Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I'm writing about cemeteries again. Which means one thing to those who know me: I'm spending way too much time on my favorite diversion,

Both my solo WIPs feature cemeteries, one is set near Highgate Cemetery in London, and the other along Route 40 from Arizona to South Carolina. Highgate's characters are set, and I've done most of my research. But my other WIP, currently titled "Greer," was formulated during NaNo and is truly a work in process. The plot is developing as Aunt Greer and her niece drive across the country and run into oddball characters as they go. Some of the cemeteries I've invented, but I'd like to include some actual gravesites of historical figures.

The problem with research is that when you find one interesting fact, you find ten others that draw you to places both exciting and time consuming. Did you know that D.H. Lawrence was buried at Koiwa Ranch in Taos, New Mexico? His body was cremated and his ashes were mixed in cement and used in construction of his memorial altar. As of yet, I don't see how this nugget would fit into Greer's story, but you never know. He died before Aunt Greer was born, but his wife Frieda, also buried in New Mexico, died in 1956.

When I wrote THE CEMETERY GARDEN, I got sidetracked many times locating the burial sites of Jewish mobsters. I even wrote a short story about Grandpa Izzie visiting the graves of New York. It never won any of the contests I entered, but it's a fun bit of nostalgia.

Enough sidetracking for one day, I'm off to write. What's your favorite research diversion?


Kim Bullock said...

Joan, as you know I am a huge fan of Find a Grave. I couldn't have gotten into the D.A.R. without it, in fact. I have put up a memorial for Carl - you'll find him in the famous section. You tell me - does that marker need to be CHANGED or what? WHEN my book sells, I will be putting something there more fitting.

Joan Mora said...

I just saw Carl's marker--yes, you can do better!

Featured Topic said...

I'm addicted to Find a Grave, too. Coupled with my love of ancestry research, the site has helped me discovery the resting place of a number of my ancestors.