Because the idea of a book still feels so overwhelming to me, I decided to try and focus on getting my short story, Green Monkey, tweaked and published.
My morning goal was to forward it to my editor but when I realized I didn't have the original version on my macbook, I did a google search for it. I knew it was out there somewhere so I entered "green monkey, burning man, shannon kennedy" into the search and pressed enter.
The first result was my Burning Man version of Green Monkey but this version does not include any background history on the event itself. The second result was my Green Monkey Tales version, titled "Why Green Monkey" but this is also not the complete story.
I revised my search by simply entering "shannon kennedy" and quickly realized there are SEVERAL of us.
The first Shannon Kennedy listed was the Jazz musician, Shannon Kennedy - "a multi-faceted artist, composer, producer, performer, recording artist and music instructor." I knew about her. She's attractive and talented but I don't like the way she holds her saxophone.
The second search result showed Shannon Kennedy the visual artist. I've heard about her too.
Hey, its shades of blue streaked across a canvas, how hard can it be?
The third search result was ME!
ME, in all my glory.
ME, a self proclaimed "bossy, complicated, bla, bla, bla,... free spirited adventurist."
Me, according to my google profile. It sounds/reads ridiculous. A rewrite is way over due.
Oh how I wish I stopped here but being sightly OCD, I revised my search yet again. This time entering "shannon kennedy writer"
I was not prepared for what I found.
First I, Shannon Kennedy the Writer, am nowhere to be found!
Worse, I've been overshadowed by Shannon Kennedy Writers. These Shannon Kennedy's are not procrastinating, easily distracted, overwhelmed, want-to-be writers. These Shannon Kennedy's are published authors. These Shannon Kennedy's are putting it out there, living their dreams. These Shannon Kennedy's aren't just talking about it - they're doing it!
The first Shannon Kennedy writes realistic and paranormal young adult fiction. (why didn't I think of that!) She's published two books titled Daddy, Please Tell Me Whats Wrong and There's No Cure.
You can read more about this Shannon Kennedy here:
The second "Shannon Kennedy writer" is a romance novelist.
I love romance! Besides, I once pretended to be a romance novelist (yet another twisted tale that I have yet to write about).
This Shannon Kennedy lives with her mother, Colleen Kennedy.
My sisters name is Colleen Kennedy. She's my (much) older sister and I guess you can say that once upon a time she was motherly but no way in HELL would I ever live with my sister or my mother.
And... (how BIZARRE is this)... every story this Shannon Kennedy writes about has one common element...
She loves horses.
Well, I've loved horses ever since I was a little girl. I wrote about it once. Perhaps you read about my love of pony on my blog. It's included in a post I call "The Animals"
How is it that these Shannon Kennedy's are doing it and I'm only talking about doing it? What is my problem? Why can't I get out of my own way. Why can't I stop over thinking it and just do it.
It's true... I have self doubt. I struggle with insecurity and I am a perpetual procrastinator. BUT... I have a secret weapon. One slightly off kilter quality that will motivate me.
I'M A FIERCE COMPETITOR!
I will write and submit, and write and submit, until I turn up in a "Shannon Kennedy writer" google search.
Look out Shannon Kennedy's, here I come!
After I calmed myself down, I read the article below and realized that the two Shannon Kennedy's are one and the same.
The good news is... less competition.
The bad news is... her first book was published 20 years ago!
I've got a lot of catching up to do.
Granite Falls woman has stable career in writing romance novels
Author Shannon Kennedy doesn’t need to do much research to sweeten her western-set romance novels with ponies.
Torrid love may come and go in her books, but one thing is constant: Every novel she’s written features a horse.
That makes sense as Kennedy owns Horse Country in Granite Falls with her mother, Colleen Kennedy, where they offer riding and day camps.
She publishes under the name Josie Malone and sold two young adult novels some 20 years ago.
“They are still very topical,” Kennedy said. “They may be reprinted.”
In the romance department, she said, her bedroom scenes could be rated PG-13 to R. Her books are about adventure and love, the more detail the better.
“Man’s World” came out in paperback in time for Christmas.
“It’s a positive story about a woman struggling hard in the late 1800s,” said Lori Lyn, who’s president of the Evergreen Chapter of Romance Writers of America and lives in Shoreline. “She is trying to make it in a man’s world.”
Lyn said sales for romance novels are very strong. Folks read the genre as an inexpensive way to escape personal drudgery.
“It’s a format you know will have a happy ending,” Lyn said. “You aren’t going to turn the final page and the main character dies on you or anything.”
Kennedy’s new novel, “The Daddy Spell,” is an e-book published at www.bookstrand.com.
Here’s a preview: “Divorced mom Elinor Talbot isn’t looking for romance, but love finds a way when her mischievous kids summon a replacement dad with a spell. Wickedly handsome, smooth-talking horseshoer Sean Killian comes with a painful past, but he’s determined to win her independent heart. Will the magic between them last?”
As a child, Kennedy, 53, said she loved to dream away the days in an old cherry tree on her family’s pony farm at Silver Lake in Everett called The Funny Farm.
“I know that’s a rather strange name for a pony farm, but it came from my grandmother who said that our stories about life on the farm could make anyone laugh until they cried,” Kennedy said.
In her imagination, a tree became an Arabian stallion, a medieval castle and even a pirate ship.
“I got in trouble for making my little sisters walk the plank, but hey, they never broke any bones. On rainy days, I headed for my fort in the hayloft.”
The former Army reservist has 37 horses on the family ranch where she lives with her mother.
Her favorite pony was named Luck of the Irish, or Lucky for short.
“Lucky and I were together until he died of old age, at 40-plus years,” she said. “Lucky would do anything for a peanut butter sandwich and soda pop, but he wouldn’t pass up dog food, cat food, chicken scratch or the rabbit’s alfalfa pellets either. Lucky ate carrots and apples, but only when he couldn’t find more exciting fare.”
She rode her pony on trail rides with her 4-H Club, the original Everett Silver Flying A’s, led by Herb and Virginia Weinz. In the late 1960s to the early 1970s, they rode from Silver Lake in south Everett, to May’s Pond and Edmonds. Summer trail rides lasted all day. There were trees and wildlife where houses now stand, and young riders didn’t know that tuna sandwiches and mayonnaise might not be the wisest choice for lunches on hot days, she said.
“Crushed potato chips and warm Coca-Cola weren’t all that bad,” she said. “Lucky got more than his share.”
There were the overnights, riding to Snohomish from south Everett across the flats and camping out, all in preparation for trips to the Big Four Ice Caves outside of Granite Falls.
Kennedy works her Granite Falls ranch by day and does substitute teaching in several districts. She writes by night.
“I don’t have time for a husband,” she said. “I’m teaching the kids and grandkids of the ones I taught way back when we started.”
Kennedy and I have something in common as we both report to editors.
In her line of romance novels, she said she might get a call from a boss in Texas suggesting her cowboy story line would improve if she would kill off somebody in Chapter Two.
Don’t worry. The horse never dies.