Buckpony asked where I got my unusal blogger name and I wanted to share. Here's a couple of more things you may not have known about me. :) I'm not an extremely emotional person. I tend to be very black and white and value reason and justice over people's feelings. A large part of my family is from Russia and I was raised by people who have strong opinions about the value of individual rights and capitalism. I share this because I think it sometimes surprises people that before I had kids young my plan was to join Peace Corps. I tell my very liberal friends that I'm not any less compassionate just because I believe the government taking away from one man to give to another is a type of sanctioned slavery. I believe that true compassion lies not in giving to those in need but in educating people to take advantage of the opportunites they have or to create opportunites when they have none. My exception to this is children and animals who are dependent on others for their care without a voice or any say in what sometimes happens to them. When I give to charities it is to those two types of causes. Regardless, I have always wanted to be some kind of advocate and volunteer and I admire greatly those who are able to do so on a bigger scale than I am able to achieve. Hopefully this will all make sense in a minute, because it does tie back to my blogger name. :)
I actually stole the name Fyyah from a short story by a man name Andrew Vachss. The story, Underground (the book is Born Bad), from is about a futuristic world where everyone has to live underground and children are no longer raised by their parents. Instead they join gang like groups of other children (hence FyyahChild) to survive in their strange times. Fyyah is a Dancer which is actually a gang of children fighters who learn a type of marial arts that looks like dancing but is deadly. The story deals with the question, as do all of the stories in this book, about whether those who would hurt others are born or made the way they are. What happens in a world with no biological families? It seems to be a question Vachss has explored throughout his career at times supporting the theory that abuse is cyclical and creates monsters but at times also exploring the theme that some people are just born evil with no other reason for it. It's unfortunately a theme that has also touched my life, as you all know if you've been reading my stories.
Vachss isn't a writer for everyone. He's also definately one of the most interesting people I know of. His stories are extremely dark and often deal with child abuse in all of its ugliest forms (prositution, slave trade, sexual and phyiscal abuse, etc.), crime and ultimately revenge. I like to think that his protagonists are a portrayal of the type of man he could have been if he ended up on the other side of the law. His novels while brutal have a heart and sense of family (not blood relatives but the family we choose) and the things that tie people together that have always touched me.
Currently a child advocate attorney in New York he worked as a younger man in Biafra during the civil war before the country became what we know of as Nigeria trying to pursuade the government to allow aid workers to feed the children while the country was starving millions of citizens. His stories about Biafra and the injuries he sustained there make me respect him more than anything. Just as he's an advocate for children he is also an advocate of dogs especially those known as "agressive breeds." As with children he's been quoted as saying with dogs "you get what you raise." He's also been involved with harness racing and owned a couple of horses as well as boxing. He's been a spokesperson for Megan's Law, and been seen on Oprah discussing the topics of abuse and abduction. He's an extremely smart and empathic man and some of the most haunting scenes in his novels are based on his own real observations and experiences. I have two that come to mind. One is an image that replays in one character's mind of seeing a Biafrian woman stop running long enough during a bombing to swoop down and pick up an orphaned child basically adopting it without a second thought. Both the charater and myself are touched that while people can be so terrible there is still hope, still sacrifice. Another scene is one that he actually used in court to get a little girl to testify in front of the man who abused her. She is terrified of speaking the truth in front of him because he had of course threaten to hurt her and her family if she ever told. Vachss realized she couldn't see well without her glasses and had her remove them before speaking in court so she couldn't actually see the man and was able to sucessfully tell her story. Later he used this in one of his stories. He's also sucessfully used dogs to help his child victims open up and be brave as well as to rehabilitate children who needed to learn empathy.
Here's a link to his Wikipedia page, and one to his own webpage, Down in the Zero.
What about you guys? Any cool stories about where you're blogger names came from? Or maybe the names of your animals? I have to come up with a new show name for Tax and I'm stumped. My favorite I've seen lately is Mr. Darcy, like from Pride and Predjudice. I'd steal that in a second if it wasn't a local horse. :)