Post-Titanic Editorial by the Girl’s Own Paper

titanic

Each year the anniversary of the Titanic sinking hits and I’m not quite sure how to commemorate it, at least on my blog. (In real life, I usually wind up watching a slew of Titanic films, leading up to Cameron’s on the anniversary!) In the past I’ve done music videos, fan fiction, and articles. Having exhausted my storehouse of ideas, I’m going to let another woman commemorate it for me.

The following link leads to an editorial written by Flora Klickman, for the British paper Girl’s Own Paper, aimed at young female readers and discussing both the suffragist movement and the sinking of Titanic, printed in May 2012. I may or may not agree with it (ambiguous, much?) but I found it an interesting read nonetheless.

In that supreme moment, when the choice lay between life and death, between sacrificing the woman or sacrificing himself, the Englishman instantly and unhesitatingly made his decision: “WOMEN FIRST!”

And in doing, his actions demonstrated, as no mere words could ever have done, that he still held a woman’s life in higher estimation than his own, and had no intention of lowering her to his own level. Whether we women are worth so colossal a sacrifice is a point each one must answer in her own soul.

Read the original here.

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secret in belfastTitanic falls forward under the weight of water. The sound of snapping cables and screams fill the air, muted through the paneling. Chairs and tables slide. Dark magic fills the air around us, a heavy black cloud with inner sparks of light.

She narrows her eyes. “I considered letting you drown but that seems a cruel fate, even for me. Both of you have been enormously helpful.”

She throws out her hand; the spell sends us spinning into the air. I slam into the paneling and hit the floor, agony tearing through me. Her mind penetrates mine and emotion explodes in me. The paneling trembles and splits. She advances on me. Her fingers clench and it feels like she’s twisting my heart out of my chest. I’m going to die. I know it, and then the floor drops out from under us. Furniture and boilers slide, smashing through walls and bouncing off steel. In a rush of panic and fear, she lets me go. The lights flicker and go out. The darkness isn’t complete; enough magic fills the room to bathe us in an eerie, sickening grayish hue lit by occasional flashes of white.

I no longer have any sense of space around us. I’m only aware of the window when I hit it. Beautiful stained glass shimmers in the magic around us. Everything settles for a moment.

“She’s split in half,” Thomas whispers. For a ghastly instant, I wonder if the aft section will float—and it plunges.

- It’s your last day to get The Secret in Belfast on sale :)

The Secret in Belfast Sale

titanic

 In years past, I have done something to commemorate Titanic on my blog in the week leading up to the anniversary of the sinking. That means I’ve pretty much covered every aspect of it that I can think of for the moment, so this year I’m doing something a bit different.

secret in belfastAll week, from April 9-15th, my speculative fiction novel The Secret in Belfast, is on sale (on Kindle). It starts out at 99 cents and goes through a price transition mid-week.

What is it about? Titanic is the backdrop, but the story revolves around the hunt for a grimoire that threatens to open the doorway between our world and the otherworld. The main character, Richard, is an empath who not only feels other people’s emotions strongly but can discern things about them through them, as well as influence other’s emotions if he so chooses. He has a mysterious past that he must work through in the present, while caught up in the goings-on at Harland & Wolff.

Thomas Andrews is one of the primary secondary characters, and he too has a gift, but I won’t tell you what it is. The story isn’t Christian, but has Christian elements in it about forgiveness, change, facing the darkness within ourselves, and fulfilling your purpose. It is, I hope, a moving story that pays respect to the original people while casting them in a new light. I cried while writing one particular chapter – not because it’s sad (it is) but because it’s also beautiful. I hope you’ll take this opportunity to grab it, read it, think about the historical event and people, and be touched by it.

You can nab it here.

As always, if you like it, reviews on Amazon are appreciated.

The Secret in Belfast

secret in belfast

Today is the day! My Speculative Fiction novel about the RMS Titanic is now available! It blends magic with historical events and characters, revolving around the greatest non-wartime disaster in history. If you enjoyed Thornewicke, you’ll be delighted to revisit shared characters (and meet some making appearances in The Giftsnatcher, out this summer) — but it’s also a stand-alone.

