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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

J is for JOURNALING #AtoZChallenge

Hi and welcome back to my A-Z blog challenge! For the month of April I am posting on the whys, hows, and wows of scrapbooking.

Today’s letter is a biggie – J is for Journaling.

As a writer, I love words. The documentation of life is powerful and preservative, and that is what journaling – and scrapbooking – is all about.

It’s funny, my earlier albums don’t contain a lot of journaling. A newbie to the hobby, I put more effort into the pictures and stickers than the storytelling, which is the most important part.

Historically, elders would pass down their heritage and wisdom using oratory means. Stories bound generations together and fortified human cultures.

I think of that when I create my books. The importance of journaling really struck me as I was drafting the H is HANDWRITING post for this blog sprint. The letter from my mom to my grand-parents contained a story – a memory that taught me about the time in which my family lived. It’s a tale I want to remember and share.

And while journaling is heart-warming, it’s also intimidating. Even with all of my writing experience I struggle with getting the right words down on paper. Like this blog challenge, the act of writing every day gives me and goal and pushes me to hone my skills.  

Here are few tips to add journaling to your scrapbook pages:

-         Keep it Concise – As my High School Journalism teacher used to say, “Reach out, grab ‘em by the sweatshirt, and pull ‘em in!”  The best stories are brief but impactful. Write it all down, and then edit out the fluff.

-         List names and ages – This is a tip offered by many experienced scrapbookers. Time passes quickly, and you may remember the names of the people in your albums, but your future generations and the friends checking out your book may need some help. Plus it takes the guesswork out of “How old was [child’s name] then?”

-         Document the Good Stuff – Life can get mundane. It’s the exciting-reflective-awesome moments that are what it’s all about. I sometimes get busy, but I force myself to journal the stories before the details fade.

-         Utilize Hidden Journaling – If you have a more sensitive or private story, one that you don’t want front-and-center for the world to see, you can hide it. Use a tag, envelope, or fold-over tab that flips open to reveal you story.

An example (the hidden journaling here is not a private memory, I just needed to conserve space on the page):

Last year I bought a cool bat-shaped dish for a friend, and I liked it so much that ended up buying two more, one for myself and for my sister. I deemed it my “Oprah Story”. J

That same Halloween, my niece attended a ghost tour which yielded some paranormal moments. I created an interactive tri-fold, flip-out section to fit all the pictures and memories onto the same page.

These are just a few examples. The sky is the limit.

Whether you use a small corner, or an entire 12x12 page, you can tell your story and illustrate a memory with journaling.

Well, A-Z party people, I really appreciate you checking out my blog. If you have a journaling suggestion or a scrapbooking technique you'd like to share, please leave a comment below, I'd love to read your suggestions.

There are also a million great blogs participating in the challenge, so if you’d like to check ‘em out, search the #AtoZChallenge.

And if you’re ready for more scrapbooking awesomeness, please stop back by tomorrow – K is for KEEPSAKES.

See you then!

-         SNG


  1. Great post! Love how you've combined journaling and scrapbooking :-) Happy A-to-Z-ing.

    1. Hi Ronel! Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by. :)

  2. I include journaling with almost all of my scrapbook pages. It's such an important part and I love the memories it brings up when I look at pages I've done in the past. I've used a few journaling hidden options too with pull out tags, or folded books. Not so much for privacy as to help save on space in my layouts. I really like your interactive tri-fold, flip-out section. It came out great! WeekendsInMaine

    1. Hi Weekends! Folded book journaling sounds so cool - I'll have to try that. I know what you mean about space - a lot times the shape of the journaling stems from squeezing it in where I can. lol. Thanks for the comment - I will check out your page. :)

  3. I never thought of journalism as scrapbooking, but since I haven't done any scrap booking since I was doing some kind of school project... But my travels journals are probably scrapbooks, just without the photos (they get added when I do a blog post)


    1. Hi Sage! Wow, I love travel journals, those are the best. I hope to create an album with that travel book (drawings, thoughts, and mementos). Isn't it cool how to two overlap (journaling, blogging, scrap). Thanks so much for commenting! I will check out your A-Z. :)

  4. I am attempting to make a journal book for my friend and hope I can get it done for her so she has a place to put her favourite quotes

    1. Hi Birgit! Oh, that's a sweet gift to give. With all the enrgy you put into them, scrapbooks carry such good chi. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I'm not sure how I've missed your posts this month, but I'm thrilled to find you now :)

    I love to scrapbook and journal, and I'm experimenting with writing a book for publication. We have a lot in common.

    I look forward to catching up on your scrapbooking posts...

    My theme for the challenge is Journaling
    Journaling: Q is for Quotes (as prompts)

    1. Hi Cozy! So nice to meet you! Sorry for the delay, I'm just now catching up with my correspondence this week. Thank you for checking out my blog - I love meeting other writers and scrapbookers - you are my Clan. :) I'll be sure to check out your Q post.