Cypress Lawn’s Book Club

WishYouWereHere-cover-FINAL-600x900Colma’s lovely Cypress Lawn Memorial Park is trying something new:  a book club!  The club idea is so new that they don’t have it listed on the Heritage Foundation’s website yet, but the first two books were chosen at the club’s first meeting earlier this month.  I’m honored to say that Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel is one of them.

Even if you’re not close enough to attend, you can still read along with us. The schedule so far:

April 9: Antebellum & Civil War San Francisco by Monika Trobits

May 21: Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel

The book club will meet at 11 a.m. in Cypress Lawn’s Reception Center at 1370 El Camino Real, Colma, California. If you’d like more information, please contact Terry Hamburg.

Future books will range from autobiographies and novels written by people interred at Cypress Lawn and may include more cemetery history or history of the San Francisco Bay Area.  When possible, the book club will visit the appropriate grave sites.

I’ve never been a part of a book club, so I’m very much looking forward to this.

Here’s a taste of Wish You Were Here:

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Death Salon in Los Angeles

Rhoads_Altaville_2836Hello, loyal readers and everyone coming over for Mental Floss! I’m on a very tight deadline (my second science fiction novel is due February 2), so I’m not blogging about cemeteries as much as I would like right now.

However, the announcement of the next two Death Salons came out.  Did you see it?  These are absolutely amazing events that explore death and our relationship to it from every angle: from exploring cemeteries, assisting the dying, after-death rituals, art, music, and much more.  You will be amazed!  Here’s the link to the announcement:

Also, for those of you interested in the lecture I gave at Death Salon: San Francisco about the missing cemeteries of San Francisco, the video is now online.  For a small fee ($15), you can see all the lectures of that mind-expanding day, including mine.  That’s four hours of lectures, total.  Here’s the link for that:

In the meantime, I’m hammering out a space opera called Kill By Numbers, which should be out in September, thanks to Night Shade Books.  Cross your fingers for me — I need to hit that deadline!


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Vacation on Gibraltar

All photos by Deb Dauber.

Entry to the Gibraltar Cemetery.  All photos by Deb Dauber.

There’s nothing I enjoy more than when someone visits a cemetery on vacation and sends me their photographs afterward. Seriously, I am deeply touched when people are inspired to visit these fragile, beautiful places — and then think of me & Cemetery Travel.

My friend Deb and her companion Paul spent just a half a day on Gibraltar last September, during a
longer trip to Spain. She reports, “There is a charming tiny cemetery that I thought you would love, so I took a bunch of pictures to share. I believe that the cemetery was created as a burial place for sailors who survived the Battle of Trafalgar but later died from their wounds. (Those who died in the battle itself were buried at sea.) I was taken by the number of graves of young people who died from fever/infectious disease in the following decades. The whole space is tiny; I would guess it’s only 500-600 square feet in its entirety.”


Doesn’t that look pleasantly shady?


“…who died in the Naval Hospital of this Place…after having suffered several weeks with incredible Patience & Fortitude under the Effects of a fever & Wound rece’d in the great and memorable Seafight of Trafalgar.”


Hand-lettered monument to the two-month-old daughter of Lt. Walker


“who fell a victim to the Epidemic Fever…Aged 20 years”

Monument to a man and his toddler daughter, outlined in bricks and small stones.

Monument to a man and his toddler daughter, outlined in bricks and small stones.

Useful links:

Information on visiting the Gibraltar Cemetery

More information on sightseeing in the Gibraltar Cemetery

Another set of vacation snapshots on Cemetery Travel: from Croatia and Bosnia

Please send me yours!

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WPC: New

The nicest thing just happened! Fellow blogger Richard of Maverick Mist just featured my book Wish You Were Here and a card I sent him with one of my cemetery photos as his Weekly Photo Challenge post. Definitely a highlight of my day!

Please go check out his blog and his beautiful photographs.

WPC: New.

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 60,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 22 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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