Get your Kindle (or paperback) copy now at Amazon!

(Please read and review! I really appreciate it.)

Early Review.

More information as follows… Continue reading

Coming Full Circle

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When I was sixteen, I wrote a novel that took place on the Titanic. It was a fun, melodramatic drama-romance in the vein of the Christian fiction I was reading at the time, but eventually went on the shelf as I focused on other projects. Now and again, I thought, “I should go back and do something with those characters,” one, in particular – my first love hero. But as more and more Titanic novels flooded the market, I wondered what could set mine apart and left it on the proverbial shelf. (Okay, a dusty computer file stuck in a folder somewhere…) Continue reading

No Titanic Blood & Steel, Season 2

titanic blood and steel

I’ve had about one search a week for the last year and a half on whether or not this will have a second season, so let me put the searcher out of their misery:

Sadly, there will not be a second season to this twelve-part miniseries. It was announced earlier this year on the film’s official Facebook page and all the cast members have moved on to other projects. I’m not sure whether or not there was ever any intention of following up, or if it was meant to be an enigmatic conclusion.

I’m both relieved and sad, because it’s such a shame the series won’t continue on to cover the disaster and the aftermath, which few works centered around the Titanic bother to do. I would have enjoyed seeing the ever-magnificent Derek Jacobi continue his role as Lord Pirrie in dealing with the fall-out, inquiries, and upheaval. But on the other hand…

Had the series continued, we would have seen most of the main characters die. Mark is part of the Guarantee Group, none of which survive. Sofia, Violetta, Michael, and the baby are in Third Class, which lessens their odds of survival significantly. Best case scenario – all the female characters live, all the male characters die. Worst case – everyone except Kitty and Joanna die.

So, sad as it may be, consider it a blessing. This way, you get to imagine a happier ending to their story.

Oneshot: April 15, 1912

Arthur Rostron & Crew, Carpathia, Titanic

How many times have I prayed in this very spot?

My passengers are unaware what has happened. I can hardly believe it myself. This morning, we were underway, and tonight we travel in the opposite direction. The stokers work like mad, pushing our engines as fast as they will go.

Titanic is sinking.

Everyone said she was unsinkable, the mightiest ship ever to sail the sea.

But the sea is mightier than any ship. I have known it many years, been spared by it many times.

God, let us make it in time.

They say it was an iceberg. We are the only ship that responded to their SOS.

I pray we are in time.

Dawn is minutes away. I pace the floor of my cabin and turn as the door opens. My second mate says, “Sir, you must come topside now!”

I emerge into the gloom. Icy air sucks the air from my lungs. I pull my coat closer around me and approach the rail. My stomach drops. We are surrounded by icebergs, ahead and behind.

“How many of them did you see?” I ask him.

Astonished eyes meet mine. “None of them,” he says, “we were aware of none of them.”

All night, we have sailed through ice unawares. How close we came to sharing Titanic’s fate, and none of us knew… until now.

God has spared us.

My voice breaks. “How far are we from their latitude?”

“She should be here, somewhere, sir.”

We sail on, the icebergs merging into the morning light. There is no sign of her.

“Surely there are survivors,” he says.

I cling to the rail. Then, a shout from above and the boy in the crow’s nest points. “Lifeboats!”

Some of them are bound together, bobbing on the sea. “Captain Rostron?” the first mate asks.

“Bring them aboard.”

Shouts bring crew members topside. I count them, those close and the distant dots floating against the dawn. My heart sinks.

It is all that remains.

Oneshot: April 14, 2012

titanic

Waves surge over the deck, causing the boat to come free of its moorings. It catches me off guard, icy water carrying me off the deck into the sea.

Bodies thrash all around me, screams fill the air as the mighty Titanic’s bow submerges. It sounds like a dying animal, great moans and creaks filling the darkness. Lines snap free of the funnel and it slams into the water, crushing people beneath it. The wave catches me.

