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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

Saturday, December 29, 2012


          According to the calendar, the days will now start growing longer but I can’t help but shake my fist at winter.  It's COLD.  And dark.  

          Did I mention cold?

          While I don’t believe there are any bad seasons, summer's unbearable heat and sticky humidity at least comes with the trade off of more sunlight.  I like to take long walks whatever the weather, but the cold months make you rise with sun, reluctant to leave the comfort of a warm bed, only to leave you captive inside during the few hours the sky offers up its vitamin D.

          It’s the time of year in which you compress, pull in and purge. 
          You discard the accumulations from the previous year, sift through what doesn’t serve, and let it go so that you may start afresh in the New Year.
          My writing time is likewise evaluated.  It’s cut back, condensed and more rigorously scheduled.  The content of what I’m drafting is no different, but as with all art its environment has an influence.  It reminds of those points in a novel where you can see where the author is moving at a steady clip, cruising along.  The tone and pace and feeling all flowing, then you start the next paragraph.  It seems drier, a little stiff.  Not as dynamic as two sentences ago.

          I suspect that is the break—the pause when the author had to stop and come back later to pick up where they left off.

          Like times of the year, writing involves spans of high productivity as well as periods where the writer must stoke the fire to keep it going, we must take extra pains to “warm up” in order to get it all done.
          Yesterday I bundled up, utilizing my limited day time, and headed out to do my normal walking circuit near my home. 

          Beautiful in all her seasons, nature presented the scents that come with hibernation, displayed shades of brown thick with muted reserve.  The air crisp, I felt it bite at my thighs through my jeans, pushing against me as I moved, proving how hard it is to achieve a level output in winter. I paused here and there to re-tie a sneaker worked loose by my layers of clothing, adjust a glove, shield my reddened cheeks with my scarf.  Everything took more energy, more effort. 

          Arriving home, the heated foyer that greeted me felt like a sauna, my skin tingling everywhere.  Unwrapping took extra time, a production leading to extra laundry at the end of the week, extra money for a gym to cover days when I can't make it outside. 

          Settling down at my computer, I looked at the tail end of the last bit that I’d written.  I strive to leave off in the middle, at a point of action.  It encourages me to jump back in right away because it’s not a vague beginning or some droopy area.  It’s the center, the “keep going” spot.

Looking at it, an odd thought sprung to mind.  I wondered if a reader of my book would someday be able to pick out my stops and starts.  Would they feel the tone in the writing?  Reading the words, would they sense that this part was crafted on a cold December night?
 I won’t know until I’m done, but I am curious.
          This writing gig teaches me new things every day.  

Sticking a foot out from underneath a swath of covers each chilly morning, there are days I would love to stay in bed where it’s cozy; wish that routine tasks didn't require twice as much power to get done. 

But I will say this, the tingle that comes with doing the work is worth it.  At times it will feel like you’re moving at a snail's pace or stuck at a standstill, but don’t become discouraged.   Generate heat, keep moving and stop only when you need to.

Even when the day feels over, put in the time.
          Face the cold with hot, and the stop with go.

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