Blogging on fiction, poetry, the writer’s life, activism, whatever comes my way


48 comments on “About

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.

    Congratulations on your 5 months!

  2. Tim Owen says:

    I was so pleased to chance upon your blog.
    I feel affinity because I too pine for the dramatic landscapes of childhood. We had a smallholding on the Cape Flats. Self and best friend(Where is Johan now? Hope luck and his sense of humour got him where he deserved) used to roam the scrubby dunes looking for adventure. All gone now under urban sprawl.
    I’ve lived in England since 1975. To preserve sanity I’ve forced myself to notice cloudscapes, textured granite walls, patchwork fields, summer meadows, sombre winter light, bare trees, racing clouds, smoke from cottage chimneys, rows of snuggling houses. Not to see obese, tattooed bodies, junk-food dulled eyes, cheap and nasty architecture.
    Your life sounds idyllic. The Overberg – that name resonates.
    Actually, it wasn’t pure chance that led me to your blog. I have a Google alert posted for any mention of Alice Munro – my writing hero.
    I too serve at the shrine of fiction – where offerings with the merest whiff of mendacity get rejected(emotional truth?)
    Do you write short stories or novels? I see you mention Susan Hill’s blog. Have you seen what she says about short stories? – that they are hardest of all to get right, and anyway there’s no market. (Are you doing her creative writing course? ) But I love short stories. Even the best novels have padding. Alice Munro, it seems to me, gets it right by writing condensed novels – poems in a way. Apparently she takes 6-8 months per story. (She’s put down her pen now, sadly, says she can’t perform at that level anymore.)
    Would love to hear from you.

  3. Hello, I just wanted to say that I really like your writing. It’s very poetic, and descriptive. Oh, God, those are such crappy adjectives, but I’m tired and I can’t think of any better ones.

    I wish you would get “out and about” a bit more in the blogosphere. You write so beautifully, yet you keep yourself hidden away. It’s a shame, as more people should be exposed to you. I only found your blog because I noticed you’d linked to me.

  4. bibomedia says:


  5. Catherine says:

    I happened upon your blog by accident and as with some things – good can come from that – your writing is really very lovely, I feel as if I am there with you as you describe your ridgeback or the mountains. I agree with McWhore – others need to discover you, I will be back to visit. Cat

  6. LFeeney says:

    I am enjoying your Blog all the way from Massachesetts, USA. I have a google alert for Roberto Bolano- that’s how i came across your blog.

  7. Emily says:

    I love your blog! Although some of the writing fonts are very tiny and hard to read without squinting. I believe I recognize you from SC 🙂 I love your writing style.

  8. Ann says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoy your writing style and am always happy to find people that are winning the battle against alcohol. Ann

  9. Grace says:

    Thankyou for calling into my blog, I have heard that the sleep disturbances can be prolonged, I look forward to a normal sleep pattern, its worth waiting! I have read a little of yours and look forward to reading more!

  10. Rich Matthews says:

    Keep the Faith.


  11. Banana Girl says:

    Love your blog and post for the day. Emotional Archaeology. I love that and will use it on my blog soon I know. Full credits of course. Oceans of Sober Dreams to you!

  12. susan says:

    So it’s six months now, but I wasn’t a math major.

    Good! Hurray! Doing the Happy dance. Keep on doing this, one day at a time, you are a remarkable woman.

  13. Atiyanna says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and introducing yourself. I have been spending a little bit of time reading yours and “getting to know you”. Welcome to sobriety my friend.
    Love and Kindness,

  14. xashx says:

    I did a search for “Leave it all behind again” and found your blog. Bolano is a personal hero of mine as well.
    Thanks for your blog,

    Kindest Regards,

    Ashley Dean

  15. Got2BGrateful says:

    Your writing is beautifully inspiring. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog. Blessings to you!

  16. Just starting my blog,will be following yours.

  17. chris w says:

    I’ve been following along at FB but am sick to death of FB so have created a bookmark to follow along daily. Thanks for being such an inspirational part of my recovery…my life.

  18. Bob Omohundro says:

    Hi Mary

    Nice web site.

    Take Care

    Bob O.

  19. Patti says:

    Thank you for sharing. I am in Al-anon.

  20. Hi Mary
    One of our friends is from down near Durban, she was just at the house to visit my wife. As I sat reading your blog I received a letter inviting me to be be a member of a professional delegation to Johannesburg next February. Small world.
    I get nostalgic every fall. “…and the days dwindle down or so the song goes.
    love your web site.


  21. Mike Mather says:


    I’ve found your blog via about.com/alcoholism and other steps. The full moon was beautiful here in Australia, too. Love your writing and will keep posted.
    Love Always

  22. DB says:

    found your blog doing a search on google reader and I really like it. yes, your writing is beautiful, but there’s something about the way you describe ordinary things, food, interiors, and people, while gently tying your perspective back to recovery, that really speaks to me.

    so glad I found your little corner of the web.

  23. Linda says:

    I am completely enamored with the pomegranate picture on your blog page. Is it protected by copyright, or may I have permission to use it on the cover of a cookbook I am writing? You see, the pomegranate is synonymous with my Armenian heritage and would make a lovely statement.

    I hope to hear from you very soon

    PS – Each day is a new challenge. It sound like you are committed to succeed.

  24. Tracy Osborne says:

    My darling Mary…

    My biggest cheerleader when I deserved no cheers.

    We have walked through this journey together.

    I am intrigued how us recovering alcoholics have so many talents that lay within, never exposed, albeit anxious to surface.

    I remain grateful every 24/7 for your sobriety and mine, but most of all for the friendship and sincere love shared throughout the world.

    You are one talented little lady and I am so grateful to have ‘met’ you.

    Love you lovely lady.


  25. This is a wonderful place to find. Thanks for making it.
    I am new to sobriety but deeply grateful.
    All my love and prayers goes out to all of those recovering. It’s a new life!

  26. Dale says:

    Hi Louise,

    I love your writing and am wondering if we could repost the occasional piece from your blog in our alumni e-newsletter and blog, http://www.renascent.ca/blog/tgif. Renascent is a non-profit treatment centre located in Toronto, Canada, and I really think our alumni would identify greatly with your writing. We’d of course give a linkbank to your blog.

    Thanks, and all best wishes to you in your recovery,

    Dale Heckman
    Editor, TGIF Weekly Recovery News
    Renascent Foundation

  27. monty says:

    thank you for the words you use with so much love. a beautiful gift!

  28. ttravis says:

    Thanks for putting our blog http://pointsadhsblog.wordpress.com/ in your blogroll. That’s an honor!

  29. ianrec says:

    I’m honored for the link, thank you kindly. 🙂

    Have a happy new year, and keep up the good work!

  30. Marina says:

    I am intrigued by your writing and I’ll come back for more.

    Thank you for sharing.

  31. You’ve really honed in on your own writing style and it’s lovely. I coordinate the Addiction Guest Blog for Pat Moore Foundation, a drug detox and treatment center in CA. I’d love to get in touch with you about guest blogging about your recovery. Sharing the knowledge so to speak.

    If that sounds like something that interests you then please email me at dawn@patmoorefoundation.com for more details.

    Dawn Jackson
    Online Community Engagement

  32. nickola says:

    something i can finally read, follow, understand. thank you

  33. Hello,
    I’ve been reading your blog throughout the month of July. It has been so helpful and has given me the courage to begin my own journey with not drinking. Any strategies you can offer are greatly appreciated.

  34. Hi, totally loving your blog. Feel better soon.

  35. LeRon says:


    My name is LeRon and I have written an ebook called “Straight Dope, A 360 degree look into America’s new favorite past time.” It is comprised of interviews with drug users, sellers, teachers, counselors, people who are pro legalization of marijuana, and parents who answer the question, “Why is America so awash of drugs.?” Since you have a great site, I wanted to give you a copy so that you could read it and possibly post it on your site. I have pasted the Amazon link and a more detailed query below. I look forward to hearing from you.



    Title of book – Straight Dope:

    A 360 degree look into the world of drugs


    Straight Dope is book that asks the simple question – why are drugs so entrenched in America’s society. Instead of doing the same ol’ rigamarole song and dance and interviewing talking heads and experts, Straight Dope gets to the heart of the matter and talks to the people at ground zero – the drug addicts whose life revolves around getting high; the criminals who profit of the misery of the addicts; the teachers who deal with the children in drug abused homes; the drug counselors that try and balance breaking the addicts cycle of addiction while dealing with the bureaucracy of government politics; the legal marijuana growers battle against tobacco companies and how to thrive in the growing industry; and the parents issue of how they will prepare their children to just say no.

    Inspired by the late great Studs Terkel’s many works, Straight Dope is comprised of raw and uncut hard hitting interviews about the participants experiences, thoughts, opinions, and outlook on drug abuse, why or why not drugs should be legal, and how the government is handling the war on drugs.

    Removing nearly all of the questions, the interviews are more like monologues, allowing the reader to feel as if the subject is just, “talking,” instead of your standard interview.

    In addition to the real life accounts of people, Straight Dope also has spoken word pieces compiled of biting social commentary, as well as my own personal reflections composed of my experiences with drugs.

  36. Una says:

    Hi, I’ve written this which was published in Spain in Dec 2010 and now has been translated into english.
    My learning of the steps…
    Just wanted to share it with you.
    Best regards

    Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpjKG7zZnCQ&feature=em-share_video_user

  37. carolyn hannan bell says:

    I am a psychotherapist in South Jersey. Two years ago one of my clients in recovery struggled with how to explain alcoholism to his young daughter. He was concerned that she would hear from neighbors and family members that Daddy was a “drunk”. After an unsuccessful search for the perfect children’s book to help him and his daughter he asked me to write one. “Daddy’s Disease” is the result.
    “Tommy doesn’t know why his father doesn’t show up for dinners, or soccer games or why he acts funny sometimes. Tommy thinks it’s because his father doesn’t want to be with him, that he hasn’t been the best boy he can be, that he should try harder. But, Mommy tells Tommy that Daddy has a disease called “alcoholism”. She helps Tommy, and his faithful dog Murphy, understand what this disease is and how it affects Daddy, and the whole family. She teaches Tommy that he is not responsible for Daddy’s behavior and that gives Tommy the peace he needs to foster a healthy childhood.”

    In an easily understood, beautifully illustrated style, “Daddy’s Disease” helps families to navigate the difficult waters of alcoholism.

    It is my hope that you will consider making this information available for the many children and adults who have been struggling with this devastating disease.


    Carolyn Hannan Bell

  38. thomaswoolleyd9729915 says:

    Hello! I just read and very much enjoyed your post ‘The Sober Palate’. I am an avid sober home cook who is thinking of kicking off a sober foodie MeetUp. As group names are important I’ve been toying with a few but none have stuck just yet. I most certainly do not want to plagiarize so am asking if I may use ‘The Sober Palate’ as a title for my group. If you would kindly agree, I would be most appreciative. Please let me know at your convenience and Thank you so much!

  39. ushasista says:

    Hi, all the blog posts since January 12, 2014 are missing… Did I miss something?

  40. grateful-reader says:

    Hello from GMT-8. I think you wrote that you weren’t troubled by the loss of your past posts but I found what appears to be a complete archive of them on the Wayback Machine at archive.org. Just passing that along. (Thank you for your vivid yet restrained writings. Full of admiration.)

  41. Rhonnie says:

    Good morning, I enjoyed this post a lot because I too am going through a chaos at home. You put a smile on my face knowing that someone else is going through the same thing, but with stride. And for many many other kind of chaos too, I often read you blog as a ritual before my meditation. However, I am kind of sad not being able to look at your old posts anymore. In the past when I had an issue, I used to search for an old post of yours which referred to a similar issue. You have no idea how much it helped me dealing with mine, better than any therapist really.
    Anyway, just my way of saying thank you for all you do.
    Have a great day.

  42. adrian bell says:

    Hello, I am a recovering heroin addict, and ive been working on a documentary for the last year or so while i was working on getting sober. Its not about me, but about the people i met in the rooms and on the streets. I attempted to created a poetic juxtaposition of the two lifestyles, but primarily i just felt like i was in a unique position to share with the world some of the experiences that we as addicts go through, and the illustrate the beauty in the struggle to overcome those trials, as well as showcase the strength and integrity of those who do make it to the other side. Heroin is an epidemic that is stealing young people from us en masse every day. I lost 5 friends in within the first six months of my sobriety. My goal is that maybe i can make a movie that is cool enough to watch and enjoy, and real, in a way that real addicts can relate to, but also spreads the message of hope in sobriety. am looking for ways to share it and i looked over a list of 100 best addiction blogs and yours seems to resonate with what i do. So i was wondering if you might be willing to share the video with your audience. If so that I would be really grateful. Ill just leave the link here, and you can get back to me by email to let me know what you think.

  43. Mark Goodson says:

    Awesome to connect. Found you through Mrs. D. I do mainly non-fiction, essays, and poetry. I’d like to keep up with your stuff so I followed and I will add you to the blog roll on my site: http://www.markgoodson.com
    Hope that’s OK!

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