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Best of Both Worlds with Denecia Green

Published:Sunday | February 8, 2015 | 2:00 AM

Best of Both Worlds with Denecia Green

Having the best of both worlds is a feat not achieved by many. But for 24-year-old Denecia Green, finding love on a two-way street led her full speed down the highway to 'dual citizenship' in passionate professions.

In this edition of Pursuing Passion versus Making Money, we feature a multitalented young woman who decided to ditch the norm to answer two callings.

Pharmacist by day, Green leads a double life, exploring creative writing by night. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Technology to become a pharmacist while working in journalism, then went on to complete not one but two novels.

Green told Outlook that, while growing up, she wanted to become a doctor. But because she thought she would not get into med school, she hopped on the silver lining to her career cloud, opting to follow something within the medical field. So pharmacy was the next best thing.

As it related to tapping into her creative side, that, she revealed, was unleashed when she was only eight years old. Poetry was her first outlet, and after her debut with the poem 'The Wind', she continued with the flow to high school, where she discovered her love for prose and short stories.

"At Camperdown [High], I was a consistent 'A' student in English language and English literature. When it came to creative writing, the teachers always told me I had an active imagination and they always loved my compositions," she said.

TAKING ASTEP

While at Camperdown, she decided to take a chance and develop her art in the professional arena.

"At that time, they encouraged me to submit my work to a weekly teen newspaper called Teen Herald. Each time one of my articles was published in the paper, the students and teachers always marvelled at how good the stories were. So this motivated me to keep writing until, one day, Teen Herald called and ask me to work for them. So I now had my own weekly column, in addition to earning some cash at age 14."

Her spontaneous act led her to write erotic stories for Xtra News Jamaica (X-News), updating the residents of Portmore with Portmore Sun and reporting in Buzz Caribbean Lifestyle Magazine, where she was, once again, responsible for the paper's weekly sex column. Fortunately for her, writing opportunities always presented themselves.

NOVELS

Her first novel, published in 2010 and titled Life: through a teen's eyes, captures real-life experiences of typical modern teenagers, featuring a compilation of short stories, sharing the experiences of several teenagers from various socio-economic backgrounds. It unveils themes of rape, domestic violence, drug addiction, abortion, as well as touching matters of the young at heart, notably the first kiss and getting over a break-up.

Lies, sex & betrayal, which followed last August, she told Outlook, gives an inside look on living on the wild side through get-rich-quick schemes and illegal drug use. It explores risquÈ and taboo topics associated with relationships and the extent to which individuals are willing to go in order to acquire success. She explains that even though both novels depict experiences we all can relate to, they are deemed fictional.

The challenge for Green in playing for two teams comes in the form of the delicate balancing act needed to execute both roles effectively. She highlighted that, for her, it is all about time management.

"The pharmacy programme was already very stressful. I had to be meeting assignment deadlines at school and also for work. Additionally, I would work in a community pharmacy in the evenings after school, as I wanted to gain experience. Then, as it concerns the media, I was often sent to cover various social events on weekends, which often interfered with my study time for school, but I had to find ways to make it work. In balancing the two, I learned the art of proper time management and I always managed to get the work done."

BIG DREAMS

The pharmacist and writer continues to dream big. In the next 10 years, she sees herself still in the pharmaceutical industry, hopefully as a proprietor of a pharmacy. As far as her writing is concerned, she would like to be an author of a bestseller - or maybe several bestsellers - by then.

"I love to dance so it would also be a dream of mine to become a part of a dance ensemble," she revealed.

When asked what brings her more joy, Green said, while she loves being a pharmacist, creative writing is definitely her passion. She notes that its nice to have money, but it is not essential to having a good life.

"Choosing money over happiness only makes you stressed and overworked. Your happiness cannot be bought. The only way to truly be happy and satisfied in life is to do what you love and to love what you do," she said.

Both novels are available at The Kingston Bookshop. Other outlets include Orridge Pharmacy in Portmore; The Supermed Mall Pharmacy in Mall Plaza, Half-Way Tree; and New Port Maria Pharmacy in St Mary. The electronic version is also available on Amazon and iTunes.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com