We have been telling stories to each other for thousands of years. In primary school you must have heard of the three literary genres: lyric, drama and epic. The Iliad will be familiar to you. As a writer, I deal with epic poetry. I write novels. How did it start? Like everyone else. I continued with my favourite story, The Frog King. Then later, the last full-page drawing of a comic book based on a science fiction novel lit the furnace in my writer's workshop, with the protagonist holding the heroine in his arms. The fire of creation was kindled, the desire to create, and my first artistic self, the writer, emerged.
It is important that the writer is a reader first! I learnt to read at the age of seven and read one book a week until I was thirty, or about 1,000 volumes in twenty-three years. Reading is surprisingly rewarding. One of its positive benefits is that it has enabled me to speak fluently and continuously, which requires that I can think coherently! This is also due to reading. My good advice, please take it, read!
A mixture of reading, classics and popular fiction.
Please ignore the social networking apps, they're bad for you. They distract you, they exhaust your brain, they steal your life time, which you could spend creating if you were born to be an artist.
The writer uses his brain. Writing is continuous thinking. It is extremely demanding! It requires an incredible amount of concentration. For your own sake, you need to spare your brain the useless information that would be a waste of your skills to interpret. You are capable of much more - you are capable of much more! Writing, that is, thinking in a continuous, focused way, is one of the highest human achievements! If you can do that, you can praise yourself.
Your brain, your body are your most valuable personal possessions. Cherish them both. Self-esteem is based on recognizing their value. Using them is a source of pleasure. It is good to live. It is good to create. Live! If you want to be a writer, don't just drift, shape your life! Watch, learn, practice. I'm not just sitting in front of my computer. I even tried aikido. I gardened. I've led hikes. I worked abroad. And, of course, I trained myself. Of course, I still do many of these things to this day. I lead an active life. As a writer you have to be present in reality. A good writer is a good observer and a good professional. He pays attention to detail. Take the first step.
Forget about shame and expectations. The most important thing is to make it a joy to create. Enjoy it. In the beginning, just write down what comes to you. Practice. Just like when you were a kid and you took a clay paste and made something out of it. And you never thought of Rodin's Thinker! It's important not to set yourself an irrational goal. Here are the devastating facts. There are eight billion of us on the planet. In many countries of the world, there are professional writing schools that are churning out writers of outstanding talent. And yet not all of them become bestselling authors. It makes you very miserable to aspire to something that is unattainable. In Hungarian, you're not going to be a world-famous, big-selling author. In fact, you can get into quite a lot of trouble if you think that writing is a way of making a living, or if you see writing as a source of livelihood in the first place. It's not. It's a joy. So stay with me and listen to me if you want to do well for yourself.
So you've been captivated by a story and realised you might as well write one yourself. Meanwhile, it never occurs to you that if you don't learn to read and write at primary school, you'll never get the idea of writing. It's surprising that almost no one realises that writing is a luxury. You sit in your warm room, banging away at the keyboard with a belly full of food. You are in an exceptional position! A pat on the back is in order. Another fact, nature knows only one success, the living being is alive. You live and you create. Fantastic!
Rejoice, for you are indeed fortunate. So don't push yourself with world success or publishing. Learn to write first and finish your first book.
Writing is a profession. It can be learned. There are online tutorials in English to help you get started. If you really have the germ of talent, you can find an editor, or a master, who will be of great use to you, because he will point out your blind spots, your weak points. An editor is tough but sober. You need him badly. I put my two hands together that one of our fantasy writers was my master. One of the great old men, the one who picked me up.
Again, good advice, he does other creative activities besides writing. If no one can see or hear you, dance and sing. It doesn't matter that you can't sing and dance, the very act of making noise and moving is good for you. It relaxes you, it energises you. Or, if you're more relaxed, paint, crochet, whatever feels good. But make sure you move! The brain needs oxygen. And eat right. Healthy body, healthy soul.
Believe me, writing is stressful. You need all your strength to perform at your peak. That's why it's important not to distract yourself. Be purposeful. Put everything aside when you sit down to write. I even turn off the internet. I come off the network and only have the word processor open.
It's important to have an agenda! The brain likes order. In fact, it's an added bonus if you use tiny rituals.
For example, listening to your favourite song before you create, doing a little dance, making a cup of tea, etc. The ritual can be anything. However, it is important to be rested and relaxed, with nothing to distract you. You need to concentrate and pay attention to so many things you won't believe it. When my brain is spinning at top speed, I am able to control the text, keep a lot in mind, and constantly use language in a demanding and varied way, paying attention to the unique traits of my characters as their actions and words shape the story.
Believe me, it's a fascinating experience, like being a Formula 1 driver.
Where does inspiration come from? From everywhere. Because our brains get a lot of stimuli every day. But there's always one that hits you right on the head. You recognize it. It's an aha moment. It's a little different for me, because I don't consciously pay attention to the signals. I have better things to do than react to random impulses. However, in the evenings, my brain goes wild and in between the daydreams of processing stimuli, I have deep, conflict-processing, or storytelling dreams. These are amazing. It's like being a camera in a movie. At the same time, the brain pours information about characters and events into me. They often include spoken text and music. They are colourful. They are all very powerful experiences. The last one was on 5 November 2021, which inspired me to reopen the creative workshop of my brain after fifteen years.
I think it's time I finished my treatise.
You know exactly what you want. Go create and enjoy yourself.
One of the things that really touched me was the ocean. Standing on the shore, feeling the wind blowing, hearing and seeing the waves, smelling the distinctive scent, and taking a handful of water and tasting how salty it is. The Ocean threw the truth in my face. As a Hungarian, living in a small town, moving within a 20 km radius, I know nothing about life that is much bigger than anything I have ever been able to comprehend. I was standing on the beach and tears were flowing. I am still in tears. Few people admit it, but Hungarian society as a whole is built on an abusive system designed to break people down and enslave them. Feudalism has never gone away in my country. There are masters and servants. It is quite commonplace that women are even worse off than men. Alcoholism is a widespread disease. Hungary is a terribly depressing place, of which the tourist perceives nothing, because he is only here for a short time, and for those who come as guests, my country is a magical place.
Note: During my stay, my host shared local problems with me. I am Hungarian. I know the shit of human existence. I do not wear rose-colored glasses. My heart is green. I have seen homeless people in Perth. Cops came out on the street where I lived. I've seen where the rich live. I also saw how vulnerable it is to be a semi-legal immigrant. Yeah, being human totally sucks. Toxic animals or toxic people. Oh yeah. You get to choose where you die and what you die from. Life is wonderful.
Now you rightly ask what my thoughts so far have to do with the title of my post and my photos? The internet is a hotbed for all sorts of fake news that mask reality. They are designed to blind people and make them look the wrong way. Although most people are truly unable to face reality. For example, climate change is disrupting our lives. In the high mountain spruce forest, I see that this is a real process. A few days ago I got the news that in spruce groves a Caesar's mushroom Amanita caesarea was found. Mediterranean, heat-loving mushroom! It is not a natural habitat of spruce forest, but the hot summers caused by climate change have allowed it to colonise. This is an obvious sign of climate change. The fungus doesn't know, and people don't care, that spruce trees are dying because of hot, dry summers. The beautiful, real, original forest is on the brink of destruction. I stood there among the old trees and I was impressed.
I have been writing in vain for more than ten years. I have only the faintest hope that, after my death, someone will finally understand what I've been talking about and change will begin. Although I also fear that it is too late already.
field mushroom A. campestris, above A. pseudopratensis. They are very similar. Now imagine someone picking a basket full of both and putting it in front of you to sort them out, because he recognised them all as good and edible mushrooms. This is one of the most frightening possibilities. The Agaricus species are the scary ones, when there's a mix of good and bad, and you sort it out. Moreover, very young fruiting bodies do not yet clearly show the key characteristics. As a professional inspector, I stare in horror at the cute white mushrooms. Hobby shroomers are happy to pick them in the meantime. Deep air. I am a professional. Really. I'm not afraid of white mushrooms. I'll be tough.
