All over the world and throughout history, children have often dutifully followed in their forebears’ footsteps when it came to choosing a career. In my own case, I’ve stubbornly followed my own inner drummer to forge a career path that is singularly mine. That path has gone in several directions over the years but has of late come full circle.
I was a professional writer and editor in New York City for many years. More recently, I taught English and Creative Nonfiction Writing at UNM in Taos, as well as Creative Nonfiction Workshops through SOMOS (The Society of the Muse of the Southwest) in Taos.  

I was also a caterer, chef, and food writer in New York for ten years; and I taught in the Culinary Arts department at UNM-Taos for several years. In addition, I wrote a monthly food column for The Taos News for two years. 

I taught patchwork quilting as an independent economic development project in Segou, Mali, West Africa, for nearly three years, then tried my hand at making art quilts for a living when I first settled in northern New Mexico in 2001.
All of these experiences are worth sharing, I believe, which is why I write and teach. As an educator, I feel it is my purpose, now that I am an elder, to share what I’ve learned along the way. The photograph of Hemingway’s stairs that you see on each page of this website (see credits page) is a visual depiction of my teaching philosophy: Life is a climb. Take it one step at a time. Yes, you can do it!  The view only gets bigger and better the higher you go.
(Above, left:) Puppet Chantal Chanson taught the children of Mana-Mana, Gabon, the importance of hand-washing for health. 
(Above right:)  Teaching tropical jam preparation in a friend’s kitchen in Lastoursville, Gabon. (Photos by Martha Cooper, 1997)

In August 2013, I participated in the Pecha Kucha food-themed event in Taos. You can see a video of my six-minute presentation on YouTube here:

Also please see the post on the late Liz Cunningham's blog "Mabel Dodge Luhan and the Remarkable Women of Taos":

And a post by Sallie Bingham, on her blog, /

More to come! I'm still climbing...