Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spunky Author Wayne Hatford Channels Rudolph Valentino, Debunks Myths about Seniors!

What Wayne Hatford Has To Say about Rudolph Valentino and Seniors:
From one of the greatest lovers the world has ever known, a few observations about love:

Though others this have said, ‘tis indeed true, love is the glue whose purpose, among other things, is to fill in what we might perceive of as empty space, creating a coherent whole ~ be it micro or macro. Love binds us to each other as well as to the dimensions we inhabit. In essence, it’s our reason for being ~ THE reason why everything IS. So all-encompassing are its perspectives that for all practical purposes love is unfathomable.  Having neither sides nor bottom, it cannot be plumbed.” ~ Rudolph Valentino

Yes, Rudy was/is an icon of love, a ‘silent’ screen star that left this world at a relatively young age. So what is he doing talking about Seniors? Of course, you have to first suspend your disbelief that this kind of communication is even possible! But it is, and I am not the first person to channel Rudolph Valentino nor will I be the last. He’s always had a lot to say, and a little matter like death is not going to change that fact!
The Senior experience, which is currently part and parcel of my own personal reality, is the genesis for our second collaboration, Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood. What is it about? How best to navigate our ‘Golden Years,’ safely, smartly, and creatively. GFE is a practical self-help/personal growth tool for Seniors, a blueprint for active living ~ how to embrace where you’re at in your life, find hidden gems, turn up the voltage! Most of us will have the opportunity to be a Senior, for greater or lesser periods of time. Why not have a good handle on it before you arrive at that age bracket, and/or fully embrace and enjoy it if you are already there?
One of the most noteworthy aspects of this book, I think, is its thoughtful examination of phenomena that are often associated with Seniors, such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s. They are scourges, to be sure, provoking concerns that are constantly being fueled by the media. But what if there is a bigger picture view of why these conditions occur? Offered in the spirit of love, here is an excerpt from Going for Excelsior that addresses Alzheimer’s, examining its import and genesis. Rudolph Valentino, speaking through me:
 Sometimes oldsters have to use every trick in the book to solve their karmic riddles. Alzheimer’s provides its clients with a rest from daily drudgery, so that they can begin the diffusing process, the decrease in specificity that some souls need to experience prior to transition. It is a phenomenon that appears to lessen one’s mental acumen yet it does not. Alzheimer’s is a fooler, a rabbit-warren wherein the patient hides from the vagaries of the tangible world. Never fear, a lot of work is going on while anyone is in this state, sort of analogous to being alive while at the same time appearing somewhat deadened. To the onlooker, it is a very curious condition, heart-breaking too, especially if you are one of their loved ones and they yours. Again, never fear; they can still feel love and even project it, though usually in rather off-handed ways.
 What are they doing? Exploring their inner realms, in other words, day-dreaming, which does not correspond to what most people agree on as reality. So, they listen to their own drummers (that perhaps is the most apt metaphor) and dance to their own tune. Have compassion for them but don’t dismay. Alzheimer’s per se is not a bad thing. It’s one of many devices the soul uses to further its own work. There is awareness among Alzheimer’s patients, though for the most part we, as observers, cannot discern it. They are aware but they are aware of different things than the rest of us, we who think in an unfettered way and can breathe freely, without any sort of restriction or supervision. They, too, advance. Alzheimer’s is not a step backwards nor is it karmic punishment. Karma is involved only in the sense that for Alzheimer’s patients it may be more complex, so much so that they need to focus on their innards to an even greater degree than most other people and again, that is what they are doing, shining a light on the inside, conducting research, making connections, self-circuiting. I would also say arcing and sparking, plugging in, being constantly engaged in their own worlds. They are re-wiring themselves prior to being re-born. Death for them is even more of a re-birth than it is for those who know not of this supposed malady.
People often get angry when they perceive someone dropping out. Alzheimer’s patients chose to drop out, true, but they did it in good stead and for many a valid reason. Again, have compassion and send them a loving thought. In a way, they are caught in the in- between, a living death ~ not bad, just what is. The bounty we can harvest from our inner gardens never ceases to amaze. Think of an Alzheimer’s ward as just another stage or film set where drama ensues. That is all it is.”
Going for excelsior blog Tour Information:

About the Author:
Wayne Hatford, B.A. in French and Spanish, M.A. in International Administration, is a teacher, writer, editor and author dedicated to bridging the gap between the physical and non-physical worlds. To that end, he channeled a friend, Janice Horn ~ Letters from Janice: Correspondence with the Astral Plane and, more recently, the spirit essence of Rudolph Valentino ~ Valentino Speaks: The Wisdom of Rudolph Valentino and Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood, all of which are available via Each of these works explores the “Other Side” while offering insight and practical suggestions on how best to make the most of this one.
A life-long student of metaphysics and transformation, Wayne has both taught in public school and been a personal property appraiser. Wayne Hatford now resides in Santa Rosa, California where he and the Valentino essence continue their collaboration.
His latest book is Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood.


