Monday, December 28, 2015

Three things to be grateful for

Three great things to be thankful for:

Our friend Quinnsettia's 13-year-old daughter, Lilly, was hit by a drunk driver while crossing a street in Pueblo, CO, last night. Driver was drunk, had no license, no insurance. Lilly has broken teeth and road rash, but NO broken bones. She's a lucky young woman. They caught the driver, thank goodness. Please send healing energy and/or thoughts to the family. This tragedy could've been much worse.

Second, Britt & Tack have a new Jeep! It's a 2015 and it's black and a sleek-looking ride. Nice, low payments and (as Tack said) it looks like Darth Vader. So I'm gonna call it Vader from here on. I'll upload a pic on the post after this one (taken tonight, but more coming).

Third, since Britt & Tack now have their vehicle, we get ours back (our nearly new Saturn ION w/only 50K'ish miles on it)! New tires and ready for us to use after not having a working car to use since November 2014. Tomorrow we will take it for a drive SOMEWHERE just to enjoy riding in it again!

MAJOR thanks to a several people for making this happen -- Ron S., who helped with the VIN verification for Britt & Tack, Chandra & Mark for allowing us to use their comfy minivan OR giving us rides when we simply had to have one. Also, to Britt & Tack, who coordinated and made so much of this happen. Without them, it would NOT have happened! Love all of you guys. heart emoticon

Starting the new year with a car once again—woot! First time we've ever been without a car for over a year in our lives, and we do NOT want to go through that again.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

[Dream] Cobras & Demons

Two big dreams last night. In the first, I worked in some sort of a warehouse where people would come to have dinner and watch performers do all sorts of things. A group of snake charmers were charming a shit-ton of cobras (they were a bunch of pretty colors, though).

Now, I don't like snakes and I'm scared to death of cobras and vipers! Well, one snake charmer came over to me and tapped on my right shoulder (from the front). The cobra leaned down and laid its head (or nudged its head) on my right shoulder without biting me. I was scared shitless and I remember holding my breath in terror!

Then, the snake charmer was touched by the cobra and the snake charmer ended up dying -- I tried to run around and find an antidote (something called H1-something or another, but could only find H2-something). The guy's body bloated up and died, his stomach was big and distended like you'd see in a Feed the Children ad.

I did not die from the cobra touching me, though. I felt like, somehow, I'd been blessed and protected by the cobra (not sure if that makes sense). So, THAT dream was freaky and weird. But then...

Discovery: I have a lot of dreams -- a TON of them! -- about battling and/or exorcizing demons. Most always when I forget to take my Trazodone before bed. Then I wake up with a sore body and barely able to move from having my muscles tensed up all night, as a result of fighting demons (could you get more symbolic?!).

Last night I was helping our friend Carly's neighborhood rid itself of demons and Josh P. showed up as well. I didn't want to do down into Carly's basement, because it would be a high and tenuous climb to get back out of it, but I went in there anyway.

When it was time to get out, there was no other way except to climb up a steep, rigged ladder that was unsafe and shaky. I'm terrified of heights in real life, so in the dream I had no other choice but to face my fears and climb that shaky ladder and chance falling a long way down. Since there was no other way than up that ladder, I decided to avoid looking down and climb that ladder. I was scared to death. In the end, the ladder nearly came loose, but I made it up and out of the basement and to safety again.

Funny how the demons were less scary than that damned ladder climb! Anyway, last night's dream couldn't have been more dead-on about life right now, or how I'm feeling. I've never wanted to climb 'that ladder' many times in my life. I don't want to now, either. But sometimes climbing 'that ladder,' no matter how scary it might be, is the only way out of the abyss known as the basement. Damn...helluva dream, eh? Lots to think about.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The way things were...

L to R: My dad Leo C. Walton, Sr., my mom Shirley
Walton, my brothers Barry and Leo C. Walton, Jr.

So, my cousin Tracy posted this pic and I gotta tell you I'm pretty emo about it. Actually crying a bit. Lost my mom over a year ago from Alzheimer's and my dad when I was about seven years old. My dad, Leo C. Walton, Sr., will always be my hero. I wasn't very old when he died, but I remember it was the day before Halloween. He doted on me and often carried me in his arms.

Yes, I was a daddy's girl. I miss my dad. I use the hyphenated name, Walton-Porter, on a lot of things that I write. It's how I honor my dad. He read to me all the time. He instilled a love of words in me, so it only seems fitting to publish books using his name, Walton, as part of the author name.

The kindest, most sensitive and caring man I've met besides my dad is my husband Paul. I think that's why I feel so much in love with him. He dotes on me and loves me unconditionally. Just wish my dad could've met Paul and vice versa.

The left towhead is my brother Barry (he still loves guns!) and the smiling kid to the right is my oldest brother, Leo, Jr. I have two other brothers, but they are my birth brothers Jan and Van. I didn't know about them until 1999 when I found my birth family.

Anyway, this photo makes me happy AND sad. Brings a smile with thoughts of a long time ago. This pic was taken at my MawMaw & PawPaw's house (Hontas (Kelly) & Charles Schumaker). They always did things up right (as best I remember).

Love you and miss you, mom and dad.
Love and miss you, Barry and Leo.
Thanks for posting this, Cousin Tracy ;-)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Manifesting the full-time RV lifestyle

NEWS (Yes, it's long): Paul and I are planning to hit the road, full-time, in an RV and live/work from the road in the near future, meaning within a year or two. Depends on the research and planning. And, of course, purchasing an RV. We have NO car payments because we've paid off three cars, two within the last five years. That is one good thing in our favor.

These are our goals and we firm about making them happen. I don't want to hear about why we CANNOT do this in a year or two; instead, I will only hear HOW we can make it happen -- concrete plans founded on research and info on HOW to do it. We have already begun the research and planning stage, with a year to three years as the window for making it a reality. It can be done. There is a way and we will find it -- period.

I was raised a military brat and I am familiar with traveling and moving from place to place. I've pulled up stakes and moved halfway across the US several times. Each time I planned, researched, and made it happen.

Colorado will always be our home base. That will NEVER change. However, I'm 51 and Paul T. Sninchak is 46. We have places we want to see. With my job, I'm able to work from anywhere with an Internet connection. We want to travel and see Maine, Upstate New York, Washington State, Oregon, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, New Orleans, and many others.

The best part is I'm newly approved to write travel articles for a German website (and they pay for them), so I'm building my article portfolio so I can earn income from our travels. I'll continue my existing writing and editing gigs, of course, but I can now add travel articles to my arsenal.

SO...all that said. The big thing NOW is that we need to find a place to move to for the beginning of 2016, first and foremost. Once we settle into a new place, Paul and I will spend the next year researching and planning for our upcoming RV adventures.

If you know of someone who has an RV they would like to sell, if you have resources we should check out (we are already aware of many), or if you have tips we should know about as we plan our FUTURE RV travels, comment here or e-mail me at

And yes, the dogs will go with us on our travels. They are Emotional Support Animals (ESA) and with my PTSD and GAD, plus Paul's, wherever we go, they must go. wink emoticon

Tips, resource sharing (thanks for the Workkamp group suggestions, Chandra!), and anything you think might be helpful is appreciated. We already have several RV monthly budgeting websites/blogs we're checking out.
Bottom line: In order to make certain things a reality, you put it out there...and that's what we are doing NOW so we can manifest it within a year or two.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Silly / just for fun / to add levity to this weekend

TITLE: "Quantum Mechanics"
Don't usually do this, but it's a holiday weekend and I can do stupid crap for another day, so...

1. Put your music player on shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer
3. You must write that song name down (no matter how silly it sounds)
4. Tag friends (*nope - you can do it if you want, or pass)
5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing - (*Naw they don't)
6. Have fun!

Vultures Fly - Avatar

Savant on Mushrooms - Infected Mushrooms

Bulletproof - La Roux

Ritual - Ghost B.C.

