Tui Snider Celebrates the Internet’s Positive Side”
We often hear about the damaging side of the Internet. And while bullies and trolls are a part of our modern landscape, there is a positive side to online connectivity that often gets overlooked.
Case in point: Tui Snider. Snider is a small town author, photographer and musician who is about to celebrate a combined book project, photography exhibit, and album release – none of which would have happened without the encouragement she received and connections she made through social media and the Internet. Says Snider, “If I hadn’t started a blog several years ago, I’d still be writing, taking pictures and singing songs – but no one would know.”
It’s not that Snider is reclusive, she simply made a crucial mistake. “In my twenties, I showed my work to some very negative people. They made me feel ashamed for wanting to write, take photos and make music,” she explains. “Unfortunately, I listened to them.”
While Snider may have respected their opinions, she could not suppress her creative urges completely. According to her, “Even though I believed those people, I couldn’t stop creating. I just didn’t talk about it. It wasn’t safe.”
But then, along came the Internet!
Like so many others, Tui Snider created a website. In 2008, a magazine editor read one of Snider’s blog posts and offered her a monthly column. From this one opportunity, a full-time writing career emerged as Snider began writing for a variety of travel magazines. In 2014, she published her first book, Unexpected Texas. This guide to offbeat and overlooked destinations quickly became a bestseller for Dallas – Fort Worth Travel and remains so over two years later.
Photography came next. “Magazine editors loved it when I provided photos with my articles,” she explains. “So I started sending pictures with every piece.” Even so, Snider was reluctant to call herself a photographer. Once again, the Internet came into play. After Snider started using Instagram, a social media app for sharing photos, opportunities and encouragement continued. Snider’s photographs were featured in a poetry book and the City of Plano invited her to take part in a Photo Walk. They now use Snider’s photographs in their promotional material, both online and off.
More and more opportunities came Snider’s way – speaking engagements, writing gigs, and book signings – and always through the Internet. The .Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers invited Snider to present at a literary conference by contacting her through Twitter. From this, she learned about Tarleton State University’s Langdon Review Weekend, an annual festival of the arts in Granbury, Texas. “I was so inspired after attending the Langdon Review Weekend, that I dared to apply for their residency program. Much to my surprise, they chose me as their writer-in-residence for 2016!”
From August 27 through September 10, Snider will represent the Langdon Review as she lives and works in Granbury, Texas. The writer-in-residence program is sponsored by the Granbury Wine Walk, with lodging provided by Heavenhill Guesthouse.
In addition to spending time on her creative projects and posting daily updates on her blog (TuiSnider.com), Snider’s residency requires community outreach. To fulfill this, Snider is hosting a Photo Walk for Granbury ’s historic town square on Saturday, September 3, 2016. (If you’re interested in participating, keep an eye on TuiSnider.com for details.)
Snider also plans to create a self-guided tour of Granbury’s historic graveyard. “My research often takes me to historic cemeteries, and understanding what the symbols on each headstone mean really adds to the experience,” Snider explains. “I’m excited to create a fun self-guided tour for visitors. I hope it makes people curious about the past while giving them a better understanding of the messages carved into the headstones. It’s not creepy or morbid.”
Snider’s writing residency for the Langdon Review Weekend kicks off with a reception during Granbury’s monthly Gallery Night & Art Walk on August 27. “I included several photos in my proposal, so Langdon Review’s editors, Moumin [Quazi] and Marilyn [Robitaille] said I could have a month-long photography exhibit along with my residency,” say Snider.
Appropriately, Snider’s photography exhibit is entitled “Meme, Myself & iPhone” as an homage to the power of the Internet and the fact that all her photos were taken on an iPhone. While Snider will have objects for sale during her show, selling is not her main goal. “Of course, I hope people buy my stuff, ” she says, “but I really hope my show inspires other folks to share their creative projects with the world.”
What started as a photography exhibit has grown into what Snider calls a “Photo show, Book & Music Release Extravaganza” because, “My husband kept saying, ‘You really ought to have a CD playing your music in the background, too.’” Although she doubted she could pull it off, Snider took the challenge. In less than a month, she recorded a 10-song album of her own original songs, and created a companion book featuring photos and lyrics, also called “Meme, Myself & iPhone.”
Snider’s exhibit, “Meme, Myself & iPhone,” runs from August 29 – September 21, 2016 at the Dora Lee Langdon Center (308 E. Pearl St., Granbury, TX 76048), with a release party on August 27 from 5-8 p.m.
Check it out!
For more information, visit these links:
Meme, Myself & iPhone Facebook Event Page