Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Moonless Night - Chapter Three Photos and Information

On Titanic's second day of sailing, she sailed overnight from Cherbourg, France to Queenstown, Ireland (now known as Cobh, pronounced "cove"). Titanic arrived in Queenstown at 11:10 a.m., where some passengers disembarked, as they were just "cross-channel" passengers - that is they were only sailing from Southampton or Cherbourg to Ireland. This is where many of the known photographs of Titanic have come from, most notably from Francis M. Browne, a thirty-two year old teacher who sailed from Southampton to Queenstown. He was travelling with the Odell family, who also are credited with many of the known photographs that exist. The Odells and Mr. Browne disembarked at Queenstown, where they went on to tour the Irish countryside by motorcar.

Anchored off of Roche's Point, Titanic unloaded her cross-channel passengers and outgoing mail, while tenders ferried on more mail, Irish linen, lace and souvenirs, and loaded mostly third-class passengers. At 1:30 p.m., Titanic pulled anchor and steamed west along the southern coast of Ireland and by sunset, had reached open sea; by nightfall the Irish mountains could faintly be seen in the distance and many emigrants on board realized that this would be their last sight of Europe - perhaps forever.

During the Edwardian (and Victorian) era, there were rules for how to dress at all times of the day and for different activities and events. For informal activities, like breakfast, women would wear what was called a "wrapper" or morning dress; usually something that could be worn without a corset but was still acceptable to be seen in while at home.
Back view of Bella's morning gown
Side/front view of Bella's morning gown

After breakfast, ladies would then get dressed for the day, either for whatever activity they had planned or in a day or afternoon dress/gown - sometimes called "tea" gowns/dresses.

On Titanic, there were several options for first and second class passengers who wished to take a walk on deck: both classes had open air promenades and enclosed promenade decks. First and second class shared space on the Boat Deck, with signs and barricades keeping them separated.
Second class promenade on the Boat Deck - at the right, far back you can see the barricade that separated first class from second. On the left in the foreground, you can see the second class entrance.
First class enclosed promenade on B Deck - no photographs exist of the second class enclosed promenade on C Deck, but it's safe to say that they were very similar.

Bella's day gown

peridot earrings

Silk shawl

Esme's afternoon dress
For those unfamiliar with afternoon tea and what it is comprised of, this is a great article about it:  Tea was a light meal, usually served between luncheon and dinner, around 4 p.m. There was tea (of course!), sometimes coffee or hot chocolate, finger sandwiches, small cakes or cookies, scones, etc.

Here's an example of a tea set (I'm lucky enough to have two complete sets just like this that belonged to Hubward's great-grandparents):

From left to right: top row - tea pot, chocolate pot, coffee pot
bottom row - slop bowl, sugar bowl, cream pitcher
On Titanic, the meal schedule was as follows: Breakfast at 8 a.m., Luncheon at noon, Tea at 4 p.m. and Dinner at 7 p.m. In second class, the passengers had most of the same luxuries as first class (in fact,they shared the same galley), though dress at dinner varied from suits and afternoon/suit dresses to tuxedos and evening gowns. Since the Cullens are somewhat upper middle class, I've chosen to reflect this by their manner of dress - Carlisle wears a tuxedo to dinner and the ladies change into evening gowns.

Bella's hairstyle for dinner

Bella's dress - note the gorgeous silver beaded trim and fringe on the skirt layers.
Alice's hair for dinner

Alice's evening gown
Esme's evening gown

Titanic deck plan - Boat Deck to D Deck in descending order

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fandom 4 No Kid Hungry - Banner and Information

Howdy all!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm donating a new story (the first few chapters) to help raise money for Fandom for No Kid Hungry an AMAZING fundraiser started by Kitsu Shel, ysar, Pixie Dawn, Le Crepuscule,  OcSickGirl, Kelly Province, and DreamOfTheEndless to raise awareness and funds for Share Our Strength.

"Share Our Strength is a national organization working to end childhood hunger in the United States through the No Kid Hungry initiative. They mobilize industries and individuals, and create community wealth to promote lasting change, holding culinary events, soliciting individual donations, and utilizing social media efforts to raise funds which are then used to fund long-term solutions to the hunger problem."

The piece I'm donating is a new drabble-ish story called Stars Shining Bright, which I will be posting after July 22nd. Jaime Arkin - who is a fabulous author and an incredible banner maker - made me this fabulous banner for it, which I am just in love with:

You can donate to receive the compilation here and if you'd like to contribute, you can do so here.

Thank you for supporting this awesome cause!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pictures for A Moonless Night - Chapter 2

My gorgeous banner by the lovely and talented Jaime Arkin
The Second Class Library/Reading Room on Olympic (the one on Titanic was supposedly identical).
Now, to get dressed in the Edwardian era, women had to go through quite a process:

First, we would put on our "combinations" - which as their name suggests were a combination of a chemise and pantaloons.

Combinations (the crotch was left open or "split" to allow women to answer the call of nature - or to us less refined modern girls - go to the bathroom. You just lifted your many skirts and sat down (very carefully) and did your business. 
Then after donning your combinations (or chemise and pantaloons), sometimes you'd need to wear a corset, as Bella does in her new gown. 
Back of a "long line" or Edwardian-style corset

Front of a "long line" or Edwardian-style corset. To clear up confusion, to put a corset on, you unhook the clasps at the front and loosen the ties at the back until you can refasten the front - then the laces are tightened to the proper tightness. And yes, your boobs are flying free and loose - which feels a bit unnerving to us modern gals who are used to wearing bras.
As you can see from the above pictures, the garters for your stockings were attached to the corset, which you'd have to stuff your chemise into, unless you were wearing the newer combinations, which helped eliminate all the bunching.

