All in all, a fascinating, page-turner for a Russophile.
Onomatopoeia is a literary device where a word actually sounds like its meaning. The buzz of a bee imitates the bee's flight. The written down howl of a wolf contains the same long vowels of the wolf's cry. It's pure genius the way these words work. Onomatopoeia gives flat letters on the page another dimension—lets them jump off the page and be heard.
There once was a German seaside resort on the Baltic called Rauschen. Rauschen is an example of German onomatopoeia. The word imitates the roaring of the sea. I’m determined to set a scene in that town just because I think it’s a most wonderful backdrop to the drama of my characters’ lives. I wonder if there's a literary device for words that convey a sense of smell? I want readers to inhale the salt spray off that restless sea.
4. Rail connection to Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) made it a popular holiday destination.
6. Is still a popular spa town today, attracting wealthy Russians who have built new vacation homes.
7. Is on my 'bucket list' of places to go...some day!
(These photos are from Rauschen in the 1930s. Click on them for a bigger image and then note the nazi flag in the lower photo.)
*For some reason the font has changed and I'm not able to control it.
When I first started this blog I wanted to share the research behind my first novel, The Kulak's Daughter. Having a big research trip to Ukraine behind me sure helped keep me motivated. I was quite passionate about the topic of communism in the 1930s, with lots of photos and tons of curiosity.
Fast forward seven or so years later and I'm on to other stories. My research is now focused on Hitler's Third Reich—before the war. The setting is East Prussia, a place many people have never heard of.
Back when I explored the history behind The Kulak's Daughter (now Red Stone), I still had kids at home around the dinner table. They got big spoonfuls of Soviet history along with their vegetables. They've since moved on to their own dinner tables. Did I scare them away with all that gulag talk? No matter. This blog will now be my dinner table. I've been doing some fascinating research while working on my third book. It continues Katya's experiences before the Second World War.
At least I think it's fascinating research. Maybe I'll be talking to myself during this dinner conversation. And that's okay, too. If a tree falls in the forest, I'm convinced it makes a sound, whether someone's there to hear it, or not.
I googled and found a quote she refers to by St. Thomas. “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you don’t bring forth what is within you, what you don’t bring forth will destroy you.” She calls the term "creative person" redundant and I agree.
So, interview over, bottles washed, I poured myself a mug of green tea and returned to my own trail of breadcrumbs—following Katya to the brink of the Second World War. I'm curious!
Another place that I managed to get close to, back in 2019—but still didn’t get to visit—was the former Stablach , East Prussia. Once known ...