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.

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The Land Down Under

Hello Lovelies,

Sorry I’ve been completely MIA the last couple of weeks, but things have been absolutely hectic with packing, travelling back to the other side of the world and then unpacking and everything else. I’m back online now though and hopefully will be getting things back on track again with writing.

Our overseas adventure has well and truly come to an end and what an amazing adventure it was! Our family was able to experience life in another country, to explore, to live and enjoy all four seasons! This Australian’s favourite season was of course winter and the magical beauty of a snow-covered landscape.

I could have stayed for longer, but it was time for us to say farewell to beautiful Budapest and make the long trek back to Australia. And what a long trek it was! The children were sick on the flight between London and Dubai and I’d like to make a special mention to the Qantas crew for not even batting an eyelid as I profusely apologised for the mess my daughter made, even though I was secretly happy that I didn’t have to clean it up for once. The happiness about that didn’t last though as Sydney welcomed us back in style.Before we had even really begun to unpack the kids then were sick again with a tummy bug. Hauling in the washer and dryer from the garage in the middle of the night to wash all the spew covered items was definitely a  lot of fun as well as accidentally kneeling in your kids spew as you’re trying to clean the floor. I’ve never been more thankful to have floorboards in the house.

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Not sure where this pic originated, but it’s a pretty good depiction of how I was feeling.

Then after two days everything seemed to be going back to normal, we were able to unpack a lot of our things and began to officially move ourselves back into our house, now I see how naive we were thinking it would be smooth sailing from then on. Last Monday though was just the calm before the storm, because on Tuesday it was the adults turn to be sick. You know there’s nothing like some poos and spews to kick start your weight loss, I’m being vulgar, I know, but it’s the truth.

Thankfully our sickness was relatively short-lived and we were eventually able to move all the furniture back into the house. Now though comes the task of unpacking everything else and putting in away! Now that is a task and a half, especially when we are well and truly back in the real world now with two out of three kids now at school this week and back to work for the grown-ups! (*sad face*)

Now, Land Down Under, what do you have in store for us next? Hopefully not too much of the sun burnt country stuff. I’m more of a winter girl, as you know and this year I am getting two summers, so try not to scorch me too much (I don’t like my chances though).

Over the past week or so, sometimes I wake up and wonder if it was all a dream. Did I really travel with three kids to the other side of the world and back again? Did we really spend the days exploring and reveling in the beautiful sites and rich history  and traditions of the gorgeous city that is Budapest?

Yes, we did and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I would maybe do things a little differently if we were to do it all again, but I’d definitely go on that amazing adventure and more.

Now though, it’s time to get my writing back on track. Sydney, Australia, the Land Down Under, it’s now your turn to inspire my writing as the city of Budapest did. Let me see your beauty and explore the unknown as if I were my characters, newly arrived in a country completely unlike anything they’ve known.

I’m not going to just sit around and wait for the inspiration to find me though. I’m going to chase it down and capture it. Then keep it prisoner in one of my many notebooks and force it into submission.

Q-station Manly

Susannah Place Museum

Holsworthy Barracks

I’m coming for you!

Inspire me Land Down Under!

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

Attention to Detail

Hello Lovelies,

Sorry about last week, procrastination got the better of me and I started and finished an assessment the day before it was due. The good news is that I got it finished (hopefully it’s enough to pass) and I’m back again ready to share some new thoughts, plans and even an excerpt from Lonely Hearts, so keep reading if that sounds like it might tickle your fancy!

I’ve been thinking about some of the smaller details in the world and lives of my characters over the last week and have come up with a few new thoughts. After watching the Underbelly Razor series (at the suggestion of my uncle), I’ve been able to gain a little insight into the world of Sydney from 1927-1936 – the perfect time frame to provide an insight into the world of Thomas and Rose. When we first meet Rose in Lonely Hearts it is February 1935, the economy is slowly recovering from the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and many of the country’s wealthy businessman are taking advantage of lower property prices and the lower cost of living. Thomas is one of these people, but he isn’t the type of businessman to put people out of a job, in fact his aim was to do the complete opposite. I’ve spoken of this before, but in case you’ve missed it, Thomas’ role as a businessman and investor is the key factor for Thomas and Rose meeting. Ordinarily Thomas and Rose would never have met, they were from two different worlds – Rose was orphaned at the age of fourteen after her mother -her only known family died and was taken in by her employer, József, a Hungarian-Jewish immigrant and the owner of a tailor shop. Thomas is a wealthy businessman who inherited a significant fortune when his parents died of Spanish Influenza when he was only eight years old. Therefore, if it was not for Thomas’ interest in investing in József’s business, the two would never have met.

I started thinking deeply about the two different worlds my main characters are from and the details of their worlds. Thomas, being of considerable wealth, would have had a large house – possibly in the Northern suburbs of Sydney. He would have many people in his employment to look after his household – including a driver. When I considered that, I started to wonder what kind of car he would have and after some initial research, decided that Thomas would own several cars, including a town car for everyday travel (such as travelling to The Rocks to invest in a certain business), an expensive glamourous car for attending evening events and a sporty little roadster, which Thomas would drive himself -because boys and their toys and all that. I haven’t decided on all the details entirely but I think that this 1935 Lincoln 301 Model K 7-Passenger Limousine would be fairly nice car for attending evening events don’t you?

