“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...”

Download Shannon's story, "Beautiful Boy, Brandon Lee," in its full length, excerpted from her book, Smash, Crash & Burn.

Kids & Parents

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Parents Be Aware: How Teen Drug Use Can Morph into Mental Illness

Excerpt: “Everyone has some degree of mental illness and addiction. Maybe you’re addicted to fairly benign things, like chocolate or coffee. Maybe your mental illness manifests in OCD hand washing or hair braiding when you’re nervous. Weird neurons that trigger, despite your intellectual observation. For others though, the situation is more dire. Meth. Heroin. Voices in their head. It’s easy to judge people on the extreme end of the spectrum. To feel smugly superior. But then one of these desperate cases turns out to be our parent, or our sibling, a friend, or worst of all, our child. Where does that leave us?

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How My Grandma Took a Stand & Decided to Leave Her Church of 40 Years

Excerpt: I have two daughters. My younger daughter is Lesbian. As with most parents, I found this extremely difficult to accept. Denial was my middle name. I understand people who are homophobic because I was there – I was wrong. When homosexuality presents itself into your home, especially into your heart, it takes on a whole new meaning. About three years ago my daughter told me, ‘Mom, I’m gay.’ Keep Reading:

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Inspiration From a Teacher With My Daughter When an “Active Shooter” Terrorized UCLA

“As we sat together in silence, I called each of your names, and in the quiet of that room, where the tension was still thick with not knowing, I wanted to say your names over and over again.” Keep Reading

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He Answered the Door With a Gun

Excerpt: “What happened in the hot tub stays in the hot tub. Let’s just say I did not lose my virginity there, but the Kraken had been unleashed. Lance parked his car a good half-mile from my house at 2 a.m. We alighted, both of us with sopping wet hair, me clutching my dripping bikini in my left fist. I felt sexy, beautiful, daring and free right up to the moment when I tried to open my bedroom window and it wouldn’t budge.” Read More …

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Talking To Kids About Pornography (7 Bullet Points)

Excerpt: “Pornography is affecting young boys’ brains, turning them into misogynistic aggressors who might objectify and assault girls in the course of what they consider to be ‘normal’ sexual practices.” Keep Reading for talking points.

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Guest Post: The “Real Truth” About my Stepmom’s Boobs

Excerpt: “Should any pimply, horny teenage boy appear on my door stoop he was met full-force by this curvaceous nautical figurehead, her prow steaming right through him as if he were nothing more than a ripple in a paddling pool.” Read More!

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“I See You’ve Made a New Friend” & Other Memories of a Boy Gone too Soon

These are the things I remember about the Gone Boy. Hazel eyes. Slippery black hair. Fluidity of motion. Chipped front teeth. Velvety skin. A goofy laugh. A whipsmart brain. He seemed indestructibly alive. I suppose his death was the first that made me realize how permeable the layer is between life and death, but it didn’t help me understand how to feel about it.

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The Unexpected Way Her Father Humiliated Her

Excerpt: “The other night, I caught you putting your boobs on the table.” “What?” (She saw that?) “We were playing Monopoly,” she continued, “and you were wearing your pajamas without a bra and you put them right on the table!” Keep Reading …

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A Colleary Christmas 2015 (The Back Waxing Edition)

Excerpt: “Okay, I told Henry he could write his part of the letter because there was a good chance I’d run amuck. But to prepare your palate for propriety I must first offer the most indecorous moment with Henry of 2015. He had no idea this was coming:” Keep Reading …

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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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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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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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Empathy Kicks Sympathy’s Ass – A Beautiful, 2-Minute Video Explains Why

Have you ever told another person about your deepest pain and had them explain why you shouldn’t feel that way? And what you must absolutely do to fix it?

Have you ever been confronted by someone in a great deal of pain, felt uncertain about how to be helpful?Then you’ve got to see this 2 minute, beautiful animated short. If you’re a wife show it to your husband. If you’re a mom, show it to your kids. If you’re a man – watch it (love you Henry).

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My 7 Best Summer Memories from 1975: Throwback Thursday

Excerpt: “If any of his four granddaughters (not-a-one grandson!) complained about the fish guts, he’d yell, ‘Shad-up and do it! You catch ’em, you clean ’em, you cook ’em, I eat ’em.’ I both hated and loved the smell of gutted fish each time grandpa drove us past the gutting station; we four girls riding with the wind in our hair in the open truck bed.” Keep Reading …

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One Father Says Goodbye to His Daughter. Stunning.

Excerpt: “Her room smells of alfalfa even though she has taken the rabbits. The stages of her life have settled into an archaeology of smells. The sweet dander of guinea pigs. Sour turtle bowls. Saddles redolent of horse piss and her own gamy adolescence.” Read more:

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My Daughter Has Made an Unsettling Transformation

My daughter has become a cat. She turns 13 years old in six days, but she began the shift to coy feline about two months ago. I’m not sure when she first rebuffed me. I suppose I didn’t notice because I probably thought she’d simply had a bad day and needed to be left alone. So this new Tabby Trend literally snuck up on me and pounced. How it used to be: Keep Reading!

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When The Man You Loved and Lusted For Changes Forever

Excerpt: She did all the things besotted mistresses do. She waited for her phone to ring, she called his home and hung up when his wife answered, she cried in a stall in the employee bathroom, she waxed her bikini line, she bought lingerie and sex toys, she colored her hair, she had her mustache electrolysized, she got manicures and pedicures, she wore perfume, she slathered herself with body lotion, she had a consultation about breast augmentation, she stopped having sex with her husband, she didn’t care if he found out, she became reckless and obsessed. Read More …

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Have You Told Your Mom She’s Beautiful? This VIDEO Might Inspire You!

This is one of those videos that remind us of all that our mother has done for us over the years. Get out your Kleenex and get your phone ready to call your mom to tell her she’s beautiful. Happy almost Mother’s Day!!

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5 Reasons Cooking For Kids Sucks!

Excerpt: • No, we cannot get Fruit Loops. • I understand that Jack’s mom allllways has Fruit Loops. • No Fruit Loops. • We are not getting Fruit Loops! • Then I come home and have to find a place to put this stuff: counter, cupboard or pantry? • Don’t even get me started on my refrigerator … Where spinach goes to die alongside 3 open bottles of ketchup.

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This Mother of a Twice Exceptional Child Needs a New Normal

Excerpt: That night my 9-year old daughter lies next to me reading a book. Suddenly she looks up ands says, “I always read ahead. I know I’m not supposed to. But I need to know what happens at the end.” “I do, too,” I tell her. She has no idea how much money I’ve spent at The Psychic Eye.

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I’m Reading at the 2015 Orange County “Listen to Your Mother” Show on Sunday April 26th!

If you’re wondering what to give your mom this year bring her to the Orange County “Listen to Your Mother” show. I’m reading alongside 12 other wonderful writers. It’s an incredible privilege that I’d love to share. xooxS

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Our Family Adventure Almost got us Killed!

Excerpt: The day was fresh and our spirits were high. Ahh, paddling. How the muscles rippled in the backs of my arms and even my stomach muscles were involved making me feel virtuous and holy. Yes, there was a faint ache in my wrists and thumbs due to being old, but this was to be a half-hour jaunt crowned by Starbuck’s Red Whoopie Pie, Double Fudge Mini-Donuts, Blueberry Oat Bars and a Blended Caramel Brulee Frapuccino, then things went awry. Keep reading…

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Westwood Charter Families, If You’re on the Fence About Emerson Middle School, Here’s why I Think you Should go.

Excerpt. That’s when something green and gelatinous will ooze out from under the door of the science lab, or the school emergency alarm will blare unexpectedly and for no reason at all, or one hundred towering 8th graders will burst from their classrooms; talking and laughing in the maniacal pitch of children at the peak of puberty running amok, some breaking the rules and sliding down the stair bannisters. Keep reading…

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Discover How I Made My Daughter A Better Athlete!

I stalked left field like a panther, my stride sinuous. Predatory. My Wilson 6-4-3 Series 13 Slow-pitch glove embraced my powerful, lightning-quick left-hand like a pashmina. My 11-year old opponent stepped up to the plate. Standing an intimidating 4′ 11″, weighing in at a muscle-hewn 85 lbs. she took her batting stance. Was that a gangland tear I saw tattooed out of the corner of her left eye? Her impregnable helmet made it difficult to be sure. Keep Reading!

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My Kitties’ Humans Desperately Needed a New Litter: You’ve Saved Our Olfactory Glands, Cat’s Pride! (A Commercial Starring Our Family & Win 100$!)

My daughter Bridget’s bedroom adjoins the bathroom wherein two kitty litter boxes lay in wait to accost our nostrils. My poor daughter’s bedroom always harbors a hint of eau ‘d cat pee.

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