December 19, 2010


Why, yes, writing can be snowy!
This time, the first snow fell in November, and the freshest is from yesterday. I took a walk today with my camera. Thought I share some photos with you.
Nature is so marvelous! No matter how cold it is outside, it's simply beautiful!

Enjoy! And have lots of inspiration ;)

in November

in November

end of November

yesterday; this is a kindergarten

today; one of our neighbour's pine tree


today; it seems we had some uninvited guests ;)

today; my cactus and winter in the background

Have a nice winter!!!

December 18, 2010

The Fantasy of Surviving

Somehow, I managed to survive this week. I'm still pretty exhausted, but at least I'm done with the worst of it. One more exam on Tuesday, then three in January. That means that I can finally decrease my coke-intake!

Browsing through my latest posts, I've realized I'd abandoned writing about my creative writing class, in favour of NaNoWriMo. It's understandable, but I feel like I still should've paid more attention to it.
Nonetheless, let's continue with the next genre: Fantasy.

For my surprise, it started in Romanticism. Typical fantasy creates new mythology, or uses old mythology that is reframed by the author's mind. Mythology should be balanced in term of sex (the gender, people, what were you thinking?) and ought to include hierarchy, fight for dominance, miracles, artefacts, etc. Actions and facts (can) contradict physics.
Last time, I wrote about magical realism which has fantastic elements, too. The most outstanding difference between magical realism and fantasy / sci-fi is that while the former doesn't explain even the most unbelievable things, fantasy and sci-fi tell us why those fantastic things can occur.

But why is there fantasy? There's this thing we call 'frame of reference' which hints at mankind's common knowledge. For example, if you look around mythologies or fairytales of different cultures, you'll find some common symbols, motives and course of actions. This indicates there's something in the background which connects us through these common patterns in various cultures. Social psychology engages in this, if you're interested in it.

A couple of stories we mentioned:
Jostein Gaarder: Sofies verden (Sophie's World)

I'll write down the list of topics, so you can choose which one you'd like to read about next time. If nobody wants to choose, then we'll go in this order:
- Utopias and Distopias
- Historical novels (Regency novels)
- Fairytales
- Humor

I'd like to post my fairytale between Christmas and New Year - I still need to read through it, translate, then check for mistakes, before posting, though. But it won't mess with what you choose for me to write about in the next post, don't worry ;)

December 09, 2010

Complain Corner - Why you (probably) won't see me posting for awhile

Yes, again. Lately, because of NaNoWriMo and sinking into self-pity that I won't reach 50k, blablabla.

Now, I'm having exams. I mean, next week. Every day. Even on Friday, though I don't have lessons on that day. And I'll get to know this weekend whether I'll have 1 or 2 exams on Tuesday. Wheepee! (Feel the sarcasm.)
It's gonna be a hectic week, and I'm afraid that I'll need another bottle (or two) of caffeine-filled coke :/ Damn exam-periods, ruining my health. Oh, and I'll have one more exam on the 21st, then I'm clear - until 7th January, but I'm not complaining about that one, because otherwise, it'd have had to have been on the 16th or 23rd of December. A little bit of consideration from a teacher - she's doing her PhD studies, so I guess she hasn't forgot the terrible exam periods, yet. Thank you.

On the other hand, I might have a few posts, because - as all worthwile writers, I can be a big procrastinator. But if I do manage to get my wandering mind under control, then you'll probably won't hear from me for a week or two. Just wanted to warn you.

THEN I'll continue my posts about my creative writing class! You didn't forget about that, did you? We still have a few more lessons to go! And I think I'll translate one of my homeworks into English and post it here. An original fairytale ;)

December 05, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010 Summary

This'll be my last completely NaNoWriMo-related entry this year - I think. I don't know yet, how long it'll be, but if it's novel-lenght, sorry in advance. I promise I don't want to go into details, more like a... eer... draft of the third and last week. Oh, and the last two days.

Third week:
At the end of the second week, I was so happy I caught up with TEH PLAN and was only a few hundred words short and feeding off my last blog post, that I felt confident I would finish on time and content with my progress.
Hence those next days when I only wrote a few hundred words. Not much, it didn't even come close to the daily wordcount goal, but still, I wrote some.

Fourth week:
I continued with my few-hundred-words-per-day progress. I still had a week... A WEEK! First, it sounded such a little time, then I reassured myself that's plenty of time. Besides that, I had an exam(-like thingy), then met up with my oldest friend whom I haven't seen for such a long time, so I didn't really have time to write.
And before I knew it, only 5 days were left. I think that's when I began to feel something similar to panic. But no worries! I knew I won't have that much time on the weekend, because I had a few things scheduled, so I had to write a lot on Friday. I can do that easily, right?
Nope. I could only write 1,5k. Then only 1k on Saturday. But I did write 3k on Sunday, which was the most packed day out of the three. Funny how life works, yes? Though I think it might've had something to do with the rapidly rising panic.
More and more of my writing buddies and other fellow wrimos in my region got that nice, shiny, purple bar under their username. Even those who started NaNoWriMo in week two! They only had half the time and they were already finished! And how shameful it'd be if I only had a 2009 winner T-shirt and when someone asks about 2010, I'd be very embarrassed about it, because I couldn't do it!
Yes, I had more on my plate this year and didn't even write in my mother language. But the others who started late, had been very busy, too and they already DID IT!

Thus came Monday, with almost 4k. I wanted to write at least... I don't know... 5k or 6k? Because I only had 1 class on Monday, then I was free (aside from homework for next morning). And Tuesday is a long day. And last year, I managed to write 6k (my record!), but I didn't have classes that day. So it seemed impossible to write even more on Tuesday.
Nonetheless, I closed Monday with 44 422 words. I had to write more than 5,5k on the last day, as if there wasn't enough things to do!!!
On Tuesday, I wrote when waiting between classes, using whatever notebook (paper-based) I dug out of my bag. Bought snacks. Bought coke (but let's keep this between ourselves; I don't fancy coke, I only needed it for the adrenaline and since I'd been waking up before 6 AM for a couple of days and had to write more than 5,5k on a busy schoolday to finish on time, I decided to buy one).
Luckly (?), my last class was canceled, so I got home as fast as I could, typed up the scenes from my notebook and drank coke. And wrote. And wrote, and wrote. And didn't use the Hungarian NaNoWriMo chatroom, until I got to 50k. In 4-4,5 hours, around 8.15 PM, I reached the 50 000 words finishline.
Then I went to eat dinner, started up the chat and after awhile, I realized I downed all 0,5 litre coke during my writing frenzy. And no matter who opened my door, I directed them at my doorhanger which said not to disturb me under any circumstances.

It was crazy. It was a long chase. And I've transcended many things that seemed impossible to overcome before. In 2009, I wrote in Hungarian, my mother language. I had a passive semester at the University, so I only had two, 90-minutes lessons every week at a language school. I had plenty of time on my hands. In 2010, I had and active semester at the University, packed with seminars, which meant I had to prepare for every class. I decided to write in English. Also, this is the semester before my last <touches wood>, so I wrote this with the thought looming behind that I need to get started on my thesis, soon. And if I don't pass a course this semester, I'd be stuck here for another year.
I didn't know I could do it. And if our beloved Municipal Liasion, Poggi, wouldn't have nudged me and encouraged me to try - I still wouldn't know I can achieve this. I'm truly grateful for you, Poggi, if you're reading this, and I'll never forget that it's thanks to you that I know I can overcome my limits like this.

And thank you for you, who got started in the middle of November and showed us courage and enviable determination, persistence and faith that in spite of beginning late, you could still do it. And thank you for those, who were always a few steps before us, and ended November with unbelievably large wordcounts! And thank you for the others, even those who didn't win, because their determination, encouragement and always being helpful meant a lot to me.

It was a great November, let's do this again next year!!! <famous last words>

November 13, 2010

NaNoWriMo - The Second Week

After my post on Monday about the enthusiastic first weekend, Second Week hit me. Literally.
I was exhausted on Tuesday and had lots of classes (not that that kept me from writing last week, but now I couldn't fight), then Wednesday, I planned to write a lot, after all, I only had one lesson in the morning, then another in the evening, so all should be alright, right?

