Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Summer Spotlight: Marie Ann Bailey

123 Comments

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.

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, published by Harlequin Love Inspired released on February 21, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

123 thoughts on “Summer Spotlight: Marie Ann Bailey

  1. Lovely to meet you, Marie. I can identify with your desire to grow up quick and rent an apartment – I had similar dreams of doing the same in London, because of course, that was the centre of the world in the 60’s. Never happened – life got in the way! Also, Ayers Rock would be a great place to make for – I love the mystery of the Aboriginal song lines and the reverence they afford the place. I think it would be on my list of places to visit too.

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    • Hi, Jenny! I remember being fascinated with London when I was a young girl. Do you remember Twiggy? The London fashions were very popular in the teen magazines that I read, and she dominated. I do hope we make it to Ayers Rock someday. My husband is an amateur astronomer and it is supposed to be one of the best places to stargaze. Best to you!

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    • Hi Jenny! I guess we all had the dream of growing up, moving from our parents home and being on our own. Of course we were clueless of the responsibilities!
      Hi Marie! Thank you for your kind words on your blog. I feel the same about you. 🙂 Oh, I loved Twiggy!

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  2. