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

 

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Heat Wave

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Image courtesy of Flickr CC user Micolo J

Hello Lovelies,

As I sit here melting in what is considered a “heat wave” in Europe (temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius since Wednesday), I begin to think about how weather and weather conditions influence the setting of a scene.

Of course compared to an Australian summer, this summer “heat wave” is actually like a cool spring day, but with no air-conditioning I’m sitting in a puddle of my own sweat which actually does nothing to cool me down. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled in my life, having had air-conditioning in the house since I was seven years old. However when much of the Australian summer consists of days over 40 degrees Celsius, I see air-conditioning as pretty much a necessity rather than the luxury it seems to be here. I guess heating is a necessity in Hungary, to survive the winter but in much of Australia it is the opposite.

I know I shouldn’t complain, it could be worse, but there’s nothing like melting in a pool of your own sweat to put you in a cranky mood. I have found a positive though, I have experienced the “wrath” of summer as my characters would have experienced it in the 1910s.

Small fans were in use during this time for residential purposes, often used in bedrooms, but that was all they had – and all I have at the moment.

I decided to write József’s story, or at least start it, while in Hungary, surrounded by the same (or similar) environment he would have been. Little did I realise just how closely surrounded I would be, despite being decades apart. Yes the world is very different now, I sit her surrounded by technology that never existed during József and Anna’s time, however many things remain the same. The apartment building is from their time, the furniture probably is too and whilst I’m sure the building would have looked quite different all those years ago, I can still sense the spirit of days long gone and catch a glimpse into the way things were.

The external world influences our writing, whether we want it to or not, this is something that cannot be avoided. We can though attempt to ensure that the influence is a positive one by surrounded ourselves with their story and seeking the write inspiration and influence, like myself writing this story in Hungary. Not everyone can go to the actual location and I consider myself to be extremely fortunate on this account, despite the fact that I’m soggy and cranky in this heat.

So now I head off to write about a fellow with a sever hangover and a nauseated pregnant woman on a sweltering summer’s day (both are characters, not myself, I assure you!) and encourage you to immerse yourself in the story, experience it as much as you can and describe it in detail.

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.

Music for the Moment

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Hello Lovelies,

This week I have been researching and adding more detail to the scenes of Thomas and Rose’s first date, including the music they would listen and dance to. I wanted to consider every aspect f their evening and then decide what details needed to be included in order to set the scene for the audience.

At the end of dinner, a solo pianist begins to play a classical piece of music that Rose recognises as Liszt’s Liebesträume. The reason why Rose recognises this particular piece of music in because Liszt is one of József’s favourite composers and in case you weren’t aware Liszt was actually Hungarian. 

I get the feeling that Thomas planned for the pianist to play this particular piece for several reasons, firstly he had hoped that she would be familiar with it and secondly because the title of the piece, Liebesträume, means Love Dream or Dreams of Love and for both of them, this moment they share seems so much like a dream. Since the death of his parents, Thomas has longed and dreamed of finding someone to love and who would love him unconditionally in return and he believes that Rose might be the woman he is destined to fall in love with. As they sit enjoying the music, Thomas asks Rose to dance with him. Liebesträume is not really a piece to dance to, unless perhaps as a contemporary form of dance and Rose’s surprise and reluctance causes him to speak with the pianist, who then begins to play a piano arrangement of the song “Blue Moon” made popular the year before by MGM studios in the movie Manhattan Melodrama. 

Don’t tell my husband, but I think I am falling in love with Thomas myself! I feel the butterflies Rose does with each look, each touch, each smile. As they dance, he quietly sings the lyrics of “Blue Moon” to her and she has never felt closer to anyone before than she has in this intimate moment they share. I only hope that my writing is able to put my readers in Rose’s shoes, feeling each and every moment they share.

Here is an excerpt of that particular scene for you to enjoy remember it is a first draft and I still have a lot of work to do on it.

Enjoy,

KK

As we finished our final course, the sounds of classical music filled the room. I hadn’t noticed it earlier, but in the far side of the dining room, a black piano sat. As the man skilfully glided his fingers across the keys, I was drawn in by the beautiful music. I recognised the piece as Liebesträume by Liszt, as it was one of József’s favourite pieces that he listened to often.

“I love this piece, it’s József’s favourite.”

Thomas stood and reached for my hand, “Well then, Miss Greene, may I have this dance?”

I looked at him in surprise, “Dance to this?”

He cocked his head to the side, considering the question, “Hmmm, you’re right, I’m sure we can find something better to dance to.” With that he walked over to the pianist, tapped in on the shoulder and whispered something to him. The man smiled and nodded and Thomas walked back towards me with a boyish grin curving his lips, “Now, Miss Greene, may I have this dance?”

With that, the pianist began playing a modern piece that seemed very familiar but I could not place where I had heard the tune before. Accepting Thomas’ hand, we moved over to an open space that would serve as a dance floor, placing one hand in mine and the other at the small of my back, he began to lead me effortlessly around our makeshift dance floor. As the pianist moved from an long introduction to the somewhat familiar song, to the body of it, Thomas held me closer and began singing and I immediately recognised the song as “Blue Moon.” This man could sing, his voice was smooth and I got the distinct feeling he has asked the pianist to play this particular song for a reason, like the words had meaning for him. I began to wonder what his life was really like, were there people who cared for him, like József cared for me?

© 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.

The Quest for Knowledge and Understanding

Hello lovelies,

Welcome to another post.
Last week I spoke about setting the scene and introduced you to “Heath Manor”. I was going to share with you a description of Heath Manor from the perspective of Thomas William Heath, but I haven’t done much writing in the past week so that will have to wait until later, so stay tuned.

This past week I’ve been doing some research and character development, including the creation of the Heath Family Tree!

Through my research I’ve come to realise that I do not know much about the era in which the main part of my story is set. As I have said in previous posts, the setting for my story came to me as a dream, (I know, ultimate cliché) and your subconscious is limited to your own knowledge. So I have been doing a lot of research about the 1930s and I am beginning to gain a small insight into the era.

I want to know everything that there is to know about my characters. I want to know what Thomas’ favourite music is, what his relationship with his grandmother is like and how he met Maggie. I want to know what Thomas sees when he looks at Maggie, what type of clothes Maggie wears, how she does her hair and how her style and fashion differs from her grandmother-in-law.

The questions are endless, some of the answers are locked within my mind, waiting for release, other answers require research, lots of research!

I have already begun this research, with the help of Google. I have also enlisted the help if my own grandmother, who was born in 1934, who has been going through some photos of her mother’s that I cant wait to have a look at!

I thought I might share with you a few things that I have learnt about Thomas William Heath.
• His parents migrated to Sydney, Australia with his grandmother before he was born
• He was born May 13th, 1910 (a Friday)
• His parents, William John Heath and Emily Louise Heath, died in 1918, during the Spanish influenza epidemic, leaving him in the care of his grandmother Agnes Mary Heath
• He is from an aristocratic family, even though the family is wealthy, Thomas is a grounded person, who wishes to work for a living, despite his great inheritance.
Some of the details I have of Thomas are very specific but I still have a lot of work to do, other details I have of Thomas I have purposely left out, as I don’t want to give away the whole story! Some details about Thomas are just for my eyes only. As Thomas is the narrator for the majority of the story, this is the character I need to know best, I need to completely understand this character if I am going to be convincing in my writing.

The picture on this post you may have seen on my Facebook page, it is of a woman holding a typewriter ribbon. When looking at the photo I notice the poise and posture, the way she stands with confidence and touch of elegance. Her hair is impeccably styled, adding a hint of glamour and grace. This picture intrigues me and there is much I do not know about this picture and the era it is from, something I intend to rectify.

So here’s to happy research and the quest for knowledge and understanding.

Until next week, lovely people,

-KK

Image courtesy of SMU Central University Library

© 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.