“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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May: The Month to Do The Things That Scare You

These are the things I’ve done recently that made me want to vomit while pooping water.

(Yes. You can take that line and use it as your own.)

1. Wrote a book detailing my slatternly (Merriam-Webster: “Of, relating to, or characteristic of a slut”) years on the fringes of Hollywood celebrity.

2. Wrote query letters to New York book agents. 

Let me just check my Query Tracker to see how many rejections I’ve had so far … oh yes, there it is … 37.9% rejections, 62.1% have not replied yet.

Apparently, none of these agents quite realize the import of my tome. I imagine their slack jaws and glazed eyes as I accept my Pultizer … or a card from my kids telling me how great my book is, which is why they want to emulate my life, after which I drown myself in Schnapps.

3. Got onstage with a bunch of other mamas to perform my piece Walk The Walk, Naked Lady.

My body completely rebelled. There were digestive issues I won’t detail (as I suspect I’m already over my  irritable bowel limit for this post), cotton mouth issues (I looked like Katie Couric in a wind tunnel) …

Katie Couricpic

… and one instance of vertigo.

When I came to, my fellow actresses were feeding me pinot grigio from a funnel backstage. Man, I love those homegirls.

4. Cooked Mother’s Day brunch for 14 people without getting drunk and dancing with my underwear on my head.

5. Took a meeting with Hollywood producers I vehemently admire and was able to communicate without being as obsequious as Arsenio Hall interviewing Robert DeNiro (“You lookin’ at me? Well, I don’t see anybody else here!”)

6. Made the first step toward repairing a friendship that had gone off the tracks.


Because you will survive and thrive and realize (notice the rhythm in those verbs?) you’re capable of just about anything.

I’d love to know what you would do if you weren’t scared …

Tags assigned to this article:
conquering fears


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  1. Sharon Greenthal
    Sharon Greenthal 20 May, 2013, 12:49

    So glad to hear that sleeping in my son’s bedroom (while he was at college, natch) wasn’t on this list!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 20 May, 2013, 23:57

      I might have sniffed your son’s pillows for any lingering pheromones. Which actually just made me a little grossed out with myself. Ack.

      Reply this comment
  2. Ande Lyons
    Ande Lyons 20 May, 2013, 15:47

    LOL and LOVE this post Shannon! Especially the on stage experience – purrrfect!!

    Talking about SEX in polite company via Social Media every day and Internet Radio once/week has been a constant source of FEAR for me… guess it’s time to take it to the STAGE. Get the white wine and funnel ready… and some Lomotil. =D

    Love you Courageous Goddess!


    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 20 May, 2013, 23:56

      Ande you sassy mama, I’ve got to hear your internet radio show. Must do my research. You and I sound like a match made in heaven.

      Reply this comment
  3. Tabitha Crow
    Tabitha Crow 21 May, 2013, 07:27

    I would totally send off the children’s book I’ve written. I keep putting it off saying I need to tweak it more, or polish it, or sleep, or eat. Whatever. Congrats on your bravery. I’m a little jealous!

    Reply this comment
  4. joanne
    joanne 21 May, 2013, 14:31

    Shannon, my dear,
    I doubt many of us have faced the monumental tasks you have accomplished this month (and I’m sure the many months or years prior)! BRAVO! You will find the success you deserve, or there is no god.
    While I previously lamented my dear friend’s hair issues (in response to your hair post) I’m currently trying to figure out what to do with my hair, since breaking my shoulder – 3 hairline fractures – not halfway through my fantasy trip to Spain. My accomplishment was finishing my trip, and seeing most of the fabulous art I went to see.
    What I don’t understand is why the UN-husband, who raised a daughter as a single father, has 3 sisters, and is an engineer, cannot put my hair in a ponytail. His attempts have been scary.
    Good news – I just got an appointment with my hair girl to cut this mess.
    This should have been all about you and the fabulous risks you’ve taken, and your bravery in writing about it.
    Blame the pain medication – god bless it! – for me spilling my inconsequential bullshit. You inspire me.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 21 May, 2013, 18:09

      My dearest Joanne — hair is not for the faint of heart. My daughter Clare requires that I braid her hair every morning and now she’s almost 11 and I think it’s time she do it herself, but she’s dissatisfied with her own efforts and has exacting requirements that only I, apparently, can fulfill. There are moments I worry this is some kind of OCD issue for her and other moments where I thank the universe that she still feels like she needs me. Because I suspect my braiding mornings will come to an end sooner than I realize. And I’m sorry about your shoulder. What a fiasco, but brava to you for soldiering on. I’ve got a swollen right heel and it hurts to walk even barefoot. Sigh. Perhaps this is what my grandmother was talking about when she talked about the crap storm that aging is. Best, S

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