Tag Archives: disasters

Ahh. . . April. The Month of Mayhem

Happy Friday! Casey here!

I love April. It’s my birthday month and, here in New England, the unofficial start of RedcoatsSpring. April means the flowers are budding, the days are warmer and the snow (knock on wood) is behind us.

But it’s not all sunshine and flowers. No siree. April has a dark side.

Being a total history geek, I always marvel (and shudder) at the mayhem that has occurred during the month of April.

T.S. Elliot called April the cruelest month. Need proof?

  • April 4, 1968 – assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • April 12, 1861 – Start of US Civil War
  • April 14, 1865 – the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (he died early morning on the 15th)
  • April 15, 1912 – sinking of RMS Titanic
  • April 15th – in the United States – Tax day
  • April 18, 1906 – San Francisco earthquake
  • April 19, 1775 – the shot heard ’round the world. Battle of Lexington & Concord starts the American Revolution. Okay, that was pretty good for us Americans.
  • April 26, 1986 – Chernobyl disaster
  • April 27, 1865, SS Sultana (riverboat) boiler explodes. Still considered to be the greatest maritime disaster in US history.

Also in April of years past – Columbine shootings, Oklahoma bombing, Waco, Virginia Tech shootings, BP oil spill, and Apollo 13. There were so many disasters, I had Civil War Cannondifficulty choosing what to include. Kinda scary.

So what is it with April? I have no idea. And I am sure, statistically, April is no different from other months in terms of bad things, however, it sure does seem like the worst events have occurred in April.

Here is what I take away from this. Life is short and you never know when the ride will be over. Savor the moments big and small and love your friends and family. So, while I make note of these dates, I still live my life, celebrate my birthday, and hope for many more to come.

Has anyone else noticed that April is the cruelest month? What is your cruelest month?

Here Comes the Story of the Hurricane…

Hi!  J here.  I know, it’s been a week already and you are sick of hurricane stories.  I can’t help it!  I’m Saturday’s Scribe.  I haven’t had a chance to weigh in yet.  So stick with me a minute. 

I love adventure stories which comes as no surprise since that what I write.  I like all kinds of adventures: those that come with a romance (time travels – what bigger adventure could there be?) and those that don’t (thrillers and who-done-it types).  And like many people, I love disaster stories.  Movies of global disaster like Deep Impact, Armageddon, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow.  Or movies of smaller disasters like The Poseidon Adventure, Twister, Dante’s Peak, Volcano.   And books like Jess Anderson’s Nightkeepers series, the Left Behind series (well, the first 8 at least…) by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, The Stand by Steven King. I love them all!

In fact, my earliest stories, created to amuse myself on the mile walk home from Illing Junior High School, centered around disasters.  What would I do if a freak blizzard left me stranded all alone for weeks at the local strip mall?  How would I survive?  Who should I miraculously rescue to keep me company?  Might there be kissing?  Hey – I was 13…

It’s not much of a leap from those imaginings to The Cordovan Vault where a pair of 14-year-olds find their world flipped on its end and have to scramble to survive.  Look for The Peacock Tale: Book 2 in the Livingston-Wexford Adventures on October 18th. 

As storms go, hurricane Irene was a bust for me (our power didn’t even blink and the wind was no stronger than anything we see in a normal storm) but it got me thinking about personal disasters like that of Hurricane Carter.  Click here to hear Bob Dylan’s great song about it and if you haven’t seen it, Denzel Washington starred in a wonderful movie about that travesty. 

But whether fictional or based on true events, the personal disaster is at the core of many stories, across many genres, including my own.  Hopefully I’ve managed to develop a more sophisticated tale than I dreamed up when I was in 9th grade, but at its heart, my tale is a disaster story. 

Today’s Secret: next time you are stumped about where your story should go, consider writing in a disaster.  What could/would/should happen if that freak blizzard strikes, or if an innocent man minding his own business is mistaken for a criminal.

Today’s Question: what’s your favorite disaster movie?  I like the personal disaster Steath, starring my fav Josh Lucas. 

Isn't he dreamy?