Friday, December 29, 2017

Behind the Book: What Kind of Marriage Do You Want?

What many women want in marriage is camaraderie AND passion. They want the feeling of trust and friendship that occurs with someone you spend a lot of time with. They also want strong sexual and romantic excitement for their mate.

Sounds good.

When you're dating, you tend to have passion without the camaraderie. 
When you're married you tend to have camaraderie without passion.
Having both, at the same time, is the ideal marriage. Or, as it's also known, The Jada Pinkett and Will Smith Marriage.

The reality is that, for most women, we either get one or the other. We get a good guy who gives us sparks or we get a cool guy who gives us flames. But wouldn't it be wonderful to find a Good-Cool Guy?

When both camaraderie and passion are expressed at the same time, it feels like a solar eclipse. Solar Eclipse: When the moon passes between the Sun and Earth. The sun--and all of it's happiness--is camaraderie. The moon--and all of it's mystery--is passion. When you receive both at the same time, you've experienced a Love Eclipse.

That's what most women crave. That's what Rachel craves in What If You're Over My Sh*t?. But sometimes, we don't get what we crave. 

Shannon

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Behind the Book: I Don't Have TIME For This Sh*t

This year, for Christmas, I tried something new. No matter how many of my diapers you once changed, no matter how many of my tonsils you once removed, no matter how many of my sins you've heard me confess, and no matter how many of your kids I gave birth to...

You got a Starbucks gift card.

Okay, this is the thing. I’m not cheap, I’m frugal. And, like I told my priest, I’m not lazy, I just don’t have time for this sh*t. Christmas is wonderful, but gift buying was created by the devil. Yet, I do have a heart.

I bought Starbucks gift cards that correlate to the amount of effort you’ve put in to putting up with me:

1. $350 gift card: If you kill someone, I’ll pretend like you didn’t. Happy Holidays.
2. $275 gift card: I have problems, and you love me anyway. Merry Christmas.
3. $225 gift card: You are important to me. So if your calls are pushed to voicemail, my kids are watching YouTube. Glad Tidings.
4. $150 gift card: I think you paid for dinner the last time we exchanged gossip. This is my share. Season's Greetings.
5. $50 gift card: Not sure if you bought me a gift, but if you did, I’m sure it wasn’t over $50. Feliz Navidad. 
6. $25 gift card: Here.

I'm not a gift person. I'm just not. I don't even care about receiving gifts. In What If You're Over My Sh*t? Rachel is the SAME way. She could care less about her husband Marc giving her things. What she wants is time being a family. What doesn't Marc GET about this?

Shannon

Friday, December 22, 2017

Behind the Book: I Wanted To Be a Rap Star

There was a time, not too long ago, that I wanted to be a rap star. Not a REAL rap star, but a book rap star.

I believed that Shannon Dianne could usher the world into its newest stage: The Age of the Writer-Rapper. In this age, a writer would be a lot like a rapper:

1. Everyone would count down the days until my book was released.
2. People would theorize about what and who my book would subliminally be about.
3. Readers would wonder if I had any guest appearances--in the form of character cameos--in my book. (For example, would Kendrick Lamar perform a private concert for Leading Lady? Will Oprah happen to be at a bookstore when Leading Man walks in?)
4. Readers would assume that my book was part of the Illuminati book catalog.
5. Readers would read a line and wonder if I was secretly dissing a fellow author.
6. Readers would call my book a classic.
7. Readers would fight about whether or not I was G.O.A.T. (The Greatest of All Time.)
8. My die-hard readers would harass real people on social media if a villain in my book reminded the readers of real people.

And on, and on, the list goes.

Well, it's been five years and six books later, and I haven't turned into a rapper. That's the thing with high expectations; there are times you won't meet them. Rachel learns that in What If You're Over My Sh*t?. Her expectations are beyond her grasps, and she's miserable because of it.

But, can't she just readjust her goals? This is what her husband wonders, as they head towards the road to divorce. Hopefully, Rachel can before it's too late.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Behind the Book: Half Me/Half Lie

I like to call my books Half Me/Half Lie. It's a fancy way of saying that I write about real life feelings and place them within story plots.

In What If You're Over My Sh*t? Aspen, Colorado is mentioned frequently. One of the reasons I mention Aspen is because I head there each winter to pretend like I'm not from the city. And so, I can write about Aspen because I believe I know it fairly well. 

Below are just a few shots I took... nothing too intimate. Just a brief look inside my latest book world that gives you a hint as to why I wrote some of my scenes.

Shannon







Monday, December 18, 2017

It All Makes Sense: How To Look Book Girl Perfect

Ladies, please have a seat and look at the screen ahead. I'll show you how to appear as perfect to others as the Leading Lady in your favorite novels.

First, allow me to introduce myself.

Good evening. I am your host Mrs. Social Media. Tonight, I'll be presenting The Perfect Life of Shannon Dianne According to the Pictures She Takes and Shares.

Let's begin with the first picture:

These are Shannon's children, in the back seat of the family truck. They're both watching a Pixar movie on an Apple tablet, laughing in unison. Will you just LOOK at her children's wonderful behavior. Imagine how peaceful Shannon's life must be since their births.

Notice how the children are both properly strapped in car seats, even at their advanced ages. Look how Shannon always follows the law. Please observe the straps on the car seats. Notice how they're not twisted or loose fitting, but look exactly as the manufacturer recommends.

Please draw your attention to the cubby holes on the children's car seats. Look at how both children are drinking Honest Kids Appley Every After organic juice pouches, which contains have the sugar of regular juice.

Please notice her children's clothing. Don't her children look like they've just left a GAP or Target photo shoot? Notice how they're both dressed in season. Keep in mind that Shannon posted this picture at NIGHT, so this is how her children have looked all day.

As you can tell, Shannon has a perfect set of children that you ALL should aspire to attain.

Next up, Shannon's husband.


Saturday, December 16, 2017

It All Makes Sense: How To Not Miss the Moment

The book has been released.
The reviews are rolling in.
I am in Aspen.

There are a number things I've decided NOT to do.

1. Stop eating.
2. Ask people if I look bigger because I won't stop eating.
3. Check review sites to see if people hate me.
4. Check sale reports to see if people love me.
5. Plan my summer vacation, while on my winter vacation.

I won't miss this moment. Because if there's one thing women do, it's miss the moment.

In What If You're Over My Sh*t? Rachel hasn't realized that for an entire year, she allowed moments to go unnoticed. She lived so much in her head that she had no time to live in her shoes. Here's hoping that she realizes before her divorce date.

