Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy All Hallow’s!

Have you kept All Hallow’s Read in mind? You know, the day when you give someone a scary book – it’s today and I have not forgotten. And I thought, why give one or few people a book when you can give many people a story? And why print in today’s environment-conscious world where you’ve got the Internet to upload?
So here’s a scary not-exactly-book-much-rather-a-short-story I wrote for all of you. This was created for a competition, originally in Hungarian, where the task was to capture an evil character’s thoughts and introduce one of his or her crimes through their mind – showing motives and reasons. The story won the round of the contest and I really hope the English translation lives up to the original. If you spot any mistakes – since English is not my mother tongue – I will be glad to hear and correct! Executioner has been available in Hungarian for a while, so as always, if you speak Hungarian or like challenges, don’t miss that one either!

And don’t forget that today is also your last chance to download Click Clack the Rattlebag by Neil Gaiman for free and with additional donation to Donorschoose.org or Booktrust at www.Audible.com/ScareUs!

You can also start typing furiously at midnight for NaNoWriMo. Better get some headstart now than rush later on, because this year’s 30 November is closer than ever before!

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Halloween costumes for bookworms

I’ve found a Writer’s Digest article with ideas for quick and simple literature-related Halloween costumes. It lists quite a few interesting ideas like Don Quixote, Napoleon the Pig, Lady Macbeth, Dorian Gray, as well as a few authors. I found them quite amusing, but not as simple to prepare as implied (fashion a ragtag suit of armor out of old junk you’ve got sitting around? I’m not sure I’ve got that kind of junk sitting around…) or very easy to recognize (think Napoleon the Pig). Also, they are very nice classics, but try and go to a Halloween party, then count the people with recognition on their face greeting you “Ah, Lady Macbeth”. Unless, of course, you are at the Shakespeare Fan Club’s party.

So I thought, why not try and make up some more ideas, maybe ones with some more chance of recognition in today’s world? Feel free to add some ideas – we still have a few hours to create them for tonight. We don’t have to go too far from classics to have a costume with at least a slight chance to be recognized. Consider fairytales. Depending on your looks you may choose something obvious – such as Snow White with your black hair (add some pale makeup and an apple for clarity), Little Red Riding Hood if you’re a girl and little enough (add the red and the riding hood, and optionally a wolf), or the Beauty – or the Beast.

Want something more modern? Take some bestsellers right off the shelf and all you need is something elegant plus a tie and some optional accessories to be Ana or Mr Fifty Shades himself, or grab a bow, do the trademark braided hair (careful not to be missed for Princess Leia there) and be Katniss. Just to be sure, you should also wear some fake flames – not real, if you’re planning to go near alcohol or someone pretending to be Haymitch. As for me, if I weren’t resting after a nasty wisdom tooth surgery, I’d definitely be going for some of my favourite characters or stories such as Lucy Westenra with red hair and dress, death-paleness and lifelike (deathlike?) little vampire bites. Or, if all else fails, you can always zombify yourself. Hope you know what to be now, and let me know if you chose a book character (or author) to dress up as, and how it went!

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All Hallow’s Read

Just how brilliant is this new tradition being born just now, and how cool is being part of its birth? Just as cool as most of the stuff that comes out of Neil Gaiman’s brain (strictly figuratively).

The principle is nice and simple: give someone you love (or hate – my addition) a scary book this Halloween. Besides the candy and the zombie teeth let’s make this a tradition.

Check out the site http://www.allhallowsread.com/ for a detailed description, book recommendations and some cool extras like the I’ve Got the Need to Read card (on the left) or some mini-books you can print and gift straight away.

I’m sure that you’ve got the hang of the thing now, but I highly recommend watching the host Neil Gaiman’s explanation on his YT channel anyway. For the full experience.

And an important addition this year: download a short story for free and the hosting site Audible will donate one dollar to Donorschoose.org – or Booktrust, if you’re in the UK. This is only until Halloween, so please go to www.Audible.com/ScareUs and download the short story Click Clack the Rattlebag for free, written and read by Neil Gaiman – you don’t even need to register on the site to do so, and I assure you – having listened to the story myself (a few… OK, a dozen times) – it is worth it. Get it before Halloween.

So, who is going to get a scary book from you and which book do you think makes the best gift?

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NaNoWriMo

What is NaNoWriMo and why should you care? No worries about the scary title – I won’t be using (any more) weird abbreviations, promise. Despite its strange name NaNo deserves to be featured in my first post.

National Novel Writing Month. Ha, now I see the sparks of recognition in eyes behind distant screens… even though this is not exactly what NaNo is. It used to be, but now it’s an international novel writing month. But honestly, how much better would IntNoWriMo sound? Not convinced, because it’s so weird anyway? Try pronouncing Intno and using it daily instead of Nano. See?

So which month out of the twelve is NaNo then? November, of course! A current topic (all by sheer luck for me, of course). You could say the idea is too simple to be true, or maybe it’s revolutionary: first of November, participant sits down (this is optional) and begins to write with the aim of putting down the last, or at least 50,000th word of her brand new novel – 30 November the latest. There’s lots of giving up, starting all over and drinking coffee in the meantime, but once a winner, she can say ‘yes, I wrote a novel’. And that’s something. Winning is first and foremost for the participant, because it’s easy to cheat, but to what point and purpose, as Captain Sparrow would ask? The point of the whole effort is to make writing a community experience (not remotely easy), and to prove that together, with a specific, set goal, even this impossible looking challenge can be conquered.

The effect of the initiative is impressive. Last year over a quarter million people set out for the adventure, including me, and almost 37k crossed the magical fifty thousand word line, including me. Of course, there’s a lot of critiques because of the quality of the writings, or rather the lack thereof. True enough, what kind of novel takes thirty days to write? The participants are well aware of this, but then the mission is not flooding publishers with thousands of drafts in December – although I wonder what statistics have to say about this. The mission is proving yourself that you are capable of struggle for your set goal, that you can, that anyone can write the novel of their dreams, which may otherwise remain a dream forever, and to make November valuable with our new friendships. And with sufficient preparation not all NaNo writings must end up in the bottomless depth of folders on the hard drive, because even though not all winners get contracts, the occasional NaNo-born bestsellers are around us (The Night Circus, anyone?).

Knowing all this, I will be setting out for my second NaNo adventure on the first of November with no less of a goal than putting down at least 1700 words every single day of the month – and adding them to one of my in-progress novels. Which of them I will choose and how I will do (while also finishing my thesis), I will let you know right here on the blog. At the moment Sixth Heaven is more likely, but I may still change my mind and opt for the True Story. Which one do you think makes a better choice? Sixth Heaven, my last-year NaNo-winning first draft, which I have entirely changed since? Or the new story, which I have kinda-outlined (but still know better than Sixth Heaven at the beginning of last November)? Would I get bored or stuck while trying for perfection with the good old story, and would I run into irresolvable dead ends with the new one?

And finally, the most intrigueing question: who else is joining this year?

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Welcome!

Welcome to the way to Sixth Heaven and much more! Browse my poems, short stories and novel excerpts in the drop-down menus, see news about the adventurous world of writing – including my own creative universe – in the blog. If you are Hungarian or like challenges, check out my Hungarian site too! You will find works not available in English. And please comment! Nothing worth receiving some good feedback! (Such as: “Stop overusing the exclamation mark!”)

The site is currently under construction. Have fun with what’s available right now and check back soon for more!

You can also FOLLOW by e-mail with the button on the left to know about updates!

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