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Rated: GC · Book · Personal · #1051691
It's about adventure! Life, Scouting, Family, writing what else is there?


Banner for my blog, "Gemini Rising"

*Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1*

Just a little about me. I've been married for 27 years and currently live in Southern California, but I grew up in New Hampshire.

I've got 2 kids, a 17 yrs old and a 12 yr old. Both are boys. Nuff said.

I work as a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. I enjoy my job a lot.

I love to write, but since I've been so involved with the Boy Scouts program since 2015 (now Scouts BSA since girls were invited to come on board) I haven't written much. I hope to get back to more writing soon, as I'm scaling back my BSA commitment.

I like to get out in nature, take walks around Castaic Lake, drink coffee and watch football.

Here's a little bi about my zodiac.

GEMINI: Gemini, the sign of the Twins, is dual-natured, elusive, complex and contradictory. On the one hand it produces the virtue of versatility, and on the other the vices of two-facedness and flightiness. The sign is linked with Mercury, the planet of childhood and youth, and its subjects tend to have the graces and faults of the young. When they are good, they are very attractive; when they are bad they are more the worse for being the charmers they are. Like children they are lively, and happy, if circumstances are right for them, or egocentric, imaginative and restless.

Their good qualities are attractive and come easily to them. They are affectionate, courteous, kind, generous, and thoughtful towards the poor and suffering - provided none of the activities resulting from expressing these traits interferes too greatly with their own lives and comforts.

Geminians can be successful in many walks of life though their general characteristics tend to make them unreliable. They are often skilled manipulators of language, in speech and writing, and may be: debaters, diplomats (though in politics they are more interested in theory than practice), orators, preachers (brilliant rather than profound), teachers, authors, poets, journalists, or lawyers.

*Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1*

This is me. I am a Gemini. Pure, Raw, passionate.

The NEW focus of this blog is to share my adventures, scouting adventures, book reviews, thoughts, opinions, and writing adventures from actual writing, writing/editing tips, marketing, research. I'll get there.

Another Signature

Find me at:






Previous GRATITIOUS Warning, that I decided to keep in case I post about something that might offend.

*Exclaim* WARNING *Exclaim*

I intend to be open, honest, and forthright. No topic is off limits from religion to you name it, I'm going there. If you think you might be offended...back up now - this blog isn't for you. For those who "dare" *Wink* check out the "Gemini Rising..."

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May 26, 2014 at 7:58am
May 26, 2014 at 7:58am
Sacrifice. It's not an easy word to live up to. It means to give up something important to oneself for the greater good. And, at the heart of human nature, no one wants to give up that which they enjoy or consider important.

For those here, now, today, I want to thank you; especially if you know a person or have a loved one who has served in the Armed Forces and that person has given their life for their country. Their sacrifice has ensured the freedoms you enjoy. Do them proud and live your life to the fullest with honesty and integrity.

It takes a certain "mindset" to be in the military. Not only does one need physical strength and stamina, but mental toughness is required as well. It's not an easy job. If you have an opportunity, visit a memorial and lay some flowers or a flag on your loved one's resting place. You'd be surprised by the comfort given to your soul by such a simple gesture.

And comfort was what those loved ones after the civil war were searching for. The citizens of Waterloo, NY in 1866 are given credit for beginning the tradition that led to Memorial Day. Wanting to honor their dead from the Civil War, they decorated the graves of the fallen with flowers, flags, and offered a moment of silence. Soon, decorating graves naturally grew into honoring those who died in all conflicts that the U.S. had been involved in.

Originally known as "Decoration Day," the name was changed to Memorial Day in 1966 buy President Lyndon Johnson. Also, Memorial Day was moved from 30 May to the 4th Monday in May to create a 3 day weekend. As an informal tradition, Memorial Day kicks off the summer season.

I served in the US Army from 1986-1997 and spent 7 years stationed in Germany along with a 3 month deployment to Hungary. Being in the military isn't an easy life, but it can be very rewarding. I learned things about me, and the world around me, I hadn't even realized before. Concepts such as discipline, responsibility, honor, and sacrifice are embedded in my bones. It led to be a 911 dispatcher for LAPD, a job I've done for 14 years now.

For those currently in the Armed Force and those veterans who have served – thank you. I appreciate your sacrifice.

Several US Presidents come to mind when I think of Memorial Day. They include: Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, William McKinley, and James A. Garfield. They had served in the military (For Lincoln, I count his service as commander in chief) and they died in office, sacrificing their lives for their country.

Question for you: Do you know someone who has died serving their country? Or a veteran now? Share their name and what branch of service they were in.

Bonus: (I'm dating myself, I know) Season 1 of Wonder Woman featuring Lynda Carter took place during World War II. What brand of service was Wonder Woman's alter ego, Diana Prince in? What was her rank?

Have a great Memorial Day. Enjoy the day, but take a few minutes out to remember those who passed on, even the Presidents. Their sacrifice ensured your freedoms
March 23, 2014 at 9:33am
March 23, 2014 at 9:33am
Book Review for: High Five
Written by: Janet Evanovich
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 978-0-312-97134-2
Avail as an ebook and in print

4.5 Stars

Evanovich pens another delightful romp with Stephanie Plum through Trenton, New Jersey with "High Five." Uncle Fred has gone missing and it's slow at the bond agency so Stephanie decides to help out and look for her uncle. Unfortunately, all she gets is trouble.

Stephanie meets with Aunt Mabel and learns Fred was in a dispute with the garbage company. She discovers Fred was cheap, a cheater, and had photos of a dead person. She reports them to the police. Soon she's being followed by a bookie named "Bunchy" who wants to find Fred, too. When she finally brings in a bail jumper named "Briggs," she's forced to take him into her house when his is wrecked.

Lula comes back to help Stephanie's investigations and Grandma Mazur tucks her gun into her handbag for an assist as well. Ranger offers Stephanie work to get by and both discover an attraction. Can Stephanie find out what happened to Uncle Fred before more people die at the garbage company?

Evanovich's writing is crisp, witty, and easy to read. The narrative will make you smile and then have you anxious about what's going to happen next.

The supporting cast consists of endearing characters that will have you cheering for them. Stephanie is a very likeable heroine, admirable to a fault, still struggling to find her way, but it's reassuring to know she's on the right path.

"High Five" is another excellent story and a "must read" in the Stephanie Plum series. It's full of smiles, laughs, and nonstop action. I highly recommend this book.

Question for you: What is your favorite Janet Evanovich book?
March 10, 2014 at 7:47am
March 10, 2014 at 7:47am
99 cent contemporary sweet romance: A Polish Heart avail on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.
Blurb: Will Sofia's faith give Darrin his heart back? BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007AS29AO

"This is an excellent read." Reader Lady, Amazon Review. Check out the trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC6_397PerU&feature=share&list=UUb4WsqAqO5Lt2smuAitJ0xQ&index=8

A tall, handsome man with broad shoulders wearing a long-sleeved polo shirt walked toward her holding a bouquet of poppies and orchids.

Her teeth nipped at her lower lip as she ran her eyes over this beautifully proportioned man, her body warming at the sight of him. He looked tough and lean and his handsome face kindled with a sort of classical beauty she hadn't seen on a man before. His leonine stride radiated self-confidence. His hair was sandy blond in a short, neat cut and his cobalt blue eyes pierced her professional armor.

He stopped in front of her and held out his flowers. "Dzien dobry."

A wide grin crossed her lips and she dropped the sign she was holding. "Hello, Mr. Riverton."

A look of relief passed over his face. "You know, I practiced that phrase all morning on the plane."

"I admire the effort. Are the flowers for me?"

"Yes." His smile was full of pride.

Sofia took the flowers and held them up to her nose. "Freshly picked. Thank you."

"You're welcome."

He paused and it grew awkwardly silent between them. Sofia realized for the first time in meeting a client, she had forgotten her professionalism.

"Forgive my manners. My name is Sofia Buraczynski and I'll be your interpreter while you are here." She put the sign in her left hand and held out her right hand for a handshake.
March 9, 2014 at 9:55am
March 9, 2014 at 9:55am
Yes, I have kids in the house, can you tell? And both of them watch SpongeBob. So, what's appealing about a little yellow sponge?