About Wayne Hatford's Going for Excelsior:
What if you were as savvy as you could possibly be in matters of aging and, therefore, really soar, breeze through the final chapters of your life with flying colors? The ’senior’ experience, through only the most constructive and creative of lenses! Going for Excelsior” offers practical suggestions for successfully negotiating Seniorhood, a blueprint for active living ~ how to embrace where you’re at in your life, find hidden gems, turn up the voltage. Thriving in Seniorhood is about going beyond what’s expected or being directed at you by the host society and this book provides the reader with the tools and understandings to accomplish that goal. Conundrums solved. The sting removed from such phenomena as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Myths about Seniors debunked. These are only a few of the benefits that can be derived from reading this book which, hopefully, will serve to stretch your consciousness, something that’s rather elastic to begin with ~ in every stage of life.
‘Seniorhood’ ~ Where people often like to perceive us, once we have attained a certain age. Also, where we can choose to thrive, with clarity of purpose ~ and by design!
“Like all those who currently inhabit a body, you, too, are getting ready for Excelsior. Especially allow the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond of your ages to be magical in this regard, for you to be way-showers, preparing yourselves mentally, physically and spiritually for the next phase. There always is a next phase, by the way, and we are always getting ready for it. You are part of a grand design as am I. There is no other option!” ~ Rudolph Valentino
Purchase Link:  AMAZON
Book Excerpt:

Now, let’s return to the more common definition of Excelsior, the loose packing material that is most associated with the shipping of fine art or antiques. It can come from many sources and, as a result, may have lots of different ‘looks.’ Metaphysically-speaking, however, Excelsior is a container for the soul and, being somewhat porous, allows for entry and exit, not only of the soul itself, but also of vibrations, both ours and those of other people. It might be easier to think of Excelsior as skin, that living, breathing, largest organ of the body whose properties model those of the Veil. Yes, once again our skin is a version of the Veil, that curtain of energy that separates the dimensions and whose function also is, under certain circumstances, to allow energy to pass through it. Our skin shields us from danger, yet it also allows us to shine our Light. Have you ever heard someone say that so and so’s skin was translucent? All of our skins are translucent. We shine, projecting the inner spark that is soul to the outer world while, at the same time, receiving Light from others, those we encounter in our daily lives. This is how we determine who to interact with, by what our impressions are of their Light. If, for example, we feel inundated or limited by their presence, it’s a sign that we ought to move on. So it’s about the quality of Light of each soul, which is the determining factor. This does not mean, however, that some souls have inferior Light. Rather, it simply signals that their frequencies are very different from ours and, as a consequence, are experienced as jarring. The converse could also be true ~ that we, too, might upset the applecart because our vibrations are not all that harmonious with theirs.

The following is perhaps a heady idea but, I think, very apropos. In lots of new age books, individual souls have often been referred to as Light workers. Indeed, that is exactly what we are, always putting on a show for our fellow travelers, those who happen to be in the body at the same moment as we. The skin, or Excelsior, monitors this so-called Light show, mostly on auto-pilot, but sometimes with the greatest of attention on our parts. What is it that throws the switch or adjusts the rheostat? A combination of factors, including, but not limited to, our own free will, emotional state of being and current degree of alignment. If we’re in sync with ourselves and our environment ~ in the flow, of course we glow. The soul is electric, like a dynamo or atom, independently functioning forever, and one of its modalities is to shed Light. That’s right, a soul cannot die, what we all know inside. It’s only the body that is capable of carrying out that task.

If you will, take a moment to focus on the porous nature of the skin. Not only does the soul make one definitive entrance and exit per physical body, but also countless others that are far more casual, such as each time we fall asleep or wake up. Yes, our soul or consciousness goes off to play in the Astral, in the so-called dream world when we sleep while remaining tethered to the physical body. It’s only when we die that the connection is broken and the soul can no longer re-enter the body. Some of you are more aware of the phenomenon of constantly leaving the body to dream than others. In the state we call half-sleep, people often sense their consciousness either floating close to the body or re-entering it with a thud when they suddenly awake. The skin, or Excelsior, breathes too, though in a more subtle way, in and out, mimicking the work of the lungs. Interesting that it’s the lungs, heart and skin that are the last bastions of movement before the body becomes inert, what we label as dead. At the very instant the first two stop working, the skin is poised to exhale the soul, ready to perform its final function.

