About

Martha Common Garden photoMy name is Martha, the third in a row of five Marthas. My grandmother was the first; Miss Mattie she was called. Next was my mother, youngest child in her family. Then I came along, and it seemed inevitable to give me my mother’s and grandmother’s name. It’s an old-fashioned name, a Biblical name, not much in use any more.

When my daughter was born, her great-grandmother was still alive and there was no way not to name her Martha, but as she had another living great-grandmother, we gave the baby her name, Cameron, as a middle name and decided to call her that to avoid confusion and everybody’s answering “What?” when the name “Martha” was called.

Cameron’s first child was a girl–another Martha, with the middle name Lauren, and we use one or both. Recently I have become the oldest Martha–the older two now in the family graveyard in Pickens County, Alabama.

This from my entry in Who’s Who of American Women: Martha Leatherwood Moffett, editor, author, b. St. Clair Co., Ala., Jan. 3, d. William Elbert and Martha (Funderburk) Leatherwood; B.S. English Education, U. of Ala., M.S Library Science, Columbia U.; m. Robert Knight Moffett; children–Martha Cameron, Anne Tyler, Kirsten Ramsey; editorial staff, Grolier, American Heritage Dictionary, Ladies’ Home Journal, author, A Flower Pot Is Not A Hat. Home, New York City.

Alas, I left Manhattan to be chief librarian of the tabloids in South Florida. But I continued to write, mostly fiction: The Common Garden, Keepaway, Park Bench Women, Dead Rock Singer, and the forthcoming Picnic In Eden, as well as essays, short stories, poems, and plays. I received two Florida State Council on the Arts fellowships, one for short fiction and one for playwriting, and a Yaddo fellowship.  I also do a lot of line-editing, which suits my compulsive nature.

I once lived in the sleepy, seedy little fishing town of Lake Worth, Florida–it’s also the Greenwich Village of Palm Beach County. I now live in Northern New Jersey.

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7 Responses to “About”

  1. Hilary Chambers December 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    HI, I live in the Peak District, England. I am writing a blog called ‘Letters to Nigel Slater’ under the name Martha Muffett – so googled myself and found you! Hope this is ok with you. The blog is going well and Nigel’s enjoying reading it, and an author i’ve met is in the process of sending bits of it to her agent in Australia and publisher in USA for me whichis really kind of her.
    Greetings from one Martha to another.
    Martha Muffett (Butterton, England)

  2. marthaspencil December 31, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    Evidently there are many Martha Moffetts in this world. Welcome to the family!

  3. Katie August 15, 2013 at 1:21 am #

    I discovered your page and noticed you could have a lot more visitors. I have found that the key to running a website is making sure the visitors you are getting are interested in your subject matter. There is a company that you can get visitors from and they let you try their service for free. I managed to get over 300 targetted visitors to day to my website. Check it out here: http://nsru.net/138e

  4. susanissima August 30, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    Love your about post, Martha! My middle name is also Martha because my mother just loved the sound of “Susan Martha.” Reading the family history of your name has given me a new appreciation for my own. Thank you. I look forward to learning much more about you, as I am now a follower. Thanks for visiting my blog: http://stilllifewithtortillas

  5. Jocelyn Noe September 21, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Hi Martha, I visited your blogs-to read your books but I just haven’t wrote in the comments. I read what you read abut your name: interesting. I have a second cousin name Martha and aside from her and Martha Stewart, you are the only Martha I know. See you around, at the the reading. BTW, I love reading your novel.

  6. KimMicheleRichardson (@writernwaiting) June 14, 2015 at 2:58 am #

    i followed you over from southern literary, and absolutely love your blog.

    • marthaspencil June 14, 2015 at 3:29 am #

      Thanks so much! I rarely have time to post new work here. I’ve been signing my correspondence lately “Beleaguered”–which I am. Do you have a blog … or a Web site? I have a Web site as well, should probably combine them. What I really need is an official ADVISOR, someone who, when I say “I wonder if I should do this?” will tell me Yes or No.

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