Winter Solstice, 2019

Winter Solstice, 2019. Happy Solstice, everyone ~ I hope 2020 brings many blessings your way.

Today is sunny and mild enough that Dudley and I opened a window and the front door just for a few minutes to let some fresh air into our home.I haven’t posted much since Dudley’s stroke in October 2016 because most of our time and energy has been taken up with everyday living, plus wrapping up the responsibilities from our life before so we could make the most of this gift of time together.

The past 15 months have been some of the most difficult times of my life. I will not miss 2019. We lost my awesome Dad in September 2018, then unexpectedly lost my laid-back, much-loved younger brother Randall this past March. In the past four months, we’ve also had to say goodbye to three family friends (two of whom were in their early 50s) and one of my cousins.

In the past three years, we’ve cleaned out 2 barns, sold Dudley’s farm, closed down his former businesses, and sold his rental property. We gave one kayak to a friend and sold both of Dudley’s canoes, one to a young couple that was thrilled to have it for their Boundary Waters trips and the other, Dudley’s handmade cedar strip canoe, to his cool cousin Brian. It makes it easier knowing that these important things from our past will be used and appreciated.

Then, this past August, I realized we needed to leave my house ~ my house! ~ the home that I love and lived in for 25 years, part of my identity, a creative focus and source of pride.It seemed unreal to me, as I had every intention of staying at my house forever. We left not because of the spirits nor Dudley’s health, but because of the changing vibe of the neighborhood. I was heartbroken and in some ways, I will always be heartbroken about this. But I was not able to turn things things around in our neighborhood. Many neighbors and preservation-minded folks fought this battle for the past few years. (More on this in another post, perhaps.)

Once I realized we needed to leave, I sent out a call to the universe, asking our new house to help us find it. And our new house, a beautiful and grand Victorian just down the river in Red Wing, Minnesota, responded ~ and here we are.

I’ll write more about our new house and leaving our former house, including how the spirits reacted, at another time. My house is in good hands. I sold it to a friend of many decades who is fond of Leo and is skilled at working with the energy of people and places. She already lived in the neighborhood and, although concerned about the changes, was not planning to leave. She will be an excellent steward of the house, now her house. I believe that everything fell into place because the spirits approved, just ike when I got the house in 1994.

I am at a crossroads in my life ~ I would like to write another book this year. I’d also like to offer haunted tea parties and spirited events again. I’m mulling over possibilities now. We are considering doing an Airbnb, perhaps with a writer’s retreat or metaphysical theme. I will keep you all posted. I really miss my tea party and spirited events friends.

I’ll close by saying that Dudley and I are doing all right and we are looking forward to new experiences and happy adventures in 2020.

Halloween Interview ~ Tom Barnard Podcast

Posting from the end of the quietest October I’ve had in years, event-wise. I miss the excitement and energy of the usual October haunted teas, tours, and spirit message circles. And I miss connecting with the bittersweet energy of fall and the season’s awakened and attentive spirit world. Next year, I sincerely hope to be back with my Haunted Teas and Spirited Schoolhouse events.

As part of my sabbatical, I have not done any radio or podcast interviews since late 2016. I’m making an exception tomorrow, on Halloween, because the request came in from a friend to tell some of my scariest true stories from my house and (I think) from my Trucker Ghost Stories book on the Tom Barnard Podcast.

I’ll be on Tom Barnard’s show at 1:35 PM CST, tomorrow (Halloween) for 15 or 20 minutes. You can listen to it at the link below. (Go to October 31, 2018, Annie Wilder interview via the calendar or episode guide/archives.) Article about My House and Living with Spirits ran a great article about my house and the spirits that I hope you’ll enjoy. If you do, please consider sharing it as well. (I’m so revved about this; I was honored that they asked and the editor, Lauren Smith, was wonderful to work with.)

(This article ran in 2017. Posting it on my blog for the first time now.)


Unexpected Turn in the Path

I have been absent from this blog and most of social media since mid-October when the path of my life took an unexpected turn ~ my love and mate Dudley suffered a stroke that nearly ended his life. Dudley and I (and our tribe of family and friends) have spent the past three months focusing on his well-being and healing.

I had alluded in a Facebook post last August 14 to a health crisis that Dudley experienced that we considered a gift ~ because it made us aware of how precious our time together was. It also inspired us to re-commit to slowing down, savoring life, and enjoying one another’s company.

Out of respect for Dudley’s privacy, I didn’t share the details of last summer’s health crisis. Now, it seems fitting to do so, as the impact of both strokes on our lives is significant. Dudley had a small stroke last July. He had just passed the critical 90-day mark from the July stroke, complete with scans and tests and a thumbs-up from his neurologist, the day before he had the really severe stroke in October. He has been in hospitals and rehab centers ever since, working on regaining strength and mobility. He is not yet back home, but that is the next milestone that we’re working on.

An unexpected and powerful gift of this experience has been the incredible outpouring of love, support, and practical help from family, friends, neighbors and even strangers ~ people with whom I’ve dealt to take care of Dudley’s many business concerns. The kindness and goodness of people has added a transformative element to an otherwise hard experience.

I have decided to take a sabbatical in 2017 from offering events, tours, and investigations in order to focus on Dudley and his healing. 

I hope and expect to be back with a full schedule of Annie Wilder’s Haunted Tea Parties and Spirited Schoolhouse events in 2018.

This was a difficult decision to make in many ways, as I love hosting events and I am proud of both my haunted tea parties and the Spirited Schoolhouse events.  (And, want to say, it feels really good to be connecting energetically with friends of my blog and Facebook page again.) 

I decided last year to close the door on Inkswiggler, my editing and publishing consulting business, and am happy to refer all editing and ghostwriting inquiries to my mega-talented friend Sally McGraw.

I am keeping the Annie Wilder Literary Agency in place.

And, I am continuing to work on my next book, a follow-up to House of Spirit and Whispers.

And in case you’re wondering about the spirits ~ I alluded earlier to the kindness of people in our lives. The spirits gathered round, too, after Dudley’s stroke; I felt their presence nearly constantly in the first weeks especially, when Dudley’s health was most precarious. Dudley came to see me in a dream on his first night in the ICU. We both remember this. (He was not often conscious for more than a few moments at a time in the first few weeks in ICU.) Dudley’s energy or spirit also visited our house in the first week or after the stroke to offer some familiar help. I will write about these experiences and other powerful and comforting mystical experiences that occurred during Dudley’s recovery in another post.

Watch for new posts around the time of the new moon each month, as a theme for our household this year is renewal and hope.

(Posted January 2017)

TV Appearance with Christopher and Paulette Moon ~ Life To the Max

Here;s the video of WCCO’s Life to the Max piece on my house. Also featured were my friends and literary agency clients, Chris and Paulette Moon (co-authors of GHOST BOX).

Here’s the promo that ran:

“On a quaint street in Hastings, MN, there is a beautiful Victorian home. From the outside, it looks like other houses in the historic river town, but it’s what’s inside that has everyone spooked. The home belongs to Annie Wilder, a paranormal author who documents the spirit activities in the house. Guest host Liz Collin learns about the documented spirit activities and how it has come to be known as the real ‘Haunted House’ – the subject of Wilder’s books and blogs.”


(Posted January 2017)

Fall Equinox 2016 ~ Taking Stock

Happy Equinox, everyone! Saw an industrious spider spinning her web in last night’s wild wind and was impressed by her determination.

The Equinox, a time of balance, is a perfect time to reflect, take stock, and see what to keep and what to release from one’s life.

After working hard this spring on remodeling projects, much of my time this summer was spent on literary agenting work and family events/endeavors ~ both are important to me and, despite being very busy, it has been, overall, an enjoyable and satisfying year. One family project that I feel really good about was getting all of our family movies and videos from the 1950s, 60s and 70s digitized. I had DVDs made as well. I’ve been trying to get things taken care of that have been “on my list” for awhile ~ maybe it’s my age. 

One thing I decided to release from my life is my editing work and my editing business, Inkswiggler Editing and Publishing Consults. This will free up more time for both my own writing (very happy about this!) and my agenting work. I will be referring all editing requests to my longtime friend and colleague, the immensely talented Sally McGraw. Still in the works for this year: freeing up more leisure time to spend with Dudley, especially traveling and outdoor excursions like kayaking and canoeing.

#anniewilder #autumn #equinox #spiderwork

(Posted January 2017)

A Gift ~ and a Message

Been spending a lot of time in the past month in my yard, engaging in a little flower therapy. We had a health crisis in our household that turned out to be a true gift… without going into all the details, here’s what happened.

July was filled to bursting with the usual summertime busy-ness, with family in town, four new clients for the Annie Wilder Literary Agency, a dragon boat race for Dudley, a trip to Colorado for me, a houseful of guests for the Rivertown Days carnival and parade (the latter of which marches right past my house). 

Not part of our plan was a trip to the local emergency room for my amazingly healthy, strong husband, then a sirens-blaring ambulance ride to United Hospital in St. Paul, a day spent in ICU, and one more day in the hospital before coming home.

The miracle of this is that Dudley is fine. He came through an experience that could have been permanently debilitating or even fatal with no lasting damage. We know we are very fortunate; we feel blessed, and we are grateful.

The gift is the powerful message we received: slow down, enjoy life and each other’s company, and appreciate your health. It’s a message we intend to heed.

September and October are some of my busiest months and all events will still be offered this year. I fully expect to offer Annie Wilder’s Haunted Tea Parties and Spirited Schoolhouse events next year and for many years to come, perhaps scaled back a bit, keeping my focus on that and on my agenting work. But I will probably scale back on blogging and social media posts for my winter “creative cocooning” time, and am seriously considering closing shop entirely on doing editing work ~ will keep you posted on that.

In the meantime, Dudley and I have been having our morning coffee on the porch, going to bed (and getting up) a little earlier, and heading out more often with our bikes, canoe, and kayaks.


Wishing you all great health and lots of “flower therapy” (and wind and star and sunshine and earth and tree and river therapy) in these golden days of August.

( Posted January 2017)



Annie Wilder Interview ~ Spaced Out Radio


My thanks to Dave Scott of SPACED OUT RADIO and his listeners for a very fun interview ~ almost all trucker stories, plus some VERY WEIRD paranormal encounters that Dave has experienced.

If you missed the show, you can listen here:

Also, thanks to James Tyson, host of SPACED OUT RADIO WEEKEND, for posting this FAB picture all over ~ love it!

(Posted January 2017)