K is for the Knights of Elberta, Alabama’s Piney Woods

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond!   Today is letter K: Knights of Elberta, Alabama’s Piney Woods Remember Elberta’s Dinosaurs? If you read my post for the letter D, then you may remember me mentioning the whimsical […]

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J is for Johnnie Brown, South Florida’s Famous Jazz Age Monkey

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond!   Today is letter J: Johnnie Brown, the Jazz Age Monkey Monkey on one shoulder, a parrot on the other Throughout the Roaring Twenties, Addison Mizner was an eccentric south […]

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I is for Inmate Made Goods at Arizona’s Prison Outlet Store

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond!   Today is letter I: Inmate Made Goods at Arizona’s Prison Outlet Store Unique shopping experience One of the most unusual shopping experiences I ever had was browsing the shelves […]

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H is for Haunted Historic Hotels

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond!   Today is letter H: Haunted Historic Hotels Staying at hotels and motels is an exciting part of any road trip. And some of the most interesting hotels I’ve stayed […]

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G is for Greek Monastery in Arizona

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond!   Today is letter G: Greek Monastery in Arizona St Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery In 1995, six Greek monks from Athos, Greece moved to the countryside near Florence, Arizona and […]

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F is for Fire Dancers at the Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond! Today is letter F: Fire Dancers at the Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale, FL I love Tiki Bars Maybe it’s from all those Gilligan’s Island episodes I watched growing up, […]

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E is for Elvis Presley Statue in Shreveport, LA

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond! Today is letter E: Elvis Presley Statue in Shreveport, LA Elvis Presley’s first big break Even the king of rock and roll had to start somewhere! In the case of […]

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IWSG: Tell me about your “big but,” Simone!

What is IWSG? 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 My big writing fear: My big […]

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D is for Dinosaur Sculptures in the Elberta, Alabama Woods

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond! Today is letter D: Dinosaur Sculptures in the Elberta, Alabama Woods An Artist’s Dream Come True I’m sure many a struggling artist has daydreamed about a wealthy patron requesting their […]

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C is for Comic Con at the Texas Pythian Home in Weatherford

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond! Today is letter C: Comic Con at Texas Pythian Home First Annual Weatherford Comic Con I had so much fun this past weekend at the first annual Weatherford Comic Con! […]

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B is for the Barefoot Mailmen of Florida

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond! Today is letter B: Barefoot Mailmen of Florida Florida’s treacherous terrain One reason southern Florida remained sparsely populated for so long is because of its dense undergrowth. Even today, most […]

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Cemetery Roundup: Quirky Graves, Headstones & Epitaphs

April Fool’s Day fun… at the cemetery? Since it’s April Fool’s Day, thought I’d share a round up of some of the more playful interments I have come across while researching my upcoming book, Messages from the Dead: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbols. In fact, this afternoon on the Para Mysteries show, Teal Gray and I will be chatting about these quirky graves, as well as recent archeological finds pertaining to Hell Hounds lore. Tune in or catch the […]

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A is for Ashes of the Alamo Dead

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond! Today is letter A: Ashes of the Alamo Dead What happened to the Alamo dead? A sightseeing trip to San Antonio, Texas isn’t complete without a visit to the Alamo, […]

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Win Tickets to a Texas UFO Expo: Aurora Alien Encounter

April 16, 2016: Aurora Alien Encounter! Did You know a UFO crashed in Aurora, TX in 1897? VORTEXAS and the City of Aurora invite you to join us on Saturday, April 16th, 2016 for the first annual AURORA ALIEN ENCOUNTER! This exciting UFO Conference commemorates a strange event which occurred on April 17, 1897 when a UFO crashed and an ALIEN body was recovered and buried in the local cemetery. Even after more than 100 years, this incident still stands out […]

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A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal *drum roll please!*

What is the April A to Z Blog Challenge? Every April, bloggers from all over the world participate in the April A to Z blog challenge, and you can too! To play along, all you do is make a blog post for each letter of the alphabet during April, then use the blog hop linky to visit as many other bloggers as you can. This will be my 4th year in a row doing the A to Z blog challenge. I keep […]

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Para Mysteries: Mortsafes, Caged Graves & the Aurora Alien Encounter

Historic Cemetery Symbol of the Week This week’s Historic Cemetery Symbol post is about mortsafes and Resurrectionists. The topic was inspired by my friend, Teal Gray, when she told me about the mysterious Caged Graves of Catawassa. In fact, Teal and I will be discussing everything in this post during a one-hour radio show, as you can see in the graphic below:    Historic Cemeteries: Who were the Resurrectionists? These days, people often make arrangements to donate their body to science […]

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IWSG: 8 Years & 34K Tweets Later – I still love Twitter!

You just never know… (well, eventually you do!) February’s IWSG post about dealing with jealousy was rather long-winded, so I’ll try to keep this one short. The main thing I’d like to share with other writers this month is that: You just never know where things will lead! The magic of Twitter Take Twitter. When I posted my first tweet (as seen above) I had no idea where it would lead. (To find *your* first tweet: click here.) Eight years and […]

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Road Trip Photos: Vehicles on a Stick

Quirky road trip themes Every road trip I take seems to have its own unintended theme, such as witty church marquees, strange billboards, or bizarre town names. In fact, my husband and I are on a road trip right now for which the theme seems to be “Random Vehicles on a Stick.” Here’s what we’ve seen so far: Car on a Stick It all started in Louisiana, when I caught sight of this Ford Fairmont lofted high into the sky as we we […]

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Photo Essay: Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida

Worth Avenue: Iconic Shopping Street Voted #3 in a list of the Top 10 Iconic Streets in the USA, Worth Avenue is an upscale shopping street in the resort town of Palm Beach, Florida. People watching & pedestrian friendly With names like Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Giorgio Armani, Neiman Marcus, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Saks Fifth Avenue, the businesses lining Worth Avenue read like a veritable who’s who of luxury shopping. But don’t let that scare you off! People watching on […]

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Historic Cemetery Symbols: Monkey Grave at an Upscale Restaurant

2 Graves at an Italian Restaurant? Voted #3 in a list of the Top 10 Iconic Streets in the USA, Worth Avenue is an upscale shopping street in the resort town of Palm Beach, Florida. So why are there two graves on Worth Avenue – one for a monkey and the other for a dog – tucked away in the courtyard of an Italian restaurant? Jazz Age eccentric: Addison Mizner It all starts with Addison Mizner (1872-1933) a quirky architect who […]

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