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.