Skip to content

Category: Blog on Writing & Life

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…

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…

Thank you! See you soon at Granbury Cemetery

Thank you! Thanks for purchasing a ticket (or tickets) to the Granbury Cemetery Symbols tour on 8pm, Saturday, Sept 29th, 2018. Email me to get your $3 coupon code To receive your $3 coupon, or if you have any questions that were not covered here or on the earlier page, email me at TuiSnider@gmail.com with “Cemetery Tour” in the subject line. Thanks again, and see you soon! PLEASE NOTE: If you email me on Sept 29, I may not see it quickly, if at all. I will be busy at my booth for the Granbury Paranormal Expo! So rather than email me, stop by…

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…