My journey into the writing world began late in 2011 after a brush with cancer. It was a wake-up call that challenged me to seriously pursue my dream of writing when I retired. I began by taking a Writer’s Digest course, “Finding Time to Write,” that convinced me that I do have talent worth developing and that I absolutely could find the time to write. After additional study, my first short story, “That’s Just the Way It Is” was published in September, 2013, followed by a sequel, “Return to Texas,” in March, 2014.

Previously, I have worked as a social worker, therapist and administrator in the areas of child welfare, disabilities, as well as in the fields of individual and family therapy. I have also enjoyed professional time as an astrologer and as the owner of an internet business that sold a variety of chocolate products. I am spiritual, love to travel and my favorite place in the world is Italy. Many of these areas are reflected in my writing.

Although in the past I have written a great deal in connection with my professional activities, entering the world of fiction was totally new to me. I have found that I love the freedom and magic of this creative process. Currently, I’m working on a novel, Trip to a Lifetime, to be published in 2016.

I hope you will join with me on my pathway through this fascinating world of writing and publication. My blog will keep you up to date on my writing progress and provide some food for thought in the areas of psychology, spirituality, travel and writing.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you’ll check back often.


  1. I am on a writer’s journey myself, Shirley, and I am also finding out how much there is to learn about the entire publishing process. There is so much more work involved beyond writing the book! (That is, unless you wrote “Fifty Shades of Gray.”)
    Best of luck to you!

  2. Shirley, I’m interested in hearing more about your writer’s journey because I’m a newly-committed writer myself. It’s satisfying to hear the stories of others. Looking forward to more blog posts from you.

  3. Hi Shirley – welcome to the writing world. We all have to start somewhere, and if your blog is anything to go by, you can write! I look forward to following your progress. I’m still in your site, so I’ll keep reading. :)

  4. Hello Shirley, thanks so much for singing up to my blog. I’ve explored yours now, and am lookng forward to following you. I’m a newbie at blogging, but what a lovely friendly world it is. I love finding a community of people who love writing for the sake of it. So good to connect with you, and keep on writing, .

  5. Welcome to the writing world, Shirley. I’ve been a magazine writer for years and am trying to get my first novel off the block. Writing a novel is so much harder than writing short pieces for magazines, but in a way, more fun b/c you can have your characters do and say extraordinary things. I wish you and all the others commenting here lots of success. Now, let’s write!

  6. Hello Shirley, I’m very happy to follow you. The sky is the limit!
    You have passion and that is what will fuel your success. It will welcome other “like minded” individuals to be inspired and follow in your footsteps!
    I look forward in reading your posts.

  7. Hi Shirley, thanks again for your nomination! I have many things in common with you also: I am spiritual, love chocolate and love to write but not professionally. I hope to read some of your articles and send lots of good wishes on your journey. Want to go to Italy, one day… maybe vicariously through your writing??? :-)

  8. Hi, Thanks for coming by and following my blog. As a chocolate lover and writer you may want to connect with Doreen Pendgracs. You will see why when you look her up :)

    I am commenting under my twitter account because Akismet has me in the spam bin and so do you (they are puzzled also) Please release me !! thanks so much

    • Lesley, thanks so much for stopping by and following me. I think you’re “free” now, at least on my site. I checked out Doreen. What a wonderful life she must have with her chocolate journeys. It must be so inspiring and fun to write about. Maybe I’ll try it… :)

    • Raani, thank you so much! :) I really appreciate the “tag” and I will accept the award soon. I have just moved to a new house and am so behind in my blogging (as well as other things).

  9. I think this last paragraph of what you wrote is totally on. Well said. You see a reasonable way – a process. And there’s one more thing; You have to write around two million words to start understand the craft . . . unless you are a genius. There are some. I hope you are one and wish I was.

    • Since I’m starting this later in life, I’m not sure I have time left to write two million words. I guess I’ll just pretend I’m a genius and see what happens! :)

  10. Hi Shirley! Truly this writing journey is amazing and all I can tell you is that you will learn more than you ever wanted to know!! Thanks for the follow – I pray that you will grow in your writing and be inspired daily. There is a blog called “the write life” that I follow that has been very helpful for a variety of reasons….check it out! Let me know if there is any way that I can help you along your way! Lisa Evola

  11. After a lot of struggle, emboldened by a couple of published stories on the a web, I finally debuted my novella. Felt quite satisfying…now working on more.

  12. You have got a beautiful blog running here. Your vision and thoughts are indeed a revelation. Great work. Keep blogging. I will definitely hang around here a lot savouring your perfect cocktail for an amazing blog.

  13. Hi Shirley–I want to thank you for stopping by my blog cookiecrumbstoliveby and for now wishing to follow along. Like you, I have come to the blogging world, as well as writing, a bit late in life, but have found a great deal of pleasure writing and meeting so many wonderful new friends. As you, I have always had the dream to write. The blog has afforded me that life long dream–just in a different format than I had originally imagined. I look forward to pursuing your blog as it has so much to offer.
    Again–thank you—blessings—Julie

    • Thank you so much for coming by, Julie. I found that your blog has much to offer also and I look forward to following you along. I agree that the blogging world has much to offer -the joy of writing and wonderful supportive friends. Blessings to you also. :)

  14. I saw your comment on Valerie Davis’s blog and had to respond when I read that you are from New Jersey. I am too, and have much to share in our joint experiences, like having had cancer and discovering the joy of writing. I will follow your blog and touch base!

  15. Shirley, such an amazing story in more ways than one. Most of my career path I was an English and Language Arts teacher. However, I was, like you, at one time a social worker who did: individual counseling, group therapy, family therapy, and individual psycho-therapy for the state of Alabama. I was later, also, a school social worker. Coincidence!

    I’m happy to know that you are using your gift for writing. I love to write! Your story sheds light on the fact that our biggest challenges can often be our biggest blessings. I’m going to follow you to see how it all turns out. I wish you much success and many blessings!!

  16. Hello, Shirley, and thank you so much for following my blog. I hope you find it interesting, informative, and maybe even entertaining. Have a wonderful weekend, and stay warm!

  17. Thanks for visiting our blog Shirley! I too love fiction – historical fiction mostly. My writing journey has been a rollercoaster ride that I have both enjoyed and screamed during…but God is no respecter of comfort!! Ha ha!!

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