Interview: Into The Arts KPNW-DB

Click to listen to the KPNW “Into the Arts” interview–xZWiaQ5CvrYovce_EhjuOaIgh

After announcing that I was not returning to community radio production this fall, Jeannie Gilbert, station manager of KPNW-DB digital radio, invited me over to her studio to share my swan song.

In 2011 I woke up put a turtleneck on and was like, “I’m a freakin’ mess!” That same month I started volunteering at 102.3 KMRE SPARK Radio, broadcasting community radio out of the Museum of Electrical Invention, hoping community work would straighten me out. I used the moniker “Boosie” to hide from judgmental ex-in-laws, and *boom* history was made. This was the profile photo for my FB radio presence for seven years:

Boosie 2011-2018, RIP

Its 2018 and I must admit my life is better for the experience. Want to know more? Take me out for coffee or drinks and I’ll share all my secrets. Until then, keep it real…

“After seven years of producing radio programs, I have decided to say goodnight to this chapter in my life. Thank you KMRE, KZAX, and KPNW for supporting my work. Thank you all for listening, and a special thank you to the hundreds of guests who have lifted me up and inspired me and my listeners over the years.”
-Shannon Laws, producer/host Chickadee Productions

If you have any questions or want to listen to your favorite program offline please contact Shannon Laws on FB messenger or via her writer’s page.

Samples of Bellingham Art Beat and other programs have transferred over to her writer’s website located here:

Thank you again for your support and stay beautiful Bellingham! ❤️



Poem: Voice on the Trail

Copy of Picture 177

Voice on the Trail

—with a nod to poet Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980)

All the voices of the Wood called “Shannon!”

But it was soon solved; it is nothing, it is not

my real name.

My real name is written on a stone kept warm by eternal

embers I am still too cold to hold.

Words like Real and Endure

Sound like Health and Hell

Then I see what is calling, it was the road

I traveled, miles behind, warning me of the FORK

The sound bounces forward, then back, right-side-down

warns of mud ahead―not to me, but to anyone.

And at last I saw where the road lies wide,

and clear orchard rows, easy fruit and bundled grass

roll along a tan, green and blue landscape.

Not for me. Not for me. Not for me.

I came into my clear being uncalled, alive, and sure

of all but what I see.

Nothing speaking to me, none know my real name―

not the owl, the fish or the elk, but I offer myself

to the strangers and it is well.

Strangers we are.

I know them all.



Spider in the Corner

spider meme

Rushing through my day I find few places to sit and rest, gather myself, collect my thoughts.  There is one place, a secret place, I found that I’d like to share with you.

Somewhere on the college campus between room 120 and the math lab is a restroom.  Restrooms are common and not much of a secret but I found something secret inside this restroom between room 120 and the math lab: a spider’s home.

This humble home is positioned perfectly on the floor between the tiled wall and the stainless steel footing of the stall frame.  The janitor’s mop has yet to find it. For the last five weeks I have noticed that this spider is busy.  Some days the nest is messy with potato bug carcass and hair, other times it’s clean, quietly waiting for dinner to drop by.  Today I discovered another spider, dead and dry, it’s juices enjoyed, all curled up at the top of the flossy web, left out to hang like a flag of victory.  Now it’s getting interesting…

I’d like to offer up that this barbaric scene of the spider world is natures version of the television series.  Time will not allow me to binge-watch this adventure.  Binge-watching is when you watch a whole season(s) of a show back to back until your brain turns to mush.  The last time I did this was with AMC’s “The Walking Dead” seasons 1-4 in 3 days.  I was almost zombie material by the end of that binge. Pun intended.


So here is this little frame of nature, inside a tiled room, the spider is just living—doing it’s thing.  Everyday that space, that three inch bit of real estate, looks a little different.  Although I have yet to see the spider, I can guess how it’s day is going based on the condition of it’s web.  I always take a quick look when I can.  Today, after five weeks of spying, I asked myself “Why?” (I’m slow like that)

I thought about the time birds built a nest under my roof and I listened to the sound of the babys growing stronger, tweeting louder, until they left.  I thought about my  flower garden in Port Orchard and watching different flowers and bushes changed throughout the seasons. I remembered years of watching a neighbors slow progress repairing their “fixer-upper” home, until I could no longer see the old house it use to be.   I thought about my children and nephews growing, needing new shoes, needing hair cuts, growing up, changing.

I like progress.  I like to watch things grow.  It is the best show to watch.


Cell Division

Cell Division is an important part of life, literately, and it’s also a great name for a rock band. Every living thing is made from cells. Cell division is the process that cells go through in order to divide; division equals growth and LIFE. Sounds repetitive but rather simple, no pun intended.

Currently I am going through a cell division of my own. I’m not gaining weight, but rather experiencing growth of the cognitive kind. The little creative cells inside my id and imagination are growing and bubbling with life- to the point of division. It’s not that much different than giving birth. In the case of babies of course it takes TWO people to make one. In regards to the creative process, ONE person creates, creates and creates some more! Duplicating themselves into their medium whatever it may be. When an artist is not creating they are thinking about creating; it’s a love affair of sorts.

Each and every cell in your body contains a complete set of DNA, the double helix. Our bodies are just a collection of cells. “All DNA here on this planet is exactly the same, just put together differently. All life is not far removed from itself.” to quote my husband Christopher the Ecologist.

Cells may divide for several reasons, and there are two types of cell division depending on the purpose. The cell division associated with sexual reproduction is one type, called meiosis. The other type, the cell division associated with growth and cell replacement or repair, is called mitosis. In both types of cell division, the nucleus splits and DNA is replicated. Think about that moment, that moment right before division. Life bursting and bubbling up inside you, the cell, frothing out copies of bits of your DNA, until the fully cloned strand is complete, and then BOOM! Your brush hits the canvas; you type a word, or sing a note! Creativity is born!

Yellow Brick Road
In addition to dividing I’m also traveling; moving away from my Madrona Grove and into the medium size city by the bay that is Bellingham. Hopefully the ever powerful “luvs” that I get from my Madronas will be with me as I travel, much like the way the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Lion traveled with Dorothy on her venture to OZ. Will the love from the island help and encourage me while I travel into the unknown lands of lighted intersections and malls? Will the resident orca families remind me that it’s not ok to mix jeans with skirts, as so many B’ham women do? “Keep it simple, Shannon!” they might shout out to me as they swim away in their black and white attire. Will the Island Rock that I love so much help me to stand off the urge to have an affair with my yoga instructor or the McDonald’s drive through?
 …sigh… A new world full of new temptations and opportunities.

They say the first step is the hardest. Why? Because it usually involves a life changing decision. Change is stressful and a bit scary. I say the first step is the most exciting part of any venture. Taking a step, making a commitment, moving forward using all your breath, to steal a phrase, is refreshing. It is what life is all about- life is cell division!