Think of the skin that covers our bodies as millions of tiny mirrors, fractals with dampers that can be opened and closed at will. Yes, that is what we do when we emit Light, reflect it through the pores of our skin, and they are also the pathway for the Light of others to reach us. We are like solar panels then, forever in the process of reflecting and absorbing. What an exquisite landscape we wear! Who knew that packing material had such beauty, form, and function?

Going for Excelsior Tour Page:

Please leave a comment to welcome Wayne Vincent Hatford to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Spunky B.A. (Barbara) Binns Meets Health Challenges Head-On Through Attitude and Writing

B. A. (Barbara) Binns writes to attract and inspire young male readers with stories of “real boys growing into real men…and the people who love them.” This Chicago native graduated from Hyde Park High School and went on to receive advanced degrees from both Roosevelt and DePaul Universities, and then honed her writing skills at Chicago State University and Harper College. Ms. Binns finds writing a major exercise in self-discipline, and the perfect follow-up to her life as an adoptive parent and cancer survivor. She is a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America), the Chicago Writers Association, SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE) and YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association).
Website –

According to the Urban dictionary, (my favorite online resource) a spunky person is “somebody who has attitude, who has a presence,” and is “a cool and awesome person with lots of pizazz.”
Go figure.  
I only developed attitude and presence and pizazz after becoming a senior. No, I’m too cool and awesome to reveal my age. But I will give you a few of the accomplishments I made during those early, non-spunky years.
  • Master’s degrees in both Biochemistry from Michigan State University, and Computer Science from DePaul University in Chicago.
  • Raised a daughter unlucky enough to have both Bipolar disorder and Lymphedema in her left leg which left it permanently swollen.  (Look them up, neither is pretty and you have them for life) That combination produced a load of gray hairs on my head.
  • Retired early.
Retirement was supposed to give me extra time to relax.  Shortly after having being hospitalized with a heart problem,  I went hiking in Utah at Zion and Bryce canyons. A few years ago I had uterine cancer. Within two months after having my insides removed, I went cruising around Florida and the Caribbean and had to fight off alligators. (So what if the gater was small, they still have sharp teeth!) I do spend a lot of time at my local senior center, mostly volunteering to help out at the computer room – they actually think I know something (I’ve got them fooled).  I spend a lot of time sitting, but there is very little relaxation involved. Instead, I decided to exercise my creativity and became. First I became an author – I had my first book published in 2010; and then I decided to become a publisher. (Is there no end to my insanity? No, wait, that’s supposed to be spunkitude.)

Planes trains and Automobiles

 I used to be a homebody. Now I have to do a lot of traveling. In 2012 I spoke at the Illinois Reading Council in Springfield, IL, the Ohio Educational Media Library Association conference in Sandusky, OH, and the Indiana Library Federation in Indianapolis, IN.  I also made an appearance at the YALSA Literature Symposium in St. Louis, MO. This year I have been invited to speak at the Virginia Hamilton conference on diversity in literature at Kent, Ohio; at the NOLA Stars writers conference in Shreveport, LA, at the Romance Slam Jam conference in Milwaukee, WI, at the American Library Association summer conference in Chicago, Illinois, and the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents in Boston, Ma.  Talk about Planes, Trains, and Automobiles! But I get to speak about subjects near and dear to my heart: reaching out to reluctant readers and at-risk youth, and advocating for more diversity in literature.  One symptom of my spunkiness was becoming an outspoken advocate for causes I believe in. And I believe in youth and the future.

A new addition

All the traveling is complicated by the new addition to my home. I acquired a dog a month ago.
Note I say acquired. I did not buy her, nor was she a Christmas present. My adult niece got her from a shelter some months ago as a present for her daughter. Turns out the dog was a little too high-spirited for the girl. So my niece gifted the animal to her aunt, my sister. Who quickly decided taking care of a dog was more trouble than it was worth. She was on the verge of returning the dog to the shelter when I showed up for Christmas.
I took the dog home on a trial basis. It was supposed to be a one-week trial, but I knew as soon as I got her home she was mine.  Don’t get me wrong, she still has some adapting to do. She barks too much, pulls on the leash when we go for walks, and is a picky eater. But she likes to put her head in my lap, and licks at my face and begs me to scratch her ears before lying on the rug at my feet. I guess I’m keeping her.

Becoming my own boss

I am also keeping the company I started, AllTheColorsOfLove press, ( an ultra-small publisher with only one employee, me. I published two books in 2012 and—if I am exceptionally hard-working—will manage two more in 2013 in spite of everything else going on in my life.  The first book of 2013 came out Feb 1. Being God is my second “boy book;” yes, I’m spunky enough to think like a kid and write in the voice of a seventeen-year-old male. Being God is not about religion, but is all about a troubled boy struggling to find a future and re-connect with his family while dealing with his own drinking problem. And there is a little of me in the boy’s parents.
Okay, maybe more than a little.

