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Category: Blog on Writing & Life

Vote on Your Favorite Ghost Stories from the TGWW Radio show!

True Ghost Stories, with Prizes for Treats! Wow, that was fun! Moments ago, Teal Gray and I finished hosting  a special streaming radio show in honor of Halloween(click that link to hear the replay.)  Instead of just having one or two guests on the Teal Gray Worldwide Radio show as we usually do, we have arranged for 8 brave listeners to call in and share their best real life ghost story. Listeners can now vote for their favorite true ghost stories. The top 3 paranormal tales will be announced on next week’s show, on Tuesday, October 27, 2015. And, yes, there will be PRIZES! Vote for your…

IWSG: Keep on keeping on!

Tough Summer This summer started off with a bang. My husband’s health scare turned our road trip into not just a staycation, but a full-on housecation for a few months. I’m so grateful for that backyard wading pool and all those great tools I discovered for writing in the water. Those items totally saved my summer! Wonderful surprise But then, some really great things began happening with my writing. First off, I was chosen to be the 2016 Writer-in-Residence for the Langdon Review. As part of my stay, I will also be having a month-long showing of my photography, and I may even release a music CD at…

My Coast to Coast AM Interview from Miss Molly’s Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas

A wonderful surprise! Last week, I answered the phone, fully expecting yet another telemarketer, only to find the producer from Coast to Coast AM on the other end of the line. Wowza! What a wonderful surprise! She peppered me with questions about all three of my books, Unexpected Texas, Paranormal Texas, and The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber) and then asked if I’d like to be a guest on the show. Would I ever! Quest for a Landline Since my husband and I no longer have a landline at our home, she suggested we stay at a hotel for…

Water is a Writer’s Best Friend

Even Home is a Travel Destination I have nothing against staycations. I don’t even despise the word, as many others do. As a mindful travel writer whose motto is “Even Home is a Travel Destination,” I am always on the lookout for fun things to see and do nearby. (Heck, I even write best selling books on the topic!) However, if you caught my IWSG check-in for July, you’ll know that due to a health scare with my husband, Larry, “nearby” literally became “our house and backyard.” Couldn’t see past the chores For me, the biggest challenge with being housebound…

Cemetery Symbols: Epitaphs for the Living?

Inspired by a Microphone with Wings To me, visiting historic graveyards is like opening a dictionary or using a search engine. While I start out with a clear idea of the information I wish to find, I’m nearly always distracted by other things along the way: a unique monument, a strange name, or in this case, a microphone with wings. Not to mention that I’ve never seen seen someone described as “debonair” on their headstone before! Here’s the full epitaph for “Todd” Harith Rahman Miles a.k.a. MC Pradah Black: “Devoted Christian rapper, writer, poet, musician, and producer. He was creative, outspoken,…

How to Create Quick & Easy Book Trailers with PowerPoint

Did you know you can use PowerPoint to create videos? I’m sure I’m not the only indie author with a rollicking to-do list, a list so long that a few things rattling around the bottom are gathering dust! One such item on my to-list is: “make a promotional book trailer.” Frankly, I find the idea intimidating! I don’t own fancy video editing software, and I’m nervous about the learning curve because I’m a hands on learner who absolutely hates reading directions. While soaking in the tub the other morning, it dawned on me that since I already use PowerPoint to create…

IWSG – Mandatory Staycation

The Best Laid Plans for a 6 Week Summer Road Trip If things had gone as planned, I’d be writing this post while sitting in a motel room on the Big Summer Road Trip of 2015 that my hubby, Larry, and I have been looking forward to all year. We intended to leisurely snake our way along back roads from our little burg in Texas all the way up to Washington State in time to attend a big family party. If things had gone as planned, my biggest complaints right now would be feeling bloated from eating road food and…

Mineral Wells: Did I Hear Ghosts in Elmwood Cemetery?

Two Paranormal Investigations in Mineral Wells, Texas As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about Haunted Hill House, my husband and I spent last weekend with with our dear friend and talented psychic, Teal Gray, over in Mineral Wells, Texas for a writing research trip. Part of that research included participating in two different paranormal investigations. The first investigation took place at Phil Kurchoff’s Haunted Hill House. You can read all about by following the link I shared above. The second investigation was at the Crazy Water Hotel. This historic venue is not open to the public and difficult to gain entrance…

Ghost Hunting in Mineral Wells, Texas: Haunted Hill House & So Much More!

FREE Cemetery Symbols Guide: Would you like a FREE guide to historic cemetery symbolism? If so, click the image below: Writing Research Trip & Ghost Hunting Even though I wrote a chapter on Mineral Wells in my first book, Unexpected Texas, I keep learning interesting things about this historic Texas town. (So much so that I’ve got another book underway – but that’s another story for another day!) Meanwhile, there’s so much on my Mineral Wells to-do list that I recently took a writing research trip there. My husband, Larry, and my pal, Teal Gray, came along for the ride. We had…

Friday photo: The Moon in June

This week’s pick: I took this moon photo at a star gazing party in Fort Worth a couple years ago. It still amazes me to be able to get such a decent shot through a telescope with a mere iPhone. What would Galileo say? About Friday Photos Since I’m such a shutterbug, I’ve decided to share a picture (or maybe a few pictures!) on my blog each Friday. If you like what you see, feel free to follow me on Instagram. Unless you seem spammy or scammy, I will definitely follow you back! Here’s my account: @TuiSnider on Instagram. Want…

Para Mysteries Radio with Teal Gray: Hypnosis: the Good, the Bad, & the Controversial!

Para Mysteries Radio: What in the World? It’s the first Thursday of the month, which means tonight I co-host Para Mysteries Radio with the talented and lovely Teal Gray! Teal shares my love for all things quirky, offbeat, and overlooked. We call our first Thursday shows “What in the World?” because we focus on all the wacky goodness that we come across both online and off. Call in your questions & comments during the show by dialing: 1-618-421-4522 Listen Live and/or Chat with us During the Show: I hope you’ll tune into our show tonight. You can listen by visiting this link…

IWSG – Have you ever taken bad writing advice?

Writing Advice: Take it or toss it! “Never take advice, including this.” I love that quote from the author Katherine Anne Porter because it is so dang true! We all need advice, but sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s good from what’s bad. Have you ever taken the wrong advice regarding your writing? I know I have! Most of the bad writing advice I get falls into 1 of 3 categories: 1. “You know what you should write?” I bet I’m not the only one out there who is constantly being told (usually by non-writers) what they “really should be writing.” This…

Do You Resist Asking for Help? (Plus, a Kickass Web Host for Writers!)

Beware the White Screen of Death I’ve been blogging here since 2007 and for the most part, it’s been a smooth ride. For the past 1 1/2 years, though, it’s been glitch after glitch after glitch. I won’t bore you with details, but suffice it to say I lost track of how many times my site lapsed into the infamous “white screen of death.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, a bunch of comments suddenly disappeared and visitors were no longer able to leave new ones. My web host was not helpful at all. Reaching a human by phone took…

Cover Reveal: Path of Angels by Patricia Josephine

Who is Patricia? My friend, Patricia, is an indie author with a brand new book series coming out! I’ve never met Patty in person, but here’s what I do know:  She’s talented, hardworking, prolific, playful, kind, and supportive of other indie authors (like me!) So…even though my blog is giving me fits and won’t let people comment, I wanted to be part of her cover reveal. Read on:  Michael Path of Angels Book One   Add to your Goodreads shelf About the book: There is only one path. Born mortal along with his three brothers, Michael is an Archangel with…

Why do *you* blog?

Blog problems My blog has been giving me technical problems lately – and by “lately” I mean since last June. At the moment, it won’t let people leave comments, which is a bummer because blogs are all about two-way communication! Rethinking my blog Maybe it’s just frustration over all the time spent trying to fix my blog when I could have been writing, but I find myself wondering why I blog. Is it worth the time and energy? Does anyone out there enjoy my posts? Should I even bother? I owe a lot to my blog That said, I owe…

#StoryDam Chat: Motivation, Accountability, & Follow Through

How can #StoryDam chat help you this year? A couple weeks ago at #StoryDam writing chat on Twitter I asked everyone, “What do you need to work on the most in 2015 writing-wise? How would you like #StoryDam to help with your writing this year?” Motivation, Accountability, & Follow Through I thought people’s replies would be all over the place. Much to my surprise, a theme quickly emerged. As it turns out, the #StoryDam crew wants help with motivation, accountability, and following through on writing projects. A couple ideas… Since then, I’ve been mulling over everyone’s comments, wondering how our…

Holiday Gift Exchange – Book Lovers Blog Hop

Book Lovers Blog Hop = Free eBooks & Swag It doesn’t matter whether you’re on Santa’s naughty or nice list, all you have to do this week for free eBooks & nifty book-related swag is hop through the links on this page: The Holiday Gift Exchange – Book Lovers Blog Hop But don’t hop away, yet. *This* post is one of the blog hop stops! My Gifts to You Since this holiday blog hop caters to book lovers, I created a freebie highlighting my favorite independent bookstore: Booked Up in Archer City, Texas. Booked Up is a labor of love…

To be free, or not to be free? That is the book marketing question!

I’m an Angsty Little Hamlet! “To be free, or not to be free, that is the book marketing question— Whether ’tis Nobler for indie authors to suffer The Slings and Arrows of Amazon’s algorithm, Or to take Arms against a Sea of freebies, And by opposing, end them? To download, to sell— No more; and by sell, to say we end The Heart-ache, and the thousand Marketing shocks Authors are heir to? ‘Tis an extroversion, Devoutly to be wished. To buy, to sell, To write, perchance to Sell; Aye, there’s the rub, For in that point of sale, what reviews…

How to Visit the Munster Mansion Replica in Waxahachie, Texas

The following is an adapted excerpt from Unexpected Texas – my best-selling travel guide to quirky, offbeat and overlooked places near Dallas and Fort Worth. Check it out if you enjoy learning quirky facts, or are looking for offbeat road trip ideas in north Texas. Munster Mansion Replica While there is no official address for, “1313 Mockingbird Lane,” in north Texas, there is an excellent replica of the Munster family home over in the town of Waxahachie where, in 2001, Sandra and Charles McKee built a replica of the house depicted in the classic TV sitcom. Since it’s a fictional house, the pair watched and…