Not really. The weather was depressing and I felt as if I'd been plunged into the deepest, darkest, blackest waters of self-pity. I had hit a wall - I only had 3 sentences in my outline about what was supposed to happen now in my Novel and I needed at least 3-5 scenes written from them. I couldn't find Inspiration anymore. And my idea which sounded so fantastic earlier, now seemed hollow. I couldn't even get into my characters' head! Ugh.

Then came Thursday, my mood wasn't any better, but I went to all my classes at least. For the record, my last class was Creative Writing. You know, the one that gave me the idea to start this blog.
And we had a special lecture that day - we didn't sit in the classroom, but rather, went to a discussion and book introduction at a bookshop, called 'Írók Boltja' which means 'Writers' Shop' in Hungarian. The event was both in English and in Hungarian. I loved hearing the Irishmen speak and although it was late and I was a bit tired, I was really content.
I even joked with my classmates that this will be a research for me; so when I'll have my booklaunch for my bestseller, I'll already have experiences about these things.
Oh, and I just bought a new mobile phone which I am absolutely in love with! I've wanted this phone for at least 2 months now.

After I got home, tired, but content, I got to know my new cell phone. I knew I wouldn't be writing, no matter how much I planned to, because I still didn't have Inspiration AND I know myself enough to realize I wouldn't be satisfied until I got acquainted with my new gadget. So I did just that.

But you know what happened on Friday? I was still in bed, and the Sun, which has been hiding over the last few days, was now annoyingly bright and shining straight into my eyes from behind the blinds, when inspiration suddenly hit me. It seemed I really only needed to let go of the guilt and quit stressing myself over my wordcount and have my Novel rest a few days. I remember I had a rough second week last year, as well.
I still have a few details to shape (like the very next scene, again! argh!), but my faith returned. I remembered how enthusiastic I was on the last week of October to finally start my story, and how much I loved writing the first few thousand words last week. And I caught up with my wordcount, I wrote more than 4000 words yesterday and I only need about 400 today to reach the official NaNoWriMo wordcount. Which will be a little tricky, since I'm invited to a birthday celebration, but who knows?
Well, I won't stress myself over it, I'll just have to write more words tomorrow, right?

How do you fight SWD (Second Week Depression)? What do you do to get over it? Or you don't even notice, just write, write, write?

November 08, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day #6-7 A. K. A. 1st weekend

On Saturday, I went to the hairdresser, so I can write my NaNoWriMo looking great.* While there, I read the book I had to for my class on Wednesday. I threw it on the seat next to me after I reached about 30 pages. Yes, it was that bad.
After I got home, I wrote. Then watched a few episodes. Then did this and that and went to the chatroom of our region. Several of my fellow Hungarian Wrimos were participating a weekend-long ww marathon! It was like: 20 mins ww, 10 mins break, 20 mins www, 10 mins break, and so on. I got distracted when I searched the dictionary and eventually gave up participating. I was counting the minutes in the end.
Then realized I wanted to reach 12k by the end of the day and I was getting nowhere. So I logged off the chat and refreshened myself (washing face in cold water, running and skipping around the apartment thrice) and bargained with myself (I wouldn't get to eat dinner, go to the bathroom or watch another episode till I reach 12k) AND began writing again.
And I finally reached 12k (appr. 12,5k)! I was so glad! Then I went back to the chat to cheer the others and make use of my stopwatch, again. I was up till midnight, ready to nod off, but stayed with the others for the last ww for the day :) By the end of the day, I wrote about 2900 words. Woo-hoo!

On Sunday, I wrote little during the day. Then, in the afternoon, I decided to finish that... book. I did it. But I swear it's an energy-vampire, because I was so drained after finishing it, that I didn't even have the strenght to do anything, anymore. I watched two episodes, hoping they would lift my spirits.
They did and I got down to bussiness (A. K. A. writing) in the night. I wanted to reach 15k. As you can see it on the left side, I managed to do it. No matter the cleaning or anything, I managed to get down a little more than 15k words half past 11 PM.
And that's when I remembered that I had to get up early next day! Ugh. I'm still in one piece (almost wrote that starting with capital letters o.O), though I only managed about 300 words so far. But it's still early, right? Even if the sky is already dark and I'm yawning, again. My goal for the day? 17k. 18k would be better, but I don't think I can manage it. 17,5k at the best. But we'll see.

Wish you a few thousand words today!!!

*No, this wasn't the reason, but eventually, it worked out this way, too.

November 05, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day #3-4-5

I haven't written anything on the 3rd, but I blame it on the gloomy wheather and also, (un)fortunately, I found a new manga series interesting... Which is somewhat surprising, because I usually only do that when I have exams (yes, procastination has NO limits).

On the 4th, I wrote appr. 2365 words. Wow, this sounds so much! I only remember reading that manga, then before I knew it, I had only 1 hour before going to class (creative writing!) and decided to write till I need to get going and did just that. Then, after class, I had a chat with one of my classmates, with hot chocolate and even managed to convince her to sign up for NaNoWriMo! And she did! I told her I finished it on the 26th last year, so it's not too late to join us in NaNoLand. I'm so proud of her!
After I got home, I wrote some more. But it still didn't seem this much :o I'm glad, though.

Today, I wrote appr. 2500 words, so I'm at 9622 words so far. I wanted to reach 10k today, but... certain things got in the way, only half an hour ago. So my day went like this: read the manga (finally caught up with the freshest chapters!), then wrote, then I had to turn off the computer and only got back to writing around... hmm... 7 PM? And been writing since then.
I'm at a scene where I need some idea to think about how exactly should I reach the next plot point, without any plot holes to disappear into o.O So I figured I'd browse the internet for awhile, maybe I get some inspiration, then be done with it. Only, I managed to remember a thing I wanted to check for a couple of days now and always forgot before tonight.
It's the public plan for the new law of higher education (no worries, my English speaking friends, I am speaking of Hungary now - as for my Hungarian friends, feel free to worry, please). I only got to read the intro, but by the time I reached the end of it (it's not long, only 1/4 page) I was so angry, and frustrated and feeling helpless that I knew this was a bad idea before reaching my goal for today. Ugh. I would rant about it, but since I don't like complaining, let's just say that I was overwhelmed by a strong need to get out of here. I mean, out of Hungary. And again. I don't think I can count on my fingers how many times I felt this in the last few years, but it was certainly a lower number than the ones I've felt after the election this spring. It's... suffocating.

But, on to calmer waters: I decided I want to reach at least 12k tomorrow! So now I only need to figure out how to get Odette from one place to another. I have a faint idea, but I still need to see if I can imagine it - I mean, if it's really possible and not a deus ex machina move - you know what I mean.

Wish you at least 1667 words today!

November 02, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day #2 - A journal entry

Dear Blog,

I successfully managed to flick off a spider from my glasses during today's Russian word test, then between Japanese Literature and Russian Linguistics, I created a time paradox and in order to solve it, I used a non-linear conception of time.
When I got home after my classes, I realized I forgot to lock the keys on my dictaphone, so it recorded 3,5 hours of nothing interesting, but I found out at least that it used appr. 50 MBs of space and the batteries are still okay. I amused myself listening to bits of it.
In the evening, I managed to break our internet-connection (effectively rendering our landphone useless) while trying to work on my NaNoWriMo Novel. Fortunately, the need of the www and my creativity let me fix the connection.
Now I can finally continue my novel. See you later!

2nd Nov., 2010. 7 PM

November 01, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day #1

As it is almost 8 PM and my fingers hurt, I feel it should be okay to sum up today's events. So, I looked through those aforementioned 295 words, edited a little (I couldn't help myself, I wrote them in such a haste and strange mindset, I was exhausted and 295 words aren't the end of the world - only the beginning of it, at least, in my novel... or not?), wrote some more there, then continued the story.

I must confess, I updated my wordcount more times than I should've - and wandered to the statistics page to see it changed (woah, new shiny little statistics!) and drew the conclusion: do not check your statistics unless you're done with your word-goal for the day. Otherwise, it will just dampen your spirits.
It didn't dampen mine, however, I just kept going, I needed to continue. As of now, I have 2316 words written in English and enjoyed creating them! I planned on doing some more today (I can see a day or two when I absolutely won't be able to write, besides I tend to write as if I am on a roller coaster: a lot in one go, then nothing for days), but I'm not sure I will be able to do so.
You see, I have a test tomorrow (yes, I finished my portion for the day before I went to prepare for it, don't worry, my fellow Wrimos) and besides the fact that I need to study, I wrote my homework. My conclusion: never ever write long texts with rotring. I can't even hold a pencil now and it's even hard to type :'(

So, first day is successful, we'll see what tomorrow brings (I know, test and the need to finish a 300-pages long book in a few hours - oh! and reach my daily word-goal).
Hope you're doing well! Boost your word count while you have the momentum and as long as your fingers don't hurt (too much)! Good luck!

