Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vacation = Awesome!

So I have a little bit of an obsession with the Salem Witch Trials.

There, I said it. They say that admitting your problem is half the battle.

Yeah, okay, whatever. this Sci-Fi/Fantasy writer FINALLY made it to Salem, MA after YEARS of writing about witches and the like (LDG and another story are based in that area) and after directing The Crucible in the fall of 1997. Yes,I've been to Boston but not to this time around I made it a point to take the train up there.

Mistake #1: Had money on me. This means I shopped. I was good though, I didn't spend more than I could afford (unlike my shopping counterpart who spent twice what I did!). I totalled up my purchases (which will be listed at the end of this blog in case you care) and they came to $123. That's for two days of playing tourist in both Salem AND Boston so...not bad really. I was constantly saying, "Justify this purchase!" If I couldn't, I didn't buy it. Simple as that. Hence, I spent MUCH less than I would've years ago. Yay! Go me!

Mistake #2: Went by train instead of by car. This means I didn't get to see the big stuff I really wanted to see. This was sad because as it turns out...Salem used to be both the town of Salem and Salem Village. What was Salem Village is now broken into TWO cities; Danvers and Peabody. This means that if you want to see John Proctor's house or his burrial site or Giles Corey's home/land...etc. You need, that's right, a car. That way you can drive to these locations. I picked up a book that tells you how to get to all those for my next visit. My plan is to rent a car this fall and go. It's important to me. I remember sitting in my classroom when I found the picture of John Proctor's gravestone on the internet...I cried for a good 5 minutes. THAT is how deep I got into the show. My cast were also very affected by the show...and remember it till this day. Trust me, I get emails. :)

Mistake #3: Thought it would be a good idea after walking all of Salem to walk all of Boston the day after. (My feet and calves hurt my darling...oh yes, they hurt.) That's right...I thought doing the Freedom Trail ON the 4th of July would be a cool idea. Yeah, well, so did every other tourist. LOL! Matt and I got lucky though. Somehow everywhere we went that day we missed the line by seconds. We'd arrive at a landmark, wait briefly and then go in. When we'd leave there'd be this HUGE line. It was that way all day. Woot! I learned a lot and saw a lot of things. I think my favorite thing was this:

When the British occupied Boston there was a General by the name of Thomas Gage who was in charge and he decided to send troops to Lexington and Concord to thwart the Sons of Liberty who were rumored to be stock-piling weapons. Now, General Gage only told two people his plan to send troops secretly at night to Lexington and Concord; his next in command and his wife.

Who do you think, of those two, leaked the info that got back to Dr. Joseph Warren? His WIFE did! The rest you know, yes? Well, if not, Dr. Warren is the one that had Paul Revere do his midnight run to warn the troops in Lexington ("The British are coming! The British are coming!"). He was captured by the British and not allowed to return to Boston for a year because of his actions. BUT, even though he was captures other riders got to Concord in time so that most of the stored up amunition was hidden in other cities. Now, its not proven that Mrs. Gage was a Patriot spy...its much more likely that, as a born American, she was torn and was actually trying to attempt averting a war by stopping the British troops. had a different effect than she thought.

Either way...MANY thanks to Mrs. Thomas Gage (aka Margaret Kemble) for saving the Sons of Liberty that night, back in April of 1775. We greatly appreciate your attempt at stopping the war! :)

Here's a painting of the lovely lady! You'll need to copy and paste into your browser window I believe:

With that I'll end off by saying this...strong women who make big decisions, obviously shaping history, show up all throughout history both on this continent and the others. I was happy to learn of one more. Here's to the women who have shaped our history for the better! I raise a glass to you!


THE SHOPPING LIST (in case you care)


a. A cast iron mini caldron with the symbol of the goddess on it...the exact one from the birthmark on the neck of my main character of Living Dead Girl. I couldn't pass it up. $12

b. A Prosperity Key (it is hanging on my necklace). I think it spend money for a Prosperity're already doing the opposite of being prosperous. Oh well...I wanted one as a charm for my necklace. $4

c. Black T-shirt with a tomb stone on it with all the names of those who died due to the Salam Witch Trials. This was almost a no brainer. I saw this shirt as a must...remember, I directed The Crucible years ago and let me say this, due to all my research and work on this show...I felt VERY attached to these people who died. This shirt seemed the only smart T-shirt to buy. $10

d. Cute black and orange mug with the word SALEM on it with a flying witch. For my office can I not have a witch on my desk as I write my book. It is currently sitting next to the caldron...fitting. $7

e. A book entitled "The Craft - A Witches Book" by Dorothy Morrison. It has TONS of info I need for writing so as to keep my witch work in LDG as correct to Wicca as it can be. $16

f. Went into the Witch House and they had an amazing selection of stones (the powers of which I reference all the bloody time in my books). Fill a bag for $6.

g. One Salem magnet for my fridge at home cause I have a strange hobby of collecting magnets from cities all over the world that I go to and my friends go to. It's the "thing" I ask them to bring me back from the city they visit. Sounds silly, I know, but I love them! $1.50

h. Touring book so as to find the other sites like the Proctor House in Danvers and so on. $4

i. Purchased two museum fares. $6 each.


j. A beautiful silver & sugulite ring (again...the ring in my book is a silver ring made with crystals, sugulite and a triquetra knot design) which are rare to find. Its simple and pretty. $25

k. Book ends made of this beautiful blue stone...I forget the type. I've been coveting a pair my buddy Matt has at his house for awhile...and then found these on sale! $22

l. Purchased a tour of Paul Revere's house. VERY worth it! $3.50

So that is my spending on me...without going into train fair (which wasn't expensive btw) or my total of pointless purchases comes to...$123. $3 more than I'd planned on so overall...I did pretty well if you ask me. :)

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