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Titanic 2012
by Bill Walker
Kate Winslet shows up as a character in the novel! By the book!
Here are the excerpts:

"The press conference tomorrow is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Immediately after that, we'll move out to the hangar for the christening and the launch. You'll never guess who I've got to wield the champagne."

I shrugged.

"Kate Winslet."

"You're kidding. I heard she was in the middle of shooting a picture in South Africa."

"She is. But I paid off the producers, the cast and crew, and gave them all a week off. Besides, only
a great woman like Kate should christen a ship like this."

Farther down the road, we met Kate Winslet's limousine, the chauffer and bodyguards keeping the crowd at bay with baleful glares and intimidating size. One of the bodyguards opened the rear door and the winsome actress alighted, the sun striking her strawberry-blonde locks, macking them glow as if aflame. She caught sight of Harlan and threw her arms around him. The crowd cheered again.

"Harlan, love, you look absolutely smashing," she said.

"So do you, Kate," he replied.

She laughed, her blue eyes sparkling.

"And you're a bleeding liar. I'm as fat as a dray horse."

At Harlan's request, she'd dressed for the occasion in a replica of the purple and white boarding dress from the film, the wide purple hat perfectly accenting the lines of her face. And while she was now a mature woman of thirty-seven, she was far from fat.



Harlan turned and said, "Kate, I'd like you to meet my friend, Trevor Hughes."

Her eyes widened. "Good Lord, the mystery writer?"

I felt myself blush.

"Guilty as charged," I replied, taking her proffered hand. Her skin felt cool and silken.

"I bloody love your books! I've read every one."

To say I was flattered would do a disservice to her compliment. I was, as the cliche goes,

"We'd better get this show on the road," Harlan said, breaking the spell. "Kate has to catch a plane."

Moving again, we stepped onto the concrete jetty and made our way to the reviewing stand. The crowd pushed forward, wanting to follow, but were held back by a cordon on armed police.

The reviewing stand, while large and accommodating to the dozens of dignitaries crowded onto it, nevertheless looked insignificant compared to the hangar, like a wart on a giant. Guards on the
platform ushered the dignitaries and me to one side, allowing the crowd and the cameras to get an unimpeded view of Harlan and Kate Winslet. I saw that my friend now had a microphone in his hand, and when he spoke, his voice boomed out of the two speaker towers on either side of the platform.

...I have to admit to a mild fear of heights. They make my knees feel as if they're going to buckle.
So, I kept my eyes on Harlan and Kate while I climbed.

"How does it feel to have a front row seat, kiddo?" Harlan whispered, taking the bottle from me.

"Like I'm in a fishbowl," I said.

He grinned and attached the bottle to the harness at the end of a long rope. I looked upward and saw that it was tied of somewhere about twenty feet in front of us. The bow itself stood a little further out. One good shove and the champagne bottle would slam right against the peak.

With the bottle secured, Harlan tugged on the rope, testing it, then handed the bottle to Kate. She swung it back and forth a few times, and looked at him questioningly. He nodded, extending the microphone to her.

"In the name of King Charles III, and by the grace of God, I hristen thee...R.M.S. Titanic! May God bless her and all who sail on her...."

She reared back and let the bottle fly. It swung on its short arc shattering against the bow peak with a resounding pop. Champagne sprayed back on us and Kate shrieked with laughter, yanking off her hat and spinning it into the air.

Harlan left to escort Kate to the airport...

Thanks to Milo for posting at the KWFC message board!