Shannon

Friday, December 15, 2017

Behind the Book: I Want To Live In Book Worlds

I have Book Girl Problems.

In my perfect world, I'll read book after book. After reading a good book, I will have the option to jump into that book's world and stay there for as long as I please.

In that world, I will have the option to dine at all the sushi restaurants mentioned, like a star. I will drink all the Blueberry Cucumber Gimlets spoken of. I will drive in town cars, right beside the characters. I will wear minks in Aspen and sail the Pacific on summer nights.

My husband will morph into the Leading Guy--personality and looks wise--and we'll have serious problems that never affect our sexual tension. My children will be present in this world, but frequently babysat by both my mom and dad--who are wealthy, beautiful, and semi-retired.

My friends and I will be so close, others will refer to us as sisters. And we will all be compatible but different, making competition all but impossible.

In a perfect world, I will read book after book and quantum leap into one book world after another. Different cities. Different issues. Different luxuries. A perfect amount of drama.

If only that were possible.

In What If You're Over My Sh*t? Rachel has a Book Girl Problem: she has to live in reality. And she doesn't think she can do it. Because who wants to live in reality?

Shannon

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Behind the Book: My Life Is an Open (Fictional) Book

I always try to be good person. I always fail. My books are living testaments to that.

The strange thing about being an artist is that your life seems like the perfect storyline to a major book plot. And so, though each book is fictionalized for the reader’s entertainment, the theme behind the story tends to be true.

Shh…Mine: I need to come into my womanhood. (Danielle is a feminist.)
Over: I’m going crazy! I can’t live like this anymore. I need to find myself! (Malcolm is trying to find Laura’s crazy ass.)
Forever: Life isn’t perfect. I must accept its imperfections. (Jasmine is trying resolve her past as she accepts her present life.)
War: No, life is too hard. I can’t do this. I need a BREAK! (Everyone in the whole damn book is fighting. Everyone in the book starts planning family vacations for spring BREAK.)
The Murderer’s Mistress: I hate everyone. I want everyone else to hate everyone. (Boise holds a perpetual grudge against humankind.)
What If You’re Over My Sh*t?: I’m ready to be happy again. And I mean REALLY happy. (Marc has hope—beyond measure—that his marriage can be saved. He fights like hell to save it.)

And so, as an artist, you throw your characters into crazy situations and then watch them work themselves out of it. Soon, after you write dialogue and scenes, writing becomes therapy for the writer. You listen to both sides of a story. You write both sides of a story. You make the reader understand both sides of a story. And, before long, YOU begin to see both sides of life’s story.

And then life doesn’t seem so bad.

In What If You’re Over My Sh*t? that’s what Rachel’s challenged to do. She, like the rest of us, must see both sides of her story, if she wants to be happy again. But as you know, some people are just never happy.


Shannon

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Behind the Book: For Us Women On the Naughty List

It's tough living in reality; fantasy is so much better. Just look at fairy tales, which are the yardsticks that every woman measures her life up against. In these tales, a Good Girl (always virginal) meets Prince Charming (who's on the cusp of becoming a king). A third party (always a Wicked Woman) attempts to keep them apart. In the end, Good Girl and Prince Charming end up together. The End.

Boring.

For women who still love to read girly fairy tales, God help you. Nothing but disappointment will follow you all the days of your life. For those of us women who read adult fairy tales, we're in luck.

Adult fairytales are different from kiddie fairytales. In fact, they're nothing alike. Because, in adult fairytales, it's the Wicked Woman who gets a shot at Prince Charming.

Now, how fun is THAT?

Shannon



Monday, December 11, 2017

Behind the Book: Destiny May Not Just Happen

There was a time when I depended on the Universe for everything. I give the Universe a capital U because in my version of existence, the cosmos, the heavens, and everything in between operate together.

All my life I was conditioned to believe that fate and destiny happen with little interference from humans. (Thank you, religion.) In my line of thinking, no matter what I did, I would still reach the same end. Whether I tried at something or not... what did it matter?

And so, when I wrote my first, second, third, fourth, and fifth books, I did no marketing. If I were meant to be the Diana Ross of The Indie World, I would stand out like a sparkly diamond and steal the show.

Didn't happen.

And so I wrote my sixth book and named it What If You're Over My Sh*t?. It was the first time I named a book and thought about the reader: Will this title stand out? (As opposed to my other titles: War, Forever, and Over... all of which were lazy cop-outs.) I wrote the What If You're Over My Sh*t? and then sat down at my kitchen table, staring at my laptop. I was going to market this one. For some reason, I wanted this one to be big.

I started going promo crazy.

I bought images, created two covers, and then had my readers choose the one they liked the most. I started a blog and began writing behind the scene guides to the characters. I pre-sold this book to create a buzz. I gave the book to three readers in exchange for Amazon reviews. I created a giveaway, handing out my fifth book (The Murderer's Mistress) for those who bought What If You're Over My Sh*t?. I recorded audio tapes of me giving brief synopsis' of What If You're Over My Sh*t?.

The jury is still out on whether the Universe rewards a doer. Does the Universe reward someone who tries? Rachel and Marc attempt to answer this very question in What If You're Over My Sh*t?.

I guess we'll have to see.

Shannon

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Behind the Book: Dear Santa, I Just Want To Feel Happy

I'm not convinced happiness is a decision. I only say that because happiness is a feeling and feelings normally can't be made. Feelings are given.

Like most people alive, I love Christmas. But the weather is a downer. If I lived in Aspen and moose, wooden cabins, and winter trees outlined in Christmas lights surrounded me, the weather wouldn't bother me. I'd stay indoors with a pot of homemade chili, rum cake, and a shot of D'usse. I'd burn candles that smell like pound cake and a logger's cologne. I'd have the fireplace roaring, and the fire pit outside blazing. I'd have a kitchen window open to give me a chill to mix with the shot of heat. Just give me some oldies (from Elvis' love ballads to The Supremes' everything), and a Hallmark Christmas movie set on mute, and I'm good. I'm happy. Those smells and tastes and sounds give me happiness.

But look at what it took for me to get there.

In What If You're Over My Sh*t? Rachel has the same problem as many other women: it takes a lot to get her happy. And even worse, it takes a lot for her to stay happy. Because happiness soon becomes immune to the things that once made you happy. Soon, you'll have to find other things that make you happy.

And maybe that's the fun part of life.

What Rachel learns, in What If You're Over My Sh*t? is that what made her happy before doesn't make her happy now, and that's okay.

She must be open to change if she wishes to be happy.

Shannon

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Bonus Chapter: I WILL F*CK YOU UP

"Sometimes I think Rachel forgets that we were the couple from hell. Trev, my parents, her parents… everybody hated to see us coming. While dating, we had the kind of relationship that makes you tell everyone you know, you and that other person are over. For real this time. And then, the next week, you’re in her bed fucking her like you love her. Telling her that you love her. While you’re fucking her. Because you do. You love her. You always did. And everybody knows that. The only person who doesn’t know that is her. Rachel and I went through that phase."
 -Marc
What If You're Over My Sh*t?


RACHEL’S DIARY
IF YOU OPEN THIS, I WILL F*CK YOU UP



June 9
Dear Diary,

      It was an animal instinct to turn my grey shiny car around and park two cars behind them.
      Marc and Karla were sitting in his car.
      Right in front of In-n-Out Burger.
      Did you hear what I just said, Diary?
      “Let’s go,” Vivian said. And I wanted to. I really did. But I considered what people would say. Tonight, we were at a crowded burger joint, in Elysian Fields. As you know, Marc and I have been dating for two years now and everyone knows me. And of course, everyone knows Marc. Not only that, everyone knows Karla. Marc and Karla are from Elysian Fields; I am not. Vivian and I were the odd men out there tonight. I assumed that we were probably going, to be beaten up by women with nails bearing the name of their boyfriends. Someone would probably record the fight and sell the master copy to Jimmy who sells DVDs outside of Marc’s barber shop. Everything was telling me to stay in my car. But I really wanted to get out of my shiny grey car and punch Marc in the face. What to do?
      “Marc is my boyfriend,” I said more to myself then to Vivian.
      “Damn sure is. Let's get him.” Vivian was supportive of my decision to murder Marc. She's living proof that the term Best-Friend should be changed to Accessory-to-Murder. (Hi. This is Vivian, my Accessory-to-Murder.) Because this is what a best friend should be.
“What are they talking about?” I asked. I looked and saw Marc's head pointed forward. He was looking through the front window. Karla's ugly ass had her whole body turned to him, talking to him with her hands, never stopping as she raised her arms and shook her head.
      “They’re arguing,” Vivian said.
      “Oh my God!” I yelled. “First of all, what in the hell do you argue with someone else’s guy about?” The obvious. Karla was arguing about their relationship. She wanted to know why Marc and I are together. She wanted to know why I came to L.A. this summer, instead of staying in San Francisco for the summer break. She wanted to know how much longer she has to wait before he belongs to her and only her. Didn’t he hurt her enough by going off to college, dumping her, dating me, and then stashing me in Santa Monica this summer? Weren't Vivian and I supposed to be heading to Toronto this summer? Isn’t that what Sean told Tracy? Isn’t that what Tracy told her? Why can't Marc just tell me to leave, so that he and Karla can be together the entire summer and rekindle their flame? I KNOW this is what Karla was saying. “I’m on to you,” I accidentally said out loud.
      "We sure are,” Vivian said. And this is another reason why I love Vivian: she doesn’t have to know what in the hell I’m talking about. Doesn’t matter what it is, she TOTALLY agrees with me.
I looked at Vivian. “Let’s go.”
I stepped out of my car… in my Blahnik heels.
      "Oh damn, I'm wearing my Blaniks," I said to Vivian, across the roof of my car. To my surprise, she grew excited.
      "I read an article where a woman in Boston killed her husband with the heel of her shoe." And just like that, Accessory-to-Murder had become Vinny “Two Fingers” Capone.
      "I'm not gonna do that."     
      "Fine."
      We both looked towards Marc's car.
      As usual, there was a block party feel tonight. That’s how it is in Elysian Fields. Eighties sounding rap music was blaring. (I know the music was from the eighties because it sounded both angry and corny.) Some people were bopping along to the beat; some were leaned against cars, laughing, and talking to friends or future bedmates. Some were at the outside counter of In-n-Out Burger ordering burgers and fries.
      And still, Marc was in his car with Karla.
How cozy they looked.
      Just think about it, Diary, Marc allowed the entire world to see him sitting in a car with another girl while dating me. I’m like the Faith Evans of this situation and Karla is Lil’ Kim and Marc is Biggie’s no good ass. And just the thought of that made me throw away all of my Lil’ Kim CDs tonight because she’s a homewrecker. And then I played my Faith Evan’s CDs even though her voice is annoying as hell and Lil’ Kim clearly is the one with the better talent and… whatever! Karla’s a goddamn homewrecker!
I looked at Vivian and pointed to Marc’s car.
      Let’s go.     
We marched forward.      
It was the humiliation of that moment that did me in. I’m not just a nobody in Elysian Fields anymore; I’m known on this scene. Marc brings me here all the time. I sit on the roof of Marc's Mustang with Sean and his girlfriend Tracy, and down vanilla shakes. I bop along to rap music while dipping my French fries in ketchup. For Marc to be in his car with Karla just wouldn’t do.
He had to die.
Vivian and I marched forward.
I knew that this upcoming ass-whooping would be for all the times Tracy has mistakenly called me Karla. It would be for all the times I saw a Los Angeles number pop up on Marc's cell phone and he never answered it. It would be for that one time Karla's cousin came to Berkeley for one of Marc's barbecues and stepped on my Kate Spades and laughed at my cardigan. This will be for Marc and me getting into a spat last month, and him saying in exasperation 'Goddamn, Karla..." He paused. I paused. Sean wedged himself in the middle of us, because I had a butcher knife I was holding as a prop.
But back to tonight…
I noticed Marc’s window was rolled up. Hmm… this conversation was intimate. Special. They wanted to lock the entire world out. I looked at Vivian. I pointed to Marc’s side of the car. I nodded for her to go to the other side.
      I’ll take Marc; you take Karla.
      Vivian nodded. We proceeded.
      That’s when I realized I brought nothing to break things with. But then again…
      I stopped on Marc’s side of the Mustang and took off my right Blahnik. I was standing RIGHT NEXT TO his door and he didn’t see me. That's how engaged this asshole was with whatever Karla was saying. I took one step forward and pulled my arm back, the heel of my Blahnik pointing towards his window and then…
      CRASH!!!
      His natural instinct was to duck.
      CRASH!!!
      I heard Karla scream. Vivian had just broken her window. Marc scrambled towards his glove box and within seconds, pulled out a...
      WHOP!
     I give him a blow to the side of the head. Whatever he was reaching for drops. I give him another blow to the side of his head. I watch Vivian drag Karla out of the broken window, peaks of glass dig into Karla’s skin. But Two Fingers Capone didn’t care; she pulled Karla along anyway. The glass released gushes of blood. People started running over to us at this point. Marc looked at his window, saw me and…
WHOP!
      I gave him a blow to his head.
      He struggled to open his car door.
      “Rachel!” he screamed at me. “She just jumped in the car!” He kicked open his car door with so much force, it threw me backward and knocked me down into the broken glass on the street. I saved my ass with my elbows. I felt tiny pin pricks digging into flesh and bone. I heard the “Oh shit…” of people around us. I slid my Blahnik back on and watched Marc jump out of the car. He rushed to where I was and yanked me upward by my waist. “Shit, you’re bleeding.” But I didn’t care. Those tiny shards of glass in my elbows felt like angel kisses, compared to how it felt to see Marc and Karla in his car together.
      And, on instinct, I began to deliver blow after blow to his head.
      WHOP! WHOP! WHOP!
      The world around me had shut down. All I felt was Marc’s arm around my waist. All I smelled was his cologne. His cologne always smells like Christmas in Aspen. (Why does his cologne always smell like Christmas in Aspen?) I continued to hit him out of rage. Out of humiliation. Out of anger.
      Why can’t you just fucking love me! That’s what I wanted to scream at him. But my throat felt like it had closed. I couldn’t speak. The anger in me had shut down my vision. I couldn’t see. All I noticed were bright lights, fuzzy and blurred, spinning around me. All that I could do was swing my arms and collide them with Marc’s face, chest, shoulders. Wide shoulders. God, he smelled good.
Marc pressed me against him. His arms wrapped around me.
      “Rachel… Rachel… Rachel…” he whispered it over and over again in my ear. He was trying to soothe me. But you can’t soothe the insane. Insanity dissolves on its own.
      I am crazy. Marc has driven me crazy. Marc is driving me crazy.
      I felt him pulling me along. I felt another set of arms pulling me along. I smelled cologne. It was a familiar scent. I assumed it was Sean or Trev. (It was Trev.)
And then I heard Vivian. She was in a rage for me; cursing and screaming at Karla. Vivian’s voice began to sound closer to me. I assumed that she was being pulled along with me. (Sean was pulling her, while Tracy looked on, Vivian told me later.)
(Vivian said Tracy gave her the stink eye.)
(I have no idea why Vivian hates Tracy. Yeah, Tracy’s a bit hood-ish, but she’s nice.)
(Vivian’s just being a bitch.)
(I love Vivian.)
      And then I was exhausted. I had no more energy in me to punch. I had no more energy in me to fight.
And so, I stopped.
At the feel of my surrender, Marc stopped dragging me along. I felt Trev’s hands leave me. I put my hands over my face. I was exhausted. I felt Marc wrap his arms around me tighter. He pressed me into his body harder. His body: Solid. Strong. Perfect.
      “Why the fuck do you always go overboard?” he asked me, rather violently. “Why do you kick ass first and ask questions later? That shit’s dangerous, Rachel. I could’ve…” he let the words drift off.
He inhaled deeply and exhaled even deeper.
“I came with Sean,” he whispered in my ear. “Karla jumped in the car when Sean got out.” Well, how convenient was that. I lifted my head and found my face in Marc’s neck. I hate to say it, but his cologne soothed me. Everything about Marc calms me. But…
      "I don’t care anymore,” I said to him through a sob. “I can’t keep caring! I don’t have the energy to care anymore!”
      “I swear to God, Rachel. I didn’t come here with her,” he said to me. “I didn’t know she was here. I promise you. I didn’t know.” He sounded genuine. He really did. Or did I want him to sound genuine? Was I hoping he was genuine? Or is Marc really just a genuine guy?
      I was exhausted with it all. I dropped my head into his neck. He wrapped his arms around me tighter. I inhaled him. I surrendered. I gave up.     
“Rachel,” he then whispered. "I don't get this shit. If I say I'm with you, then I'm with you. That's it. Nobody else. I don't get why you can't believe that."
      “No more, Marc,” I find the voice to say. I nudge myself away from him. I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE WITH MARC ISLES. He pulled me back harder. “Move,” I told him.     
“No," he whispered. "Listen, you never have to worry about Karla, Rachel. Never."
     


Audio Video: About Marriage

Oh boy... marriage. If there’s one thing about my books it’s this: a lot of sh•t goes down in marriage.
I think before anyone gets married, they should be required—by law—to read my books.





Behind the Book: Marc Gets Them Drunk

Whatever I do, I'm going to master it. I call this the Rum Cake Rule.

I cook. That's my thing. But I don't cook normal food. That's what grandmothers are for. I cook what my mom calls foo-foo food: Crawfish Etouffee, Cream Cheese Squash Soup, African-Thai Peanut Curry Soup, Quinoa Taco Meat Dip, Almond Meal Cookies. Ya know, sh*t that people look at and ask Shannon, what the f*ck is this? I mean really...

Marc, the guy I married, has been instructed to rate my dishes on a five-star system. I trust his opinion because there isn't a dish alive that has ever gotten five-stars from Marc... until he married me.
My foo-foo food is the source of legends. People travel to my home on the holidays to taste the crazy sh*t I've cooked up. And so, when I tried out a new Rum Cake recipe, I assumed Marc would rate it five stars.

He did not.

It's a 4-star cake, he said. Nice try.

Instead of f*cking him up, I went on the hunt for a bigger and better recipe. I scoured the internet for weeks. I took shots of different rums to determine which brand made my taste buds rejoice. And then I found the recipe I was looking for.

After I perfected my Rum Cake recipe, my dinner guests were calling for designated drivers. Because this is the thing, if you're going to do something, you better get drunk off of it.

In What If You're Over My Sh*t? that's what Marc does. He goes hard at life. No matter if he's writing code for the government, taking his morning run through L.A., taking his daughter out for ice cream, or treating Rachel to a foot rub. He lives by the Rum Cake Rule: Do it right. Get 'em drunk.


Shannon


PS
Here's the link to that rum cake recipe I stumbled across:  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/christmas-rum-cake/

Friday, December 8, 2017

Audio Video: About the Book

There’s a neglected group of black women in the book world.

I do my best to write to you.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Audio Video: About Urban Romance

The point of Urban Romance Novels, according to me, a woman who has NEVER read one (but has written 6).




It All Makes Sense: Eat This For Christmas

If you don't gain a significant amount of weight during November and December, I don't like you. With that being said, there's a recipe for pound cake that will make you ask why you even came to www.shannondianne.com in the first place. (More on that later.)