SpongeBob has a best friend, Patrick, who is a starfish. Patrick isn't the brightest bulb in the pack, but he's loyal to the bone. And who doesn't want to find a friend like that?

SpongeBob also has a pet snail, Gary. Gary's a feisty little thing, but SpongeBob feeds him everyday and always makes sure Gary has a pet setter when he goes out of town. SpongeBob's a responsible little guy. Who would have thought?

Everyone has a little adversity in life and poor SpongeBob has to deal with Squidward and Plankton. While Plankton is always scheming to steal the crabby patty formula, SpongeBob foils his half-baked ideas all the time. SpongeBob shows us that its fun to be the good guy and win every time.

Squidward is just plain annoying. He's the noisy neighbor who thinks he's better than SpongeBob, but when he tries to prove it, SpongeBob always finds a way to remind Squidward we're all created equal.

Then there's Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob's cheap boss who is always trying to save a penny. Who doesn't have a boss who's always looking out for the bottom line? SpongeBob proves good employees don't always finish last, but their hard work is often taken for granted and under appreciated.

SpongeBob tackles every problem with a smile and a belief he can solve it. For him, the glass is half full. (Squidward would tell you it's half empty.) SpongeBob's message resonates with the young and old – you can be anything you want to be and you can do anything you can dream up.

And you'll never hear SpongeBob cuss in our language.

Question for you: What was your favorite cartoon growing up? Why?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She loves chocolate, enjoys coffee, and likes going out to the movies. She's also an assistant den leader for her son's cub scout den.
September 11, 2013 at 5:18pm
September 11, 2013 at 5:18pm
I'm giving away a print copy of Danube in Candlelight, Book 3 in the Budapest Moon Series. Danube in Candlelight was a FINALIST in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest in Romance: Sci-Fi/Fantasy. The Giveaway ends 23 SEP 2013.


Morgan Duma has always known she's different. Her eyes have unusual gold rings around her irises, a trait she's inherited from her father. She's faster and stronger than most. Her endurance and stamina allow her to complete tasks in a quick and efficient fashion. Since she was a little girl, she knew there was only one man for her -- Adam Varga. Morgan learned to dance in Adam's arms. They grew up playing the piano together. Adam's calm, soothing presence was the perfect compliment to her restless soul. Not only that, he shared her differences down to his feral eyes.

Enter Zoltan Kristos, Hungary's Minister of Reconstruction. He shares those same golden eyes that Morgan possesses. After Zoltan carries her mother out of a blazing fire, Morgan's life takes a turn she doesn't expect. She discovers the reasons for her differences, and questions her very identity. Is Adam strong enough to be the man she needs him to be?


"Did I hit a nerve?" he asked.
"A nerve? In my neck?" She took a step backward to be closer to him.
"No. About your father. Is your real fear about what will happen to your mother once he turns her?" Adam kept his voice low and leaned close to her ear.
She closed her eyes briefly and faced her anxiety. "Yes."
"Morgan, our fathers' condition has a host of positive traits -- heightened senses, for example, but the best trait is the healing factor."
"I understand, Adam. That healing factor will help my mother recover from her awful injuries, but it comes with a tradeoff -- she's going to become a werewolf."
"Is it better she become addicted to morphine? That addiction is a beast in itself. Which would you prefer she'd become? The soldiers hooked on morphine have vacant eyes, and their hands tremble for their next fix. Do you want that for your mother? Fighting something she can't win against, or do you want her dealing with a manageable condition? Both our fathers are good men. They've managed it."
Morgan pursed her lips. Adam's tone was laced in objectivity and confidence, offering her a plausible reason for her father's actions. Morgan didn't want a shell of skin and bones that resembled her mother -- she wanted her mother well, both emotionally and physically. Why had she been so selfish not to see that?
"It doesn't bother you that you have these traits?"
"I'm comfortable with who I am."
Morgan spun around, pressing the length of her body against Adam, curving her hand around the nape of his neck, and bringing his lips to hers. Their mouths met in a searing kiss full of desire. Want. Warmth. Pleasure replaced Morgan's emotional pain, and she deepened the kiss between them by sweeping her tongue into his mouth. Adam groaned, wrapped his hands around her waist, and tugged her closer. Morgan continued the kiss, nipping his lower lip with her teeth. A blast of heat from his body washed over her like an ocean wave, sending pleasure spiraling through her. God, she had never felt so wonderful.


