Interview with Carolyn Shelton Author, Writer, and Blogger #amwriting #nonfiction #interview #author


Welcome to another week of my interview series. Today I’m so excited to share with you an interview with my talented and caring friend, Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses)  who has been writing many wonderful tales for adults and children on her blog with Colin Chappell of A Dog’s Life (Stories of Me and Him). I interviewed Colin earlier this year HERE.

Many of Carolyn’s tales and her new book with Colin are about a Cat named Dewey, a Jackalope named Jaxon, an owl named Odessa, and a human helper for them on Moonbeam farm they live, known as the ‘manservant.’ You can also find Carolyn’s interview on The Go Dog Go Cafe, where I will be posting a writer interview each Tuesday (the same one here and on there). It is a wonderful writer’s community on WordPress so please come and explore.

As well, all watercolor paintings illustrating the characters from Carolyn’s (and Colin’s) book Odessa’s Chronicles, are done by Jodi of The Creative Life In Between. She’s such a talented artist and I would recommend following her blog for her art, recipes, poetry, and blog posts narrated by her dog, Charlie.  She also has an Etsy Shop, on break at the moment, but when it’s not, you can purchase cards, paintings, (etc.) of Jodi’s beautiful work. 

Carolyn’s blog can be found here: Nuggets of Gold: Helping You to Find the Gold Amidst the Dirt, Sand, and Pebbles of Life.

Credit Carolyn Shelton

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself, Carolyn? 

My name is Carolyn Shelton and I live in Southern Pennsylvania. I am the Mother of two teenagers which explains why there are days that I feel like my brain is missing! I love having fun with my family and friends, whether we are just chatting or on an adventure together. I also enjoy being able to curl up with a good book and shutting out the world. I was a total bookworm when I was young. Was not easily bored, for I always had a book that I could read.

Humor is a big part of my life! I have serious posts on my blog, but a lot of humorous ones as well. And there are days, where you may get more humor from the comment section. I have a good friend that likes to express his wit at times. I am always up for a battle of wits, do I win? Well…. onto the next question.

My biggest writing goal is to touch others with what I write. I want to make them smile, laugh and also ponder on deeper things at times. I am thankful for my gift of writing, but it doesn’t do a lot of good if I keep it to myself. This is why I share it on my blog with for everyone and anyone to read.

Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – Dewey the Spoiled Cat!

2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging and Why? What Does It Mean To You? 

I began blogging in the Fall of 2014. It wasn’t something that I had planned on doing. I was browsing on the internet one day and I saw something that piqued my interest. WordPress was offering a free writing course. I loved to write and felt that this course would be fun to take and see what happened. I signed up for it and well, here I am. 🙂 I enjoyed the course a great deal and was excited seeing what I could do with a blog.
I enjoyed meeting other bloggers and interacting with them. I was still learning but felt as if I had found my niche in the wonderful world of blogging. My love of writing had been rekindled.

” I also enjoy being able to curl up with a good book and shutting out the world. I was a total bookworm when I was young. Was not easily bored, for I always had a book that I could read.” – Carolyn Shelton

Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – The Humble Manservant

3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Blog and Write? Why is it Important to You to Keep Writing and Blogging? Do You Have Writing Habits? A Time of Day It’s Easier for You to Write?

My inspiration comes from my life. Writing is a form of therapy for me, through the rough times. My motivation to keep writing is easy because it is a part of me, and I can’t imagine not writing. It’s like breathing and it’s my passion. I will keep blogging because of the relationships that I have formed with my readers. It has been such a wonderful surprise. I wasn’t expecting these relationships when I started blogging. Blogging and writing are something that I will definitely strive to keep doing throughout life.

Writing is me letting my heart speak and it can be so freeing expressing my emotions through writing. Late at night seems to be my best time to write. The house is all quiet, the phone is not ringing, and it’s just me and my Sheltie who lays at my feet.

4. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects, on your Blog or Otherwise? Have You Published Any Writing? 

