Don’t Wait for Claps

clap flickr Igor R
Image courtesy of Flickr CC user Igor R.

Hello Lovelies,

I’m still struggling to find my way lately. Struggling to find the motivation and procrastinating as much as humanly possible.

There’s a saying that my husband has, that has been playing over in my mind lately,

“Don’t wait for claps.”

– The Husband

Sometimes we need external motivators to get things done or we wait to do things because it is “too hard” and we think we need help. The truth is though, we are sitting there waiting for claps, for our own personal cheer squad to build us up and bring us home, to go the hard yards for us or at least hold our hand along the way.

Not everyone has their own personal cheer squad though, not everyone has someone there to hold their hand and handle the tough stuff for them. If you do, then that’s awesome, good for you, but it’s not necessary to success.

Be your own bloody cheer squad, don’t wait for claps!

When you go out on your morning run (or do your two minutes on the treadmill) and are spurred on by the clapping sound resonating around you, don’t be disheartened when you realise it’s your own thighs clapping together. No, don’t get down on yourself, own it! Your own body is cheering you on!

When you’re trying to work through a spot of writer’s block and you hear a slow clap begin and starting to build momentum, making you think you’re finally getting somewhere. Don’t feel let down when you realise it’s just your pen tapping rhythmically on the desk. No, let it spur you into action, because that’s you, cheering yourself on to keep going, to keep pushing through.

You don’t need your own personal cheer squad, you don’t need somewhere there to hold your hand and take care of the “hard stuff”.

Sure it would be nice, but you don’t NEED it.

Don’t wait for claps, because YOU’VE got this!

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.

 

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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.

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

 

Stormy Nights and Rainy Days

storm flickr cc Dick Sijtsma
Image courtesy of Flickr CC user Dick Sijtsma

Hello Lovelies,

I am again appreciating another bout of rain and mild storms brings some relief to the heat. It may have only been around 32 degrees Celsius or so, but in a small apartment with five people living together, it does get a little suffocating at times, even without the heat.

I do like a good storm, watching Mother Nature lashing the ground with rain, the sound of thunder rumbling in the distance (or closer) and the sudden flash of lightning crossing a cloud darkened sky.

Endless days of rain or rain when you have to head out somewhere or something can be annoying, I’ll admit, not to mention flash flooding and other sorts of natural disasters this type of weather can bring. Yet most of the time I enjoy this kind of weather and love going for walks in the rain, marveling at the beauty created and the creatures that come out of their hiding places, also enjoying the weather.

It is also my favourite time to write, something about stormy and rainy weather calms me and inspires me and I will often reach for one of my notebooks (you can never have too many notebooks) to jot down a few words or even pages of words as I let the inspiration flow through me.

Yes, there is definitely something about stormy nights and rainy days that gets me into a writing mood. It gets me thinking, planning and creating. I don’t know what it is but I’ll take inspiration any way it comes, whether that be in the shower, when I’m doing the dishes, trying to sleep or during a storm. You don’t always need to be inspired to write, but when the inspiration does come it makes writing so much easier, the words flow and the story, characters and ideas seems to come from out of nowhere.

I still have around 6,000 words to write for this month’s quota, hopefully this stormy weather sticks around for a bit longer, it will definitely make things easier. You see, I’ve been struggling to make progress on chapter 22 in An Anguished Heart, I know exactly where the plot is heading (for a bit of a huge plot twist actually!) but I was having trouble trying to figure out how to get there, it was like a setting, a location was missing. That’s when it hit me, it was a location that should have been introduced earlier, with another section of plot I had left out between chapters 16 and 17. Now I am in the progress of filling in this gap so I am able to move forward with the story.

For now though, here’s a few words inspired by the current weather conditions.

Enjoy,

KK

Stormy Nights and Rainy Days

Stormy nights and rainy days

This is where I choose to stay

A blackened sky filled with clouds

And the thunder cracking, rumbling loud 

The rain is falling from the sky

The lightning striking low then high

This wild weather calms me so

Why this is, I just don’t know

Perhaps it’s the rhythm of the rain

Beating on the window pane

What it is doesn’t matter to me

Because stormy nights and rainy days is where I want to be

© 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.