5 Stars, Reader's Favorite
"This story is the closest I have ever come to reading a book that feels like a movie!"

5 Lips, Two Lips Reviews:
"I found the setting for Danube in Candlelight intriguing. The 1920 period lends a wonderfully dynamic tempo. The discerning reader will not want to miss reading Danube in Candlelight. I highly recommend it."

4 Stars, You Need to Read from You Gotta Read Reviews:
"Once again Stephanie Burkhart has pulled readers into a world filled with beauty, full moons, passion, wolves, and strife. Danube in Candlelight is a fantastic book filled with endearing characters."

4 Stars, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews:
"Once again, Stephanie Burkhart has touched my imagination and with her writing brings 1922 Hungary to life. This is a must read if you enjoy the paranormal werewolf stories or even if you merely enjoy a good romance."

3.5 Stars, The Hope Chest Reviews:
"Danube in Candlelight was a pleasant, easy read. Ms. Burkhart has created an interesting world."

Pen and Muse Reviews:
"Burkhart will have you living and breathing through her characters."

Here is a link to the GoodReads Giveaway. If you have a moment, stop on by and sign up:

June 12, 2013 at 10:30am
June 12, 2013 at 10:30am
Flag on top of the destruction in Oklahoma

I've always been a firm believer in giving back to others and Oklahoma holds a special place in my heart as my publisher, 4RV is located in Edmond. I'm very grateful to Vivian Zabel at 4RV for publishing my stories.

My heart goes out to all the citizens of Oklahoma affected by the recent tornados so I've come up with a way to give back.

Starting 8 JUN and lasting through 22 JUN, if you buy a copy of one of my books, "The Giving Meadow," or "First Flag of New Hampshire," I'll be donating my royalties to the Salvation Army in support of the Oklahoma Tornado victims. Joining me is fellow 4RV author, Karen Cioffi, along with her book, "Walking Through Walls." We recommend that you consider using the Publisher's Website to buy the books in support of the effort.

I have another favor to ask. Help us share the message. If you could use word of mouth or send out a Tweet, Facebook, Google +, Linked In, etc. that would be so helpful in getting the word out on this great opportunity to give to Oklahoma and America.

Our donations will be given to the Salvation Army in Oklahoma City to help with Tornado Relief. You can find their website at:


This is for a good cause and it's something we all believe in. Share this post with other WDC members and help to get the word out. You can find out more on my website at: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

Thank you so much
Steph, Karen, and Vivian.

BUY LINKS: Walking through Walls

Publisher's Website:


Barnes & Noble:

BUY LINKS: The Giving Meadow

Publisher's Website:


Barnes & Noble:

BUY LINK for: First Flag of New Hampshire

Publisher's Website:


Barnes & Noble:

About Karen Cioffi:
Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghostwriter/freelance writer, and author-writer online platform instructor. Join The Writing World (http://thewritingworld.com) today for free and get "How to Create an Optimized Website" plus weekly writing and marketing tips and updates on free webinars.

About Stephanie Burkhart:
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. She's loves chocolate and coffee. When she's not "Mom's Taxi Service" she writes romance and childrens books.
May 27, 2013 at 10:42am
May 27, 2013 at 10:42am
Hi all, it's time for my bi-monthly Coffee & Chocolate Contest.

Me? I adore chocolate and love coffee. This month's giveaway will focus on my novel, "The Wolf's Torment." The Wolf's Torment is a paranormal romance that takes place in Romania in the mid-1800's. Prince Mihai is a witch, but can he save his family being haunted by an evil werewolf? "The Wolf's Torment" won GOLD in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest in the Fiction: Supernatural category.

The Wolf's Torment Cover

GRAND PRIZE: Win a GC to Starbucks, a coffee mug, a bag of chocolate, magnets, and Lori Powell original book bag. All you have to do to enter is visit my Facebook Fan Page between 26-31 MAY and leave a comment on any one of the Coffee & Chocolate Posts. Everytime you comment, you'll be entered in the "hat" for the grand prize drawing.

ALSO: Everyday I'll be putting up a post giving away a "free" read. (I send PDF via email) all you have to do to enter is to leave a comment on the post.

Winner will be announced on my Facebook Fan Page and here on 1 JUN. Previous Winners listed on the bottom of of my website at: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

My Facebook Fan Page:

No purchase necessary
I will ship internationally

If you have a moment, stop on by, comment, and enjoy the fun.

May 27, 2013 at 9:39am
May 27, 2013 at 9:39am
Traditionally set as 30 May, Memorial Day is celebrated on the 4th Monday of May. It's a day intended to remember the people who died while serving in the US Armed Forces.

In 1986, I joined the US Army. After electing to become an MP (military police) I went to Ft. McClellan, Alabama for my basic and advanced training. Alabama in the summer was muggy, humid, and warm, but the stuff I learned instilled a sense of pride in me that still resonates today.

Memorial Day was born out of the ashes of the American Civil war, to honor those who died on both the Union and Confederate sides. (Veterans Day is intended to honor all the US military veterans, living and dead.)

I served 7 years overseas in the German cities of Muenster, Fulda, Bad Hersfeld, and Hanau. On several occasions my squad raised and lowered the US Flag on military installations. There's nothing more inspiring than raising the flag.

In May 1868, Union General, John A. Logan issued a proclamation calling for "Decoration Day" to be observed on 30 May. He picked this day not to honor a battle or a heroic action, but because he knew it was a good time for the flowers to be in bloom.

Remember the context of the times – there was no Internet, TV, or Radio. Simply placing a flag or flowers over the graves of the war dead was the best way to honor those who gave their lives in the military for others. This most solemn tradition continues today.

Me, at the Taszur Air Base, 1997

I served in the Army for 11 years during the last years of the Cold War and before the War on Terror. Several people from my PLDC (Primary Leadership Development Course, needed to pin on Sergeant stripes) served in Gulf War I. It's not easy sometimes to give up your own personal sense of freedom, but those I knew, and myself included, did so because we all shared an unspoken pride in serving our country. That was the glue that held us together. We may have said "I’m here to earn the G.I. Bill," or "I wanted to see the world," or "I was looking for an adventure," but it was the unspoken pride in our nation that inspired us to be all we could be. It's that unspoken pride soldiers from the Civil War, Calvary from World War I, airmen, seamen, and marines embraced in World War II, and then men and women in today's Armed Forces share. It's our common denominator.

Decoration Day was initially used as a term in 1882. It wasn't changed officially to "Memorial Day," until 1967 by an act of congress.

All I ask is for you today is to take a few minutes out to share your unspoken pride with others. If you have a loved one or know a friend who died in service, place a flag or some flowers next to their resting place. If, perhaps, it's not practical, fly a flag today or stop around noon and say a prayer. In the afternoon, enjoy a start of summer BBQ. I intend to.

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She served in the US Army from 1986-1997. She achieved the rank of E-6, Staff Sergeant. Her highest military award is the Army Commendation Medal (3x). From JUL-OCT 1997, she was deployed to the Taszur Air Base in Taszur, Hungary in support of Operation Joint Guard.

Her story, "Journey of the Heart," is a vintage romance that takes place in California in 1946. Her hero, James DiMera, served in World War II. When he returns home, he learns he has no home to return to. Can he find a new purpose and sense of worth on Rachel's winery?
April 10, 2013 at 4:13pm
April 10, 2013 at 4:13pm
It's APRIL and in the U.S., it's National Poetry Month so I thought I'd share one of my favorite poets with you, Emily Dickinson. Enjoy! *Smile*

Emily Dickinson is considered a major American poet alongside Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, and Walt Whitman. Schools have been named after and her poetry is taught in American Middle Schools through college. She's been placed on stamps and was the topic of a Broadway play, "The Belle of Amherst," in 1976. While Dickinson's legacy retains a vitality that refuses to die, during her lifetime she was a recluse, often refusing to leave her home. She harbored a fascination with death and dying and embraced poetry techniques that were frowned upon in the 19th Century. Now her poetry has been acknowledged as innovative and modern.