I am currently co-authoring a The Odessa Chronicles, with fellow blogger, Colin. I’m so excited about it! The process of writing it readying it for publication has been a true adventure! The front cover of the book has not yet be decided on and the book is not quite ready for publication and release to my readers but it will be available on Amazon when it is completed. Stay tuned to my blog for updates on Colin and mine’s book release

My inspiration comes from my life. Writing is a form of therapy for me through the rough times. My motivation to keep writing is easy. It is a part of me, and I can’t imagine not doing it. It’s like breathing and it’s my passion. I will keep blogging because of the relationships that I have formed with my readers. It has been such a wonderful surprise. I really wasn’t expecting these relationships when I started blogging. Blogginh and writing are something that I will definitely strive to keep doing throughout life.” – Carolyn Shelton

Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – Jaxon the Jackalope with Magical Powers

 5. Do You Prefer Certain Writing or Reading Genres? Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Writers or Bloggers Starting Out? 

I enjoy writing serious posts and posts written for fun.  I enjoy reading both as well. Also, I like reading stories in the genre of fiction and some nonfiction stories as well when I am choosing novels to read.

As for advice for new writers or bloggers: I encourage them to be patient with their self and write what comes naturally. Don’t think that your blog has to be like another blogger’s blog. Your blog is unique just like you. Don’t get caught up in how many followers you have or don’t have. Your number of followers will rise as you continue to blog and write. Be your true self when you write and relate to your readers through the comment section on your blog posts. Respect your reader’s comments and be honest with them. Most importantly, have fun with your blog. Don’t push yourself to post every day if you cannot manage to do that. I didn’t post each day in the beginning and there is no rule that says you have to post every day. You need to write when it fits your schedule.

6. For Fun, Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs? Top Three? What Do You Like About Them? 

Oh, my this is a hard question. There are a lot of blogs I enjoy! The blogs I have followed the longest though are Jodi’s, Ameena’s and Colin’s.

  • Jodi’s blog makes my taste buds tingle when I see pictures of the wonderful recipes she is cooking up. She is a wonderful cook and there are sometimes I attempt her recipes, though I am sure she does them better. She also does beautiful paintings and puts lovely poems to lovely photographs she takes together in a post. I enjoy reading her blog because of her cheery outlook on life.
  • Ameena (Randoms by A Random) is a gifted poet and her poems tug at my heartstrings. She has put me at a loss for words more than once. You can read the interview Mandibelle16 did of Ameena HERE
  • Colin writes about life with Ray, his wonderful Rescue Dog that he adopted. He also has “Just Thinking” posts that give you things to ponder. It is always interesting to read his perspective. He includes some poetry on his blog; in fact, he has a book of wonderful poetry coming out soon. His dry wit comes through in his posts as well. A blog that can make me laugh will be one I keep going back to.

Most importantly all these blogs do have something in common. Although they post about various topics, they all have become special friends of mine. That is what I feel is at the heart of blogging, the friendships that are formed from a mutual interest. 

” Don’t get caught up in how many followers you have or don’t have. Your number of followers will rise as you continue to blog and write. Be your true self when you write and relate to your readers through the comment section on your blog posts. Respect your reader’s comments and be honest with them. Most importantly, have fun with your blog.” – Carolyn Shelton

Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – Odessa the Wise Owl Whom Carolyn and Colin’s book is named after.

7. Can You Share With Us Some of Your Favorite Blog Posts? 

Here are some of Carolyn’s posts that she and I like a great deal. I hope you enjoy them too!


Come Away With Me My Friend

Written April 2013, by Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses13)


JoyRoses Ocean 2
Credit; Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses13)

Good Morning! Today my husband and I will bid a final farewell to a dear friend of ours. His body was ravaged with cancer and now he is free from pain. Though we are happy that he is now at peace, there also is pain, as he will be dearly missed!

Pat always had a smile for you and could make you laugh with his wit. Even when his wit was at your expense, you couldn’t help but laugh. Shaking your head, trying not to smile, as your mind was racing for a comeback.  No joke was ever old. We had met over 20 years ago, and there was something that had happened to me in that first year that Pat and Sherry were dating. Something that he still loved to throw out there whenever he would get the chance, and yes it still had a way of heating up my cheeks. His humor is something that stayed with him, even as his body grew sicker. He kept his spirits up and fought hard. He was an inspiration.

