Mary Pembleton

Asheville-based freelance content writer, thoughtful journalist, evocative essayist.

     I'm a mother and writer in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. My areas of interest include parenting, caregiving, education, local business, health & wellness, medicine, renewable energy, and mental health. 

     I also love learning new things and meeting new people, so please do reach out to discuss any content writing or marketing writing needs you may be looking for. It would be my pleasure to work with you.

Featured Essays and Reported Articles

Why I told my kids about my mother’s suicide

Instead of soiling her struggle with shame, I’m honest in the hopes of breaking the cycle of mental illness in my family. Time stilled a little. This question from my precocious five-year-old, a child already versed in the inner workings of procreation, who’d interrogated me relentlessly about God and evolution and sewage processing at the tender age of three, would, I knew, blossom into an onslaught of queries until the truth slipped out if I didn’t answer him directly right now. I glanced at

A Pulse of Joy Amid Tragedy

While I don’t believe in a deity in the sky who doles out grace to some and withholds it from others, I do believe in a little spark of the divine in each and every one of us. And proximity to both nature and death can sometimes draw us closer to it, can thin the veil into something threadbare and shimmering. Though we remain on the pandemic’s periphery, my husband and I stare at each other each evening when we say good night, awed by a heightened awareness that life is precious and finite. In

Can Elderberry Treat the Flu?

This story was originally published on March 3, 2020 on NYT Parenting. It’s touted as a “miracle” remedy for a variety of pesky winter bugs: colds, flu and yes, even recently, the coronavirus. Elderberry has garnered a cult following on social media in recent years, and has the sales numbers to show for it. According to a report published by the American Botanical Council in 2019, sales of elderberry supplements, which are made from the fruit of a flowering shrub, more than doubled in the Unite

There is a shortage of pediatric organ donors. Here’s what parents need to know.

“We miss the opportunity to talk about this when kids aren’t sick. A lot of families only receive education after the most tragic thing that could ever happen to them happens,” said Timothy Vece, a pediatric pulmonologist with UNC Health Care in Chapel Hill, N.C., who worked with Noah and his family. “If one family says no from the pediatric side, it’s almost 10 times worse than an adult saying no because most of the time, pediatric patients have to get an organ from a pediatric donor,” Fleming

Little Wished-for Deaths (Published 2019)

The body of a tick encased in wax lies in a candle in my bathroom where I set it aflame after picking it off my son. A mouse got trapped in my car engine and I can smell its little death whenever I’m after some fresh air. The demises those of pests, those of health threats and nuisances, guilty only of trying to survive. There were times during the four years I cared for my grandfather that I found myself wishing for the reprieve of his death, his failing body becoming a burden to my own health

Marketing Content

Addressing the Most Diverse Learning Needs: Allison Dennis, Readtopia’s Differentiation Architect

“It just feels like my purpose,” Allison says, “I have a heart for this population of students and a desire to improve their educational experience.” But once Allison found herself in the classroom, she was constantly disappointed by the lack of high-quality, age-appropriate curriculum available to her high school students. She felt that their education was limited by the materials she tried to piecemeal into a curriculum. Meant for younger learners, there was a disconnect with how they engaged

Focus, Organize, and Succeed: An Executive Functioning Toolkit that Works

Now you can begin to understand what a student with executive functioning difficulties experiences every day. They may be working on a computer in a house where their baby brother is yelling in the background, video games are calling from the living room, and the webpage they’re trying to read is buried in flashing advertisements designed as clickbait. Any one of these distractions could lead down a rabbit hole and away from the task at hand. Of course, focus is only one of the many components o

Voice Typing Fails—How Co:Writer Speech Feedback Can Help

Perhaps these misunderstandings are cause for a laugh. Perhaps they present us with minor frustrations. Perhaps, at worst, you drive to meet somebody at the wrong time, or show up to the wrong location, or somebody’s sister gives birth to a gorilla. It’s clear how even one wrong word can change the entire meaning of a sentence…. dramatically. For those of us with neurotypical brains, it’s usually easy enough to catch these mistakes. Why? Because we are able to glance over the scripted words and

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I love to write, but I also love to listen. 

Reach out anytime.


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