Anna David's Launch Pad

Recover Girl takes to the stage again, as I'm giving you another episode featuring a story from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time—which takes place every other month in LA, has been an LA Weekly pick of the week and is being developed into a video series.

This episode features previous podcast guest Natasha Vargas-Cooper, a wondrous sprite who graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA with a double major in history and public policy and has been published in such places as The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine and GQ, among many others. Her book, Mad Men Unbuttoned, was praised as “a well-versed primer” by The New Yorker and “likely to become a trivia-lover’s bible” by The New York Times. Oh and in her spare time, she created the popular LA storytelling show Public School.

In this story, she asks the question many may have pondered: what happens if you're "sober" but take Ambien? (Hint: it may involve texting your boss that you bet he looks good naked.)

Direct download: Natasha_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Kelly Fitzgerald is probably the most successful sober blogger in the world. The voice behind The Sober Senorita, Fitzgerald launched to internet fame when she wrote a post about being sober a year, which The Huffington Post picked up and posted on its home page. Cut to the post going viral, being published in multiple languages and placing Fitzgerald in a position of authority on recovery. She's now been published on sites like Elite Daily, Ravishly and Thought Catalog, hosts her own podcast and offers a virtual coaching program.

In this episode, we discuss being uncomfortable outing yourself as sober, what it is about her first blog post about sobriety that hit a nerve, being a member of my coaching program for writers and whether or not everything happens as it's meant to, among many other topics.

NOTE: This episode is from a Facebook Live interview that I did with Kelly, which means that the audio isn't as sharp as it is on regular episodes. Please bear with that! And please tune into my regular Facebook Live interviews, which take place at 4 pm PST on Tuesdays (unless I have a conflict, in which case I reschedule but announce the change on my page. Make sure you Like my page so stay up on the info!)

Direct download: Kelly_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Freddy Negrete is inarguably one of the world's greatest legends in the tattoo world. The former Chicano gang member perfected the art of "prison" black and grey tattoos before going to work for fellow tattoo legends “Good Time” Charlie Cartwright and Jack Rudy in East LA. He logged time working with Ed Hardy (who, for the uninitiated, is a real guy and not just a t-shirt line) and now makes headlines when he tattoos famous folks like Henry Styles. Despite his current celebrity status, Negrete has hardly had an easy life: the son of a Jewish woman and a Mexican father, Negrete was pretty much orphaned when both his parents went to prison. He joined a gang, entered a life of crime, started going in and out of juvie halls and prison and, along the way, became a heroin addict. Now sober over a half decade, Negrete is the co-author of a memoir based on his life, Smile Now, Cry Later: Guns, Gangs and Tattoos: My Life in Black and Gray. In this episode, we talk about how gangs provided camaraderie, making tattoo guns out of cassette tapes and his sudden spiritual awakening, among many other topics.

Direct download: freddy_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Recover Girl takes a turn this time, as I'm going to start releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show, Hammer(ed) Time. It takes place every other month in LA, has been an LA Weekly pick of the week and is being developed into a video series.

This episode features previous podcast guest Eddie Pepitone, a national treasure to the part of the nation that knows him. This was the theme of The Bitter Buddha, the critically acclaimed documentary about his life, and is also occasionally a part of his stand-up act. As a comedian and actor, he’s been on WTF and Conan repeatedly, as well as on The Last Comic Standing, The Sarah Silverman Program, Happy Endings, Flight of the Concords, 2 Broke Girls, It’s Always Sunny and many more.

In this story, he talks about "sculpting a winner" and great thinkers who believe we were never born, among other (hilarious) topics.

For more about the workshops I lead where I teach people to take their most disturbing or interesting experiences and make them into stories, click here. For more information about my online writing classes and coaching programs, click here.

Direct download: Eddie_RG_HT_1.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

In this five-minute episode, Anna David talks about how new ideas occur to her every time she thinks she's shared everything she has to say about recovery.

Direct download: Recover_Girl_-_Running_Out_Of_Stories_Podcast.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Buddhist meditation teacher Dave Smith has been studying the Dharma since 1993 when a series of traumatic incidents (including the death of his sister and girlfriend) motivated him to seek help. Over the next decade, he lived a double life—going on meditation retreats while also living the high life as a touring musician. Now sober over 14 years, Smith has led retreats, mentored people one-on-one and given numerous Dharma talks (you can listen to some of them here). He’s also become an author, releasing Ethical Mindfulness in 2015 (he’s currently working on a follow up, which we chat about at length in this episode). In this episode, we discuss how to recognize trauma when it comes up, his feelings about no longer being a musician and why his writing career is only just beginning, among many other topics.

Direct download: dave_smith_Done.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

In this five-minute episode, Anna David discusses how she gently dipped her toe into the waters of writing about recovery—before ultimately submerging herself.

Direct download: Recover_Girl_-_Write_About_Recovery_Podcast.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Writer Jenna Hutt always knew she had a story to tell. The Colorado-dwelling wife and mother of one had an inarguably interesting life and had been through struggles she knew could help other people: in the span of three years, her father committed suicide and her husband had a traumatic brain injury, all while she struggled with alcoholism. Hutt had always been a secret drinker—her very first drink was a bottle she chugged at home alone, when she was 12—and her secrets caught up with her when her husband discovered her suitcase full of empty bottles during a trip to see his family. Now sober over three years, Hutt is writing her story and it is my great pleasure to be able to have a front row seat during the process because she’s doing it in my coaching program. All this means that while we’ve been in email, phone and webinar contact over the past six months, this recording marks our first in-person meeting. In this episode, we discuss where being a control freak meets alcoholism and embracing the little voice inside that tells you to write, among many other topics.

Direct download: Jenna_hutt_Done_1.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

In this special five-minute episode of Recover Girl, Anna David discusses how she wanted to write a book her whole life—but didn't make any progress until she learned that writing worked just like recovery.

Direct download: Recover_Girl_-_One_Day_At_A_Time_Podcast.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

It seems crazy that comedian Mary Patterson Broome hasn't been on the podcast before. The Alabama-bred lady has performed stand-up comedy at clubs, colleges and many other places for over 11 years. She's also written for AOL Originals’ Emmy-nominated Making a Scene with James Franco and WE TV’s Sex Box.

But most relevantly for me, she's the Editor-in-Chief at Magazine. Faithful listeners know this is a website I started and MP helped me run until I left in March (to take the helm at In Recovery Magazine) and MP took over. To say she's been my right hand is an understatement.

MP's journey to sobriety has gone hand-in-hand with her journey to becoming a professional writer—a subject we get into in this episode. Listen and find out how the anonymous "Sarah" came to rule the roost of one of the biggest recovery sites out there.

Direct download: Recover_Girl_-_MP_Podcast.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT