Mythology and Fantasy
Since I was a young child, I was fascinated by legends and mythology, especially Hun legends such as Emese's Dream, King Attila, and the legend of Turul bird.
According to http://turul.info/, the mythical Turul bird is one of the most important symbols of the Hungarians. The Turul is seen as the ancestor of Attila and is often depicted carrying the flaming Sword of God.
The legend of Emese, who was the descendant of King Atilla and wife of Ügyek, once had a dream. As the Turul bird appeared in her dream, a crystal-clear stream started to flow from her. As the water flowed, it grew into a mighty river. It was thought that the dream represented her symbolic impregnation by the Turul, and it meant that she would give birth to a line of great rulers. Emese found out shortly after the dream that she was pregnant. She gave birth to Álmos, who was the father of Árpád, the great leader of the Magyars and founder of Hungary. This legend reaffirms the Hun-Magyar kinship and the knowledge that the Magyars re-conquered Hungary as their rightful inheritance from Atilla's great Hun Empire.
In my fantasy series, The Ancestors' Secrets, I weaved my favorite legends and bits of historical facts into the story, that plays out in the present and past, with intriguing tribal secrets, magical heritage, love triangle, and an exciting and dangerous life in a secret society.
I love this beautiful video about the ancient beliefs, the mythology of the World Tree. It also mentions Attila the Hun and the Turul bird that carries the Sword of God.
Read the full post HERE
Writing is easy. You just sit by your computer and write. Right?
A few months ago a friend came for a visit. I was in middle of writing a novelette and didn't want to lose my thoughts on a crucial dialog, so I told her to make herself comfortable and give me a few minutes to finish it.
"Sure, no problem, "she said. "I'll make coffee and I have a few calls to make, anyway. Take your time."
She sat on the couch and by the time I finished about two pages, she took care of a few calls.
"Let me see what you wrote," she came over to my desk and looked at my screen.
I opened the document and told her, "I only have about ten pages written but if you want to read it, here it is."
She sat down, read the pages and she said, "It sounds great! You know, I should write a book too. I have a gazillion ideas and writing can't be that hard. How does it feel when your book is finished and published?"
"Writing a book is one of the most challenging and rewarding things I've ever done. When I hold the finished book... it's like..."
"That's it then! I'm going to write one and you will help me publish it."
Knowing her flighty nature, starting ten projects at the same time and never finish any, I said, "Well, anyone can write a book but I have to tell you that it takes serious determination, patience, and hard work to actually finish it."
"So how do you start writing a book?"
Read the full post HERE
A Historical Town
I grew up in this lovely historical town, Sárospatak, in northern Hungary of the Bodrog river valley.
The area has been inhabited since ancient times and Sárospatak was granted town status in 1201 by King Emeric. Today the town is a tourist attraction and an important cultural center.
The Rakoczi var's ground was one of my favorite playgrounds when I was a kid. We played the wargame with my friends and defended the castle against the Habsburgs with toy swords and muskets.
There is a beautiful tradition every year when the town celebrates the patron saint, St. Erzsebet's life. People dress up in costumes and reenact Erzsebet's life from birth to her death.
Continue reading the full post HERE
Today I'm posting about my Award Winner bilingual children's book at #OurAuthorGang,
Pico, The Pesky Parrot
Pico, el Loro Latoso
The purpose of this English and Spanish bilingual book is to show children the beauty of the English and Spanish language side by side. The story also delivers a message to children about family values, accepting people with disability and finding a solution to problems with friends as a group. Also, when we don’t take the time to listen to each other, we tend to judge others quickly before we get to know them.
Click to read the full post HERE
Look, I Can Talk With My Fingers!
"Early in human history, humans used simple sign language to express basic ideas. Even when vocal communication became the mainstream form of interaction, people would still use hand and facial gestures to enhance ideas in communication. When people were found to be deaf in ancient times, they were often persecuted and mistreated; therefore, deaf people were not given the chance to work on creating a language. This lasted until the 1500's Pedro Ponce de Leon, a Benedictine monk, created his own form of sign language to bypass his "vow of silence". This form of sign language may have been then taught to deaf children later on. In 1620, Juan Pablo Bonet wrote a sign language dictionary that outlined how to learn sign language and contained the first sign language alphabet. His sign language alphabet later influenced deaf communication when the first schools for the deaf were opened. In addition, Martha's Vineyard was an area that was settled by about 200 immigrants who carried dominant and recessive genes for deafness, so the inhabitants came up with their own kind of sign language and taught their descendants how to learn sign language."
When I was a young child we were having a family dinner in a restaurant. I remember watching a couple at the next table and I was mesmerized by what they were doing. They smiled at each other, their facial expression changed rapidly as they moved their lips but they didn't make any sound. They moved their hands and fingers as if they were doing a well-choreographed dance.
My mother touched my arm and whispered to me, "You know it's rude to stare at people, right?"
"What are they doing?" I whispered back.
"They're talking to each other."
"No, mom," I argued. "They're not saying anything."
"They're deaf," mom explained. "They can't hear, so they're talking to each other with sign language."
"Why can't they hear?"
"Some deaf people are born that way and others get sick and lose their hearing."
"Why can't the doctor fix it?"
"Well, some people are not completely deaf and they can use a hearing aid, but others can't be fixed so they learn sign language to talk to each other."
I will never forget the mixed feelings that swirled in my mind and I kept asking my parents about what deafness might feel like. When we got home mom handed me two cotton balls and said, "Put these in your ears if you want to find out what it feels like."
Continue reading the full post HERE
My Grandmother, Rozalia, was born in 1892 in a small town of Hungary. She often told me stories about the times when she was a young girl and a young woman. They didn't have the freedom to date openly and most weren't even allowed to express who they wanted to marry.
But, young women and men were very inventive and they found the way to communicate their fondness and thoughts with each other under the watchful eyes of their parents and chaperones.
When a young man spotted a young lady with a chaperone that he liked, he followed them home, and from then on, he communicated his feelings to her with hidden notes and flowers. When fresh flowers weren't available, they used drawings and paintings, or dry-pressed flowers.
When the young man left snowdrops and lotus flowers for his lady, she new that her suitor is hoping that she's at the age when he could start courting her openly. With this combination of flowers he asked her permission to approach her parents.
I added some of the flower language meanings to the chapter heading in my romantic fantasy, alternate history, magical realism novel series that is suitable for young adults as well. Some readers love this added special touch, others don't like it. Judge it for yourself.
Continue reading the post HERE
Erika M Szabo
I write magical realism, alternate history, epic fantasy novels as well as fun, educational and bilingual books for children ages 2-14
We blog and have fun together at #OurAuthorGang
Visit our blog HERE
Magical realism trilogy
Suspense, suitable for young adults
Fantasy adventure for children 8-14
Illustrated storybooks for children 4-12
Picture books for children 2-6
Health related books