Feed the Birds

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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.

Enjoy,

KK

© 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

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.

 

 

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.

Offline

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Image copyright Flick CC user Marcelo Graciolli

Hello Lovelies,

This is a scheduled post because I currently do not have home WiFi until arriving back in Sydney.

I write this as I try to get everything that needs doing before our WiFi is disconnected in preparation for returning to Sydney. Of course I can visit a WiFi hotspot if I really need internet access, but with the soon-to-be absent internet, I’m beginning to realise just how dependent we have become on it.

Gone are the days when we ponder the answer to a questions for hours or days before heading to the library or asking someone more knowledgeable on the subject. Nowadays instead of getting frustrated with an answer that’s “on the tip of my tongue” but you can’t just quite remember, we turn to trusty Google and enter the most absurdly vague search terms imaginable and somehow still manage to find what we were looking for.

I cannot even begin to imagine writing a novel in the days before the internet, especially one which would require significant amounts of research, like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander for example. I have nothing but absolute awe and admiration for the writers who tackled their research without the modern (if somewhat overused) convenience of the internet.

I myself didn’t have internet at home until I was around fifteen or so and that was only the drearily slow dial-up version with the modem that made funny noises. Those noises will be something that the younger generations will never understand as well as the habit of clicking on the webpage you hoped you needed for your assignment and then going to make a sandwich while you waited for it to load. Now we become frustrated when the page fails to load the instant after we click on it.

As a society we have become extremely dependent on the internet, we use it to research, to keep in touch with people, to watch movies, share photos, writing and everything else and to generally procrastinate and waste endless amounts of time. Any information we seek is at our fingertips.

The internet definitely has its uses, but often it is more of a tool for distraction than anything else. Whilst writing I often have several tabs open, researching and checking facts and details as I write, this is extremely useful. However I am also guilty of having Twitter and Facebook open at the same time, definitely a distraction and I would probably get a lot more writing done if I banned myself from social media for a while but it helps me to procrastinate.

I don’t let social media overtake my life though. Sure I have Facebook and Twitter but I’m not on there giving the world play-by-play updates on my life or trying to make my life seem more glamorous than it is. I’m on social media, but it doesn’t rule me.

Sometimes I think we need to take time to disconnect ourselves from the World Wide Web, time to be in the real world and actually experience life and see it through your own eyes, instead of through the screens of our smartphones or through the status updates of our friends on social media.

So get out there, go offline and experience the world the way it is supposed to be experienced. Make memories to cherish forever not status updates for “likes”.

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

 

Fan Fiction

Hello Lovelies,

Recently I’ve been thinking about the area of fan fiction and wondering whether it is a good or bad thing.

I’m sure all writers, whether they are published yet or not, would have mixed feelings about fan fiction based on their work. Ont he one hand, it would be nice that your audience felt so inspired by your characters that they decided to explore them further through their own writings. It would be great to have a fan base that felt so strongly about your characters and your writing that they felt compelled to do a little writing of their own.

On the other hand though, these are the characters you poured your heart, soul and countless hours into creating. You know your own characters intimately, better than anyone will ever know them, often better than you even know yourself. These characters are a piece of you, living out their days in the realms of your subconscious mind. You couldn’t help but feel a little… ripped off maybe? I’m not sure of the right emotion, but through fan fiction you would feel like they’re trying to steal pieces of you, making assumptions of the characters you know so well, the characters you created. You might even feel a little pissed that these people are trying to steal your ideas, world and characters, that you devoted countless hours to creating, no matter how much you value your fan base.

Then comes the legal issues, when the fan fiction is published and shared on blogs and other media. It’s not just your feelings about the matter of published fan fiction (yes, published does include blog posts etc.), it’s also a legal matter of copyright and plagiarism. Whilst it is nice that they feel so strongly and passionately about a writer’s work, legally published fan fiction is a huge issue.

Take the example of Fifty Shades of Grey, whilst it’s not exactly an example of great literature, it is still a published work selling millions of copies worldwide and a motion picture. Most people know that Fifty Shades began as a work of fan fiction, inspired by Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. This was openly admitted, Fifty Shades is Twilight fan fiction, it’s written all over the internet, pretty sure it was mentioned almost every time during any sort of interview or promotion about the book as well.

So how does Stephenie Meyer feel about E. L James making millions off the Fifty Shades Trilogy, a series that was admittedly started as fan fiction of her own Twilight series? I would say she would quite quickly get over the “nice” feelings of feeling honoured that a reader felt so inspired by her work and quickly move on to thoughts about how a publisher paid E. L James to rip off someone else’s work and turn it into a warped Mills and Boon novel with with a heavy dash of BDSM. If you google “Stepehenie Meyer’s opinion of Fifty Shades” you will see countless articles discussing Meyer’s not so favourable opinion. Whilst I don’t believe she actually has said in public, “How dare that b***ch turn my work into trash and make money off of it!”, it is obvious that Meyer does not approve of the adaption, by saying very little except she “refuses to read it”, it is obvious that she does not think much of E.L James and her “fan fiction”.

I know how difficult it is as a writer to come up with a truly original idea, we are influenced by everything around us, including what we read, however this is mostly subconsciously. Yet I feel there is something very wrong with someone who openly admits that their published work began as fan fiction of someone else’s writing that they spent countless hours developing and creating.

I am the type of person that gets very involved in the world of fiction, the characters, the setting and so on, both with what I read and my own writing. However, I could never in good conscience, publish a work of fan fiction, whether I earned money from it or not. As a writer, I would feel a little bit flattered, I suppose, that someone felt so drawn in by the characters I created, that they felt inspired to explore the characters further in their own writing. However I would be quite annoyed (putting it mildly) if they then chose to publish their fan fiction, in any form, either on a blog or as a paid piece of work.

If you do enjoy writing fan fiction, I suggest you keep it for your own enjoyment and not publish it in any form and definitely do not send a copy to the writer whose work inspired you. They don’t want to see the evidence of your “thievery” and like I said before, a writer knows their characters better than anyone ever will and your adaption may feel like a complete betrayal and butchering of their characters.

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon will give you a very straight forward opinion of fan fiction that perfectly sums up my own view:

Diana’s Fan Fiction Policy

You know, I’m very flattered that some of you enjoy the books so much that you feel inspired to engage with the writing in a more personal way than most readers do. Both for legal and personal reasons, though, I’m not comfortable with fan-fiction based on any of my work, and request that you do not write it, do not send it to me, and do not publish it, whether in print or on the web. Thank you very much for your consideration.

(Diana’s Fan Fiction Policy retireved from her official website: http://www.dianagabaldon.com/)

Of course this opinion may not reflect the opinion of all writers, but I would say the majority would feel similarly.

If you read a great book and feel so inspired by the story and the characters that you simply have to explore it further through your own writing, might I suggest that you keep this writing to yourself or perhaps only share it with a small circle of friends. Do not publish it on a blog, do not turn it into a novel and start pitching it to different publishers to make your millions and do not send a copy to the original writer whose work inspired you so. Whilst it is flattering for the writer that you enjoyed their work so much, these feelings do not outweigh the feeling of betrayal and thievery the writer may feel.

So if you feel inclined to write a bit of fan fiction, that’s fine. By all means, write to your heart’s content, but do not publish it in any form and definitely do not go about intending to make some money out of it, just keep it for yourself to further enhance your enjoyment of the original writer’s work.

I don’t mean to offend anyone who thinks fan fiction is amazing and should be shared on every fan blog int he blogosphere, I am simply offering one writer’s opinion on the issue.

One day when I publish my novels, I will be very flattered if my characters and their stories inspired others to write, but please keep it to yourselves.

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.

 

 

 

The Gap

Hello Lovelies,

The title of this week’s post is not a reference to the ocean cliff on the South Head Peninsula in Eastern Sydney known as The Gap which gained infamy, not as a place frequented by sightseers, but sadly for suicide. Nor is it a reference to The Gap Inc. the American clothing and accessories retailer. This week’s post is referring to a gap that I found in my current WIP that was preventing me from moving forward with the story, although I didn’t know it until recently.

