About Me

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.

Teddy, me, Bear at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge

Writing: I’ve written some books. A couple are memoirs — My Everest is about my 30 years living in San Diego County and hiking in the coastal sage/chaparral landscape and higher in the Laguna and Cuyamaca mountains. Originally from Colorado, I moved to San Diego in the early 80s and had to figure out a way to live there without losing important elements of my personality. I was very very fortunate to find Mission Trails Regional Park and trails beyond.

One day, I was hiking up Garnet Peak in the Laguna Mountains with a friend from Munich. He looked around and said, “You’re so lucky to live by these friendly mountains. The Alps aren’t so friendly.” He had climbed and hiked all over Europe and in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and, of course, especially in the Bavarian Alps.

I love the Alps. I have hiked in them and found them friendly enough with all the awesome signage and restaurants, but he definitely had a point. Back in Colorado now and while I love the Rockies with all my heart, and don’t want to be anywhere else, these are not friendly mountains, either. You can learn more about My Everest here.

The other memoir is about the time I was working as a Foreign Expert in English in the People’s Republic of China, 1982-83. The title is As a Baby Duck Listens to Thunder, a strange title, I know, but once you are into the story it will make PERFECT sense. It was an incredible year, the experience of a lifetime, and the book is a love story. You can learn about As a Baby Duck Listens to Thunder here.

Four other books are historical novels, all set in Switzerland, in Canton Zürich. The first is Martin of Gfenn which is an artist novel, about a young painter who discovers he has leprosy. His life leads him to the community of the Knights of St. Lazarus in the village of Gfenn. You can learn about Martin of Gfenn here.

Savior, The Brothers Path and The Price comprise a loose trilogy Across the World on the Wings of the Wind, a family saga spanning five hundred years, about a family living in Affoltern am Albis. Their adventures go from the Crusades through the Reformation to immigration to America. You can learn about them here.

Painting: I paint and write about it often. You can see some work here.


P.S. Trolling: I know we live in a time where people think that other people want to read/hear their hostile opinions. If you troll me, I will block you after I look to see what incredibly interesting and profound things YOU post. I won’t troll you, but at least I’ll know who you are. SO, if your thing is trolling people, I recommend either Facebook or Twitter.

© Martin of GfennSavior; The Brothers Path; The Price; My Everest; As a Baby Duck Listens to Thunder; Historical Fiction by Martha Kennedy; “Women’s Wilderness Legend, Waterproof” 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.

56 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Fellow Blogger, I was nominated today for a “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award?” I was asked to nominate seven bloggers myself, create a post or page, and include a link back to the blog of the person who nominated me. I have done as requested, and I am now nominating you. If you are inclined to take part you can follow this link to the page I created with my responses and all the information you will need. If you don’t want to take part…no worries. God bless. Kathy

  2. Hey Martha – hope this finds you. I wasn’t sure how to contact you directly. I’d LOVE to send you a galley of my dog book coming out in August. I know you don’t necessarily review books, but I love your writing and value your opinion and I’m hoping you might make an exception. If you’re game – let me know. You can email me at carasueachterberg (at) gmail.com.

  3. I’m sorry, Martha, but I have been recently hacked. I do NOT enter my password anywhere but where it is supposed to go. Sorry. If you want to create a password, I’ll use it, but mine stays with me.

    • Marilyn I think you’re talking about a post I put up in which you need a password to read it, but I’m not sure. The password you need to read that post is one I made.

  4. I am glad to see you so active after hip replacement- hiking and langlauf (a new word I learned here 🙂 ) . I have had two hip replacements and do a lot of biking and hiking. I also cross country ski occasionally and would do it more if I lived closer to the snow.

  5. Your header photo is breathtaking!!! And I totally love “I am a writer Yes I am!” 🙂 All the BEST to you–Fleur.

  6. Martha. I like your “introvert” piece. Loneliness? I’m okay because I am not really sociable. I have Marilyn and our 2 furry kids. We have books, music and TV – with plenty of old movies. My best social times. Throne room conversation with myself with frequently yields ideas for pieces to write. I enjoy reading comments from you and the other regulars in our blogger family.

  7. Martha, accept the award! It’s just recognition of all the lives you touch. You deserve it!

  8. Golly, it’s award month for you, Martha! Congratulations! You also have a piece with these acknowledgements.

  9. Martha, I’ve looked at the two pictures on your post. I hope it’s okay to say you are “easy on the eyes”. then and now.

    • Pretty much. Rain and snow haven’t killed me so far. 🙂 Cafe Nepenthe was great. But Denver is a lot fancier now than it was back in 1981. A lot less soul.

  10. This is so odd but I can’t disclose on my blog where that ceanothus was. Not my garden, but I was/am at my son’s house in Seattle, and the ceanothus is in his front garden which is full of native plants. He has a green thumb and everything he plants thrives.

  11. Lovely to read your about. Sincere and filled with love for the mountains and walking. Thanks for sharing Martha, as much i would have loved that you had also come to the Himalayas to walk.

    Thanks so much
    Narayan x

  12. Wonderful! I especially love the in read, Notice at the bottom – I’m right there with you! 😀 I only got sorta trolled once, long ago, because of a typo as I shared pics and experiences on my trip to the western portion of the state – which I quickly corrected and thanked the commenter for alerting me to – thank goodness for the setting that allows you to ‘hold comments for moderation/manual approval’ – little did I know, after first exchange, he was in search of a ‘cat to kick’ to get rid of his frustrations, and had decided I was a good a one as came on his radar that day =…. Sigh – that exchange was cut short, quick, by ‘non-cooperation’ on my part! 😀

    thanks for visiting me in bloggy land, so I could follow the ‘trail’ back to you! Nice to meet ya!

  13. Hi Martha
    Inferior sledding ? Love that, and my version – sledging – is always picked on in spellchecks. I enjoy long trails, though ours aren’t very long, 268 m Pennine was my longest, rained every day, only all day once. Three weeks hut to hut and the the Stubai High Trail and mountains was great.
    . In our soggy and today invisible hills, in a small national park , I can’t walk anywhere , my third day of waiting in for builders, who have dug a ten foot deep hole= idea being to get us proper water supply, as decreed by .Gov.UK By order, as our supply has been found guilty of a crime called Insufficiency.
    Out of water for months every summer, which is against the rules of .gov.uk.

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