We didn’t face off in the courtroom, but I still feel like it was a victory.

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Almost five months ago, my on again off again boyfriend of two years drunkenly pushed me to the floor and kicked me, leaving a sizable bruise on my leg. It was only a few days after Christmas, and my children were sleeping in the next room. Everything had been going well all day, but that night, while I was in the bathtub, he proceeded to get drunk. When I got out he egged me on to try and catch up, but I didn’t really feel like it. …


Whether you write blog posts or books, you need to know who your market is.

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While I’ve only been a blogger for less than two years, I’ve been writing online and working with other writers for almost a decade now. I’ve worked with self-published authors in various genres, editors, publishers, and even some coaches and consultants. There is one thing that sets the successful ones apart from the ones who are barely getting by.

Marketing.

It is the necessary evil of the writing world. Most writers will tell you they hate it. They do it begrudgingly and only because they have to sell books and products. As much as most writers thrive on the creative…


We’d rather work for ourselves.

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Not a day goes by when I don’t see some sort of dimwitted comment on social media about how people in America don’t want to work anymore. My social media friends span a wide variety of people. From the most leftist liberals to some folks who have firmly planted their flags on the right. Most of those flags say Trump 2024 on them too. Though I did clear out quite a few people during the election, those that live in my little small town in Southern Iowa made it safely through the purge.

Why?

Because they are the men and…


It all comes down to fear.

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It was two days after Christmas when I turned to look at my on-again-off-again boyfriend playing video games and drinking a beer and thought, “I deserve so much more than this.” It wasn’t the video games or the drinking or even him that triggered the thought, really, at least not directly at that moment. It was like a rushing wave came over me, filled with all the good and bad things that had happened between us over the two years that we were together, and suddenly I didn’t want him in my bed anymore.

This epiphany was the only thing…


There was nothing in the parenting books that prepared me for this part of co-parenting.

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Having a baby, even a surprise one, is supposed to be one of the most exciting things that happen in a parent’s life. That was precisely how I felt when my daughter, Emilia, was born. She showed up a month early, itching to greet the world. She did so, loudly, her tiny five-pound frame somehow able to yell louder than a grown man. There was nothing hard about her birth or the months that came after. She was nothing but happiness, her yells, and squeals coming from nothing but joy.

Her father and I had split early in my pregnancy…


Not everyone is built for societal norms.

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I broke up with my boyfriend a few days ago after three weeks. We starting seeing each other in March but only put labels and stipulations on it a few weeks ago. There was nothing specifically wrong or negative about our relationship. M is a charming, kind, and understanding man who cares about my children and me.

We started dating on my birthday, in mid June. He had been persistent that he wouldn’t ask me to date him until he felt like I was ready. That had been my excuse to keep him at arm’s length since we met. It…


Every break-up is a lesson learned.

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When I was in college, going through a break-up, as I often was and sometimes still am, I went on a hunt in the university library for a book that would ease my aching heart. It was one of those cliche college break-ups. You know, where an unwitting freshman from a small town goes off to college in the big city and starts seeing her literature professor who is just nice enough to meet her for coffee after class and talks in phrases that remind you of Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society. I know, nothing unconventional about that plotline.


You can’t hold on to them forever.

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I’ve often described myself as an emotional hoarder. In the way that a regular hoarder keeps possessions, I keep memories. Late at night, when I can’t sleep, I flick through the pictures I have taken of my mind. I remember the first night we met, how my ex smiled sitting across me. I close my eyes and try to bring back the feeling of how my whole body tingled when he asked to kiss me and how I felt a literal spark when his lips touched mine.

For years after we split up, I would playback these memories each night…


A day meant to celebrate us does nothing more than show us how alone we really are.

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My first Mother’s Day was only a few days after I had my son. His father’s family wanted to go out to eat and offered to take us out to Applebee’s in the next town over. I remember loathing the idea of trying to squeeze my four days postpartum body into acceptable clothing to go out to eat at a busy restaurant. If it had been up to me, I would have stayed home and cuddled my son, who was barely getting a handle on breastfeeding.

But as I awkwardly climbed in my ex’s small car, feeling out of place…


A lesson about love learned in five years time.

Photo by Clayton Chapman on Unsplash

Five years ago, I met a guy on Tinder.

I know, I rolled my own eyes at that sentence too, but alas, that is indeed how this story begins. J was the quiet type, who kept to himself. This was a kind of a pleasant rarity in the town we lived in, where everyone is always into everyone else’s business.

I was somewhat new to town, a transplant from up north a year before we met. …

Ashley Shannon

Thirty something queer mom of two, one with autism. Lover of sushi, coffee, and wine. Living a life of travel. Top Writer ashleyshannononmedium@gmail.com

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