Feed the Birds

Source https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:St_Pauls_Cathedral_in_1896.JPG

Hello Lovelies,

Words are powerful.

Whether they be spoken, written or expressed in song, words evoke a range of emotions.

Happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, excitement, wanderlust, calmness, a sense of peace or even agitation and restlessness.

So many emotions, with just a few words.

But they need to be the right words, in order to evoke the desired emotion.

Words can call forth memories, reminding us of better times, or perhaps of sadness.

Yet the power of words is sometimes lost.

Lost in translation perhaps or beyond the understanding of the audience.

You see, in order for the words to be powerful enough to evoke the range of emotions, they first must be understood. If the words are too complex for the reader (or listener) then the power of them is lost. If the words are not in the language of the reader, then again, their power is lost.

Music however, is different. Music is a language all of its own, instinctively understood by all, no matter their age or language(s) spoken.

The notes, the key, the instruments used and so on, are the words, understood by those who can hear it.

Even the very young can understand and interpret the language of music. Some are more fluent in this language than others, for some this language comes naturally, for others it is something that is developed over time.

Even an infant can interpret and respond to the language of music, through the expression of emotion.

Don’t believe me?

Take this for example….

My youngest, who is now four, has always been particularly fluent in the language of music. Even as an infant baby he would cry when certain songs were played and express happiness or content when others were played. He would sob (not scream and cry, but sob) uncontrollably if someone was to sing to him “rock-a-bye baby”. He was the one-year old who would be listening to a Disney CD and would also sit sobbing quietly, tears streaking down his cheeks when the song “Baby mine” from Dumbo would play. As he got older he became more able to express the feelings evoked through music by saying Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” made him sad, but also like he wanted to cuddle and sleep.

Have you ever heard a piece of music that evoked such strong emotions that you just couldn’t handle it? A piece that hit you “right in the feels?”

For my youngest and I, that song is “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins.

There’s something about that song, it’s a combination of the music and the words, combined with the imagery of the old bird woman that gets me every time, no matter how many times I hear it. I can’t even sing along without getting choked up, which can be a little annoying when it is one of my favourite songs.

The beauty, the pain.

“Though her words are simple and few,

listen, listen, she’s calling to you”

“This song makes me cry,” he said from the backseat as we listened to the soundtrack in the car. All I could do was nod in agreement, because for some reason, it has the exact same effect on me., no matter how many times I hear it.

I’m also that person who chokes back tears during musicals, especially at the theatre. Sometimes they’re happy tears, sometimes not, but always they are an expression of thanks. Thanks that I can experience and interpret the language of music and words.

Words are powerful tools for evoking emotions.

Music with the notes, key and instruments are just as powerful, perhaps even more so, as they can be understood by many.

So when music and words are combined, either for an audience or perhaps to bring out the emotion in the words as you write, music is a great and powerful tool.

Feed the birds.

Feed your creativity.

Use music to find the right words.

Because music and the right words have a power that we can’t always explain.



© Katherine A. Kovàcs 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. Kovàcs and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Quoted lyrics © Songwriters: Richard M. Sherman / Robert B. Sherman

Feed the Birds lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company

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

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


Hello Lovelies,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



© 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.