It Has Begun - Starset

Élan - Nightwish

First of the Year (Equinox) - Skrillex

Satisfaction (Jewelz & Scott Sparks Remix) - Benny Benassi

The Hero - Nostalgia

Insum Remix - Solar Fields

WHAT IS 2 + 2?
The Pursuit of Vikings - Amon Amarth

Sledgehammer - Savant

Endless Forms Most Beautiful - Nightwish

Unbreakable - Stratovarius

Reincarnate - Motionless in White

Gone With The Sin - HIM

Anxiety - Ladyhawke

Gimme Chocolate! - Babymetal

Helden (Heroes) - Apocalyptica

Lucy - Seven Lions

Exterminate Annihilate Destroy - Rotersand

4:30 - Danger

I Am A Viking - One-Eyed Doll

Helvegen - Wardruna

Mercyside - Tristania

Sin In Justice - Apocalyptica, VAMPS

Nas Ne Dagoniat - t.A.T.u

Natural Blues - Moby

I Can Be Somebody - Erin McCarley

Black Magic Woman - Carlos Santana

Highly Strung - Orianthi

Afflicted - One-Eyed Doll

Akatsuki (Dawn/Daybreak) - Babymetal

How Soon Is Now? - The Smiths

Quantum Mechanics - Savant

(**Comment: of these came out rather interesting! Lol!)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Tragedy and the Final X

Today my hometown was once again thrust into the arms of tragedy and violence. A shooter, now identified as Robert Lewis Dear, holed up in a Planned Parenthood office and ended up wounding nine people and killing three people, including two civilians and a campus police officer from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

It's hard to go back to living your life and doing mundane things around the house when you know there were a few of people from here in Colorado Springs who woke up today and had no idea that yesterday was going to be their last Thanksgiving, and that they wouldn't make it to tonight or live another day past today to see their family and friends ever again.

I remember seeing a calendar in my kids' grandfather's room on the day after he died from a heart attack in his sleep. I glanced at the monthly page as I was on my way to the bathroom. He had marked off every day that had come and gone with an X, with notes about what he'd done and planned to do for upcoming days. I stood for a moment and stared at the final X he marked on his calendar...and then I looked at the notes he had for the rest of the month...what he had on his to-do list for around the house, etc.

That final X has stuck with me. He didn't know it would be the last X he'd mark on his calendar. He had plans, but he died in his sleep that night. No more notes, no more crossing off the days of tasks he was done, and so was he.

Sobering and sad. Life can be real shitty at times, but even during the shitty times, you are still breathing and living.

You never know when you're going to put down the last X on your monthly calendar, or breathe your last breath. You won't know if you'll be here next Thanksgiving, or even tomorrow. In the end, life completes your tasks for you, even if you weren't ready to have them finished. We all have a final X. You only have today, this moment. Maybe we should make sure all our X's count.

Don't you think so?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

[Northern European/Scandinavia/Vikings] 30 Northern Praiseworthy Virtues

(**My comment: An excellent list to use as a guide for becoming a better person and living a more balanced and meaningful life -- at least to me. These are all virtues worth cultivating, regardless of who you are.**)

What are the 30 Northern Praiseworthy Virtues?

Definition of praiseworthy (adj)
Bing Dictionary
[ práyz wùrt͟hee ]
admirable: deserving praise
synonyms: admirable, commendable, laudable, worthy, exemplary, creditable

Viking rules were simple

The Praiseworthy Virtues of the North

This list of praiseworthy ethics is taken directly from the lore of Northern Europe. Nothing listed is modern opinion but, instead, comes from the very words of our Northern European ancestors. Their wisdom and knowledge was recorded in the sagas and Eddas. This word-hoard to the English-speaking peoples in its legend, song, and story is our source. It is a very mine of "noble and pleasant beauty and high manhood," as Sparling terms the Eddas and sagas in his introduction to the Morris and Magnússon translation of Völsunga Saga. These ancestors of the Northern European peoples are the source of what is thought to be praiseworthy. Their wisdom is timeless and what was praiseworthy then, is praiseworthy now. For a more complete examination of these ethics as they appear in Northern lore, see Trúlög and Sögumál.

What is praiseworthy?

1. Gifting is praiseworthy.
2. Generosity is praiseworthy.
3. Moderation is praiseworthy.
4. The maintaining of frith in all circumstances is praiseworthy.
5. Courage is praiseworthy.
6. The seeking of good over ill is praiseworthy.
7. Hospitality is praiseworthy.
8. Courtesy is praiseworthy.
9. Tolerance is praiseworthy.
10. The pursuit of wisdom and knowledge is praiseworthy.
11. The defense of freedom is praiseworthy.
12. Industriousness is praiseworthy.
13. Vigilance is praiseworthy.
14. The protection, nurturing and forbearing of kin is praiseworthy.
15. Showing respect for elders is praiseworthy.
16. Loyalty to friends and kin is praiseworthy.
17. Keeping an oath is praiseworthy.
18. Honoring the sanctity of marriage is praiseworthy.
19. Refraining from mockery is praiseworthy.
2o. Refraining from arrogance is praiseworthy.
21. Making kin, honor and justice more important than gold is praiseworthy.
22. Cleanliness is praiseworthy.
23. The maintaining of one's dignity in all situations is praiseworthy.
24. Good organization is praiseworthy.
25. Persistence is praiseworthy.
26. The rule of law is praiseworthy.
27. To try one's steel against an opponent fairly is praiseworthy.
28. Respect for the dead is praiseworthy.
29. For a man to never strike a woman is praiseworthy.
30. To not abuse one's power is praiseworthy.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Warcraft - Official Trailer (HD)

Cannot wait for this movie!
(Yes, I play World of Warcraft. Since 2005, in fact!)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the place my family and I call home

For those of you who know that my family and I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, you also may know about the tragic shooting deaths that occurred downtown yesterday. Everyone in our family is okay, but please keep the families who lost loved ones yesterday in your thoughts.

The people who were gunned down and lost their lives did nothing wrong. They were minding their own business, just living their lives. Until a selfish, rifle-toting man bent on chaos and destruction mowed them down like animals.

We live about five to ten minutes from where the final shootout occurred, depending on the volume of traffic. We often pass through that intersection (90% of the time, in fact) when we head downtown. It's in a neighborhood where nobody would think it wasn't safe to walk, ride your bicycle, or stand outside on your porch.

We've often gone through that drive-thru at Wendy's, as well as the McDonald's across the street from where the shootout with police happened. There will never be a time that we will go by there in the future that we won't be reminded that innocent people lost their lives there.

The people who were shot by the gunman were random people on the street, just minding their business on a Saturday Halloween morning. This was a senseless tragedy that did not need to happen. My heart aches for their surviving family and friends.

We do not have any other info than you may have read at this point. However, this is not something we could've ever guessed would happen here in Colorado Springs. But I guess that's a refrain we hear all too often these days.

Thank you to the police officers who risked their lives to stop this man from killing more people. If it had been a Monday morning, there probably would've been more victims.

As you spend tonight with your family and friends, please keep the victims' families in your thoughts during this awful time.

Thank you, stay safe, and much love to all.

(**NOTE: Please do not use the comments of this post to begin a debate about guns. Quite frankly, I don't want to hear about guns right now. Right now I want to use this post to ask people to remember the victims and their families. Any comments that go against this request will be deleted.)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Handmade scarves & fingerless gloves crafted by me especially for you. Get yours today! ;-)

In the colder months, I crochet stuff. You know, like scarves and fingerless gloves. If you want to order some of my handmade fingerless gloves or one of my handmade dual-colored scarves, here's a link to my Etsy shop.

Scarves are $20 and gloves are only $15. Yarn is included in the price. I will be adding different styles in the near future. Choose the color and material you want. One size fits all.

Have a custom order in mind? Let me know and we'll work together to make it happen:

To order handmade fingerless gloves crafted by me in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to keep your wrists and hands warm this autumn/winter, go here:

(One size fits all. Length is 7 inches unstretched. Choose your preferred color.)

To order a dual-colored, handmade scarf crafted by me in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to keep your face and neck warm this autumn/winter, go here:


Drop me a line!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Why yes, I'm nocturnal. Unless...

I prefer working at night (unless I can't) because it's quiet, nobody bothers me (no calls or visitors), and my mind is clearer and more creative. My birth time was 10:40 p.m., so I began life as a nocturnal soul.

However, if you want to hire me at a can't-say-no salary, I'll be glad to switch back to a morning shift. Just sayin'!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions (updated)

Q: How long have you been a published writer?
A: My first published piece was in 1982 in the Colorado Springs Sun newspaper. As of this FAQ, over three decades.

Q: What do you write?
A: I write or have written a lot of things, including articles, blogs, features, reviews, blurbs, press releases, short stories, business copy, SEO keyword copy, books, chapbooks, and other things I've probably forgotten about already.

Q: What are your pen names?
A: Bev Walton~Porter, Star Ferris, and a couple others I won't reveal yet.

Q: Why do you use pen names?
A: Before I got married in 2008, my name was Bev Walton-Porter. I had already branded myself with that name. I'm loathe to change it at this point.

In addition, since I write many different types of articles, blogs, books, and stories, it's important to let people know what they're getting so they don't pick up a romance novel and expect the same type of content as, say, a non-fiction book. For instance, I write articles and blogs under Bev Sninchak, non-fiction books under Bev Walton-Porter, and contemporary romance under Star Ferris.

Finally, my married name, Sninchak, can be tricky to pronounce and hard to remember for some people. Authors should have names that readers don't have to struggle to remember, spell, or pronounce.

Q: Will you read my manuscript?
A: Unfortunately, no. I have limited time and if I spent all of my time reading other people's work, I wouldn't have time to work on my own creative projects or help existing clients. When I have free time, I prefer to spend it with my family. Thanks for understanding ;-).

Q: Will you edit or proofread my story or book manuscript?
A: Sure. Go here to find out about the services I offer and how to hire me. You can also e-mail me at nocturnaleditor -at -

Q: Would you collaborate with me?
A: I've had wonderful experiences collaborating with other authors, but I am uninterested in doing so at this time. Nothing against you—promise!

Q: What are your favorite genres?
A: Non-fiction, fantasy, dark fiction, paranormal romance, erotica, and poetry.

Q: What books have you published?
A: Sun Signs for Writers, Secrets of the Professional Freelancer, Aim To Write: Tips & Tricks for Freeing the Scribe Within, Shadows of the Soul, and Nocturnal Musings: Collected Ponderings, Essays, and Stories. I co-authored The Complete Writer: A Guide To Tapping Your Full Potential. I've also published Mending Fences and Hidden Fire under my pen name Star Ferris.

You can find all my books at

Q: Have you used traditional publishers or are you strictly an indie author?
A: My first four books were released through traditional publishers, such as Writer's Digest Books. I have since reclaimed the publishing rights to all of those books and have become an indie author, publishing them through )0( Triple Crow Publishing )0(.

Q: What are you working on right now?
A: A non-fiction book, a fiction book, a collection of short stories, and various articles/blog posts.

Q: What makes you think you know everything about writing, editing, or publishing?
A: I don't. I can only share my experiences, but your mileage may vary (YMMV). Nobody knows everything about writing, editing, or publishing. If they tell you they do, they're delusional or lying to you. I'm human and I make mistakes like everyone else. The difference is that I try to learn from those mistakes.

Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: From life. Look around you. How could you not have countless ideas on a daily basis?

Q: What is your educational background?
A: I graduated from Widefield High School in Security, Colorado, attended Phillips University in Enid, OK, and majored in Applied Communication & Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. I love learning, so I continue to take online college courses through Coursera, FutureLearn, KhanAcademy, and edX, among others.

Have other questions? Contact me at scribequill -at- or visit my author page at

Version 10.20.15

[Shared post] Writing a 750-page novel? Don’t.

[Want more like this? Subscribe to The Writer's Dominatrix

Thinking of writing a book over 500 pages? How about 700? Or even 900 pages?

Do yourself—and your readers—a favor. DON’T.

Yes, some books are huge, like Stephen King’s tome, The Stand. But most of us are not Stephen King. What’s more, if you’re a new writer, most readers aren’t going to stick with your book much past 300 pages. That’s right, reader engagement often drops after that length. So tighten that shit up, folks. Hack, slash, and edit until your book manuscript is as close to the magic page or word count as you can get it.

Chances are, you can tell your story in fewer pages. Big-ass books by inexperienced authors usually mean there’s a lot of editing needed. Unless your book is outstanding or special in some way, readers won’t finish your tome. I don’t care how much you think it’s the next Great American Novel.

Writing a manuscript that’s over 500 pages—much less 900 pages—will get your masterpiece put back on the shelf or unpublished in the first place (if you go the traditional publishing route, that is).

You can do one of two things:

1. Rein in your ego, write tighter, and increase your chances of selling lots of books.

2. Ignore my advice, struggle to engage readers, and fail miserably at selling copies of your bloated tome.

Are there exceptions? Of course! There are exceptions to everything, you silly wabbit.

For instance, if you’re writing a literary novel, your word count will be markedly different than that of a picture book or YA novel. Use common sense. Do your research and hit the so-called sweet spot on your word/page count.

It’s up to you to decide whether you want to gamble on being the exception to the rule. You feelin’ lucky, punk or punkette?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

[Blog Post from The Writer's Dominatrix] Are you a give-a-shit writer?

Originally published at The Writer's Dominatrix

Look, I get that writing a book manuscript isn’t easy. I know it takes countless hours of your life and it can drain your brain like nothing else. If writing were an easy feat, every person would do it. But that’s no excuse for sloppy manuscript submissions. At the minimum, you should have punctuation in your manuscript, as well as paragraphs. Who the hell thinks having NO PARAGRAPHS in a manuscript is a good idea?!*

(*Interrobangs are so much fun to use, aren’t they?)

Please, respect your editor and publisher. Don’t send them a manuscript that’s laden with errors and half-assed efforts like missing quotation marks (really?). Does a person who never uses quotation marks realize that dialogue requires such marks, or were they too damned lazy to bother with it in the first place? I’m betting on the latter.

While you’re at it, why don’t you run a cursory spell check so it appears you made an attempt to check your work in some small way before you shunted it off to your editor or publisher? Yeah, that would be nice. Oh, wait. Is that too much to ask? For many so-called writers, it is. Learning the craft of writing is SO last century, isn’t it? I mean, who has the TIME? *insert hair flip*

You can always tell the difference between writers who sling together a manuscript in hopes of selling a bunch of books to make a wad of cash versus a writer who takes the craft of writing seriously. The latter will obsess over every. little. detaileven after the manuscript is out of his or her hands. In fact, once the book is published, the caring writer will still regret not making even more changes before the book found its way onto the bookshelves. This type of writer gives a shit.

And the slapdash writer? This is the kind I want to strangle (not really, but the angry emotion is there). Well, that writer doesn’t give a damn about much of anything. They’ll serve up a pile of prosaic poop and expect their editor to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Who needs to know anything about spelling and grammar, right? The editor should fix all of it, so why does the writer need to know the difference between their/there/they’re? Who has time for figuring out and learning homophones, right? This type of writer gives no shits…at all. They’re the type who will fling crap at a wall and then expect others to turn it into a Picasso. If you’re this type of writer, you’re an asshole. Yep, I said it because it’s true.

The funny thing is, once writers who don’t give a shit have their books published, they’re shocked to learn they’re not outselling J.K. Rowling. Take it from me: these writers almost always go out of their way to tell you how they are the next big thing in the literary world and how all their books will be bestsellers.

Conversely, the writer who gives a shit hardly, if ever, allows those words pass his or her lips. It all leads back to thinking of writing as a craft and something you do for your entire life, as opposed to something you do on a lark to see if you can rake in money so you can brag about it to your Aunt Martha at Christmas time.

Writers who care will write no matter what. Most of the time, they want to earn a living with their words so they can keep writing as a career instead of being stuck in a hellish cubicle doing something they absolutely hate. They cannot NOT write. It’s not possible. Writing is not just what they do, but is an essential part of who they ARE.

People who masquerade as writers only give a shit about writing when they can get something superficial out of it. You won’t find these types at literary meet-ups or discussing the wonders of Shakespeare or Murakami. They won’t know who Jack Kerouac is, nor will they know the difference between David Sedaris and David Copperfield (he’s an author, right?). Because, heck, they probably don’t read much. Reading is for boring people, you see. They may even brag that they haven’t read a book since high school or college. They aren’t concerned with the importance of literature OR the art and craft of writing. They’re concerned with the potential for fame and quick cash to use for their next casino trip to Las Vegas.

It pains me to say it, but the people I’ve described in the previous paragraph are still considered writers. If you write, you’re a writer. But not all writers are the same. This type of writer never earns my respect, nor will they ever. They use writing like it’s little more than a White Chapel whore for their personal pleasure. They use it, wring out what pleasure or benefit they can, and then toss it to the side with nary a backward glance. They don’t truly care about books, writing, literature, authors, readers, or anything of the sort. It’s all about what’s in it for them — that’s it. They’re users, not givers.

Do me a favor, will ya? Strive to become the type of writer who gives a shit, not the kind who doesn’t. If you don’t have the proper respect for books and writing, find another hobby. We need more givers and fewer takers. Which one are you?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A woman speaking her truth as she sees fit

"Gosh, Bev, you sound so angry at times."
(What's your point?)

"Don't you think you can say stuff without using the word 'fuck'?"
(Yes, I say a lot of stuff without using the word. What's your point?)

"You could be a little less blunt."
(I could be, but in certain cases I choose not to.)

"Shouldn't you speak in a more ladylike manner?"
(I'm a lady, and this is the manner in which I speak.)

...and countless others.

Wouldn't it sound weird if I said those same things to a man? Yes, it would. Plus, he'd look at you like, "Who the hell do you think YOU are?" But when you're a woman, some people want to put you into a box that makes them more comfortable.

I'm not here to make you comfortable. I'm here to make you think, make you laugh, make your faint, expectation-laden pulse wake up and react or, perhaps, dance to a new beat. I'm not here to behave in order to make YOU feel comfortable. What you see and read is what you get.

Nobody tells me how to express myself. If you can't handle it or don't like it, that's your issue, not mine. This is me, and you are you. I've always been outspoken. I'm all woman and I say "fuck" when I want to say it. I don't need anybody's permission.

Proud of all my roots!

Proud of ALL my roots, from the HUGE Northern European percentage (Scottish/Welsh/Irish, French, German, Norwegian), to the bits of Russian, Swiss, and Italian strands of DNA woven in there as well. You can't get much more European in ancestry than I am, basically.

Still, I honor the Tuckahoe Cherokee ancestry contributed from my Great Grandmother, Lucy Anetta Ray. I recognize and honor ALL of my ancestors and am proud of those connections.

Had it not been for DNA testing, I would've never known about all the parts that make up who I am. When you're adopted, there's a big hole in your past. At least that's how I felt. It was important to fill in the blanks as much as I could. Not only for me, but also for my children. They needed to know the info about their history, too.

Gotta love science and technology! Think of all the wonderful things -- and knowledge -- it's brought to us! I have connected with cousins I never knew I had. Thank you, science and technology, for all the wonderful and amazing things you bring to life! 

...and a whole lotta others!

Friday, October 16, 2015

[Author recommendation] Rebecca Forster

This is my longtime friend and colleague, Rebecca Forster. She has been an author for a LONG time (decades!) and she is amazing!

Please stop by her author page and give her some love, if you would. Then grab some of her books on Amazon. You won't be disappointed! She's been one of my mentors since the early 90s! Such a wonderful human being, too. Love her!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Need an editor or proofreader? Hire me!

I’ve been a professional writer and editor for nearly two decades. If you have a book manuscript that needs polishing, I can assist you. You’ll get a professional copy edit or proofread at a reasonable price. Plus, I tell great jokes if you catch me on the right day. ;-) I may also share virtual coffee, tea, and chocolate, depending on your preferences.

But seriously, if you’ve written something for publication and you need a professional edit or proofread without a lot of hassle and without busting your budget, I’m your best choice.

Not sure if you need copy editing or proofreading? Here’s a link that will help you make that determination:

Once you’re clear on what you need, here’s what I charge for the services I provide:

Copy editing – $2 per double-spaced page (must adhere to standard ms. format)

Proofreading – $1.50 per double-spaced page (must adhere to standard ms. format)

Coaching sessions for writers (Skype or telephone) – $20 per half-hour session

Professional writing courses – $20 per week and up. Go here for more info:

* I DO NOT provide developmental editing services.

* I DO NOT provide ghostwriting services.

* I am NOT a literary agent.

Anything else I might agree to do for you – $25 per hour
(Hint: paying a flat fee is easier on your wallet).

Before you contact me, please note:

* I’m an editor and proofreader, not a ghostwriter. I will NOT rewrite or write your manuscript.

* I’m not your therapist. I will edit or proofread your manuscript.

* If I don’t know you well or you’re not a close friend, please do not friend me on Facebook.

* I do not work for free or for a promised share of royalties.

* A deposit of half my editing or proofreading fee is expected upfront.

* You are paying for my time as well as my knowledge and expertise.

* I work during the week, but not on weekends.

* Rush jobs are not welcome. I don’t do rush jobs. I often work with more than one client at a time and I won’t cut corners for existing clients to satisfy rush jobs.

* I’m a nice, patient person under most circumstances. Do not take advantage of my jocular nature ;-)

If you have other questions, drop me a line.

If you think we’ll make a good fit, proceed to the info below.

Ready to get started? E-mail me at nocturnaleditor (at) I’ll need no fewer than five pages of your work to determine if I will agree to edit or proofread it. Unfortunately for some people, but fortunately for me, I have minimum standards for manuscripts I will edit or proofread. To get a clue what those standards might be, see this post:

I look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Szeretlek means...

Szeretlek means "I love you" in Hungarian ;-)

Paul is German, Hungarian, and...not sure what else until we do his DNA ancestry test (it may be a while, for obvious reasons). Anyway, when we got married, our talented seamstress, Mari, used Hungarian lace in my dress. 

It's also fortunate that I've always loved paprika, since it's used a lot in Hungarian food. Speaking of which, I LOVE Chicken Paprikash and methinks it's past time to make it again.

But I digress...

I want to take Paul to Europe so he can visit the places where his ancestors came from, including Germany and Hungary. I've found records online showing his great grandparents, Janos (John) Krupla and Zsofia(Sophie) Nagy, were in Bremen, Germany, and they immigrated to the US, arriving in New York City.

Paul has very little info on his birth father, but we know his name was Bill Sykes and he was from the Cleveland, OH area. I am hoping a DNA ancestry test will help him fill in some of the gaps like it did for me.

Paul's birth name was supposed to be Eric Sykes, by the way. Far as I can tell, it's possible that Sykes can be traced to Yorkshire, England. But as I said, we can't pin more down in a definitive way until we get his DNA test done -- hopefully in the near future.

So, in another world and at another time, I would be Star Ferris and Paul would be Eric Sykes. Those were our intended birth names (my birth mother still calls me Star, not Bev). How weird would it be to know us not as Paul & Bev Sninchak, but Eric & Star Sykes? Wouldn't that be strange?!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Are you ready for NaNoWriMo?

Join me for NaNoWriMo 2015!

Find me under the nickname 'elementalmuse' over at and add me as a writing buddy. I'll be delighted to add you back. Let's write together the entire month of November 2015.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Want straight-up info about working from home? Visit my You Should Work at Home blog!

Wanna know the good, bad, and ugly about working at home doing contract and freelance gigs? I've been doing it since May 1997 -- nearly 20 years. Go here for the skinny on WAH jobs, with a side of straight-up advice and commentary:

Abraxas Writing & Editing Services: Notice to Writers & Authors

Posting this on several pages and blogs to ensure I get the point across

Effective immediately, Abraxas Writing & Editing Services will no longer accept manuscripts for editing that do not meet basic standards of manuscript formatting and readability. If your manuscript includes the following, we will not edit your work:

* Lack of paragraphs throughout the manuscript
* Lack of quotation marks throughout the manuscript
* Commas used instead of periods to end sentences
* Hard returns throughout the document
* Hidden characters throughout the document (if you aren't sure what that means, use Google for further information)
* No capital letters at the beginning of every sentence
* Incomplete words as shorthand. Example: 'e one' used for 'everyone' throughout the manuscript
* Run-on sentences that turn the entire document into one or two long sentences
* Nonstandard fonts and font sizes (if you are unsure what standard fonts and font sizes are for manuscript submissions, it's time to do your homework)
* Backward quotation marks throughout the document

There may be other egregious errors involved that are not listed here, but you get the point. Any proper document or manuscript must have a minimum of readability and formatting. If your work ignores such basic conventions, then you have corrections to make before you have any business submitting your work to anyone in the publishing industry.