So what makes her poetry stand out?

Dickinson wrote close to 1800 poems, but less than a dozen were published during her life. She employed the extensive use of dashes and unconventional capitalization along with an idiosyncratic vocabulary and imagery. Her meter is often irregular and she prefers trimeter to iambic pentameter. She also prefers slant rhymes (words that sound the same, but don't exactly rhyme like lover and brother) and the best way to sum up her poetry is that it is consistently nontraditional.

Dickinson mainly wrote from 1858 until her death. Only 5 poems can be traced earlier than 1858. She employed humor, puns, irony, and satire in her writing. (she wasn't all about 'death')

Major Themes

Flowers and Gardens
Nature allowed Dickinson's imagination and emotions to flourish. These poems evoke youth, humility, prudence, and insight.

"Master" poems
Several poems are addressed to "the Master," human, yet godlike, possibly a Christian muse.

Many people Dickinson came to care for – friends, family, and influential writers died early in life, leaving Dickinson with a sad heart. She's not afraid to explore death and morbidity and several poems talk about death by crucifixion, drowning, hanging, suffocation, freezing, premature burial, shooting, and stabbing. These are her most psychologically complex poems.

Dickinson considered herself a Christian and explored many of Jesus' teaching in her gospel-themed poems. Many of these poems are addressed to Jesus.

Undiscovered Continent
For Dickinson, the undiscovered continent is a tangible landscape where one can visit with the mind and spirit. It's a dwelling place for ones' self. Some of these poems invoke a nature landscape and some invoke darkness, like in a castle or a long hall.


Dickinson's younger sister, Lavinia, found the poems after Emily died, and they were published in 1890. Unfortunately, at that time they were edited, primarily for punctuation to fit the expectations of 19th Century poetry. This editing changed many meanings. In 1955, her poems were released again unedited in the original form she'd composed them. She's been in print since 1890.

About Emily Dickinson

She was born in 1830 and raised in Amherst, Massachusetts. She had an older brother and a younger sister. As a young woman, she attended Amherst Academy and Mt. Holyoke College. Her literary influences include Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Emily sought seclusion as a choice after the deaths of several friends. Though she took a trip with her family to Washington, DC and Philadelphia, she preferred to stay at home.

Dickinson's Appeal

Emily Dickinson appeals to me because of her word play, her themes, and her unusual choices. I first read her poem, "I heard a fly buzz when I died," as a teenager in high school and while morbid, it challenged me on so many levels – the odd punctuation, the word play, but ultimately I thought how lonely one must be that a fly buzzing is the last thing one hears before one dies.


I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –

The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset – when the King
Be witnessed – in the Room –

I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
What portions of me be
Assignable – and then it was
There interposed a Fly –

With Blue – uncertain stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. She's published paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance. She's also a published children's author. She adores chocolate and two cups of coffee to start off the day. You can find her at:







You can find a list of my poetry at writing.com here: http://www.writing.com/main/portfolio/item_id/958683-The-Poetry-Shelf

May 1, 2012 at 4:43pm
May 1, 2012 at 4:43pm
The Titanic's story is one of the most romantic and tragic in modern history. April 14th, 2012 was the 100 Anniversary of the Titanic sinking. How many of you broke down and went to see the 1997 in the theatres in IMAX 3D? I confess I did. And it was just as good if not better this time around.

So what was it about the Titanic that has held us captive throughout the years? I thought I'd explore the history of the Titanic.

RMS (Royal Mail Ship) Titanic was built between 1909-1911 by the Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast, Ireland. Harland and Wolff were "the" shipbuilders of the day. At the time the ship was constructed, it could hold over 3,000 people. What made the ship special? It had an onboard gymnasium, swimming pool, library, opulent cabins and high class restaurants. The telegraph was one of the most high powered ones of the day.

The Titanic was constructed with a series of watertight containers. These containers were originally designed to go to the "B" desk, but were cut back to the "E" deck. There were 11 decks total on the ship.

The Titanic had 3 engines. It used 600 tons of coal a day. It had an electrical plant and brass propellers. The ship was capable of delivering heated water using pumps to all parts. It could even distil seawater if it had to. With a ship as "high tech" as this (for 1912) no one really thought it would sink.

Of course, with all places, there's a human story behind the events and Titanic is no different. The White Star Line's chairman, J. Bruce Ismay, conceived the Olympic class liners including Titanic. He worked with naval architect Thomas Andrews and many others to design and then build the ship. Ismay wanted to compete on size, not speed. Unfortunately, Ismay made poor design decisions when it came to the ship.

#1 – He ordered the watertight containers lowered to the "E" deck from the "B" deck.

#2 – He substituted #3 Iron rivets instead of steel rivets or #4 iron rivets. #3 iron rivets are of poorer quality and break easily.

#3 – He cut back on the number of lifeboats because the full compliment of lifeboats made the desk look too cluttered.

None of these decisions directly pertain to an iceberg, but they made the Titanic less sturdy and less capable of handling a hit from an iceberg.

Another key event which occurred prior to the Titanic sailing would have major repercussions. Prior to sailing, Titanic was assigned a new captain – Edward J. Smith of the Olympic. He was the most senior captain of the White Star Line. Smith brought Henry Wilde over to be his chief mate. This bumped down the officers assigned to Titanic, Murdoch and Lightoller. Titanic's original 2nd Officer, David Blair was dropped from the maiden voyage.

When David Blair left, he accidently took the keys to the binoculars storage box in the crow's nest.

That's important.

Two lookouts were in the crow's nest on the forward mast and could only their eyes to see icebergs. If they had access to the binoculars they probably could have spotted the iceberg sooner. On a moonless night with little wind, they didn't stand a chance of spotting the iceberg in time to avoid it.

Several prominent people of the time were onboard including John Jacob Aster IV and millionaire Molly Brown, played to perfection by Kathy Bates in the 1997 movie. Also sailing on the boat: J. Bruce Ismay and Thomas Andrews. They were to assess the ship's performance and trouble shoot any problems it might have.

As the Titanic sank, J. Bruce Ismay dressed a woman to secure a place in one of the lifeboats. For the rest of his life he was known as a coward.

The USS Californian was less than two hours away from the Titanic. The ship had been warning Titanic all day of the icebergs. Titanic's wireless operators took the messages, but these warnings didn't pay the bills. To earn money, they had to send out the wireless messages from the people on board.

At approx. 7pm a USS Californian wireless operator overrode Titanic's operator, Jack Phillips. Phillips was sending a personal message. The Californian's message warned Titanic of more icebergs in the area. The override forced a lot of noise into Phillip's ear. Phillips, mad, sent the California's operator a scathing message.

The Californian's message further advised it was stopping for the night because of the icebergs. After this message from the Californian at 7 pm, their radio operator went to bed.

When Titanic hit the iceberg, the Californian crew was ill prepared to help. They saw Titanic's lights flicker and tried to signal Titanic using morse light signals between 1130 pm and 1 am. They weren't answered. Several crew members saw Titanic launch rockets/flares and told the Californian captain, but since the flares were white and didn't identify the company of the ship, he didn't respond.

The Carpathia, a ship from Austria-Hungary responded but arrived at 4 am, 2 hours after the boat sank.

The Titanic's wreck wasn't found until 1985, partially because the wreck wasn't at the last known coordinates. It was located over 13.2 miles away at a depth of 12,000 feet.

In the US, a permanent exhibit at the Luxur, Las Vegas is dedicated to the Titanic. There are also museums in Belfast, Liverpool, and Branson, Missouri. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, many of the bodies from the ship were buried.

Book Cover for Be Mused featuring my short story

A pic of me taken 2 years ago.
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