Food is comforting to me. It's my vice. When I am low, I eat. When I am happy, I eat. When I am confused, I mindlessly eat. Whatever my mental state, I eat. The only time I cannot eat is when I'm in the middle of writing a book.

While listening to Rachel and Marc tell me their sides of their love story, I lost about five pounds. There is no such thing as listening and eating, not when two people are about to break up, and smoke is coming out of your keyboard as you write their opposing views.

So, when you read What If You're Over My Sh*t? you are experiencing a significant event in my life: It's one of the only times I wasn't eating. With that being said, after I finished writing What If You're Over My Sh*t? the first thing I did was eat. And what did I eat to gain back those five pounds I lost? 5-Pound Pound Cake.

Enjoy.
Shannon


Ingredients
•    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
•    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
•    5 eggs
•    3 cups plus more for pan all purpose flour
•    3 cups sugar
•    1/2 cup vegetable shortening
•    1/2 lb (2 sticks) plus more for pan butter
•    1 cup milk
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions
Preheat oven to 350 °F.
With a mixer, cream butter and shortening together. To the bowl, add sugar a little at a time. Then, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. In another bowl, stir dry ingredients together then add to mixer alternately with milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Mix in vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Audio Video: About Elysian Fields

Well, we’ve left Boston in What Of You’re Over My Sh•t? and found ourselves right in the middle of an LA hood. Let me explain...
(Check out that "I'm deranged and he better act like he knows" look I'm giving you all. Shout out to Rachel.)




It All Makes Sense: Christmas, New England Style

(Chili--yes, chili--plays an important role in What If You're Over My Sh*t?. Please, keep that in mind.)

Rusticators: a New England word to describe city dwellers who run to Maine each summer to live the rustic life.

I love summers in Maine and New Hampshire mainly because it's sweater weather in mid of July. I love winters in Aspen because it gives me a legitimate excuse to stay indoors without feeling like a bum. It's the rusticator in me. While in Maine, New Hampshire, and Aspen I love to do the following:

1. Eat heavy and fattening foods and then look at my reflection, while standing sideways, in windows.
2. Turn on a 60's and 70's Pandora station, sit at the kitchen island, dance in my chair, and eat rum pound cake.
3. Wear sweaters with lobsters or deer on them.
4. Decide to make chili because my family and I need something to snack on.

With that being said, here's the best chili recipe I've stumbled across. Enjoy.

INGREDIENTS
1lb ground venison (that’s deer for you city folk)
2 onions, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 (14 ounce) can of Rotel
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 (14 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup beer

DIRECTIONS
Cook ground meat with onions and peppers in dutch oven.
Drain excess grease and add tomatoes, seasonings, and water, bring to a boil.
Add beans, cover and simmer 1-2 hours.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Holiday '17 Edition Giveaway

Behind the Book: All You Want For Christmas Is a Soulmate

See how many of these you can answer:

* Science says that love changes between a couple: from oogey-gooey to completely stale, and then back to mushy. Why do we have to suffer through the Take This Sh*t Back Because It's Stale phase?

* Science says a human's brain shuts off the romantic stage of love after two years of dating. Why can't the brain stay at Sinéad O'Connor's Nothing Compares 2 U stage, forever?

* Why can't some women--who want to be married--find a f*cking husband? (I mean, what's so HARD about this, God? Huh?)

* Why does it seem like there are no eligible men on Planet Earth?

*Why are all the eligible men on Planet Earth ugly?

* Why are all the married people acting like marriage is wack?

*Why can't married people be happy that they actually FOUND someone? (With their ungrateful asses.)

* Why can't I imagine liking someone long enough to get married to them?

* What is the point of love, if it fades over time?

*WHY IS LOVE SO HARD!

Some of these questions float around in Rachel's head. These are the same questions she attempts to answer in What If You're Over My Sh*t?. Hopefully, she can answer them before she finds herself in divorce court.

Shannon


Audio Video: Let's Talk About Rachel

What If You're Over My Sh*t? is live! Read it Today!!
Right HERE.




Sunday, December 3, 2017

Chapter 22: What If You're Over My Sh*t?

Marc
CHAPTER 22

 The nighttime air in Calabasas is cool. I'm standing on the rooftop of Trev's home. Barbie ordered the roof of her house flat, like the rooftop of a penthouse. Tonight, she's got the slow Christmas music playing. The lights of the city—flashing, blinking, dancing—can be seen all over the neighborhood. Rachel will like it when she moves here. In a perfect world, she'd move close to Trev and Barbie; no matter how much it costs to get her in this neighborhood, I'll pay it. Just knowing she and Janie are in the same area as my brother would make me feel better. Of course, I'll have to move somewhere in Calabasas now. It's an hour drive away from L.A.; I can't have Janie that far away. I wonder if Rachel knew that when she picked this town. I wonder if she thought getting both of us out of L.A. and into a quiet town, just like San Fran, would help us reconcile. Or is that wishful thinking on my part? Did she think the Kevins and Breannes of the L.A. world were doing nothing but pushing us away from each other? I'll give Rachel's mother a call tomorrow and give her the sale. 
About ten feet away from me, Trev's got a table set up for him, Sean, Barbie, and me. They're all sitting at it now, talking amongst each other. Sean and Trev are sipping cocktails, while Barbie—who's five months pregnant, sips orange juice. The nightfall parties here, with the white Christmas lights strung above our heads, and the tables filled with food… and food… and food is what Rachel and I looked forward to once a month. Trev and Barbie, Sean and Vivian, Rachel and me. The six of us, enjoying the view from up top. Enjoying the sushi, ten-layer Mexican dips, garlic butter lobsters, and endless pitchers of blueberry cucumber gimlets. Right here, on this rooftop, is the only place where I can comfortably drink a cocktail.
I would wonder where Rachel is tonight, but I already know. She's with Vivian now, at our townhome, having a blueberry cucumber gimlet on our balcony. I couriered over a letter to Rachel this morning. I'm sure she received it, but she didn't respond. That's understandable; I wasn't expecting her to. I wrote another letter this afternoon and decided to give it to Vivian, to make sure Rachel received it and hopefully read it.
Rachel.
She’s looking over L.A. I’m looking over Calabasas. We should be looking over California together.
“Marc,” I hear Trev say. I look at him and see a few waiters rushing around the table, delivering food, replacing drinks. Trev waves me over and them away. “We got a plan.” I head over, the waiters rush away, and I take a seat at the table. Plates of food are scattered along the Christmas-red table runner, decorated with pictures of gold ornaments and holiday stockings. Janie's video sleep monitor is near my table setting. I look at her sleeping on her side, in a spare crib in a guest room. Yeah, I've gotta move to Calabasas.
“First thing’s first,” I say to the table, “we need to get rid of Adam. Something’s up with him.”
“Took the words right out of my mouth,” Sean says.
“Aww, Adam’s sweet,” Barbie says. We all smile at her; she’s trying to be funny. “But I’ve got a feeling he’s being used as a pawn.”
“Agreed,” Trev says. “To get your family back, Marc, we need to take away the distractions. So, yeah, Adam has to go.” I look at Sean.
Handle it.
Sean nods. “Done,” he says.
“Now, about this person writing the exposés,” Trev says. “Are we thinking that this is a different person than the one releasing the emails?”
“Is it,” I tell him. “The person writing the exposés would take pleasure in everyone knowing that he’s the guy who’s also releasing the emails to the blogs.”
“True,” Trev says. “So, we’ve all read the exposés; who was living across the street from us during The War?” I steal a quick look at Sean. It’s a millisecond of a look. He steals a look at me at the same time. Just a nanosecond of a look.
“What was that look for?” Barbie asks. Good ol' Barbie. Her father, Chunk, was pushing dope before Trev was born. Chunk retired on top of his game, moving his family out to Beverly Hills, investing in stocks and turning dope money into real money. Barbie's legacy. She's the vet out here. She knows a look—no matter how brief—when she sees one.
“There were a few families who moved in and out of the houses across the street from Aunt Carmen and Uncle Jason,” Sean says of my mother and father. “Marc and I have a short list of who this guy may be.” What Sean’s saying is an understatement. I have one person on my list who would be capable of writing these exposés. And, after reading the latest one, and seeing that my business was infiltrated, I know for sure that my guess is correct. But I’ll let Sean keep his short list.
“When Sean and I narrow it down, we’ll tell you two who it is,” I tell Barbie and Trev. “But I don’t think you have to worry, Trev. This guy’s coming for me, not you.”
“He’s coming for you to get to me,” Trev says.
No, bro, you’re wrong. This person isn’t thinking about you.
“Don’t worry,” I say, “I’ve got it covered. I’ll know for sure who’s writing the exposés by next week.”
“And what about the emails?” Barbie asks.
“The Lock family,” Sean says, quickly. “I can guarantee you that they’re the ones who broke into Rachel’s phone.”
“Yes, but how did they get her phone?” Barbie asks. “Because Afterlife Lane, is our street. We run that motherfucker. So, who on The Lane gave Rachel's cellphone to the Lock Family?” And I would look to Sean, but I know that Barbie's a monster and would catch me. In fact, I'm not so sure she's not reading my mind right now.
“This is how we’ll narrow this down,” Trev tells us. “We’ll ask everyone to name everybody they saw at Ma’s house. We’ll get a list together and see who was most likely to deliver the cellphone to the Locks.” And, as smart as that may sound, Trev will be going through a ton of extra paper work.
One thing about my brother is that he's never cared about people he didn't care about. He's not an observer of people. He passes people over who are of no concern to him and dismisses their presence. I've learned that disregarding people and their feelings is the surest way to miss something significant. It's the cracks that cause a leak. Barbie is just like me. My brother didn't catch the look between Sean and me, but Barbie did. She never dismisses a person, a feeling, or a conversation, no matter how small. I look at Barbie. She looks at me.
You know who it is, Marc.
I do, Barbie. But give me time.
Barbie looks away. I better not take too long.
“What I want to discuss,” I say, “is what happens once I know the entire story.”
“We’ll have to approach the Lock family,” Trev says. “And we’ll have to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We can’t just allow these people to fuck with you and your family and not do anything. It makes you—and us—look soft.”
“Trust me, I want bodies,” I say to my brother. Barbie smiles.
“About time,” she says.
“But I want my family safe. My wife and my daughter can’t be in L.A. when this shit goes down.”
“They’ll go to The Library,” Trev says. “That's where Barbie and the kids will be.”
“I’ll send Vivian and Lexie there too,” Sean says. “I’ll just have to come up with an excuse.”
“It’s the holiday season!” Barbie says, a wide smile on her face. “Us going to The Library will just be us getting into the holiday spirit. And we can reasonably give that excuse until spring rolls around.”
“Not if Rachel leaves me,” I tell them.
“Well, that’s where you gotta put in some work, bro,” Trev says. “Because you’re right, Rachel ain’t going nowhere with you, unless you and her are back together again.”
“I won’t lie,” I tell them. “Shit’s looking impossible for me right now.”

“It’s not,” Barbie says, waving me off. “Put in the work, Rachel will come back. But first thing’s first, you gotta get rid of Adam’s ass.”

Behind the Book: Dear Marc, Just Give Me 20 Minks For Christmas. Love, Shannon

In my perfect Winter Wonderland:

* I'd have 20 mink coats. And all the animals died of natural causes.
* It would feel like Christmastime all year round.
* The Motown sound would make a comeback. (Oh how I miss thee, Amy Winehouse.)
* I'd eat my famous 5-Pound Poundcake and never gain a single ounce.
* I'd receive a lifetime supply of White Barn candles to burn in my kitchen windows. (And dare someone to blow them out.)
* My fireplace would be lit all year round. (If you're hot, put the damn AC on.)
* Homemade chili will always simmer in a pot on the stove.
* Freshly made roasted-garlic bread would be the same as eating garlic-roasted brussel sprouts.

But life can't be perfect.

Or can it be?

In What If You're Over My Sh*t? Rachel decides to test the limits of how perfect her life can be and if she really can have the life of her dreams.

Good Luck, Rachel.
Shannon



Saturday, December 2, 2017

Chapter 21: What If You're Over My Sh*t?

L.A. LETTER COURIER & Co.
RECIPENT: Rachel Isles
SENDER: Marc Isles


You’re better with words. I guess that’s why you were a good teacher. I guess that’s why you’re a good writer. I’m not as good with words as you are; I’m a numbers man. In the limo, last week, I didn’t have the words to express myself. But I do now.

I read your book. I have to admit that I hadn't read it before because I know your book is a collection of your diary entries. I figured I already knew how it all ended. But after Kevin's interpretation of it, I knew I had to read it.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

The characters that he described, and how they interacted with each other, weren’t what I remember. It was only then that it dawned on me: Rachel and I have two different versions of the same story.

I got your book yesterday and stayed up all night reading it, while Janie slept. Wasn’t a smart move but I had to see why this is Kevin’s favorite book. I had to see this masterpiece that you’ve been working on. I had to read the book that people can’t stop talking it. Something about your success gives me pride, as crazy as that sounds. For me, you and I are an extension of each other. Your success feels like mine. Now, about your book.

