Skip to content

Category: Blog on Writing & Life

B is for Beautiful Being

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging other creatives so much, I’m sharing Homemade Creativity Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. By “homemade” I mean that the quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s the one I made for today: B is for Beautiful Being “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” – Coco Chanel I know, I know! You’ve been told to “be yourself” so many times that it’s become a meaningless phrase. But I love this quote from the fashion icon, Coco Chanel. Her words apply just…

Continue reading B is for Beautiful Being

A is for Afraid to Begin

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging other creatives so much, I’m sharing Homemade Creativity Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. By “homemade” I mean that the quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s the one I made for today: A is for Afraid to Begin? Do you ever get the urge to create something, but chicken out because you’re not an expert? I’ve done that so many times! Didn’t pick up the paint brush because I’m not Picasso. Didn’t touch the piano because I’m not Chopin. But in the…

Continue reading A is for Afraid to Begin

#IWSG How My Travel Book Took Me on an Unexpected Journey!

My travel book is taking me on a journey of its own! I’m so dang excited: Three years ago, nearly to the day, I published my very first book. Unexpected Texas came out on March 2nd, 2014. Up until then, aside from a few small exceptions, I had only had my work published in magazines. So this was a great big step into the unknown! Friendships, opportunities… Long story short: my book hit #1 for Dallas – Fort Worth Travel on Amazon two days after its release and has pretty much camped out on that list ever since. It’s done quite…

Continue reading #IWSG How My Travel Book Took Me on an Unexpected Journey!

#IWSG Bullet Journal – Evernote combo?

Writing research road trip… I’m posting this month’s IWSG post a day early because my hubby and I are taking off on a month-long road trip tomorrow morning! (So, I may be a bit slow to make the IWSG rounds, but I will do my best, bad motel WIFI willing!) As I’ve mentioned here before, Larry’s dad moved in with us last summer. We love having him here, but it all came about rather suddenly. Long story short, he has dementia and could no longer live on his own. So, we’re sending him up to stay with family on Long…

Continue reading #IWSG Bullet Journal – Evernote combo?

Historic Graveyards: What Does a Cube Symbolize on a Headstone?

Cubes are not merely decorative It’s easy to overlook the meaning behind simple shapes on historic headstones, and even to assume they are merely decorative. Sometimes, of course, that is the case. After all, a cube is not all that complex or particularly exciting to look at. Even so, when featured at a gravesite, there is often a symbolic meaning behind it. I recently came across this particular cube while exploring the historic graveyard up in Aurora, Texas and decided this week’s cemetery symbols post would answer the question, “What does a cube symbolize on a headstone?” What does a…

Continue reading Historic Graveyards: What Does a Cube Symbolize on a Headstone?

The Quirky Grave of Anthony Bascilli in Thurber, Texas

Anthony Bascilli was a quirky guy! One of the most mysterious burial sites in historic Thurber Cemetery is the grave of Anthony Bascilli (1855 – 1932.)  Even in life, Anthony Bascilli had his quirks. According to Jeff Walker at the Texas Tabernacle blog, this Hungarian immigrant sometimes amused himself by getting drunk and tossing off half-sticks of dynamite while strolling the back roads of Thurber, Texas. Bascilli worked in Thurber’s coal mines, so I suppose access to dynamite was easy. And you’ve got to get your jollies somehow, right?   Anthony Bascilli’s elaborate burial plans What really sets Anthony Bascilli apart from other…

Continue reading The Quirky Grave of Anthony Bascilli in Thurber, Texas

St. Anthony of Egypt – Patron Saint of Gravediggers

St. Anthony’s feast day is January 17 For this week’s cemetery post, I decided to write about Saint Anthony of Egypt. Why? Because not only is his feast day January 17th, but he just so happens to be the patron saint of gravediggers. I figure that also makes him the patron saint of those of us who enjoy exploring historic graveyards! Non-Catholics celebrate feast days, too I’m not Catholic, but plenty of non-Catholics celebrate feast days. Case in point: St. Patrick’s Day. No one bats an eye if you’re a protestant, Jewish, or even an atheist who decides to drink green beer…

Continue reading St. Anthony of Egypt – Patron Saint of Gravediggers

Amazing Postage Stamp Mural in Eastland, Texas

  East/west…whatever! The following is an adapted excerpt from Unexpected Texas, my quirky travel guide to offbeat and overlooked day trips near Dallas and Fort Worth: Despite being named “Eastland” this quirky little town is actually located in west Texas. (Meanwhile, the city of West, Texas is located in the southern portion of our state. Go figure!) Anyway, in the 1920’s Eastland was a lively boomtown thanks to the oil industry. These days, it’s a sleepy little city with a population hovering near 4,000. And unless you’re from this neck of the woods, you’re probably not aware of Eastland’s two most…

Continue reading Amazing Postage Stamp Mural in Eastland, Texas

Historic Texas Graveyard: Thurber Cemetery 

This week’s feature: Thurber Cemetery The following is an adapted excerpt from Unexpected Texas, my quirky travel guide to offbeat and overlooked day trips near Dallas and Fort Worth: This week’s featured graveyard is Thurber Cemetery. Part of what makes it such an interesting place to explore is the unique history of the area, so here’s a brief overview:   More than a Smokestack These days, Thurber’s 128-foot brick smokestack is the only thing most people notice as they whiz through this ghost town on their way to Abilene. It’s all that remains of the power plant which, in 1895,…

Continue reading Historic Texas Graveyard: Thurber Cemetery 

#IWSG Meeting Donna Latham, Playwright & Kindred Spirit

A pleasant side effect to writing Back in November, the IWSG writing question of the month was “What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?” I didn’t see the question until after I’d written my post, but it really got me thinking… So here’s my answer: *drum roll, please* After much thought, I’d have to say my favorite thing about writing is the wonderful friendships it has brought me – first through Twitter, and later through this blog and the various books I’ve published. While making friends was not my main goal for writing, it has come as a very…

Continue reading #IWSG Meeting Donna Latham, Playwright & Kindred Spirit

Free Goal Setting Guide for Writers & Artists #ROW80

Looking back on 2016 Like so many of us, I’m looking back on 2016 and making plans for 2017. I even had trouble falling asleep last night because all the things I’d meant to do but didn’t kept prancing through my brain. Not sure why they chose last night to gang up on me. I guess it’s a January thing. Of course, it’s not like I was going to leap out of bed at 2 a.m. and get them all done! This morning, I made a list of goals that fell by the wayside last year. Some of them clearly fell through…

Continue reading Free Goal Setting Guide for Writers & Artists #ROW80

New Year? New Reads! Blog Hop Your Way through these 99 Cent Book Deals!

Did Santa give you a gift card? Whoo hoo! The party is on, y’all! A whole bunch of authors, including me, have put their books on sale for 99 cents so you can celebrate the new year with some new reads! So, if Santa tucked a gift card in your stocking, take a moment to check out the books I’m offering, then hop your way through the links at the bottom of this post to see what other authors have for you today! Psst! If you’re on Twitter, help spread the word using the hashtag #NewBooks4Me. My 4 books are 99 cents through January…

Continue reading New Year? New Reads! Blog Hop Your Way through these 99 Cent Book Deals!

Cover Reveal: Abducted Life by Patricia Josephine

Abducted Life by Patricia Josephine Whoo hoo! My pal, Patricia, has a brand new book coming out! I had the pleasure of beta-reading Abducted Life and I’ve gotta say: It’s a real page turner that will keep you guessing until the end! So, without further ado, let’s reveal that cover as advertised. Check it out below: About the book: Abducted Life by Patricia Josephine: Savannah Janowitz’s perfect life was destroyed the night she and her boyfriend vanished without a trace. When she reappears a year later––alone––she’s a shell of her former self. Robbed of her popularity and her boyfriend, she has no…

Continue reading Cover Reveal: Abducted Life by Patricia Josephine

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: Book & YouTube Series Trailer by Tui Snider

Book Trailer & YouTube Series Trailer Yee haw! I finally made a video for Messages from the Dead: Understanding Historic Cemetery Symbols. The video is actually a two-for-one deal. It’s a Book Trailer *and* a YouTube Series Preview all in one. About the book: If you are a genealogist, taphophile, history buff or paranormal researcher, you might enjoy my upcoming book, Messages from the Dead: Understanding Historic Cemetery Symbols. Basically, it’s a field guide explaining the meaning behind historic cemetery symbols. About the YouTube Series: Each episode of my YouTube series will focus on the meaning behind one historic cemetery symbol or interesting graveyard…

