Ortlip, Carol A(ileen) 1954-

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ORTLIP, Carol A(ileen) 1954-


Born July 29, 1954, in New York, NY; daughter of Paul D. (an artist) and Miriam (maiden name, Ondra; present surname, King) Ortlip; civil union with Gemma Champoli (an artist and writer), July 21, 2001. Ethnicity: "German, Irish, English, Osage Indian." Education: Bucks County Community College, A.A.; Marlboro College, bachelor's degree; Lesley University, master's degree. Politics: Democrat. Hobbies and other interests: Wilderness training, tae kwon do (black belt).


Home—76 Belmont Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. Office—Marlboro Elementary School, Marlboro, VT. Agent—Linda Konner. E-mail—[email protected].


Neighborhood Schoolhouse, Brattleboro, VT, teacher, 1987-99; Marlboro Elementary School, Marlboro, VT, teacher, 2001—. Vermont Environmental Storytelling Program, founder, 1991; Adopt-a-Spot, founder, 2002.


We Became like a Hand: A Story of Five Sisters (autobiographical novel), Ballantine (New York, NY), 2002.

Reasons to Believe (novel), Ballantine (New York, NY), 2003.


Carol A. Ortlip told CA: "I have been fascinated with words since the dawning of my awareness of language, probably since approximately the age of two. I can remember looking out over the Hudson River from my perch atop the Palisade Cliffs, where my family's home was situated, and trying to think of the best words to describe what I was seeing and feeling. Storytelling followed as I grew and as my four sisters came along, one by one. I would tell elaborate stories to them, particularly to my youngest sister, Michele, in order to lull them to sleep each night.

"I might have started a professional writing career sooner than my forties, but the tragedy of my sister Shari's death when she was eighteen and I was twenty-two set me on a course of wandering and alcoholism, and I did not find my way to a stable life until about twelve years ago. Sober now and so thankful for it, I have been able to pick up pen and paper once again.

" We Became like a Hand: A Story of Five Sisters was something I had to write first. It helped me with the healing process, it helped me to understand myself better, and it paid tribute to my sisters. Since writing and publishing my autobiographical novel, I have continued to write, almost feverishly. It is as though the lid of a great box has finally been opened, letting my voice fly out into the world through words linked together to form stories. At nearly fifty years of age, I am setting my creative self free.

" We Became like a Hand is the first book I have had published; it will not be my last. It will most likely be my only memoir, though. Other stories, with characters who have been waiting patiently for their chance to live, are growing eager and are beginning to find their way onto paper. I am ecstatic as I write with my special black pen each day. Coming full circle, I have found my way back home, to words."

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Ortlip, Carol A(ileen) 1954-

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