I'm sorry. I need to say that first. If this book is what people guess it is, a real account of our relationship, then I don't deserve to be married to you.

Jax doesn’t love Simone. He likes her. He thinks she’s good-looking, in that good-girl kind of way. He likes being around her. But it’s clear that she LOVES him. She's loved him from the very beginning. So that's where I want to start.

Your book jumps right into the night  Simone saw Jax for the first time. He was in the library, and she was with her roommate Vanessa. Jax was studying, reading his math book, concentrating on the formulas in front of him.

But Jax wasn’t studying. Not in reality.

Jax had already seen Simone. He happened to be talking to someone who was standing by the door that she was about to walk into. And so, while Simone was approaching the library’s glass doors, Jax already saw her coming. By the time she walked in, he already knew that she was about 5’8” or 5’9” and that she liked to smile. He knew that she talked with her hands. He knew that she was a new face on campus. And still, people were walking by her saying hi. She was already popular. He noticed that she had the same smile for everyone, no matter who the person was. He noticed that she dressed nice.

He knew that he was out of her league.

She was a pretty girl. He was a guy from L.A. All he had was his brain. She had that and everything else. So, before Simone even opened the door, Jax knew one thing: he wasn’t the guy for her.

Throughout the book, for her to think that he never loved her was nothing but insecurity on Jax’s part.

I love you. I always have. I hate that you’ve never felt like I did.
I did.
I do.
I’m sorry.

-Marc





Get What If You're Over My Sh*t TODAY!

Here's the catch:
1. This is eligible for Pre-order people. 
2. The book has to be read by Monday evening.

3. You gotta place a review of the book on Amazon on Tuesday.




Here's what to do:
1. Forward your Amazon Pre-order receipt to me.
2. You'll get a Kindle Edition of the book.


If you're interested, email me your Pre-order receipt here:
shanndianne@gmail.com

It All Makes Sense: Dear Santa, I Prefer Coal In My Stockings (I Can Buy My Own Diamonds)

Women read love stories that involve at least four characters: The main chick, the side chick, the sexually attractive man, the sexually attractive man the main chick is not attracted to. These characters are, of course, derived from your standard children's fairy tale.

The typical characters of a children's fairy tale include Good Girl, Prince Charming, and Wicked Woman. In the standard fairy tale:

Good Girl typically has the following attributes:
1. She isn't a homeowner. She lives with someone else: Family or other men. Usually, rent-free.
2. She's a good singer.
3. She's a Liberal. This is why animals love and talk to her.
4. She wears pink lipstick.
5. She's the homecoming queen; everyone loves her.

I hate Good Girl. Who would want someone like this? I mean, really? Especially when Prince Charming has the following attributes:
1. He's an asshole.
2. He not only owns a home but usually, the mortgage is paid off.
3. He owns his own mode of transportation and usually operates it at dangerous speeds. (Darting around on horses; high-speed horse and carriage chases.)
4. He's a Republican. Nature and animals usually have an attitude with him.
5. He dresses in business or ball attire.

And then you have Wicked Woman:
1. She paid for her home in cash, and it's bigger than Prince Charming's.
2. She's a Moderate Democrat: She talks to animals and interacts with nature, but they're not singing and dancing around together.
3. She owns her own mode of transportation, and she tends to have a driver.
4. She's crafty. She manages to get what she wants for YEARS before people begin to catch on.
5. She wears red lipstick.
6. She always has a manicure.

I may not be a fan of Good Girl but I go goo-goo-ga-ga over Wicked Woman. For some reason, it's Wicked Woman's story that I'm most interested in. Because, in reality as opposed to fairytales, she's the one Prince Charming falls for.

And doesn't that love story sound so much better?

Shannon


Pre-order What If You're Over My Sh*t? Here!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Chapter 20: What If You're Over My Sh*t?

Marc
CHAPTER 20

             I wake up alone. My eyes open to the sounds of nothing. I no longer sleep with the windows open. It was never my job to open them, that’s what Rachel did. I have to remember to open them at night. I listen out for the sounds of Janie. Nothing. I glance at the clock on my bedside table. 5:02. Right now, I should smell coffee. I'm married to a teacher; her day starts at five. 
No, I’m not married to a teacher, I’m married to a writer. I wonder if a writer wakes up at five. No, wait, she’s not a writer. Not anymore. Sean told me that Rachel’s given up the writing life and decided to go back to teaching. She wants an ordered life, I hear. She wants the life that I’ve always tried to give her. She doesn’t want to hear music thumping in her ears. She doesn’t want to rub shoulders with DJs and journalists. She wants a normal life where she wakes up at five in the morning and starts her day with Starbucks coffee.
Coffee. Right now, she’d be brewing me Trader’s Joe’s coffee. The dark roast. I’m a Cali boy to the bone, don’t give me a Seattle Starbucks brew when I can get the best coffee ever offered, right here in my own town. Rachel, however, is a Starbucks girl. I can always tell what kind of person you are if you don't walk around each morning with a Starbucks cup in your hands, she always says. One day, I ended up losing a bet: the Lakers beat the Clippers. And so, Rachel dared me to walk around with a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cup all day. As silly as that sounds, we laughed about that for days. She swore people were probably wondering what kind of person I was. But on an ordinary morning, she made me my favorite Trader Joe’s dark roast. Strange how I never considered that, even though she made Trader Joe’s coffee every morning, she never drank it. I’d feel her climb out of bed. There’d be a long pause, which would be her giving a long stretch. I’d open my eyes and see a navy-blue t-shirt from behind. She has a collection of Berkeley tees she likes to sleep in. She’d get up and head to the bathroom, the tee barely covering her ass. That always woke me up. Watching Rachel walk away. And now here I am, at five in the morning, awoke, because Rachel walked away.
If she knew the things I did at work, she would've killed me. She wouldn't have left me, though. Rachel would have never left me. That's how I used to feel. I felt secure in her commitment to me. I thought she felt confident in my allegiance to her. And then I read her book.
I naturally assumed that I didn't have to read Rachel's book. Her book is just her diary, fictionalized. I assumed that whatever she wrote in there, I already knew because I lived through those entries with her. It wasn't until that interview with Kevin, last week, that I bought a copy of her book.
I can see why she left me.
I sit up in bed. My cellphone is blinking on my bedside table. I know who I want it to be—Rachel—but who will it be? I grab my phone, and it unlocks in the palm of my hand. Trev has texted me, asking if I'm good. He knows this shit with Rachel is killing me. I haven't said a word about it, but he already knows. He knows how he'd feel if Barbie left him. He's loved Barbie since they were in high school and she was the daughter of a high-ranking dope man. Her mother dressed her in designer clothes and furs, back when everyone was wearing Dickeys and North Face. Trev thought he'd never pull a girl like Barbie. And then he did. He'd die inside if she left him; she's the only girl he's ever really wanted.
That story sounds familiar.
I know Trev feels responsible. He hasn't said it, but I know he does. If he didn't need the software and if I wasn't the only person he trusted to create it…
Listen, I'm not in the drug game. That's what Sean assures me. I own a private company that produces software for a man by the name of Trevor Isles, who happens to be my brother. Whatever Trevor Isles does with the software that I create and then sell to him, is up to him. All I do is make it. I don't go through the database for anything. Trev's the only one who uses it. I create the software; I make sure it's hack proof, I update it with better security measures regularly, my job is done.
But I get a lot of fucking money for it. That’s why I have the other legitimate companies on my roster. That’s why I have my brother’s business off my roster.
I’m not doing anything wrong. My brother is smart; he runs a dope business just like those boys in Colorado who own marijuana farms. The only difference is that Trev doesn’t pay taxes. That’s it. That’s what I tell myself.
Trev runs his business better than a CEO runs a Fortune 500 Company. But the problem of running a dope business better than a CEO runs a Fortune 500 company is that you get angry opposition. Everyone wants to know who your supplier is because word around town is that your goods are better than everyone else’s. Everyone wants to know who’s on your payroll because you to sell so much dope, you’d got to have good sales guys. Everyone wants to know how much money you make because they want to measure their success off yours. The big-time dope game—not these nickel and dime businesses, but big-time business—is run just like a tax-paying, 401k-giving, put in your vacation days before you lose them, corporation. So yes, I make big money, but I lost my wife.
How did I fuck this up? Just like Trev, I’m married to a girl everybody said would never want me.
She only wants you because you don’t come from shit.
Something about a man who doesn't come from shit excites a woman who does come from something.
Her interest in you is a phase.
She’ll marry a senator’s son.
She’ll marry a future senator.
She’ll marry someone who can put her in a condo, on a hill, in San Francisco.
She’ll marry someone who dines with the president of his company.
Don't get too attached to this girl.
She’s fascinated by your story, but she doesn’t want your last name.
She’s in love with the thought of you.
And so, I kept my distance from her. And so, I remained distance from her.
But then she married me. Rachel married me.
I loved her the way I felt a woman like her should be loved: I kept striving to be better in my field, so her interests in me wouldn't fade. I got close to her father because he's the man around San Fran. Being close to him, meant being close to his contacts. I gave Rachel the chance to dine among the set she was accustomed to. I called up Rachel's mother, a prime real estate agent. I had Rachel pick out a condo, on a hill, in San Fran. I spent time with Rachel's parents. I became attached to them before I became attached to Rachel. But soon, I became attached to Rachel as well. I honored her above all else when she conceived our child. I did all the things everyone said she wanted.
I let my brother’s dope business take over my life, once I discovered the opposition was trying to tap into Rachel’s operating system. They were getting desperate; they were attempting to infiltrate the wives. Maybe Barbie or Rachel had something in their email or on their operating system the Lock family could use.
The moment I received an alert that someone was trying to tap into the software I created for Rachel's operating system, I panicked. A failure in my software could lead to the exposure of my brother's files. That could lead to a trickle-down effect for me. It could expose me as the guy who created software for his kingpin brother to operate his dope business. There would be no way Rachel would stay married to someone in the dope game because that's exactly how she'd see it. That's how the senators and CEOs whose Christmas parties we attended would see it. That's how Rachel's psychiatrist father and real estate mother would see it. The life I created would be over. I'd be just a nigga from the hood, to them.
I didn’t go to Seattle, but I did have to move from San Francisco to create this code. Me leaving kept Rachel in the lifestyle that she was accustomed to. But she still wasn’t fucking happy! I didn’t get it. Why the hell wasn’t this woman happy with me?
And then I read her book. Sure, she wanted the life she and I had, but she also wanted other things that I didn't consider. She wanted a quiet home life, free of senators and CEOs, and dinner parties guests, some nights. She wanted to bake cookies during the winter and make ice cream sundaes during the summer and just have Janie and me around. She wanted me to work a little less so that she, Janie, and I could drive through the city together, at night, listening to music, and taking in the sights. She didn't just want a child; she wanted multiple children. She wanted a full-blown family.
Rachel wanted normal shit.
I lost my wife because I didn't give her the normal things that women want: time, attention, togetherness. I was so concerned about reaching the horizon that I ignored the life right before my eyes.
I’m paying for that shit now.
She's officially divorcing me. Adam let Sean know last night. She's ordered Adam to arrange it all, without her needing to be at any of the meetings. She wants joint custody of Janie. She's declined court-ordered child support. She wants the townhome in L.A., and she'll give me the penthouse I just bought. She wants me to purchase a 5.6-million-dollar home in Calabasas for her and Janie that her mother found them. (She's looking to create a home, without me?) She wants to sell the condo in San Francisco and keep the profits. That's the home where we have all our memories, and she wants to sell them to the highest bidder. She wants to gift our family pictures, wedding album, wedding rings, and dinnerware to Janie. She wants me to get her and Janie a new Porsche truck, while I keep my Range, Challenger, and our Benz. She wants me to update her Porsche truck every three years until Janie turns eighteen. If you think about it, this divorce can be simple. In fact, Rachel's requests are a soon-to-be-divorced man's dream come true.
She doesn't know that I had it all wrong and that's the reason why I failed her. I thought she wanted one thing and, yes, she wanted that, but she also wanted other things. And this is the kicker: I could have given her those other things because they're normal things: time, attention, and memories. I just didn't know that's what she wanted.
Rachel, I was trying to give you the life that I imagined you wanted because I wanted you to want me. I wanted you to keep wanting me.
I wonder, if I explain this to her, would she end the divorce proceedings? Will she understand that this was all the biggest misunderstanding of our lives, and try this again with me? Because I don’t want to divorce Rachel and it has nothing to do with appearances. No, I take that back. Do I want to walk around divorced? Hell, no. No sane man wants to go through a divorce. People would rather not have married at all than to be divorced. So, yes, I’m guilty of not wanting to tell people that I no longer have a wife. But it’s more than that. This is about Rachel.
I don’t want to do this without you.

I look at my dresser and see my laptop.

Why Are We Afraid To Have It ALL?