Inspiration- Like a Brick Through a Window

Hello Lovelies,

If you have “liked” my page on Facebook, you might have seen I was struck by inspiration again in the early hours of the morning. This time it was a definite ‘hit’, like a brick through a window, it literally was a brick that inspired me, but thank goodness it did not actually go through a window, or any window that I am aware of.

It happened when I was driving this morning at around 5:55am, I saw a brick in the middle of the road and I had to drive closer to the kerb to avoid driving over it. I starting wondering why there was a brick in the middle of the road, had it been used for something mischievous, even illegal? Or was it simply dropped there by mistake? At this point new characters popped into my mind, I saw them throwing the brick at an ‘enemy’s’ window in an attempt to “send a message” and the attempt hilariously failing. That is the moment when WIP #3 was born.

Since these characters popped up, I have written a plot summary, some brief character profiles, a prologue and almost the entire first chapter. It seems I have a comedic piece of work on my hands, consisting of a group of dimwitted characters aged form 17 to 25 who long to be members of a bikie gang, but don’t have licences, motorbikes or any idea of what “real bikies” do. The “Diamondback Rebels” (“diamondback” named after the brand of bicycles they ride) set out to make themselves known to the various bikie gangs and to prove themselves to be “real bikies”.

This WIP does contains coarse language, but it is used in context as the “Diamondback Rebels” believe that all real bikies swear. Except, of course, not in front of their wives, girlfriends, mothers or grandmothers. The WIP is not serious at all and is not supposed to bear any resemblance to any person. Please keep in m ind the excerpts I am sharing are unedited.

Enjoy,

KK

Image

Picture from Flickr Creative Commons Copyright Joanna Bourne

Excerpt from Prologue

The theme from the bikie show on the TV, “Brothers in Arms” is playing in my head and we’re running. We’re running from the cops, running from the bikies and running from our mums who already have the wooden spoons ready, pretty much running for our lives. Pretty much everyone seems pissed at us right now, but we’re not really that bad. We only wanted to be part of a bikie gang, but none of them would let us join. So what if we didn’t ride a Harley or even have a licence, it’s about being brothers in arms and not what you ride. Well that’s what we thought anyway, now I realise how wrong we were……

…we were getting fed up with their excuses, “You don’t even have a licence”, so we failed a few times, we would have licences eventually, “You don’t even know how to ride”, yeah, that was true but we’d pick it up pretty quickly I reckon, “You don’t own a decent bike or have the money to buy one”, well you see that’s where they were wrong, me and Azza worked our butts off for a whole month, on the weekends, to buy an awesome pair of Diamondback Overdrives, got them for a great price too from Big W. Sure they were mountain bikes, not motorbikes, but they were still pretty awesome and they could go pretty hard too. Even with our awesome bikes the excuses still kept rolling in, “You dumb shits don’t even know what being a bikie is about”, well that was it, these words set the wheels in motion, me and Azza decided that if we were gonna be bikies, then first we had to prove we knew what being a bikie was all about, this is when the Diamondback Rebels were born….

Excerpt from Chapter One “Show Them Who’s Boss”

There were now six members of the gang, me (Darren “Dazza” Brown) and my best mate Aaron “Azza” Williams, as the founding members and ideas guys. Then there was the eager 17 year old Garry “Gazza” Johnson who was the nerd of the gang and liked all that chemistry and science shit, there was dopey Larry “Lazza” Anderson who we kept around for a laugh who liked to hit stuff and was the oldest member of the gang at age 25.  Lastly there were the Jones boys, Harry “Hazza” Jones and Barry “Bazza” Jones who were twins who liked making things blow up.