Using my own life

My teen protagonist’s father and I are both ACOA (adult child of alcoholics). I too had to figure out how real parents react, because I never had a real role-model. I used that figure-things-out-as-you-go-along background to create Dwayne Kaplan, a successful businessman but problematic father who has trouble expressing his feelings for his child.  In his own words:
“Insanity of the mind doesn’t begin to cover the way I was. Am, still, really. I always believed that somehow I made my father drink because I wasn’t a better son. I grew up making excuses for him and doing his work because God forbid the poor man suffer the consequences of his actions. You’d think with my history, I’d have seen what was happening inside my house to my own son.” He sighs heavily. “For a long time I wasn’t sure I knew how to be a real son. Maybe that’s why I never learned how to be a real father.”
I heard someone say once that memoir writing was like cutting open a vein. Being God isn’t a memoir, but the blade I used while writing Being God was exceptionally well-honed. It hurt to write that story, but I’m glad I didn’t short-change the difficulties of the situation. And I listed many of the resources that helped me and my family in the book, hoping readers in need will reach out for help the way my protagonist had to learn to do.

About Being God

Seventeen-year-old Malik Kaplan is the bully of Chicago’s Farrington High School. Malik has a cross to bear, or maybe it’s a Star of David; being the black teenaged son of a Catholic mother and Jewish father frequently makes life confusing. His grandfather, uncle, and older brother all ruled as the BAMFs at Farrington. Only his father is a “forgotten Kaplan,” and seems disinterested in his only surviving son.
Malik is determined to be the worst of the worst and not repeat his father’s mistakes; even if that costs him the people he cares about. At least he can drink. Alcohol keeps him going; alcohol is destroying his life. But he doesn’t see any problem, not even after he finds himself in court, shouldering the blame for someone else’s crime. Suddenly he’s faced with court-ordered community service shepherding an angry ten-year-old who hates the world, an “offer he can’t refuse” from the boy’s gang leader brother, and an opponent he can’t crush: Barney, a fourteen-year-old girl who watched her alcoholic father abuse and murder her mother. She wants nothing to do with any bad boy, especially not one who thinks drinking is the way to forget his sins.
Malik and Barney are forced to work together to help the kid and themselves escape the pull of the gang, and to rediscover the real meaning of family and friendship.
Buy Links
PULL::   Paperback: 

BEING GOD: Paperback: 
Please Welcome B.A. (Barbara) Binns to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents by Leaving a Comment.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Meet Spunky Senior Author, Skydiver and Urban Chicken Rancher, Michael Murphy

Four days after my 60th birthday, my employer of 17 years, laid me off. Unfortunately, my experience is hardly unique. Still, I struggled to make sense of it and like others in my situation, I went through a grieving process, shock, denial, anger, depression. A friend told me losing one’s employment unexpectedly is the second most stressful event a person can experience, next to losing a spouse.

Goodbye Emily by Michael Murphy
Eventually I used this experience in my writing. I wrote Goodbye Emily about a baby boomer college professor whose career ends unexpectedly, after he’s lost the love of his life, Emily.

In fiction, baby boomers are often portrayed in a less than flattering manner, caricatures of the “get off my lawn” grumpy old man. I was determined to portray boomers the way I see us, funny, sexually active and optimistic about the future.  The story deals with serious issues, but does so with humor and a glimpse of the fun side of life.

Writing is an important part of my life. I’ve been thrilled with the response to my boomer novel. Author Alisha Paige calls the book, “…a road trip full of adventure, love, laughter, fun, superstar appearances and heart-felt healing. Goodbye Emily will leave you cheering, laughing and crying until the very end.”

Find Michael Murphy's Book on 


Grandson, Brian, with Grandpa, Michael Murphy
However, like most boomers I know, there are so many other interests that keep me busy starting with my nine grandchildren. When I run out of things to do, there’s always the love of my life, my wife of 40 years, my “Emily.”

I credit her for so much in my life, talking me into joining her for skydiving, and getting me involved with urban chicken ranching in our backyard.
Michael Murphy with his Lap Chicken

 I’ve lived most of my life in Arizona. I love to write and encourage others to do so. I host novel writing workshops at libraries and bookstores throughout the state. But enough about me.

If you’re a boomer, you may not be a writer, but there are plenty of fulfilling activities that await the next portion of your life. Enjoy.

Please leave a comment to welcome Michael Murphy to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents.