Ten albums that influenced me when I was a teenager

Ten albums that had a profound effect on me as a teenager. One album only, per artist.

KISS – Alive II
Queen – News of the World
Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain
DEVO – Freedom of Choice
Kansas – Point of No Return
The Fixx – Reach the Beach
The Police – Synchronicity
Yaz – Upstairs at Eric’s
Pink Floyd – The Wall
David Bowie – Let’s Dance

 

[Proust Questionnaire] Version 2017

From Vanity Fair:

“The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire.”

http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2000/01/proust-questionnaire

Here are my answers to the Proust Questionnaire:

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Living in a cozy cabin at the edge of a lake, far away from most of humanity. Think about the book or movie ‘Secret Window’ and you’ll get the picture.

What is your most marked characteristic? My eclectic, yet sometimes unpredictable, nature

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Continuing to survive despite an array of effed-up events, starting at about age 10. My psychiatrist expressed surprise that I wasn’t a raging alcoholic or drug addict after all the events I’ve lived through (which most people DO NOT know about).

What is your greatest fear? Knowing I’m going to die before it happens. I’d rather go to sleep and not wake up. I don’t want to be on an airplane, for instance, and KNOW it’s gonna crash and I’m gonna die. I’d rather NOT know when I’m getting ready to bite the big one.

What historical figure do you most identify with? Mary Shelley.

Which living person do you most admire? Stephen King.

Who are your heroes in real life? Creative people – writers, artists, musicians, etc. People who continue to pursue their artistic passions past the point of childhood when society and authoritarians urge you to abandon your ‘dreams.’

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Indecisiveness.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Cruelty.

What is your favorite journey? The one where serendipity shows up regularly.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Detachment. I want to be hands-on in life and to feel what it’s like to live in an all-encompassing way.

Which word or phrases do you most overuse? F*ck. The more people dislike the word, the more I use it.

What is your greatest regret? Getting married too early, at age 20.

What is your current state of mind? Curmudgeonly.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? That some members would accept me as I am and not how they want me to be to suit their egos and wishes.

What is your most treasured possession? My mind.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Being prevented from living a life where one can follow his or her passions and earn a livable wage by doing so.

Where would you like to live? The highlands of Scotland.

What is your favorite occupation? Writing, especially when I can spend time working on my OWN books and creative projects.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Sensitivity.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Lack of two-faced cattiness. Things that seem to afflict 90% of the females I’ve ever known.

What are your favorite names? Peter & Alexandra.

What is your motto? Smile and nod at your naysayers, then do whatever the hell you planned to do anyway.

Thirteen things about 2016 (or how I spent my year)

holiday-season

So here we are at the end of 2016 and another new year is beckoning. As usual, I’m not sure where the time has gone. Here are 13 thoughts, ideas, and happenings that affected my life in 2016. What are yours?

  1. The nickname for 2016 should be Grim Reaper. Sure, lots of people die every year, but it seemed this past year hit us in the gut with the losses of people who affected us on a deep level.
  2. Paul and I purchased our first-ever RV in January 2016. You can keep track of our adventures at our Ghouls on the Go website or at our Ghouls on the Go Facebook page.
  3. In February 2016, we began living and working in our RV full-time. We did some traveling, but not out of the state of Colorado. That’s the main goal for 2017.
  4. Our elderly cat, Isis, crossed the Rainbow Bridge near the end of 2016.
  5. Received my acceptance letter from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to resume my studies in 2017 and finish up my degree in Applied Communication.
  6. Spoke with another university and made plans to apply for their MS of Forensic Psychology program after I graduate from UCCS.
  7. Began writing several new books in 2016, one titled Write to Dead, another is Camp Horror, and the other is a Super-Secret Writing Project. I’ll reveal the title and subject matter of SSWP at a later time.
  8. Continued taking online college courses throughout the year via Coursera, FutureLearn, edX, and Khan Academy.
  9. Earned several official certificates of completion from my online college courses this past year, including courses on Psychology of Popularity, The Addicted Brain, and Dog Cognition and Psychology.
  10. Shed more weight for a total of 87 pounds – thus far. I am not dieting; instead, I have changed the way I eat so I concentrate on consuming more fruits and veggies. I still eat desserts, snacks, and basically whatever I want (within reason).
  11. Was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and sciatica in fall of 2016. A painful development, but with physical rehab and the proper medication I should be okay and able to live a relatively normal life for years to come.
  12. Learned that I am more at peace when I’m out in the forest and in nature than I am in the city.
  13. Discovered I have a knack for improvising in the kitchen and coming up with simple, tasty recipes that can easily be prepared and cooked in an RV – even without the use of a stove or an oven! A cookbook for RVers is forthcoming.

Here’s wishing you and yours a fantastic 2017!

 

I started a new fiction novel, Write to Dead, in November for NaNoWriMo, and am nearly finished with Living a Paranormal Life: Experiences with the Other Side. In addition, I began a new manuscript last night.

I’m looking for 15 beta readers – 5 for each book manuscript. I’m only taking 15, so once those spots are taken, I’ll close it off.

For those who don’t know, beta readers are a book’s pre-readers. Beta readers give feedback so the author can make changes before the book is published. Need more info? If you’re chosen as a beta reader I’ll send you info and links so you can better understand what’s expected.

If you decide to be a beta reader for me, you must agree not to discuss or share details (either in writing or verbally) about what you’ve read until the book is published.

Please comment below if you are interested and I will choose 15 of you, randomly, as beta readers. Part of those interested will be assigned Write to Dead, others will be assigned to SSWP (Super-Secret Writing Project), and the final 5 will be selected as readers for Living a Paranormal Life.

I will decide which project I think you’ll fit best with, so just comment with “Beta reader” or e-mail me, but don’t mention which book manuscript you’d prefer. I’ll select those 😉

Thanks in advance!

Imaginary party guests

If I could have a big, blowout party and was able to invite anybody at all (and they’d accept), here is my list of must-have attendees (so far):

Snoop Dogg
Joe Biden
The Obamas
Bernie Sanders
Amy Schumer
Adrianne Curry
Russell Brand
Jay Mewes
Kevin Smith
Trae Crowder (The Liberal Redneck)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
A resurrected Heath Ledger
A resurrected Jim Morrison
A resurrected Carl Sagan
Stephen Hawking
Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Bill Nye
Chelsea Handler
Jon Ronson
Stephen King
Neil Gaiman
Amanda Palmer
Anne Rice
A resurrected Christopher Lee
A resurrected Peter Cushing
A resurrected Vincent Price
Evan Peters
A resurrected Michael Crichton
Christopher Moore
Johnny Depp
John Cusack
Marilyn Manson
A resurrected Phil Burns
Haruki Murakami
Annie Lennox
Gloria Steinem
Ronnie James Dio
A resurrected Einstein
A resurrected Baruch Spinoza
The Dalai Lama

The MC would be Richard Cheese…because why not?

Now…could you IMAGINE the conversations at that party?!
Who else would be a good addition? Comment below.

Find a way

The older I get, the more I feel this way:

I don’t want to hear WHY something can’t be done or WHY an idea won’t work, etc. Find a solution…somehow. If you can’t get through an obstacle, go around it, over it, beneath it, or forge a different path that might take you on a detour but will ultimately lead you to your goals.

Throughout my life, I’ve had people tell me why this, that, or the other won’t work. I was told I wouldn’t make it as a freelancer for more than a year or two, mainly because few freelancers last past that time. I just celebrated 19 years of being a full-time freelancer. It’s not been an easy road, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s FREEDOM for me. I DO NOT miss working in a cubicle, surrounded by office politics and corporate bullshit. Nope…that scene isn’t for me.

Second, I was told SUN SIGNS FOR WRITERS probably wouldn’t sell to a publisher because it was a hybrid book, and one combining subjects that hadn’t been done before. Glad I didn’t listen, because I sold it to the FIRST publisher I pitched it to—Writer’s Digest Books, an imprint of F + W Media, Inc. I got a nice advance (for a first-time author) and snagged the agent I wanted, too.

I could give numerous other examples, but you get the gist of what I’m saying. It may take me a long time — years or even decades — to reach goals that I have set for myself; however, I’m tenacious and determined to soldier on despite naysayers or critics. I simply DO NOT CARE what they think.

So I leave you with this: when you make a decision or set a goal, you’ll usually have a bunch of naysayers or critics who will tell you WHY you shouldn’t do it, HOW it cannot be done, or WHY it would be easier for you to give up and go back to being an obedient lemming. Don’t listen to that bullshit. Smile, nod, and do whatever you wanted to do in the first place (like Robert Downey, Jr. claims he does).

It’s your life. You hold the cards. Play them any way you damn well please! After all, (eventual) success is the best revenge, isn’t it?

A couple things of note

Just a heads-up that Paul and I are both going back to school. This means we will have reading, assignments, and homework on top of our jobs. As a result, our time will become even more limited for social activities. I know that’s a bummer, but we are committed to our current goals and dedicated to achieving them.

If we aren’t available to socialize, either online or offline, this will be why. We are excited to get back into an academic routine and our jobs and studies will take priority over anything else. Thanks for your understanding and encouragement. 😉

In other news, my Smashwords author interview just went live. Pop over and give it a look:
https://www.smashwords.com/interview/beverlywaltonporter