So, thanks for always being there. As promised, the entire text of Chapter 13 is now posted. I'm pretty satisfied with how it turned out. I'll be honest, I was kind of on the fence with it all, but just a few tweaks as I keyed it in solved a lot of what wasn't working for me.
Now one of the trickiest things for me is naming characters. I have a really hard time with it. Finding a name that fits who that person in my head really is simply does not come easy for the most part, unless it's a character based on someone I know, then it gets a little fun.
One big issue I had with drafting this chapter was that I just didn't like the name I chose for the young politico duelist that Saman faces in the completion of her mission. So how'd I get there today?
Well, I think by now, you're picking up that this story is set in a city in central or eastern Europe. So I've been borrowing heavily with the Bosnian, Croation and Polish influences. Why? Well, that's a story for another day. I was comfortable with this guy's first name, Milocz. The inspiration coming from the last name of the great Noble Prize winning Polish poet, Czeslaw Milosz, whose work you need to make part of your life. Thank me later. But I was still stuck on the last name, which is what I was using to refer to the character throughout the chapter. Every time I keyed in the name Kraucz, my teeth ground. So I went into Google and keyed in great Polish authors and discovered someone new, Polish children's author Janusz Korczak. First, what a kick-butt name, huh? Now, I've linked his name above and I encourage you to study his life.
Janusz Korczak was the pseudonym of Henryk Goldzmit. A Jewish doctor and educator in Poland in the early 20th century. He maintained an orphanage in Warsaw and his ideas on the education and development of children were progressive to say the least. He focused on the emotional development of children and advocated that this be a central tenet of education. In his work in his orphanage he supported each child as an individual and promoted the idea of children being raised and educated in emotionally safe places.
He authored children's books that were intended to show children the challenges and triumphs of growing up to reach their fullest potential.
Korczak maintained his orphanage in Warsaw throughout the Nazi occupation. In 1942, the Nazis rounded up the children to take them to Treblinka. Even though he was given an opportunity to leave the county and escape, Korczak instead accompanied his children and remained with them in the camps where he was also executed. A truly heroic life.
Okay, so I'm open to suggestion, True Believers, but I like to think that this good and great man would be slightly honored to have part of his pseudonym adopted for a character in a story intended to bring joy to children who are inthe process of becoming young adults. The Assassin's Table, while a work of entertainment, does have a number of subtle, progressive political undertones that are, I trust, consistent with Korczak's mission. Strong, independent female characters, religious and racial tolerance and empowerment, the power of the individual to effect change in the face of oppression are all themes I hope you're picking up on.
Art needs to entertain and enlighten. By borrowing Korczak's name, my aspiration to create a work that is truly worthy of reading just got more fuel. I will do my best to live up to this.