From Flickr Creative Commons user Randy von Liski https://www.flickr.com/photos/myoldpostcards/5593135909/in/photolist-7XQthd-9wfhrK-7XMd9M-fJhsq-7dBQbH-7dFKx9-9wfgUa-fJhsr-i3ttfn-i3sWDp-i3wavE-i3sDez-9wfhTZ-9wfee2-9wigjQ-i3uYLz-i3wtic-i3whXJ-i3sB7Z-6Qkrk6-i3wfaS-i3vXid-i3w3iU-i3wmqV-fJhss-i3um4Z-9wii7j-7dFJAU-9wff58-7dFJXJ-7dFJL5-9wfgDt-6QjfVB-i3tcJp-i3v1QY-i3uFTP-6QkJPV-i3uKaZ-i3u1ur-i3tzhK-6Qpwyh-i3uRu2-i3uD9v-6iD3eb-i3tQC4-i3tWPH-i3uj47-i3tHjr-i3tZiG-i3tT9N
From Flickr CC -Randy von Liski

Rose’s world on the other hand is very different, neither her nor József own a car, with most of the money being put back into the business, trying to keep them going. They lived modestly in a small terrace house next to the tailor shop. The early 1930s may now be known as The Great Depression, but many people did not dress like that, especially Rosie. Her skills as a seamstress and her talent for replicating the latest fashions were evident in the gorgeous clothes she wore, however her wardrobe consisted of day dresses and skirts and blouses, she owned one hat for going out during the day, which she saved up her money for and she wore it at a jaunty angle- a flirtatious statement in line with the latest fashion.

Flickr CC -genibee
From Flickr CC -genibee

Of course there is still much more I need to explore in the world of Thomas and Rose and the attention to detail is making this world become some sort virtual reality experience for me, I only hope I can pass this experience on to my readers.

So as I head off to nail down a few more details, I leave you with an excerpt from the first chapter of Lonely Hearts. Some of it may seem familiar as a section of it I have shared in a previous post, but I have done a little editing as I progressed through the chapter, so it has been added to and changed slightly. I’m sure it will be edited and changed several more times before I feel it is finished, but this is where it is at this point in time.

Enjoy,

KK

“As I prepared the tea for József and Thomas, I caught myself staring at him through the partially open door, “Damn”, I nearly overfill the cup and I glance back to the door hoping no one heard me curse, but I have no such luck. “Is everything ok Rosie?” József calls from his office, the door now wide open. “Yes, fine. Would you like me to bring in the tea?” I ask quickly as I try to draw the attention away from the fact that a lady just cursed. I glance back towards József’s office and see the same slight smile curving the one corner of his mouth and I’m sure he is laughing at me again. I carefully carry the tea into the cramped office setting the tray down on the small round table next to the wall between the two men. I risk another glance at Thomas to check if he still finds my fumbling nervousness amusing and notice a small scar above his right eye and that his nose is slightly crooked. Is this his darkness, was he a brawler, exerting his physical power over others for his own gratification? Surely a man of his social standing would not associate himself with such brutal activities. Yet how can I be sure, by my own admission I know nothing about this man, yet I am strangely drawn to him, I imagine reaching my hand up to the side of his face and touching that small scar as he leans his cheek into my palm, I shake my head banishing the image from my mind. Listen to yourself Rosie! You barely know this man and you’re having unsavoury fantasies about him! Fantasize all you want, but remember, you are from different worlds; you could never be together, besides he probably thinks you’re simple after this morning’s performance. I nod in silent agreement with my subconscious, even though I barely know this man, I know that we inhabit two very different worlds.

My hands are shaking, betraying my nervousness as I make József’s tea to his liking, one sugar and a small amount of milk. Rosie, get a hold of yourself! I take a breath, bracing myself before I look at him again. “How do you take your tea Mr Heath?” I ask with a polite smile. My eyes lock with his, my breath hitches and I suddenly feel hot –too hot. He runs his tongue over his bottom lip, sending a shiver down my spine. No man has ever affected me in this way and I desperately pray that he doesn’t realise the effect he is having on me, but the now familiar curve that is at the corner of his mouth tells me that he knows exactly what he is doing to me and he is enjoying watching quiver and squirm under his intent gaze. Thomas blinks, as if he has remembered that we are not alone, “Milk and two sugar thank you Rose and please, call me Thomas.” I nod and prepare his tea as per his instructions, as I lean over to pour the milk into the tea I am acutely aware that Thomas’ gaze is fixated upon me and I am sure I just caught his gaze attempting to glance down the front of my dress. I know I should be offended, but I enjoy that idea that he perhaps might find me as attractive as I find him. I turn to József before leaving the room, “Well if there is nothing else you gentleman need, I’ll let you get on with your meeting. I’ll be out the front.” Jószef nods and I turn to quickly take my leave. I can feel Thomas’ gaze on me as I walk out of the room, slightly swaying my hips, secretly hoping he is enjoying the show and I imagine his lips curving into that gorgeous lop-sided smile.”

© 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.