sober lunch treats (thank you)


sober lunch, thanks to the Tiny Gift Button.



top: smoked fish and pickled fish from the nice Danish restaurant on the Champs-Élysées. with fancy bottled water (also danish imported) and a baby coffee. divine. did not share.


bottom: desserts were from Karamel, new place only open a year, and the dessert on the right is a baby lemon meringue pie. very sweet (literally and figuratively). shared with husband. did not eat all desserts myself.

it can’t be that important

if you work in a place with a boozy culture, it can’t be that important to ‘fit in’ that you’ll do something that isn’t what’s best for you.



It can’t be so important to fit in. It just can’t. So you have three choices: you either attend the events and don’t drink, or you don’t attend, or you work somewhere else. And a boozy cruise? I say no to that, hands-down, and here’s why.

This audio is taken from podcast SP204 (the full version of the audio is 20 minutes long).

If you’re not a podcast subscriber, you should be. do that here >


thanks for the judgment [fiction]

quote from the new fiction writing project. this is fiction. this isn’t me, and it isn’t an email from a subscriber 🙂 it’s the internal dialogue of the main character as they imagine what speaking with their boss will be like …

What, quit drinking? Are you high? Drinking is the only thing that’s holding me together right now. To suggest that it’s perhaps the cause of any of this is illogical. You don’t know me. My life is a mess, OK, that’s why I drink. You’d drink too if you knew what I have to deal with. Thanks for the judgement. (No judgement.) Really, you don’t think it’s just a tad judgey to accuse someone of being an alcoholic out of nowhere? (Didn’t say that. Asked if you’d thought to perhaps take a break from the booze to see if it improved anything.)

Like if skip my one glass of wine tonight, my job will magically improve? Yeah, right, that’s logical. And if I don’t drink next Monday, my credit card will be paid off? This whole conversation is stupid. I wanted … oh forget it. I thought you were going to give me a YouTube video about stress in the workplace or something like that. Shit. Really. What I do when I’m not at work, that’s none of your business.


question: did you ever have a conversation like this? with someone else or just in your head?

Audio: BBC Interview “Is Drinking Required?”

On May 4th, i was interviewed by BBC Three Counties Radio, on the JVS Show (with Jonathan Vernon-Smith).

I had no idea who the presenter was, had no time to do research, and was pretty surprised at how this went.

when i listen back to this now, i feel tense! like i can’t tell how ‘she’ is going to respond. there is a lot of good-natured laughing (thank god) but it was by far, this is the most stressful audio i’ve ever done.

your thoughts welcome 🙂


Dancing Rabbit: “This audio made me squirm. He was such a boozer and so sure of his rightness. You did great. Gracious and sane (is that the best compliment I can come up with?).”

Sober Sparkles: “Well, isn’t he just a shining example of exactly WHY we don’t bother getting into these types conversations with people. When I start getting push back from people like that, I tend to ignore them (but if they do decide to take me on they get shock, just like he did. You are much better versed on the subject and can counter all their objections and it makes them sound really dumb).  And I’m sure he is only joking about dinner, he knows you would be a fun dinner guest. He seemed to like you 🙂 I got what you mean about “tense”. I didn’t mind him so much, but it is that “attitude” that bothers me, they are so blind and I wish I could make them see.”

Case Study Michelle: “Wow, the end part where you explained what it’s like to be the sober person at a dinner party and how the drinkers repeat themselves and are annoying. His reaction sounded like you could have blown him over with a feather. His reaction could be the dictionary definition of a ‘light bulb moment’.”



Usually i only put up an extract of the podcast and then tell you to go buy the whole thing and/or to sign up for the monthly podcast subscription.

But today I’d like you to listen to this audio in its entirety.

i am posting the whole audio and I’ll leave it here for 48 hrs so that you can hear the entire thing even if you’re not a podcast subscriber. So please listen now. right now. My only request is that you leave a comment. Feedback is crucial 🙂


Sign up for the monthly podcast subscription
(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)


the boozing you is a liar

if you drink, it creates a whole, different version of you, and it’s not the real you.



If you drink, you change the trajectory of your life in a large way. So when we stop drinking, it’s like there’s two people – the old us (the boozer) and the new us (the sober us). Which one is the real one?

This audio is taken from podcast SP203 (the full version of the audio is 30 minutes long).


Download the audio podcast episode 203

Sign up for the monthly podcast subscription
(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)

(ps, my blog allows for anonymous comments – so you don’t have to fill in a name or an email address to post your comment below).


Your favourite summer drinks

you are already familiar with my lemonade with rosemary recipe.

here’s another idea from Resiliensea (day 257):  “The ‘fancy drinks’ I concoct follow a simple recipe: ice, tonic water and whatever appropriate ingredients I can find in the fridge/ garden. Things that work: Cantaloupe / Basil / Limeade / Cucumber / Raspberries / Lemon juice / Seltzer water / Orange juice. I don’t measure anything because if a craving hits, I need something fast that does not require thought.  Then I have to slow down and actually taste the drink to decide if it’s good or sucky.  Usually it calls for a second serving. Then I’m full, and much of the craving goes away.”

Doesn’t tonic + cucumber juice sound good? I have to admit that i drink a fair amount of tonic + apple vinegar (just one tablespoon added to a big glass of tonic).


Audio: I’ll Have to Apologize

When I sent out Sober Podcast Episode #194 to sober podcast subscribers,  i asked listeners to tell me the ONE phrase that stood out for them.

Before I even tell you what the podcast is about, here’s some of the responses I got.


Dancing Rabbit: “I assume neglect, she assumes politeness”

~ ~

Max1165: “I didn’t pour alcohol on a sadness and make it worse…and then make today a misery.” I poured alcohol on sadness and made it worse for about 4 years. Then couldn’t seem to find a way out of the misery, long after the original sadness was over. Now I see things with new eyes as well.  All I had to do was remove the alcohol.”

~ ~

Sandal: “I didn’t add a problem to a problem.”

~ ~

G: My sentence is: “alcohol gloomifies everything” – which it does. I also liked when you said ‘je voudrais un cafe avec beacoup du creme’. For some reason that made me smile and think you were on the right path.”

~ ~

BG: “I did not pour booze on my head to make the situation worse.” So often that’s what I did. Too often to count. Thank you for your honesty and humour. I could listen to you all day 😊 There was something very cool about being in the cafe with you. Listening to you order in French. I felt like I was at the table with you. Also dispelling the myth that sobriety makes everything perfect. Like as if the same shit was not going to bother you. The point you make so well is drinking when bothered will only make it worse plus you never get any good solutions or acceptance under the booze cloud.

~ ~

OK, what is the podcast about?
It is about apologizing. Or rather, it is about ME realizing that it’s not all about me.

You can listen to a clip from this podcast and add your comments below. My blog allows anonymous comments. You should leave one. Do it today 🙂

If you’d like to listen to the whole thing you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.


Have you had a situation recently where you have WAY over-reacted and realized that you probably didn’t understand the other person’s behaviour properly?



Download the entire podcast episode #194

Sign up for the monthly podcast subscription
(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)

(ps, my blog allows for anonymous comments – so you don’t have to fill in a name or an email address to post your comment below).

Over the next 24 hrs, I’ll select a blog comment and that person will receive a present funded by the Sober Good Works donations.

Audio: “The 5% that is me”

On July 1st, I recorded an epic 3-hour live radio show to celebrate my soberversary. Yes, i literally talked for 3 hrs, and recorded 6 separate podcasts for sober podcast subscribers.

What I’m posting below is some of that brand new content, and this is an extract from Sober Podcast #205!




if you sign up to be a podcast subscriber today (tuesday august 1st), you’ll get the full-length version of this audio automatically as your first in the subscription. do that now.
sign up for the monthly podcast subscription
(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)

(ps, my blog allows for anonymous comments – so you don’t have to fill in a name or an email address to post your comment below).

Over the next 24 hrs, I’ll select a blog comment and that person will receive a present funded by the Sober Good Works donations. 

Question: What’s one phrase or idea that seems new or like an a-ha moment from this audio clip?

not everything that is helpful is useful

this is an extract from an email sent to the Everything List (which is the place where i share ‘everything’ including behind the scenes reporting on writing, pictures of my lunch, how writing is like sobriety, and samples of the new fiction project).

from me: i’ve written myself into a corner with the fiction. i’ve closed  the open loops and don’t know what happens next. (this happens.)

but that has led me to “what’s the point in writing fiction anyway,” – and i don’t mean the thing i’m writing, i mean fiction in general. what’s the point of fiction? …

i’m temporarily stuck. i feel like non-fiction is more direct. “how do i deal with a husband who drinks now that i’m sober” versus “here’s a story about a woman with a husband.” maybe the lessons are still there, but maybe the vehicle of delivery is all that changes.

but if the lessons are the same, then why fiction?

i’m sure i’ll be able to write myself back to an answer to this, but today, right here and right now, i’ve lost the plot (hahahahaha). [and if writing is like being sober, then even when you lose the plot, you keep going, because – even as i say it here – i’m sure i’ll be able to find the way if i keep going.]

Quote from this week’s fiction writing:

OK, you’re up. The room – you can’t even look at the room. The hallway – you can’t even look at the hallway, the bookshelf contents on the floor, now walked through repeatedly, how long has it been. Into the kitchen, can’t really look in here, either, something in the pan on the stove, it could have been risotto (really?). You pick up and hold the takeout container close to your face, smell it, afraid, but seems fresh enough, so it probably was dinner last night after all.

It’s weird day when I wake up and it feels like I’m on an archaeological exploration in my own home. What did I do? What did I eat?

You check your phone for sent messages. Scroll …


Mich2point0 sent me this: “That’s just wolfie’S cousin- self doubt creeping in.  She’s a c-nt… kick her ass to the curb Xxoo.”

me: haha. maybe it is!  it’s just that after doing a big live call yesterday, THAT seems more ‘useful’ than fiction…

Mich2: “Lmfao!!!!! Not everything that is helpful is useful. Sometimes. I get fucking tired of self help and all that jazz. Sometimes. I want to disappear into a good book or listen to something fun or funny. Relatable.  You don’t determine what’s useful. That’s a high powers job. You. Just do what you’ve been called to do…”

*your comments make the world go round. add in your thoughts.*

books for research (treats, thank you)

books to help with new fiction-writing research, thanks to the Tiny Gift Button.

i wanted to see two books in a series (keyes), and i like the lightness + advancing plot of fallon. the nicci french book is a style i can aspire to. bernadette is fun, i want to look at how she uses humour. and the top right corner is embarrassingly one of the books on Goodreads that people rave about, in a predictable romancey-kind of way, and the book (so far) is not great (at all) BUT this writer has a huge following, AND she does something very clever in that she writes a book and then releases short-story updates … like parts of the continuing story. so i want to have a look at what she’s doing, too. so i can take all the best ideas from all these books, and then add my own ideas, to create something ‘new’ whatever that mean. maybe it just means create something ‘me’.