I am underwater. I can’t breathe. Suction is pulling me down with the ship. I fight to be free, but it grips me.

You will come home safe, won’t you?

My wife’s voice echoes in my mind, her smile. I think on her with what I know is my last breath…

Eruptions, explosions below deck; I am surrounded by debris and thrust heavenward—I break the surface of the water and gasp in freezing air. The sea is alive with thrashing bodies. There is still enough light from the ship for me to swim to the overturned lifeboat and grab hold.

My hands are like ice. It feels like daggers plunge into my body, over and over again. I don’t think of the bottomless depths beneath me. I don’t think of the screaming, dying passengers and crew around me. I don’t think of the ship as it tilts upward, the lights flicker out, cracks, and submerges. I don’t think of the voices that die out one by one, of the strong hands that pull me up, of the poor, shivering boy toward the back of the group whose legs are frozen. I don’t think of previous hours, when the collision woke me from my sleep, or a pale-faced Thomas Andrews warned us the ship would sink. I don’t think of my orders to load the lifeboats half full and fill them up at the lower doors. I don’t think of my last moments with Murdoch, or Captain Smith.

I can’t think about it.

“Lightoller,” a shivering man says, gripping my arm, “what do we do?”

Stars gleam distantly above us. Faces turn to me in expectation.

What must we do in this sea of death?

Survive.

Typing Titanic

titanic

What’s it like to love the biggest, most romantic movie of all time?

It’s entertaining; mostly because I can’t buy into the bunk, but also because it’s fun to type the characters and talk about my complete inability to relate to some of them.

Don’t get me wrong: I love Titanic. It’s in my “top ten favorite movies of all time” list. It’s epic. It’s gorgeous. It has a great cast. It’s about my favorite ship and many of my favorite historical characters. It’s powerful. It’s unforgettable, and as a perfectionist, creative side of the type, I admire the hard work and sheer accomplishment of it. James Cameron produced a masterpiece of special effects, sweeping emotion and unforgettable characters, however much I may dislike one of them. Continue reading

Oneshot: April 13, 2012

titanic

They call me Sparks.

I like the name. It’s for the sparks that fly under my fingers as I send wireless messages.

Having a Marconi system on Titanic is such a novelty that it seems like every tom-fool wants to send a wire home, whether he (or she) needs to or not.

Businessmen want to check on their stocks. Buy up all of … dump my assets with the… please inform me of current situation ASAP…

Lady Duff-Gordon (although that’s not the name she uses anywhere else on board ship) has been in twice to send wires to her associates about new lingerie designs. Think an extra layer of lace is prudent.

Thomas Andrews has sent several wires to Lord Pirrie. One of them said something about screw-holes. He was so deep in thought he left his little black note-book behind and had to come back for it.

Then, there’s the rubbish I’m asked to send.

Having a wonderful time—can’t wait to see you soon!

Blimey, this ship is bloody good! I’ve won a hundred pounds at cards!

Beat Jessup at squash today, you owe me ten pounds!

And now, the damn wireless isn’t working. It won’t spark, it won’t transmit, and I can’t figure out why. I crouch there doing something I’m not trained nor paid to do—take the whole bloody system apart.

It’s nearly midnight. Most passengers should be asleep.

They aren’t.

Another businessman shuffles in, a fat cigar in his mouth, to hand Harold another message.

I hope he’s the last; we have a stack already to get through.

Frustration carries me through, peering at each wire in the glow of the electric lamps. I’ve been over the machine twice. What is wrong with this damn thing?

Harold is asleep at the front desk.

My fingers grope and I feel it at last, burned wires. I work quickly. I stand up and flip the switch. The machine comes on with a cascade of sparks. I tap the telegraph and the familiar whine blips in my ear.

The clock on the wall over my desk says 5am.

“Come on, Harold,” I say, kicking his chair; “we’re six hours behind schedule.”

I sit down and start another message.

To: Morgan. Stop. Making all progress across Atlantic. Stop. Hope to arrive ahead of schedule. Stop. Ismay.