Welcome to Shirley’s website & blog

Dear Calamity Jane

Here is a beautiful letter from a fan of Stuart’s (Heywood Banks).

Dear Mrs. Mitchell

My name is Alexis Mitchell, and I came across your website as I was searching out Dear Calamity Jane online. I saw it on your husband’s website, and wanted to know what a non-Heywood Banks cd sounded like. Let me just say, it sounds beautiful. My two personal favorites are You Are, and Counting Stars. I admit, Counting Stars makes me slightly misty-eyed. It’s so poetic and innocent– which is the point, I believe. Your lyrics are wonderful, and Mr. Mitchell’s singing is some of my favorite. Has been since I was young.

I am a poet, myself, so I had to read your work. You’re a very good poet and I enjoyed reading work from your site. It’s lovely to see a person so immersed in various art forms. We can always use more art.

Anyway, I won’t overstay my welcome. I just wanted you to know that I am really happy to have come across your work. There is a line, a feeling in Counting Stars  that I need to explore in my own writing. Thank you for that; it’s been a few days without writing, and I needed a creative boost.

Take care and I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Alexis Mitchell
Columbus, OH

The Emerald Merwitch is Here!!!

The Emerald Merwitch is Here!!!

I am beyond thrilled to announce that my first book “The Emerald Merwitch” is available now! Not only is the book written and illustrated by yours truly but we’ve also done an audio reading which you can buy as a download on its own or as an accompaniment to the book! More details can be found here: http://www.shirleytales.com/product/the-emerald-merwitch/ 

While you’re there check out my new Shop page where you can purchase Dear Calamity Jane, a recording of my original songs, and the soundtrack to Swamp Opera, my musical play.


LOVEShe was beautiful, standing there like a movie star, the sun twinkling in her hair, her mouth a ripe cherry. Honest, I can’t think of another way to say it.

She turned to look at the car roaring up the drive. That’s when he saw her. I saw him. If he had been walking he would have stumbled. His mouth actually dropped open. He was in love. I’ve heard of such a thing. I felt the impulse.

How did he know she liked raspberries in cream? How did he know she would walk a mile in snow for a book that had just come out? He did, though. I saw it, right there, like he would die and end his gorgeous young life, if she needed it. It was so raw I had to look away, only for a moment, though, because you can’t miss such passion, not in real life.

It’s authentic. It hurts in the bones that you aren’t the one he loves like that.


bluebirdsThe slanting February sun
Wrapped in a grey furry blanket
Begs forgiveness for offering no warmth

She offers no golden stream
Of light that we might bask in
While sitting in the old,
Red chair in the kitchen

She offers no color to the day
That might distract us
While we make our last trip
To the post office

She only offers grey
All shades of grey
Dove grey
Steel grey read more…