“Written Together” by Shanna Mallon


As is the case with so many people in Nashville, we had been sort of peripherally acquainted for a while. We had a lot of mutual friends, had been in the same room a few times, lurked around each other’s internet spaces – but I wouldn’t say that I really knew Tim Mallon.

So you can imagine my surprise back in 2010 when I had just finished running the Country Music Half-Marathon and looked up to see Tim – internet-acquainted but real-life-unfamiliar – making a beeline for me. Sweaty and disgusting is not the state in which you want to have your first real in-person interaction with anyone, man or woman, but Tim was unfazed: he gave me a hug and, after talking for a few minutes, we concluded that we should continue the conversation.

So a week later, I met Tim and his brother Nathan for coffee at Frothy Monkey. It was pouring rain that Saturday. The rain would continue for two days, and by Monday, Nashville would be under water – but we didn’t know that yet. We were just enjoying casual conversation, learning about each other’s families and each other’s work and why they had started drinking unpasteurized milk. Tim and Nathan are disarmingly genuine. I wish everyone could meet them.

Somewhere in the conversation, Tim mentioned Shanna. “We’re talking,” he said. And just as I always do when I hear about a crush, I got excited. “You’re talking?” I asked. “You’re talking to Shanna? Shannalee the blogger Shanna?”

He grinned. “Yeah! Shanna and I are talking.”

At the time, I was a new reader of Food Loves Writing – I don’t remember how I came across it, but once I found it, I was hooked. So much more than a foodie blog, Shanna weaves stories from her life into her experiences in the kitchen – her perspective is compelling, her heart absolutely beautiful. And the food that she makes – oh my word. The recipes send me into guilt spirals for standing in front of the fridge picking store-bought rotisserie chicken straight off the carcass and calling it “dinner.” Everything about her site is lovely and worthwhile. She’s one of my favorite voices on the internet.

And I couldn’t believe the coincidence: Tim Mallon, the Tim Mallon sitting right across from me, was talking to Shanna!

I’m going to spoil the ending: they kept talking. Shanna moved from Chicago to Nashville, and they got married. I met her in real life, too – a picnic lunch at Sevier Park, where we talked about struggles and faith and where this life might be leading each of us. She is every bit as wonderful in person as she is online.

And now, she has written a book – a book about that period in her life when she and Tim were talking, getting to know each other, falling in love. Written Together is a quick but gorgeous read, a story interspersed with recipes and details and hope. Last week, I put on my pajamas and crawled into bed, started reading and didn’t stop until I finished it. I loved it.

And I just wanted to tell you.

– – – – –

Written Together is available in both ebook and printed format. Shanna didn’t ask me to write about it – but if you want to support a couple who lives and loves in a way that is inspiring, I encourage you to get a copy or three.



  1. Megan on January 10, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Lovely review. Heading over to Amazon to check it out.

  2. Lan | angry asian on January 10, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    i loved the ebook too, and i am very much looking fwd to meeting them in april when i run the country music half.

  3. Christa on January 10, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    These people sound like my kindred spirits. Adding their blog to my Reader now. Thanks!

  4. Shanna on January 10, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Annie. ANNIE. How do I thank you for this? I don’t know what to say except that your words are so kind. Like the definition of kind. I feel so humbled and so aware I’m being given grace and so thankful.


  5. HopefulLeigh on January 10, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    It’s already on my To Read list. I haven’t met Tim yet but I do know Shanna. I love how many friends we have in common, Annie. :)

  6. Nealy Gihan on January 10, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Your post is so true. Isn’t Shanna absolutely lovely?! I am so proud of the amazing writer she has become. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Henry and Jane on January 10, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Neat to read! We are thankful for our son Tim and daughter-in-law Shanna!

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