“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.

Syrian Refugees, Greece

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The Lengths I’ll Go to Try to Impress You (& be of service)

Excerpt: “I like to brag. And every now and them I’m a cowgirl who’s all hat and no cattle. But I did something I didn’t think I could do in this video. See if you can do it with me!”

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From Los Angeles Mom to Helping Syrian Refugees

Excerpt: “Things get real when I’m handed the three-year-old son of the pregnant woman.

He keeps trying to run back into the water, back into the boat where his mom has gone into labor while in the throes of hypothermia. He isn’t crying, he’s stoic, which somehow makes it worse. I can’t help imagining how terrified my children would’ve been in this situation. How traumatized they’d be to see their mother suffer like this.” Keep reading.

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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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