Angels2There are angels at the nursing home where my  mother resides. They are disguised as nursing staff and care aids. Their work is hard and often thankless, yet they treat the residents in their care with gentle humour, loving touch and respect. Their delightful smiles and cheery voices brighten  the day for so many. They may be ordinary beings but they are doing extraordinary work. After spending some time in their presence I now see them as precious angels here on earth. I am so grateful for the care and caring that they give to Mom.

On Reading ~

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Stephen King stack of books

My name is Shelley and I’ve read 50+ books this year. I am a bibliophile.

There, I’ve said it.

Seriously, I did squirm a little when I tallied up the books I’d read in 2014. A little voice in my head asked, “Is that, maybe, just a little excessive?” Am I truly trying to hone my craft (writing) as Stephen King suggests or am I simply using reading as an escape?

We all try to find balance in our lives, making time for work, family, friends, exercise, recreation. When I look at it that way, I realize that reading is my recreation. I don’t follow any TV shows, I don’t play games on the computer, I don’t have many other hobbies. I choose to read quality books, often books selected for one of the 3 book-clubs I belong to. And, as Stephen King argues, a writer has to read. I tell creative writing students that all the time. (Throw out the TV if you want to get published.) I wish there was a measurable correlation between the number and quality of books read with the quality of your own writing. I’ll just have to trust that there is one. As for 2015, I intend to keep on reading, feeding my addiction, escaping, learning and honing my craft.

Dancing in the Rain

Dancing in the RainYahoo! I have just signed a book contract for my latest project, another Y/A novel titled Dancing in the Rain. The title may change, but it was inspired from this quote by Vivian Greene. (This is not the cover of the book… that is yet to come.)

For years I’ve been asked by young readers to write a sequel to my earlier title, Dancing Naked, but, although I appreciated their interest, I never gave it much thought. I’d moved on to other projects.

Then, a few years ago, a young woman wrote to me to say she’d read Dancing Naked many times as a teenager, and even though she is an adult now, she’s still waiting for the sequel. She wants to know what became of Brenna, the baby who was born at the end of Dancing Naked, and her mother, Kia.

That set me to wondering what became of Brenna too. She’d be a teenager herself now. How was her life turning out? And Kia? Is she doing okay?

I decided to write the book to  find out and I’m absolutely delighted that Orca Book Publishers has agreed to publish it.

This will be book #10, a nice round number. Thank you to all those wonderful readers who encouraged me to write this book. It wouldn’t have happened without you.



Never say never

writing QuicklyWell-meaning people often ask if I’d consider writing fiction for adults as opposed to writing for teens, as if writing for adults is somehow more respectable. Until now I’ve always said “probably not”. (Never say never.) I’ve always felt that my writing ‘voice’ is best suited to the teen genre, and my ideas for books have always featured teen protagonists. I also have great respect for Y/A literature and feel blessed that I’ve been able to contribute to this wonderful field.

Recently, something changed. Maybe it’s because my daughters are grown and I’m no longer immersed in teen culture but I was unexpectedly hit with a story idea that was clearly for adults, not teens. The idea is based on my own short but comical stint with on-line dating. (That experience had to come in useful for something.) I created a character, began to write and now the story is practically writing itself. No other novel has poured out of me the way this one is. Granted, it is a light story, hopefully funny, and the characters aren’t trying to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles as my teen characters always are. I may finish the book and decide that it is just silly trash, but in the meantime I am having lot of fun. Maybe this is the start of something new.