Monday, December 30, 2013


I have not really written much these weeks.
My computer broke and I had to reinstall and restart the laptop.
I switched from Chrome to Firefox and this stupid thing makes blogging more difficult.
I may not frequent the blog as much as I used to, but the main reason behind the lack of posts is the lack of writing.
I do have ideas, and I get them on paper. I play with them for a while but I usually find that the idea has already been written by great writers, and even if it seems a novel idea to me, there are great writers out there in the past and in the present, whose work worth more than mine will ever do, and also there are writers out there, whose work might not be as good as mine, but they are published while mine are not.
I just contemplate and enjoy the good writing of famous and not-so-famous writers these days.

Monday, September 9, 2013

an exhibition

This Friday, I wish you, my kind readers were all here to celebrate the opening of an interesting exhibition.
The story in short:
Some young fine artists living in the town created drawings, photos and paintings. They let us, members of the writers' group see copies of their work months before the exhibition.
Any member who found inspiration in any of the works was free to write anything using the artwork as a prompt. There was only one restriction: the writing should be readable while standing next beside the original artwork in the exhibition room, that is, no writing should be long.
I wrote two poems and one short prose for three of these artworks and there will be two exhibited. One of the poems will not be placed there because the artwork itself will not be displayed for reasons beyond my understanding.
First of all, I love that this project inspired me to write three pieces. I find it so difficult to get anything written these days, I am not urging or pressing it, I miss writing, that is :( So having written these two poems and a short prose was quite fulfilling.
The exhibition starts this Friday and will be available for anyone interested for a month at the local library's exhibition and mess hall for free.
So should by any chance any of you come to Hungary, please contact me and I will guide you through the exhibition. :)
And I would love to share my writings here, but they are not translated yet :(
Here's a link to the artwork, I don't think it will work, but let's try it for once.
And here's the invitation:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

and the bad one...or is it?

i won nothing at the local, art nouveau-themed local literature contest.
there were 93 entries for poems and prose.
as it was legible, i entered two poems (a haiku and another one) and a short story.
i'm telling you, i was disappointed - i mean, i'm not used to failures, but not to wins, either. go figure that it still felt a disappointment.
okay, lament is over.
the good thing is that i had the chance to talk with one of the judges (a 40 something poet) about the reasons for not getting into the final 3.
(both my haiku, and my short story got into the final 15 - whoa, i just reconsider my disappointment, hee-hee.)
so, this man was kind enough to give details about where, just exactly at what paragraph went my writing astray. he pointed out just the way i understood.
he did not give me the method, any method to correct the wrong, but he explained me what went wrong.
wow, it took me a week to go from feeling miserable for not winning to feeling lucky to have been given a short, but thorough analysis of my writing.
geez, i am lucky.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

the good news...

is that now i have my very own copy of the anthology we (the writers' group) published.
And what's more, we had a very bright and thoughtful evening to celebrate the book. The event was held in the town library on 31 May.
It started with a little discussion about issues related to writing, publishing and literature in general, and then the moderator of the event (a 30-something contemporary poet) with the help of the leader of the writers' group guided the audience through the various sections of the book.
Some of the poems or short stories were partly, or completely read aloud.
One of my contributions was too, read.
Listening to my thoughts being read aloud felt a bit awkward as this flash fiction is quite an emotional one. I wrote it just a couple of months ago. It still works within me, I guess.
The book was for sale at the end of the event and it sold quite well.

I keep the book on my windowsill so that I can read it as often as I wish :)
photo credits: empowernetwork dot com

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

sitting on two horses is ...

this post was triggered by Vesper's question.
for more details please refer to the post right below this one.
her question was this: is it possible to submit the same short story to two contests?
i wrote a somewhat mystical, folktale-like piece.
i wrote it upon a prompt given by one contest and decided later on that the writing is more suitable for the regional writers' contest (with the latter being focused on art-nouveau).
were the two contests at least two months or so apart, i wouldn't hesitate to enter my writing to both.
but they are not.
the deadline for the regional contest is 5 May, and 15 May for the other one.
which is practically the same.
my first thought was that it was unethical to enter both (or more than one contest for that matter) with one single writing when said contests are held at the same time.
i asked some of my fellow writers.
i got some 6-8 answers from aspiring writers, published authors and editors. about half of the answers said it is unethical and may cause copyright problems and any writer entering two contests with the same writing will be considered unacceptable by publishing houses. (this latter opinion came from an editor who works for one of the most successful publishing houses in Hungary).
the remaining half assured me that it is my writing and it is my right to enter as many contest as i can and to the hell with the restrictions.
i asked the organizers of the two contest.
only one of them replied, the one working for the regional contest. she said i may enter my story to any other contest just as i like.
so, here i am, the deadline is coming and i'm entering the regional contest.
then i'll have another 10 days.

Monday, April 15, 2013

shifting from one contest to another

there are two writing contests i plan to enter this May.
the first is a regional one, it is for writers of a special region, you guessed it right, to the region where i live.
the contest is annual and was founded in 2012.
since i am a member of the local writers' group, it is my duty to enter - or so i (and every other member of the group, for that matter), was told by our leader.
so, this year the contest focusses on art nouveau and submissions are expected in this style.
none writing however, will be excluded from the competition for NOT meeting this one particular requirement.
deadline is May 5 and my writing is already being beta-read at the moment by at least 2 friends (who are also aspiring authors).
it is a somehow mystic story, told in a folk-tale fashion.
it's full of shiny colors, creepy animals and is set in a magical forest.
i absolutely loved writing it.
it has many symbols embedded i took from Hungarian folk tales and from intuition.
i am so sorry i can not let you read it, but i guess things just might not work in English.
anyway, the trouble is that i wrote that piece for a second contest.
this second contest provides art-work (paintings) as prompts.
here's what happened.
i found one of the painting compelling and i wrote a short story.
on finishing i found that the story meets the requirements of a story written in art nouveau style.
since entering the first contest is a 'must' for me (being part of the local writers' group), i think i will submit my writing to the local competion.
and finally, if these two contests had totally different submission dates, i would not hesitate sending the writing to both.
to see how far it goes on both contests.
but now i have to choose one.
here's the painting that inspired me.

Monday, April 8, 2013

writing a what? :) UPDATED

oh my...
you know our writers' group is publishing an anthology, a second in the row and i have some writings included in it.
well, yesterday i was asked to write the blurb for the back cover.
guess what i am doing with google :)
i have found this site for example.
any tips?
what is your definition of a good blurb?
i wrote one, but the leader of the writers' gorup did not like it really much. than i came up with a blurb that basically told the same things as the first version, but consisted only of questions.
this second version was appreciated.
so i made a third one, a kind of combination of the first and the second one.
this was even more appreciated.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

a short report from the writers' group

yesterday we had a meeting.
we had to read our homework and we tried to spot the mistake (see the post below) in each others writing.
it went like this:
i read my piece aloud, and each time anyone spotted/suspected a mistake he raised his hand.
not all the mistakes were found, and i came to the conclusion that this game is most effective when the piece is printed and made available for free reading for everyone.
for one of my groupmate had had the chance to read it before i started reading and she kept rasing her hand, and raised it at every other or third sentence - just as often as the mistakes were written in the text.
it was fun.
we also talked about the presentation of the second anthology which will come out in softcover at the end of May.
for almost all of us, the idea of sitting in front of a somehow larger audience  (we expect about 150-200 people) and talking about writing seems frightening.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

an interesting homework

in the writers' group i attend we had a fun homework.

we were given a list of seven, really serious writing mistakes.
we had to write a short story (more of a flash fiction) and we had to commit all the seven mistakes at least once.
as soon as i found out the plot i began writing and began seeing the characters behaviour and interaction.
it was a shorty short piece and i kept it under 250 words.
at first i wrote the 'good version' and then the 'bad'.
limiting word count is an extremely useful tool. it shaves off all the unnecessary words and the useless ones, too.
i can't thank Jason enough for introducing me to this technique.
i use it even when i write articles for the agricultural monthly paper.
and Vesper, this little exercise was uplifting. i liked writing it, liked the polishing and kind of like a naughty child, liked committing the mistakes. hee :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

fearing the influence?

