me at 5I’m both a college dropout (Mount Holyoke) and a grad school dropout (the University of Virginia).

My first real job was as a teacher’s aide in a pilot Head Start program in Greensboro, North Carolina. Since the turn of the century, I’ve been attached to WMRA, the Little Public Radio Station that Can, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and actively freelanced for the NPR Culture Desk and for

Martha 2009Before that – among a lot of other things, I co-owned restaurants, did a bit of acting, was fired as a magazine editor, hosted local TV talk shows and anchored the news, wrote a book called How to Stop Screwing Up: 12 Steps to a Real Life and a Pretty Good Time, cooked for an artist’s colony, was a country music disc jockey and a psychiatric occupational therapy aide, taught preschool, published a bunch of essays, was a morning drive-time personality on a tiny AM radio station, ran a college bookstore coffee shop, directed a college’s co-curricular programming, and failed to sell cars.

coming-up-driveway-300x272My daughter is spinner, weaver, author, and content provider, Liz Gipson. Most of the photographs on this website were taken by my husband, Charlie.

I love words and their power to tell other people’s stories.

My first novel, Small Blessings (St. Martin’s Press, summer 2014), is a really big deal … to me, anyway.


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