About Me

Carla Joy

I was born in Harlem, New York.  I also lived in St. Andrews, Scotland and Pasadena, California.  I have resided in Bakersfield for the past thirty years.  I majored in English literature at DePauw University, minored in art.  I gave a senior recital in organ and piano.  I obtained a masters in English literature from Stanford University.  I taught children all over Bakersfield as an elementary school substitute teacher and also as a junior high English teacher.  I am the proud mother of two sons, Travis Christian and Luke Wesley Rosenlieb.  Now in my “golden years” I am a creative soul that expresses herself in writing, drawing, sculpting and piano playing.  I have never been able to do just one of these pursuits.  To me, they all interconnect and inspire each other.


Poetry is my first love.  It allows me to distill my experiences, my emotions, my hopes and dreams, into carefully crafted lines that somehow make sense of it all.  In July 2020, I published my first poetry chapbook, A Kaleidoscope of Love, available on Amazon (see Links).  It is a collection of love poems written over the past two years.

I am a member of Writers of Kern and lead their Poetry Critique Group.  I cannot say enough good things about this organization!  They exist with the goal of helping you further your writing career and get published.  Their monthly Zoom meetings are free to members and feature fascinating authors sharing about their journeys to success.  The small critique groups give you a sounding board for all your ideas and members often become lifelong friends.  My poetry group ladies are the talented and fearless Jana Lee Wong, Diane Lobre and Portia Choi.

I am a regular performer at Dagny’s First Friday Open Mic Nights, reading many of my poems.  This event is hosted by the enthusiastic and ebullient Portia Choi.  Open Mics will now resume on Zoom, starting in November 6, 2020.  If you are tired of reading your poems to your cat and would like a human audience, or if you would like to hear what other creative souls in Bakersfield are doing, I encourage you to join our Zoom sessions! I interview many of the musicians and poets who perform.  These interviews can be found on KernPoetry.com.

My poems have been published n CSUB’s Writing Flora, Writing Fauna 2018, Writing Sound 2019, and Writing Fields 2020.  Poems have also appeared in Rabid Oak and Writers of Kern’s Reach for the Sky. More poems appearing in more journals to come!

For the past three years, I have been developing my free-lance editing business, doing copyediting editing for children’s book writers and science fiction and fantasy writers.  I am actively studying so I can branch out into developmental editing.  Creating a compelling novel takes a lot of work! Helping people craft their stories is a delightful collaboration that I enjoy.

Drawing and Sculpting

I find drawing in pastels brings me great pleasure and satisfaction.  Something about dragging the stick across a toothy page and leaving behind a streak of color just thrills me.  I explore still lifes (Cezanne and Dutch floral artists are my muses) and portraits (Van Gogh and Rembrandt inspire these). I also love making mosaics, using found glass or pebbles from Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California. I have studied ceramics in college and still use clay to form my sculptures. I have made one bronze and dream of doing others.  Making busts and torsos is my favorite.  I hope you enjoy browsing through my Images file to see what I am creating.

Piano Playing

I started lessons when I was in the second grade and continue to this day!  Sitting down at the piano and playing classics by the masters soothes my soul.  I am currently working on a lyrical piece called “Vanished Days” by Edvard Grieg.  It is melancholy and hauntingly beautiful, with many modulations and great dynamic swells of emotion.  I plan to perform this piece for the Teacher’s Recital in February 2021, hosted by the Kern County Branch of the Music Teachers Association of California.  More news on that to come!

Teaching piano always makes me so happy!  Passing down the understanding of how music works (theory) and how to move the fingers (technic) and all the wonderful piano literature there is out there (repertoire) is so exciting!  I am grateful to my students and their families for allowing me to have Zoom lessons with them and share something that is so meaningful to me.  You can learn more about what’s going on with my piano lessons at Carla Martin Piano Teacher, my Facebook page.

Now you have a picture of what makes up me!  I hope this site will fill you with inspiration to create in whatever form you enjoy.  Thank you for reading and enjoying my life!