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

Saturday, January 7, 2017


It’s been a long time. Too long. I'm sorry.

It feels surreal typing these words. Life has become busy, and my writing has taken a backseat to other pursuits.

I'm still carving out time to work on my fiction, albeit less often than I’d like sometimes. 

I read a statistic that the average American devotes 28 minutes to reading each day (online, books, news articles), and I'm thankful to anyone who would devote a few minutes of that coveted time to check out my blog.

As 2017 begins, I am taking my writing and creative endeavors in a whole new direction, and it is my hope that you will join me on this new adventure.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that one of my side talents is scrapbooking. A positive use of all of my favorite hobbies, I find the process of arranging photos, short journal entries, embellishments and mementos therapeutic.

I look forward to sharing this interest with you by posting scrapbook techniques, with some projects that you can practice at home with your family.

Throughout 2017 I look forward to sharing paper craft projects that pertain to life and writing, to show the different ways in which you can hone your journaling craft. J

I understand that to the outside observer, Scrapbooking can seem a little cheesy. A glue, glitter hodgepodge of sappy sentimentalism that garners millions in revenue for craft supply corporations.

The sales statistics do ring true, but terse numbers don’t express the human truism:
The creation of art is representative of life.

People use art to express their emotions, observations, knowledge and experiences.

The order or structure given to the expression is just as important as the art itself. In writing, the telling of a story using letters is called epistolary narrative. The outline in which the documents presented almost act as a narrative voice.
It may be writer-bias speaking, but I’ve always been amazed at the power of the written word. Paper is a powerful thing. Centuries ago, (if you’ve ever conducted a genealogy search of your ancestors, you can attest to this), the only way you could find out if a person lived was through physical records.  If you didn’t have a birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, last will and testament, or were never listed on a population census, it was as if you never existed.

Oh, the pride that’s still felt when you see your name in the newspaper, or on the cover of a book ( J ). Even in this age of universal digital correspondence, it’s a testament that the printed word still reigns.

Words, pictures, and captions are influential. More than just media, they tell a story.

When historians want to chronicle the life events of a public figure, they first turn to the personal letters written from that person to those closest to them. Centuries after the Revolutionary War, the thoughts and motivations of George Washington are discerned by the hand-written letters sent between him and his generals.

Gaps in the biography emerge when there are letters missing. Take the famous English romance author, Jane Austen, for example. Although Jane never married, it had been speculated that she’d had more than one big love in her life. This fact can never be confirmed because the personal letters that contained this information, sent to her beloved sister, Cassandra, were burned following the acclaimed author’s passing, (seemingly at Jane’s request).

What is interesting is that these were casual letters. An informal document of everyday events. A timeline of the person’s ordinary existence. Jane Austen didn’t pen the words for public view, they were her private thoughts and feelings. In essence, her life, preserved on paper.

Scrapbooks work the same way.

The books stimulate memory, and from a psychological standpoint, memory is instrumental to health. My nieces love to go through my old books, and when I flip through them I get a renewed since of purpose.

I see where I’ve been and that gives me an idea of where I want to go next.

It’s said that you want to collect memories, not things. It’s good to purge, anything that is not serving you, let go, so that new experiences can take their place.

It’s a new year and we have new goals.

And the fun thing is that you can outline a Scrapbook any way you choose.

Here’s a few scrapbook themes that I’ve seen:

·        Travel Books

o   Trip to other countries, National Parks, the 50 States, the Northeast or special sabbaticals.

o   Many of my fellow authors perform extensive research for the plots and settings of their books, and venture to those locales to soak up inspiration.

o   Readers, too, get inspired after getting a ‘glimpse’ of a place they’ve been introduced to in a good book. Sometimes conventions are held at the location to celebrate the theme.

·        Yearbooks – Annual Timeline of personal events

·        Fashion Books

o   Collection of images that speak to you (like a multipage dream board)

o   Catalog of designs that make up your personal style

o   Hair and Make-up techniques

·        Faith Books – A documentation of a spiritual journey

·        Health Books

o   I’ve seen people journal their path through severe illness

·        Baby Books

o   If you have more than one child, even volumes

·        Sports Books

·        Weddings and Honeymoons

·       Ancestry Albums / Archive of Family Photos

Scrapbooks have long since been used a way to catalog, document, and preserve your own story. Historically, scrapbooks have been used by rebels to fight prejudicial propaganda, by doctors and scientists to journal and compare their findings, and by everyday people to save keepsakes that contain a special story.

My scrapbooking began in 2004 with a beautiful book given to me by a friend.

When I open the cover I see a bracelet and picture my older niece made for me when she was little, and it warms my heart. The pages are far from perfect, but they don’t have to be.

It’s not about the finished product, it’s about the love that goes into it.

My style has evolved since then but I still have much to learn.

And in that endeavor, I hope that I can share ideas and grow with other creative individuals, like you.

So, with that lengthy introduction – I will working with a Scrapbook theme this year and hope that you will join me as I explore this fun area of story-telling.

Happy New Year to all and I hope to see you here on the Narrative!

-         Shelley

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