And So It Returns…

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Image copyright Katherine A. Kovács, The Writer Within

Hello Lovelies,

I think it’s obvious to those of you who follow this blog, that since returning to Australia I’ve struggled to get into the right (or ‘write’) frame of mind to continue with József and Anna’s story in “An Anguished Heart”. First, there was the excuses. I had unpacking to do, the “real world” was getting in my way, I even found myself tidying the house rather than clicking to open the file on the computer.

The characters though, were constantly on my mind. I planned and I pondered the fate of my characters, I even went to The Rocks in Sydney to chase a little inspiration, but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to actually sit down at the computer and type. I did other forms of writing in the meantime, this blog, some poetry even some short stories and children’s stories, but not one extra word was added to the word-count of “An Anguished Heart”.

I was lost and having trouble truly embracing the writer within. Perhaps I was a little scared. Perhaps it was that the last time I worked on József and Anna’s story, it was when I was in Budapest, away from the real world, away from the day-to-day constraints of reality. It was easier then, if I accidentally stayed up writing until 3 a.m, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I didn’t have to get up for work or to take children to school, I didn’t really have to do anything. In my mind I was stuck, I didn’t know how I would continue to work on my writing when I was worrying about staying up too late or making sure the kids lunches were ready for the next day. I just had to find a way to adapt and learn how to  balance writing with reality, I’d done it before we left for Budapest, I just had to figure out how to do it again.

And now… I think I’ve done it. I’ve broken the self-made barrier in my mind and I’ve made the first steps to embracing the writer within again. The last few days I’ve deleted around 3,000 words from my manuscript, it was crap, I revealed too much, too soon. I’ve  since replaced those 3,000 words though, plus more. I’ve researched, I’ve planned, I’ve taken notes and I’ve even figured out some later plot points and logistics of some of the upcoming events in the story. I’m problem solving the details.

I feel positive and energized, I’m telling myself, “That’s it, you can do this!” and I’m actually starting to believe it again.

Yes, it’s returned. The Writer Within is back! Now it’s time to embrace it!

Below is an excerpt of what I’ve been working on, it’s an excerpt where József is reflecting on Hungary’s involvement in the First World War. It is of course a first draft so it is extremely rough around the edges, but it’s been so long since I shared anything with you all.

So thanks for sticking around and as always…

Enjoy,

KK

 

It is not that the men in our family were cowards or disloyal to their country. However this war was not ours, it was a war forced upon the Hungarian people and by many other countries, as a result of the alliances formed over the years.

No, it was not a question of bravery of loyalty, but a question of right and wrong.

Was it right to go and fight a war that was not ours, not our country’s?

Was it right to take innocent lives for such a war?

 Was it right to risk losing our own lives in the process, leaving our wives as widows, our children without a father and our mothers without their sons?

No, I don’t believe it is.

(Excerpt from “An Anguished Heart”)

 

 

© 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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You Know You’re a Writer When…

Hello Lovelies,

This week as I browsed through the many reading, writing and general book related pages I follow on Facebook and twitter, I noticed many comical posts that began with, “You know you’re a writer when…” It got me thinking back to the time when I first knew I was a writer. In many ways I have always been a writer and creator, but it was only in the few months leading up to the creation of this blog that I really began to embrace the writer within (hence the name of the blog).

Since I made the conscious decision to pursue my love of writing, those “you know you’re a writer when…” moments are noticeably on the rise!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about the inner workings of my vivid imagination (you can read it here if you missed it). In this post I discussed that in the moment between sleep and awake, I can actively plan and edit my dreams, if that even makes sense. I know I probably sound a little crazy right about now, but I guess that kind of just goes with the territory. It’s a little difficult to explain, you see, it’s like when you are imagining or daydreaming about something, but you’re actually in a state between asleep and awake, you see the scene vividly in your mind and you see and experience it all as if you were actually there.

Now to refocus on the title of today’s post, here’s my own version (which may only be applicable to myself);

You know you’re a writer when your dreams are filled with scenes from your current WIP and you are actually able to edit these scenes as they play out in your mind.

You see, now more than ever, my dreams are filled with the world and the characters of my current WIP, Lonely Hearts. One particular scene has been playing out over and over again in my mind, as it is one that has been frustrating me and seemed like it just wasn’t working. The scene in question is one that I wrote quite a few months ago now, but never felt it was quite right. I am still quite early on in the first draft of Lonely Hearts, but I find it difficult to move on further with the story when something isn’t quite working like I feel it should be. I know I should probably just plough through and get the first draft finished and worry about editing later, but I simply cannot keep ploughing through the first draft if something isn’t right or feels incomplete.

Night after night, I experience the meeting between Thomas and Rose in the tailor’s shop that Rose works at. The scene felt incomplete, I felt like this meeting should be weighted with a range of emotions, but with the way it was written it felt like it was little more than a flutter of attraction. After a little over a week of playing out the same scene over and over, the good news is I’ve finally figured out what was missing and those missing scenes have been played out in my dreams the last couple of nights and they feel pretty good I must say. The bad news is you’ll all have to wait until I’m finished writing it to get a little sneak peek.

As I head off to fill in the missing pieces, feel free to let me know your favourite “you know you’re a writer when…” sayings, quotes, memes (whatever you want to call them) on fb, twitter (@WriterWithin_KK) or in the comments below.

Enjoy,

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.

I Am Who I Am

Hello Lovelies,

This week I’ve been procrastinating, but not from writing Lonely Hearts, I totally nailed that this month! Instead, it’s been uni work I’m procrastinating from. The problem is though, it was my choice to return to university and pursue a postgraduate degree in Education.

At the time I chose to pursue a post-grad degree, I was trying to find a direction for myself. When I decided to apply for further study, I was someone’s mother, someone’s wife, someone’s teacher, but I wasn’t sure who I was for me, if that makes sense. So in 2012 I began studying part-time and online to be a Master (of Education)- see what I did there? It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I must admit that I’m a little over it now. However, now that I’ve started, I’m not quitting because I want the pretty certificate, darn it! Plus, I only have two units to go.

So I’m a mother of three young children, who works part-time, studies part-time and writes and explore my creative side whenever I can find a spare moment. Although in reality, I don’t really a spare moment as I’m sure there are many things I am supposed to be doing, like right now I should be writing an assignment that’s due tomorrow.

One of my twitter followers, @ZaraJacobs who also happens to be a writer, commented that they don’t know how I find the time to write, study and everything else that is my life. The truth is, I have no idea how I actually get time for any writing. I don’t have Hermione’s time turner unfortunately, but somehow I find time to write, study, mother and everything else.

Furthermore, I finally feel as though I am becoming more and more myself. I’m no longer pretending, no longer being someone I’m not, in order to conform to some societal norm.

I am who I am

I am a mother, wife, teacher and I am a WRITER!

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Oscar Wilde

That’s right! I AM A WRITER and I don’t care who knows it!

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
Bernard M. Baruch

Writing and creating is a big part of who I am and since embracing the writer within, I am getting to know the real me and feeling more like myself. I know I still have a long way to go on this journey, but I intend to cherish every moment of it and I look forward to each and every experience along the way.

Unfortunately though, I need to now finish something that I started and I have a five minute critical reflection of the nature of and approach to wellbeing in a school I need to write and record and upload by 5pm tomorrow. So, nothing like a little pressure and time constraint in order to get things done.

Just remember, don’t be afraid to be true to yourself.

I am who I am and I am a WRITER!

Enjoy,

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.

Know Your True Self

This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit. Fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do- not why it works when it’s good, not why is doesn’t work when it’s bad. I figured the shorter the book , the less bullshit -Stephen King (On Writing- A Memoir of the Craft)

Hello Lovelies,

Well it happened, I said farewell to my twenties and welcomed the first day of my thirties with a brand  new outlook. I’ve decided that now I have my new grey hairs hidden, I can start to get over this whole “getting older” thing and with my additional years of experience I’m going delve deeper into exploring the person I am and the person I want to be.

It has now been six months since I began my journey towards embracing the writer within and already I feel I have come so far in this journey. Writing has enabled me to explore my thoughts, ideas and dreams. Each day I feel as though I am taking another step in the right direction and with each new idea, each new insight into a character and each new word I am feeling the excitement and liberation of not only knowing your true self, but also embracing it.

As I share the writer within with those around me and those who follow this little blog of mine, I am allowing people to see a little bit of my soul, pieces of me that I once kept hidden. I’m not really sure why I kept these pieces of me from seeing the light of day and I’m not really sure what helped me to make the decision to share these pieces with the world, but since making this leap of faith I have not regretted it, not for even a second. I look forward to writing each blog post on a Sunday and I especially look forward to the rare moments I have to write and explore my WIP. I love following my characters on their journey as they tell their stories, I love figuring out what makes them tick, their likes and dislikes and most of all I love the feeling of satisfaction you get when you find the perfect word (or name).

Since I began my journey, those close to me have followed my journey and have given me a lot of encouragement over the last six months. One such person is my uncle, who has opened up the world of Stephen King to me. Of course, I already was fully aware who the remarkable Stephen King was, yet I have regrettably never actually read any of his books, something which I intend to change quick smart by reading my very first Stephen King book On Writing- A Memoir of the Craft, a birthday gift from my uncle. Now I am going to terribly embarrass this uncle by showing everyone his softer side. My uncle is an Australian truck driving type of bloke, who  appreciates both a well-brewed beer and a well-written book. For you to understand the significance of this gift, you must first understand the usual method of gift-giving of my uncle. Not knowing what “us kids” like he gives my grandmother money to go shopping, which she does to the extent of wrapping the gift and even writing in the card for him. Not this time though, maybe he’s getting soft in his old age, but there was so much thought placed into this gift that it was decided enough in advance to be able to order the book in time for my birthday, he even bought and wrote in the card himself.

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The thoughtful gift, encouraging me to continue my journey

So far I’ve read the foreward and I appreciate the brutal honesty of Mr King. So now this writer is off to explore the world of writing through the words and insight of the remarkable Mr Stephen King, hopefully my three children agree with this plan.

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.

Darkness, Heartbreak and Devastation

Hello Lovelies,

This week I’ve been exploring Thomas’ feelings towards his grandmother. While for all intense and purposes she has been his closest living relative and guardian since the death of his parents, he does not feel any emotional connection towards her, only obligation.

When considering his feelings and the news of Charlotte Dawson’s passing (may she RIP) I started to wonder, how much heartache and devastation can one person encounter, before there is no way out of the darkness? After discovering the darkness of Thomas’ past in recent weeks, I am beginning to feel that one of my original plot twists is something that would cause Thomas to permanently retreat into the darkness, something I feel is wrong for the character and the story overall. While I understand that everyone has good days and bad days, especially when dealing with grief, I feel that my original plot twist is too much to bear. I now see my character taking a different direction, telling a different story, one of the power of human emotion and human connection. As Thomas ostracized himself emotionally after the loss of his parents and the coldness of his grandmother, I feel he is showing me that his story is not just a story of darkness, tragedy and loss, but a story of human emotion and the importance and dealing with our emotions.

As I further explore my characters, I am beginning to gain a deeper understanding of the connection between Thomas and Rosie, it goes far beyond the initial physical attraction between them, it is a deep emotional bond, one that Thomas has been craving since his parents’ passing. Rosie encourages Thomas to explore his emotions towards his grandmother and his parents, something which his grandmother discouraged, with her help, Rosie is leading Thomas away from the darkness and into the light. Darkness, heartbreak and devastation still exist in the light, but in the light we are able to see and enjoy the things that give us joy and happiness that we cannot see in complete darkness.

Today I have a short excerpt where Thomas is scratching at the surface as he explores his feelings towards his grandmother, remember it is raw and unedited and will likely change many times before it is final.

Enjoy,

KK

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“Thomas, are you ready for dinner?” That voice, I’ll never tire of hearing that voice, I shrug into my coat and make my way to join Rosie in the sitting room of our suite. Our suite on the SS Strathaird is rather luxurious, I would have preferred something less extravagant but of course my dear grandmother would not hear of it, “if one can afford luxury then one should not settle for anything less”, remembering my grandmother’s words cause me to involuntarily shudder for some reason. As I enter to sitting room I see Rosie, a vision of perfection in a long pearl coloured evening gown and elbow length gloves, her chocolate brown hair pulled back into an elegant twist. No one would believe where this beautiful creature was from, not that it mattered to me at all. “My fair lady, would you do me the pleasure of accompanying me to dinner?” With a shallow bow, I offered Rosie my hand, as she accepted I dipped her and placed a soft kiss onto her crimson lips, as the kiss deepened we were interrupted by the noise of someone clearing their throat, of course that someone was my grandmother. I quickly turned to face her and saw her eyes of disapproval, “Grandmother, you look lovely, should we head down to the dining room?” Grandmother look at me, then glanced at Rosie letting out a long, disapproving breath, “My dear Thomas, I am not interrupting anything, am I?” I could distinctly hear the tone of sarcasm in her question to which I replied to with the same tone, “Of course not grandmother, your timing is impeccable as usual.”  As my grandmother pushes past Rosie and insists that I escort her to dinner, I shoot her an apologetic look, letting her know that it won’t always be like this. She understands the meaning conveyed and as much as I detest my grandmother and her stubborn ways, she has been for many years the only family I have had. Despite this cold-hard fact, I do not feel any real closeness or emotional bond to my grandmother, only obligation. I feel obliged to care for her in her older years and to put up with her nonsense as I feel it is my duty and responsibility. After all, she did provide care for me as a boy, through the employment of a long line of nannies and governesses and she did respect my parents’ wishes to raise me in Sydney, so it is expected that I now provide for her needs and indulge her moods. Yet, her animosity towards Rosie is wearing my patience. I try not to let my frustration and anger show as we make our way to the dining room. My grandmother’s false sentiment and moodiness towards myself, I can deal with and have done so for many years, but the way she is treating Rosie is becoming ridiculous and something which Rosie does not deserve. I do not often stand up to my grandmother, but this is getting preposterous, I have decided that once we arrive in England, things will be different. I will be the man of the house and she will simply have to accept that, I will indulge her silly luncheons, afternoon teas and other functions, but I will no longer put up with her ill-treatment of Rosie.

******

December 15th, 1932

By nothing short of a miracle, I managed to make it through dinner without telling my grandmother exactly what I thought of her and the way she was treating Rosie. Thankfully I was able to make polite conversation with the other people dining with us and I maintained my mask for society, you know the one with the polite smile and the perfectly timed compliments? Rosie is worried though, not because of the way my grandmother is treating her or worried that she might not fit in, but worried because she can see the fine lines that are becoming cracks in my mask. She is the only one who would see these cracks forming, the only person who knows the real me. Rosie is encouraging me to calmly discuss my feelings with grandmother, I told her that one does not simply discuss feelings with Agnes Heath, emotions are “utter nonsense” and have no place in her world. The woman has a stone-hard exterior with a heart of ice that cannot be melted. I know Rosie is right though, for my own sanity I need to express myself; if I can’t talk to Agnes Heath then I will express my feelings in writing. Perhaps someday I will have the courage to show her, but for now writing it down may be enough to keep the darkness from closing in.

© 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 Next Chapter

Hello Lovelies,

Welcome to this week’s post.
No doubt you’ve all heard the saying,”strike when the iron is hot”, this is true when writing as well. I’ve found out the hard way, that you need to write when the inspirations hits. After doing some planning of my current work in progress and discussing it with my inner monologue (yes, the voices in my head) I did not physically come to write anything until today and in between then and now frustration, house work, disappointment and everything else in everyday life has happened. Subsequently, when I sat down and tried to complete the first chapter telling the story of the first time Thomas met Margaret, I wasn’t feeling quite in the mood to write about love, romance and courtship. Instead I found myself doing more research, answering some of my own questions about the characters and their story and asking even more questions. After an unsuccessful attempt at completing the first chapter and a few hours of research, I decided to start working on the next chapter, some of which I will share with you today.

So this is what I’ve learnt about writing: firstly, it’s better to write when the mood strikes, when the inspiration hits. Your ideas will flow better and the writing will truly be a piece of you with meaning and emotion, not a string of sentences that simply make grammatical sense. Secondly, if it’s not working, move on to something else or the next chapter, you can always come back to it. Perhaps this second lesson applies to more than just writing.

I also have the Heath Family Tree to share with you so you can have some kind of idea where Thomas fits in with other characters you may hear about in the pieces I share.
heath family tree snapshot

Image Copyright Katherine A. Kovacs/The Writer Within

So, here is a little snippet from the next chapter. Remember the work is raw and unedited and will likely be rewritten many times before it is complete.

Enjoy,
KK

strathaird december 1932

Image from Australian Maritime Museum

As the SS Strathaird sailed out of Sydney and I glanced back at the newly completed harbour bridge, I knew that life would never be the same. Sydney was my home and now I was leaving my home for a world I did not know. My grandmother always longed to return to England after my parents died, but honoured my parents’ wishes and raised me in Sydney. Now with the passing of my uncle and my subsequent inheritance of his estate, it was time for my grandmother to return and for me to relocate to a country I do not know. I am not entirely sure what awaits us upon arrival, I’m sure my grandmother has some sort of plans to introduce me to society after grieving my uncles death for an acceptable period of time, but for now I am determined to enjoy the time I have with Maggie before the forced smiles and overly polite conversations begin. “What are you thinking?” Just the sound of her voice caused me to long to be alone with her, “Nothing really, I’m just thinking how different things are going to be and how wonderful you are to do this for me.” Her reassuring smile was all I needed, no matter how different life would be upon our arrival in England or how frustrating and difficult my grandmother was going to be, I knew that with Maggie by my side everything would be fine. Maggie was my anchor, the one thing that kept me grounded.

© 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.