How much easier it is for me when they pick common fieldcap Agrocybe pediades among the fairy ring champignon Marasmius oreades. The difference between the two is clear, Agrocybe on the left, Marasmius on the right. The fairy ring champignon is an excellent delicacy mushroom. It's very popular, a lot of people are looking for it, it's just tedious work to collect it. Few people know that one of the components of its unique odor is hydrogen cyanide. It is toxic in its raw form. However, cooking removes the toxic compound and the mushrooms are safe to eat. It is very important don't to eat mushrooms raw! Mushrooms as a food are wonderful, but there are risks involved. Fortunately, there are good, edible mushrooms that are easy to identify.
parasol Macrolepiota procera, is mentioned in the article. It's very hard to mistake it for anything else. However, there was a case of poisoning many years ago, when an occasional mushroom picker, in complete ignorance, mistook panthercap Amanita pantherina for parasol mushroom. Fortunately, she recovered quickly. The panthercap isn't as deadly poisonous as the deathcap Amanita phalloides, which is indeed life-threatening. As a white gills fungus, the deathcap is immediately distinguishable from the brown gills mushrooms. However, the Agaricus species mimics each other back and forth. That's why sorting them is scarier. Fortunately, they are not life-threateningly poisonous, but the poisonous species can give you a pretty nasty upset stomach. Mushrooms, I'm ready.
Now many people are mushrooming. On 20 August the weather changed. It has been a long time since September was wet and cool. I am surprised and happy. On Sunday morning from 7am to noon, a lot of people came with a lot of mushrooms. I was tired. How did I walk home? Then I rested. I didn't go anywhere today either. The shroomers will come again to me tomorrow.
yellow stainer A. xanthodermus. Selecting these is not always easy. I also saw "Boletus", "Xerocomus", other bolete in large numbers, 8 species. The penny bun Boletus edulis was a gift. A shroomer brought it to me from the mountains. All the other fungi grew locally! It was amazing. So there were certainly 25 species on my table.
This picture shows the fruit bodies of three species of Agaricus. The left group are all yellow painters. The mushroom on the rightmost is horse mushroom A. arvensis. The smaller fruit body next to it is also edible Agaricus. The colour of their gills was actually light greyish purple. I shone with my mobile phone's LED under their caps. Hence the unrealistic colour. Sorry. However, you can see that the mid-aged fruiting body of the poisonous A. xanthodermus has pink gills. It grows in incredible quantities in fields and forests. It's easy to pick a lot of it. Shroomers will recognise it as an Agaricus, but unfortunately it causes indigestion if the chemical smell hasn't put them off eating it.
poplar fieldcap Cyclocybe cylindracea. Of course, they also brought me some of this during the morning. It is also a good, edible mushroom in Békés county. I like it too.
Although mentally I was very tired yesterday, physically I felt relatively strong despite the ill, and I detoured from the Csabacenter to the Csabagyöngye, where I took the photo. Then I got home and dropped everything. A quick cold-shower, lunch, editing the pictures, and off to bed early afternoon. I had no energy left to work on the novel. But the story is taking shape in my mind. I'm on a long journey. Just don't get carried away by the mushrooms.
Morimus funereus and similar large arthropods are guaranteed to fascinate children. Although mushrooms are my special favourite, as a naturalist I know the local wildlife very well. Since 2017, the forest as a wonderful ecosystem has been my favourite subject. It's true, a mushroom hunter finds most mushrooms in the trees, because the forest is the perfect habitat for my favourites. It's a treasure trove of incomparable treasures, where I like to introduce adults and children alike.I would be happy to expand my activities. The 21st century needs people like me who are intrinsically motivated to preserve and showcase these values. I am altruistic, many lectures and tours are free, but I need a financial base for my trips to collect material/expand my knowledge. Therefore, I would like you to support me with a commission.
The translation was done by DeepL.
I sip hot green tea with honey and think about the weather forecast. Three days from now, it's going to be like the end of October. From the North Pole, large amounts of cold air will flow into Central Europe. The chill that marks the change of season has already hit. I have a cold. Or maybe I've got Covid, but I'll know that when I've taken the test and done it. I'm not going mushrooming this week. I'll get better first, and I'll prepare for the significantly cooler weather.
The picture shows two species: macro mushroom A. crocodilinus (left), salty mushroom A. bernardii (right). The phablet is big, but the musrooms are bigger! Both species are edible and marketable mushrooms in Hungary. The huge mushrooms fascinate shroomers on the steppe. Shroomers are looking for Agaricus species. Most of them are really good and edible. However, some species are poisonous! The yellow stainer A. xanthodermus. It is very similar to a good, edible horse mushroom A. arvensis. Identification of Agaricus species ranges from fairly easy to very difficult. The two giants in the picture are easy to recognise. However, A. xanthodermus can easily mislead shroomers, as it does not always turn yellow and is not always odorous. It is a very annoying fungus. Fortunately, the flesh on the bottom of the stem turns yellow and when you heat it up, the fenol smell intensifies. Unfortunately, it causes very unpleasant stomach upset when consumed. It is an intensely negative experience. Be careful when collecting mushrooms!
In the morning, at the market, a mushroom picker brought two giant puffballs Langermannia gigantea from his garden. He was very lucky. It is one of the most sought-after mushrooms in the country. I told him to be more patient next time, because they will grow even bigger. The giant puffball prefers habitats with high nutrient soils, such as locust with nettles. Popular breaded, but also very good grilled. I've eaten it both ways. It is considered the "big game" among edible mushrooms, and its appearance signals perfect weather, which mushrooms love. And mushrooms are loved by shroomers. The shroomer part of me would be running around with sparkling eyes, and the writer part would be sitting on her butt working on the novel. I laugh at myself. I love autumn. I love nature, and I love travelling, both inside and outside. It's strange, but life gives me everything I want. I just have to be patient and persevere.
For more than ten years, I have pushed the writer in me to the background for the sake of mushrooms and nature, even though I have a flair for writing. My sense of proportion helps me with photography and writing. And I have a very strong imagination. I currently exist in both reality and fiction. My mind has turned my consciousness and unconscious into characters. Both support each other on the way to the end of the story. It makes me dizzy to have a point of view that is both external and internal because I am my own hero! It's fun to create theatre in my head, or rather a movie. It's like making a film. Otherwise I don't like to be so removed from reality, but in real life I've had so little success in the last three years that I have to make up for what I don't have with my imagination. When I think in my head about what is really happening and why, I feel a deep sadness along with the joy. I look sadly at the ruins of my life and turn away from my failures to experience, with the help of my heroes, the catharsis, the ancient ritual of purification. Through my two heroes I experience the purest, self-sacrificing love that I will never have the opportunity to experience in real life. I am not writing a romantic story. Love is a fleeting miracle. What lasts much longer is the parent-child relationship. What hasn't happened in my life happens in my imagination. This is a fantasy novel. I would never write classic literature because it is too close to reality and reality is too painful. That's why I escaped into the realm of my imagination!
On the dawn of the fifth of November 2021, I had the dream that became the basis of a story. One of the scenes took place in the castle of Szabadkígyós. This Wenckheim Castle is one of the most beautiful monuments in Hungary. It really looks fabulous. Here on the stairs stood one of the heroes of my novel. And I saw it through the eyes of the other hero. I went at the beautiful building for two reasons, one to feed my imagination and the other to look for mushrooms in the park. I was last here in March. My linked article is still in Hungarian, but it has five photos. The pictures are universal messages. That's why I also practice photography. At my age, I doubt I could learn English at a literary level. I'll be glad when I can speak. One should be aware of one's potential and not entertain foolish dreams. I am fully aware of the future of my novel. I will be happy if I manage to finish it. In fact, I'll be happier to get through the winter, because it's going to be a cold season.
I took a few photos of the castle, and then searched for mushrooms under the trees in the park.