In yesterday’s post, Dewey and Jaxon Follow Their Hearts, I told about when we heard the news about cancer and how Dewey took over my pen. Took over my pen for my broken heart.  Today I am sharing a poem that I shared before. A poem that seems fitting for today. It has been revised a little to help it flow more smoothly, thanks to a friend.

My heart poured it out on a night when it was breaking. Breaking because the prognosis was not looking good for my friend and the tears fell as I didn’t know what to say. What could I speak to my precious friend and his wife? How could I encourage her? I felt that I had no words.

JoyRoses 2
Credit: Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses13)


Come Away With Me My Friend (Let Us Run To The Ocean)

Come away with me my friend


Let us run to the ocean,

Where you can let the pain in your heart

Be overpowered by the roar of the waves.

Let us go where you can shout ”Why?” to the sky,

And scream as loud as you need.

Where you can fall to your knees on the soft sand.


Let us run to the ocean,

Where I can hold you tight, and let you cry.

Where you can let your shoulders sag.

Where you can let your tears fall,

To be carried away by the waves.

Lean on me. Let me be your strength.


Let us run to the ocean.

Oh, my dear friend… let us just go!

You need not think about the future.

Let us walk along the water’s edge.

Remember when we were young?

Our lives were so carefree


Let us stand in the water.

Let the waves splash your face,

And gently wash away your tears.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let us go where the waves go on forever.

Life can be hard my very special friend.


But let us run to the ocean.

Life we cannot always understand.

Things happen that cannot be explained.

But the waves will go on forever

Through night and day; Through rain or shine,

As will my love for you.


Let us go to the ocean, my dear friend.

We will face the rolling waves together,

And if you slip… I will be there to catch you.

If you feel you are losing your way…

I will be there to guide you.


Let us talk in silence,

For our love does not need words.

We have a special friendship.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let the waves mesmerize you.

Let the ocean’s rhythm soothe your soul.


Let us go to the ocean, my friend.

Go where no words are needed.

Where we will let the waves speak.

Let us go the ocean, my friend.

Let us go… and be as one,

For I will never let you fight this on your own.


Come away with me my friend.


Here are more of Carolyn’s Blog Posts:

Thank you so much to Carolyn for allowing me to interview her for this week’s blogger/writer interview. She is a wonderful and kind hearted person and I’m so excited for the book she and Colin will be releasing on AMAZON soon. Here is the link to her blog one more time: Nuggets of Gold.

If you are a writer, blogger, author, or someone who blogs for a cause or special organization and would like to be featured in my interview series here and on the Go Dog Go Cafe please reach out to me through my CONTACT PAGE on my personal blog. Thank you and see you next week!

© Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.


Poem: “Midnight New Years.”
What shape is midnight, when the Owls come out. Hooting to each other to see if there mate is there?

What shape does the night take when you stayed in instead. I quite relief to keep peace in your soul. But too much thinking in bed. 

While the world all around rings with laughter and cheer. You hear Auld Lang-sine as the clock strikes the hour, 2015 has disappeared.

The fireworks start with a sparkling of lights. The people and the snow are alight with holiday glow. Then you hear a recessive bang as one by one the crackers glitter the black sky.

And what happens when the fireworks quiet? When the last toast of champagne has been given. When the treats are all eaten. When the last ring of smoke is blown.

Another year begins with goals to do and do not. But I’m still in the hour between twilight and night when the soaring stars glimmer over crisp tree branches. 

I’m still in the time as I did my last bend on a yoga mat purple to end the year with Namaste. I’m still in the moment I drank a big glass of wine. Lush red, bold with a bite. 

Cabernet-Sauvignon by Louis M. Martin, last bottle of the year before the sandman comes calling. Last bottle to crisian the new year, 2016. 

And while it is early yet, the party dresses have been chosen. The suites and tyes pulled out and the world is awaiting. Change fast midnight isn’t stalling. 

