Mother Load by Wendy Adamsom

“Everyone tells me I should write a book about my life and recovery.” I’ve heard that from many a person when they learn that I mentor writers and produce their books. I’ve written seven books myself, and edited and published about a dozen for other people. The number of manuscripts that I’ve started to read and had to quit, and the many conversations over coffee about someone’s dream to write their story, have led to me one conclusion; most people won’t write, and those who do frequently don’t take direction to make their writing better.

Then a story comes along and you hear it, and are like, “YES! THAT NEEDS TO BE A BOOK!” But the storyteller is shy, and insecure, but somehow they start writing. A short story at first. A memory of a childhood scene that left an impression. They post it in a Facebook post, or a blog, maybe even get it posted on a website like or As they keep writing, they join a writers group and share their work and get feedback. They polish, and cut, and cut, and cut to get their writing to be good, then great. They have enough short stories, or scenes from a lifetime to make it into a book.

That is basically the development story of Mother Load, by Wendy Adamson. She grew up on the Westside and has lived a life that knows extremes. Extremes that most people won’t ever experience. From the depths of drug addiction to the blessings of a recovery that have healed her family.

Adamson writes in Mother Load of the incredible insanity that methamphetamine took her life to, in a way that is raw, visceral and unrelentingly honest. She describes the actions she took that led her to a stint in L.A. County Jail with an unflinching clarity and depth of truth that brings a humanity to her writing which is unique in a world of self-revelatory confessionals.

The drug infused mania that drove Adamson to commit a crime with a gun, leads to a recovery, which (pardon the pun) triggers moments of knowing humor in her life and book. I found her storytelling to be snappy, emotional, picturesque and enlightening in how effortlessly she describes her tremendously difficult path from pain and self-hatred, to kind, loving, gentle and giving soul. She doesn’t just recount stories, she cracks open her soul and lays bare the motivations and the pain.

Yet Mother Load is more than just one woman’s story. It is the story of her family’s recovery. As a unit they were all damaged and hurting, but as Adamson pulled herself from the pit of drug addiction and poverty, and no self-esteem, she pulled her sons out with her. In the Mother Load story “Holey Shoe” she recounts the painful experience of her young son Rikki Mendias having shoes with holes in them and her embarrassment and shame over her lack of funds to get him new shoes. Then along comes Becky, a good Samaritan who takes them both to a shoe store.

Becky’s good deed that day sparked an obsession for Rikki and he grew into a ‘sneakerhead’ – a collector of rare sneakers. His collection numbered into the hundreds until one day, he had a stroke of insight and decided to give them all away to needy folks. Hav-A-Sole ( was born and today the non-profit helps hundreds of homeless and needy people with distributing for free, new and gently used shoes.

As an official non-profit Hav-A-Sole has been the recipient of donations from individuals and corporations, of single pairs of shoes, and truckloads. Rikki and his team have traveled the states giving out shoes to those in need. Hav-A-Sole is the beneficiary of corporate largesse from companies like Nike, LA Sparks, LA Rams, The Bike Shop, Saucony, Montage Hotels, Fleet Fee, Indiana Pacers and many others.

Currently Hav-A-Sole is a finalist in the January 2020 Lakers Youth Foundation YOU Grant Contest. They need our help to win a $5,000 grant to continue the good work they do. Rikki and Wendy are hometown angels and we can help push Hav-A-Sole to the top with your votes. All you have to do is go here: ( and place a vote for Hav-A-Sole.

While you’re online you should also head over to Amazon and buy two copies of Mother Load – one for yourself and one to give away – and I know you’re going to want to share this wonderful book with a family or friend who needs to hear a redemption story.

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at or 310/664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra

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