Around 2001, I began writing stories about my past for a writing group that a friend and I had put together. We used a wonderful book from Frederick and Maryann Brussat called Spiritual Rx as our springboard, taking each of their topics (silence, kindness, generosity, etc.) and telling of a memorable experience we’d had. These initial pieces of mine, about 30 of them, were three pages long. For Christmas 2005 I printed up a dozen copies of the stories with a piece of my art work on the cover and gave it to family and friends as a gift. I felt done with it.
Shortly after that, I was taking a workshop from writer Christina Baldwin, and I submitted some of the pieces as a potential project. Christina loved them but felt they were incomplete, needing dialog and detail in ways I hadn’t yet created. I had no thought yet of publishing but I decided to learn what I could as a writer by tripling the content of each of the 30 small stories. Eventually I added another dozen stories.
Successive workshops with Christina and memoirist Judith Barrington helped me see that I could create something that would be a clear expression of my journey and that might offer inspiration to others, not only those who have struggled with addiction in its many forms but also those interested in re-inventing their lives। So in 2006-2007 I began a process of rewriting, editing, polishing, and shaping the stories into a book। A major breakthrough came in mid-2007 when I saw that the underlying themes were about honesty: how I learned to be dishonest in my family and how I learned to be honest in sobriety। Knowing the theme helped me create the final version, which was published in late December 2007 as Sober Truths: The Making of an Honest Woman (available at http://www.amazon.com/Sober-Truths-Making-Honest-Woman/dp/0595468640/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202575820&sr=8-1.