Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Come discuss "The Premature Burial" by Poe! TONIGHT!

Tonight @7:00 PM CST I'll be discussing "The Premature Burial" by Edgar Allan Poe with friends from The 6 Degrees of Edgar Allan Poe.

Monday, August 21, 2023

"Toasting The Souls Close to Edgar Allan Poe" in Cemetery Travel

I believe the first piece I ever wrote about cemeteries was for Cemetery Travel: Your Take-along Guide to Graves & Graveyards Around the World. I'm such a fan girl of Loren Rhoads and Cemetery Travel. I hope my new book encourages a visit to a cemetery or two or three or a dozen.


In Search of the Souls Close to Edgar Allan Poe | Women Writers Women’s Books

In Search of the Souls Close to Edgar Allan Poe 
August 21, 2023 | Women Writers Women Books


Sunday, August 20, 2023

Poe News and Poe Party Attire

I hold onto things-- old newspaper articles from my dad where he's circled and starred passages that he knows I will enjoy reading. I married a man who does the same thing. I love it. Having a personal reader is so incredibly meaningful. 

Today I have a book release event and my outfit includes newspaper articles because I would not have The Souls Close to Edgar Allan Poe: Graves of his family, friends, and foes without my dad clipping all those articles for me. I created a newspaper headline along with a description of my outfit (because it might be easier for people to read than for me to describe). I used a red pen to circle and star the passage just like Dad did; just like he still does. Well, except he uses a ballpoint and this is a Sharpie. My outfit can only be but so authentic. 

I tried to explain to Dad how meaningful that it is to have a personal reader- to have grown up with one and to have married one. Someone who shares stories and information, someone who knows enough about your interests and cares enough to take the time to share these stories. I understand what my father was profound. He just does not understand what clipping all those newspaper articles meant to me. He understands that he was sharing information but he does not quite see how much love is still wrapped up into those newspaper articles. And that's okay because I understand what it means.

This is the biggest party that I’ve ever thrown- more expensive than a wedding. It's being held at the Poe Museum in Richmond. In some ways, it’s much more personal than a wedding or a birthday bash. I’m reminding my 15-year-old inner-teen that everything she thought, felt, and dreamed about mattered then and still matters now. 

I'm excited and overwhelmed about the day. Thirty of my closest local-ish friends are coming to my party.  It's going to be over in a blink but I hope that I look back on today with so much love and happiness. 

Monday, August 14, 2023

Grace and gratitude

I’m usually on top of everything but this week I am frazzled.

My syllabi have not been created magically by me mulling about at my desk and tomorrow I restart my commute for professional development week. I don't think I'm in the right headspace for that. My book is released next Monday. I’ve been spinning myself in circles with marketing (and I have met some amazing people in person and via podcasts because of it). Sunday I’m even throwing myself a party- a big party! This is supposed to be the fun part. The after-the-book is researched and written, I’m supposed to be able to relax, no? I have been much more busy promoting this forthcoming book than I was researching and writing it. I have connected with so many cemetery and Poe admirers. And, I'm proud that I've created a few after my presentation, "Grave Inspiration: Stories that Arise from Cemeteries and Grave Markers" at the Virginia Writers Club Symposium.
Yesterday, before meeting a friend to share Shockoe Hill Cemetery, I walked around thanking those souls close to Poe who are featured in my book. While it was so good to be in the cemetery with another taphophile just loving on the cemetery, the memorials, and the stories about those buried there, it was also very good to visit my *old friends* (those interred in the cemetery).

I also want to thank you for following along on this journey. No one loves their book more than the one who writes it but your enthusiasm has been so encouraging. What I have been reflecting on is how other women writers, podcast creators, artists, etc. and men have supported me and helped share my work. There hasn't been an crab mentality of pulling each other down- no envy, jealousy, or spite. Instead, I've only felt lifted up by seasoned writers and creators. That really matters to me.

My fella and I have been calling 2023 the year of grace. We're not going to beat up ourselves for not walking, exercising, eating or sleeping right. We're doing our best and we're forgiving ourselves when we're not our best selves. We've had a rough year with aging family members, their health and even death. I have become a caregiver to my parents in ways that I never imagined. It's been a hard year but as I am working my way into a new normal and routine with family, this book and cemetery/Poe/book community has been nothing but kind and supportive. Thank you!

My 15-yr-old inner child would think that 49-yr-old me is pretty cool.

Morning in Shockoe Hill Cemetery with the Gravestone Girls

Morning in Shockoe Hill Cemetery with the Gravestone Girls!

Wednesday, August 2, 2023