Always Greener?

Hello Lovelies,

Lately I’ve been re-watching the Australia TV series, “Always Greener”. It was made in the early 2000s, if I remember correctly and was sadly cancelled after only two seasons. I know what you’re thinking, I should be doing some substantial writing instead of binge-watching TV series on Telstra TV, but well…. I have no excuse really, but I will do some substantial writing soon, the self-guilt is getting to be too much. Anyway, I loved watching “Always Greener” during its original run and watching it again now is bringing back so many memories of my teenage years. In particular this one,

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This particular scene is where fourteen year old Kim is venting her frustration at her parents who, “just don’t understand”, whilst that is totally relatable for my teenage self, that’s not the reason I took a photo of my TV in excitement. I took this picture for a much more important reason… I totally had the same poster of David Boreanaz on my wall as a teen! This was before “Bones” when teenage girls lusted after David Boreanaz because he played the brooding, swoon-worthy, vampire with a soul, Angel (or Angelus, as any true fan knew that was his real name)…*sigh*

Now, besides lusting after my teenage crushes (for the record, David Boreanaz is still totally hot in my honest opinion), watching “Always Greener” also got me thinking.

I know, everything gets me thinking, welcome to my brain!

The phrase, “always greener” comes from the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. This saying highlights our human tendency to never be satisfied with our current situation and that others seem to have it better. Hence the idiom of coveting the grass on the other side of the fence as being greener than your own. Often, when we finally have the “greener grass” we coveted, we realise that we actually had it good in the first place and what we’ve left behind is what we really wanted.

Now I’d like to take a different perspective, what if the “greener grass” was the things we worked towards, the things in life we wanted and not because we wanted what everyone else had and we didn’t, but because it was what we wanted in life for ourselves.

Am I even making sense? I’m not sure anymore, but stay with me.

Each of us needs to find our “always greener” something to strive for to better ourselves, better our lives etc. Not something to strive for because someone else has it, but to strive for it because it’s what we want, because it’s our dream.

My aim this year is to figure out exactly what my “greener” is and to work towards it.

It is human nature to long for greener pastures, but it should be because it is for us, our family, because it is what we truly want and need, not because we want what someone else has, that’s when it backfires and we realise what we left behind was what we really wanted. That was a long sentence, but hopefully you get my point.

Look inside yourself to  find your “greener”, not over the fence. Then work towards it with everything you have.

Let’s make 2017 the year for each of us finding our “always greener”, perhaps “The Year of Chasing Dreams”.

 

Enjoy,

KK

 

© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2017). 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.

 

Breaking Down Obstacles

 

Hello Lovelies,

It’s always at this time of year that I tend to find myself feeling lost and without direction, not knowing what my next move should be. This feeling often leads to me becoming easily frustrated and annoyed (even more than usual). In one of my fits of annoyance at trying to get something done, something I can’t actually even recall now, my husband said this,

“When an obstacle is in front of you, don’t stand there looking at it asking, “What’s this?” Break it down and go after what you want.”

-Husband

No, he wasn’t quoting some philosophical figure. These were his words, pretty good from someone whose first language isn’t even English!

What he said really hit me and got me thinking, why do I even do that? When faced with an obstacle my first instinct is often to stop and go, “Wow look an obstacle” instead of breaking it down and figuring out how to overcome it. Sometimes the “figuring out” part comes later, but not always. Most often instead of doing the “figuring out” part, I tend to just find (or create) even more obstacles between myself and my goal.

So here I find myself on the morning of New Years Eve, feeling annoyed and frustrated with myself for not having written anything substantial since August. I’ve done a few poems, short stories and the children’s books I wrote for each of my children for Christmas, but I haven’t worked on József and Anna’s story in four months.

 When I consider I wanted to have the first draft completed in 2016, I feel as though I have completely let myself down. Since arriving back in Australia I’ve been busy unpacking and adjusting to living in the “real world” again, but these are all just excuses. Work, unpacking, the craziness of day-to-day life of course all of these things take away from potential writing time, but so does the downloading and reading of countless books on Kindle… which I am definitely guilty of in the last few months.