The plan was to meet on our bikes at the 7eleven on the corner at 11pm, where we would give the guys the ski masks to cover their faces and we’d ride past Nicko’s house and “deliver” the brick straight through the lounge room window. It was perfect, Azza and I would lead the gang, Hazza and Bazza would stick behind a bit and look out for cops armed with some crackers to distract the cops if they showed and  Lazza would take care of the delivery while Gazza kept an eye out for Nicko and the rest of his family. Everything was set and ready to go. Azza and I got to the servo at about 10:55pm and waiting for the rest of the guys to show. Of course Lazza was late because the dumbass forgot we were meeting at the 7eleven and went to the Caltex down the road instead. Lucky he actually remembered his phone and Azza texted him asking him where the bloody hell he was. “Right boys everyone ready?” Azza looked like he was preparing to give some inspirational pep talk to the guys when Lazza interrupted him, “hey guys, these mask things kinda suck balls, I can’t even firggen see out of it.” At the same time we all looked at Lazza and started pissing ourselves laughing at him, the dumbass had put the mask on backwards; no wonder he couldn’t bloody see out of it. As Gazza fixed Lazza’s mask for him, Azza quickly went through the plan. “Righto boys, settle the hell down and listen to me. Nicko’s place in on the corner of Woodstock and Bougainville. Ranga and I will lead the way, with Hazza and Bazza looking out for coppers. You’ve got the stuff ready don’t you boys?” The Jones boys nodded, “Now Gazza you hold onto the brick until we get there, and then hand it to Lazza who will chuck it straight through the lounge room window. Everyone got it?” Once we were sure everyone understood the plan we started heading to Nicko’s place. We got there without running into any problems and Gazza and handing the brick to Lazza while Azza and I held onto their bikes so we would be ready to take off as soon at the brick went through the window. My guts felt weird and I don’t know if it was excitement or if I was scared shitless, but if anyone asks I’m gonna go with the first one. I held my breath as Lazza held up the brick and heaved it towards the window, as he hurled his arm forward he slipped on the wet grass and his arm on the garden edge. The brick bumped off the wall and landed in the garden, “You bloody idiot! You were supposed to chuck it through the window not into the firggen garden!” Azza was more than furious, “Pick it up and do it properly before someone comes out and catches us!” Lazza rubbed his elbow and looked sorry for himself, this bloody big baby was gonna get us all caught, “But my elbow hurts, I can’t do it.” Gazza picked up the brick, “Oh, harden up princess, I’ll bloody do it!” Gazza hurled the brick towards the window as I held my breath again, the brick hit the window this time but it didn’t go through like we had planned, instead the brick cracked the window and fell back into the garden. “What the bloody hell was that?” Nicko’s dad’s voice boomed from inside the house, Lazza and Gazza jumped onto their bikes and we all hauled our asses out of their before anyone saw us.

So things didn’t go exactly as planned, but surely once they see the cracked window, they’ll find the brick in the garden, read the note and then they’ll know that the Diamondback Rebels mean business, for sure.

© 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.

When Inspiration Strikes

Hello lovelies,

This week I’ve been working on a couple of new projects and also uni semester has started unfortunately. With the start of two (or three if you count uni) new projects, I began to wonder should writing occur when inspiration strikes or should the writer continue writing whether they feel inspired or not? I guess what I am asking is, what comes first the inspiration or the writing?
I think that inspiration comes in many different ways. Sometimes our inspiration is obvious, like a light bulb moment when we get a very clear idea of a new piece of work and the writing seems to flow. Other times we have to search and keep writing and rewriting until the words fit.

Some days, inspiration finds us and it hits us in the face, yelling at us to take notice and to do something about it! That is what happened to me twice this week and as a result I have the beginning of a short story and also a rewrite of the Bruno Mars song, “Billionaire” about wanting to be a writer. The song rewrite was like the hit in the face I was just referring to, I was singing in the shower (I mean, c’mon who doesn’t?). When I came to the line, “a different city every night” I accidently sang, “a different story every night” and BOOM, that was the hit in the face resulting in myself rewriting half of the song in less than 2 minutes.

Other times, instead of inspiration finding me, I have to go digging for it. Sometimes I sit down and reread some of my previous work, other times I do some research, but what is important is that I do not only write when I feel inspired. Of course it is important to write when inspiration strikes, but it is not by any means the only time or way to write.

A good writer not only writes when they are inspired, but also when they are not. Inspiration will not always come knocking on your door, or hit you in the face commanding you to listen, sometimes you are the one who needs to search for it, to dig until it materialises. We should live to be inspired and be inspired to live. Read and write at every opportunity, not simply when inspiration strikes. Remember all writers have the weapons of reread, rewrite and review and if that doesn’t work there’s always a delete button. It doesn’t matter if what you write seems like complete rubbish, the point is that you’re writing, hold onto that and keep doing it every chance you get.

Be inspired to write and write to be inspired.

Enjoy your week,
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.