You  may remember me mentioning last week that I was struggling to make progress on Chapter 22, when I realised there was a significant gap in the story between chapters 16 and 17. I thought it would be a simple matter of slotting in the missing parts between the two chapters (I estimated to be only be a couple of thousand words) and then after renaming the following chapters accordingly, I would be able to move on. Nothing is ever that simple though is it. The section of the story that lies between what was once chapters 16 and 17, will now be referred to as The Gap.

The Gap was not the couple of thousand words I thought it was, it ended up being almost 7,500 words and three chapters long, not including the additions I needed to make in the subsequent chapters to keep consistency. So right about now I bet you’re wondering how on earth I manage to leave out a piece of the story worth 7,500 words.

7,500 words is by no means a small amount, but the answer is this, I didn’t realise there was a gap in the story until I was stuck further down the line and started asking myself the questions “how?” and “why?”. I knew where the story was headed (I already know how the story ends, after all) but sometimes I’m not sure quite how to get from one plot point to the next, until I’m actually writing it. This can sometimes cause gaps in the story later on, as the plot evolves and more and more “gaps” are filled in. Sometimes this means having to go back and filling in gaps that have been created by the evolving plot.

I’m sure as I continue to push on with József and Anna’s story, more gaps will need to be filled in along the way, hopefully none of them will be as large as The Gap, but I’m not holding my breath though, especially when I eventually come to do editing and rewrites!

For now though I will keep pushing forward and go back and fill in any gaps when necessary until I have the first draft complete.

Wish me luck!

Enjoy,

KK

Keep reading for a short excerpt from An Anguished Heart. It is a small section of The Gap that I wrote to fill in the missing parts between the original chapters 16 and 17 (Now chapters 16 and 20), it is only the first draft and likely to change through the many rounds of editing.

 

Anna

No matter how much I loved our first apartment, I couldn’t deny that I felt more at home in our new one than I had in months. The trauma and loss we had suffered had faded over the months and I began to feel more settled, but I never truly felt at home again in our Buda-side apartment. No matter how many fond memories I had of that place, the memories of loss and despair lurked in every corner. Here though, those memories could be laid to rest in the depths of my mind and I once again began to feel the sense of overwhelming peace and comfort.

I knew things would take a little getting used to in our new apartment, which was on the Pest side of the Danube, with views of the Parliament building, but from the opposite side to the ones we were used to seeing. I could still see the river from the corner balcony, but it was not the unobstructed view I had at our Buda apartment. Still, I felt more content here, despite the echoing emptiness of the apartment. This apartment was at least six-times larger than our previous one, easily, not including the live-in attic space that was included with this apartment, being on the top floor, once used as a servant’s quarters.  

We didn’t have the need or even the space for much furniture in our previous apartment and even with every single thing we owned, the apartment was still quite bare. József’s Anya had offered us some furniture and things when her new furniture arrived, which I gratefully accepted, much to the dismay of József and the other men, who complained about moving the same lounge back to the place they just moved it from. I, of course pointed out to them that they had so much experience now, that it should be much easier this time around.

Having a larger home to run, József and his Anya decided that we should employ a live-in housekeeper, who could live in the servant’s quarters. At first I wasn’t sure about the idea, the thought of another person living in our home sort of bothered me, as well as the idea of having a “servant” seemed rather belittling to whoever should be employed for the position and I had never even contemplated the idea before. József though, had grown up in a household that almost always had a live-in housekeeper that also served as a nanny when the children were younger, as well as a cook.

© 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.

All Drains Lead to the Ocean

flickr ocean James Whitesmith
Image courtesy of Flickr CC user James Whitesmith

Hello Lovelies,

As I sit here enjoying the cool relief of a long awaited storm and watch the rain falling onto the ground and water flowing down the street, swirling down the nearest drain, I am reminded of a line from one of my favourite movies (that just happens to be a children’s movie), Finding Nemo

All drains lead to the ocean.

-Gill, Finding Nemo

In Finding Nemo, this is meant quite literally, as Gill explains to Nemo a somewhat unconventional route to return to the ocean. In reality we know that all drains do not lead to the ocean, but for the sake of this post let’s just ignore that fact for the time being.

In life, the drain is a metaphor. One which describes the somewhat unconventional route to achieving our goals. We are reminded that whichever path we choose to take is not important. What is important though, is that we continue to strive towards achieving our goals, that we never give up on trying to reach the metaphorical ocean of our hopes and dreams.

One day, I hope to be a published author, I don’t dream making a fortune from my writing or of 7-figure writing contracts (but if any one wants to offer me one, feel free to contact me). I do dream of sharing my creations with others, connecting with an audience through words, transporting them to different worlds, places and times.

There are many ways in which the dream of becoming a published author can be achieved, many different paths that lead to the same outcome, sooner or later.

I’ve already taken the “scenic route” I guess you could say.

Some people leave school and head to university to complete undergraduate degrees that are writing related, I started my academic studies in education, with an undergraduate and then later a masters degree and I get to put the post-nominal letters BEd(Pri) and MEd after my name, if I so choose. Whilst these degrees and career may not be directly related to a career in writing, I do not believe it has been a waste, quite the opposite now I think about it. My tertiary education and experiences (in both life and work) have helped me to develop many skills that I believe make me a better writer.

Sometimes I wish I had taken my writing more seriously when I was younger, especially when I read articles about authors who were published before they were 21. When I think back to what I was like at the age of 21, not only did I have so many things going on in my life that no 21 year old should have to deal with, I also don’t think I was ready to dive into pursuing a career in writing.

Of course I was still writing bits and pieces at this age, I’ve always been writing and creating in some form or another, but it was often left unfinished and incomplete and I very rarely shared any of my work.

Sometimes I wonder if I would be any closer to my goal if I had embraced the writer within sooner, but I always come to the same conclusion: I wasn’t ready. No matter how much it frustrates me or how much I wish to have already reached my goal, I am exactly where I need to be. I needed the time, the life experiences, the education (even though it might not have been directly related to writing) to be able to embrace the writer within.

As long as I keep making even the tiniest of steps towards my goal, I know I am heading in the right direction and I will keep on taking those steps. I may not become rich or famous, but I will keep on writing and moving forward.

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.

Some Things Cannot be Unsaid

thinking flickr withbeautiful
Image courtesy of Flickr CC user withbeautiful

Hello Lovelies,

Sometimes we say things without thinking. Sometimes the things that we say are of little or no consequence, so are neglect of the thought process is not of a concern. Other times though, we live to regret the things that we say without thought and the unfortunate ripple of consequences that follow, changing our lives forever.

Sometimes we don’t notice the ripples until much later. The ripples reaching out further and further until months or perhaps even years later, something we said comes back and bites us in the arse.

I’ve had a few of those moments in life, unfortunately, when something I have said, perhaps in jest or in frustration, has resurfaced to give that metaphorical arse bite. Fortunately though, I’ve never said something that would cause such a consequence, that I would never recover from (At least I hope I haven’t!).

Other times we might say things in anger or frustration that hurt others, this may not change our own lives directly, but the relationship with the other person will be altered forever. These are  when we need to remember that some things cannot be unsaid, once the words leave our lips, we cannot take them back. We might apologise, we might say that we didn’t really mean what we said, we may try to forget it ever happened, but no amount of apologies will take those words back.

Sometimes our words change our relationships with others. Sometimes our words change the direction our lives take. Sometimes our words can have such dire consequences, that there is no hope of coming out the other side.

This is the dilemma that one of my secondary characters is currently faced with. Some things were said in frustration after one (or ten) too many drinks. At first it seems as though the consequences are limited to a terrible hangover and a lot of embarrassment, but then the ripples are revealed and his life and that of his entire family are sent into turmoil. Their world will never be the same again, because of some words that were said in drunken frustration. This is fiction, yes, but this type of thing (perhaps not as extreme) does happen.

Words can change lives, make sure it is for the better because

Some thing cannot be unsaid.

Enjoy,

KK

 

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Please check out my latest page addition Mother-Daughter Poetry to have a read of some poems that my 8 year old daughter wrote with a little editing and guidance from yours truly.

© 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.