“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.

Parenting

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Can You Guess Which Movie? (I fast-forwarded through the sexy stuff)

Sunday night I took a hard, violent fall, kinda pin-balled down there. Hit a lot of railings, broke a lot of shit!
I’m not saying I survived, but I thrived. I met a dolphin down there, and I swear to God that dolphin looked, not at me, but into my soul. Into my God damn soul, Annie! And it said, ‘I’m saving you Megan’. Not with its mouth, but…I’m assuming telepathically?

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A Plea to the Overachieving Mothers! You’re Making me Look Bad!

I’m a terrible mother! For all I know the drama kid’s really staying at school till four playing craps against the side of the handball court with a coupla middle schoolers named Vinnie and Jett who dropped out last month cuz they got caught smoking vapor cigarettes in the girl’s toilet … Keep Reading!

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Worst Husband in the World, Killing My Own Kid Video Gone Viral

When I was a newborn my grandmas came to meet me for the first time. My dad carried me into the living room swaddled in a blanket, tripped, fell and accidentally threw me into the burning fireplace as everyone screamed.

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10 Things NOT to do on Your Child’s School Field Trip

When the Bossy Docent yells at a child for pulling a pine cone off a tree, yelling, “Leave this land exactly as you found it,” do not whisper to your child’s teacher, “I can just imagine her in bed, ‘leave my vagina just as you found it; parched, spiny and uninhabitable.'”

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Do You Press-Gang Your Kids?

“Well, I know you haven’t brushed your teeth yet. Please go do that.” He looks at me horrified. That’s not why he came to see me. He wanted retribution not a chore. That’s what I do to my children. Ultimately I seem to turn every interaction into a nag.

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Zen and the Art of Sailing During A Small Craft Advisory Warning

I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to barf. I didn’t want to get salty. I didn’t want to smell feces. I didn’t want to be dominated by forces beyond my control. That’s right, I didn’t want to go

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Daughters: 10 Reasons You Should Not Have Sex in High School

Dear Daughters, You’re at an age where your father and I have little control over the choices you make when you aren’t with us. We know, from our own experiences, that if you really want to do something, whether beneficial

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My Kids Don’t Rebel Against Me, I Rebel Against Them!

12-year-old Clare looks at me as I’m getting ready to go to the gym. Clare: Shannon, you can’t wear those shorts. Me: I am not Shannon, I am Mom. Clare: You are Shannon when you wear those shorts. Me: Is

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If Corrupting My Child Is Wrong, I Don’t Wanna Be Right aka Bad Parenting

We’re the parents who allowed our 12-year old daughter to watch two R-rated movies. Is it my imagination or have our phones stopped ringing for play dates because we’re the libertines leading our child down the inglorious path of foul-mouthed,

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One Mom Ponders her “What Ifs” when it Comes to her Autistic Son

Today’s post comes from filmmaker Lisanne Sartor who shares her parenting what-ifs: As a parent, it’s easy to drive yourself nuts wondering if you’ve irreparably harmed your kids with the mistakes you’ve made. “What if I hadn’t yelled at him

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Autism Changed Everything

I’m in love with my friend Lisanne Sartor (sorry Henry … actually I suspect you may not mind) first because she had the courage to participate in our #LoveYourBodyNow project, but next because she’s a vulnerable, confessional writer whose work

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Empty Nest = Sex in Strange Places?

Sex on the dining room table had never been so raw, because Henry ate fresh sashimi and unagi off of my pendulous orbs of alabaster breast flesh, his steel-hewn thighs thrusting my sinewy ones open as he positioned himself in

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What Happened when Her Son was Diagnosed with Autism

I’m thrilled to introduce screenwriter/director, Lisanne Sartor to all of you. Lisanne’s short film, The Six Letter Word, about an unlikely mother coming to terms with her young son’s autism after an unexpected encounter with one of her johns, features a

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What’s the Story Your Kids Tell About You?

I have daughters entering puberty while I simultaneously enter menopause. It’s an occasional Shitastrophy and I expect even more Punji Stick booby traps as their estrogen escalates and mine deteriorates. It was during my pubescent years I began to shape the

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What Happened When I Forced my Daughter into the Ocean aka Bad Parenting

The day was perfect for boogie boarding at the beach. The tubes were hollow, the pits weren’t dropping, there weren’t any bombs to pound you and you could even catch air on some radical ramps, Bro. But there Clare stood

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