Cape May, New Jersey is one of my favorite places to escape to for writing and inspiration. I’ve been wrapped up with a few books in process, but needed a little escape, and this weekend was perfect. Instead of staying at our normal place, my wife Roberta was invited to review the Congress Hall hotel. (Check out http://www.homemadedelish.com for her review).
The history in that place alone is amazing, but the town has so much more going on than just that one land mark. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (www.capemaymac.org) has a wide array of tours and events available all year round.
We’ve previously done the horse and buggy tour, but decided to go for something a little more in my realm of writing. I originally intended to do the ghost trolley tour, but Susan Krysiak (director of media relations) suggested I check out the Cape Mayhem Trolley Tour.
This goes beyond just telling about the many haunted tales of the town, but delves into the history of some bizarre rituals and practices that people did during the Victorian Era.
I don’t want to spoil much about the ride itself on the history end, because it is something you need to see for yourself. What I can say is that even if you aren’t a history buff or fan of the weird and spooky, this is a very relaxing and fun half hour ride.
One place I will mention that was the highlight of the tour was the story about the Emlen Physick Estate. I’d always seen the house but didn’t know how intriguing its history was. My next trip to town will definitely include a tour of the estate, which is also run by the same knowledgeable people as the trolley tours.
If you’ve ever been on one of these tours, then please comment below and share your experiences. If you haven’t then make sure to visit http://www.capemaymac.org to see what you’re missing. Feel free to contact their media relations at 609-224-6036 or firstname.lastname@example.org #capemaymac
Roberta and I discuss some strange and arcane medical practices throughout history. Be sure to check out the slideshow at the end of the episode too. What other techniques have you heard of? Feel free to comment below. #thinksipwrite
Roberta and Rick share some fun facts about the history of the cellular phone, and it may be older than you think. Can you remember what your first phone was? Add to the conversation by commenting below. #thinksipwrite
Roberta and I talk about the Great Sphinx, its mysteries, and other sphinxes around the world.
Be sure to follow Roberta @Homemadedelish to see us live on Instagram after each episode taping. And of course I’m on social media as well @rickpipito.
Everyday language has us saying things that don’t necessarily make sense at the moment, but they’ve become cliché/idioms/or common phrases. The meanings at the moments of use are known to the speaker and recipient, but where did these sayings come from? I take a look at the origins of some of these sayings.
What are some common phrases you use in everyday life?
Just in time for Halloween I decided to talk about the history of vampires. Many people believe Bram Stoker created the vampire legend, but was the person he based Dracula on really a bad guy? Who really was the first vampire? Do vampires really exist? These questions and more are answered in episode 16 of #thinksipwrite.
I also talk about what inspired me to write my novel BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING, and its spinoff short story LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE.
You may be frightened or having fun each October 31st (or respective celebration date in other countries), but do you know about the origins of Halloween, The Jack O’ Lantern, trick or treating, and how it’s celebrated around the world? Join me in this episode for a look into some haunted history.
History’s mysteries come full circle in the trailer for my second novel BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING. What do you think?
For Day #2 in my 31 Days of Halloween series, I figured I’d focus on my second novel. This time I’ll share some historical events that I tied into BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING. How do vampires fit into human history? What events were they directly involved with? Is our history as true as we are taught? Here’s a list of hints toward what happens.
1) King Arthur was the first human to figure out the weakness of a vampire he encountered, so the legendary sword, Excalibur was forged from silver to be placed in the “stone,” which is not quite what legend says.
2) The Sphinx in Egypt has been a mystery for ages, but there is much more to the mystery and riddle than we know. Two vampires that ruled the land long ago had the monument built to hide something that could prove fatal to their kind.
3) Vlad “The Impaler” Tepes may not be the Dracula that Bram Stoker wrote about, but he is certainly tied closely to the man who truly is the dark vampire lord.
4) Chicago in the early 1900s was filled with heavy mob activity. Imagine that scene when a vigilante vampire begins abducting them. Tempers will rise and betrayal will ensue.
5) Wine has changed throughout history, but no one knows that wine is good for the blood more than a vampire. The longest lived vineyard in the world rises and falls.
6) The Fountain of Youth holds the key to the mysteries of why the Amazon rainforest is so vast and full of life, but the Fountain itself is a mystery. Could Abel (the world’s first victim of murder) be the answer?
7) Elizabeth Bathory’s name may make some people think of the game where you stare into the mirror and call “Bloody Mary”, but what are the true origins of that urban legend and why?
8) There’ve been numerous stories in the past thirty years about teens who actually believed they were vampires. In reality they aren’t but following the trail of one of these teens might make you see it in a different manner.
9) Various faiths tell the story of when Cain killed Abel, but what was the mark that was truly placed on Cain by God?
10) What was going on behind the lines during the most violent battle of the Russo Japanese War?
11) The CIA has been involved in many conspiracies, but there is one that has been kept a secret for over 40 years… They know about the existence of vampires and may even have employed the like in their ranks.
12) The story of Samson and Delilah is filled with betrayal, lust, and (you guessed it) a vampire.
BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING and its spinoff graphic novel comic, LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE, are available through links on the right side of this page. Stay tuned for more 31 days of halloween, tomorrow.
It’s not often that I do an actual book review, but coming from Philadelphia and knowing quite a few police officers, this one caught my attention. “The Granny Cop” is the true story of Philadelphia’s own James McGrath. He was dubbed the “Granny Cop” because he would walk the streets dressed as an elderly woman for the Philadelphia Police Department Stake Out unit.
James was a highly decorated Police Officer in his hayday. During his career, he made over 125 arrests. Over 50 of those arrests were made while he walked the streets as the “Granny Cop”. James was awarded the Medal of Valor from the city of Philadelphia and the Police department, the highest award. He has been on TV and radio talking about his experience.
With a foreward by Frank Rizzo, and tons of scans of actual newspaper articles, I found this book a fun read, and am impressed at what this man did to help rid the streets of scum bags. Move over, “Big Momma’s House,” because James McGrath is the real thing.
To find out more about James and his magnificent career, I recommend checking out http://www.grannycop.com. It has more details on where you can purchase the book, merchandise, and includes some cool extras.