Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor from Minnesota surprised to find myself on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three younger children (the oldest is attending college in Chicago), and two dogs.

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So what if instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.
+ Rainbow Rowell

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Winter Fun

Archive for 'Life'

A Compass and Travel Guide

Madeleine L’Engle had this advice for writers: “I don’t care whether they’re five or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think […]


Amy Poehler: No One Looks Stupid When They’re Having Fun

{ Bona Fide Amor }
Before I became a mom, I had no idea that my kids would teach me just as much as I teach them. More, actually.
Like this morning. Andrew came downstairs wearing a striped hat à la The Cat in the Hat.
“Why the hat?” I said.
“It’s hat day,” he said.
“Doesn’t that usually mean […]


Missing the Obvious

One night several years ago, Andrew went to brush his teeth and discovered that the battery for his electric toothbrush had died.
Holding the toothbrush, I said to Tim, “Do you think we have any batteries for this so Andrew can brush his teeth?” Tim looked at me. He looked at the toothbrush.
At least 5 seconds went […]


A Life in Mugs

This from a designer featured in a popular lifestyle magazine:
“Mismatched pieces wreak havoc. Unless you won the lotto while drinking from that old mug, don’t let sentimentality make you keep it. Any sort of ‘off’ dishware causes visual chaos, and every time you open the cupboard, something in the back of your brain is saying, […]


Napoleon Dynamite / Always and Forever

{ image }
We were all set to watch Groundhog Day on Saturday until I realized we don’t actually own Groundhog Day. Nuts. Target didn’t have it, either. But they did have Napoleon Dynamite, which the kids had never seen.
The movie is quirky and funny and Napoleon’s dance scene is epic, but for us the best […]


Saying Hello to Leila

I knew the call was going to come.
The phone rang yesterday morning and it was Dr. Black.* She told me that she had been shuffling some papers around on her desk and had come upon the thing I’d written about Gunther when he passed away six weeks ago.
After asking how we were coping, she sort […]


Creative + Life / Being the Bird

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Years ago when Will was just a baby, I edited a workbook for The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. The writer, Gia, had laid a wonderful foundation and I was able to add another layer, pulling more symbolism and meaning from the story. Kids would have a deeper understanding of what The Bean […]


Happy Valentine’s Day / What I Believe

{ image from paper + twine }
“Some people are more certain of everything than I am of anything.” Robert Rubin wrote that in his book, In an Uncertain World, and I know exactly what he means. People who are sure about everything astound me. How can they be so sure, I wonder. I add clarifiers […]


Grace Notes

I don’t know about you, but when I’m sad or stressed I can’t think straight. I envy people like my husband who can compartmentalize their feelings and focus on work or whatever needs to be done. I flit from thing to thing and my thoughts are all over the place.
So I have to warn you […]


Saying Goodbye to Gunther

{ Gunther with all of us in 2007 }
January in Wisconsin is usually so cold you can throw boiling water into the air and watch it freeze before it hits the ground. But this past week the weather was unusually warm, with temperatures reaching into the 50s.
I’m sure meteorologists would say the balmy temps were […]

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