Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tis a Grave Undertaking...

I am pleased to announce that Graven Images Oracle, by Natalie Zaman and yours truly, is now an ipad and ipod application! It was launched this past Saturday, in time for the new phone debut, and the Halloween/Samhain season.

The GIO website ( is still up and running for the time being, but the app does much more! For the details, and a really great summary of what the app offers, (alas, I have no iphone), please see Natalie's recent blog at:


We are delighted with this current development, and would really like to hear from the folks who download the app. Want to learn more? Check out The Fool's Dog website at:                                           

On the Sherlock front...

Once upon a time, Claude created a shadow box room for me. It had magical touches, and was intended to help me project myself into my own astral private space (a sort of spiritual “mind palace”). Lately, my “mind palace” has started looking less like a mystical study and a bit more like 221B Baker Street. As my inner room changed, I decided to change my replica. Here's how it ended up:

The starting point...nice, simple, magical....
Left hand side: new chair, coat rack..hey, note the deerstalker!
Right hand side: violin, fireplace mirror, even Union Jack pillow!

The Finished Product

Remember: Para-X 2013 is next weekend, October 5th from 1-6pm. There is a zombie costume contest at 3pm...the same time I am lecturing on “The True Meaning of Halloween”. I'm really excited and looking forward to seeing some of you local folks.


Good Mabon, and a Happy Fall, everyone!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dearly Departed...

I really can't go too far for any kind of vacation. I mean, I need an awful lot of cumbersome stuff: knee walker, regular walker, bath chair, etc., etc.. Plus, I need to stay close to home in case of Cancer treatments. So, day trips have to do for the time being.

My friend Ellen is in a similar situation, although for a variety of different reasons. During my research into the Hall-Mills Murder, I discovered that the good Rev. is buried in Green -Wood Cemetery, New York. I had never heard of it. I did a bit more research and, lo and behold, I found that it's huge, historic, and reportedly beautiful...if you've a thing for burial spots. I mentioned this to Ellen. Turns out, she always wanted to see the place. We picked a date, and off we went, over the bridges and into the wilds of Brooklyn.

The place is amazing. It would have been ever more amazing had I remembered my camera in order to record it all. We made due with Ellen's cell phone, shot out of a car window. After all, Green -Wood is acres of tombs, and I can't do the marathon funeral crawl just yet. I did my editing magic on the images we DID capture, and they appear below. Forgive the occasional finger tip. Half the time I ended up hitting the wrong button and taking a picture of myself!

These are the gates of Green -Wood. Absolutely splendid. The best part is the little attached building on the left. It houses a nice, clean bathroom. In Brooklyn? A miracle!

This is the Green -Wood chapel. We didn't really get out to look. It was a hot day. However, I saw some interior photos on line. Next time, I'm totally going inside, walker and all.

Green -Wood is full of subtle hills and fantastic views. We followed a winding road to the left of the chapel and ended up with this view of its surrounds.

There are a lot of obelisks, as well as tombs inspired by the Egyptian Revival period.

I have a particular fondness for weeping angels. I just have to remember not to blink.

My other favorite is shrine tombs. Here are a few examples. I think a study of one genre throughout this cemetery would be a fascinating project.

This has got to be the ugliest angel...or the entire place.

How would you like to go to eternity in this angel guarded condo?

I wouldn't blink near this guy either...

Take a good look at the following picture. Yes, the angel is headless, but we aren't focusing on him/her. Notice anything different about the tomb on the left...the one with a small American flag? No?

How about the big ass bear sitting on the top?

I'm telling you, this place is a treasure. I want to go back in the Fall when the leaves are changing...and I have my own camera.

On the publishing front (and while we're on the subject of cemeteries):

Natalie Zaman and I were contacted by The Fool's Dog, a company that develops predictive decks as ipod and iphone applications. They had signed a contract with our publisher, and approached up for images and text etc. (Thank the gods Natalie is up there with the technology stuff. I still crave  quill pens and hansom cabs). Long story short, Graven Images Oracle should be premiering as an application mid-month, if all goes well. This is brilliant, exciting, and the company has handled our product with a lot of thought, care, and hard work. I can hardly wait!

That's it for now. Remember: Para-X in East Brunswick is less that 4 weeks away!