Women of Webster: Courtney Stackhouse (@ckstackhouse)

Courtney Stackhouse is a sister, an author, an environmentalist, and all around pop culturist who is very much enamored with the latest incarnation of a certain Doctor from the planet Gallifrey. She is the author of the book When Heaven Calls, and the blog Thatswu.wordpress.com.

1. In your own words who is Courtney Stackhouse?
She’s a lot of things. She’s an athletic, introspective, continually learning/morphing and fiercely independent black woman. She’s a writer, adventurer, busy-body and lover of playing outside.  She’s also the author of a fine work (shameless plug) called When Heaven Calls, which you can get for your Kindle or in hard copy on Amazon, and tweets @ckstackhouse.

2. What drives you to be successful?
I think I’m always chasing whatever it means to be successful. Whenever I reach a goal I think, “well, that’s that — what’s next?”  I suppose I could take more time to appreciate attaining the goal, but since usually it’s a long time coming it feels like a foregone conclusion. For instance, I always thought my life goal would be to write a book. Now it’s to finish the book I’m currently working on.  After that, it will probably always be to continually add to my body of work, writing about whatever I enjoy.  Perhaps, my goals could evolve to include one day writing a non-fiction book that might change some lives, or an autobiography, a book about flowering trees, or…

The driver for all my perpetual motion is the fact that I get anxious if I sit still – perhaps a “get busy living or get busy dying” mentality. I’m a thinker who thinks best when doing. I’m a compulsive writer, with stories in my head, if not on paper. Nature and hiking/walking help me to think clearly, organize my next moves or the next scenes in the stories, and the act of walking forward spurs me to move forward with my writing and life as well. In this same vein I am always, always pushing ahead, despite whatever happened in the past. It isn’t to say I don’t learn from the past, I just don’t think a setback should discourage me from attempting something again, using a different tack. There’s a perpetual optimism somewhere in there too, that things will happen, good or bad, and I will be able to learn from them and float on, unsinkable.

3. Finish this sentence “In five years I will be…”
Abroad would be nice, continuing to work within the environmental field, and no doubt writing fiction. Having inflexible timelines and expectations has never proved useful to me, so I can probably only definitively say I will be 36, and most likely working on my third novel.

4. What makes you smile?
Always: Writing and nature.  And puppies.
Most times: My family. I just recently moved back to the east coast so I, happily, get to see my parents, sister and niece fairly regularly now.

5. Do you think chivalry is dead?
It’s not.  My dad grew up in very southern Virginia, and then was a Military man so he got a lot of traditional values, chivalry among them. He’s always been a very polite, stand-up guy.  I almost forgot chivalry existed, living out in California for seven years. People are laid back there by way of decorum, and there’s a subtle fear of offending a woman by opening a door for her or pulling out a chair (as though she couldn’t do these things for herself). Returning to the east coast there’s a bit more traditionalism. Men will walk on the outside of a woman on the street, wear fancy bowties and suits and offer to pay for a meal. I’m still getting used to it, but I appreciate it.

6. If you could do or be anything, what would it be and why?
A writer! Because I can do it anywhere and everything in life is fodder for a future story.  It gives me good perspective.  Even in the midst of terrible experiences I’m thinking “this is going to make an awesome story one day,” or that it will at least color my worldview in a new way.  It makes me thirsty for adventure and self discovery, and occasionally a little reckless.

If not a writer, something that allowed me to travel often, and sometimes to remote areas, like an archeologist or ecologist.

7. What qualities do you expect a Webster Man to have or demonstrate?
Chivalry, since it isn’t dead, courteousness, a personal sense of style, individuality and a little bit of nerdiness as I figure everyone should have one subject they know just too much about.

8. What is one secret about women that you think all men should know?
I don’t know if it’s really a secret, but women feel closer to another person through intellectual and emotional connection, ie, their brains.  Biggest sex organ is the brain.  If you get to know a lady, really try to understand her inner-workings, she’s going to feel so much more attached to you.  If you jump to physical connection too soon, neglecting the brain connection, don’t be surprised if the relationship doesn’t last. Also, every lady is different, so it’s super important to listen to what a woman has to say and not assume what was important to exes/sisters/mothers will be important to all women.



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