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

Sunday, October 4, 2015


          I watch the social media feeds of my friends and colleagues, and it’s evident that humans like tradition. We get excited when pumpkin flavored lattes and seasonal beers re-release in the fall. We plan events to commemorate the milestones in our lives (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.).

          When I was young I’d get crazy excited when the 1st October rolled around. More than the countdown to Halloween, the first week marked the arrival of my birthday, and back then, I wanted the party to last all month long.

As I got older that enthusiasm waned for practical reasons. While in school the initial exams of the semester always seem to land on the Monday following my day, where studying took precedence over festivity. Paydays would fall on off weeks, where self-presents had to be budgeted. Years passed since the last time I’d bothered to throw a party.

This year I decided that would change. I would host a small get-together, and I would dress up for it.

Similar to the Rollerblades, the creative visualization started early. For months prior, I’d dreamt of certain elements: a new perfume, ring, and an outfit to wear. Nothing had materialized yet, but I knew it would with the mental “purchase order” I’d give it. And true to form, the Universe delivered.

It’s a challenge for me to let go. By nature I’m a clingy person in extreme.

An article I read by Dr. Amy Johnson helps me understand the impulse well:

“We try to control things because of what we think will happen if we don’t… Control is also a result of being attached to a specific outcome—an outcome we’re sure is best for us, as if we always know what’s best.”

And in a quote by the late, great Wayne Dyer:

Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.

In a nutshell, you can’t make anything happen. You should take action, of course, but in the end, things will work out the way they should. It’s essentially, “The Universe wants you to be happy, but your wills and wants don’t run the world.”

“Energy follows thought,” yes. As my Mom says, "You will never have a desire that isn't meant to be fulfilled." But ultimately, “what will be, will be.” There is a bigger plan, and sometimes what you believe is right isn't the best course in the overall scheme of things.

I know it seems frivolous to apply such divine logic to birthday presents, but that is how I’ve seen this power manifest in my life….

I’d been searching for a new perfume. Throughout September I’d visited the mall to peruse the fragrance aisles at the department stores. One day I came across a scent that reminded me a lot of a cologne I’d worn in high school. A grown-up version of its teenage predecessor, it was heavy, musky and sweet like vanilla. I sprayed a tester on the back of my hand to check the body chemistry, but found it too cloying to buy. So I put the task on the back-burner, mentally asking the Universe for advice, while I moved on to other objectives.

I passed a jewelry store with a pale rose, enameled ring in the window. I noted the price and kept shopping.

Movies I’d seen on cable influenced me to the type of dress I wanted to wear—the style made up of v-neck sequins on top and gossamer layers for the skirt. The dresses were different, but sparkly, swishy, and beautiful. All the things I wanted to feel on my day.

Seeing the young, twenty-something leads, I worried about appearing silly. I acknowledge my age fully, but what if I couldn’t pull it off? That glaring, fine-line between looking stylish and looking ridiculous.

But the Universe assuaged me of that fear, too. When I got home, I got a clear road sign—a picture that kept popping up, in my face.

Martina McBride wore sparkly and swishy at 41.
I don't hold a candle to her, but never let a number get in the way.

Time passed, and I let the request percolate. There were added obstacles as Astrological events loomed, (a Venus Retrograde immediately followed by a Mercury Retrograde). Despite the delays and miscommunications, I went all out, ordering a small arrangement of flowers I could display at work.

I told the florist, “As long it has red roses and daisies, the rest is creatively yours.”
My trust was rewarded, they did a beautiful job.

One fateful day I returned to the department store and browsed the clearance racks. Fresh from the post-Homecoming circuit, I found my dream come true. Black beaded on the top, and ballerina pink, gauzy layers on the bottom – the dress was perfect. AND on sale.
It required a few small alterations—I added the ribbons—but it was everything I wanted and more.

I splurged a little when I found the rose ring at a slight discount, and I settled, ordering the perfume online the same day. A surprise came when the package arrived in the mail. Many fragrances have several adaptations: Spicier, sweeter, etc. I’d ordered the confectionary one I’d tested in the store, but the merchant sent a toned-down, different version instead. At first, I was frustrated, thinking that I had to send it back to exchange it, and what a burden that would be. After trying it out for a few days, I found that I liked the subdued variation much better.

When I shared the story on Facebook, one friend astutely commented, “I love happy accidents!”

The words stayed with me. A simple, real principle.

The weather over the weekend was bad with the threat of a coastal storm, but I felt special in the dress, decked out with the “Cinderella shoes” I’d worn last to Prom. At the prompting of my Little Niece, I twirled, spinning around until the top sparkled and the skirt swished.

I received everything I physically wanted for my birthday: New clothes, jewelry, perfume, and dinner with my best friend who is always there for me.

For all the questions in life—the wrong choices, setbacks, and storms, it’s nice to know there are still “happy accidents.”