Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Why Are We Afraid To Have It ALL?

Let's talk about money. Aren't you sometimes afraid to admit that you want money, and lots of it? Because, when you do, you're bombarded with reprimands from the religious, the elderly, and has-been Hollywood stars and starlets, who tell you money is the source of all the world's unhappiness? Worse yet, when we think about money, the following thought pops into some of our heads:

No matter how much money you have, it will never cure an incurable disease, which you will likely get if you keep thinking about money, just to prove that money means nothing.

And so, every time we think about or mention money, we have to immediately say "I mean, money doesn't make you happy, but..." or "Don't get me wrong, I'd rather be healthy..." So many of us live with people and voices in our head, who believe money and health or money and happiness, are mutually exclusive. You can't have them all, so which ones will you choose?

In What If You're Over My Sh*t?, Rachel dares to have an all-around, balanced life. She dares to laugh often and be independently wealthy. She dares to practice yoga and drink cucumber juice, all while wearing Louboutins. She dares to have it all.

Shannon

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Maybe You Don't Want An Easy Life, After-all

Most women just want things to be easy

An Example
You leave the drive-thru of Starbucks and you forget to take your debit card from the barista. Now you have to either go back through the drive-thru and wait for five cars ahead of you to order an extra whip-skinny-mocha latte-with two shots of espresso-sugar free chocolate syrup-and almond milk instead of milk-and... this is about to go on forever. OR you can park your truck and walk into Starbucks, but of course you’re lazy and plus it’s beginning to rain, and WHY CAN’T THINGS JUST BE EASY??

Because easy isn’t exciting. 

There are no bragging rights in getting your coffee on time, heading back to the office, and making your 1:30 meeting. That story is boring. 

What people want to tell (and what people want to hear) is how they made it back from Starbucks on time, against all odds. Now THAT’S a bestseller. Long lines! Forgotten debit cards! Rain! Oh my goodness, how does his end?!

In What If You’re Over My Shit?, Rachel wonders the same thing we all wonder: Why can’t life be easy? And then, when her life DOES become easy, she starts to think the same thing we all think: Something is missing.

Shannon

Friday, January 12, 2018

If Opposites Attract, What About Birds of a Feather?

Does this story sound familiar?

Rachel wants Marc, the one guy who is nothing like her. They are different; this is fun! Rachel laughs often. Rachel tells funny stories to other women about how different she and Marc are. Rachel will shake her head at Marc and smile at their differences. He is so silly

One Year Goes By...

Marc wonders if Rachel will kill him in his sleep.

But this kind of thing happens all the time. Here's an example from my own life:

My hot water heater burst one evening. And:
1. The water seeped through my ceiling and onto my floor. 
2. My ceiling collapsed. 
3. The water rotted my floors. 
4. The water destroyed all of my children's personal belongings.
5. Our home owner's insurance wondered if my husband and I would have to total the house out, because of the extensive damage.

I tell people that my house flooded.
My husband tells people that we had a leak.

In What If You're Over My Sh*t?, what Rachel and Marc once admired about each other, has landed them on a therapist's couch, threatening divorce. Because, yes, opposites attract, but birds of a feather flock together. The hard part is flocking with your opposite.

Shannon


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Which Shannon Dianne Woman Are You?

After 6 books and 11 main female characters, which woman are you?

DANIELLE: The woman who desperately needs more of everything in her life and actively pursues it. People in her way better watch out.

JASMINE: The traditional woman who aims for perfection in everything, and will stop at nothing to attain it. And usually, she is kinda perfect.

WINNIE: The rebel woman who loves hard, and expects everyone else to love just as hard. She's usually disappointed in the end.

DENA: The ever supportive woman who focuses on bigger and better, and has the graceful elegance to achieve bigger and better.

RENA: The successful and driven woman who balances herself between two worlds, and somehow does it quite well.

LAURA: The woman who believes in happily ever afters and Prince Charming. She devours romance novels and searches for soul mates.

MARLA: The ever supportive woman who's happy just where she is. She needs nothing more and nothing less.

LOLA: The tough woman who would love to be vulnerable, for once. She never seems to have the chance.

TRIXIE: The assertive woman who never cries over spilled milk. There will always be something wonderful waiting for her, on the other end of disappointment. She's sure of it.

RACHEL: The fun-loving woman who's highest goal is family life. She will destroy anyone and everything that stands in the way of her family.

VIVIAN: The woman who believes in happiness and soulmates but is completely rational about them both. Because, sometimes you win and, unfortunately, sometimes you lose.

I've detailed the lives of 11 different women with the hope that a reader can pick out one and say "That's me." Each woman is ridden with flaws, as they are with strengths. Each woman is an intricate part of their stories. Each is irreplaceable.

There are times when women feel that no one--sometimes not even their own mothers--understand them. I hope that when you open one of my books, you feel understood.

Shannon

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

What If They Tried?

The air was summer-cool, the stars crowded the sky, and I was driving down the highway with RnB blaring in my ear. When I'm alone, driving is always my meditation time. And so, even among the sounds of crooning, I was meditating. For some reason, my mind went back to my first book, Shh...Mine. And I immediately thought of Danielle and Jon.

If you can recall the This. Is. Not. Over. series, Danielle and Jon are married and completely different. They are so different their differences don't endear them to each other, they annoy each other. I thought of Danielle and Jon's love affair, their marriage, and finally, their divorce. Listening to RnB love songs, driving down the highway at night under the stars, I wondered about them.

What if they tried?

My mind went back to a scene in Shh...Mine where this admirer of Danielle's approached her in a bar. His name was Malcolm. Danielle was in a bar alone in Hilton Head, South Carolina because Jon left her. He wanted a divorce. I wondered about that bar scene. The scene made me wonder because--if you can recall--Jon had a change of heart. He showed up in Hilton Head the next day to make amends with Danielle. I wondered what would have happened had Jon showed up just a day sooner.

What a difference a day makes.

What would have happened if Jon would have walked into that bar at the exact same time Malcolm approached Danielle? What would have happened if Danielle had not had the chance to experience Malcolm's sparks and instead chose to stay with her husband? After all, before Malcolm approached Danielle in the bar, she had wanted to make her marriage with Jon work.

So, what if Jon would have tried to make his marriage work, just a day sooner? From that thought, What If You're Over My Sh*t? was born.

There is only one quote that summarizes What If You're Over My Sh*t?. That quote was uttered by T.S. Eliot:
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
I drove down the road that night, under the stars, and thought about Shh...Mine. And I wondered one thing: What if Danielle and Jon had tried?

Shannon

Monday, January 8, 2018

Every Woman's Prayer List

Yoga Moms Tree Pose as they meditate.
Good Catholic Moms kneel before the altar in prayer.
Stay-at-Home Moms drink a glass of wine as they close their eyes.
Working Moms stand under a hot shower as they drop the heads back.

Whether to the Universe or to God, all of them are praying. And this is their prayer list:

Every Woman's Prayer List
1. Please help my guy become more...(Enter the personality traits and characteristics of someone you've never met.)

2. Please help my kids become more...(Enter the personality traits and characteristics of Little Jesus.)

3. Please let my home become...(Enter the floor plan and decor of Buckingham Palace.)

4. Please let me be more...(Enter the personality traits and characteristics of women you admire, both real and imagined.)

What many women will notice, if they were to actually write their Prayer List down, is that they want an entirely different existence. Essentially, what women pray for is that they will go to sleep and God will wake them up in someone else's body. In someone else's house. Next to someone else's husband. Most women, however, will keep their original children.

In What If You're Over My Sh*t?, Rachel finds herself in this very predicament. And so, she begins to create the life she's dreamed of. Better yet, she gets a chance to live in her new life. Hopefully Rachel likes it better than her Pre-Prayer List life.

Good Luck, Rachel.

Shannon

Friday, January 5, 2018

Jealousy vs Envy (Or, the Love Triangle)

There are many reasons why people strive to be perfect. In What If You're Over My Sh*t? I write of two feelings that bring on perfectionism: jealousy and envy.

Jealousy: Directed towards a rival that may take something from you. (Women on women hate. Colleague on colleague hate. Mom on Dad hate.) We feel suspicious and apprehensive of the other person. What are they up to?... Leave my guy alone... That's MY promotion.  

Envy: Longing for what someone else has. Longing for someone else's advantages. (Why can't my shoes have red on the bottom? Why can't I have a doorman at my condo? Why can't I find quaint Italian restaurants and eat prosciutto?)

Jealousy says "I've got something you want."
Envy says "You've got something I want."

Rachel is jealous. Karla is envious. Marc is a piece of sh*t. What are you?

None of the above? Good. But some of us aren't so lucky. 

Shannon

Thursday, January 4, 2018

All You Want Is Perfection

My goal is Perfection. I use a capital p because Perfection is a place for me:

1. It's the spot you land in when you've written a book that is structurally sound.

2. It's the place you reach when you've done everything you could to have a perfect relationship.

3. It's the level you reach when you've been an involved and active parent.

4. It's the achievement you receive when you've worked harder than anyone you know.

And still, none of us reaches Perfection.

What we reach is Disappointment.

Perfectionism isn't our fault. Those of us who strive to be perfect do it for the following reasons:

1. We live in a world that says if you aren't successful, it's your fault. You are a disgrace. You are a bottom feeder. You could have been rich. You could have been powerful. You failed. Others did not. Look at Warren and Bill. Look at Steve. Look at Instagram. You. Are. Failing. (This is called Neoliberalism.)

2. We live in a world that says hard work will be rewarded in kind. And, if it isn't, well you didn't work very hard did you? Work harder! Harder! Look at the person to your right, they're younger than you and they're further along in life. They have more. They work harder than you. They have more talent than you. They deserve more than you. Work HARDER! (This is called Meritocracy.)

3. We live in a world that says money, success, and happiness are signs of being one of God's chosen ones. He has smiled on you. He has shown you favor. He has separated the wheat (the good grain) from the chaff (the waste product of grain.) And, if you don't have money, success, and happiness, you are waste. You are nothing but sh*t.  (This is called the Prosperity Gospel.)

If you find yourself being a pile of shit, you aren't alone. In What If You're Over My Sh*t?, Rachel finds herself at the entrance gates of The Land of Perfection.

And then she's denied entrance... Shit.

Shannon

Why Are We Afraid To Have It ALL?