Down in time square, the famous ball will drop. The people are packed in like rats. But it would be an experience. To let the hours tick by with the best live entertainment.

But I am the mouse in a blue house and I am writing poetry of the midnight kind. The poem is as quick silver and it runs through my lips. This word, now that phrase, think harder, repeat.

What kind of words are caught in a moment, in the twinkling of eyes filled with mirth and red wine. When does the world return to normal. Not ever, not only. My reply.

Keep on crushing those jello shouts inside of strawberries. Never say I don’t get my fruit or veggies. Tick, tock, tick, tock. The clock is calling, for midnight is where we will meet. 

There is no reprieve you are “stuck in a moment and you can’t get out of it.” Sing it like Bono. U2, I’m not into them so much anymore. Ever since they gave me their last album for free.

Consequently, the Owls are about to fly. The moon is a giant disk of white light in the sky and the man on the moon is smiling in delight. 

The whole worlds turned up to see him in the spotlight. Appear for the moment the ball drops in New York. Appear for the moment the Opera House in Camberra lights the sky with explosions.  

Appear as the Northeran Lights spread a green- purple wash of watercolours across the sky and you are struck by the thought. This moment in time will never repeat.

A moment takes place and then is done. So live it up, be where you are in the present time. Sing loud and sing honestly as the year flashes by. Remember the old times the bad and the good. 

Remember that as my year slips away, in the midnight we embrace and a new day a New Year has begun. 

We have a blank space to live our lives in so smash it with colour the bright and the bold. Crash it with wet paint and make your surrounding beautiful and magnificent. 

Build the New Year of your dreams. At midnight for a moment, we can touch the stars and make a wish in 2016.


©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Poetry – Time and Vibrant Color

Waiting, it drains me, I wish I could abstain from the anger I feel.
But illness changed me, and my patience left me at odd angles freely
Floating up into the sky, all I have is anxiety and no reply.
Commit to a time of day, and realize you can’t change those plans swiftly.
Because my life’s concentrated, generated so that I’m always looking forward, dancing in circles for events.
Not in these distended lines, that you might run your life into.
What’s the deal? I could have kept you company, wouldn’t that have been the worst idea?
Don’t try to separate me out such as eggs, yokes left in a tiny dish and only the whites suffice.
I’m not just for a date, I’m for everyday, but nothing changes, time flits away.
Don’t you know the daytime is the zenith of my rise?
And it’s hard to get my way when you only pick the dead of night to live.
A place I fade away twilight into coal, it’s not always a solution but a thick choking smoke.
I want to live in a chorus of sunspots and rays upon my back, shining in my eyes.
Don’t you understand when you get tired and when I become tired, it’s not the same weakness?
You’ll never understand how it feels to be me, wishing for an energy to cradle and use,
In beauty bold streams of light and the dark deep night.
I wish not to be forgotten as reels of film spun until age has stripped them of their former glory, it’s gory living this way.
Waiting for people to understand, knowing that wind whistles through their brains.
Understanding gone as trains passing overcoming the wale of the night time owl.
His eyes are wise, until the hawk gets a hold of his feathers, and whether you get the beat of my life,
I wander, too many nights I’ve squandered waiting for the time to hit a certain hour.
Only to be tricked and mercilessly a coward, trying to make you comprehend the pain gently,
That hits right about this time, when I have nothing left as 4:30 pm chimes and I collapse until 7.
You move at your own pace, I think I want someone to leave me out of this chase.
Because I am meek and nothing will make me less then hollow
And years in the future I believe, you’ll never know me inside out
Because you’re so focused, you’ll just forget past elegances and glance away
And leave me to solitude, confined to the room, giant habiscus waiting to flourish.
Someone few understand needs you to keep time, to make time tick past single dots on a clock – punctuality is not a crime.
Show respect and suddenly, learning happens if you let others help you engage.
Instead of living life alone, unto yourself, picture a life with pulsing color and vibrancy, picture this…
Just because we need live in the hour of the glass, doesn’t mean life will be boring.
Why just the opposite – red, and magenta, and turquoise blue all these colors I dream with you.