Guest Post: Titanic and Me by Jina Bacarr, Author of The Runaway Girl

RMS Titanic

RMS Titanic departing Southampton, April 10, 1912 By F.G.O. Stuart (1843-1923) – http://www.uwants.com/viewthread.php?tid=3817223&extra=page%3D1, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2990792

Titanic and Me

by Jina Bacarr

I first discovered the Titanic nestled among paperback romance novels on a shelf in a small library branch near the sea.

‘A Night to Remember’, that wonderful tome definitive of all things Titanic, had found an unlikely home among princesses and maids. I imagine the Walter Lord book was shelved there by a fussy librarian because of its provocative title, but oh, what a lucky break for me.

I was thirteen and living in a small beach town on the coast. Every day that summer I’d walk to the small branch and take out as many books as they’d let me. Then I’d walk down to the beach and sit under the boardwalk, listen to the roar of the pounding surf, eat strips and salsa, and read.

Read… read… read.

I read ‘A Night to Remember’ a million times, imaging myself on the ship of dreams wearing an elegant gown and long white gloves, dancing in first class with a handsome gentleman. Then reality set in and I realized I’d more likely be in steerage since my family came over from Ireland.

The place dreams are made of…

When I was a little girl, I lived with my Irish grandmother for a while and I remember sitting at the big, wooden table with her as she added flour, milk, and herbs to leftover mashed spuds for potato cakes; or wound her blue rosary beads around her gnarled fingers while she spun tales about life in Ireland. Grand times they were, and a lovely thread woven through the quilt of my childhood.

Books were my companions back then and I’d read anywhere, anytime. I read tons of romances, but I’d often end up in the history section of the library looking for more stories about the Titanic. Imagining sneaking into first class and pretending I belonged there. Something I found hard to do growing up since we moved a lot and I was always the ‘new kid’ (I went to fifteen schools before college). I yearned to be among the popular kids at the beach, but somewhere in my heart, I knew the way to better myself was reading and the rest would come later.

Reading was my world.

That became the basis of my heroine, Ava O’Reilly, in THE RUNAWAY GIRL, a girl who wants to better herself by reading books but it’s forbidden to the servants in the grand house in Ireland where she’s in service.

Then when she’s wrongly accused of stealing a diamond bracelet, she escapes.

To the Titanic.

And every tale I’d heard at my grandmother’s knee, every book I’d read, every film about the ship of dreams I’d watched over and over again became the fodder for telling my own story about the Titanic.

Based on my girlhood and love of books.

And the sea.

And yes, romance, too.

And how an Irish girl makes a daring choice on that fateful night when the Titanic hits an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. that changes her life forever…

The Runaway Girl book coverAnd mine, too.

Jina

The Runaway Girl: A Titanic Love Story
by Jina Bacarr

Blurb:

Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…

When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.

Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.

As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…

A sweeping, emotional historical romance set aboard the Titanic, perfect for fans of Gill Paul and Suzanne Goldring.

This is a revised and fully updated edition of a novel previously published as Titanic Rhapsody.

What readers are saying about The Runaway Girl:

‘A fantastic Titanic take woven in with a great portrayal of love, friendship, and even forgiveness. I would have rather seen this as a movie than the Jack and Rose story!!!’

‘Oh how I adored this story… From start to finish I was enchanted with the story and the characters and all the finer details describing the ship, clothes and scenery.’

‘A breathtaking romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’

‘Perfect for historical fiction and romance fans.’

‘A mesmerizing romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’

‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’

‘You will start to love the favorable characters and the great storyline’

‘I was enchanted with the story’

‘Oh how I adored this story’

——————————

The Runaway Girl Buy Links:

Amazon:

US https://amzn.to/30yll8P

UK https://amzn.to/2NCqTty

Audible https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084MM1D4R

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/3A08bcsCeI6LHWRQTmAM30

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-runaway-girl-jina-bacarr/1135653540?ean=9781838893736

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-runaway-girl-1

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-runaway-girl/id14922691322

WRITER WELLNESS & FIVE THINGS FOR WRITERS #onlineclass

Please welcome today’s guest blogger, Joy Held.

Linda

WRITER WELLNESS & FIVE THINGS FOR YOUR WRITING
By Joy E. Held, M.F.A.

Writer Wellness cover

Writer Wellness by Joy E. Held

The idea for my book and workshop Writer Wellness: A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity (Headline Books, Inc., 2020) came to me when some of my critique partners asked how they could be my clones. They wanted to shadow me for a week to see what I did every day that led to my prolific publishing (over 500 articles and counting,) life as a homeschooling mom, and part-time hatha yoga teacher. Up to that point, I hadn’t done any self-examination of my processes, but when they asked, I stepped back and watched myself for a month while documenting my doings and beings in a journal. This article is a peek into what I learned.

  • Please take out a pen and paper (or your phone or computer) and list five things you’ve done in the last thirty days to promote/support your writing.
  • Now list five challenges or obstacles that you believe are standing in the way of accomplishing your writing goals.
  • Next, list five writing wishes or desires you want to come true.

Following the Writer Wellness plan will help you to always have five things on those lists. It will also allow you to maintain a level of health and creativity that some writers are missing.

  • Are you happy with your writing in general?
  • Are you happy with your health?
  • Do you ever notice a direct relationship to the productivity and quality of your writing and quality of your life?

A physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy individual is by far a more productive, creative, and pleasant person. This is evidenced by the fact that many corporations have implemented programs to keep employees happy and healthy. Programs range from day care centers in the workplace to personal trainers for every ten employees. A healthy, happy employee is more productive, misses less work, and is a more cost-effective employee.

As a writer, you are the employer and the employed. Happiness, productivity, and health are definite factors in the quality of work you produce. It is therefore in your best interest as a writer to do everything you can to stay healthy and be the best writer you can be.

But where are you supposed to get the time? Let’s not jump ahead of ourselves to the time factor. Hopefully, you will instinctively see that working these ideas into your life will make positive use of your time while adding to the quality of your life and the productivity of your work.

The whole premise of Writer Wellness is that creativity and productivity are crucially dependent upon an overall quality of life. This includes the physical, mental, emotional, communal, and spiritual aspects of life.

To serve the purposes of Writer Wellness, I’ve broken down a writer’s quality of life into five interdependent components necessary to sustain a healthful, creative life.

The five key concepts of Writer Wellness are JOURNALING, EXERCISE, RELAXATION, PROPER NUTRITION, AND CREATIVE PLAY. These areas contribute to an overall wellness way of living and working.

I was raised in my mother’s dancing school. Before she retired after 52 years, she kept the books, wrote the grants and publicity announcements, directed weekly rehearsals, and taught five ballet classes a week. Thanks to her excellent example, the principles of physical fitness and eating right were pounded into me from an early age. At age fourteen, I began the Writer Wellness life (even though I hadn’t labeled it yet,) when a local newspaper carried a weekly column I wrote about my junior high school. I saw my name in print. I was hooked. From then on, I was a dancer and a writer.

I discovered yoga, meditation, and modern dance in college, and everything fell into place for me. Thirty plus years later, I still journal almost daily unless I’m working intensely on a writing project, exercise five to six times a week, follow a strict eating plan with supplements, practice daily meditation, and engage in creative play through art journaling, crafting, and scrapbooking.

When other writers in my critique group asked me how I published so much, I reviewed my life and named the process “Writer Wellness.” Now I teach other writers the basic principles and encourage them to find their own versions of the five concepts.

Today I maintain myself as a writer by incorporating each of the five key concepts of Writer Wellness into my day. Depending on obligations and scheduling, I’m able to journal, exercise, follow a prescribed food program, and meditate seven days a week. The creative play happens more on the weekends when I’m not writing, editing, promoting, or teaching online. I have two new book releases in 2020, a two-book contract with an independent publisher, teach college English composition online, teach hatha yoga three times a week, and run online workshops for various writing associations. I’m also on the board of directors for both of my RWA chapters.

You can do this as well.

Looking back to the lists of five things you made at the beginning of this article, make a pact with yourself to create a new way of life that will support your goals as a writer and a healthy, productive person. My book and workshop will show you the way so that you’ll always have five things done every month to help you live the writing dream.

Witer Wellness class graphic

The workshop I’m leading for Orange County RWA in September is a detailed look at the five key concepts of Writer Wellness and an exploration of how you can incorporate the practice into your life. With Writer Wellness as the foundation, you can achieve the writing dreams and personal goals you desire.

Be well, write well. See you in workshop!

All good things,
Joy

JOY E. HELD, A.A.S., B.A., M.F.A. is an author, freelance editor, educator, Yoga Alliance Registered yoga and meditation teacher, college English professor, certified Journal to the Self facilitator, and workshop presenter with over 500 articles published in trade magazines, newspapers, and literary journals. Her historical romance novel Message to Love was published in 2010 by The Wild Rose Press. Her nonfiction book Writer Wellness: A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity is available now in paperback. Her latest historical romance is forthcoming from Boroughs Publishing Group. Joy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, Northeast Ohio RWA, and the Author’s Guild. She holds degrees in education, journalism, and an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

http://www.joyeheld.com

http://facebook.com/joy.e.held

http://twitter.com/Joy_E_Held

https://www.linkedin.com/in/joy-held-4703b187/

Sign up and pay for the class here.

Fees are $20 for OCC/RWA members; $30 for non-members; $10 for OCC/RWA volunteers.

Note: OCC/RWA members who paid $55 for dues and wish to claim their free online class should email [email protected]

Hope to see you in the class! I will be moderating.

Linda