After fastening your stockings, you put on a petticoat, which not only fills out your skirt, but also eliminates those pesky corset lines from showing underneath your dress.

1905 Petticoat
Now we finally get to put on our gown!

In the story, these are the two lovely dresses I've selected for Bella and Alice:

The red dress is Alice's and the blue one is Bella's - if you look closely on the blue gown, you can see there is a beaded fringe along the top layer, which I've described as "clicking merrily" as Bella walks down the corridor.
Having made the Jump Dress from Titanic, which also has a similar beaded fringe (as Rose is running down the deck in the movie to jump off it, you can hear the beads clicking as she runs), I can tell you from experience that they do indeed "click merrily" as you walk.

My Hubward and I dressed up for his senior prom, in the replica Jump Dress I made (which took me the better part of four months to make). Note the beaded fringe - it cost more than the rest of the materials for the dress, no joke. But it was worth it. :-)

Now that I've bored everyone to tears with my endless knowledge and trivia on Edwardian fashion...

On to the other pictures for the chapter!

Esme's gown - this is dated to 1911. I love the ostrich feather embroidery, simply lovely!

The Second Class Dining Saloon (artists' illustration). The biggest difference in the First and Second Class Dining Saloons on Titanic and other ships of its day were the fact that they stretched the entire width of the ship, which allowed them to let in natural light, giving them an airy, open feeling. Also, everyone from each class could sit down to dinner all at once, rather than having to select from several seating times.

Dinner in Second Class on the last night of the voyage. Anyone else wondering what the heck a "cocoanut sandwich" is? The rest of it sounds yummy!

Reproduction Second Class Dinner Service - I want a set of this for my china (minus the White Star Logo).
To answer another question I've received several times:

Will this story end with Happily Ever After? Well, that all depends on whom you wish to have a HEA, doesn't it? Will Edward and Bella (and the rest of her family) make it off the doomed liner? Yes. I will not have anything like Jack and Rose (who TOTALLY could have shared that piece of debris, thank you very much. It was all a matter of balance...) and my Edward and Bella will have a HEA. Now as for the rest of the passengers? I'm not rocking the boat (I crack myself up) and changing history - the boat still sinks, y'all.

I think that's all for now - happy reading!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pictures for A Moonless Night - Chapter 1

The Titanic, on sailing day, April 10, 1912
Bella's dressing case (also known as a train case)

Bella's birth mother's hair comb

Charlie's pocket watch

Steamer trunk (also known as Cabin Trunks, because they would be kept in the person's cabin versus being kept down in the hold.)

Esme's travelling suit

Alice's (pink checked) and Bella's (green) travelling suits

Second Class ticket (reproduction)

Trunk tag for luggage to be kept in the passengers cabin (the other luggage would be tagged to be placed in the hold).

The Titanic's intended sailing route (unfinished portion in dashes).

Second Class entrance on D Deck (the stairs led up to the Second Class Promenade Deck or down to more Second Class Cabins on E Deck).

Bella and Alice's cabin (one of the few pictures known of the Second Class cabins on Titanic).

Carlisle and Esme's cabin (another one of the few existing pictures of Titanic's Second Class cabins).

Floor Plans of D Deck (upper) and E Deck (lower), circled portions show the Cullen's two cabins and Edward's quarters. The Stewards (and most of the crew) bunked in dormitory-style rooms.

The Second Class Library on Titanic (this photo is actually of Olympic, but the rooms were supposedly identical).

The Second Class Dining Saloon on Titanic (artists rendering).

Pictures for A Moonless Night - Prologue

Esme's dressing gown

Esme's Dressing Gown - detail

The Cullen Home - 420 Woodcroft Avenue, Seattle

My new story!

So... it's been a while, yes?

So many things that I could use for excuses... basically it goes like this: I was sick (really sick).

My doctors couldn't figure out what the heck was wrong with me. One doctor told me I was bleeding so much because I was just "really fertile."

I lost my job because I was sick all the time. I seriously started to think I was losing my mind.

I fired my old OB/GYN and got a new one who said "nope, there's something wrong here." My new (wonderful, fabulous, outstanding) OB/GYN said "hmm... I think it's your woman parts!"

We battled back and forth with the insurance company. Finally, I had two surgeries and voila! I'm all better now! Yay!

And then I lost my writing mojo...


While I can't seem to get over the major writer's block I've got going on with "Dance for Two", I've been working on two (yes, TWO!) other stories, and I'm pretty happy with how they're both shaping up. I've got several chapters stored up on both of them, so here's hoping the writing gods and goddesses and muses are nice to me and don't give me any trouble!

Anyway... my new story is called A Moonless Night and it takes place in 1912 - yes, on the Titanic. :-)

"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night..." On a moonless night, fate steps in and takes a hand in the destiny of Edward and Bella, changing their lives forever.

The absolutely GORGEOUS banner that the lovely Jaime Arkin made for me - she does amazing work and I just love, love, LOVE my beautiful banner. 

So check it out and please, let me know what you think of the story!