Celebrating Shelley's 60th Birthday and 12 Years of Partnership

Oct 10, 2023 5:16 pm

Hello ,


Baby Shelley

Today marks a very special day in our journey together. It's Shelley's 60th birthday, a milestone that we are celebrating not only for the years she has lived but also for the incredible 12-year partnership we've shared. As we embark on a new chapter in our lives, moving from the enchanting landscapes of New Mexico to the charming shores of South Carolina, it's the perfect moment to reflect on our journey, our shared passions, and the exciting future that awaits us.

Our story began at a serendipitous intersection of creativity and determination. A dozen years ago, I was directing a project for the Spanish Colonial Art Society when our paths first crossed. Shelley, a film student at Central New Mexico Community College at the time, joined our endeavor, and little did we know that this collaboration would set the foundation for a remarkable journey.

One thing became clear from the start: Shelley was the hardest worker among the students. Her dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to her craft were evident to everyone around her. It wasn't long before we realized that we shared a profound love for storytelling through the lens of a camera, a passion that would bind us together for years to come.

Our journey took us into the world of filmmaking, where we explored a multitude of genres and themes, from documentary films to creative narratives. Together, we honed our skills, learned from each other, and created content that we were proud of. We discovered that our partnership wasn't just about working together; it was about complementing each other's strengths, sparking creativity, and pushing the boundaries of our craft.

However, our creative pursuits didn't stop with filmmaking. We ventured into the world of YouTube, building channels that delved into a variety of topics close to our hearts. From travel and culture to food and art, each channel was a labor of love, an opportunity to connect with people worldwide and an avenue to share our passions.

In addition to our visual storytelling, we ventured into the realm of the written word. Together, we authored three books, each a testament to our shared creativity and dedication. These books, now available on Amazon, have allowed us to reach even more individuals and share our knowledge and experiences in new and meaningful ways.

As we celebrate Shelley's 60th birthday today, it's impossible not to reflect on the incredible journey we've embarked upon together. We've faced life's challenges, celebrated victories, and grown both as individuals and as creative partners. Our friendship has deepened through the years, and we've become more than just business partners; we're a team driven by a shared vision and an unshakable bond.

Now, as we prepare to transition from New Mexico to South Carolina, our future is filled with excitement and anticipation. We're eager to explore new opportunities, to continue our creative endeavors, and to embrace the adventures that lie ahead.

In South Carolina, we hope to further immerse ourselves in the rich culture and artistic scenes, drawing inspiration from the beauty that surrounds us. We aspire to create content that continues to captivate, educate, and entertain our audience, while also exploring new avenues for personal and creative growth.

In closing, I'd like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Shelley for being an incredible friend and partner over the past 12 years. Your unwavering dedication and boundless creativity have enriched my life in countless ways, and I'm excited to see where this next chapter takes us. Happy 60th birthday, Shelley!

To our readers and supporters, thank you for being a part of our journey. We look forward to sharing many more adventures, stories, and creative endeavors with you in the years to come. Stay tuned for the exciting chapters that await us in South Carolina!


Exploitation, Empathy, and Betrayal: Lessons from "A Gypsy's Kiss"

by Shelley Carney

Miguel finds himself in a lively bar, surrounded by attractive women and captivating music. The atmosphere is buzzing with laughter and lively conversations as he navigates this new environment. Amidst the noise, he leans in closer to hear Mariah's question about knowing another place like this one. 

Intrigued, Miguel reflects on his willingness to accept opportunities and take risks without a clear plan.

Things take a darker turn when a romantic encounter with a supposed lover transforms into an unsettling experience of exploitation. 

Miguel reflects on the lack of indications that might have forewarned him, experiencing the shock and emotional impact of this sudden betrayal.

Initially reacting negatively, Miguel's perspective soon shifts to empathy, highlighting the complexity of human emotions and the influence of external factors.

Welcome to another compelling episode of "Our Story Your Story," the podcast where we unravel the intricacies of literature and the human experience. In this episode, insightful hosts/authors, Toby Younis and Shelley Carney dive deep into Chapter 27 of the riveting novel “A Gypsy’s Kiss,” shedding light on profound themes that resonate with us all.

Watch the video or download the podcast episode.

Join us as we delve deeper into the intricacies of exploitation, empathy, and betrayal in this latest chapter. 

We explore themes of adventure, trust, and the consequences of saying "yes" without hesitation. 

Toby shares anecdotes from his vast array of life experiences, from traveling to exotic locations to the contrast between his typical suburban life and the unpredictable world he entered for his work as a contractor for the Intelligence Community.

The Dichotomy of Romanticism and Exploitation

In Chapter 27 of "A Gypsy's Kiss," we are confronted with a poignant exploration of the human experience—a stark dichotomy between the allure of initial romantic encounters and the brutal reality of exploitation. 

The unsuspecting beauty of a romantic rendezvous quickly crumbles as Miguel, our teenage protagonist, steps into a world he believed to be charming, only to discover a sinister truth. 

What initially seemed like an enchanting adventure takes a dark turn as he realizes the true nature of the situation, where the facade of romance conceals a grim underbelly of exploitation. 

I can almost taste the smoke, sweat, and cheap perfume in the room. A pall has fallen over the scene. There is danger here. My spine and the skin of my arms and hands buzz with electricity. A Gypsy’s Kiss: A Treasure Hunt Adventure, Chapter 27

This sharp contrast serves as a stark reminder of the complex layers that exist within human interactions, revealing the extent to which appearances can deceive and illuminate the need for deeper understanding and empathy in our interactions with others.

“That sense of ‘I've been betrayed’ was momentary. Part of it was elicited by the fear that he was experiencing of Jean Luc, who looks like a bad guy, and his two henchmen, who are even more bad-guy-looking. But by the time he was at the stairs, I think he had transitioned into, wow, what a tough place to be.”— Toby Younis

Fear, a potent and primal emotion, holds a profound influence over our perceptions, often skewing our outlook by magnifying the negative while diminishing the positive. 

When gripped by fear, our minds tend to fixate on potential threats, uncertainties, and unfavorable outcomes. 

“It's one thing to not know what you're walking into. It's another thing to not know what you're walking into is a really bad situation. That's happened to me more than once.”— Toby Younis

Click here to read the rest of Shelley's informative article on our blog.

Here's our next week in content:

7 pm MDT, Thursday, October 12, 2023. Our Story Your Story with Shelley Carney and Toby Younis. Premier. youtube.com/@ourstoryyourstory


Unveiling Secrets and Danger | A Gypsy's Kiss Chapter 28 | Our Story Your Story

📚 Welcome to another thrilling episode of Our Story Your Story! In this edition, authors Toby Younis and Shelley Carney delve into the heart-pounding action and intricate plot twists of Chapter 28 from their riveting book, 'A Gypsy's Kiss: A Treasure Hunt Adventure'. Join us as we unravel the story, exploring themes of betrayal, courage, family, and mystery.

🗡️ Discover the jaw-dropping events that unfold as Mariah introduces her mysterious grandfather, Jacques d’Noir, and a dangerous past that comes back to haunt them. Get ready for a rollercoaster of emotions as we analyze the tension, fear, and resilience displayed by the characters in this adrenaline-fueled chapter.

🔍 Together, let's decode the hidden treasures, secrets, and unexpected turns that keep readers at the edge of their seats. Don't miss out on this thrilling discussion, where we bring 'A Gypsy's Kiss' to life and share the excitement of the treasure hunt adventure! 🗺️✨

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Shelley and Toby

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