Personal Essays

This page links to (among other things) a few of the personal essays I’ve published.

Here’s the deal about personal essays: Try as we may – and try as I certainly have  – to do and experience everything, we just can’t. The reach of our personal experience remains limited and thus limits our grasp of how the world ( and the people in it) actually work.

Enter the personal essay…

My own personal essays are built from the moments in my life that changed me, that taught me something, that made me wonder or reconsider, that broadened my own grasp of reality. I get these moments down on the page in as few words as possible and offer them to you as personal essays in the hope that, by doing this, I am sharing my own change, my own wondering and reconsidering, my own newly broadened scope with you.

As the Grateful Dead put it, “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”  Why should we not try to understand what each other’s trips have been about?

  • “Sharing Demons with Hank Williams” a “Lives” essay from The New York Times Magazine. (This came out of a side trip my husband, Charlie, and I took to Oak Hill, West Virginia.

    Holly Wales

    Holly Wales

  • “The Bus to Houston” a “Lives” essay from The New York Times Magazine. (This is my own coming-of-age story.)

    Bob Hambly

    Bob Hambly

  • “Making Movies” an essay from Two Hawks Quarterly (This is an example of how life goes when you’re not shy.)    220px-RobertAltman
  • The Spark...Martha’s long-running gig on WMRA Public Radio (How much fun is one woman allowed to have working at a public radio station? Click here to find out…)Spark_Logo
  • How to Stop Screwing Up: Twelve Steps to a Real Life and a Pretty Good Time. [Amazon.com]  (This is my attempt to give back some of what I got from the process of Recovery.)How to Stop Screwing Up
  • “Neighbors” on the WMRA blog  (I’ve met a gazillion interesting people, and this is about two of the most interesting.)Singers Glen Opera Fog Machine Test
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