June 14, 2011

Mary Beth Baptiste

I ran into an old writing friend yesterday ~ Mary Beth Baptiste. It sure was great to see her. She’s a thoughtful woman, very petite, who has such a zest for life. We used to work together at an environmental consulting firm, and we were also in a writers group together for a bit. She’s been working a memoir for a long time, and apparently ~ thrilling news! ~ she was able to get a great agent for it! I am so stoked for her.

Mary Beth, if you are reading this, please comment or send me an email and give me the lowdown on the memoir. I’ll post it here.

A little bit more about Mary Beth (via Permanent Vacation).

Excerpt from "The Weight of a Harlequin"

"Back in Massachusetts, where I came from, I tiptoed through life in fussy clothes and impractical shoes. Like everyone I knew, I lived life with much to spare. I held back, saved it for storms. This was the approach to life I’d been raised with: 'It’s too hot to ride your bike to the library,' my mother would say, setting her soft chin primly over her eyelet collar. 'It would tax your heart.' My grandmother would nod in agreement as she reached into her pocketbook for the keys to her sky-blue Ford."

Mary Beth’s bio:

For her master’s degree in wildlife biology, Mary Beth Baptiste researched human-bear interaction at Shenandoah National Park. She later worked at Cumberland Gap and Grand Teton National Parks. After seven years at Grand Teton, she moved to Laramie, Wyoming, where she now lives with her husband, Richard. Her employment history, while suspect, provides fertile ground for writing material: soda jerk, fire-tower lookout, lab technician, land steward, school counselor, substance-abuse counselor, yoga teacher, wildlife biologist, technical writer, bookstore clerk, environmental scientist, and nonprofit development director. When she’s not writing, Mary Beth enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, dancing, and spending time with friends, especially when chocolate is involved. She was a 2009 resident at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner, Wyoming, and has won several writing awards, including the Doubleday Award for Creative Writing. Her work has appeared in Vermont Literary Review, Copper Nickel, Newsweek, Wyoming Wildlife, Stonehill Alumni Magazine, and two other anthologies.

She also did a great piece for Newsweek for the My Turn column about how to have a wedding on $150. Catch that here.

Great job, Mary Beth! I’m pulling for you. (And I can’t wait to order my copy of the memoir.)

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