Carita Gardiner

Season 1 - Episode 21

Carita adores words, and much of her moxie is fueled by writing them, reading them, speaking them, and encouraging others to love them as much as she does.

In this episode, Carita helps Main Street Moxie launch a new literary genre called Mox Lit. She came prepared with a moxie-filled reading list to share with listeners. Carita also offers her moxie secrets and advocates for small daily habits to advance toward one’s goals.

She reads widely, voraciously, and enthusiastically for enrichment and escape. In this episode, she confidently responds to the age-old teen question of why reading Shakespeare is valuable.

Carita is a master English instructor and class dean at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT. She’s also an aspiring author of romance and young-adult fiction. While pursuing her MFA in creative writing, she wrote a romance novel and has several other works of fiction in her creative pipeline. She also created her author website,, publishes a weekly Why Wednesday blog, and shows her abiding affection and respect for grammar through GrammarLove.

Carita walks her 110-pound Bernedoodle named after a hockey goalie (not from her favorite team–Go Blackhawks!); listens to podcasts on writing, science, economics, and romance novels–and moxie; plays old-lady ice hockey with the Salisbury Stingers; prolifically knits afghans and charity caps; devours romance novels and anything caramelly (not chocolatey); pushes anti-racism efforts; mentors new teachers; wears sparkly shoes; makes to-do lists; lifts small weights; walks with friends; and loves her husband, two daughters, and extended family.


Carita Gardiner’s website: which has her weekly Why Wednesday blog and a place to sign up for her weekly emails (so you’ll be among the first to know when she gets published)

Moxie Women:

  • Jane Austen’s Emma (Emma), Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice)
  • Selena Montgomery’s novels’ heroines (and their author, Stacey Abrams!)
  • Elizabeth Acevedo’s Xiomara (The Poet X)
  • Kiley Reid’s Emira Tucker (Such a Fun Age)
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jordan Baker (The Great Gatsby)
  • Margaret Atwood’s Moira (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • Suzanne Collins’ Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
  • Shakespeare’s comedies’ heroines: Viola (Twelfth Night), Beatrice (Much Ado about Nothing), etc.
  • Sarah McLane’s Sesily Talbot (Bombshell in the Hell’s Belles series )
  • Bonnie Garmus’s Elizabeth Zott (Lessons in Chemistry)
  • Alexis Hall’s Viola (A Lady for a Duke)
  • Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet (Harriet the Spy)
  • Robert Munsch’s Elizabeth (The Paper Bag Princess)
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Hester Hester Prynne (The Scarlet Letter)
  • Harper Lee’s Scout Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)
  • Barbara Kingsolver’s Taylor Greer (The Bean Trees)
  • Sophocles’ Antigone (Antigone)
  • Colum McCann’s Tillie (Let the Great World Spin)
  • John Steinbeck’s Ma Joad (Grapes of Wrath)
  • Marilyn Robinson’s Sylvie (Housekeeping)
  • Margaret Mitchell’s Scarlet O’Hara (Gone with the Wind)
  • William Makepeace Thackeray’s Becky Sharp (Vanity Fair)
  • Marian Graves’s Maggie Shipstead (The Great Circle)
  • Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge (Olive Kitteridge)

Moxie Men:

  • Stephen King’s Andy Dufresne (“Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”)
  • Mark Twain’s Huck Finn (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)

Moxie Animals

  • EB White’s Charlotte (Charlotte’s Web)
  • Shelby Van Pelt’s Marcellus (Remarkably Bright Creatures)

Social Links

Facebook (if we know each other)
Instagram (public account)

This Podcast is Sponsored By


Millerton & Rhinebeck


Ambassadors to the Tri-State region for over 33 years