a friend of mine is the middle of writing her first novel  - i didn't know about that and offered her the first anthology our writers' group had published two years ago.
since this friend of mine has just joined our group i wanted to give her some perspective about it.
i think it was a neat idea, hm?
she politely refused, saying that she was writing at the moment and didn't want any influence on her style.
she may be right - even if the writer has his/her own strong way of writing, there is still an unwanted influence.
when i was writing Copper Moon, i read nothing.
right now i don't particularly write anything, so i read a lot. books, all style, articles, scientific or everyday.
how about you?
is 'not reading' while being heavily engaged in writing is the sign of uncertainty? a sign of weakness? or is it just the lack of time?
can a certain reading have a positive influence on your writing?
say one of your characters is a vain young lady and you read something about the hype around the opening of a new shopping center. this might just be the necessary bit of information to make your young lady more alive. hm?
what are your experiences?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

snowflakes in the spring

does any of you have experience with the snowflake method (speaking of writing)?
right now, just right now, i am not writing anything fiction, but i have an idea (or three) in my head.
since i consider myself a plotter (as opposed to a pantser) i have a serious intention to give the snowflake method a go.
any personal experience, good or bad is welcomed.

Friday, February 1, 2013


i wrote a short story while attending the online writers' course along March-May 2012.
our job was to show what we gathered during the course.
but i think the study topics were just too fresh for me and they had not yet settled in properly and my old routines show. which means that while descriptions, narration and characters areall right, the story lacks a real plot. there are just too many things jammed into one.
some make sense, others do not. it is like a big lake with lots of currents. you don't see which is important, which is not and you get lost.
there isn't any real conflict at all.
i let the story rest awhile, but during the last two weeks i revisited it.
i marked each different plotline with a different color.
i made myself think to create one real conflict. or a threatening aspect.
i tried to create an arch; where characters start and go somewhere and have a goal.
unfortunately it is in hungarian so there's no use sharing it here with you... :)
there are three betas plus my two kids to guide me.
and yes, this was the first time i re-wrote fiction with a definite target audience in mind.
and also, this was the first time my protagonist was punched in the stomach. so far my characters avoided any harm and i was taught that characters need to undergo soma harsh times to develop and to show their real face.
on a second thought i don't think this punch went really well this time, but hey, i have to start somewhere.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

drama needed

last night i attended a lecture on dramaturgy.
the speaker dealt with short stories and novels alike, focussing mainly on weaknesses. she suggested solutions and potential exercises to move towards the elimination of such problems.
she pointed out that speaking of conflict, also known as a 'drive of a good story', there are 'good' characters and 'bad' ones. 'good' characters are determined, stand up to their right and ready to face challenge and conflict, have strong motivations. these characters trigger and sustain a good conflict or two.
'bad' ones on the other hand, have no real motivation and tend to drive away from actions and/or conflicts. they are not consistent. they may want one thing at one moment and another at another, meaning that they are relatively cool with whatever happens to and around them. a 'bad' character does not stand up, because for most of the time, anything is good for him. which takes me to the conclusion that a 'bad' character is either a complete moron or highly enlightened. :)
jokes aside, i do think a good writer can pull off a story with 'bad' characters. simply because if you take a look around among people, not everyone is full of consciousness, not everyone is strong-willed, not everyone is ready to take a conflict.
i know i am not a moron, nor enlightened, but technically speaking i am a 'bad' character. i am good with what i have, i do not seek conflict - but i have my 'unless' moments. that is i step out of any conflict unless it involves the future of my kids, the ethical stance of my nation, you name it. so there is hope one day i write about conflicts. and a good novel.
the speaker suggested writing dialogues. which advice i will gladly take.
photo credits to: