Shannon Stacey
Deliberate boredom

Toward the end of last year, I was reading Roni Loren’s review of the book Deep Work by Cal Newport and one line really stuck with me.

Our subconscious mind works out answers to things when we’re bored or doing something relaxing.

I was crazy-busy at the time, so I didn’t pay much attention to the words simmering in the melting pot, but something else I read before the new year (I don’t remember what) prompted me to go back and read the blog post—and that line—again.

I realized my mind is never bored.

And right now, you’re probably thinking “oh look, another author saying you have to shut off social media to get shit done”. Nope. There’s a good chance you won’t ever see me being that author.

This is about off-line time. If it’s about anything that can be easily summed up in one word, it’s streaming. I was first published in 2005 and I can remember those first years pretty well. (Because, you know, it was only ten or so years ago.)

We always joke that the best ideas come to us while we’re showering or driving or cleaning the dryer vent (I’ll have to take people’s word on that one), but it’s actually true. The hours away from the computer, doing housework or commuting or whatever, were when I sorted out my story in those days. While driving, I’d tune out the commercials and songs I don’t like on the radio and figure out the heroine’s backstory. While doing the dishes, I’d plot out the big action scene. When I sat down at the computer to write, my subconscious had been hard at work and I had story to put on the page.

Now? There are no radio commercials and songs I don’t like because I have a constantly curated playlist of current favorites on my phone. I sing in my Jeep, to every song. My iPad travels around the house with me, streaming TV episodes I want to catch up on or favorite movies to keep me company. In my house, washing the dishes takes the same amount of time as a show with no commercials. What a coincidence! Seriously, the other day, I carried my iPad from the chore I’d been doing to the litter box, so I could keep watching my show while I scooped.

Other than a quick shower, there are literally no minutes in the day when my brain is not actively engaged and processing incoming content. So when I sit down at the computer and open my manuscript, I shouldn’t be surprised when the subconscious/muse/girls in the basement just sit back and say “What? Ain’t got nothin’ for ya today, dollface.” (Apparently my subconscious mind is a gin joint. IDEK.)

So I’m trying to leave the iPad behind as I do all those menial chores this year. It’s a process, so I’m having mixed results. When I go into the kitchen to clean, my brain looks something like an overactive black Lab puppy who thinks he’s going to the dog park—oh boy oh boy oh boy—and retraining is hard. Sometimes I cave.

But this is the year I learn to be bored again.

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The first chapter of WHAT IT TAKES is up now!

You can read the first chapter of WHAT IT TAKES: A KOWALSKI REUNION NOVEL and find preorder links here! You get a glimpse of a few series favorites (more show up later!) and meet the new couple who are going to fall in love at the Northern Star.

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Happy New Year!

A pin-up girl, streamers and balloons. Let's do this, 2017.

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Release day! HOLIDAY WITH A TWIST is now available!

This is my favorite time of year. The heat and humidity are behind us (here in the northern hemisphere), but it’s not yet cold enough to make me complain (too much). There’s an air of festivity, and I love holidays that include eating delicious foods with the people I love the most.

It’s also become a tradition for me to write a Christmas novella, and this year the tradition continues with Holiday With A Twist. I loved writing Croy and Leigh’s romance, and there’s also a pug who stole my heart.

“Perfect length novella and a truly awesome story makes this a must read Christmas story.” –  A Night Owl Reviews Top Pick!

Holiday With A Twist coverAfter a messy breakup, Leigh Holloway is ready to start her life over. Until her parents put the family home on the market and call her back for one final, memory-making Christmas. The last thing she wants to do is deprive her mom of the perfect holiday, so she’ll lie her way through the visit and worry about her future in the New Year. Too bad the only bar in town is owned by a guy she seriously wronged in high school.

Leigh’s best friend broke Croy Dawson’s heart, and Croy knows it was Leigh’s fault. They’ve never liked each other, but Croy isn’t cruel: he’d never turn away a pretty woman in need of some family-Christmas fortification. He doesn’t expect her to drink just enough candy-cane martinis to tell him her secrets—and he definitely doesn’t expect to get caught up in her holiday madness.

Despite the surprising love and laughter, Croy and Leigh can’t escape the truth: he can’t walk away from his family obligations and she has a life and career to reboot. But anything is possible if your holiday comes with a twist…

Carina Press:






You can also read the first chapter on my website, here.

If you’d rather listen to Holiday With A Twist, especially during the busy holiday season, it’s also available from Audible!

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Three of my holiday novellas together for only 99 cents!

The Season For Love 99 cent sale graphic, ends Oct 10

THE SEASON FOR LOVE is only 99¢ for a limited time! Three of my holiday novellas, including reader favorite HOLIDAY SPARKS, in one convenient bundle! 🎄






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