PS.: I don't know how frequently I'll be posting about my NaNo progress (I have a sneaking suspicion it will be infrequently), but I'll try my best.

Managing your time

NaNoWriMo has just started, I've already written 295 words in 5 minutes after midnight, in English (which is not my native language), I'll probably skim through it, because it looks rather ungainly and 295 not such an amount that I can lose precious time because of it.

While were're at it, TIME. Not only my NaNo Novel includes time-travelling, but I think I may need that little handy hourglass-thing Hermione has (but doesn't every Wrimo?). I have to figure out how to prepare for next day's word-test at University and do my homework for Tuesday, and I need to read a few-hundred pages long book before Wednesday morning.
Oh, and write for my NaNo. Why are there only 24 hrs a day? And it's only day 1! (And only 11AM...)

Hope you're doing better and don't stress yourself over every little thing as I do. How was/is your first day in this year's NaNoLand?

PS.: The word-count widgets are active! Shiny~~!

October 30, 2010

Preparing for NaNoWriMo

Only a little more than a day and it starts! I'm really excited, eager to write which is a great feeling! Writing is easier when one's enthusiastic, right?
Right. Still need to figure some things out before it begins. But I would love to write instead of smoothing out the details. I've just finished the outline yesterday evening. I was glad I can finally see exactly where I wanted the story to go and how to prevent time's material from fracturing further, when who decided to join? After I mentally finished my story? Another character! It's so frustrating, because now I have to edit the 2/3 of the outline so she would fit into the storyline. However, I can see how she would propel some events and she also has a big role in the romantic thread of the story.
Ah, the romantic thread. I hope I'll be okay with it this year, because I'm afraid that in my last NaNo, it only existed in my imagination, but not in my actual storytelling. Maybe I should re-read some of my old works.

I used a new method (for me) this year while collecting my ideas for my novel. My mp3 player broke, but I can still use the dictaphone mode. So I made notes on that and later, listened to my own voice (ugh) and it took a few afternoons and evenings, but I finally managed to get everything typed into my computer. The best thing is, my notes on the dictaphone are in Hungarian, while I was writing them down in English. A warm-up for my NaNo this year, because I'm writing it in English!
The point is, I love that it captures more of my ideas and I can think paralelly not only on 2 or 3 threads, but on one more and I won't forget it, because I only need to listen to it once more, after I wrote down my other idea(s). So it may take more time, but I think it's perfect for being more creative and for a brainstorming session, of course.

What methods do you use while outlining? How are you preparing for NaNoWriMo? Are you as excited to begin as I am?

October 26, 2010

Magic realism

Magic realism or magical realism is an aesthetic style or genre of fiction in which magical elements are blended into a realistic atmosphere in order to access a deeper understanding of reality. These magical elements are explained like normal occurrences that are presented in a straightforward manner which allows the "real" and the "fantastic" to be accepted in the same stream of thought. It has been widely considered a literary and visual art genre; creative fields that exhibit less significant signs of magic realism include film and music.
Quote: from Wikipedia 

Characteristics of magic realism

*Plenitude style
Stratifying elements (themes, stories), different styles.

*Characters can have fantastic attributes
'Pleasant, but extraordinary strange.' 

The author doesn't tell everything, and doesn't explain if the events are accurate or authentic OR whether he/she agrees with the characters.
The difference between fantasy/sci-fi and magical realism is that the latter doesn't even explain the most fantastic/impossible occurences.

*Sense of mystery
The reader has to look for hidden meanings in the text. A higher awareness in regard to life's contradictions and hidden meaning.

*Collective consciousness
It maps society in the novel, characters relate to that world (and in turn).

*Political critic
Implicit critique of society, particularly the elite.

Magical realism is a post-modern characteristic; realism, surrealism, related to fantasy and science fiction. The first 20 pages are decisive ones.
A few examples: One Hundred Years of Solitude (by Gabriel García Márquez), Salman Rushidie's several books, Toni Morrison, etc. We can see Kaffka as the precursor of magical realism.

No writing excercise in this lesson :( 

October 22, 2010

Publishing in Hungary

As I mentioned in my last post, we discussed this topic after the memoirs and even though I knew it works differently here than there, I came upon a few surprising facts.

First of all, we have Literary Agencies, too, but they don't represent Hungarian authors. My initial question was: 'Then what the heck do they do?' I just learnt that they are the connection between foreign publishers and Hungarian publishing houses.

The other comes from the fact above: writers who'd like to publish their books, go straight to publishers. They pitch their projects to them and if they don't like it, then Writer goes to another publisher. Then another... and another... And when they finally found the perfect match and it comes to signing contracts, well, there's noone to ask advice from, regarding the agreement.
How much advance is normal? What about royalties? If I want to have any say in (for example) the cover, will they change their mind about publishing my book? Will I see the MS after the editor goes through it? Can I have any say about the changes? - And these are only a few questions Writer have to solve on their own.

After these concerns are out of the way and you both signed a contract, then it's usually about 1/2 year or a year before the book is published.
1st: editors edit
2nd: proof-reader goes through the text (this is more strict, looking for grammar mistakes, typos, double meanings, etc.)

What I really couldn't get out of my mind was when the teacher said she works for a publisher and she told us some questions they ask when interviewing new writers. One of them was this: 'How many times did you read your book?'
She said if the answer went on like this: 'I read it, then edited, then got a few friends to read it, too, then edited again...' Then there's a high chance they won't accept the MS. Why? Because they think the words aren't as sincere as in the first or second draft.
For the record, I don't know whether this applies to other publishers in Hungary or not, but I almost asked which one does she work for.

So, you see I discovered another difference! This kept me thinking for awhile, though. But because in the end, I'll always be a maximalist and can't be someone else, whether a publisher likes it or not, I'll be perfecting my MS.

Any thoughts on this topic?

October 20, 2010


Better late than never, they say.

The week before last, we were discussing memoirs. We learnt that biographies are between fact and fiction and there're two types: autobiographies and classical biographies (external). And two other categories for the first one: self-help autobiography (to show yourself to the World) or fictionized autobiography, which is not in chronological order.

The first autobiography novel was written by Augustinus, the title was 'Confessions'. Back then, a biography was called an 'apology'. Interesting, isn't it?
Rousseau wrote the second autobiography.

Autobiography is 70% stream of consciousness-novels (about your feelings, etc.) and 30% facts.

Writing practice:
+ Write one of your days, of your feeling.
+ You have a minute to write anything that comes to mind when hearing the word 'rock' (free association-game).

We also talked about how books are made - in Hungary. I think my next post would be about that, I found an interesting thing to contemplate about, regarding this topic.

October 02, 2010


I took on a creative writing course at the University this semester. The first lesson was on Thursday, and as far as I can see, we'll be focusing on the various genres. E. g. Memoirs, Utopias & Distopias, Fairy Tales, Historic novels... AND there'll be a lesson dedicated to Translation & Editing.

We need to turn in an essay and one of our own texts. I'm already done with my essay. We had 3 topics to choose from:
1) The reason why literature exists
2) My favourite texts
3) A text by me

I went with the first one. Because A) How can you ask a writer for her favourite text? Clearly, she has many. And I was a bit lazy trying to decide which ones should I include. B) Usually, I takes me minimum 7 pages to write a whole short-story, otherwise it'll be a bit... ungainly. This task also said that the writing should be around 3-5 pages.

And I wanted to create something new to reflect my current writing style (though on second thought, I don't know if the first choice can really do that) and I usually have novel-lenght ideas. A bit harder for me to write a complete short story.

For the record, I was thinking for days what to write in my essay. 'The reason why literature exists'... Eventually, I had several point of views and opinions to choose from.
So, with this creative writing course and November coming (NaNoWriMo!) and starting my thesis, I won't be bored this semester. (Did I mention lots of seminars, yet?)