Sunday, June 10, 2007

Big surprise. Being a mommy is time-consuming. I'm certainly not complaining, though. When I look into my daughter's eyes and see that smile, I know I've never seen anything more beautiful. Just thinking about her makes all the stuff that I feel I'm not doing enough of seem not to be so bad. (I'm sure I could've written that sentence in a much better way, but I'm too tired and too busy to worry that much about it!)

Today is marks the first time in a long time that I've actually been able to sit down and do some research on a cemetery project. During some of my lunches during the week I've done work on my website and also worked on a couple of interviews, but that's about it. Today I was able to dig up some information for the gravestone rubbing class I have scheduled for next month. I admit I've been frustrated with scheduling this class. It's something I want to do; it will give me an excuse to get back into Chippiannock Cemetery and also meet some more local taphophiles. The reason for the frustration is that it's difficult to schedule a time when people are available. When I asked for dates people were interested in, I received no response, so I scheduled it for July 14. Of the five people who said they wanted to take the class, I've heard from one. And he works there! I'm hoping to hear from others soon. The deadline for registration is June 18, so we'll see.

Why a June 18 deadline for July 14 class? The gravestone rubbing kits. Unfortunately since my business is just me (oh, and the print version of the magazine essentially went bankrupt), I can't afford crazy extravagances such as having a supply of gravestone rubbing kits on hand. I do wish I could. It would be a good thing to have. But with the print mag problems and my husband being out of work for almost three months (but he had a great job now!), it just hasn't been in the cards. It's frustrating to be running a professional site on half a shoestring budget. Hey, maybe I could write a book about that ....

Speaking of books, I just finished a query letter for a new book idea. There's a publishing company I've been very interested in working with for years, and I finally have a proposal idea for them that fits what they do. Yes, it has to do with cemeteries. I'm pretty excited about it and am hoping for the best. I think it's got a good shot in getting their attention. It's called "Naked Cemeteries." Just kidding!


My friend Tim's favorite words of wisdom for me for years have been, "Just you wait." He said this when I told him I was engaged six years ago (my five-year wedding anniversary is this coming Friday), and he's said it to me repeatedly since I first told him Bill and I were having a baby.

Conversations went something like this:

"Tim, I can't believe how crazy things are. It's so hard trying to get ready for the baby."

"Just you wait. This is nothing."

"Tim, how am I going to do it all? I can't get it all done now!"

"Just you wait."

"Tim, I don't have any time to do anything."

"Just you wait. All the things you keep doing to make other people happy are going to go away. When that baby gets here, your focus will be baby, baby, baby. Because it's got to be. You stop worrying so much about the other things. The baby is your priority, and nothing else seems as big anymore."

He was so right. If the print version of the magazine would have fallen through before the baby, I would have freaked out and done everything I possibly could have to save it. Instead, I have accepted that it had to evolve to keep going. I'm still not happy that I still owe a number of subscribers issues, but I'm getting it all figured out as I'm going along. People have been VERY understanding and supportive about the change from print to online. I would have had a much rougher time with this if it hadn't been for people's support in e-mails and actions. One of my subscribers even told me not to worry about finishing the subscription and to consider it a donation. That was incredibly generous and made my month.

In bits and pieces I've been working on getting the website ready with its new look and launch of the new online version of Epitaphs Magazine. I've also been getting more requests for interviews regarding cemeteries and related topics. And I'm interviewing people as often as I can.

Upcoming interviews for Epitaphs Magazine Online will include:
- photographer Jeffrey Netz
- celebrant Pam Vetter
- photographer John T. Clark

I'm also setting up interviews with some cemetery preservationists. If you have any ideas for interviews or articles, I'd love to hear them. E-mail me at

Well, it's time for me to move on to reading one of the three books I've got going right now. Will it be "Forgotten Faces" (the one book I know of on memorial photo-ceramics), "Your Guide to Cemetery Research" (my bible of cemetery info by Sharon Carmack) or "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (I'm re-reading it in preparation for the last book, which is out next month!). I tell you, it's sure hard to read with a grabby baby in your arms who wants to play with the pages. And these pages are much more tearable than her board and cloth books!

Before I do that, I've got to figure out my Vonage account info. We're switching (after one month) to Mediacom, as they are offering free service for the rest of the year. So far Vonage has been fine, but free is free. Wish me luck!