Erica Rose Shannon

Younger me would want to kick older me’s ass. Younger me was rocking the nineties, full of fiery rage and sporting combat boots, pegged jeans, and a tank top covered by an open flannel. Today, you’re likely to see me donning hippie skirts and smelling of essential oils.

Younger me bounced all over the place and wouldn’t know grounded if it hit her in the forehead. Forty-one-year-old me does yoga, prays, and meditates every morning, which helps me center. Meditation has helped me find an anchor in my breath. Having an anchor is pretty handy when I’m facing a deadline…

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I submitted an entry to a BIPOC poetry contest yesterday. I was worried they would ask for a photograph with my entry because I look white. I look white because I am 75% caucasian. I identify as Indigenous. I am a registered member of the Round Valley Band of Pomo Native Americans.

Growing up, I got terrible messages about being an Indian. We say Indian in my family, even though it’s not politically correct these days, and we’re not from India. …

The Practical Tips That Made 2020 Amazing for Me

2020 was a fantastic year for me. All over the internet, I see people eager to have this year over, and I admit, with the pandemic, it’s been rough in many ways. But I had my best year yet, and I’ll tell you how. I plan to repeat the things I did so I can make 2021 my best year ever.

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Create a Vision Board

On January first, I created a vision board. I thought about how I would like my life to look; friends, family, physically, and financially. …

What I Learned Spending Three Years Homeless in America

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The piercing cold bit into my skin’s nakedness. I pulled the sleeping bag closer to my chin. Huddled in my weathered tent, I clutched the sleeping bag, the only dry thing left. It was day three of hiding out in the tent to wait out the rain. All of my clothes were strewn out on tree branches, awaiting the sun.

I was homeless and fortunate to have a tent. We had hidden inside the hiking area of a local park, careful to keep a low profile. It was a one hour hike into town where the local soup kitchen served…

What I learned in technical editing that every writer should know

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Editing written work is a powerful tool every writer should have. You can make it more efficient by breaking the process down into steps, known as editing passes. You’ll make each pass with a different focus.

If you set out looking to edit for everything that could be wrong with a draft all at once, you’re going to miss things. When I trained in technical editing at Missouri State University, we learned to break editing down into stages. If you break editing down into segments, you can meticulously comb over the details without getting overwhelmed.

Write Like You’ll Never Edit

The first key to good…

How To Be More Present So You Can Relax

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To be mindful is to be fully present and aware of what one is doing — being mindful means you are immersed in your activity, thoroughly engaging your senses in the experience. Being mindful is not reserved for monks. Being mindful is a practice we can all bring to our daily lives. Here are some ways you can be more mindful in your day-to-day life:


When you are eating, slow down. Taste your food and chew slowly. Really smell the food. Look at your meal and take in its vibrant colors. Think about your food and focus on your eating…

How to Make A Meal Plan and Other Great Kitchen Hacks

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Having a meal plan is easier than you might think. Here are four simple ways I come up with a meal plan for the week:

Raid the Fridge

Look in your fridge and make a list of all of the random ingredients you have. It doesn’t matter that none of it seems to equal a meal; just make the darn list. Next, group things together that might pair nicely, like carrots and onions. Google the paired items, like “carrot and onion recipes.” Do this for all of the random ingredients from your list. Choose recipes that entice you. Save the recipe. …

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Finding time to write when you’re a mom is like catching up on the laundry — it’s only going to happen if you make it a part of your regular schedule.

There’s no shortage of things we moms have to do, and they will always need doing. Your writing life can’t afford to wait until you’ve done everything on your to-do list to get some attention. I write nearly every day, and my secret is this:

I have the same bedtime as my six-year-old. Yup, I go to bed around eight o’clock at night so that I can get up…

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Facebook is hurting you, and we need to talk about it.

If you’re like most people, you’re spending a lot of time there, and there are some things you need to know.

If seeing pictures of your friends together at social outings leaves you feeling left out, you’re not alone. Seeing your friends chat with others on threads and in pictures doing activities with other friends can give you a sense of being left out or of downright loneliness.

According to the University of Regensburg in Germany, “A sample of 65 participants was recruited from a local university and was…

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How I Beat Depression When It Shows Its Ugly Face

My head is trying to squeeze through a narrow space, or at least that’s what the looming depression feels like it as I sip my coffee. I close my eyes and see it coming at me like a slow-moving train.

It’s not coming quick, but I can see that it’s coming, and now that it’s in motion, it will crush whatever is in its path, and I am tied to the tracks.

I have maybe hours or a few days before I will cry over the littlest of things, before the memories of every tragedy my life has bestowed on…

Erica Rose Shannon

Creator of a parenting blog for writers and author of Bold Truth Mama: parenting pregnancy through toddlerhood.

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