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 and 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!

    • Thanks for your comment, Robin. Here’s hoping we both write something that achieves the level of success of “Fifty Shades of Gray.”
      Best of luck with your journey!

  2. Beautiful blog, Shirley. Best of luck in all your endeavors. Love the cover photo. Please visit if you get a chance.

    • Thanks for your comment. I look forward to following your blog!

  3. Thanks for connecting on our Blog, Shirley! We look forward to knowing more about you. Stay up to speed on our writing contest, which you might want to enter, through our facebook page. http://facebook.com/10daybookclub Cheers for a great day and good luck bringing out the writer in you!

  4. 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.

  5. Hi Shirley, Just signed up to keep up with your writing.

  6. 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. :)

    • DJ, I truly appreciate your nice comment, and I look forward to following your writing career also!

  7. 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, .

    • It’s great to connect with you, too, Valerie! I really look forward to following your writing.

  8. Shirley, I thought I was already following you but it is not showing up in my reader so I am trying again. Still love the chocolate posting!!

    • Thanks for trying again! :)

      • Yea! It is coming through now! Cyber ghost must have been lurking about the first time. LOL:>)

  9. Shirley, catnipoflife has nominated you for the Liebster Award. Go to http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/liebster-award/ for the ‘rules’ and snag the badge to post on your Website. [Here is the link in case you are unfamiliar with how to capture it: (http://catnipoflife.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/liebsterblog-1.jpeg)%5D

    Have a blessed day,

    • Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by! LOL:>)

    • Sharla, thank you so much for honoring my blog with the Liebster Award. I am delighted to accept it! It will take me a day or so to get it posted. Thanks again!

  10. Hi Shirley! I found you through my blogger friend http://tinylessonsblog.com/2012/08/24/omg-three-awards-thank-you and read your statement above. We have much in common… writing, chocloholic, and being of service to others.
    Look forward to following you, and more will be revealed… ;-)

    • Thanks for visiting, Patricia. I look forward to following your blog, too! :)

  11. Hi! I wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Super Sweet Award! Thanks for such an enjoyable blog. Here’s the link: http://megtraveling.com/2012/10/06/super-sweet-award/

    • Thank you very much for honoring my blog, Meg. I graciously accept and it will be featured in my next post.

  12. 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!

    • Thanks, Jennifer. Best of luck with your novel! I absolutely agree that a novel is harder to write, but I also love the freedom to take it anywhere you want to.

  13. 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.

  14. 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??? :-)

    • I would love to go to Italy in any way, shape or form. Thanks for your comment.

  15. 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… :)

  16. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are in the midst of a great Thanksgiving weekend!

  17. Hi Shirley! Thank you for following my blog. I share your excitement in your writing endeavor and wish you the best! I will be following you to get to know you more.

    • Hi Cynthia, thanks for your good wishes and the follow!

  18. I have tagged you in my latest blog post. I hope you’ll like it!!


    The post is about the “Very inspiring Blog Award.

    Have fun!!


    • 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).

  19. 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! :)

  20. I nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award, thanks for sharing your story. Check the link here to read the nomination post http://jeanettesandersen.blogspot.com/2013/02/very-inspiring-blogger-award.html

  21. nice blog you have here, Shirley. and thanks for the visit.

    • Virgilio, I enjoy the beauty the words I find on your blog. I appreciate your visit here, too.

  22. If you dont’ have italian roots where your name come from? It speaks italian to me……

    • Yes, it is Sicilian, in this case, but it’s my husband’s name. I appreciate your comment, Gracie.

  23. thanks for the visit, Shirley. nice blog you have here.

  24. 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

  25. 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.

    • Best of luck with your writing journey and congratulations on your novella! Thanks for stopping by!

  26. 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.

    • Thanks so much Prasad! :) I appreciate your visit and follow.

  27. 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. :)

  28. 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!

    • It’s good to meet you, Ronnie! I will follow your blog and touch base also!

  29. 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!!

    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Sharon! It’s great to meet another person with a social work background who loves writing. Many blessings to you, too.

  30. We writers, new and beginners, are in great company, don’t you think? It is a pleasure to read so much talent in one place.Good luck; I look forward to reading your blogs and am going to follow you.

    • I can’t say too many good things about the writing of many of the bloggers I’ve encountered here on WordPress. Good luck to you also. Thanks for the follow.

  31. Great inspiration in creative and positive-thinking ways. You made my day.

    • Thanks so much Catherine! Your comment made my day! :)

  32. 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!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope your weekend’s great, too!

  33. I read your story; it was short and sweet. Reminded me of the coal miner’s story from D H Lawrence.

    • I appreciate the time you took to read my short story. Thanks for your comment. :)

  34. Writing is very therapeutic. I found that out as well. My best to you.

  35. Good to meet you. I hope to read more of your positive words and thoughts. A honor to meet a survivor.

    • Good to meet you also, John. Thanks so much for your visit!

      • You are welcome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 270 other followers

%d bloggers like this: