Hey, everyone! I've got a few of my books on hand that I want to get rid of, so I'm offering my blog readers FREE shipping and a FREE "I Dig Cemeteries" sticker with the purchase of "Translating Tombstones." This is a great book to have with you during your cemetery quests to help you decipher the symbols on the gravestones.
This offer is good while supplies last. Plus, if you order my book, I'll personally sign it for you if you like.
The books are $15 each with free shipping. To place your order, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may pay via PayPal or money order by mail (sorry, no personal checks).
I also have two "I Dig Cemeteries" tote bags and one size XL T-shirt. They are $12 each, including FREE shipping!
These offers are only good for a limited time, so order now!
A fire under my buttRead Now
I am reading this book right now, and it's lighting a fire under my butt. During my day job, I manage social media for a college. So I'm immersed in social networks every day. Then when I get home, I try to do the same for TheCemeteryClub.com, my speaking career and author life. Try is the word here.
I've been cutting myself a break lately, though. It's not easy to be a mom, a wife (and the wife of an artist who has a hectic schedule, too), a full-time salaried gal, a Daisy troop leader, a speaker and a writer. Anybody who has a lot going on knows exactly how that goes. To create balance, things have got to give. And it certainly can't be your almost-7-year-old daughter! Though sometimes it feels that way--to me as well as to her.
It's hard. There is no doubt about it. I'd love to be independently wealthy and be able to focus on TheCemeteryClub and my writing full time. Who wouldn't want to be able to grab their dream and do it! But there's reality, and you do what you can when you can.
But Amy Jo Martin's book "Renegades Write the Rules" is inspiring me and reminding me that I've been neglecting part of what I do. And while I may not be able to do EVERYTHING all at once that I want to do, I can jump back in and do what I can. To get myself back in the swing of things, I'm tweeting more and resurrecting the "Featured Facebook Photos" on my site. A big part of the changes I'm making is thought processes. When I've been doing research on social media and networking, I've lately been putting the blinders on and only seeing how things can improve my day-job social media. I let TheCemeteryClub drop off! My reason is that I've been rejuvenated at work. It's an exciting time. So I'm not complaining. There's nothing like enjoying and taking pride in what you do.
On top of that, fall is a rejuvenating time for me. The weather gets cooler and welcoming for me. The leaves start changing, and there's no better time to take photos in the cemetery than in the fall. I LOVE fall! I loved fall as a kid. The start of school and the anticipation of new beginnings. And pumpkins and dark nights and bonfires. I can get out my sweaters and jackets. Ahhhh, it's great.
That's enough of waxing poetic about fall. I can write odes to it later.
All I ask is that you (my Facebook friends, Twitter followers, website fans and guests at my speaking engagements) stay tuned to see how I move forward from here. Even I don't know what all I'll be doing! But I'm excited about it.
Nothing makes you feel more awesome and professional that looking back at a book you've written (and published) and noticing a big ol' glaring error staring at you off the page. Gargh!!!!
Contrary to popular belief (uh huh), I'm not perfect (noooo!). Okay, maybe it's popular belief. Regardless (do I get points for knowing "irregardless" is not a word?), I feel like a big moron.
As I was prepping for my walking tour of Chippiannock Cemetery yesterday, I noticed a mistake in my book "Images of America: Chippiannock Cemetery." On a page where I'm talking about Rock Island pioneer John W. Spencer and an interesting anecdote about him, I discovered a goofy mistake. How nobody caught this in the proofing stage is beyond me, and now I have to live with the dunce hat.
Back in 1827, John Spencer was paid $5 to walk the 100 miles from Rock Island to Galena, Illinois, in the winter over the frozen Mississippi River, as Galena was the nearest post office. When he returned to Rock Island, he brought with them the news of who was the new President of the United States ... Abraham Lincoln. Yes, Lincoln. Gargh!!!!!
Granted, it would have taken John Spencer a REALLY LONG time to get to Galena and back on foot, but I doubt it took 40 years. What a maroon! The presidential announcement was of Andrew Jackson, a.k.a. "Old Hickory."
So, please, when you get to page 29 in my book, please understand that I was temporarily insane when I wrote that or that my editor was. It's just that I LOVE Abraham Lincoln so much that I want him to be President at all times, past and future. He's just that awesome.
I, on the other hand, am not. Gargh. Please forgive my crazy error and enjoy the rest of the book.
Minda (more like Min-DUH!)
10 years of thank yous!Read Now
It's my kind of anniversary. I've officially been a taphophile for 10 years.
Back when I started my website (in 2004), it was to have an online home base. I wanted a place where I could post my thoughts and have people connect with me. And it worked. I was in the middle of writing my book "Cemetery Walk," and it wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't been connected to the online taphophile community. It was much smaller then. People were still giving us super strange looks when we told people we loved going to cemeteries. A lot has changed.
I give a lot of credit to the genealogists. They helped take the creepy out of cemeteries. To an extent, the ghost hunting community has also made cemetery "haunting" cool by actually putting the creepy back in to the cemeteries.
Those who have followed me through the years know that I love cemeteries and sharing that love with others. This past February marked my fourth year of teaching a CommUniversity class on cemetery art and history. I've been speaking at or about cemeteries since 2005. I've traveled around the Midwest and even as far as the state of Georgia to share my passion about out finest outdoor museums. It's been a great journey, and I hope I'm still just at the beginning.
It's been 10 years since I started on this path. Ten years since I decided, "I want to write a book, and I want to write it about cemeteries." I wanted people to see cemeteries as important places filled with history and art rather than sadness or morbidness. I still do.
Within the past 10 years, I've written and published (self and otherwise) a number of books, become a speaker and workshop leader, and founded and edited a website that has grown through the years. My Facebook group keeps building and building. And while people don't necessarily know it's my group on FB, I'm still proud of how it keeps growing because that means more and more people are stepping into our cemeteries, cameras in hand. They are appreciating the beauty of the monuments and the fascinating history they offer us.
So thank you to all my taphophile friends. It has been a great pleasure getting to know so many awesome people from all over the world. Keep taking pictures and posting them. You're helping make the world a smaller place and letting us all take a peek into parts of the world we may never have seen otherwise.
I'm the founder and editor of TheCemeteryClub.com and Epitaphs Magazine. I love cemeteries and sharing the art and history of them with anyone who will listen!