- Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
- March 18
- Editor in Chief
- Talking Writing
- I am Editor in Chief of Talking Writing, an online literary magazine. I'm also a contributing editor at the Women's Review of Books and a freelance journalist in the Boston area. Martha on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Athenas_Head
(I cross-post most OS entries on my website Athena's Head. I am not paid a cent for any reviews or product references—these opinions are mine alone.)
MY RECENT POSTS
- The Power of Disappointment
August 06, 2012 04:26PM
- Introverts Are Always
Busy—and That’s a Good
July 07, 2012 11:52AM
- Serious Aliens! The Trouble
with Sci-Fi at the New Yorker
June 10, 2012 10:10AM
- My Crusade Against
June 07, 2012 08:59AM
- Why Travel?
May 21, 2012 12:32PM
MY RECENT COMMENTS
- “Alysa: You're so right
that Michael Phelps seemed
during much of the
August 08, 2012 11:21AM
- “Thanks, littlewillie. It
is a setup for disappointment,
I'm pretty sure
August 06, 2012 06:35PM
- “Thanks, Donegal D! Cain
emphasizes the strengths
introverts, although the
July 08, 2012 12:38PM
- “This is a terrific
piece, Jeremiah. Truly.”
July 06, 2012 10:43AM
- “Oh, this is terrific,
John. Loved it. That last line
like something from
June 28, 2012 05:05PM
Martha Nichols's Links
- MY LINKS
- MY LINKS
He takes mincing steps, his cane weaving, often missing the ground. He has double vision, and is almost blind in one eye. Yet when we’re driving to his doctor’s office, my father can recite the turns I should take. The streets in the few square miles around his house are still… Read full post »
A Harvard panel, expert talk versus conversation, and the ghost of William Strunk
When people argue about the death of books and long features, I question what they mean. This may sound like heresy coming from a magazine editor who loves book reviews, but I believe shorter is better.
There I was on an airplane to California, stuck with the December 2009 print issue of Vanity Fair because I couldn't get my credit card to work for a video on-demand feature. (Julie & Julia, if you must know.)
OK, I can deal, I thought. VF is a guilty pleasure, anyway,… Read full post »
He’s so lucky to have a parent like you.
She’s lucky to be here.
Every adoptive parent hears the “lucky” comment at some point, especially if a child was born in a developing country like Vietnam, as my son was. Most of us have ready-made responses: No, I’m the… Read full post »
The Trouble with Angels is one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures. It's like eating candy canes and macaroni and cheese. It's dumb and dated and still mildly subversive.
A few days ago, I thought I was particularly clever, dreaming up a new term for the hybrid blog-magazine that's now appearing all over the Web: magazog. That's it! I told myself, as I strode around the local reservoir, golden leaves fluttering down, the raw sticks of winter peeking through.… Read full post »
The Pros and Cons of Multi-tasking
This past weekend, my family attended a concert at a local Catholic church with a Vietnamese congregation. It was a fund-raiser featuring the legendary Khánh Ly, who, up until the Fall of Saigon, was akin to the Joan… Read full post »
You've seen them on Desperate Housewives: Uppercrust ladies in pastel sweater sets who parade down the halls of their children's schools. They're so smug. They coo sypathetically when they survey us "poor" working mothers.
Or there's the New Age flip side, with their babies in slings, breastfeeding u… Read full post »
I'm not embracing my inner housekeeper here. Yet a recent mention… Read full post »
I've taken a vow. In this, I am as self-abnegating as Dan Brown's crazily obsessed villains, flagellating myself (OK, I'll skip the castration) in the name of decent fiction.
Against the most daunting odds, I've crafted a vaccination for Brownitis. D1B1 comes in two parts: (1) a turkey roast… Read full post »
This August, when I first read Anita Tedaldi's post "My Adopted Son" on a New York Times blog, I was very, very sad. In it, she describes giving up her young boy to another family after 18 months of struggling—and failing—to bond with him. I wasn't satisfied by her account, yet… Read full post »
I've always liked Jane Brody, which is why I was disappointed in her latest column in the New York Times. In "From Birth, Engage Your Child With Talk," Brody counsels parents to chat with their babies as much as possible:
"Ask questions that require a choice, like 'Do you want… Read full post »
This past summer, my seven-year-old son told me he asked one of
his day-camp counselors when the Vietnam War started.
“Who here’s from Vietnam?” another camper jumped in. The girl and her twin sister carefully studied his face. “No one!”
My son reported that they all laugh… Read full post »
In first and second grades, I had a hard time with reading. There was trouble in my family. My mother had been hospitalized, and my dad was a struggling graduate student, caring for two small children. I got stuck in the lowest reading group at school. I sat with other "under-performing"… Read full post »
This just in, from Salacious News Service, Inc.: A 35-year-old woman had sex with the son she gave up for adoption ten years before. The boy's age and name have not been released, but we assume he's a young teenager. Maybe really young. Some of our seasoned investigative reporters have asserted… Read full post »
In the 1970s, when I left the Bay Area to go to college,
was my anthem. I was a wraith of a girl, a straight-A student. I
was never a surfer, but Beach Boys songs
reminded me of home, too. Back then, being from California seemed
Here's Joni… Read full post »
It's so tempting: One minute my seven-year-old son is a goofball, the next he's a sage. The anecdotes overflow my journal, the Post-it notes on my desk. Before long, he's my lead.
I'm not the first parent-writer to realize I've stumbled on to the greatest subject of my life. Writing about… Read full post »
Yesterday my kneejerk reaction was to support the Whole Foods boycott. Anything that exposes ex-hippie libertarians like CEO John Mackey seemed like a good idea to me. We need universal healthcare, and Mackey's recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal should inspire outrage.
Then I slept on it an… Read full post »
At a particularly low moment yesterday, I whimpered to my seven-year-old son, "Would you stop talking? Please?"
"Mom, why do bees have sticky hair?"
"Because they use honey combs!"
It was Day 3 of a week-long stay on Cape Cod. Every day I'd been pulling my son Nick… Read full post »
I love Angelina Jolie. She's the unapologetic mom of a mixed brood of adoptees and bio-kids. She's not married to her partner (yet), and she's a poster gal for humanitarian aid. She's the hottest adoptive mom around.
The problem? The media, of course, and all the heat and light journalists bring… Read full post »
Here's what I'm resisting: That in my blog, I must turn my entire life into a story. That my family members are the cast of characters, complete with cute snapshots. That readers will be privy to all the details of my life--pictures of my foot surgery, my dog, my Uncle… Read full post »
Here are two random facts my son Nick knows: Mr. Spock has green blood. The guys in red shirts always die. When the new Star Trek movie came out this spring, and my husband and I saw it, Nick became more curious. I thought--hoped--our seven-year-old was ready to hop aboard… Read full post »