About Shelly

Hi, I’m Shelly Immel, and I started The Big Life Project. This short video will tell you why. The Bio below should cover the rest.

Obligatory Bio Blurb

Base of Enchanted Rock by J Deering Davis

Enchanted Rock by J Deering Davis

I grew up in an artistic family on a cattle ranch in the Texas Hill Country, then hopped back and forth as a student between Georgetown (Texas), West Germany, the UK and Japan before settling in Houston with my husband. Twenty years later, I work part-time at our company Obsidian. It keeps a roof over our heads and, more important in Houston, keeps the air conditioner humming. This allows me time to write and my husband time for a Big Life in theater at Obsidian Art Space.

I am more likely to enjoy a weekend in nature than a weekend in a city. I have a deep soft spot for really big trees; I enjoy climbing them with ropes. I still dream of my childhood cat. (He was born in my bed. Some bonds last forever.) And I still dream occasionally in German, though my speaking skills are rusty after 20 years back in the U.S.

I met my husband Tom Stell in my first year of college. I still see one of my college roommates almost every week. I enjoy reading, eating fresh whole foods, light-weight gardening and music. A dance class lurks in my near future. (It’s been a long time since social dance classes in college.) I have a shop and fully intend to practice welding until I can lay down a smooth, straight bead every time…someday.

Three years ago after (mostly) recovering from a chronic illness, I picked up a pen and started writing fiction. I’ve written several novels to date and am currently revising for publication. Writing is my greatest creative outlet—a huge part of Living Big for me.

In my fiction, as in real life, I am fascinated with how people create meaning for themselves, how they find and follow their passions, how they live life to the fullest— especially how they get there from a place of failure or despair.

I plan to publish For Love of Darkness and of Light, the first book in a series, in 2014.

Thanks for stopping by The Big Life Project!

-Shelly Immel

Get connected!
Subscribe to the blog, Like the Project on Facebook, circle me on G+, Tweet… All the nifty little buttons are to the right on your screen.

14 thoughts on “About Shelly

  1. So many of us twist and turn with the ebb and flow of this kind of wanting to step our lives up, turn up the volume, just do something — but we do it inside our own heads. I’m so impressed at you are doing it OUT LOUD!

    • Thanks, Sharon! It was getting kind of noisy in my head. Had to get some of that stuff out where I could talk w/ other people about it and see what they had to say. :-)

      Creating visual art deepens experience and carries you in the flow, in the moment–at least when it’s “working.” To me, YOU live Out Loud every time you pick up a marker or paintbrush or…well, everything’s an art supply if you look at it right. And I know you do.

      Thanks for the visit and the support!

  2. What a great site, Shelly! But what an even better attitude! Unfortunately I can relate to what you’re going through (not CFS specifically, but other things that produce similar results). It can be a struggle to find the joy and motivation sometimes, but I agree with you. We only get one chance at this life and we have two choices. Live it as best we can, regardless of whatever it is we face… or just give up. I’m glad to see you’re not the kind of person that just gives up, and who can smile in spite of it all.

    Now I’m going to check out the rest of the site. :)

    • Thanks for the visit and the kind words, Kristy! I so appreciate the support and encouragement.

      Sorry to hear you have similar physical challenges. As you say, living as best we can, whatever our circumstances, is the only way to fly. Not imitating the life we “should” have, but fully living the one we DO have.

      Looking forward to more stories and insights from you on this!

  3. Shelly – Oh my goodness! Your story is so similar to mine. I want to thank you for one wonderful thing in your video; you didn’t end with the part where you suddenly felt fine again. Because honestly, those stories leave me a bit suspicious and completely uninspired.

    You, my friend, are an inspiration! ~Karen

    • Hi, Karen, and welcome! I remember hints at common ground from our convo on Kathy’s blog.

      I appreciate your comment about not stopping my video at “happily ever after.” I always want to peek past that last page in books and see what happens when the reality of “the rest of their lives” begins. I think that part is quite interesting–at least it has been for me. And for you, too. Sometime I’d like to hear your story about how you got from teaching to health issues to recovery to writing your dad’s story.

      Write on!

  4. Hi Shelly! I love what you’re doing with your blog. Life is meant to be enjoyed and lived to the fullest. I can speak German too. We should practice! :)

    Keep writing and dreaming and enjoying nature. I love climbing trees still!

    • Meredith, vielen Dank! Sehr nett von Ihnen. What kind of trees do you like to climb? I am rooting for you on your writer’s journey!

  5. Hi Shelly, This is a wonderful site and your project amazing. Finding passion and joy in everyday life and beyond has been my life journey as well. Right now I am a full time caregiver to my mom, a 90 year old wwii vet. I hope you will stop by and visit my blog to see what our world is like as well. Looking forward to reading more. Thank you for your courage and determination. Blessings. Beth from middlescapes.com

    • Beth, thanks for visiting! The drive to find ways to care for ourselves and grow our lives through huge life challenges is common to so many of us. Glad to meet another on the path! I look forward to checking out your blog. Be well!

  6. Great blog…very inspiring. So glad I found it. THANKYOU.

    Are you on facebook? Can I share on FB?

    • Welcome, Jill! So glad to meet you here! I see you found http://www.facebook.com/BigLifeProject. Looking forward to seeing you there & here, too! And, yes, please share. The more great peeps in our community, the more community there is for all of us to enjoy.

      You can also subscribe to get email updates when a new post goes up on the blog. (This is about to get easier and more obvious when a few updates to the site go live, but we’re not quiiiiite there yet.)

      Grow Your Heart. Live Big!