There are the obstacles that life throws your way and then there are the obstacles that you create yourself. I don’t know why I do this to myself. Yes it was a lot easier to stay up writing when I didn’t have to worry about school, work or anything else the following day, but all because there’s more obstacles between me and my writing, it doesn’t mean I need to stop writing. I just need to stop making excuses, break down the obstacles and write!

I know my husband wasn’t referring to my writing when he said the words above, but as I said, his words got me thinking. Instead of making excuses about why I haven’t written anything substantial in four months, I need to start being creative with ways that I can fit in some writing time. I’m already one of the world’s top procrastinators, so it doesn’t take me much to come up with totally legitimate (sounding) excuses to neglect my writing. At the end of the day though, it just leaves me feeling guilty, like I’ve let myself down, not something I really like feeling, come to think of it.

I’m not trying to tell you all that starting tomorrow there’ll be no more excuses, that I’ll face each obstacle with the strength and focus of a Viking sheildmaiden, breaking down each and every obstacle that lies in my path. No that’s not what I’m saying, that almost sounds like a New Year’s Resolution – and I don’t do that, we always end up breaking it by the 2nd of January anyway.

I’m not magically going to become a non-procrastinator just because I resolve to do so, we all know that will never happen. Instead I’m going to make myself a promise. A promise to try harder to find time to write, to try harder when going after what I want. Instead of focusing on the obstacles in my way, I’m going to try and figure out how to break down those obstacles and get to where I want to be. It might happen, it might not, but the point is I’m going to try.

Happy New Year everyone. May 2017 be the year you chase after what you want.

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.

A Visit from St. Nicholas

Hello Lovelies,

Apparently ‘Tis the season to be merry and Jolly Old St. Nicholas will soon be making his much anticipated appearance. So I’d thought I’d take this opportunity to reflect a little and even provide you all with some totally useless but interesting facts about perhaps one of the English speaking world’s most famous poems, “The Night Before Christmas” as my little gift to you.

“The Night Before Christmas” was first published anonymously in 1823 and was titled “A Visit from St. Nicholas. It wasn’t until over a decade later, in 1837 that Clement Clarke Moore was attributed with authorship of the poem. However, the authorship is still an ongoing debate amongst scholars, with some claiming there is evidence to suggest that the poem was written by Major Henry Livingstone Jr. This is an interesting debate, especially when you consider that authorship was attributed to Clement Clarke Moore fourteen years after it was originally published and nine years after the death of Henry Livingstone and it wasn’t until 1844 that Clement Clarke Moore acknowledged authorship by including it in his own book of poems. Also, Wikipedia cites more recent analysis of the poem stating,

In 2016, the matter was further discussed by MacDonald P. Jackson, an emeritus professor of English at the University of Auckland, a fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and an expert in authorship attribution using statistical techniques. He evaluated every argument using modern computational stylistics, including one never used before – statistical analysis of phonemes – and found in every test that Livingston was the more likely author.

(Read more on Wikipedia here and here).

Nowadays though, most people recognise the poem from it’s opening line, “‘Twas the night before Christmas…” which is where it’s current title is derived from, without giving thought to the author, which is a bit of a shame. However, what the imagery provided by the poem captures people’s imaginations, young and old, evoking the magic of Christmas even to this day.

Also, the names of Santa’s eight tiny reindeer are derived from the poem. Now commonly written as Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen, the names over the years (and in different publications of the poem) have differed slight in spelling. For example, Donner and Blitzen have also been written as Donder and Dunder (derived from “thunder” in German and Dutch) and Blixem and Blixen (derived from “lightning”). Interesting but useless information, right!

Now to move on to something different… In the lead up to Christmas, I have been listening to the Pentatonix Christmas album, “That’s Christmas to me.” The title track of this album is one of my absolute favourites and is an original Pentatonix song, which you can listen to here. I think my love of Pentatonix has rubbed off onto my children, as they can name all five members by only listening to them sing and describe pitch in relation to the vocal range of the members. Anyway, when listening to the words of this song, I was thinking what a great children’s book the lyrics would make, looking at the true meaning of Christmas. The song itself even prompted my children to discuss what Christmas really is. They’ve decided it’s not about presents even though they’re really nice), it’s not even about the food (although I really do like the food, perhaps a little too much according to my waist), they’ve decided it’s about being with the people you love. Maybe that’s just one other person, perhaps it’s a house full of people it doesn’t matter as long as you get to spend your Christmas with someone you care about.

What about those who don’t have someone to spend Christmas with you ask? People like mother-daughter team Cassidy and Linda Strickland of local charity Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands are setting their sights on rectifying that. Their annual “Christmas Day Get Together” provides a, “free lunch on Christmas Day with no strings, no questions and no judgement, for everyone to enjoy !!” (quoted from the HHH website, click here for more information).

So whether you celebrate Christmas or not, take the opportunity to spend it with your loved ones or perhaps to help those who would normally spend the holiday alone.

And don’t forget to read “The Night Before Christmas”/”A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clare Moore/Henry Livingstone Jr. Whatever the title, whoever the author just remember that the magic that is Christmas is all around, all you need to do is believe.

 

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.

 

 

Norbit – Comedy or?

Hello Lovelies,

Recently I saw the Eddie Murphy movie “Norbit”, I know I’m about nine years behind (with the movie being released in 2007) but there was nothing else on TV and as I watched, I found myself wondering whether it was Eddie Murphy’s intention to poke fun at domestic violence.

Now before you click close on your browser, I’m not about to get all preachy and say that everyone should boycott all Eddie Murphy movies because of this particular one. I enjoy an Eddie Murphy movie as much as the next person, however this movie did make me wonder about a few things.

If you’re not familiar with this movie, I’ll give you a brief summary. Norbit (Eddie Murphy) is abandoned as a baby at an orphanage run by a Chinese man (also Eddie Murphy). As a boy Norbit is very close to his fellow orphan (a girl named Kate, not played by Eddie Murphy). Norbit and Kate would have spent the rest of their childhood and lives together, but Kate is adopted and moves away.

Now comes in Rasputia (again played by Eddie Murphy) a girl very large for her age who protects Norbit from the bullies. Rasputia is very domineering and as adults they get married.

Now this is where the “interesting” part starts…

Rasputia is an extremely overweight, domineering and violent adult. As a wife to Norbit she is constantly belittling him, verbally abusing him and even forcing herself onto the timid Norbit in the bedroom. Later in the film, we also see Rasputia physically abusing Norbit, breaking him down both physically and emotionally, even confining him to the basement.

The movie isn’t abuse scene after abuse scene, there are plenty of the fat jokes and racist remarks you’d expect in an Eddie Murphy movie, but the abuse against Norbit is definitely there.

Now I’m one of those people who thinks political correctness is a bunch of bull$h!t and people are often just looking for something to be offended by. I mean, you can’t even describe a person’s appearance without being labelled a racist. The last thing I would expect from Eddie Murphy is for him or his movies to abide by the over-the-top political correctness rampant in society and I’m not saying I’m exactly offended by this movie. I’m just wondering what the point of depicting obvious spousal abuse in comedic light was.

If we take a step back from the “nanny state” for a minute, we can take a moment to consider the possible impact of this movie. When people think of domestic violence and spousal abuse, the immediate image that comes to mind is some low-life scum of a man beating on his wife. Whilst this unfortunately can be the case, with women being at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner (find more stats here), men also are the victims of domestic violence and abuse. Out of every three reports of domestic abuse, one of those is male. In Australia, the One in Three campaign aims to shed light on this often surprising statistic. (Find out more about the campaign by clicking here)

Now back to the movie. In the case of Norbit, his abuse is shown in a comedic light, it makes people laugh (which I’m not exactly encouraging), but could it also make people more aware that domestic violence against men is a thing?

If this is the case, then maybe that’s a good thing. However by showing Norbit’s plight in such a comedic manner, it is also taking away the importance and severity of the issue. Domestic violence against men IS a thing and the statistics only provide a glimpse of the severity of the issue. Men may also be less likely to report cases of domestic abuse, from fear of being labelled as wimps or as less of a man. The stigma is already there and the movie Norbit has the ability to further reinforce that idea.

If a woman says she has been raped, there’s outrage from all sides. If a man says the same, people doubt him (not the professionals, but people in general) some even go as far to say he should consider himself to be lucky.

Domestic and sexual abuse in any form, whether it be against men, women, children, the elderly, whatever, is NEVER okay.

So this is what I’m saying, the movie Norbit, whilst funny in some ways, does have the ability to reinforce the stigma surrounding domestic violence against men. Domestic violence against men IS a serious issue that needs to be spoken about, but not in a comedic way. I don’t think Eddie Murphy purposely went out to poke fun at a very serious issue, I honestly don’t think he even considered it as one and despite the issue of the movie depicting domestic violence against men in a comedic light, if it even makes one person wonder and become more aware that domestic violence against men is a real issue, then I say go ahead, watch the movie (even if it’s not that great). It’s just a movie, after all.

But never forget, in the real world domestic violence in any form is never okay.

-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.

 

Angry Adolescent

Hello Lovelies,

I know I promised you this post a week ago, but life, work and writing Christmas stories for my kids got in the way of blogging!

Here I am now though and I’m determined to share with you all, “something I prepared earlier.”

Something that’s always fun and interesting, even sometimes a little embarrassing and cringe-worthy is some of the items you come across when unpacking your house. The trip down memory lane is always full of mixed emotions and on this occasion I’ve come to this conclusion: I was an angry, moody a**hole adolescent.

I know what you’re thinking, we all go through the stage when we think are parents are jerks and can’t wait for the day when we’re old enough to do whatever we want. We envision adulthood as a time when we set our own bedtime, stay out as late as we want and eat whatever we want and if we don’t feel like cleaning our rooms, well we just bloody won’t!

You see, I found my old diary, you know the one where you write down all your angry and frustrated thoughts as a teenager every time you got pi$$ed off with your parents? Yea…. that one…

That particular diary made for a very interesting read, I must say! Every time I experienced some heightened emotion (anger, frustration, happiness, lust, confusion, uncertainty) I seemed to have written in my diary. Of course I’m not going to directly share anything from it, as I still consider them to be the private thoughts of my adolescent self, but besides looking back and thinking how much of a dingbat I was and how easy I had things back then, I also see how unsure and insecure I was.

I wanted to be treated as an adult and was frustrated if I wasn’t, but I was also unsure of myself and what I wanted. Even now, I often find myself feeling unsure of what my future holds and what direction I should take.

As a teenager our actions are influenced by and clouded with emotion, when we are adults we often attempt to influence our actions with logic and practicality. Neither of these on it’s own should be a basis for how we live our lives, however by blending emotion with logic we may very well stand a better chance of living a happy life.

So myself now as an adult, what is my direction?

My heart and emotion is telling me to write, to create, to explore but my practical and logical side is telling me that the bills aren’t going to stop piling up, just because I want to change my life direction. So, for now at least, I need to find a mixture of the two and I need to keep my day job and fit in writing whenever I can and keep on chasing the dream.

My days as an angry adolescent are not completely history, of course there are times when my emotions cloud my judgement and influence my actions, as they do with us all some times, but I’d like to think that with a bit of life experience behind me now, I am able to stand back and assess the situation better now, but I’m still trying to fine tune how to get the best of both worlds.

Here I am, the shadows of an angry adolescent breaking into the light of day occasionally, still trying to figure out which direction to go.

 

Wish me luck!

 

-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.

 

May I…?

Hello Lovelies,

These past couple of weeks I’ve been busy with work and family life, but also busy trying to find my direction in life.

With all of that, I’ve unfortunately had little time (or energy) for writing, even though my mind has been working overtime with all my ponderings.

Now I don’t consider myself to be a “Grammar Nazi”, I often make many mistakes and typos in my writing and even when I speak (I’m blaming the students, I hear how they speak and I think it’s rubbing off on me), but I am, however, able to recognise my mistakes and I do enjoy taking the “mickey” out of friends and family by pointing out their own errors, all in good fun, of course.

Now one particular thing I would like to discuss in this post is “Can I…?” versus “May I….?”

For example, when a student asks permission to go to the bathroom during class time, they will often phrase it as, “Can I please go to the bathroom?” rather than, “May I please go to the bathroom?”

When I am in the mood to confuse them a little, my response is usually, “I don’t know, can you?” when their request is phrased as, “Can I…?” You see, the first example raises questions of a person’s ability to complete the task they are attempting to request. The you of, “Can I..?” is not entirely incorrect and is perfectly acceptable in the English language, but  as I said, it can raise questions of ability.

“May I…?” is in fact a more formal style of request, therefore would not usually be expected from my students in the classroom, but it is fun to mess with their minds every now and then.

For more information about “May I…?” versus “Can I…?” be sure to check out this great post on Grammar Girl

As the post discusses, once upon a time “can” was used when discussing ability and “may” was used in regards to a  request for permission. However these days the two are used rather interchangeably.

Now, moving on to other things…

Even though my writing  of József and Anna’s story has taken a back seat at the moment, I’m currently in the process of writing a You Be the Illustrator! Personalised Children’s Story for each of my children for Christmas. This is one of the many products and services my new business Creative Freedom Freelance Writing Services is offering and I thought by creative one for each of my children, it would not only be a beautifully unique Christmas gift, but also a good way to play around with some ideas to offer clients. Each story will be a personalised children’s Christmas story featuring my children as main characters, as well as incorporating their own likes and interests into the story.

Writing shorter pieces of work is a good way to exercise those writing muscles and to experiment and explore different ways of writing. Whilst I normally write when an idea hits and then follow the characters on their journey, with the personalised children’s stories, there are so many things I need to incorporate into the story and I need to try and make it as seamless as possible, as if the details were meant to be there as part of the story rather than a tokenism of inclusion. To try and achieve this, each story is drafted and written for each specific child and it is not simply adding the details to an already written story template. So this can be a challenge, but definitely makes for a more unique and much better written story, in my opinion.

I’m hoping to get all three stories finished this week and arrange to get them illustrated and bound with some time to spare. So wish me luck, especially considering that Christmas is less than a month away now!

After all that is said and done, it will be time to move on with József and Anna’s story! I can’t wait to connect with them again and figure out the details of the amazingly daunting adventure they are about to set out on.

Until then,

I will no longer question my ability by asking, “Can I be a published writer?” nor will I ask permission by asking, “May I be a published writer?” I’m just going to keep moving forward, I’m going to keep writing and I going to grasp every opportunity with both hands.

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.

Chasing Inspiration

Hello Lovelies,

I know, I know, my posting schedule is still all over the the place, but this time I have a good excuse, I promise.

Last Sunday, instead of writing and uploading a new blog post as I was supposed to, I was busy chasing inspiration for the next part of József and Anna’s story.One of my best friends (the same one who’s help I sought to keep me on track) decided that seeing as though I was overseas when it was my birthday, that she owed me a birthday lunch and outing.

So Sunday was our girl’s day out and we decided to make the most of it and to chase some inspiration!

“If you wait for inspiration to write you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.

– Dan Poynter

That’s right, I said “chase”. You see, sometimes the inspiration hits us like a brick through a  window. Most of the time though we have to go out in search of it, chase it down and grab onto it with both hands.

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

-Jack London

So, last Sunday was my chance to chase a little inspiration in the city of Sydney, to immerse myself in the pieces of my characters’ world that still exist, over 100 years later.

Over the course of 100 years, so many things have changed in the city of Sydney and the city would now be almost completely unrecognisable to those who lived there a century ago. Yet, if you know where to look and if you look hard enough, there are quite a few small glimpses into the past.

I started my chase for inspiration in The Rocks, more specifically, at the Susannah Place Museum. This wonderful museum is located at 58-64 Gloucester Street, The Rocks and is a terrace of four houses built in 1844. The houses survived many changes in the area, including the “clean up” after the Bubonic plague and Spanish Influenza epidemic, as well as the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which resulted in many of properties in the area being demolished, in order to build the on-ramp for the bridge and so on.

The Susannah Place Museum, provides an amazing insight into a world since long gone. From 1844, when the houses were built, right up until the 1970s, Susannah Place transports us to different worlds, different times.

Photos taken with permission at the Susannah Place Museum, copyright Katherine A. Kovács 2016

With out knowing, we actually went to Susannah Place on quite a special day. Usually the museum is only accessed through guided tour each day at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm and the taking of photos is not usually permitted. However, last Sunday was an open day, where we were  pretty much allowed free reign of the museum, under the watchful eye of helpful museum staff positioned throughout the property and photos were very much allowed! The last time this occurred was over 2 years ago! So we definitely went on a good day.

I had come across Susannah Place when researching suitable locations when writing Thomas and Rose’s story (book two of the series). This book was then put aside in order to concentrate on József and Anna’s story. I am now up to a point though, when this location (that plays such a prominent role in the second book of the series) , actually makes its first appearance in the first book. I had seen a few photos of the museum and property, but there’s not too many of them out there. It would have mattered how many pictures I looked at though, nothing prepared me for the overwhelming wave of emotions that overcome me upon entering the property.

As soon as I walked in, I knew I was in the right place. Rooms I had never seen photos of before, were just as I had pictured them in my mind, I had seen my characters standing by one of the windows upstairs, looking out at the growing city. I had seen the wooden chest at the foot of their bed and the wicker baby basket next to them as their infant slept peacefully. I had stepped out of my world and for a brief moment I had entered theirs, the piano, the fireplace, the dresser, the brush, everything was just as I had imagined and the inspiration I was chasing, was mine to grab onto.

So don’t wait for inspiration to strike, get out there and chase it, grabbing onto it with both hands and never letting go.

I can’t wait to chase some more inspiration in the coming months, look out Holsworthy Army Barracks, Q-Station Manly and the other houses and museums of Sydney Living Museums, I’m coming for you!

 

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.

Egyszer Volt, Hol Nem Volt – Once Upon a Time

Hello Lovelies,

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found a lot of things I had completely forgotten I even had whilst unpacking. Some of the things hold many fond memories, others are useful and some other things evoked the response, “Why the heck did I keep that for?!” Seriously, why on earth did I have around twenty copies of of wedding mass booklet? Yes, for the memories and sentimental value, but surely one is enough, right?

Anyway, moving on. Another awesome thing I found in the midst of unpacking and sorting through things was a story I wrote in Year 6, at around the age of ten or eleven. I remember the writing task clearly, of aim was to take a well-known fairly tale and reverse it, so the good guys were the bad guys in the story and vice versa.

With this in mind, my primary school self wrote “The Three Bad Pigs vs. the Small Kind Wolf” and I’d like to share it with you now in all of it’s bad punctuation, spelling and grammar glory.

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It’s not a story without an awesome title page, stenciled lettering and everything! Image copyright Katherine A. Kovács
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The story in all of its messy writing, spelling errors, grammatically incorrect glory! Image copyright Katherine A. Kovács.

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Here’s the full transcript, in case it’s too hard to read in the above image.

Once upon a time there lived a very small wolf. When he was 19 he moved out of home. The wolves mother warned him, “Beware of the 3 bad pigs.” Then the wolf went off to build his house. While he was walking along he came by some straw, he said, “I shall build my house of straw.” The straw house was finished by sundown and the wolf went to bed. During the night guess what happened…. The 3 bad pigs came into the wolves house and put tacks all over the floor and when he woke up he stood on the tacks and yelled his head off. Then the wolf decided to make a stronger house made of sticks, so he did. When the wolf was finished he had dinner and went to bed. Then when the wolf was fast asleep dreaming about his girlfriend, the 3 bad pigs crept into his new stick house and this time they put mouse traps all over the floor and they left. Later during the night the wolf was still dreaming about his girlfriend and he fell out of bed and landed on the mouse traps he screamed and yelled his head off. Then the 3 bad pigs opened the door and said, “Ha Ha.” Then one poked his tongue out. The wolf said, “It’s those stupid pigs.” Then he yelled out, “keep out you stupid pigs.” The next morning after breakfast the wolf made a house of bricks and he phoned the locksmith to keep the pigs out. Then that night the pigs tried to get into the wolves house but couldn’t. Then they saw the chimney and decided to climb down it. One of the pigs said, “Wow I feel like Santa Ho, Ho merry Christmas.” The smart wolf put a pot of water over the fire to boil. Then the pigs fell K, SPLASH! into the pot. Then the wolf sang, “Whose afraid of the 3 bad pigs, the 3 bad pigs, the 3 bad pigs. Whose afraid of the 3 bad pigs tra la la la la la.” Then the cops came and took the pigs away.

THE END

I think it was a pretty good effort for a kid still in primary school, illustrations and everything! Although can some please teach primary school me a little more about apostrophes of possession and contractions? Also, who needs paragraphs, am I right?!

Even the teacher liked it I suppose, because the only constructive feedback I got, as you can see, was to improve my handwriting.

“Katherine a very funny ending to the 3 pigs. Neater writing would have increased your marks. 7.5/10”

– The Teacher

Although for a child who was ambidextrous and had low muscle tone in my hands,  I think that the fact that my writing is completely legible when being forced to write in cursive was an absolute miracle!

Now let’s talk about the title of today’s post, “Egyszer Volt, Hol Nem Volt” is the Hungarian equivalent of “Once Upon a Time”. Of course like most things though, it doesn’t directly translate as exactly that, but it’s the Hungarian equivalent of the common phrase used at the beginning of many much-loved fairy tales.

In keeping that in mind, here I have another story for you….

Once upon a time, in a land not very far away, there was a little girl who loved to tell stories. She would tell stories to her mother, she would tell them to her father, she would tell them to her baby brother. Basically she would tell her stories to anyone that would listen. Sometimes she would even write them down, so she could read them later on over and over again, because she loved to read stories as well. Perhaps even as much as she loved telling them.

Somewhere along the way though, the little girl grew up. As the world began to change around her, she began to forget how much she loved to tell stories. The little girl was now a young lady, she still enjoyed to create stories in her mind and to create worlds and music and things, but her days of storytelling seemed to get further and further away.

The young lady grew into a woman and work and everything else began to take over. She felt lost and unsettled, as though she were trapped in a strange world, her future uncertain.

For many years she tried to find her way back to her stories, reaching towards them with an outstretched hand, but they were just out of her reach. Then one day she awoke from a dream, filled to the brim with words, worlds, characters and stories just waiting to break free.

Then she tentatively reached out towards her stories again, first with just one hand and then with both hands and before they could slip away from her again, she grabbed at the words, worlds, characters and stories and grasped them close to her. Then vowed to never again live through the days without stories that she had been living those years.

She embraced the writer within.

Of course there were times in the years without stories that a glimpse of one would make its way to the surface. Where beginnings were made and worlds began to form, reminding her of her love of stories, but nothing was ever finished and the worlds and words would slip away again.

Now though, she vowed that things would be different. If she ever felt lost, unsettled and uncertain, she knew what to do to find her way again. She would reach out, always with both hands and pull the words, stories, worlds and characters close to her once more and let them show her the way.

 

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.

My Boys

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Image courtesy of Flickr CC user gerry – source

Hello Lovelies,

A thousand apologies for my erratic posting schedule lately. Things have been hectic beyond words, but I am trying my darndest to get back on track and hopefully now that I have finished my library/office space I will be able to get back into it and tackle the world of writing head-on once more.

Today I have a bit of a reflective sort of post for you all. You see, last weekend was my middle boy’s 6th birthday and tomorrow will be my youngest boy’s 4th birthday and here I am sitting in front of the computer trying to figure out where on earth all the time has gone.

No matter how many years fly by, even if I wake one day to find that my babies are now grown and have babies of their own, they will forever and always be my babies. My boys will be My Boys and my girl will be My Girl (a great movie, but not what I’m talking about here). The bond between mother and child is often the strongest bond there is, but there’s something different about the bond between mother and son. We are the first woman they will ever love, the woman that they will compare all others to, I only hope that I can live up to the hype.

Even though there is two years difference between my boys, they are similar in many ways, not just in their appearance. They are each other’s best friend and one seems to be slightly lost without the other, especially now that the middle one has started kindergarten.

Yes, they are quite similar, but on the other hand they are two completely different people. My middle boy loves to solve puzzles, to figure out the answer to the problem and to analyse the situation. He can be sensitive and sweet, but only shows affection to those he is very close to. He can be confident, even in front of a crowd, but is also very stubborn. He likes when things are either right or wrong, so much so that he has the tendency to “freak-out” and be overwhelmed when required to explore his creative side in areas such as art or music.

They both look up to their big sister, often turning to her for help or advice (even if it results in misinformation) and most of the time, they enjoy simply being in each other’s company.

My youngest boy is quite a character, he is the clown of the family who has the ability to change the mood of a room from somber to hysterics in a mere moment. He can cry at the drop of a hat is things don’t go his way, but it’s all an act because as soon as it changes he stops crying just as quickly as it began. He enjoys exploring the world around him through the eyes of his alter egos Swokie and Xanagog. Don’t ask me how he came up with these two characters have been around for quite a while, with Swokie being the first to appear. Swokie is an outgoing, rough and tumble sort of character who can be quite cheeky at times and hides his sensitive side behind his rough exterior, where as Xanagog is more reserved alien sort of character (not alien as in little green man, alien more like a Star Trek of Star Wars character) who is very inquisitive. I’m been informed that I am invited to the premiere of my youngest’s first movie titled, “Swokie, the Goodest Bad Guy” so be sure to keep an eye out in the cinema for this box office hit in around twenty years or so!

Whatever the future holds for my boys, I just want them to be happy, to know that they are loved unconditionally and whether or not my youngest becomes the movie star he desires or my middle boy becomes the scientist or engineer I believe him destined to be, doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are happy, loved and respected, being whoever they are supposed to be, whoever they wish to be.

Be yourself and you can be whoever and whatever you want to be.

So to my boys (and my girl), know that I love you. Always, forever and unconditionally. Let your light shine and shine brightly in the world of your creation.

Embrace you.

Embrace life.

Embrace happiness.

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.

Reality Returns

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Image courtesy of Flick CC user Jean L. Source

Hello Lovelies,

After a little over two weeks back in the Land Down Under we have very much returned to reality. The reality of school drop-off, working and everything else that comes with the day-to-day life of a family of five.

Our time in Budapest now seems like it was a lifetime ago, but it has only been a couple of weeks and the reality of being back has really started to set in. It’s not all bad though, I am definitely enjoying being back in our house and being able to cook in a pot large enough to prepare a proper meal for a family of five. Oh and driving my car again, let’s not forget the car! Shout out to my baby brother (who’s not really a baby but will always be my baby bro) for charging the battery and servicing the car after it sat in the garage for a year!

The task now that we have now returned to the real-world, is returning to some sense of normalcy. Lately things have been so hectic and we still have so much unpacking to do, that some days I’m not sure whether I am coming or going! This has caused not only a whirlwind of craziness for the entire family, but also has wreaked havoc on my writing schedule. I failed to even get anywhere near last month’s goal of 8,000 words and I doubt I will get much done this month as well, especially when considering that we are already over halfway through October. I will definitely have a lot of catching up to do when things settle down a little, but I have so many plans and ideas.

The good thing about moving back into the same house is that you have the opportunity to change things up a bit. This time around, I’m devoting one of the bedrooms as a library/writing room, with three large bookshelves lining one wall, with plenty  just enough room for all of my books (until I buy more of course!) and also a desk to be able to actually sit and write. At the moment though, with all the unpacking, you can’t see much of the floor in that particular room but it’s definitely going to be my little sanctuary once it’s all done.

So the return of reality brings mixed emotions, I will always cherish our Budapest adventure and miss the time we spent there, but I also am appreciating being back in our home and the little things we missed while we were away. The whole working, waking up to alarms thing though can take a hike! So, if someone wants to offer me a seven-figure writing contract or something like that, feel free to contact me!

Until then, reality has definitely returned, so best to enjoy the little things!

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.