Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In the News


I had met Rita Manno, reporter and also in charge of her own Public Relations Business, when she did a story on the South Jersey Writers' Group's first anthology Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey. She mentioned me in that article because she was interested in what made a grandmother of nine write about zombies.


Over the past year, Rita discovered that I was also into Steampunk and that I was known to all my friends as Steampunk Granny at Dorian's Parlor:

But what really interested her was  my ghost investigations under the guidance of the South Jersey Ghost Research/ Sanctuary Paranormal Team that worked out of the Ghost Hunter Store in Burlington New Jersey. You can learn more about Dave Juliano, Marti Haines and Jeanne Butler- Lee here:


Although my family has been experiencing paranormal events most of our lives; it's an inherited talent, I got involved with professional ghost hunting through friends Rita and Jean. We each have our own unique ways of sensing the spirit world. We took several classes with Dave's team and went on several investigations with them.


This past year, my friends and I became friends with another ghost investigative team, Keystone Spirit Seekers. Check their site here:  We went on a very productive investigation at the Selma Mansion this past year.


Thanks to Rita Manno's interest in my book, Roof Oasis, which is the first in a apocalyptic series with a twist, I have been featured in the Burlington County Newspaper. Thank you, Rita Manno.

Here is the article featuring me.

The phone has not stopped ringing with friends and family calling to congratulate me about my book and my being in the newspaper. I'm still in shock. I work very hard at writing, sometimes spending many hours interviewing people, writing recaps for television shows, movies and books and just trying to keep up with my blog and completing  book two of Roof Oasis called Saving Solanda.


I have met the most talented people and made many life long friends because of my writing. I love what I do, but I don't travel this road alone. We never do. I have a support system with my family, friends, and fellow writers that keeps me going even when I think I can't write another word. My poor husband, Dan, has been anointed the job of agent, video, audio and tech person along with the job of chauffeur. Thank you, honey.

So the reason for this post is to thank everyone who has helped me reach where I am now and where I'm going in the future. You know who you are. Love you all.

Marie Gilbert aka Steampunk Granny

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Mercury Men


This show was created and directed by the very talented Chris Preksta

Each episode is around ten minutes and there are ten episodes. The boys and I watched all ten and we want to see more episodes. There are two main characters, Edward Borman played by Mark Tierno and Captain Jack Yaeger, played by Curt Wootton.

For a low budget series, it was one of the best I've ever seen and I want to see more.  Here is the link for The Mercury Men

Saturday, September 13, 2014

REV Theatre Company's Cemetery Cabaret


             "Come down and join the circus, it's the end of the world
               Come down and join the circus, all you dead boys and girls"


This is my third year to watch the show at the Laurel Hill Cemetery located at 3822 Ridge Ave. Now everyone that reads my blogs knows that I'm often at the Laurel Hill Cemetery because they offer such awesome events like the graveside cabaret done by the REV Theatre Company which stars Rudy Caporaso, Denise Shubin and Felicia Anderton.

                       Denise Shubin Rudy Caporaso  Felicia Anderton

The musical is dark, witty and naughty and it is performed amidst the tombstones. My only complaint is that it ends too soon, at least for me. I wouldn't mind spending the entire night and into the early morning listening to the beautiful and haunting songs that this threesome belts out. Make sure to see this show before the Fringe Festival ends. The dates and information are below and I've included REV's website page too.

When you go to the show, tell them Steampunk Granny sent you.


Spend, a witty, mysterious and haunting evening and sip FREE cocktails while darkness falls with three departed souls as they journey between this world and the next as they ...appear through the mists of Laurel Hill Cemetery for a toe-tapping, spine-tingling good time.

-Bring your beach chairs or blankets-

Felicia Anderton, Denise Shubin and Rudy Caporaso

Friday-Saturday: September 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th
Rain Dates: Sunday September 14 & 21

SHOWTIME: 8:00pm

Laurel Hill Cemetery- 3822 Ridge Ave. Philadelphia PA, 19132

General Admission- $20 (cocktails included)

At the door or call (215.228.8200) or visit under "happenings"


Board SEPTA bus route 61, the Ridge Avenue line, in Center City at any stop on 9th Street between Walnut and Arch, and get off at Clearfield Street across from the Cemetery Gatehouse. You can also pick up the 61 bus on 11th & Market . Trip takes about 30 minutes.

If you plan to drive, the Laurel Hill Cemetery website has very clear directions.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Big Event For Steampunk Lovers!!!!

Hello my lovely little zombie snacks!! Guess What?
It's time for you ladies to dust off your hoop skirts and parasols, and for you gentlemen to get your outfits pressed. Our fearless leader, Gil Cnaan has big news!!
Dorian's Parlor is back and we're ready to show the world what Steampunk is all about. Steampunk Granny is going to be there and I'm hoping to see all my excuses... remember I have pet zombies.
Save the date: Saturday, September 20th
Ladies, Gentlemen, and all others... Storykeeper Events is pleased to announce The Return of Dorian's Parlor! Philadelphia's premiere creatively formal event makes its grand return on Saturday, September 20th, 2014, at the William Way Center at 1315 Spruce St. (right around the corner from our old home at the Philadelphia Doubletree Hotel)! The doors will open to the public at 8pm! And now, thanks to our new home, we are happy to announce that we are an (almost) all-ages event! Anyone age 18 or older may now attend and enjoy our unique event!

As always, Dorian's Parlor will offer the finest in musical entertainment, featuring not just one, but TWO wonderful performers! First, we will have perennial Dorian's Parlor favorite ELI AUGUST & THE ABANDONED BUILDINGS ( joining us! And, also, making her Dorian's Parlor premiere, we will be joined by the lovely and talented PATRICIA WAKE ( ! We are also happy to welcome back our own house musician, THE WANDERING CELLIST (! And, of course, you will all be able to dance the night away to the eclectic mix of music provided by our very own friends from COGHEAD ( !

Tickets are available online at They are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Dorian’s Parlor is a sensuous spectacle of vintage glamour shining in the heart of Philadelphia. This event is a haven for artists, bohemians, socialites and neo-vintage lovers of all stripes and inclinations. Our new home at the WIlliam Way Center offers a grand ballroom, a large lobby area for socializing, and additional rooms for vendors and curiousities.

Dorian’s Parlor will showcase the best in night life and artistic entertainment. In addition to inspired DJs, Dorian's Parlor will feature live performances by bands, dancers and countless other talented artists. Be ready to see gorgeous models draped in the finest garments of some of the foremost neo-vintage designers during the fashion shows. And like an exotic bazaar, Dorian’s Parlor will host vendors and craftspeople eager to sell their finest wares to the revelrous crowd.

Food and beverage refreshment will be available for purchase, courtesy of Cafe Fulya ( Please note that the William Way Center does not serve alcohol, nor may alcohol be brought onto the premises.

The door to the parlor is open. Won’t you come in and stay a while?

Steampunk Granny’s Bohemian Bazaar of Books, Crafts & Jewelry


Steampunk Granny’s Bohemian Bazaar of Books, Crafts & Jewelry

Steampunk Granny is proud to announce this event will take place on Saturday, October 18th at Audubon’s very own Treehouse Coffee Shop on 120 West Merchant Street, Audubon N.J. 08106 from 1 to 3 in the afternoon.


Venders will be there showing their fine crafts and baubles. Authors will be there to sell their books and tell you what other masterpieces they are now working on.


The Lovely Staff at the Treehouse have been known to whip up the best coffee in town and their sandwiches are to die for.
                                                    Featured Venders

Steampunk Granny will be there to greet you at the door and to introduce you to the venders at the event. Ask Granny to tell you about her first book in a series of apocalyptic tales with a twist, Roof Oasis.
Miss Marie will present her collection of Liv-Rissa Jewelry

                                         Liv-Rissa Designs                  
Publisher and writer, Kahlil Weston will present his books: The Kahlil Weston Hour and The Wes Daddy Hour

Zhariya Armani will present her insightful poetry, Words in My Head.

Alex Sullivan author and poet will present A Printing Madman
Mistress Rae (Cinsearae Santiago Reiniger) Publisher, Author and Designer will present her fabulous jewelry, dolls and her books, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Diary of a Vampire Stripper and Creepy Crawlers
Loretta Lombardi will present her cookbook for lovers called, I’m Hot You’re Hot.
Allie Gilbert will present adorable and unique Looniloledesigns jewelry


Stacey Wright will present her crafts & jewelry from Silver Griffon Designs

Nanci Rainey will present her book: Just One More Day in the Driver’s Seat.

Dawn Burn will present the South Jersey Writers’ Group with their first anthology Tall Tales & Short Stories from South Jersey

Patti O’Brien, Editor Extraordinaire & creator of Lit Bits---Messages in a Bottle
Rosanna Martella will present her book: Healing Epilepsy Naturally and her art work.

Each week, I'll feature several of the authors who will be selling their books at the Bazaar!!!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Life with Fred & Lucy, Episode 33: Card Sharks

Aunt Rita, Uncle Frank, Aunt Louise, Uncle Jack, Aunt Helen, Mom, little Lucy, me

My father and his siblings loved to play cards. It was a chance for them to get together after a long day at work. Sometimes the games were held at our house, but most often they were held at Aunt Helen’s or Aunt Rita’s house.  My aunts Helen, Louise and Rita were my father’s younger sisters from his mom, who had passed away when my father was very young.
My grandfather, Michael Maratea went back to Italy to find a new wife. That’s what people did back then when a wife died. I guess it was something like a mail order bride. Grandpop had his family in Italy put their feelers out for prospective mates who were willing to take on the job of raising four children and working long hours in a grocery store, and all for the chance of living in America. Side note:  My grandfather had originally joined a seminary to become a priest. Priesthood ran in the family and we had several Maratea men as Cardinals in Rome. I think the love bug hit Grandpop and he left the seminary and married my grandmother Maria.  
                                        Grandmom Rose and Grandpop Maratea
My Grandma Rosie not only took care of my father and his three sisters, but she gave birth to four children, and that’s how my father acquired four more siblings, Aunt DeDe, Aunt Margie, Aunt Rosie and Uncle Michael.
    Aunt Louise and Aunt Rita before card game                                                                              


This was my father’s favorite game and he and his sisters played this game all the time. My father knew how to count the cards and because he did, he could figure out what each person held in their hand at any given time. He wasn’t a gambler and never went to the casinos at Atlantic City, but it’s a good thing he didn’t do casinos because he would have been banned. He was that good.
My father was also a poor loser and I was witness to the many arguments that would break out when someone messed up the game. Whenever I heard my father ranting, “What are you stupid? Why did you throw that card, dumb ass?” I immediately knew who he was yelling at. My poor Aunt Louise was usually the poor recipient of these outbursts.
My Aunt Louise was also a recipient of one of my father’s more famous practical jokes. My father tricked my poor aunt into thinking that her husband Jack was helping my father care for pigeons that were kept in a pigeon coop on the roof of our home. Why? It was an excuse for Uncle Jack to sneak over our house and play cards. We never had pigeons. This went on for a long time before Aunt Louise found out. She read my father the riot act, but that never stopped Fred from orchestrating his long list of pranks on his family.

Apple Pie

One time, my father was pissed off at a man who usually showed up at the card games over my Aunt Rita’s house. Ed was a business partner of my aunt and uncle and he was often invited to play cards at my aunt’s home. I never learned what Ed did wrong at one of those card games, but what I do know is that my father had found the perfect revenge. Ed hated pumpkin pie and my father sold pies at our grocery store. Fred would bring a pumpkin pie at every game even though Ed vehemently complained.  Ed’s only salvation from the hated dessert was when the season for pumpkins had passed.
My father had taught all us kids how to play pinochle, and while he was alive and well, we played whenever we could all get together...but I haven’t played the game since he died. My grandsons wanted to learn the game, but I forgot some of the rules and how to keep score. Yes, I know I can download the information from the internet, but it’s just not the same.

My father and mother take turns visiting my home and my sister Lucy’s home. I should say their spirits visit us. The dead are always with us and my parents are both determined that I don’t forget this.  I was thinking...maybe if I leave the deck of cards out...maybe my father will help me remember how to play the game.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014



I've been digging through boxes and boxes of old photos trying to find pictures to use on my Life with Fred & Lucy Episodes and eventually in the book I'll be publishing about growing up in South Philly.

I found this picture. The funny thing is I actually remember my mother taking that picture. I was about two years old and baby Jane (yes my younger sister who I tried to sell to the Fudgie Wudgie ice cream man down at the shore) was finally asleep. Jane was a colicky baby and did nothing but cry all day, and even though I threw many a temper tantrum, my mom refused to send her back.


My father was working at the PTC and drove one of the trolleys. When he would come home at night, he would take me for ice cream and then sit on the step of our house and tell me all about the stars and planets. He wasn't stressed out back then. That frown on my face  in the picture with me and Fred was because mom wanted me to go to sleep. It's funny what you remember from your childhood. I didn't want to go to bed because of the old woman (ghost) that would come in and scream at me...but that is a story for another day.