The Tourniquet Tales

Tourniquet Tales…

…are stories from the road I’ve been traveling down the past fourteen years since my kidney transplant surgery. All the good stuff, the not so good stuff, and the stuff in-between. This is my attempt to chronicle my experiences and share them…in hopes that hearing my stories might be helpful and some kind of support to others going through the same or similar circumstances. Any serious illness is a rough road…knowing you’re not alone can make it all seem less lonely & less like life is targeting you for attack. Those of us facing disease(s) are out here. We are in our homes, behind our keyboards, sometimes managing a day out in public. We suffer our fate in silence each day…showing the world our shiny side so that no one has to feel bad for us…or even know we’re sick at all.

Why “Tourniquet Tales”?

I know it may seem a bit macabre…but I kinda have a thing for the dark & macabre.☠ I love Halloween & Dia de los Muertos….abandoned places (the creepier the better)….Edgar Allen Poe….I love ghosts and almost anything paranormal👻! My favorite stories are ones that are dark & strange…anything gothic! So that aspect of naming this series came naturally to me…but the meaning of the title is in reference to the thousands of times since I was diagnosed that I’ve had to have my blood drawn. Blood labs are how the docs keep track of my kidney function and check for rejection. Whenever I’m in the hospital, blood draws can be a often as every 6 hours. My entire existence as a person with an autoimmune illness has been marked by many, many blood draws…so much blood taken…SO many tourniquets.😖 The sting of the needle was the tough part at first. I had to look away every time or else I’d get dizzy and almost pass out. But it didn’t take too long to get used to it…now I don’t feel the needle sting at all. I’ve grown numb to it. And I’m able to watch the entire process with endless fascination: the cool swab of alcohol across the crook of my arm…the painless piercing of my skin as the needle plunges into my vein…the tiny fountain of blood gushing into the vial. Now it’s impossible for me to look away.😝 But the worst part of the whole ritual has become that damn tourniquet! Some nurses or phlebotomists have a gentle touch…truly angels on earth.😇 However, there are others…who are wonderful people, to be sure…but their tourniquet technique is barbaric!🙀 They pull the rubber strap SO tight I just want to S-C-R-E-A-M bloody murder!😫 It’s a feat to stay quiet as it feels like my arm is being squeezed off! No matter where the tourniquet tightness falls on the spectrum, it’s never a pleasant experience. It’s similar to the automatic blood pressure torture devices that squeeze SO hard then just hang there for a minute or two.😣 My journey has involved way too many of those! In fact, I could’ve taken the title for this series in that direction instead…but I didn’t think “Sphygmomanometer Tales” was quite as catchy.😉

So, when & where?

Next post I’ll be jumping in with my first Tourniquet Tales entry…checking in with where I am now, what’s happening with my kidney, and maybe a peek into how it all started. The post will go up sometime next week at its permanent location…to find it, just click the “Tourniquet Tales” tab on the menu underneath my header. Of course you can always find a quick intro to my whole health journey & life over the past thirty or so years under my BIO tab. It’s a paper for a college class that was written by my sister. It’s always interesting to see your own life through someone else’s eyes…someone who knows you.😃 I am so happy to have all of you along with me on this interesting ride.💗 I honestly hope you are able to gain something from what I’ve been through and what I have still yet to experience. As always, any questions you have for me, please ask…..and namaste.💗🙏🥰🌈


Me & Moon

my feet touch the ground, but my soul soars among the stars

given to you like my heart, without fear

the gilded edges of your light washing me anew

are a baptism beneath your pearlescent brilliance

giving me a glow that outshines the millions of stars

painted on tonight’s canvas sky

winding lazily around my astral body, the lure known well to lovers & lupine

is like a meandering serpent rope, aglow with shimmering scales

and dubious destination

all at once I’m abandoned, falling into darkness with the twinkling of the stars

set on pause〜all I see of you is a sliver in the distance…

and suddenly I’m bounce-landing on the downy fluff

of a passing midnight cloud

I gaze in wonder as its silvery lining illuminates the whole sky,

’til stars turn on their twinkle once again

my hero cloud chauffeurs me through the ocean of night sky

carrying me ever closer to you

so I might behold your beaming face in its beauty and fullness

steal away with you〜become lost inside a world far from here…

where time is ours alone

down to the moment the cruel morning rips you from my caress

each night belongs to only two

me & moon


STH Update

Just a quick look at what’s been happening…and what’s coming up in my writing world. 

#1 …I have been working on the sequel to Solitary Sky. I know it seems like it’s been forever since I started, but there have been a lot of breaks taken due to illness and hurricane flooding…stuff like that!  But I have 8 chapters finished, currently writing chapter 9…I am 17,665 words in and nothing short of an actual world apocalypse could stop me now.

#2 …I’m also working on a new project, which is a weird thing for me because I’ve never attempted writing 2 books at the same time. I always try to put all my focus toward one story at a time. But…this new story came screaming into my head and will not leave me alone!  So I will try it out and see how it goes. The Solitary Sky sequel is still front & center and my top priority, but this new guy is definitely getting the attention he’s been screaming for.   I can’t give any details just yet… but it’s a YA Paranormal murder mystery with a little bit of romance because you know that’s just how I roll. 

#3 …The Title Reveal for Solitary Sky Series Book 2 will be happening soon!  So stay tuned for dates on that. And some time late summer, the Cover Reveal will happen!  I am SO excited to be working with this cover artist for the first time. She is nothing short of amazing and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

#4 …This blog has been on my backburner for a long time, but I have made a new commitment to more regular posts. 

Neglected blogs are a terrible thing! 




I wrote a little poem.

It’s kind of dark...but dark poems are fun, right?! 😁👍


waiting cages

the battle wages on

both of our defenses

burned and buried in the lawn


worthless hearts

wasted from the start, shattered

drawn in by your gravity

you were all that mattered


take your aim

blast guilt and blame at me

I melt your bullets to tears

drowning in a lonely sea


battered and bruised

my heart is not amused by

apologies already said

or promises that  turned to lies






Welcome to the STH universe!

I’m Shannon Taylor Hodnett…an independent YA author…and this is the new hub for all things related to my creative world…and my world in general. 😎 Take a look around, feel free to contact me if you have a question or comment…or you could just leave it in the comment section.😉👍 Just be sure to check back often….and let me know if have any issues or suggestions! 😘