The Paranormalist blog is about: Finessing bipolarity. Writing horror. Chasing ghosts. And otherwise navigating a paranormal life.

Para- / par-ə / Prefix. ”Alongside, near, beyond, altered, contrary to.”
normal / nawr-muhl / Adjective. “Conforming to the standard; usual; regular; natural.”
-ist / Ist / A suffix of nouns. “A person who practices or is concerned with something, or holds certain principles, doctrines, etc.”

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The Paranormalist is a lifestyle blog … albeit a peculiar one.

It’s meant to meet the needs of those readers who – like me – actively pursue the sensation of being deliciously creeped out, even as they function in a mostly non-paranormal world. The general feed (home) of the site may include any of the following post topics:

  • PERSONAL – most often about the challenges and rewards of having a mild psychological condition, being a writer, and being fascinated by strange, eerie, paranormal things. (Just as the blog’s tagline suggests.)
  • DARK MEDIA – occasional in-depth reviews, but usually collections of themed options for when you’re yearning to experience a particular macabre sensation or mood. Links to such posts are entombed at Courting Creepy. Most weeks, on Mondays, I gather and share a list of current, widely available media entertainments. Find links to my thoughts about specific movies and shows (and occasional books and games) in the Macabre & Mysterious Media Index. My library of collected inscriptions from favorite authors and artists can be browsed at The Paranormalist’s Autograph Album (new feature).
  • GOTHIC / ARTISTIC LIFESTYLE – articles about food, exercise, personal style, relationships, and productivity – all specially twisted to meet the needs of horror fans and dark artists. Links to such posts are on display in Body Preservation.
  • PARANORMAL I – examinations and explorations of mysterious phenomena. (Use the ‘search by category’ widget in my sidebar to find your favorite horror.) To read some first-hand accounts of my experiences, venture into My Ghosts and Monsters.
  • PARANORMAL II – observations and commentary on situations and human behaviors that strike me as being “alongside, near, beyond, altered, contrary to the standard; usual; regular; natural.” Many of these musings reside at The Paranormal Hotel (which is what I call the seedy boarding house / no-tell-hotel where I sometimes work.)
  • IMAGES – photographs I’ve taken, or collected, and opportunities for you to share your original fun and/or evocative photos. To see what’s developing in this new section of the blog, shoot over to Haunting Photos.
  • OTHER – reblogs, spotlights, excerpts, etcetera. (Warning: on Wednesdays, if I blog, I’m especially prone to wander afield from paranormal things.)

The Paranormalist has grown into a thicket of paranormal topics. If you lose your bearings, check the header tabs and the sidebar for guidance. Or just subscribe and allow the home feed to carry you on a journey through my shifting obsessions.


My resume:
Small-city dweller, aspiring-writer, and amateur paranormalist seeks non-vicious agent, editors, publishers and haunts. Qualifications: Works in a variety of (usually food, liquor and lodging related) jobs, as the family budget requires, throughout on-going mothering career. Raised 2 kids into brilliant, creative, kind, nerds. Home educated both–one for just a year, the other for seven. Dotes on dog; tolerates cat. Occasionally does volunteer work for environmental groups and service organizations. Knits. Loves all things retro. Has completed several drafts of a novel, started two more, and is incubating another half-dozen or so. Has no interest in sending anything into the light.

I love my ratty old Columbo-coat.

13 things you’d hate about me:
* I don’t enjoy holidays.
I’m obsessive & absent-minded.
I smoke. And I don’t want to quit.
My moods are unpredictable AND obvious.
I have no real perception or understanding of the passage of time.
I rarely answer my home phone. When I do, I hang up as soon as I possibly can.
I refuse to drive on freeways, and despise straying from my established routes.
Socially, I always want to do the same thing: meet on a patio, drink beer and talk.
I avoid conflict by humoring you or avoiding you, but I seethe.
I seek excessive intimacy … sometimes inappropriately.
I plan too much and do too little.
I’m not a good secret-keeper.
I procrastinate.
* except Halloween

My creed / mission statement / holy quest:
I intend to use my innate qualities to
nurture my intimates and my animals,
explore the natural and paranormal world,
and develop a rewarding writing career,
while recognizing and celebrating the joy of being alive.


For a few more thoughts about the nature and purpose of this blog, visit: 

This blog is meant to be a paranormal refuge for horror fans, because …


50 Comments on “Backstory”

  1. Selena Wolff says:

    Wow, Renae, I should probably call you sister. We have a lot in common. Looking forward to reading more of The Paranormalist in 2012!

  2. Cody Wooten says:


    I would love to do an interview with you for a small ethnographic research project I am doing for a class. Please email me to get any further information. I need the interview by next Thursday 🙂
    I would love to have someone who is knowledgable over aliens and/or UFOs. Thanks for your time!

  3. Junior says:

    Very nice blog page. I look forward to reading your posts!

  4. Congratulations! I have just nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blog Award. Check it out here:

  5. Completely intrigued by everything contained in this blog site. I look forward to reading more!

  6. I enjoyed getting to know you through your back story and list of “13 things”…your honesty is refreshing…I am certain that many of us can relate to some or all of your items listed. Thanks for following my blog! I really like yours!

  7. Xenolicker says:

    I was wondering if your last name is really “Rude” If so, then i won’t make fun of it, that would be rude. 😐

    • Yes, my maiden name is really Rude. Other than that, I don’t know what to do with this comment, Xenolicker.

      • Xenolicker says:

        I don’t know either! People might read it and your answer, and won’t make fun of your name anymore because they know now that it’s your real name. On the other hand it might trigger some other insipid comments. Delete or not delete, that’s the question! Either way, i promise to behave might their be a next time, sorry…

  8. Morguie says:

    I had a coat like that…a London Fog raincoat..I couldn’t wear it out, wreck it, or ruin it. I loved it because I could wear it year round, pretty much. I used to ‘darken the doorways’ of the local physicians, the likes of which I was forced to seek out for their signatures and explanations on death certificates…I became an instantly recognized (and I suppose, loathed) figured, donned in said full-length “Columbo” get-up. Muahahahaa! I was ever the consummate professional in my exchanges with these doctors…but if you knew just how many times I quite literally had to BITE my tongue to keep from saying, “Go on Doc, don’t act stupid NOW. You killed the guy…so be a nice boy and sign here and here…finish the job. Thank you, always good doing business with you, Doc. Nothing personal, you know that!” I wasn’t especially fond of some of them; especially those who had a bedside ACT. Those would be quite nasty towards me and any undertaker they had to deal with. That’s because they hated it when a patient died — and seeing us reminded them of it.
    Yep. Loved that coat…too bad I gave it away. Just the mere sight of it would turn some doctors white and others red…it was amazing! Nice to make your acquaintance, Renae. Thanks for coming by my blog, too.
    What do you mean exactly by “seethe?” That generally implies anger… hope it doesn’t bother you that I ask. BTW, I smoke, too, and I used to enjoy it. Now it’s an expensive stinky habit I have had too long, I think. But, for now, I still do it. Hah! 😉 CJ

    • Oh, this was a treat 🙂 You TOTALLY get the magic of that kind of coat. I love wandering around in graveyards wearing it. It’s practical too … it provides a sort of always-handy picnic blanket. I can sit down anywhere that isn’t actually wet and stay comfortable.

      Yes, seethe does mean that I get angry but I don’t express it directly. I just skulk around feeling annoyed, put-upon and pissed. (Perhaps less now than I used to, though. For some reason I seem to have more equanimity these days. Aging can be kind.)

      I recently learned how to use a roller, pre-made tubes, and pipe tobacco to make my own cigarettes and I’ve saved a ton of money doing it that way. That helps me feel less like I’m just burning money. And it smells just slightly better than purchased cigarettes too.

  9. I wish I had a ratty old Columbo coat! (I wish Columbo was still on the air) LOL – Love the blog!

    • Do you have cable, Nina? I just found a network called ME-TV that has some great retro programming, including Columbo once a week. (I’ve got a blog post about the channel in the works.)

      • Sah-wheeeet! I loved Columbo, and yes – I have cable. ME-TV, I’m gonna hunt it down later! Thanks! 🙂 And if you run across a size ‘tiny’ Columbo coat, let me know! I’ll keep my eye out for a hat for you if you don’t have one. 😉 lol

  10. Hi, Renae! I just wanted to let you know I have nominated you for the Being a Light in the World Award! Congratulations!

    • Thank you, Jackie!

      I’m honored that you would think of my (paranormal / horror themed) blog in relation to an award that is all about bringing light into the world. I feel like you are seeing through the graveyard mist into my real purpose. 🙂

      • Oh, absolutely! I love all things paranormal and I think it proves that there is more to life than what we know and see. But I also selected you because you are always so supportive and because of how sweet you were to me when my sweet Jazzy passed.

  11. Karen Helton says:

    The paranormal makes life far more interesting than it can ever be in a world where you know everything,

  12. Nando says:

    Really like your blog. Just like you, I’m also a fan of horror movies and all things paranormal. And Halloween is also my favorite holiday! Haha. Look forward to reading your stuff.

  13. Jon Davidson says:

    Thanks for following my blog, Renae. I’ve always been fascinated by topics related to horror and the paranormal, so I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

  14. Colin Newton says:

    Ha! Not only is Halloween my favorite holiday, but I dislike other holidays as well–even my own birthday. Bravo.

    • Funny you should mention that today … it’s my birthday 😀

      My plans include vacuuming and writing something like 3,000 words. There might be cake this weekend. That’s about as “birthday-ish” as I get. (I may dislike holidays, but I love cake.)

  15. zipcoffelt says:

    I knew I liked you and that you and I have many commonalities.

  16. nalinki says:

    you’ve got a great blog! I love your compelling writing style and your hilarious list of 13 things to hate about you. my favorite is “moods are unpredictable AND obvious” – I know that too well 🙂

  17. julial213 says:

    Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog. I think I will enjoy reading yours. On your 13 things, I also plan too much and do to little. Also love Columbo. Julia

  18. I too dislike holidays but especially the minor ones such as Memorial Day, Labor Day and 4th of July. Strangely enough, a storefront fortune teller told me this very sentiment many years ago on Halloween. She even specified it was the smaller ones I disliked! Something about hoards of the general public traveling to bbqs and beaches ( I hate places that are really crowded though I enjoy fairs/carnivals so guess I am dichotomy.) You sound fun and interesting and I look forward to reading more of your blog!

  19. Well now, you are an interesting lady! I like!! Thanks for the pingback as I may not have found your wonderful blog 🙂

  20. JoHanna Massey says:

    Just had a nice visit out and about your website. What a weird and wonderful place! Looking forward to following.

  21. Brittany says:

    Hi there! BrittSooWok here (SP). Just wanted to leave a note to let you know I have been enjoying your blog as time permits. I’ve always been into the paranormal, though it isn’t the area I write in. Anything otherworldly, haunting, or chill-inspiring tends to give me the greatest thrill. I hope you’re able to one day soon achieve your goal of moving further south, and make it out to New Orleans. I really think you’d love to visit there.

    • Thank you for coming over to look around, Brittany 🙂 We are making some real progress toward moving, I think. Keep your fingers, (and anything else you can spare,) crossed for us.

      I’m on a bit of a blog break right now, but I did pop over to see your new place. Welcome to the blogosphere 🙂

  22. NorCal Zen says:

    This is the most interesting, and unusual About page I’ve ever read!

    • Thank you.

      It’s been a long time since I read it myself. (I’m just coming off a long blogging break.) As I revamp things around here, I’ll have to remember to come back and update this too. 🙂

      • NorCal Zen says:

        It was meant as a compliment. Your page was a positive, refreshing surprise. I do go back and edit my About page on a regular basis. It’s the first page I visit, when I visit a new blog, so it makes sense. A good one is always a pleasure!

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