Christmas Card 2014

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Holiday Happy Dance

Merry Christmas from the

S.P. Laws staff!

-Shannon, Brad, Vin, Robert, and Byung-hun

Click HERE to view our holiday card in Super-High-Speed Definition™

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So, how was your 2014?  What a mixed bad of nuts, right.  

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A large group of protesters stage a “die-in” on the street in response Monday in Seattle to the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. Photo: JORDAN STEAD, SEATTLEPI.COM


Robots went to Mars, the Rosetta spacecraft‘s Philae probe successfully lands on Comet 67P, the Ferguson, Mo. ruling (WTH?), the die-ins, Russia hosts the Olympics, Pussy Riot spoke out, Brazil puts on a dynamic show for the FIFA World Cup, the TV news world goes nuts over the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the US government continues to play games instead of governing, stunning display of the aurora borealis viewed by people as far south as Seattle, and some dy-no-mite sun activity causing cell/satellite outages.  Fun. Fun. Fun.  You were there, I don’t need to go into detail, but what a strange, wild, wonderful, and horrific year.

Here at the S.P. Laws office we had a… lets call it  “productive” year.  Many improvements are in place to help launch us off into an even more productive schedule for 2015. Here is the years recap:

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2014 started off on the good foot with a breathtaking announcement in April.  A letter came in the mail to officially notify me I was selected for  2013 Mayor’s Arts Award recipient “Poet”, along with many powerful folks in the Bellingham arts community, including my “Writer Idol” Laurel Leigh.  Here we are celebrating at The Temple Bar afterwards with productive and energizing writers Susan Chase-Foster and Janet Oakley.

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me, Laurel Leigh, Susan Chase-Foster, Janet Oakley

Also in April I was invited to speak with two lovely poets Jennifer Bullis (Bellingham) and Heather Curtis (Anacortes) for Heather’s book launch “Upon Waking” and for National Poetry Month.  I could not be in better company.  A fine set of poets.

book reading VB april 5

In  June my second poetry book, “Odd Little Things”, was released.  Special thanks to my dear friend and editor Denise DuMaurier for her help.  I edited my first book “Madrona Grove” by myself, in addition to formatting it.  (I’ll never do that again) I learned my lesson.  Editors are good people to know & hire.  Don’t be afraid to use an editor.  My two cents.

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“Odd Little Things” June 2014

 “Odd Little Things” is a familiar ride full of piercing moments and wishes. In this, her second book of poetry, Shannon bares all making you feel like best friends at a café sharing secrets. The cycles of life seem to spin like an unforgiving stellar system for this poet. However large or small, everything matters, especially the moments you only share with yourself. Shannon says about her new book, “If ‘Madrona Grove’ is my lover, then ‘Odd Little Things’ is my child.”

Available at Village Books, in store and online at this link: Odd Little Things VB

BTW: This fall a second edition of Madrona Grove was graciously edited by poet master, retired professor, James Bertolino.  Available now at Village Books, click here: Madrona Grove VB

RADIO

June marked the end of The New Americana Hour’s second season.  It was a double punch to the intellect and heart.  Such an honor to be apart of this program.  I am a volunteer producer for a non-profit radio station in Bellingham, KMRE 102.3 LP, that broadcasts out of the SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention.

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Sunday afternoon editing session for The New Americana Hour

This season just touched my heart greatly.  It was as if the seed co-host, Jon Winter and I planted last year decided to reward us with a bodacious bloom.  Musician’s approached us hearing about the show from their colleagues, asking to be a guest on it.   TNAH also connected with the Seattle based television program“Band in Seattle”. The success of last years line up and increase of listeners has contributed to two new sponsors for 2015.

To learn more about this pioneering Bellingham program please visit the shows re-broadcasting site on wordpress: http://newamericanahour.wordpress.com/

September presented two magnificent opportunities to spread some SPL poetry: 2014 Tagore Festival in B.C. and the official book launch of “Odd Little Things”.

The Tagore Festival is always a treat.  The music, films, history, traditional Bengal clothing and dance ignites the senses!  Carla Shaffer and I were invited to read on the Friday performance.

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September Poetry Host Book Launch Bellingham WA

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September Tagore Festival Richmond, B.C.

For my book launch I invited two poet friends of mine to join me.  Now, you know I can fill up an hour’s worth of podium time, however, I saw this as an opportunity to share the space with two of Bellingham’s finest: Carla Shafer and Erica Reed.  Carla is the long time host of Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater, and Erica the host of Kitchen Sessions (2012-14), two inspiring open mics in town.  This was the first time, that I am aware of it anyways, where three poetry group hosts gathered to read their poetry for an audience.  Thank you Village Books for providing the space and promotion.  I believe there was a cross-pollination, an intermingling if you will, of poet circles.  Good times.

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September World Peace Poet Event Bellingham, WA poster by Shannon Laws

In September we also hosted the second annual “Poets for Peace, Read-in! Write-on!” event.  This year held on a Friday night.  The program is simple: opening ceremonies, soup/salad dinner, poets and musicians read and sing about what peace means to them.  It ends when the last poet speaks. This is the only peace read-in in Bellingham.  I hosted the event along with my Peace Sisters Carla Shafer and author and poet C.J. Prince.  Watching members from Seattle to B.C. share their peace poems is like a healing, and good massage, calming down the anxiety of questions regarding humanities future.  “World peace starts with me” – peace is to be shared freely.

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Peace Sisters: C.J. Prince, me, Carla Shafer planning the 2014 Poets for Peace event.

The last event I was fortunate to be apart of was in November, a fundraiser for the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project.  Held at the glamorous Encore Room at the Mt. Baker Theater.  The audience was generous and responsive to touching poetry by all artists.  Kevin Murphy was the exclamation point at the end of the evening with his bongo poems that everyone can relate to.  Man, I love that guy!

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Kevin Murphy, C.J. Prince, Joe Nolting, me, and Mathew Brouwer

What a year.  My writing is a great release, and a reward thanks to a responsive writing and book worm community here in Bellingham.  Connecting with people, my neighbors, sharing intimate work like poetry, music, a smile and a handshake, is like a great reward, an enrichment to my little life.  People are amazing.

This summer I am hoping to expand my readings outside of Bellingham.  I’m hoping for an Anacortes reading, perhaps LaConner, South King County and Seattle.  Just crossing my fingers that time and money will be available for those events.  This December I moved into a tiny apartment.  Like Virginia Wolf, I have a room of one’s own (and kitchen and a bath).  Here is my launching pad for 2015.  I wonder where it will take me?

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” Virginia Wolf

Thank you for joining me in my life of writing.

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Little room, little desk. Where I type, write and dream. Dream to think ratio 5:3

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7 thoughts on “Christmas Card 2014

  1. Wonderful to read about your literary adventures, Shannon. You new place looks comfortable and inspiring. Happy that you have a room of your own! Blessings for peaceful holidays and a delightful 2015. ❤

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  2. I love this post! It’s a pleasure to know you Shannon! What a great idea to write a christmas letter post–I may steal it : ) Congratulations on all your accomplishments this year, may 2015 be even better still!

    Like

  3. Thank you Selah. I hope we can spend more time together in 15. I’d love to hear about your year. Please post a letter.
    If you do a video, I may loan out my staff- they are fantastic dancers (a prerequisite to be my assistant)

    Like

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