Cemeteries, hot chocolate and pinwheels.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): For a Reason by Death Cab For Cutie.

Have you ever had those days where two days blend into one? That was me yesterday. Wow, weird. I'm now leaving the time warp. *hopping out of time machine*

Because I had some seriously cool secret adventures to tell you. Last night (aka two nights ago because of said "time warp." Seriously, today isn't Friday. You're all crazy). ;) But two nights ago, I went into a cemetery just as the sun was setting. It was so cool. Some of my favorites cemeteries were in DC. They were so old, and the headstones, some were so weatherworn or covered in mold that you couldn't even read the inscription anymore. One of the other interns thought I was morbid and completely into the macabre because I wanted to go see the old cemeteries while we were in New York City. (It seriously is the weirdest feeling ever. Because you're walking along these enormous buildings and suddenly BAM! There's a 250 year old cemetery right in front of you. And I had to see the cemetery next to Trinity Church. I mean, come on, the climax of National Treasure was filmed there). Anyway! Cemeteries are invaluable resources to writers and thrill seekers alike. Let me explain. :)

They have so much history and atmosphere. I've gone in them more than once to do research, to find out the stories of the people who used to live here (and you wouldn't believe half of them. Really). That's what I was doing yesterday (aka two nights ago). But of course, I couldn't help taking a few pictures too. But there are other reasons I've been in a cemetery before.

Now, I'm not sure if this is a universal rule, but generally, cemeteries close at dusk. They usually have a very nice guard or very nice gates to give you the hint. This wasn't the case with the cemetery in my little college town. There are no guards and no gates, just a little stone wall that opens at each of the entrances.

There are also no signs (trust me, I checked). So one night (key word, night) I went - into - the - cemetery, just so I could know what it feels like to wander through one at night.

See you happy readers, you have no idea what writers go through to bring you these stories you love so much. And let me tell you, that was one of the freakiest experiences of my life.

I did not talk myself up. In fact, I thought all the horror movies were a lot of hype and creepy music. Part of the reason I went was to disprove all that nonsense and to get an "authentic" experience. I stayed on the path, but even then, oh man it was scary. Seeing the headstones constantly shifting in the single house light that spilled into the cemetery was unnerving. But the worst? The sounds.

It was really windy (which didn't help, and also part of the reason why I chose that night). The sound of the wind high in the trees that didn't blow down to me was unsettling. But the absolute worst? The pinwheels next to the graves. Man, I never thought those things could be so creepy! They would start up suddenly and keep spinning and then stop as you passed them. I almost died. And the bells. Whose idea was it to put bells in a graveyard? Creepy! I was there barely fifteen minutes before the cold and the scary were plenty of reason for me to go. Wow. That was a research experience I will never forget. So remember dear readers, writers do the strangest things to bring you a story that will literally come to life. Here is another tale about how another author, Tess Gerritsen, was doing research and how it almost got her arrested. :D

And what did I do after I left that cemetery that night? I drank a super big, super thick cup of hot chocolate. And then all was well with the world. :)


Vivian Mahoney said...

Sounds like your research went well. Best of luck!

Unknown said...

I love graveyards, too! I grew up with one in my backyard (a creepy, private cemetery. When my parents bought that land from an old family, the family got to keep the cemetery and have rights to it whenever another family member died. I remember having to keep the dogs in the house while the family had a burial--I got to watch from the back porch. Talk about weird.) And on my honeymoon, I made the husband take me on a cemetery tour! So much fun! (I also made him take me to see Harry Potter 5 on the honeymoon--hey, getting married wasn't going to stop me from seeing it in Imax 3D!)