Continue reading Understanding Cemetery Symbols: Book & YouTube Series Trailer by Tui Snider

#Review Log Cabin Guest Haus in Cisco, Texas

Weekend getaway in West Texas Last weekend, my husband, father-in-law, and I had a weekend getaway at the Log Cabin Guest Haus in Cisco, Texas. [Please note: While our lodging was provided free of charge and this post may contain affiliate links, the opinions expressed here are wholly my own.] Historic cabin purchased on eBay! This historic log cabin dates back to the 1840’s but it was not built here in Texas. BnB hosts, John and Mary Kay Williamson, purchased the building on eBay, yes, eBay! I had no idea you could buy a house on that site, but there…

Continue reading #Review Log Cabin Guest Haus in Cisco, Texas

#IWSG Yes, I’ve got a Crystal Ball. (I just don’t know how to use it!)

December IWSG: It’s that time of the month again. Wait, that doesn’t sound right! What I mean is that it’s time to write an #IWSG post. (What’s that, you ask? Scroll down; I explain it there!)     IWSG Question of the Month As for my writing insecurities this month, they tie right into the #IWSG question of the month, which is: DECEMBER’S QUESTION: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there? With 2016 winding down, I’ve been looking back at the year, assessing where I…

Continue reading #IWSG Yes, I’ve got a Crystal Ball. (I just don’t know how to use it!)

The Ebenezer Scrooge of Halloween

83 going on 6! How can it already be November? Am I the only one who feels like we reached this point too quickly? Like, did we skip a couple months this year? I’m still struggling to adjust to my 83-year-old father-in-law living with us. Bob has the early stages of dementia, so there’s a balancing act between keeping an eye on him and letting him do what he wants. Since my husband works outside of the house, my days are spent Bob-sitting. This has been a huge adjustment for me these past two months. Frankly, it’s akin to having…

Continue reading The Ebenezer Scrooge of Halloween

Trick or Treat Reads – Get Your Free Books Here!

Free Books as Halloween Treats Three years ago, my pal and fellow author, Patricia Lynne had a brilliant idea. She calls it Trick-or-Treat reads, and here’s how she describes it: For those of you who don’t know, Trick-or-Treat Reads is a Halloween event where authors put their books for free and readers go trick-or-treating to get the books. BOOKS ARE THE CANDY!     My Freebies for You: For this year’s Trick-or-Treat Reads, I’m offering: 2 books, 1 CD, and a 50+ page sample chapter. Whee! Take your pick or grab ’em all:  (I’m giving these items away from Halloween 30th,…

Continue reading Trick or Treat Reads – Get Your Free Books Here!

True Ghost Story Round-up

Want to read True Ghost Stories? Even though I research and explore haunted places all year round, when Halloween nears, this site gets even more searches than usual from readers looking for true ghost stories. In fact, I love paranormal stories so much I even wrote a travel guide to haunted hot spots here in north Texas. (It’s called Paranormal Texas – check it out!) I also share a lot of true ghost stories right here on my website. To save you the hassle of finding them yourself, I’ve made a handy dandy list for you. So scroll on down and dive…

Continue reading True Ghost Story Round-up

True Ghost Story Anthology via @Teal_Gray & @TuiSnider – Call for Submissions:

Ghostly Doubles & Vanishing Places Have you ever seen a ghostly double, a.k.a. a Doppelganger? Have you ever visited a building only to find it had vanished upon your return, or had an item mysteriously vanish and then return? If so, check out this exciting call for submissions from Teal Gray:   Call for Submissions: True Ghost Encounters Call for Submissions: “I Am the Haunted House!” by Teal L. Gray, Editors: Teal L. Gray and Tui Snider (Hey, that’s me!)   Hello Authors, I am looking to add true accounts to my collection of personal tales of interactions with ghosts and entities…

Continue reading True Ghost Story Anthology via @Teal_Gray & @TuiSnider – Call for Submissions: