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!

 

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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

The Nocturnal Editor

I have renamed the Abraxas Writing & Editing Services Facebook page to The Nocturnal Editor. If you haven’t dropped by and ‘liked’ my page, please do! If you need writing or editing services, PM me or e-mail nocturnaleditor@gmail.com.
~Bev
The Nocturnal Editor

The meaning of life (for me) is…

I wrote this back in December 2005 (except for a few words I added just now), and it still holds true for me. The meaning of life could be something entirely different for you, but for me, I think it is this:

Do the best you can with your circumstances, try to love others, and care for them as best you can (even when they’re being assholes) and choose to live as authentically as you can in the process. Nobody gets an instruction manual and no one gets a guarantee when you’re born into this life. How you play the game is up to the individual and many factors/variables go into the playing of the game. You must straddle doing what’s best for you versus what’s fair and right for others. It’s not easy and you won’t always make the right decision. When you screw up, apologize if it’s warranted. And sometimes—just sometimes—you have to love people even when they don’t deserve your love. And sometimes you might have to forgive them even when you’d rather stick your foot up their ass.

Life can be hard, cruel, and unexpected. It can also be joyful, surprising, and amazing. You can’t control life; you can only control your actions/reactions in the framework of this short period of time we call a lifetime. Our charge is to be present and aware—a tall order indeed. And a mission I’ve yet to master since I tend to live in the future ALL the time and, more often than not, skip over the present. The truth is, we only have NOW. Make the best of it.

Happy 85th birthday, Jeannie (Barbara Eden)!

Happy 85th birthday to Barbara Eden. She portrayed Jeannie on “I Dream of Jeannie,” which was one of my top two favorite shows when I was a young girl.

I wanted to BE either Jeannie OR Samantha from “Bewitched” (my other favorite show). I even had a bottle that looked like Jeannie’s bottle and I’d pretend I was a genie OR a witch. I also wanted a guy who was crazy about me like Major Nelson was about Jeannie, too.

The funny thing is that I became a real-life witch when I was 18 and have been ever since. Gee, I sure wish I could twitch my nose to make things happen or just — POOF! — transport inside my personal bottle when I wanted to. Oh yeah…I did end up with a man who is as crazy about me as Major Nelson was about Jeannie, so there’s that, too. ❤

When I think of the word ‘classy,’ Barbara Eden and Elizabeth Montgomery embodied that word for me. Along with Donna Reed, I might add (I also loved her, too).

Here’s to great stars and fun memories growing up. Enjoy your day, Barbara. You’re fabulous!

Totally psyched? Yes!

++Totally Psyched++ is a Facebook page devoted to all things psychology. This community was created by and is maintained by me, Bev R. Sninchak.

Instead of unleashing a deluge of psychology-related info, articles, and posts on my personal FB page while I’m pursuing further education in psychology (particularly forensic psychology), I figured this would be a better solution.

Since I can’t always read articles when I come across them, especially when I’m in the middle of work, this will act as a repository so I can come back later and pull up what I wasn’t able to read at the time I located the info.

In addition, I know a lot of you are as fascinated by psychology and other social sciences as I am. So why not delve into the subject matter together and discuss it?

Please join me (and 60 others, so far) at Totally Psyched. I hope you find interesting information there, if only for your personal edification. Post any content there that you run across, too. Just make sure it’s relevant to the overall topic(s).

Hope to see you over there,

Bev