Martha Nichols Online is the website of writer Martha Nichols. It includes her blog Athena’s Head, her print publications, and her online magazine Talking Writing.
Martha is an experienced journalist and editor. As a faculty instructor of journalism at the Harvard University Extension School, she is a skilled teacher of writers at all levels. Her background as a magazine editor is a big plus in creating content and finding an audience.
She is available for freelance work in these areas:
- Writing—magazine features, fiction, memoir
- Editing—trade and academic books, magazines
- Blogging—content creation and blog management
Why Athena’s Head?
In her blog, Martha writes about parenting, adoption, women’s issues, the media, and other topics that she also explores in print. She began blogging in 2009 and enjoys the commentary of readers—and the occasional mental thunderbolt.
But the genesis for Athena’s Head goes back to Martha’s girlhood in 1970s California, when she first read Edith Hamilton’s Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes.
Hamilton’s 1940s classic came as a cheap paperback reissue, passed on by her dad, who wanted her to read more than Tiger Beat and another installment of Nancy Drew. And he was right: Martha loved Hamilton’s retellings of famous myths. Ancient Greece captured her imagination—especially Athena, the goddess of wisdom.
Athena is “flashing-eyed.” She is “the protector of civilized life, of handicrafts and agriculture,” Hamilton writes. She created the olive tree, and the owl is “her bird.” She’s a warrior girl, born from her father’s head and her own mind.
“She was Zeus’s favorite child,” Hamilton points out. “He trusted her to carry the awful aegis, his buckler, and his devastating weapon, the thunderbolt.”
“He trusted her to carry the awful aegis, his buckler, and his devastating weapon, the thunderbolt.”
In fact, Zeus swallowed Athena’s mother, afraid the child she carried would overshadow him. But that couldn’t stop Athena from bursting free. She doesn’t suffer fools—a weakness?—but she likes tricksters.
She’s a contrarian. And so is Martha.