About Me

I am most passionate about being brave. And I believe being vulnerable is the most brave thing anyone can do. I’m not very good at it. Frankly, I suck. But I believe in the importance of sharing our stories and so I do. If I said I wasn’t afraid, I’d be lying. But I do it anyway because someone should. Someone should be brave so that others can also be brave. If not me, then who? If not now, then when? 

I fell off the corporate ladder in October of 2010. Technically, I was pushed but what-ev-er. As a result, for the better part of 2010 and 2011, while my first baby was a baby, I rode a litigious, soul-crushing roller coaster of he said/ she said involving salacious details of sexual harassment and outrageous discrimination. As a result, I’m a unashamed feminist.

In the midst of this first, true, existential crisis at 32, I ran across the first short story I’d written when I was twelve. It was hidden away in an old, yellowed diary under miniature lock and key in my parent’s basement, buried in a plastic bin, in another state, thousands of miles away from my home. Along with that story, was another I had submitted for publication when I was 15. Sitting there on that dust-moted floor holding these forgotten desires, I cried like a confused child. I cried because I finally acknowledged something I’d always known, but denied to avoid the angst, self-doubt and fear of failure. I admitted that I wanted to be a writer.

Then, because life never ever turns out the way you planned, I also went through a contentious divorce and trial in 2014. Now, I’m a  single mom with way too much experience in online dating. I write about that with equal parts humor and pathos. Because laughing at my pain is what I do.

I started this blog in October of 2011 when my second baby was a baby. Since then, I’ve written lots of words and been published lots of places including the Washington Post, Scary Mommy, Literary Mama, The Huffington Post and three print anthologies. I’ve completed a two-year course in Literary Fiction at The University of Washington, and continue to take classes at Hugo House, a writer’s community in Seattle. I’m currently writing a memoir titled, “Slut or Nut: A Reckoning.”

I have a 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. We ride bikes a lot. I am the luckiest mom that ever lived.

On social media you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. You can also email me at shannon dot lell at gmail dot com.

22 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Just found your blog. Only read a little. Got three kids so have to set aside time to read more. From what I’ve read so far I am highly intrigued. Many many similarities.

    • That’s awesome Anilda! My philosphy is, we’re all more a like than different, and there’s no use in pretending I’m not a human being. Thanks for reading!

  2. Shannon… I just read your poem to your friend about (not) having kids and I wept. You are a kindred spirit. I am leaping (being nudged) off the corporate ladder at the end of the month, after riding it side-saddle “part-time” since April. I am at the bottom of that cliff! I think I’m breathing better now, just having seen your fish in the shadows. Thank you-

  3. Absolutely loved your story titled Why I Told My Best Friend Not To Have Kids, you’ve said what so many Mothers feel and are so afraid to admit. Thank you for writing it!!!!

  4. I read your post on Mamapedia today and I had to “find you” to let you know how much I related to it. I only started my own blog (www.blogbythephoenix.com) a couple of months ago, after I was encouraged to do so by the other contributors to World Moms’ Blog. We seem to have a lot in common despite our age difference and the fact that I’m actually an Italian who lives in South Africa! 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading more from you and, who knows, maybe you’ll relate to some of my “secret identity” Phoenix posts or the posts of “Mamma Simona” on World Moms’ Blog. 🙂

  5. Hi Shannon, I just stumbled upon your blog after reading your article on Mamapedia. I need to read more, but what I’ve read so far has gripped my heart. I too, have two small children, two and five years old, my first was also EXTREMELY colicky and still has a number of issues but sleep has always been an issue, so I definately relate to your most recent blog! We recently moved to the south Seattle area, another similarity that struck me and gravitated me to your site. I look forward to reading more and learning about you and hearing your insights. Thank you!

    • Hey Michele, welcome! I’m glad you found it here. Welcome to Seattle. I hope you were able to see the wonderful weather in the summer before we’re inundated with the non-stop rainy months. I moved here in October of 2005 and that next January, they set a record for most days of rain in a row. I thought I was going to lose my mind. Despite my initial experience, I still love it here! If you can swing it, going somewhere sunny in January/ February really helps.

      • Actually, I love it up here! I’m not a heat person (it was 106 degrees the day we moved from Cali) and it has been my dream to live in the Seattle area since I was 8 years old. It’s like a dream come true to be in this beautiful area and begin, VERY slowly of course (kids!) to pursue my lifelong passion/career move of marine science once again (gosh, it’s been awhile since I attended college!). I read more of your blog today and I’m falling in love with your writing and honesty. It’s truly an inspiration to read some of the things you’re going through and have gone through and I can’t wait to read more!

