03 July, 2011

Stories for Sendai Blog Tour: J. C. Martin On The Effects of the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

Today it is my honor to announce that I have a guest post by J. C. Martin, as part of the Stories for Sendai Blog Tour!

Stories for Sendai is an anthology of stories by twenty authors, and all proceeds will be donated to charity to help those affected by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. To find out more, go visit their site.

And now, the guest post:

I’d like to thank the Golden Eagle for hosting me up here in her aerie! If you enjoy this
post, then please follow the rest of the Stories for Sendai Blog Tour de Force: check out the schedule here!

The Golden Eagle asked me a very interesting question: how did the earthquake and tsunami
in Japan affect me personally? Well, to be perfectly honest, it didn’t—at least, not directly!

I was born in Malaysia, spending the first eighteen years of my life there, and whilst I’ve
been living in the UK for more than ten years now, my parents and most of my family are
still based in Malaysia. I am still proud to call myself a true Malaysian, one who adores
food, particularly satay and roti canai, and I feel especially patriotic whenever our legendary
badminton team kick a** in international tournaments and events!

The natural disaster that struck closest to home for me was the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004,
when an earthquake in the Indian Ocean spawned a massive tsunami that devastated the
coasts of pretty much every country in southeast Asia. While my family and friends lived far
inland, and were thankfully spared, it was still a close enough call to make me stop and think:
there were beaches I frequented as a child that were affected by the waves, and the extent and
reach of the tsunami astounded me; Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India...even places as far
away as the Maldives, Seychelles and Tanzania were affected!

The official death toll for the Boxing Day tsunami stands at over 180,000, with more than
45,000 people still missing. Nearly 1.7 million people were displaced. Not only were homes
and lives immediately destroyed, but these are all relatively poor countries that rely heavily
on the tourism industry, an industry hit hard by the tsunami. With so many livelihoods
affected, the long term effects of that natural disaster are still being felt in many of the
stricken places today.

When the earthquake and tsunami happened in 2004, I was living thousands of miles away
in London. At the time, I was still a student, relying on financial support from my parents.
I felt powerless to help. Although I gave what I could for charity, I felt my efforts were as
insignificant as a drop in the ocean.

Now, although I have zero connections with Japan, aside from a shared affinity for raw fish,
Japan is close enough to Malaysia for the aftershocks and rough waves to reach the eastern
shores of Borneo. The off-shore quake, the resulting tidal waves, the coastal destruction...it
was a haunting re-creation of the last disaster seven years ago: different place, same tragedy.

This time though, I intend to do something about it. I feel I’m in a better position to help: I’ve
just begun to pursue my writing career seriously, and I’m in the midst of building a modest
online platform. So instead of trying to act as an individual, why not try and rally aid from
my fellow bloggers worldwide?

With that in mind, Stories for Sendai was born. And with your help, we could really try and
make a difference! By buying a copy of Stories for Sendai, you’ll not only be donating to
a worthwhile cause (all proceeds from the anthology will be donated to Global Giving, a
project which disburses funds to aid and rescue efforts on the ground that needs it most),
you’ll also be getting a wonderfully designed book with 20 uplifting and inspirational stories
about the strength of the human spirit!

Also, we’re running a CONTEST! Just purchase a copy of the anthology and email us the
receipt, and you’ll be entered in a draw for uber-cool prizes, including manuscript or query
critiques! Visit the Stories for Sendai site for more details!


A bit about J. C.:

Rabid writer, aspiring author. Also bookworm, kung fu fighter, teacher, gourmand, slave to three dogs, child at heart, dreamer.


Did the Japan earthquake affect you in any way, readers?

-----The Golden Eagle


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now you are making a difference, JC!

Rob-bear said...

It, once again, reminded me of the power of nature and the peril of nuclear power.

Elliot Grace said...

180,000...I find it difficult translating that number into words. Good for you, J.C. for trying to make a difference, spreading awareness.

Great interview, Eagle:)


Su said...

What a great idea! Good for you for finding a unique way to help.

Charles Gramlich said...

I hope this does well. I'll check it out.

Heather said...

It's amazing and terribly sad to hear how much that event devastated so many other countries as well. Thank you for sharing your story J.C.

Anonymous said...

It's so inspiring how J.C used her talents to make a difference. :) Thanks for sharing!

Old Kitty said...

Thank you lovely Golden Eagle for hosting the most beautiful JC!!! Yay for her Stories for Sendai - what a true inspiration.

I do follow a few kitty bloggers from Japan and my writerly buddy's wife's family are from Japan too - so it was very very worrying. They are all ok but were and are obviously traumatised. The work to rebuild continues. Wonderful collaborative creative projects like Stories for Sendai and New Sun Rising are truly most helpful!

OH I do remember the 2004 tsunami. It was boxing day, I was in France and the dinner was interrupted by this tragic news. It didn't seem right to continue. We were very sober and very sad and very helpless!

Take care

GMR said...

Wow, great guest post! This is the first I've heard of this tour so I'll have to check out the other stops for certain but it sounds like a great way to not only educate but help aid those affected by this batural disaster. Thanks for shedding a little more light on it and to the guest author for sharing a bit about the 04 Boxing Day one.

ali said...

This is a fantastic project. Thanks for hosting the interview, Eags!

J.C. Martin said...

Thanks again to Holden Eagle for hosting me! I enjoyed every minute of it! And thanks to everyone who stopped by to read and comment! Your support is super-appreciated!

Alex: Yes, fingers crossed I'm making a difference!

Rob-bear: Very true, although I still personally believe that nuclear power is a viable cleaner alternative to fossil fuels--we just need to learn to harness it better and more safely.

Elliot: I know, it's a big number.

Su: Thank you, I hope readers will enjoy the stories we compiled!

Charles: Book's on sale now on Amazon! :)

Heather: Thank you for reading it, Heather!

Madeleine: Here's to hoping it'll be a BIG difference!

Old Kitty: Yes, that was how I felt when the earthquake happened: sad and helpless. Hoping that this time I can create some sort of impact.

GMR: Great to meet you! Yes, we would love to have you join us on the other legs of the blog tour!

Ali: Thank you! :)

Elaine AM Smith said...

So many lives lost. I was only emotionally affected by the Japanese earthquake; I have family in New Zealand. Nature has a way of making us very small and vulnerable. I wish you every success with your efforts.

....Petty Witter said...

Nice to have met you J.C. Thanks for this inspiring post. I wish you well with all your good works.

Laila Knight said...

Good job JC. I couldn't fathom finding myself in the midst of tsunami. Those poor people. Loved the interview.

Happy 4th!

Misha said...

I was so sad when I heard about the earth quake and tsunamis.

I'm so proud of J.C. for thinking of this creative way to help.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

These two huge sea-borne horrors have really opened our eyes .. especially as they can be so vividly recalled .. and the enormous earthquakes too ..

I do applaud you for putting the book together and raising funds ..

also it's interesting to learn a little more about your background and the fact you're here in the UK now.

All the best & yes great interview .. cheers Hilary

The Golden Eagle said...

Alex: She is. :)

Rob-bear: Nature is powerful, isn't it?

Elliot: I agree!

Thanks! :)

Su: It is a good idea. :D

Charles: If you do read Stories for Sendai, I hope you enjoy it.

Heather: Natural disasters affect such a large part of the planet when they happen.

Madeleine: Definitely! :)

Old Kitty: You're very welcome!

I'm glad to hear they were okay--I can't imagine what it would be like to go through something like that.

GMR: You should check out the other stops; the posts so far have been excellent. :)

Ali: You're welcome!

J.C.: Anytime. I'm happy to have you here on my blog! :)

Elaine: I was affected only emotionally, too; although I do know some bloggers, and bloggers who know people, who live in Japan.

Tracy: Same here!

Laila: Glad you like the post. :)

Misha: It's such a great idea. :D

Hilary: Natural disasters are eye-opening; they don't happen often, but when they do, they're shocking, aren't they?