Marie Ann Bailey is a writer, knitter (among other needle arts), and stray cat magnet. She started her blog 1WriteWay.com in November 2007 when she was participating in the National Novel Writing Month challenge for the first time. She wanted 1WriteWay to be a serious resource of all things related to writing and editing. But Life happened, she got distracted, and went offline for awhile. In February 2013, she returned with a new purpose for her blog: Simply to share her writing and to engage with a dynamic and supportive community of writers and readers.
Marie’s background as a writer is similar to many. She started writing stories at a young age and took creative writing classes whenever she could, joined college literary guilds, and participated in readings. But she was never very confident about her writing talent. She was shy and introverted and easily discouraged, in spite of the support she got from mentors and fellow writers. Add to this her upbringing in a rural, working class/farming community. Her family considered being a manager at a McDonald’s to be a more viable (and reasonable) way to make a living than writing fiction.
And it was hard to argue with that. So Marie made a lot of detours in the past 30 years, trying to become a “professional” whatever (social worker, data analyst), trying to believe in careers and working in offices and 401k’s. She’s done the reasonable thing by her family. Now she’s in a time of her life where she wants and plans to do the reasonable thing by herself: Write.
Here are the questions that Marie chose to answer:
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
Virginia Woolf. I admire her very much as a writer but if I could meet her, I’d want to understand how she could have committed suicide. There’s history of mental illness and suicide in my own family which drives my interest. Woolf was an extraordinarily intelligent person but beset by periods of darkness. Still, she had the presence of mind to plan and carry out a suicide that could have not been swift and that had to have been terrifying. I understand that she may not have had access to firearms or drugs, the usual tools of suicide. Still, the method she chose was so deliberate that one would have been hard-pressed to argue with her.
What celebrity do you get mistaken for?
When I was much much younger and my hair was much much darker, I was (sometimes) told I resembled Brooke Shields (if I had makeup on) or Katherine Ross (if I didn’t). Those days are long gone.
What do you miss most about being a kid?
I didn’t really enjoy being a kid. I remember myself as always wanting to grow up fast and get out on my own. (At ten years old, I had Marlo Thomas (That Girl) as my role model and would get all excited about someday having my own apartment. I was ten and couldn’t wait to get out of the house. I remember my mom being rather concerned about that.) But there is one thing I DO miss: that sense of timelessness, that a moment can hang in the air, buzz around your head before it disappears. That sense that Time was infinite, a bottomless pit, never-ending. I have vivid memories of feeling like Time wasn’t moving on at all. Although I couldn’t wait to grow up, I still had enough sense to know that I would someday miss those moments when I felt Time standing still.
After death, if you were to come to life as an animal, which would you choose?
A jaguar. I know it’s a near threatened species, but it’s still fairly at the top of its food chain. I love cats, but domesticated cats are extremely vulnerable. I’d want a fighting chance.
If you could visit any place in the entire world, where would it be?
Ayers Rock, Australia. It’s reported to be a phenomenal place to stargaze as there is no artificial light to dampen the night sky. But we also have friends who live in Perth, Australia, who we haven’t seen in years, and Ayers Rock would be a great place to rendezvous.
Thank you for taking the spotlight, Marie and for sharing one of my favorite pictures of you! Up next week, it’s Theresa Hupp.