      • My apologies for assuming others might have the same feelings about PNW winter weather that I do! I also went back to school to study literary fiction writing. I’m in the same boat. Is it weird that I’m probably overly and inappropriately excited for you and your career move? I can’t get enough of stories of people making great sacrifices to follow their passions. I suppose it just validates my own decisions. We are members of the Seattle Aquarium and we go there all the time. My kids love it. This is definitely the perfect place for you.

  6. “The higher you climb, the harder you fall.” <– Yes. When the CEO/founder of the small investment firm I worked for turned out to be a dishonest white collar criminal (he's in jail now), the higher ups fell a lot harder than I did (just 2 years out of college). No wonder I never went back to that world! In retrospect, I am grateful for that experience, no matter how negative. Because that, along with motherhood, got me writing again.

    Thanks for finding my blog today, twin 😉

  7. Dear Shannon, I love your voice and applaud your bravery for putting yourself out here in all your vulerability.
    I found your blog (and your Pinterest.. wow! Awesome Funnies collection! Had to stop myself from repinning!) – I found it while Googling for an image to “this too shall pass” to stick to the SuperBetter powerup. Yours (you put it up w/ the blogpost by that name) is definitely the best illustration that comes up on Google’s first images page! Congrats!
    So I checked out your blog (fuzzy socks and hearty meals, yes I know and love that fall vibe) and that’s how I discovered your Pins.. your sense of humor is truly King. So, I don’t know how far along you are with your novel… but I’d suggest another quest: how about trying for a lifehacking comedy graphic/visual novel? (I just totally made that up lol)
    Finally, keep up exuding all of the awesome you, and your post made me also think of this wonderful Yolanda Adams song: http://youtu.be/DBBwHztD3cs.
    Warm regards from chilly, windy, yet sunny Amsterdam : )
    Tess

  8. Congrats on your fall or you would never be where you are now! Everything happens for a reason. We create it all even though we just want to blame the world. The hard part is figuring out the reason we created our messes and you did that! I too have quit everything I know to start writing. I have no idea what I’m doing or how to get there. It’s terrifying. It may never come to fruition…but at least I am finally trying. Hey, there’s that word…TRY! haha

  9. I read your ‘shower’ post on scary mommy and had to come here. I couldn’t tear myself away from your bio. I am also an over-sharer (mostly about postpartum depression). And in an odd way, I can sort of relate to your divorce situation. (I was an adult child when my parent’s got divorced and it took me over completely.) Thank you for being so honest. It takes the scariness out of scary things, I find.

  10. It’s weird how life throws things in your way. On my Facebook feed I saw your article “Letting Go of the Things That Don’t Serve You” through Mamapedia. I passed it by. I didn’t want to read it. But I felt prodded to go back. So I did.

    I’m feeling raw and vulnerable, sitting at work and pretending to work though I don’t feel capable at the moment. I’m considering becoming a union steward to protect myself from my supervisors, if the circus that has already occurred doesn’t “disqualify” me. My relationship…let’s not go there. I’m on the verge of tears. I have three kids whom I would die for.

    I glimpsed your blog article on your stolen mother’s day. That is exactly what my future will look like if I leave.

    I guess I want to know how? How do you leave? I can’t seem to do it. I need to let go of things that don’t serve me, like my relationship, but I can’t seem to do it. Your honesty in your blog is surprising and refreshing. I think I’ll be following it in future so I don’t feel so alone 🙂 Thanks.

    • Hi Andrea,

      I hope neiher of you mind me reacting before Shannon has.

      As for “how to leave”?. Honestly, I was in the same place (again) last Christmas.

      Even though my life is not perfect now, their have been huge improvements and the question “How to leave?” has not resurfaced in my mind. How? I went online during Christmas, googling around ways to deal with pain (I felt I was carrying around, even attracting, a disproportionate amount of that. Other peoples’ garbage, so to speak.)

      That’s how I stumbled upon Ho’oponopono. First thing I did, late one night, feeling desperate, sitting alone downstairs, unable to sleep, was listen to a 10′ mantra based on Joe Vitale’s work. Next, I found a seminar I could attend close to where we live.

      The mantra helped straight away.

      The seminar (I had to wait for it, it was on May 2/3rd) has surpassed any expectations.

      I would advise anyone struggling with personal relationships (or, life) to look into it, to see if it is for you. It may not be; but I’m happier knowing that it wasn’t for lack of me pointing this out to you that you’d miss out, if it is for you.

      Warmest regards,

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