About Me

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A writer by predilection, an aunt by blessing and a friend by choice, Shelley has spent many years journaling before sitting down to draft her first novel. She has a B.A. in English discourse and is currently working on her third romantic-suspense, the title of which will be announced soon pending publication. Shelley is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as her RWA state chapter of the Maryland Romance Writers.
"I love story-telling. It's a way to live an experience through the eyes of a character." - Shelley N. Greene

Monday, April 27, 2015


The writing life is tough sometimes. It requires imagination, solitude, and determination. 

I described the feeling to a friend just the other day:

You sit down at the computer for long stretches of time, working the language, getting the voices and images to align – it’s exhausting in a good way. You feel spent in a good way, that’s when you know the work was done right. When you get all the energy out.

It’s the same with taking pictures. It takes lots of time and set up, but the final product is worth it.

At my last Maryland Romance Writers meeting, the guest speakers shared “A Day in the Life,” talking about their schedules and how they get the writing in; each of them different. One was a morning drafter, another hitting their stride after lunch, and the patterns got me thinking.

What makes a person choose this hobby/profession?

As a story-teller and a natural observer of people, I love to ask others their stories: How did you meet your spouse? How did learn your line of work?

My all-time favorite question is “Where did you learn your hobby?

          I get such interesting responses to that one, each person’s experience a journey.

          When people dabble with forms of art they discover their passion, and in such specialized fields.

          Years ago I had a work colleague who played the guitar. He practiced all the time, even when his wrist began to bother him with signs of carpel tunnel. When the pain got too bad he began to give strings lessons, he loved the music so much.

It reminds me of the moral:  If you can’t do – TEACH.  

          Continue to give your faculty back to the world.

Lucky for my colleague his wrist healed with enough rest and he did play again, but after he’d passed his wisdom on to a new generation of guitarists.

          Happenings like that make it seem as if the Universe has a plan. That our challenges are just temporary detours, a way for us to contribute

          I see it all around me. Last year my in-law became deeply involved in a new hobby. While on YouTube one day he saw a tutorial on how to craft men’s paracord bracelets. The geometric patterns in the knots fascinated him, and now he’s not only created a catalog of intricate styles, but he also builds the wooden jigs needed to make them. It’s amazing how every part of the process utilizes his eye for color, pattern, and ingenuity. Some of his bracelets take hours to create, but he pours his energy and thought into each and every piece.

          It’s a fitting skill. A conglomeration of his talents.

It’s fascinating, the ways in which artisans specialize their craft. It’s as if they start with a beloved interest and whittle the aptitude down a funnel of personal preferences until they end with a special skill.

A niche.

          And from Broadway to Esty.com, I just gape at all the creativity. I mean, where does someone learn how to turn words from a favorite book into a necklace? How did a lighting tech come to learn their craft? The voice narrators in audiobooks, what made them want to work in a sound booth versus out in the center of the stage?

          Some people have a flair for drama but don’t like crowds, and the alchemy of those habits turns into something extraordinary.

          I’ve said it before, never write off your weirdness, it could be your gift.         

          Another example came just the other week when I’d attended a yarn party with friends. My girl posse is skilled at knitting and crochet, so they planned the night out as a way to get together. I’d tried crochet a few times when I was in my teens, and could pick it back up if I applied myself, but as writing is my shtick I was just there for company and social support. The yarn store had a work room and I walked around the front area, admiring the finished samples of gloves and hats that you could make if you took the store offered classes. One intricate, gray cowl tempted me to try my hand at knitting even though it involved a complicated looking back stitch technique. 

       Our group talked while everyone but me worked, the subject turning to a private company in Canada who hand-dyes yarn. A popular commodity for organic knitters, hand-dyed wool yarn is expensive and time-consuming to produce, the scanes selling for upwards of $58.00. The yarn makers were local and gave tours illustrating the process.

            My friend’s mom had visited their site, urging me to check it out someday.    
           “It’s beautiful how it works, they have these huge vats of vegetable based dyes, and they hang the wool yarn out to dry. They had the most beautiful red color I’d ever seen.” 

And even though I don’t knit or crochet, I'd like to see that – the lines of multi-hued, hand-dyed wool strings drying in the breeze. I want to ask the couple how they learned that amazing skill. What an adventure that would be.

It’s exciting to hear the story – the path someone followed to their passion.

It encourages me to try new things. No matter your age, you can learn something new.

          A writer and picture-taker by predilection, there’s no reason I can’t explore, and stand in awe of someone else’s art. Who knows, maybe my next heroine will dye yarn for a living. That’d be awesome.

         The possibilities are endless when you’ve found your niche.

-         SNG 


  1. Great post! It's always to one's benefit to try new things...you never know what you'll end up enjoying. A friend of mine ended up taking welding classes at a community college to find a hobby, and she loved it!

  2. Hey Sarah! Wow, welding. I can just imagine the equipment involved. That's amazing. :)