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Thursday, March 8, 2012

#atozchallenge: Getting to Know The Hosts...Shannon

The hosts of the A-to-Z are all looking forward to getting to know all of the A-to-Z'ers. In the meantime, we thought it would be fun to help you get to know us. We've put together a set of questions that we'll each be answering in our own way on different days leading up to the A-to-Z. Please feel free to ask any other questions you might have for us in the comments, and we will do our best to answer them.


Name: Shannon Lawrence
Other Online Info (Twitter, Facebook, Website): Twitter-@thewarriormuse, Facebook-
Publications: I have a piece of flash fiction coming out in an anthology, due out in March, entitled Sunday Snaps: The Stories. You can also find occasional pieces from me at The New Never News, a fun mixed up nursery rhyme blog run by author J.A. Kazimer.


1. What is the most daring thing you've ever done? I ran into a cattle stampede to save my 2-year old brother when I was 8. Why we were in the middle of a cattle stampede is a long story.
2. What is your favorite article of clothing? This may out me as a weirdo, flannel hoodie-footie pajamas. You read that right. They have footies. They are so warm! P.S. I can unzip and remove the footies, but I rarely do. It's cold! FYI-this is my leisure wear when I'm writing.
3. What is your favorite monster? Right now, I'd say skinwalkers. I'm interested in Native American monsters and how they varied from tribe to tribe.
4. If you had to dress up as your favorite literary character, who would it be? I am currently trying to figure this out because I will be attending a costume event where you dress as your favorite literary character. The pressure! It would be fun to be rogue vampire hunter Jane Yellowrock, from Faith Hunter's Skinwalker. Too bad I can't bring weapons or a modified Harley to the party. If I want to wear jeans and a t-shirt, I can bring a wrench and be Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson.
5. What is your favorite fairy tale, urban legend or nursery rhyme? My favorite urban legend may very well be the one about the girl who's driving home late at night when someone behind her keeps flashing their lights at her. The longer it goes on, the more panicked she gets. When she arrives home, she discovers...dun, dun, dun...there is an axe-wielding maniac in the back of her car, and the man in the car behind her was flashing his lights whenever he saw him going for her. Ack! I always check the back of my car...
6. What is a cause near and dear to your heart? The longer I sit here, the more causes I realize I have. However, right now I am very interested in saving the wolves (the photo to the right is Baby, from Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation in Guffey, CO). Here, we reintroduced them then turned around and gave out hunting licenses for wolf season! How does that make sense? Oops, stepping away from the soapbox. I am also intent on bringing attention to childhood cancer. I almost stepped back up on that there box, but instead I will explain that my interest in this came about after a friend's daughter, who was (is) good friends with my son, was diagnosed with AML Leukemia at three years old. She is now a thriving almost-seven year old, who is officially in remission, but the battle is ongoing. I write about monsters, but I could never imagine anything more terrifying than watching my child fight this particular beast.
7. What's the strangest item you've used as a bookmark? I haven't used anything truly strange as a bookmark, but I have used a collection of odd items: tissues, tampon wrapper, folded toilet paper, paint samplers, other books, magazines, straws, barrettes, binder clips, paper clips, etc.
8. Do you have any nicknames? What are they and how did you earn them? I'm rather fond of Warrior, which some who read my blog have taken to calling me. My siblings call me Sissy (I'm the oldest of five). A friend calls me Non (for the end of my name) because I call her Stine (her name is Christine). And a group of online friends from a mother's forum I belong to call me Pookie. I have no idea how that started, and it is so not my personality, but it's officially mine now.
9. Name one habit you want to change in yourself: Pro.cras.tin.ation. Yikes.
10. Tell us something interesting or shocking about yourself: I was nearly kidnapped as a child, not once, but three times, in three different states (Oregon, Maryland, Colorado). I was also in the car when a serial killer went after my mom in the 80's.  Yes, a real one.  In fact, this prompted me to look him up and he was in the news in 2007 for admitting to an additional murder.  Maybe that's part of why made up monsters don't scare me.


1. What was your favorite A-to-Z post from 2011? I think my favorite post was my Y post, because it was so full of optimism and accomplishment. That moment reflected my really starting to see myself as a writer, not just someone who sometimes wrote some stuff.
2. What brought you to the A-to-Z originally? Tell us about your first A-to-Z: Last year was my first A-to-Z, and I signed up right as it was starting. Boy, was I feeling panicky! I sat there with that linky page open all day, starting to fill it out, backing off, starting again. Finally, I swallowed my fear, typed in my information and hit "submit." Almost a year later, I am delighted with where the A-to-Z has taken me. I learned so much and have come so far, and believe it or not, the A-to-Z was instrumental.
3. Are you doing a theme? I have decided I am mostly not doing a theme. I do plan to have some things running consistently throughout, but not something I would consider a theme. I'm still waffling, though.
4. Are you writing & scheduling posts in advance? Man, I hope so! I do intend to, but ask me if I've gotten even one post done so far. Nah, don't worry, I'll just tell you...nope. I keep thinking I'll have a minute. hahahahahahaha!
5. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet, and why? What letter do you like least? I like "X" because it makes me work for it, but it's interesting. "J," on the other hand, is one of the ones I think surprised me with how hard it was, and it doesn't have nearly the personality "X" does.

Thank you for reading!

I hope you've enjoyed these questions and answers. Don't forget, you are welcome, even encouraged, to ask any additional questions you might have in the comments section. Or feel free to answer the questions yourself! We won't tell.

We also have 2 new videos--both from Nicole Ayers from The Madlab Post.  Nicole submitted another video earlier as well.  Like her previous video, these two new ones are partly promotion for the A to Z Challenge, but also they have helpful prompts for those who may be struggling with ideas for April.  Watch and enjoy and then go to Nicole's blog and tell her hello.



A wonderful get to know you post.
Am, looking forward to the challenge, I was on the first and last year. met some wonderful friends. Meeting Arlee when in LA recently, had a lovely time and it was the highlight of my trip to the US.


Unknown said...

Whoa, an interesting life for sure...loved knowing more about you Shan non.
I liked the videos.

Unknown said...

I've got footie pyjamas - they were a bet for me to wear a Santa onesie at a work's party. I won the bet, but I kept the pyjamas. They're so cozy!

Dani said...

That's my favorite urban legend as well. I always check the back of my car and now I have my kids doing it.

Kidnapped and a serial killer. Holy cow! And by that, I don't mean the stampede, which, btw, is amazing on it's own.

You have had an adventurous life to say the least. It was awesome getting to know you better. This is my first year and I'm excited!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, your shocking item trumps all!!!

MISH said...

I think the nicknames are cute! Especially Pookie...
... and the shocking bit is horrific... you met the real monster, face-to-face, no wonder the made up ones don't affect you...

Tina said...

Holy Batman, Shannon! #10 gives me the willies. You've already met real monsters, and you're right, they're way worse than any other monster.
I already know a bit about you since we became buddies last year, but this was totally cool to learn even more. The question I still have is where did The Warrior Muse come from? I love knowing how blog names were born!
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

Jeremy [Retro] said...

some great responses and some things that are just pajamas... great read lady...


Matthew MacNish said...

Whoa. I was amazed by your courage at running into a stampede until I read that last one, and everything else flew out the window.

Arlee Bird said...

Shocking item #10 certainly could provide some story inspiration. This was a good "get-to-know-you" post.


Anonymous said...

That's an amazing story! A cattle stampede? I couldn't image that. Great to know you a little better.

Jonathon Arntson said...

WOW! Color me impressed.

blank said...

great to get to know you, i used to have a onesie, yes a bright pink onesie utill i was about 20, i wish that i still had it, it was great in the winter. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Almost kidnapped three times, and encountered a serial killer! You have had an exciting life.

I am extremely happy that your son's friend is doing better. I have seen many kids around this age diagnosed with leukemia, and I tend to have a soft spot for them.

Nicole said...

Just when I thought I've come to know a bit about you between last year's A to Z Challenge and now, I find out that your life is way more interesting, shocking and unbelievably courageous than any of us could have imagined.

Your brother is lucky to have a sibling like you. All the cattle in the world better watch out! ;)

That favorite urban legend of yours is so creepy. No wonder it's so memorable. Of all the odd bookmarks you listed, I'd say the tampon wrapper would qualify as strangest, lol.

Having no theme could be your theme, but it looks like that ol' procrastination habit crept up on your plans to schedule posts in advance. It's always like that, isn't it? lol. I know all about procrastination all too well.

The bit about those kidnappings and your mom in the 80s scare me but I totally understand how fictional monsters don't scare you. It sorta reminds me of when Hoda Kotb was talking about the cancer that she survived, on the Today Show and someone asked her what she learned, or something (I don't quite remember what the topic was) and she said "You can't scare me!" as if the cancer ordeal was the toughest thing that she went through in her life, so if she can survive that, then nothing in the world will scare her ever, bring it on!

Her statement reminds me of your take on fictional monsters.

Kudos to you both for making it through some of the craziest circumstances and being able to talk about it!

If you wrote and published a biography, I'd surely give it a read!

The Madlab Post

Konstanz Silverbow said...

It's wonderful getting to know you better!

#10 Pretty much terrifies me. I watch waaaay to many shows. But I've never met anyone that, that sort of thing has happened to.


Joyce said...

Loved this getting to know you post. Trying my best to be disciplined and a plan ahead kind of blogger this year. It's all planned out in my head-does that count?

Shannon Lawrence said...

Yvonne, it's so cool that you and Lee got to meet!

Rek, thank you, and the videos were great!

Jamie, too funny! But it's true...once you wear those suckers, it's impossible to shake them. So comfy!

Danielle, it's definitely been interesting! I sort of think adulthood pales in comparison sometimes. Can't wait to see what you bring to the A-to-Z!

Alex, not everyone has gone yet, so you never know! Someone could trump me!

MISH, Pookie is cute, but I just have no idea how they came up with that one!

Tina, I have a little marble sculpture from the Grand Canyon of the End of the Trail image (, and I am always a bit in awe of it. It makes me want to push myself. So he's my muse, my warrior muse!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Jeremy, thanks! I had to throw in some mundane PJ action to lighten it up.

Matthew, courage is probably more like stupidity, but I was a big sister, so it took very little thought on my part.

Lee, thanks, indeed it could! Probably several. In fact, putting all that out there gave me a couple ideas. Fictional versions, of course.

Stephen, it was freaky, for sure!

Jonathon, why thanks!

Serena, fun! You can still find them online. ;-p

Jeremy, I have, but I'm glad (mostly) that it's much calmer now. She's not only doing better, but thriving! Even gave a speech at a high school about it (at all of 7 years old) last week.

Nicole, flattering words, thanks! I'd say battling cancer takes a heck of a lot more courage than I've ever had to use. And, alas for my brother, I'm still an overprotective older sister. I do think I've finally got my theme down (after starting others, yeesh), so I'm getting to work! I swear! Maybe tomorrow! ;-p

Konstanz, the funny thing about that is that, as a kid, those were just things that happened. They were terrifying at the time, yes, and interesting for a bit, but it wasn't until I was older and looking back that I thought I was quite lucky to be alive. Kids are immortal in their own minds.

Joyce, that definitely counts! If you've at least got an idea of what you're doing it should be a bit easier.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I wanted to make this a separate comment: Love the videos, Nicole! I'm curious whether you found those images online or posed and photographed the dolls yourself.

Jeremy Bates said...

Wow! its awesome! thank you for sharing your story..

Marta Szemik said...

Great to get to know you. That #10 freaked me out. Kidnapping and serial killers are my biggest fears (next to flying).

Nicole said...


Thank you! I'm glad you like the videos. I planned to pose and photograph some dolls actually, but I had some down days after losing my iPod touch last month and realized that the deadline for the A to Z Video challenge was fast approaching, so after starting a video project that I still didn't finish during last year's challenge, I decided to find the photographs online because it would take less time to do so and cover all 26 letters. The photographs were taken by several different doll enthusiasts.

The Madlab Post

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

You've had a very exciting life with lots of fright moments.

DL Hammons said...

Truly interesting stuff "Pookie". :) I'm not doing a theme either.

you think dad said...

Oh, I love #9 - that is me. I also love number ten, I can relate....

Shannon Lawrence said...

Jeremy, thank you for reading it!

Marta, I can say kidnapping is one of my top fears since becoming a mom, for sure.

Nicole, interesting! They were fun pictures.

Susan, true, but they were few and far between. I've had a good and lucky life.

DL, are you just posting as usual?

you think dad, now that is an intriguing statement!

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

Ok Miss Warrior, I think you have had enough real life adventures to have some best selling novels. By the way a tampon wrapper for a book mark not unusual or strange, reallY?

Cambay Hotels & Resorts said...

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Shannon Lawrence said...

Debra, oh, it's definitely unusual! Haha, I think from the comments that I misspoke!

Neesa Tech, thanks!

Pearson Report said...

Hey Shannon...looks like I've been bringing up the rear on these fabulous intro parties! But, by arriving late I can stay longer.

First off...have I got a story to tell you about your nickname Pookie...but it'll be a behind the scene bit - too racy for here!

Also...WOW - you are soooo interesting! I'm glad to have this bit of extra insight - your causes are very special too!

I loved your answer to the "theme" question and the "in advance" one - looks like we are on the same page....although lately I feel a theme coming on!

Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself with us!

Jenny @ Pearson Report
Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Pearson Report said...

To Nicole from The Madlab Post - your videos totally rock! Really AWESOME...seriously! I'm really impressed with your talent! You go girl!!!

Cheers, Jenny @ Pearson Report
Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Christine Rains said...

Great get to know you post. Wow. You've had a lot of frightening things happen you as a kid. You are a warrior!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Jenny, oh, looking forward to hearing the Pookie dish!

Christine, thanks!