids,” they said, “It’ll be fun” they said. It’s not always fun and games being a mother of three children, it’s stressful, exhausting and sometimes you pretend to go to the toilet just for a moment’s peace. It doesn’t work though, they tend to follow you in and ask what you’re doing, to which my answer is, “What does it look like I’m doing?” Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change anything for all the money (or food) in the world, but it’s not as easy or “fun” as some people think. All the worry, frustration and exhaustion melts away though when your three year old says, “I yub (love) you mummy” or when you see the excitement on their faces when you give them something as seemingly insignificant as a balloon. No be a mother of three is not always easy, but it is worth every sacrifice, every moment of frustration and every ounce of exhaustion for the unconditional love between parent and child.
  • Writing: Yes, of course writing is on the list. Although writing is one of my great loves, writing is kind of similar to being a parent of three children; it’s exhausting, frustrating and stressful, but it’s still worth it. Creating and exploring new worlds, new characters, new times. Nothing beats the feeling you get from exploring and creating, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you finish another chapter, another scene. Yes, writing is one of my great loves, but it still doesn’t stop procrastination from rearing it’s ugly time wasting head!
  • My Family:  Besides my husband and children, I have quite a large family. I only have one brother but now he has his own little family which includes my 8 month old nephew, so our overall family is always getting bigger. They say you can choose your friends but not your family so I guess I’m stuck with them (or they’re stuck with me) for better or for worse, hahaha. My family are also some of my biggest supporters. Some may have noticed that my mum and grandmother are among my top commenters on this blog and my dad (who’s a self-confessed non-reader, unless it’s some sort of instruction booklet) has read the first few chapters of An Anguished Heart and then enjoyed it so much he has even offered to help proof read it. So I guess they must love me at least a little and I suppose I love them too, most of the time anyway.
  • My Friends: Like I said above, you can choose your friends but not your family and the friends I have are also like family, they may have chosen to be friends in the beginning but after more than twenty years I think it’s safe to say they’re more like family… and they’re stuck with me! One friend in particular, who I’ve spoken about quite a few times on this blog, has always been my number one supporter when it came to my creative pursuits and she is now my newly recruited butt-kicker when it comes to getting me to meet my monthly word count. I was significantly behind for this month’s word-count, but after she read last week’s post she quickly sent me a butt-kicking email which then resulted in me writing 3,000 words in one sitting as well as some research and additional hand-written notes. So thanks for that butt-kicking BFF!

There you have it, some of my great loves, there’s more but I think I’ve already bored you all enough. I might try and get a little closer to my word-count goal instead.

Wishing you all a happy Valentine’s Day!

Be sure to tell (and show) your loved ones you care, but don’t be like the couple my eight year old spotted in the park.  The couple who were kissing quite “passionately” shall we say, in broad daylight, with kids running around. Because apparently that is “yucky” and kids don’t want to see that, they just want to get to the playground without being scarred for life.

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.

Déjà vu – I’ve Been Here Before

Hello Lovelies,

Have any of you ever had the feeling that you have been somewhere before, but there is no way that you could have?

This is the feeling I get in our new amazing apartment we moved to on Tuesday. After a busy day packing, cleaning and moving, my husband and I sat down at the antique dining table in our new apartment, feeling thoroughly exhausted but happy and content. My husband turned to me and asked me, “I have this feeling like I have been here before, I mean, I feel like I have lived here before, but I’ve never lived in this district before.” I guess he was describing a feeling of déjà vu and what is even more strange is I was having the exact same feeling, I felt it the first time we walked through the door to view the apartment and I felt it even more sitting at the table that night.

Antique Detail. Photo copyright The Writer Within 2015.
Antique Detail. Photo copyright The Writer Within 2015.
Antique Detail. Photo copyright The Writer Within 2015.
Antique Detail. Photo copyright The Writer Within 2015.
Antique Detail. Photo copyright The Writer Within 2015.
Antique Detail. Photo copyright The Writer Within 2015.

I know it can’t possibly be true, but I feel as though I have lived in this apartment before, not now though, not even a short time ago. I feel as though I lived here, a very long time ago. The building was new then, the view still amazing.

The view by night. Photo copyright The Writer Within 2015.
The view by night, Parliament House. Photo copyright The Writer Within 2015.
The view by night. Photo copyright The Writer Within 2015.
The view by night, Széchenyi “Chain” Bridge . Photo copyright The Writer Within 2015.

I know this can’t be possible, perhaps I feel this way because this is where we are supposed to be, but perhaps there is also another reason, one that I possibly shouldn’t even consider as I was raised as Catholic (reincarnation perhaps).

I spoke last week of the way that the apartment inspired me and how I began forming József’s story without even consciously trying. (If you missed it, you can read last week’s post here.) Perhaps this apartment is more than just inspiring for my writing, perhaps there is some sort of connection.

I know the feeling of déjà vu, is not particularly uncommon and it is something that people often describe, however when two people have the same feeling, there has to be something to it right? I can’t help but believe that I have been here before or perhaps I am connected with the people who came before in some way.

Whatever the connection might be, I’m not going to question it, I’m just going to embrace it. Whatever it is, it is doing wonders for the writer within, I am thinking and imagining more clearly than I have in months. I have even began writing and researching for my latest WIP. Those of you who right, will know and appreciate the simply amazing feeling of writing again and of making progress with something you’ve had to put on hold for quite some time.

Whilst I’m not writing thousands of words each day (hopefully that will come later), I am making progress each day either researching or finding out some of the finer details about the character. It truly is a wonderful feeling to be writing again.

So now I head off to enjoy my view a little more.

Enjoy your week and write when you can.

-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.

Dare to Dream

Hello Lovelies,

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to Disney on Ice (thanks mum) and the theme of this year’s show was “Dare to Dream”. All of those Disney princess stories got me thinking, I know in the real world we won’t always have the perfect “happily ever after” but it’s still perfectly ok to have dreams and big ones at that! The moment we stop dreaming and stop trying to pursue those dreams, is the moment that we cease to exist. Without dreams and aspirations, we have nothing to strive for, nothing to work towards.

It’s important to have big dreams and aspirations and to pursue them, no matter how ridiculous those around you think they are.

“Every idea, both good and bad will definitely have an opposition. The fact that someone mocks your ideas and dreams does not mean they are bad. Take note!”
Israelmore Ayivor

Even if your dream doesn’t turn out in the end or you realise along the way that it was perhaps a bit silly, at least you dared to dream and don’t ever let anyone take away your ability to dream big. If a little girl told you that she dreams of being the world’s greatest prima ballerina, would you tell her that the chances of her dream coming true were so small it wasn’t even worth trying? No, you would encourage her dream, tell her what a beautiful ballerina she would make and so on, even. Why is it then, that when teenagers or adults dare to dream big, those around them offer a certain amount of opposition to that dream?

My big dream (besides the health and happiness of my family of course) is to perhaps one day be a published author. I don’t know if I will be self-published or what and I know it will probably be years in the making, if ever. However that doesn’t stop me from working my way towards my dream. I know that with each step I take with my writing, each small goal and tiny achievement brings me that little bit closer to achieving my big dream.

One of my dreams has also been to see snow fall. You see, it doesn’t snow where I live or where I grew up and while I have seen snow a few times before, it was always after the snow had fallen and had already formed a white blanket over the ground. Even when I visited Budapest in the middle of winter, it was the only Christmas in fifty-something years that it didn’t snow heavily (just my luck!) My children also have never seen snow in real life, snow is something they associate with “daddy’s country” but today we got a real treat. Apparently a “cold blast” from the Antarctic is making it’s way across Australia, so a couple of hours drive up the mountains near my house were predicted to have snow-fall. So out came the thickest winter jackets we own and up the mountains we went. It wasn’t enough to blanket the ground quite yet, but we actually saw snow falling from the sky!! I know that to many people this is not a big deal, but there’s something about seeing snow fall for the first time that turns people of any age to skipping, over-excited four-year-olds!

My two oldest kiddies catching snow flakes. Photo copyright Katherine A. Kovacs -The Writer Within 2015
My two oldest kiddies catching snow flakes. Photo copyright Katherine A. Kovacs -The Writer Within 2015

So with one dream achieved today, here’s to working towards the others!

Stay warm and 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.

Let’s Talk About…. er… Intimate Relations

Hello Lovelies,

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about some of the places in the world that I would like to see, that list included the Scottish Highlands (if you missed that post you can read it here). One of the reasons that the Scottish Highlands was included in my list is because one of my good friends introduced me to the TV series Outlander, knowing that the books that inspired the series have been on my to-be-read list for quite some time.

Over the last few days, I found myself with a little bit of time and decided to actually start reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, the first book of the Outlander series and it is everything I had hoped it would be! Diana Gabaldon is an absolutely amazing writer and I can’t wait to work my way through the series, which has eight books so far with a ninth book being written right now, not to mention Diana’s other works which build on the stories of some of the secondary characters in the Outlander series.

As I make my way through the first book in the series, not only have I noticed and admired the quality of Diana’s writing, but also the way in which she describes the more… intimate scenes in the book. It’s no secret that the Outlander series (both the book series and the TV series) contains… well… sex, but there’s something I noticed about the way in which Diana describes these more intimate scenes which I’ll discuss in a moment.

Image courtesy of Flickr CC George Duncan
Image courtesy of Flickr CC George Duncan

Unless you have been living under a rock, most of you will be familiar (or at least heard of) E.L James’ Fifty Shades series and the subsequent hype and apparent disappointment of the film. Whilst I think that E.L James’ writing style leaves a lot to be desired, the story of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey showed some small amount of promise. However, the relationship of the two main characters was built around their sex lives and the rest of the story built upon that. This is similar to many other contemporary romance novels, such as those by Sylvia Day, Meredith Wild and J. Kenner (although these writers are in a totally different class compared to E.L James). In these contemporary romances, the relationship between the characters revolves around their sex lives and the emotions that develop. Every element of “intimacy” is described in every sordid detail from the beginning to the “happy ending” and whilst sometimes that may be a good thing, other times it’s not really what the story needs in order to develop. I mean, that’s all well and good for the genre that these books are in and the stories the writers wish to tell, but it’s not right for every romance story and it’s especially not right for Thomas and Rose’s story.

You see, I’ve been battling with the idea of including some of the more intimate details of Thomas and Rose’s relationship as it develops not only throughout Lonely Hearts, but also throughout the rest of the series. I feel that by acknowledging these aspects, the readers will understand the develop of their relationship and it also adds another level of emotion for the characters. I’ve come to the conclusion that whilst it is essential to acknowledge the degree intimacy that develops between Rose and Thomas, as it shows the develop of their relationship, it is not something that needs to be described in explicit detail.

***Possible spoiler alert*****

This is similar to my experience so far of Jamie and Claire’s relationship in Outlander, even though their relationship takes a natural development leading to… intimate relations, it is not the defining aspect of their relationship. The particular scenes I’m referring to are (so far) dealt with quite tastefully without the need to describe every sordid and explicit detail. The scenes are there, there’s no mistaking that Jamie and Claire are intimate, but some of the finer details of the particular encounters are tastefully left out. I know I am only part-way through the first book and this may very well change and I’m fine with that, however it has given me something to consider in my own writing – that it is possible to write about intimate encounters between characters without it defining the characters’ relationship or the book itself. I don’t want Thomas and Rose’s story to be one of those books that people flick through to simply read the “naughty bits”. It happened with Fifty Shades and I’m sure Google would be able to find similar lists for other books as well, but this is not the type of story that is Thomas and Rose’s. Sure there might be romance, maybe even love, but it is not what their story is truly about. With the help of Jozsef, Rose gets through each day but she feels the darkness of her past constantly at her heels trying to pull her down, she sees things that others don’t, including the shadows surrounding Thomas. Thomas has his own darkness and in some ways it feels similar to Rose’s but also very different.

So, as I head off to add some more questions in my notebook about Thomas and Rose’s story, it seems that it is possible to write about “intimate relations” without it defining your characters or story.

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.

I’ve Seen the Sun

Hello Lovelies,

In last week’s post, Sunshine on a Cloudy DayI promised that there was sunshine to be found in every day, sometimes though we had to look a little harder to find it. Well over this last week, I have seen glimpses of the sun and it wasn’t as hard to find as I thought it would be.

After writing last week’s post my nephew was born that night and let me tell you he is definitely a ray of sunshine in this world! I was also able to get back into writing something besides literature reviews and essays. I didn’t get a huge amount of writing done but it still felt so good to be able to write again. It was like meeting up with a good friend, no matter how much time has passed since you last spoke, you still knew what they were thinking and feeling. It was wonderful to be able to begin making those changes I have been wanting to make to Lonely Hearts and begin to reinstate the element of surprise, something that has been weighing on my mind over the last month or so.

Image created using WordItOut.com
Image created using WordItOut.com

This past week I have also gotten a few more followers on Twitter, WordPress and a couple of likes on FB too!

While there have still been quite a few clouds hanging around, I’m determined to focus on the positive and on seeing the sunshine in each and every day.

Finally, as I had hoped, I have a small excerpt from Lonely Hearts to share with you all, remember it is still only the first draft so be kind.

Don’t forget to see the sun in each and every day, not matter how many clouds are hanging around. Let me know on Twitter @WriterWithin_KK, on Facebook or by commenting on this post, what has your sunshine been this week?

Enjoy,

KK

I recognised an attempt to change the topic when I saw one, but he was right, I did need to rest and I was too worn out to question him. Tomorrow, after some sleep, I would find out what he was hiding from me. For the moment though, I felt exhausted, József was here to watch over me and as I looked up at Thomas I saw the weariness in his eyes. No matter how much I longed for him to stay and keep my darkness at bay, I knew I needed to let him rest as well as myself,

“Will you be here with me when the police come for my statement?” I asked, knowing that I would need the support of the both of the strong men in my life to get through it.

Thomas finally looked into my eyes, his emerald coloured eyes looking deep into mine, “Of course I will be here, I will always be here when you need me. In case you haven’t noticed, I find it impossible to stay away from you, even if I know I should.”

“Then don’t.”

© 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.

Oops, I Did it Again!

Hello Lovelies,

Well, what can I say?

It’s not my fault!

I didn’t mean to, honestly.

I didn’t do it on purpose, I swear!

If I had of known I would have done something about it…. maybe.

No matter what the excuse, it seems that I have left yet another uni assignment until the last minute, however this time it was completely unintentional and not my usual procrastination that has caused this.

You see, with everything that has been going on lately, I feel as though I have been living in a crazy world of my own. In this world I thought that the assignment in question was due on the 20th of May, when in actual fact it’s due on the 8th.

So, it seems this has been a month of very little writing unfortunately. The most frustrating thing is though, I’ve finally figured out what I was doing wrong with Thomas and Rose’s story (see last week’s post) and I have endless things I want to add to their it.

I’ve written before about when I started my masters degree, I was feeling a little lost at the time thought it was the right thing to do to extend myself. Now though more than ever, I feel as though it is the main thing holding me back from what I really need, no, what I really want to do -which is to write.

Even though I feel this way, I am so close to the finish line with this degree that I simply cannot bring myself to quit now, otherwise all of that hard work and hours of reading academic articles and research was all for nothing.

So, I have two assignments left this semester (which I now have the correct due dates for) and then I can hopefully get a sh**load of writing done before my FINAL semester. It’s so close I can almost taste the finish line, but not quite.

Now if I ever have this bright idea for further post-graduate studies, make sure you give me a good slap, unless it’s a writing course.

So, sorry about the short post again lovelies, but as you can see I’ve got a deadline and this time it’s not a self-imposed one that I can bend a little.

Now I’m off to research some issues in relating to wellbeing and inclusive education in schooling in order to write a 2,300 word literature review, then a 1,000 word response to a peer’s literature review by Friday.

Wish me luck!

-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.