After thirty years teaching writing in San Diego, in 2014, I returned to live in my home state, Colorado. I live in the remote, beautiful and mysterious San Luis Valley. All my life, I’ve been a writer. Sometimes, I’m also a painter, but I am always a hiker.
Hiking: The great love of my life is nature — I have hiked thousands of miles but not in a wide variety of places. No teacher makes much money on which to travel, and my hikes were mostly at Mission Trails Regional Park, an urban wilderness park in San Diego. I was closely tied to these 5800 acres of chaparral.
I began hiking there in 1987, a few years before the landscape was officially designated a “park.” I then worked for the park in a variety of roles. I stopped when financial pressures demanded I take on more teaching hours. With fewer hours of “free” time, I wanted to be on the trails — on foot or on a bike — rather than in meetings, even important ones. The most intimate relationship in my life (so far) was with the lines of trails up and down North and South Fortuna Mountain, and the little mountain known as Kwaaypaay, that I called ‘Big Dog Health and Fitness Spa’ because, when I hiked it, it had no name. From my time hiking in one small(ish) landscape, I learned that no trail is ever the same two days in a row.
I’ve also hiked fragments of the Pacific Crest Trail, trails in Italy and Switzerland as well as climbing most of the way up a Chinese sacred mountain — Huang Shan — and, of course, I’ve hiked and skied in the Rockies. Hiking is one great thing about being in Colorado.
Writing: The title of my blog is based on some lines from the song “Punkrocker” by the Teddy Bears and featuring Iggy Pop. The song is at once affirming and defiant — pretty much summing up my feeling toward my own writing.
I heard the song one night in my car driving (down the street) on my way home (35 miles on I-8) from teaching a class that had gone just OK. I hadn’t heard the song in ages. I know of NO radio stations that routinely play it or ever did. Listening to the words, I saw behind the whole “shadow show of appearances” (thanks Walt Whitman) of my job and my expectations of my students. I knew “I was bored with looking good,” and I was “listening to the music with no fear.” That’s what writing is. The truth under everything? I’m a writer, yes I am.
You can learn about my books on my website, marthakennedy.co. I have written four award-winning works of historical fiction, a memoir about…hiking, My Everest, and a memoir about being a Foreign Expert in English in the People’s Republic of China in 1982/83, As a Baby Duck Listens to Thunder. ❤
Now listen to the song: Punk Rocker
© Martin of Gfenn; Savior; The Brothers Path; The Price; My Everest; As a Baby Duck Listens to Thunder; Historical Fiction by Martha Kennedy; I’m A Writer, Yes I Am and all work written on this blog that is not quoted from other sources was done by me and as such is my property. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martha Kennedy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.