Kickstarter “Fallen”

Help support my Kickstarter

Click here to visit the Kickstarter site 

For two years I have been working on my third poetry book “Fallen”.  It’s 85 pages long and has 47 select poems written between the years 2014-2016. The book block is finished, the cover is designed, one print copy in hand.  The book was set to release Spring 2017.  However, I was laid off from work mid-December 2016 and the funds to get it printed are no longer available.  I am asking for the printing costs $280.  This will cover the KICKSTARTER fees, tax and the printing of 25 books from a local press.  My first reading feature is scheduled for June 29th in Everett, WA.  I need to have books to sell at this reading.  Please consider a donation.  Every little bit will help.

The Kickstarter ends May 31, 2017

WHY “FALLEN”

I’ve been writing poetry since 2009.  I paid for the printing of the previous two books, “Madrona Grove” 2012, “Odd Little Things” 2014, at an independent press.  Both were released with moderate fanfare.  What makes “Fallen” special is that in 2016 I challenged myself to write about the loss of my daughter.  She would have turned 25 in 2016.  Poetry is a good friend to me.  It helps me to define emotion, understand a complex system, helps me to view the world. I asked myself, “WHY haven’t you written any poetry about THAT night?”  So, I started writing.

My mother, a retired counselor,  teachers a “Loss and Grief” class at her church located a half hour south of Seattle, WA.  She has shared a handful of my poetry as an aide to her mourning students.  Her students are encouraged to use the poems as an example to start their own poems or prose.  This gives voice to their lamentations, which is an important step in the grieving process.

REVIEWS

Earlier this year when my editor Mary Gillilan and I were working on the cover, I sent an advanced reading to a few established Northwest poets for cover blurbs.  Here is what they had to share:

“With Fallen, Shannon Laws has evolved into someone that readers in the northwest should pay attention to. Like a complex pantomime, Laws’ charming, conversational lyric style hides poems that are personal yet complex, dark, intense, deep, heartbreaking, and at times hilarious. Each of them also have a subtle grit and seriousness to them. Like all poets worth their salt, she doesn’t the dichotomy of being particular and speaking to many audiences. Highly, highly recommended.”
–Robert Lashley, author of The Homeboy Songs

Shannon Laws has been, in many ways, an asset to her community. This book demonstrates that “there’s a revelation flowing…along the ridges of her galaxy.” She employs “footholds of green” to “take our minds to another place.” Shannon Laws is top-niche.
–James Bertolino, author of Ravenous Bliss: New & Selected Love Poems  

“Shannon Laws’ poems are ventures, many journeys of the mind and imagination and others literal walks, day and night, to and from home, work, and school; they render fresh observations of the routine and familiar: interactions in kitchen and living quarters, fields of local plants and critters, the hum of machinery. They also probe the mysteries of the human condition, posing elemental issues: love and death and loss, the aching solitariness of human experience, the straining for meaning, clarity and confirmation, the yearning for contact and connection, and the guises humans adopt in the consequent interchange.”
—Ron Leatherbarrow, Professor of Literature, Whatcom Community College

“Shannon Law’s poetry entices the reader along a windy path of shared emotion, at times tiptoeing gently toward the topic, at others racing headlong toward it, and at times inviting humor in. The mix is wonderful. From that girl in school who builds forts, to the new owner of a used mattress who sleeps in the body-shaped dip left by its prior occupant, to a three-timing lover, to the loss of a child, these poems circumscribe a relatable life and invite introspection. It is nearly impossible to pick just one favorite from this gem of a book.”
—Laurel Leigh, author of the blog Dear Writers

“In “ Fallen”, Shannon Laws has written polished and evocative poetry that intrigues the reader page after page, often demanding one backs-up and re-reads. Her metaphorical language is usually of common words that she newly loads with much information…
I challenge you to find our own favourite poems with lines that you will remember in admiration and repeat to others. She is a master of bringing significant life changes alive with pain or passion in a few well chosen words! ”
—Bernice Lever, “Small Acts”, Black Moss Press, Windsor, ON, Canada

This poetry is not camera-shy. Full of imagery and emotion, it ranges across the days with bursts of action and reflection. Laws writes of quiet eroticism, as well as memory and humor from the north Pacific region, where she has lived most of her life. Shannon P. Laws has gifts of observation, humanity, and powerful expression. A valuable choice for poetry lovers, who will find it natural to read and understand.  
——Denise DuMaurier, author of Follow Me Down

I’d like to take my book on tour, share, listen, laugh, cry and hug folks along the way. After I print the initial 25 books and test it on a small local tour, I’m going to transfer the book to a print-on-demand site offered through a well-known independent bookstore located in the historic district of Fairhaven in Bellingham, Washington.
Help me do it!

Thank you

Fallen” Kickstarter Site HERE

 

Poetry Book: Odd Little Things

online cover OLT
Photo credit: Daniel Laws. Taken at Old Town Cafe, Bellingham. Home of the BEST beni

This book was a lifesaver.

Written over the years of late 2012-2014 the poetry that emerged from my finger tips started to take a new direction.  Nature and love topics will always be on my forethought, but objects like a pole, a cinnamon roll and a rain drop on a porch at night attacked my senses.

2013 was an especially wild year, romantically, professionally, artistically.  New jobs (plural), hope gained then lost AGAIN, projects built such as “Poetic Moments” radio feature and the Peace Poets ‘Read-in” events, wonderful highs.  Then the love life roller coaster: hot and cold, warm, simmer, then over and gone.  In my free time, my down time and on my dates with my notebook, words started to show up.  THINGS started to twinkle at me to say “hi”.  Simple things with deep worlds.

“Odd Little Things” is a shorter book than “Madrona Grove” but it feels like it says more with less words.  I hope you will consider adding it to you collection.  This is the age of the chap book, staple binding n’ all.  Collect them and SAVE a poet!

~Shannon P. Laws

Purchase “Odd Little Things” by visiting Village Books
online or walking in. 
Buy online here

Meet Writer C. J. Prince

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C.J. Prince, Author and Poet

The first thing I thought when I met C. J. about two years ago was “Who are you and how do I get to know you more?”  Love at first sight you might say.  Her colorful personality, bubbling energy and big smile are completely addicting.

This August she released her new poetry book “Mother, May I”.   Reviews are already out:

“A brilliant, intricately woven rendition of stigmas, family rules, love and pain that stains the soul.”  ~Una Bruhns, Poet, Creative Writer, Vancouver, BC, Canada

“…In this autobiographical collection abounding in images from BB guns to drowned kittens, the shadow cast by her mother, “born too early for the age of Aquarius,” inhabits the pages either as a bodily presence, a memory, or as a ghost who is “not here” but “everywhere…” ~Paul Fisher, Bellingham, Washington, author of Rumors of Shore


 

Congratulations on the release of your new poetry book “Mother, May I”.  What’s it about?

“Mother, May I?” is a selection of poems that primarily reveal the relationship between myself and my mother.  I had no intention of writing it but discovered after a number of years that there were many mother poems, enough for a poetry book.  Some of the poems are not obvious, written in second or third person.

 C. J., you seem to overflow with inspiration.  I’m curious, what does your writing process look like?

My writing is a glass of water on a hot day.  I gulp down words.  The Muse comes with pitchers full and without regard for my lifestyle.  Her words flood my mind while I’m teaching Tai Chi and I turn aside and write for never will she allow them again unless she is honored.  She wakes me in the middle of the night.  She especially likes to ride along the lake.  I keep a notebook open to a blank page so I can scribble a few lines at a stop light.

 You write about domestic, psychological subjects, deep stuff.  Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

“Mother, May I?” deals with factual situations as perceived by a child and remembered as an adult.  I think anyone who had a difficult relationship with her mother will identify on some level.  The specifics may not be the same but the concepts exist.  There is only one answer, self-forgiveness and self-love.  Then forgiving and loving others is easy.

When people ask what I write about, I laugh and say “Sex and death.”  Pretty much that and everything in between.

My next novel, working title “Stepping Up”, deals with women’s issues of abuse and how one woman finds the courage to heal herself and recover.

Oh—what would I never write about?  Never say never.  I like reading mysteries and thought about writing one.  Then I asked myself if I really wanted to spend all that time on something gruesome.  No.  What I’d probably never write about is necrophilia.

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Mother, May I? -that’s C.J. on the cover!

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

I’ve always said my favorite author is the one I’m reading.  Having reviewed books on goodreads.com for years, I discover that I’m a tad pickier now than that. Plus I’ve been in several excellent book groups in Bellingham and that adds to my ability to discern.

Currently I am in a head space to avoid literary and deep works.  So I read mysteries lite. I’m on the 26th Hamish Macbeth book by M. C. Beaton.  Knowing I’m coming to the end of the series, I started reading the alphabet mysteries by Sue Grafton, set in Santa Teresa, modeled on my home town of Santa Barbara.  Plus I read poetry every night before I go to sleep.  Have been captured by Billy Collins lately.

 What is your background in the arts?

My grandmother was an artist.  She taught me to draw when I was a child sitting at her pink Formica kitchen table waiting for chocolate chip cookies to come out of the oven.  I didn’t have an art class until 7th grade.  I was too insecure in high school and college to take art.  Then I took life drawing and oil and acrylic studies at various colleges and universities as I moved around.  I now paint in oil, work with photography, which I did study in college, and mixed media.  I have five spinning wheels, four looms and endless knitting needles.  There is no limit.  I’m learning how to needle felt.  Have a great design in my mind.  Now to make it into a reality.

 What are you up to when you’re not writing?

I teach Yang Style Tai Chi, 24, 48, 37 and 108 forms plus Qigong in Sudden Valley.  I also teach seated Tai Chi to memory care residents at Highgate Senior Living in Bellingham.  I’m learning more and more vegan recipes and love to cook.  I walk my two Papillons.  I garden.  I am a compulsive knitter.  Last winter I was on a hat binge, creating the perfect hat for my son.  It took perhaps a dozen before we found the comfortable combination for him.  It was great fun.  Mostly I knit socks in my default mode.  My grandmother taught me to knit when I was four.  I’ve had four needles in my hands ever since.

I facilitate two practice writing groups and attend one writing critique group.  Some say writing is a solitary practice.  That first flush of words, direct from the lips of the Muse, are mostly received in private.  After that it takes a village to create a book.

I usually read at Village Books open mic on the last Monday of the month and at Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theatre on the second Wednesday of the month.  I am pleased with the new venue in Sudden Valley called Creekside Open Mic on the third Wednesdays of the month.  I’m looking forward to World Peace Poets on September 19, 2014.

pastel portrait by sue hill
Pastel portrait by Sue Hill

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

If you want to write, write.  Too many people think the first words on paper have to be publishable.  Think of it as a Buddhist practice.  Write 10,000 times, publish once.

Bellingham is a mecca for creative people.  There are many writing groups.  Go for it.  Everyone has a unique vision of the world, a personal perception that no one else can duplicate.  Just do it.  Write now.  Check out my Facebook page “Writing Prompts.”

Keep a journal.  Write a poem a day for National Poetry Month in April.  Write a post card a day with Postcard Poetry Fest in August.  Write.

 What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I mentioned the novel.  I have three more hiding away that need high revision but “Stepping Up” will be the next one.  But my immediate focus is to gather up stacks of poems and find some way to assemble them into my next book.  My current natural format seems to be poetry.  If I write a cool sentence, I pull it apart and let it tumble into a poem.  Next month I will publish “Canvas Angels,” a novel under its own cover.  It is currently available in “Catching My Breath,” three novels, three authors, three women, one town.

There is something about the precision, the minute detail that calls up the pollen of a flower or the breath of midnight, only a poem captures essence.


 

Purchase “Mother, May I?” on Amazon here.

To learn more about C. J. and get in contact with her please visit her sites:

https://www.facebook.com/poetc.j.prince

C.J. Prince’s Blog on WordPress

Book: Odd Little Things

So happy to announce that my book is out, and ready for purchase!

“Odd Little Things”
Released June 2014

Purchase your copy here:

Description

The 2013 Mayor’s Arts Award recipient, poet, author and community radio personality, Shannon P. Laws, celebrates glory in the little things, the odd little things to be exact.
“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.”

About the Author

Bellingham poet, Shannon P. Laws, is a regular at open mics, sharing poems and excerpts from her work of literary fiction. She can be found at such venues as Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater, Village Books Open Mic, Poetry Night and Kitchen Sessions. She is a founding member of World Peace Poets, who encourage harmony through words for international writers at various public readings. In her spare time she hosts the Village Books Poetry Group, and is a volunteer producer at a non-profit community radio station.
Product Details
ISBN-10: 0692222359
ISBN-13: 9780692222355
Published: Chickadee Productions, 06/24/2014
Pages: 44 , $7.99

Message from the Author

“Synchronicity shows up in the oddest places.  It  waves at us, at just the right moment, from the living rings of our spiraling universe. It is our choice to recognize it. Miss it once, well that’s OK, perhaps you’ll catch it next time around. Years later a lightning bolt of déjà vu runs down your spine, awakens the bumps on your skin, jerks your elbow to perform a respectful wave back toward your connection to it all.
 
Thank you for the visit, spending some time with me in my mind’s garden.”  
 
 
~Shannon P. Laws

 

Poetry Book: Madrona Grove



After months of editing and nine test copies the book is out!  The dedication reads: To my children who always have a smile, to my writer friends who always have a good word, to the crows who know me and say hello when I walk their wood, to the beams of sunshine that kiss me when no one else is looking, and to my love…”  I must of course also thank you, the visitor to this blog.  With over ten thousand visitors in the two years I have been blogging and posting my poetry, your feedback and encouragement have basically created a writing monster.  Well done!  

As fresh as a hot mocha on a rainy day, the majority of poems in “Madrona Grove” have never before been published!  Be the first to own a slice of the Northwest as seen through the eyes of this poet.  

The book can be easily purchased on line at Village Books (link below) for only $14.95.  Village Books is an independent book store located in the historic district of Fairhaven, 1200 11th Street, Bellingham, WA 98225.  You can also order a book over the phone at: Tel: (360) 671-2626 / (800) 392-BOOK.

Description


Poetry. Shannon P Laws takes us on a stroll through the mind, heart and the mystery of dreams in her debut collection. Her poems, like a fine picnic laid out on a blanket in the shade of her beloved Madrona, reveal treasures that hide in everyday living. This majestic tree, native to her home on San Juan Island, has a skin like bark, alive to the touch. They act as a sentry on her journey through ancient emotions and primal urges that stir within.

About the Author


Shannon P Laws, born and raised just outside of Seattle WA, is a regular at open mics, sharing poems and excerpts from her work of literary fiction. She has been found at such venues as Chuckanut Sandstone Writers, Village Books Open Mic, Poetry Night, Western Washington University’s Erotic Poetry Night and Poets Across Borders in Canada. Shannon is also the host for the popular Village Books Poetry Group, which meets monthly. In addition she is on the radio hosting two music programs, Classic Blues and New Americana, on KMRE 102.3, SPARK Radio, in downtown Bellingham WA.

Product DetailsISBN-10: 0615745458
ISBN-13: 9780615745459
Published: Chickadee Productions, 01/23/2013
Pages: 74