Once you take the time to get your manuscript into proper form, you may then resubmit your manuscript to us for editing or proofreading. If you prefer, you may choose to keep your manuscript as-is or in barely readable form and find someone else who will take the time to muddle through and render it somewhat readable.

We will no longer ask our team of professional editors and proofreaders to wade through thousands of words and hundreds of pages of narrative and dialogue that is barely decipherable or understandable. To submit work in such a manner shows a lack of care and respect for any editor, agent, or publisher.

An essential part of writing professionally is learning the basics of submitting a manuscript for review and revision. If authors cannot or will not take the time to make these changes, we cannot and will not spend our time and energy correcting and improving their unreadable work.

Bev Sninchak
Abraxas Writing & Editing Services

Friday, October 2, 2015

Oh hey, it's another mass shooting in the United States. What a SURPRISE! (insert sarcasm)

Once again, I woke up to news of a mass shooting. One of 45 -- yes, FORTY-FIVE! -- mass shootings this year in the United States of America. Don't tell me nothing can be done, because you are full of it. I have no more patience for the NRA and its shills or supporters. And no, I will not debate this with you. THIS IS MY STANCE, period.

I'm tired of the blood, brains, and guts of innocents being spilled in this country because we don't have the backbone to DO anything worthwhile to solve this problem, or at least mitigate it.

Freedom to own your guns? I'm not trying to take away all of your precious guns. By the same token, I want the FREEDOM to LIVE and not be murdered by a gun-toting killer, either. I want my life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, too. Your right ends where mine begins.

To hell with your prayers after the fact, lawmakers. Grow some brass balls and do something about this bloodfest. It's getting worse, not better. At this point, people's lives are nothing more than (as my husband said) collateral damage so we can all suck the NRA's dick and profits can keep flowing. It's not really about the 2nd amendment. Not really. It's about much, much more. Follow the money, folks. Remove the blur from your eyes and WAKE up.

And no, I don't want to hear about heavier restrictions on medication or anything else. You are quick to want to ban or restrict ANY other substance or object unless it's a damned gun. If there were 45 incidents of shoe bombs in a year, we wouldn't be wearing shoes on planes anymore. We'd be wearing paper footies and probably be half-naked, too.

Oh, hey! Maybe it needs to be YOUR family member or loved one whose brains, guts, and blood are splattered all over the place as the result of a mass shooting. Would that wake you the hell up?!

Or maybe the next time it happens, we should send YOU to pick up the bits of skull and brain matter spilled on the ground. How would you like that? You can scoop up the carnage, cup it in your hands, and walk it over to the victims' grieving parents and other loved ones. Be sure to flash your NRA membership card at them while you're at it, too. Just don't get any bloody smudges on it.

You get no gloves as you clean up, either. You get to use your bare hands as you touch the sticky, metallic-smelling blood and watch as the brain matter clings to your fingers. Then you can chant, over and over, about how there's nothing that can be done and that guns should have NO restrictions whatsoever.

Be sure to wear your NRA patch or ball cap that day, too. Sling your assault weapon over your shoulder while you are hands deep in pools of blood. That way we can know whose side you're on and who is responsible for the lack of sensible gun legislation in this country. Because you are part of the problem, and you know it. You probably don't care, either. It's not your sister or brother or cousin with a bullet hole in their brain, right? It's not your family's blood, so who cares, right? It's a small price to pay for your wants and needs, isn't it? So to hell with the rest of us.

Once you hand over what's left of their son or daughter, be sure to let them know that you're SO SORRY, but you appreciate that their family member paid the ultimate sacrifice with their life so you, and everyone else, could own your arsenal of guns. I'm sure they'll understand and hug you for that.

How could the victims' families not respect your 2nd amendment right, since you're obviously a militia of your own making? You're a patriot, so they better recognize! Shee-ot! Your blood runs red, white, and blue. Of course, the red is likely the blood of innocents, so that makes you even more special now, doesn't it?

Now, after you're finished scooping up what's left of what was once a living, breathing person who had a life and did nothing except show up at their school for the day (or a movie theater at night), you can kneel down and pray for their soul, because that will make it all better. It was god's will, right*? God works in mysterious ways, and we shouldn't question why his will was to have all these bloody massacres. But hey, baby, it's all about the blood sacrifice, isn't it? Unless you're pagan or some other religion that doesn't include old, conservative white men. Then it's outrageous and should be BANNED!

(*I gotta tell you -- if that is god's will, I don't want a part of it. Because that's a cruel and sick type of will to have. If he is an all-knowing god and he was aware this would happen, then he's a psychopathic deity if there ever was one. It's the truth, and you know it.)

"Gee, I'm sorry your college-age son or daughter died today. That's too bad. But you must understand, it's all in the name of GUNS FOR EVERYBODY IN THE UNITED STATES OF 'MURICA!"

I'm disgusted and so done with all of it.

Know this: if you're offended by this post, I don't care. I'm offended by mass shootings and innocent people dying because of selfishness, ignorance, stupidity, and callousness. I'm tired of people offering prayers and thoughts to the victims' families while shrugging and parroting the notion that their hands are tied when it comes to gun control.

Again, I won't debate you about this. So comment at your own risk, because I will likely delete it and possibly delete and block you as well. This is MY stance and my blog. It's my virtual house, so to speak, and you can say NOTHING that will change my mind on this issue. NOTHING.

This time, I am not holding back. I'm saying exactly how I feel about the matter. You can do the same ON YOUR OWN BLOG OR JOURNAL because your pro-gun comments are NOT welcome here. Don't challenge me on this rule, because you will LOSE.

Now, cuddle up with your guns and cry into the framed, embroidered quote of the 2nd Amendment you bought off of Etsy. I'm sure those two things will comfort any butthurt you might have after reading this post.

Finally, don't worry. Thank goodness it's only those people who have to arrange a funeral for their loved ones over the next few days. At least you're saved from having to bury your weapons or tear up your copy of the Constitution instead.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Life is hard, but you are NOT alone!

Not asleep yet. So many emotions. Third friend/classmate in three years who's taken his own life. Troubled. I'm so troubled. Full of sadness and frustration.

Life is hard. It's so freaking hard! I know this because the past four years have been HELL for us in this family. There are times when I haven't wanted to get out of bed or even wake up the next day and face another day of b.s. and soul-crushing challenges. But nobody ever promised me that life would be easy, and although it's rough terrain, I have no idea what awaits me over the next mountain pass (so to speak) and I'm not giving up on this journey until I see what the next roadside attraction is.

I don't know what YOUR b.s. and soul-crushing challenges are, but every day IS another day...and all cycles end. Nothing stays the same forever. Some cycles are longer than others. Some cycles feel like an eternity (believe me, I'm in the middle of one of them!) I just know that, although it doesn't seem like it right now, you CAN make it and you CAN get past these things you're dealing with.

Please, please listen to me: I can't do much, but if you are having a hard time and you need to talk to someone -- if you're to the point of NO RETURN -- please get in touch with me or at least talk to someone...please reach out...please don't cross that line of no return. Okay? Please do this for me, friend? Here is a number you should write down and put where you have it at all times. Memorize it or do whatever...just USE it, if need be:

1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish

Life can be dark, painful, disturbing, and any number of other things. But think of life as a book full of chapters, full of pages, full of plot twists. You are the author. You are writing this book. You can't control everything, but you can control your part and how you react or act upon things.

Look, I can be blunt at times and come off as an a-hole at other times, but deep inside, I'm really not. You matter. You freaking matter, okay? Believe it. Know it. We have more laughs to share here...and if I haven't offended you yet, then you HAVE to stick around, 'cause I'm trying! *smile* Plus I have more dirty jokes to post and crazy stuff to share.

In all seriousness, you're gonna be okay. You got this. Promise. And if you need to lean on others to find your strength again, then take my hand...and someone else's...and someone else's beyond that. It's okay if you feel fragile, weak, worn out. You're human. We all are. And until you can find the strength to support yourself and stand strong again, there are those of us out there who will help you stand.

Reach hand is waiting.

Friday, September 18, 2015

[Infographic] Global Literacy is Everyone's Concern

Literacy Day

Infographic courtesy of Grammarly.

Meet the Sninchaks!

Meet the Sninchaks is a blog that covers the daily (and sometimes odd) life and thoughts of Bev & Paul Sninchak, word nerd wife and tech geek husband. 

We like books, art, B-horror movies, most types of music (NO country!), World of Warcraft, pets, and binge-watching Netflix. 

As you may have guessed, we're also introverts. You'll probably never see us at a loud party or a raucous event, unless it's a heavy metal show. You never know what you'll find on our blog, but stick around and you'll find out.

A Conversation with Penn Jillette 09/01 by TheThinkingAtheist | Education Podcasts

A Conversation with Penn Jillette 09/01 by TheThinkingAtheist | Education Podcasts

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Elemental Muse rides -- or broadcasts -- again (but with a slight twist)! 09/14 by Bev Sninchak | Writing Podcasts

My podcast "The Elemental Muse rides--or broadcasts--again (but with a slight twist)!" just aired 09/14/2015 at BlogTalkRadio.

To listen to the archived show & see details for future shows, click the link below or visit my show page at

The Elemental Muse rides -- or broadcasts -- again (but with a slight twist)! 09/14 by Bev Sninchak | Writing Podcasts

Monday, September 14, 2015

Do good for good's sake, whenever possible

Never understood why I end up talking to strangers about their problems under the weirdest circumstances. A depressed and nearly suicidal college guy was playing in WoW and was obviously in need of help.

Everyone ignored him and he said, "Well, I guess I should quit college and hang myself." Yes, he could've been joking...but a longtime friend and classmate of mine, Harold Hitt, committed suicide in August 2012 and it's haunted me ever since. I should've picked up the phone and called to see how he was doing. I should've done something...even if it didn't stop him in the long run and he killed himself anyway.

Another friend, Terry, committed suicide a couple years ago. I only knew him through Livejournal, but I'd been online friends with him for years.

Both of those events still haunt me. So when I watched this situation unfold in World of Warcraft, I couldn't just be silent and ignore him. So I talked to him for about a half-hour. Found out he was drunk and depressed, feeling like his real-life friends had abandoned him and were ignoring him.

Anyway, those are the basics -- but I talked to him, then another person joined in the conversation as well. The end result was that the depressed college fellow said he was feeling better, and that what we told him made sense, and that he was going to log off and seek out his friends and do something that made him feel better.

I'm not sure what will or won't happen. I can only be sure that I tried to help in some way -- as did the other person. Before he left, he told both of us that we seemed 'legit' and like decent people, and he thanked us.

I hope he has a better day tomorrow, and all days after that. I never want to hear about a person I know (or become acquainted with) committing suicide or being ignored when they're depressed.

I suffer from major depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Without my family and friends, I may not have been here to this day. But I am. And as long as I'm here, if I can do a good deed that helps someone else -- even if they don't know me -- that's what matters.

Do good for good's sake, whenever possible. It may save someone's life.

Another person died yesterday because of a selfish jerk

A main intersection up the street from us at Circle and Uintah was the scene of a tragic accident yesterday. A drunk driver ran a red light, hit a car w/ two people, and the passenger in that car died. The driver sustained injuries, but will survive.

I keep thinking about that accident because we use that intersection all the time. It could've been any of us or one of our friends/neighbors! Alcohol and speed are to blame. Makes me sick. unsure emoticon Two people probably running an errand or doing something mundane and some dickhead had to get all liquored up and injure/kill innocent people.

I hear people gripe about marijuana all the time, but I guarantee you'll find more tragedy connected with drunk driving than MJ. It's NOT weed that's the TRUE scourge. When it comes to destroying lives and killing innocent people, alcohol is unparalleled in its taste for destruction.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Recruiting for The Nazzgul (Horde guild on World of Warcraft)

I'm not only a writer, I'm also an avid gamer. Sharing the following post on this blog in case anybody might be interested in joining:

Although I rarely play my Horde characters on World of Warcraft, I guess that's gonna change as of NOW.

Signed on earlier tonight to play my character Adrasteia (she's a retribution paladin). Discovered I was still in a guild, but the guild master left four years ago and the guild was inactive. So I'm now Guild Master of The Nazzgul on the realm of Elune.

Paul & I are looking to recruit more guild members, too! This is a casual, friendly guild for players who just want to get on and play without all the b.s. gaming politics and stupidity.

We are NOT a hardcore raiding guild and we don't have scheduled events going on every night (I've got a life to lead + writing, work, and editing to do.)

If you or someone you know is looking for a laid-back guild on World of Warcraft, you can find us on Elune. Again, the guild name is The Nazzgul. I'm the Guild Master and Paul's character, Radu, is Asst. Guild Master.

Message me here or in-game (or drop me an e-mail at scribequill -at- and let me know if you want to join. I also just finished adding The Nazzgul to the WoW guild list so people can find us there as well.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Nothing is paranormal, because SCIENCE.

After conducting over 100 investigations with our paranormal team, Colorado Springs Paranormal Association (C.S.P.A.), I've come to realize that some people dislike when Paul and I tell them that, in our opinion, X or Y isn't paranormal, and the claims they're making can be explained by mundane means.

They want the Hollywood creepy stuff; they want the 'woo-woo.' They want it so much that they manufacture it, even subconsciously. Most of us have done that. I sure have -- countless times!

As I've said before in other posts, I do not believe anything is truly paranormal or supernatural. To me, it's all natural and can be explained by science -- if not now, then eventually. 

All the amazing events that happen in our universe -- and beyond -- are still awe-inspiring, thrilling, and magickal, even without the 'woo-woo' attached to it.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Question re: different writing style

Received this question in my e-mail, via LinkedIn.
Here's the question and my answer:

Dear Bev,

Hope all is well.
I noticed on your profile that you have been a journalist for some time now. I am curious to know how you got into it? Your writing style is quite different to other journalists I have come across.

Look forward to hearing from you.

My Best,

Shan White, owner
Women's Peak Performance Coaching
"Create The Life You See, When You Close Your Eyes and Dream"
(719) 388-8758


Hi, Shan!
Good to hear from you.

I transferred into journalism class in 9th grade, as suggested by my teacher, Mr. Martinez, because he thought I was too advanced for regular English class. From there, I worked on the middle school and high school newspapers, eventually becoming editor-in-chief of The Gladitorial by senior year.

At the age of 17, I was a fledgling reporter for the Colorado Springs Sun. It was my first paid position as a writer, earning me $20 per published article. My editor was Mary Mashburn. Unfortunately, that newspaper is defunct. I still have clips, though!

After graduating high school in the top 10% of my class, I was awarded five scholarships to Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, where I joined the Haymaker newspaper staff for a while. While there, I majored in Mass Communication & Psychology.

In 1985, I took time off from college for marriage and children. Eventually, I went back to college and attended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. I majored in Applied Communication & Philosophy, with an emphasis on East-West religions. I also completed an independent study of death & dying in pagan societies.

Over the years, I continued to freelance and published several e-zines, including Scribe & Quill, which I edited and published for 15 years. I also published other e-zines, including Inscriptions, Scribes of the Goddess, and Pen & Pentacle.

In 1991, I had my first paid magazine article published in Housewife-Writers' Forum. I continued to freelance part-time until I was able to leave my municipal government job in 1997 to become a full-time freelance writer. Since then, I've had hundreds of pieces published, both short and long, in print magazines as well as online publications.

So, yes, I've been a professional scribe for 18 years now, but I wrote my first story in the 6th grade. My teacher told me I wrote well and that I should become a writer. I took her advice :-) As of now, I've written more non-fiction/journalistic pieces than anything else, by far.

Long explanation, but this is what my career has been like over the years. It's how I got from there to where I am now. An unconventional route, for sure!

While it's true my writing style isn't like many others, I wouldn't have it any other way. Not sure if I could change it now! *grin*

Thanks for asking this question! It was fun to give it some thought and answer it.

How are you doing?

Have a great weekend!

Bev :-)

Friday, August 28, 2015

[Writing Contest] Dark of Night short story contest

)0( Triple Crow Publishing )0( presents the Dark of Night short story contest

Entries open through midnight EDT, September 30, 2015.

This will be the first in a series of themed writing contests sponsored by
)0( Triple Crow Publishing )0(.

All writers, published and unpublished, are welcome to enter.

TCP’s favorite time of year is almost here! Halloween/Samhain is approaching, when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest. Naturally, it’s the perfect time to tell creepy tales designed to send shivers down our spines.

Are you up to the task? Enter today and find out!

Participation fee: $3

What we’re looking for in the winning entry:

Weave a bone-chilling tale we’ll remember. Make your tale short, original, and scary. Get inside our heads and terrify us as best you can!

We prefer intense, maddening psychological scares to senseless blood spatter and gore. If your story includes violence, it must have a purpose beyond shocking your readers.

Slither into our minds and terrify us enough to cause sleepless nights and life-altering nightmares – all within a 2,000-word limit. If you do all of these things, and do them well, you could emerge a winner.


1st place - $35 Amazon gift card & publication in TCP’s new quarterly publication, From the Crow’s Nest

In addition, the winning entry will be featured in TCP’s first annual short story anthology, due for release the first quarter of 2016.

2nd place - $25 Amazon gift card & publication in TCP’s new quarterly publication, From the Crow’s Nest

3rd place - $15 Amazon gift card & publication in TCP’s new quarterly publication, From the Crow’s Nest

Submit your entry by September 30th to with CONTEST ENTRY in the subject line. Please paste your short story directly into the body of your email. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ATTACHMENTS.

Send your $3 participation fee via PayPal ( to

(You DO NOT have to have PayPal to complete this step.)

When you send your participation fee, please add your name and your story’s title in the payment notes section. If you are paying the fee for someone else, provide the entrant’s name and story title so we will know which entry matches your fee.

Note: Your short story entry is NOT valid until we have received both your story AND your fee. Stories not accompanied with paid entry fees will be disqualified and unread.


* Entries must be double-spaced and in Arial or Times New Roman 12-point font

* Entries must include your full, legal name. If you have a pen name, indicate your preferred author name. Also include your mailing address and your preferred email address.

* Entries may be previously published; however, you must have permission to resell/reprint your story. TCP only asks for one-time rights to publish your story.

* No entries over 2,000 words

* Plagiarism will not be tolerated. You must submit your OWN original work

* Judges’ decisions are final

* TCP is not responsible for late, lost, or misdirected email entries

* Entry fees are non-refundable

Please note: failure to follow contest rules may disqualify your entry.

By participating in this contest, you affirm you have read these rules and agree to abide by them.

This short story contest is not associated with or endorsed by Google+, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform.

Have additional questions? Email with CONTEST QUESTION in the subject line.

Best of luck!

Official Nocturnal Baker FB community

Come join The Nocturnal Baker Community on Facebook

Since my three favorite things to do at night are writing, crocheting, and baking, I thought it was time for me to make a page strictly for my nocturnal baking pursuits. I'll post recipes, pics, and information on here for others who enjoy baking -- especially at night!

Have a recipe you'd like me to try one of these nights? Post a link or info on my Nocturnal Baker page and share it with me.

If I decide to try your recipe, I'll post a photo of the finished product there. PLUS, you'll also win a FREE eBook on baking, cooking, or food from me as a thank you.

Bon appetit!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

[Ancestry] Great-grandparents -- maternal side

[Ancestry] My great-grandparents

My great-grandparents (maternal side), Wilson Washington Dilley & Lucy (Ray) Dilley

Photo provided by Norma Gray Ellis

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

[Genealogy] Connecting with another cousin

Just made contact with a 3rd or 4th cousin on my birth mother's side, thanks to 23andme. His 7th great-grandfather was Ellis Hughes, who came from Wales. He is also related to the Rays, as I am.

My great-grandmother, Lucy Anetta Ray, is related to William S. Ray. My great-grandmother was Tuckahoe Cherokee, according to Norma Ellis, the family historian/genealogist.

Need to pull out the info my brother, Jan, sent to me years ago as a birthday gift (it was the most important birthday gift anyone's ever given me--I'm so appreciative of him doing that!). Can't remember off the top of my head and haven't memorized nine generations of info on that side of the family, lol. But I'll check into it over the next few days when I get more time.

Edward (the cousin I connected with) has done some technical writing, but said it didn't come easy to him. He doesn't know anyone else in the family who writes. However, my birth mother, Fay, used to write song lyrics and performed/sang when she was younger.

Malcolm Gladwell (bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Outliers, and other books) is a DNA relative along my birth father's (paternal) line. So there's at least one writer/author from that side of the family tree.

I believe a propensity for writing, painting, music, and other types of creativity/artistry may have a genetic component. I'd like to see if that holds true for either side of my family tree. My son works as a technical writer and has a BFA in Dramatic Writing. My daughter is also a natural scribe, though hardly anyone knows that, save for me, Paul, & Jon.

[Lipedema] Comparison between normal fat vs. lipedema fat

I know this is hard to look at, folks, but this is how Lipedema affects women like me who have it. Many women who have this aren't even aware of it. We MUST make people more familiar with rare, genetic disease so women get the diagnosis & treatment they deserve!

Connective tissue & cell walls are up to several hundred times thicker in people who have Lipedema. Again, there is NO cure at this time, so you can only manage it as best you can.

Hopefully, there will be a cure in the near future. I do not want to have this disease progress to the stage where I might lose mobility or have my legs amputated!

To find out more info about Lipedema (known as Lipoedema in the UK) and my personal journey with this disease, please visit my blog Lippy Legs & All at

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

[Quote] Nina Simone

"You've got to learn to leave the table when love is no longer being served." 
~Nina Simone

This pertains to *anybody* in your life, not just significant others or spouses. I'm fortunate to have Paul, who is always there to love & care for me during good times & bad.

Not everyone has a support network. I'm grateful that I do! Thanks to all who love me -- friends & family alike!

Monday, August 24, 2015

[Dream] United States Tsunami

Dreamed of a HUGE tsunami ravaging an American city last night. I was in a high-rise building, watching it approach. It was terrifying in its beauty.

A monstrous wave rose up and covered everything in its path. Watching it, all I could think about was the power of Mother Nature and the feelings of awe and fear competing with one another for top billing.

So many buildings and people wiped out in a flash. I survived, but the aftermath was nothing but destruction, chaos, and confusion for those who managed to escape it.

What an intense dream!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Stop by and 'like' my author page. Have your own page or group? I'll return the favor!

Below is the link to my author page on FB. I often post things on there that you won't see here. Posts are usually about writing, editing, reading, creativity, and positivity.

If you haven't liked my page yet, please do. Much gratitude for your support ;-)

Have a page or group of your own? Post your link in the comment section below and I will return the favor.

This week's issue of Nocturnal Musings

The newest issue of Nocturnal Musings is out.

Featured articles include:
* Scientists produce new type of glass
* Why your color perception changes with the seasons
* Lab-grown diamonds -- what you should know
...and more

Monday, August 10, 2015

Straight outta Covington, VA.

Though I consider Colorado my home, I was born in Covington, VA. 
Here's a pic of me and my dad. He died October 30, 1971. Miss him daily.
Love you, Dad!

[Testimonial] Five-star review on Elance/Upwork -- hire me! ;-)

Five-star review for a job I completed on Elance/Upwork:

Feedback Comments:

“Beverly delivered a beautifully written text with exactly the content and tone that I had asked for. I had not given her a word count to hit, and she delivered more text than I was expecting, yet none of what she had written was repetitive or generic in the slightest; all of it was substantial and interesting. She fully engaged with the job, and I couldn't be happier with her work.”
— Client

Need writing, copy editing, or proofreading? Hire me!

Visit my profile on Elance/Upwork.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

FREE through August 7th -- Sun Signs for Writers


SUN SIGNS FOR WRITERS (originally released in print by Writer's Digest Books) is also available in eBook format at Amazon.

Download from Amazon here:

Download from Amazon UK here:

SUN SIGNS FOR WRITERS blends the subjects of writing and astrology in an unusual way that intrigues, motivates, and inspires readers not only to know themselves better in an astrological way, but as creative persons as well.

Writers learn the general characteristics they possess based on the inclinations of their zodiacal sun sign. This information touches on areas of their sun sign that may make them stronger writers as well as cautioning them about sun sign traits that may hinder their progress. End-of-chapter writing exercises will urge each writer-sign type to stretch personal boundaries, break writer’s block, and hone their innate talents/abilities.

Finally, writers will discover a new tool for developing characters based on each sun sign's physical/mental/emotional makeup.

There are many techniques for mastering characterization found in countless books on writing, but this book provides a unique and creative way of building characters using the zodiac to develop the perfect character to suit your story needs.

SUN SIGNS FOR WRITERS will help you connect with your inner writer in ways you've never imagined before!




++ Midwest Book Review calls SUN SIGNS FOR WRITERS "A unique, revealing guide."

++ C. Hope Clark, author and editor of Funds for Writers, says: "Bev Walton-Porter has created a genuinely fun book in Sun Signs for Writers. I read it in one sitting, a rarity in my busy and hectic world."

++ Author Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D.: "Sun Signs for Writers is one of the most helpful books you'll ever find. Buy it, read it, and set it on your shelf beside The Elements of Style, The Transitive Vampire, and the Chicago Manual of Style."

++ Ginnie Bivona, Director of Atriad Press: "...this is more than just another astrology book; I intend to suggest this book to every aspiring writer I come in contact with, it's got more useful suggestions, and concise information about how to make it in this industry than I have read anywhere else in a very long time. It's inspiring and informative, and personally I think it belongs on the shelf of every writer. It's that good."

++ Jenna Glatzer, author of The Street-Smart Writer and Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer"What an entertaining gift for a writer who's interested in astrology. It's a quick read filled with practical tips about writing and submitting, and ideas bound to spark your creativity. In addition to using the book to analyze yourself, you can use it as a quirky way to shape your characters."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

[Musings] Maybe...

Ever get tired of life's bullshit and constraints? All the rules, social expectations, marching to other people's drums? 

I do. 

Maybe I just want to spend a month doing nothing but being silly, laughing, sightseeing, having no schedule, daring to say and do things others might not approve of. 

Maybe I want to be selfish. 

Maybe I want to set off on a journey with no idea of where it'll lead me. 

Maybe I want to stand naked on a beach under a full moon and feel tears of joy stream down my face. 

Maybe I want to fill a tub with lime green gelatin and play around in it. 

Maybe I want to live without rules, boundaries, or expectations before I die. 

Maybe that's what I want.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter -- my contribution to the Twitter trend

‪#‎TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter‬ is trending on Twitter. All of the tweets from thousands of writers sound familiar to me.

When I first started working from home as a writer, people would send their kids over for me to babysit without asking. That pissed me off.

First of all, I have two grown kids, but I'm not the type of person to ask to babysit. Second, when my kids were small, I would've never dreamed of dropping off my kids at another person's house without asking permission first. But that's just me wink emoticon

My contribution to the Twitter trend:

"Since you're not doing anything and you're home all day, can you watch my kids / go out to lunch / run an errand for me / do some research for me since I don't have time / make some phone calls for me, et al?"

Um...NO. I won't do any of those things.
Where did you get the idea that MY time is less valuable than yours and that, since I work from home, I must not have enough of my own projects to keep busy? Yes, I primarily work overnight (by choice), but that doesn't mean that I need you to fill my time during the day.

Questions such as those above are disrespectful and make assumptions about writers and what they do for a living. It's not a hobby. It's been my CAREER since 1997!

Monday, July 27, 2015

What are your favorite tunes for writing & editing?

Added more to my Writing & Editing playlist. If you have any song recommendations for me, let me know. To get an idea of the kind of tunes I prefer for this specific list, go check it out. If you're on Spotify, follow me and I'll return the favor.

Writing & Editing Music

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fictitious Tits ~ from imagination to reality

Note: Someone on my friends' list said I should make a Fictitious Tits T-shirt, so I did!

Only $17.99 for the regular T-shirt, and $18.99 for the long-sleeved T-shirt.

Orders filled by Teespring & delivered to your door!

Ladies, show us your (fictitious) tits!
Men, support our (fictitious) tits!

The back of the shirt reads: "The creative feminine voice you've always wanted, but never knew you needed!"

Women kick ass. Tweak everyone's interest (get it?) and celebrate sisterhood (or support it) by wearing this unique shirt. Countless women around the world create music, art, writing, fiber arts, and everything in between. Fictitious Tits is a nod to all creative women.

What is Fictitious Tits? It's the name I came up with for a female-centric word and music platform, à la Kathleen Hanna's groups Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and The Julie Ruin. Kathleen is not only a musician, but she's also a feminist and a writer.

Fictitious Tits needed to exist outside my imagination. Hell, why not? FT will be a combination of spoken word recordings (since I'm a writer) and electronic music with a decidedly female edge. Once I have several cuts, I'll add them to online outlets like iTunes or Spotify.

Your support will help me reach my goals to make Fictitious Tits a reality to publish/perform both spoken word *and* female-driven music.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

[My Lipedema Journey] Visible proof of the benefits of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and wearing compression garments


So, this is a big reveal moment for me. I've been hesitant to do so until now, for obvious reasons. I'm posting a photo of how my legs looked BEFORE I began therapy for Lipedema last year, in addition to a pic I took today of how my lower legs look after I've worn compression garments. Both of my lower legs are affected, with the right leg *always* worse than the left for some reason.

Things to remember:
* This is a rare, genetic disease; it is not curable at this time. You can only manage it with therapy and compression garments to keep it from becoming worse.
* This is NOT the same as regular edema.
* This has nothing to do with weight; you can be a size 0 and still have Lipedema. Your legs will look like this, although your body will remain smaller above the waist.
* You cannot get rid of Lipedema by dieting, exercising, or taking medicine (because there is NO cure at this time).
* It's also characterized by bruising and pain/pressure in the affected limb.
* Lipedema was discovered 75 years ago, in 1940.
* 1 in 10 women have Lipedema. Most don't know they have it.
* I'm at Stage 2. The stages go from Stage 1 to Stage 4 -- the latter is where you don't want to be!
* In severe cases, patients lose mobility or may need to have their limbs amputated.

Before beginning therapy for Lipdema in fall of last year.

Today's pic of one of my legs. If I don't put my compression garments on, my legs will begin to fill with lymph fluid and will once again resemble the 1st pic.

I was referred to Penrose Hospital Rehab last year. My physical therapist, Lil, has 20+ years of experience treating those who suffer from Lipedema and Lymphedema. I have been wearing compression garments (from the knee down on both legs) and have gone through Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) therapy. It's made a difference (see photo at right). Now, once I take off my compression stockings, my legs will begin to fill with lymph fluid again and will look more like the pic on the left. 

On a good day when I wake up, my lower legs look about half this size. Some days they look almost normal, save for the band of separation between the calves and my ankles/feet (you can see this band, or shelf, in particular in the right-hand pic). That's one symptom of Lipedema that separates it from Lymphedema, as well as a negative Stemmer's sign.

Since 2011, I've lost 73 pounds using the Weight Watchers points system. I did it to gain energy and feel better -- my husband loves me regardless of how much I may or may not weigh. I did it for me so that I could accomplish more. Even after losing so much weight, my Lipedema is unchanged. It's just as bad as it was before -- that's because DIET AND EXERCISE will not cure this genetic condition. This is not obesity, this affects skinny women, too. It's suspected that it may be an inflammatory disease connected to a hormone disorder, but medical researchers aren't completely sure of what truly causes Lipedema.

If you are unlucky enough to have Lipedema (and secondary Lymphedema, as I have), you're stuck with it, and that totally sucks. It messes with my head and my self-esteem. I will never wear dresses or shorts again. The embarrassment and humiliation I feel is often overwhelming.

But this is the hand I've been dealt, and I'll use it to raise awareness and educate people about this relatively unknown condition. I'm still Bev, I'm still the same me I've ever been, and this is yet another challenge I'll face. Judge me by who I am inside, not by how my Lipedematous legs may look. I'll be okay; it's the women who have Lipedema who don't know they have it or know what it is that concerns me most.

Some women can have Lymph-Sparing Water Assisted Liposuction (WAL) in Europe and parts of the US. The procedure removes the diseased tissue from the legs. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will not cover WAL because they classify it as cosmetic surgery, rather than surgery that will help a person become immobile or possibly face amputation as the disease worsens. As we all know, if insurance companies can avoid paying for surgeries, they will.