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Category: Blog on Writing & Life

#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…

Spam Folder Mishaps

Is Gmail going senile? I’ve been happily using Gmail for years, but lately it’s been wonky. I wasn’t thrilled when they introduced the tabs feature a while back, but I got used to it. What’s got me troubled now is that all of a sudden, Gmail is tossing perfectly good emails into my spam folder! I know, I know… It’s a good idea to check your spam folder every now and then. Thing is, Gmail did such a great job for soooooo long that I fell out of that habit. Missed opportunities! It wouldn’t be such a big deal except…

IWSG: Playing “Ketchup” & a CreateSpace Caveat

Playing “Ketchup” this Week I know, I know… I didn’t get my IWSG up last Wednesday, and I can see from my blog stats that I’m not the only one who noticed! Sorry! I was just too dang busy prepping to sell my newest book, Paranormal Texas, at Dash Beardsley’s Wake the Dead Show down in Galveston. It was a frantic week, and I’m behind on a slew of things, so this week is all about playing “ketchup.” Better late than never, eh? (I’ll make the rounds of other IWSG blogs soon!) Everything’s easier the second time around! Y’know how the…

Quirky Facts about the Ice Bucket Challenge

Quirky Facts about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge I was recently nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by fellow Texas writer, Brandy Herr, author of Haunted Granbury. The way the challenge goes, after being nominated you are supposed to either dump a bucket of ice over your head, then donate $10 to the ALS charity of your choice (I donated here) or decline the ice, and donate $100. Although I was traveling and unable to respond right away, I chose the former. Even so, my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was rather pitiful. (Scroll down for details and to see…

IWSG: Belated is the New Black

IWSG Check-in IWSG stands for “Insecure Writers Support Group.” It’s a monthly check-in for writers of all stripes. Its creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh, describes ISWG like this: “Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!” – Alex J. Cavanaugh Belated is the New Black! Phew! Howdy, all. No, I didn’t forget about IWSG. I’m just pulling in a couple days late. And I hate being late…

Snapshots Relaunch Blitz – with Prizes!

Welcome to the SNAPSHOTS relaunch blitz! My friend, Patricia Lynne, is relaunching her book Snapshots. If you’re looking for a late-summer read, you can snatch it from now until August 4th for a mere 99 cents! Scroll down to find out more about YA author Patricia Lynne, her book, and enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, too. Good luck and happy reading! Add to your Goodreads shelf Buy on Amazon | Smashwords It’s said the eyes are the windows to the soul, but that’s a lie. They are snapshots of a time yet to come–the future of the…

Does this yacht make my ancient village look fat?

All’s Fair in Love, War & Child’s Play A trip to Venice, Italy got me thinking about the model train set I had as a kid, and how it taught me the meaning of scale. For those who have never played with model trains, they come in two different scale sizes: N and HO. HO is the larger of the two, with a ratio of 1:87.1, while N gauge ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. Because of this difference in scale, an HO caboose seriously dwarfs an N caboose when sitting side by side. Serious model train aficionados (i.e. adults) would…

Hemingway Cats in Key West, Florida

The Old Man & the Polydactyl Cat Not only was Ernest Hemingway fond of cats, but his name has become synonymous with a particular feline genetic mutation, one that causes cats to have extra toes. While these polydactyl cats are not an actual breed, they are often referred to as, “Hemingway Cats,” in his honor. It all started down in Key West, where Ernest Hemingway lived in the 1930’s with his second wife, their kids and, rumor has it, a polydactyl Maine Coon named Snowball. The cat was given to him by a local sea captain. While it’s unclear how…

Contests & Cover Reveal for Soul Prompts by Morgan Dragonwillow

Morgan Dragonwillow, Shadow Poet Morgan Dragonwillow is my good friend, writing partner, and all-around creative cheerleader. We constantly share tips, offer encouragement, and volley ideas back and forth. We even take turns listening patiently while the other needs to rant – since venting is an important part of the creative process, too! Wild Woman Waking Earlier this year, Morgan released Wild Woman Waking, which features my iPhone photography along with her poetry. While I’ve had a few photos printed in magazines, this was the first time any have been featured in a book. I know I’m biased, but I think…

IWSG: Where’s my Promo & Marketing Fairy?

IWSG Check-in IWSG stands for “Insecure Writers Support Group.” It’s a monthly check-in for writers of all stripes. Its creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh, describes ISWG like this: “Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!” – Alex J. Cavanaugh Promo & Marketing Fairy This past month my writing insecurity has fixated on the promo and marketing side of being an indie author. Not only do I…

Undertow – What Genre is this Song?

Can you help me out? When people ask what kind of music I record, I flounder. I want to describe it accurately, but I don’t know how! Sure, I grew up playing classical piano. As a clarinetist, I’ve played jazz, too. I’ve been known to dink around on the guitar and flute, but when it comes to writing and recording my own songs… I never know what to call the result! What genre is this song? I realize that musical tastes vary greatly, but if you could please listen to my song “Undertow,” then leave a comment telling me what…

Much To-Do Lists About Nothing

Much To Do Lists About Nothing I love to do lists. They help me relax. Dumping all my ideas onto a piece of paper gets me out of my head. It helps me let go mentally, and focus in the moment. When I don’t write to do lists, I feel like a hamster on crack, unable to hop off its exercise wheel long enough to eat a tiny burrito. Not good! The problem with to do lists That said, since publishing Unexpected Texas, my to do list grew… and grew… and grew… In fact, it didn’t just grow, it became…

Mary Martin: The Original Peter Pan from Weatherford, Texas

Talented Texan Makes it Big on Broadway Mary Martin, the performer most strongly identified with role of Peter Pan, was born in Weatherford, Texas. This talented singer and actress was also the first to play Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music, as well as Nellie Forbush in South Pacific. In 1976, the artist Ronald Thomason created a life-sized bronze of Mary Martin as Peter Pan. The sculpture still stands in front of the Weatherford Public Library, and the photos you see in this post are ones I snapped when I visited town. I must also say that, to…

Download your free gift here!

How to Download Your Free Thank You Gift Right click and save the link below to your computer: North Texas Paranormal Resource Guide   While you’re here… If you have a moment, check out my website and leave a comment on a blog post or two. Any suggestions? Do you have any suggestions for quirky, offbeat, overlooked and/or haunted places I should research and write about in the future? Say hi! Have you been to any of the places I’ve written about on this blog? Or maybe you just want to say hi. Either way, I love to interact with readers, so…

Thank you for subscribing!

Thank you so much for subscribing to my newsletter! As a subscriber to Tui Snider’s Offbeat & Overlooked newsletter, you won’t hear from me often, but when you do, I will keep it brief and make it fun! Please Activate Your Subscription: By subscribing to my list, you’ve automatically been sent a confirmation email. This confirmation email is to make sure that you actually want to be subscribed to Tui Snider’s Offbeat & Overlooked mailing list, and that someone isn’t playing a strange prank on you. How to Claim Your Free Gift As a thank you for subscribing to my…

Reverb11: Community in my Kitchen (and the best sugar cookie recipe ever!)

Community in my kitchen I could fill several blog entries talking about all the places I have experienced community in 2011 – online, offline and even overseas – but for this Reverb11 post I’m going to expound upon the sense of family I’ve enjoyed right in my very own kitchen. My husband has two grown kids, and one of the ways I have gotten to feel like part of the family is through time spent cooking together at our house. I love it! This Thanksgiving, for instance, we assembled and decorated a gingerbread village with them while the turkey roasted.…