“The literary equivalent of a summer night, a good friend and a gin-and-tonic: Shannon is a deft writer; a natural storyteller with a wicked turn of phrase and frighteningly specific memory...”

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How Syrian Refugees can Trump Donald Trump (hint: a mouse)

Excerpt: “But Sunni and Shia death squads began targeting Iraqis working for the coalition. Z survived one kidnapping and one assassination attempt in which a man with a machete tried to behead her right in front of the Green Zone.” Keep Reading …

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This is What Syrian Refugees Look Like (Slideshow)

Thanks to the Paris terror attacks and the more recent mass shooting in San Bernardino by two Muslims, Syrian refugees are all over the news. The internets and pundits are rife with Islamophobia and xenophobia as a result. (The Donald’s combover has never looked quite so outraged.) Keep Reading:

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Syrian Men Become Refugees to Avoid Becoming Terrorists (video)

Excerpt: “The men, ages 20 to 25, were weak from three days without food and water, were soaked to the skin from a treacherous sea crossing from Turkey, but were eager to tell their stories to Westerners who cared.” Keep Reading …

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My Father’s Curse! (Syrian Refugee Crisis)

My father cursed me. I was departing to volunteer and gather stories in Syrian refugee camps in Lesvos, Greece. A tiny island of 85,000 residents who’ve hosted more than 500,000 refugees since January. “I think what you’re doing is irresponsible,” he said. “You’ve got children to raise.” I reminded him I wasn’t going to Syria to thrust myself betwixt Bashar al Assad (who might gas me) and ISIS (who might alleviate me of my head). I was going to Europe. Keep Reading …

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What One Refugee Did That Put a Lump in my Throat (Syrian Refugee Camps)

Excerpt: “I have my own story. One I’ve replayed in my head when dread lodges in my body while I watch the scenes of horror in Paris unfold on TV. Just yesterday, prior to the attacks, I visited Moria. It has the most dire reputation of the refugee camps because it’s where the single Syrian males are housed along with what are considered “economic” immigrants from Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia and Iraq. Moria is surrounded by high concrete walls topped with barbed wire and looks more like a prison than a refugee camp.” Read More …

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Going to Syrian Refugee Camp in Greece. Back Soon.

Should all the stars and British Airways align I’ll be leaving next Monday for the Moria and Kara Tepe Syrian refugee camps on the island of Lesvos in Greece to volunteer and gather stories. I like to live a scheduled, structured, fairly predictable life, but am fortunately friends with a bad ass human rights activist, Jamie Grumet, who likes to push me out of my comfort zone. In 2013 she talked me into taking my family to Africa and now this. Keep Reading.

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What do Jack Nicholson, Jane Fonda, James Dean and Me Have in Common?

I don’t know what’s happening, but a hole opens in my chest. It’s a vortex that everything dark and broken gets sucked down into. “I’m not the good girl! I’m so sick of trying to make everyone happy I could explode!” Over this Jeff yells, “Go To Scene!” The lines from the play aren’t on the page anymore; they erupt out of my mouth, “I had no right to do what I did! It was too bad a thing to do. There’s no happy thing possible because a me. I can’t leave this house cause it’s my crime!” Keep Reading.

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5 New Asshat Recovery Articles on my Relationship Site. (Inc. Family-of-Origin Dysfunction)

I have five new articles on my relationship website. They cover kicking butt for your inner child, vanquishing unwarranted shame, pro-active tasks to figure out what to do with family-of-origin dysfunction and addiction to Asshattery. Click for links!

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10 Fun and Easy Ways to Change Up Your Style

As you know I’m prone to Shopaholism. Here’s what I’m trying to keep my credit card from exploding: Every woman goes through phases of being uninspired with her wardrobe. You likely know the symptoms: wearing the same few items over and over, staring at your closet for hours, and not being excited to get dressed. This means that it is time to shake up your closet and change your style. Fear not: this won’t require revamping your entire wardrobe or spending your entire paycheck. Here are 10 easy ways to mix up your style without breaking the bank: Check it Out!

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6 Things She Was Thinking During Sex, What He did to Make it Stop!

Excerpt: “I’m attempting a technique called The Pepper Grinder on my husband. It’s 9 a.m. on Monday morning, which is one of the few times we can have sex because our children are not in the house, but it really eats into my work time, man. This is what is in my head as I try to complete this sexual task:” Keep Reading …

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How Safe is Your Vagina from These 7 Deadly Afflictions?

Excerpt, “I was particularly self-conscious after my injury because I was sure all the juvenile delinquents camped next to us (my first introduction to the allure of The Bad Boy) could tell, by the way I walked, that my 13-year old lady bits were the size of a catcher’s mitt.” Keep Reading …

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Beware the Black Hair! (5 Things Older Women Know That Young Women Don’t)

I was minding my own business, tweezing my eyebrows using a high powered magnifying mirror, capable of lighting up the crevices of your aging face like floodlights used to interrogate Colombian drug kingpins during the Pablo Escobar era, when I saw it. It was small, even demure, but it was there! … Keep Reading!

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This Post Will Make You Love Yourself in 1 Minute and 13 Seconds (Real Beauty)

This 1 minute 13 second video demonstrates that all of us want what we don’t have. That we all think the Grass is Greener on someone else’s face or body. It reminds us we’re not alone. It makes conscious all of the unconscious, negative, self-hating things we tell ourselves everyday since we’ve absorbed an impossible standard of beauty from the advertising community and celebrity culture. Moms and Dads, be sure to show this to your daughters …

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A School Art Project in “CandleLight” Gets Fast Tracked to the Sex Ed. Dept.

Redditor sauvignonomatic writes, “I think it’s great to let the students know that each individual can have their own unique ‘candlelight’ and that mine doesn’t necessarily look like that other girl’s. Still, it gets everyone hot just the same.” Keep Reading …

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He Says I’m Too Fat, But What Bothers me Most is my Response

Excerpt: I abandon my body completely, as if it were a one-legged stepchild, by saying, “You’re right. I do need to lose 3, 5, 10 pounds. I’ll do it soon.” “When?” he’ll ask. “Soon,” I’ll say. Then he usually presses me to pick a time frame. Or a special event as my goal. And I will arbitrarily pick something. By my next birthday. Before I participate in a ballroom dance competition. By Christmas. Keep Reading …

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What do Chrissie Hynde, Sexual Consent and a Cup of Tea Have in Common?

Excerpt: When I was a student abroad in 1986, I suffered an attempted rape. I was fortunate, after a protracted struggle, to escape my attacker. Intellectually, I understood that he had absolutely no right to do what he did to me. But, emotionally I felt culpable. Because I did stay on a deserted beach with a boy I didn’t know after my friends left. I did drink alcohol and become mildly intoxicated. And I did want him to kiss me. Keep Reading …

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Red Flags #7 and #8 That you Might Be Dating an Asshat. (& What to do About it)

Excerpt: “Red Flag #7: He Makes You Feel Bad About Your Appearance and Your Personality. Slowly but surely toxic people work to undermine your confidence.They criticize the way you look, the way you talk, the way you eat, the way you do pretty much everything. They’ll even criticize you for reacting negatively to their outrageous, emotionally abusive behavior. My client Beatrice (not her real name) was living with her boyfriend of three years, Matthew.” Keep Reading …

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How to Handle the “Sex Talk” With Your 9-Year-Old

Excerpt: “Mom, how old do I need to be before I can have sex?” Oh, crap. I am suddenly thrust into a very important conversation with the question-asker, my 9-year old daughter, that I WAS NOT expecting. We’re snuggling in bed after binge-watching five episodes of Friends. Damn that Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Monica and Joey for going through lovers like an Avian flu patient goes through Kleenex, with no apparent negative repercussions save for some embarrassment. Keep Reading…

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The Mothership Has Landed. My Byline in October’s “O” Oprah Magazine

I have my first byline in “O” Oprah Magazine. I’m not at liberty to reprint my story here. I’m stuck in Oprah handcuffs for Time and all Eternity. And feel lucky that I am. But I’d be so happy if you’d pick up this month’s issue for a gander. Here’s a peek.

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How to be Handy in Bed (NSFW!)

Excerpt: “I figured, despite a mild case of carpel tunnel and harbingers of arthritis in the third knuckle of my ring finger, that my hands could pinch-hit for my euphemistically titled Downtown Dining and Entertainment District.” Keep Reading!

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How Laziness Can Make You More Successful

Excerpt: “On this last day on the plane from the Middle East to Jordan, it sparked the thinking about how honored workaholism is. It is a disease like any other extreme form of –ism, but in our Western culture, it is celebrated.” Keep Reading!

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Beautiful Book App: Classic Books, Gorgeous Looks

I have a cousin who is a creative genius. He created two of my book covers. Then he kind of took a step backward as an animator on How To Train Your Dragon I and II. It was sad, really, his downward spiral from helping me to helping Steven Spielberg. Things are looking up, however, as Matt has created a stunning new app called Beautiful Book! Read More…

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A Gunman Spitting Lead Made Artist Ruthie Briggs-Greenberg Create a Dragon That Couldn’t Spit Fire. Meet “Felicity The Dragon”

Excerpt: “Accompanied by Briggs-Greenberg’s stunning paintings is her tale of a dragon who simply doesn’t feel like she’s a real dragon. She’s not fierce or mean. She doesn’t breathe fire or spit venom. She prefers sharing cupcakes and taking boat rides to eating passels of terrorized villagers.” Keep Reading …

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Kate Winslet Takes on Fat Shamers & a Groundbreaking Book asks, “What’s Wrong With Fat?”

Kate Winslet wrote: ““I know I am chubby, I have big feet, and have bad hair days. When I grew up and even now sometimes, I hardly hear any positive reinforcement about body image from any female. I mostly hear negatives. But I know most of the negatives come from the people who are busy rejoicing other people’s insults by liking demeaning posts on Facebook, when in reality they don’t even like themselves.” Keep Reading …

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Red Flags #5 and #6 That You’re Dating an Asshat!

My online #AsshatRecovery tutorial is up and running on my relationship site and I’m now taking clients who would like to ditch their Asshat and find real love. Pop over and have a look.

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