Writing-wise, in her drinking days, Louisa P. wrote stories about oddball characters alienated by a conformist world and published them in literary journals like Northwest Review, Bellingham Review, and Calyx — one of them winning the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. Un/fortunately, sobriety has made her too dang happy for melancholy fiction, and she has yet to find an upbeat approach. With a BA from Vassar and an MA in Creative Writing from the U. of Washington, she has taught composition, literature, and writing pedagogy at the U. of Washington, Evergreen State College, and several community colleges, as well as having directed the UW’s English Department Writing Center for five years. She currently edits dissertations and teaches all forms of writing one-to-one.
Life-wise, Louisa has 28 years clean and sober; she works an active program of meetings, stepwork, and service in AA and Al-Anon that has endowed her with a loving family both humongous and diverse. In addition to repeatedly summiting glaciered volcanoes (Rainier, Baker, Adams, Glacier Peak & St. Helens), she enjoys long distance (100 mile +) through-hikes in the Cascades, Rockies, and Sierra Nevada, having recently finished the Washington portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. In 2011, she bicycled from Seattle to San Francisco. She’s also an advanced-intermediate ballet dancer, a vegetarian with backyard chickens, and mom to a 21-year-old son.
Finally, as a Near Death Experiencer, she regularly attends meetings of the International Association of Near Death Studies in Seattle, where she was featured as a presenter in 2012 and 2018, in addition to speaking at the IANDS annual conference in 2018 & 2019, where she presented her story of crossing over and the series of paranormal after-effects she has experienced since.
Her addiction memoir, A Spiritual Evolution (here on Amazon), is told with the humor and wisdom of hindsight yet interspersed with raw suffering from the author’s diary. It shares Louisa’s alcoholic story in narrative detail, beginning with the self-harming disorder she developed growing up in an alcoholic home and following the desperate pursuit of okayness through drinking and infatuation that led her to hit bottom at 34. Finally willing to listen, she learned how working the 12 steps could enable her to tap an inner resource that has led her through subsequent upheavals and losses toward happiness. Woven through is the account of her Near Death Experience and its continuing aftereffects that, for Louisa, have erased all doubt of an active and spirit world powered by an indescribably infinite Love.
Feel free to email: firstname.lastname@example.org
28 responses to “About”
Wow, Louisa. That was a beautiful piece on Robin Williams. Nice surprise to see that it was written by you. 🙂
You have said some awesome stuff. Your writing is hard to describe. I just ran across this and am grateful that I did. I would love to email or talk with you.
Your writing is magical. My husband sent me the link on Robin Williams and I couldn’t agree more. I am so pleased to have found you and plan to do much more reading of your works. Thank you.
Me in a nutshell! Great writing, would love to follow you.
I hope you are having a lovely day.
Love your discussion of Robin Williams. A person in Thump (Facebook group) posted a link to it. I read it; ordered your A Spiritual Evolution; just read 2/3 of your book in 2 days; and reviewed it on Amazon. SO glad to be another Jessie in your life. Thank you for your honesty and sincerity.
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Thank you so much, Jessie! I am so glad the book speaks to you. Being so-o honest in it makes me super vulnerable, but I decided helping those who would identify was more important that shielding myself from being labelled a weirdo. Still, every time someone tells me they DO identify, I let go of a little more fear. Thank you so much for this gift!
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts in your article, Louisa. I enjoyed it very much and it was well crafted. If you don’t mind a suggestion (I hope), since your writing is popular enough to be cast about between people on the Internet, you may want to do the old spell-out-the-words-then-acronym-in-brackets thing. I had to Google NDE too, and it distracted me for a few moments from you wonderful piece. Just a thought.
I also wanted to comment to you about being so-o honest and super vulnerable… Two thoughts came to mind… The first thing my sponsor taught me, and insisted I internalize, was this maxim: “What other people think about you is none of your business.” In years since I have come to realize that the wisdom of this is not the protection of other people’s rights to think what they will of me; but rather, the intention is to free me from giving a damn about something over which I have no control.
The other thing comes from conversations with a recovering alcoholic with whom I worked while I was still drinking. He said to me one day, “My life is an open book, so no one can ever hurt me.” That was a revelation to me, who was a people pleaser used to contorting himself to keep up various facades threaded through my life. If I am not ashamed of who I am and what I have been through, and I make no pretensions of secrecy that I must protect, nobody cares — best of all me. Like mom used to tell me, “Don’t let it bother you and they will give up, get bored, and leave you alone.”
Open disclosures about ourselves where the circumstances merit doing so do not make us vulnerable so much as invulnerable — they strengthen us against those who would harm by neutralizing the very weapons most likely to be used against us: Shame and humiliation.
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Yes. I wanted to add another voice saying your work is HELPFUL. Not to mention brilliant, funny, beautifully written, etc etc. I know many will not really “get” what you are saying; others will be changed or moved, but not at that moment have the ability to let you know. I wanted to be sure to thank you for what you have given me. I think sending something out into the world, you just never know Who it will reach, or why, or how.
A funny aside — if you can get a copy of Ring Road by Ian Sansome, you should read it. World’s funniest and best book ever written:) and yet it’s out of print. Just one example of a beautiful thing loved by some. . . yet not understood fully/ appreciated by many. . . just how life is i guess.
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Hi Louisa! I’m very happy that I’ve found your blog. I have a loved one that’s struggling with alcoholism and there’s much you’ve written here that helps me understand. Thank-you.
FYI. I tried to print the Robin W. blog for my parents to read and it put an email sign up box over the text on the second page. I’m able to copy and paste into Word, but it would be nice to be able to print directly (without comments too).
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Thanks, Karen. I’m honored you wanted to send it to your parents! I don’t know how to change print options in WordPress, or I would, but if you like, I can email you that text, or any other. (I think “What (most) Drinkers Will Never Understand About Alcoholism” is my best piece on the disease itself…)
PS: I figured it out. You can email or print now, from buttons below each piece.
Would love to connect with you! Are you on Twitter or Facebook?
My twitter name is @recovered2006 and I’m on Facebook under Drenda Kizer Murzin
Greatly enjoyed your article on Robin Williams, especially the reference to grace.
Louisa. I have only just begun to follow you and read your posts, yet let me tell you this. You are, indeed a wonderful writer and I appreciate your way of being in your writing. At the end of the day, lots of people are going to think lots of things, and some of them may be right. However, that is not for you to concern yourself with. What is our responsibility I think, is to use the courage we have been granted to stand tall in our own boots and share our light with the world. Just as in a meeting, you never know who needs to see and to hear, YOU. God created you, gave you a particular voice to find and a song to sing for a reason. He needs you. Keep writing! Keep radiating your unique light! 🙂
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God speaks through YOU, too, Ian! You have no idea how much I needed to hear this TODAY. I sure don’t write this blog from the perspective of an alcoholic who’s all better, but as one who has to keep working and pushing toward growth every dadburned day whether it feels possible or not. Today came straight out of “Not Enoughness” (https://aspiritualevolution.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/not-enoughness/), so when I got this comment on my phone (while stuck in traffic, double-booked and late) I teared up thanking you and god at the same time. Thanks for acting on your feeling! I’ll keep writing…
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Hi I really need someone to talk to. Can I email you, you seem pretty down to earth, and thats what I need.
Congratulations, Louisa! I’m so proud of you for publishing what is sure to be a beautiful, raw, and humorous account of your story. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with so many.
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I just want to say that I think you are awesome.
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Just came across your website and it’s wonderful.
I hope alls well with you and that life is treating you kindly.
hey i need you for advice ! i went to rehab and i thought about using. i don’t really understand how to explain your lil version of the steps backwards or the steps that’s foward ! please email me mrs . i would like to work with the backwards step and do u have a book ? please reach out me to im just 21 . and just so lost ! help me please 3373511584
The steps backwards are how to destroy your life via addiction. Get to a meeting! Go and keep going!
okay but i’m trying it’s hard ! my family don’t have a addiction ! they try to tell me otherwise ! like ik what rehab taught me ! they don’t get it ! like ! ima trying to apply your the 12 steps backwards ! and it’s so hard cause i’m kinda confused like ! it’s frustrating me ! my sponsor is not a good fit! like i’m so lost !
Then you need to find out different sponsor. You need to get some separation from your family. Don’t work the steps backwards – that was meant to show people what NOT to do.
Please please go to meetings and share about your family. Share your feelings of being lost. If you don’t like that meeting, go to a different meeting. I don’t know where you live but I am sure you can find one if you use the app!
And pray for guidance. Prayer DOES something when you mean it.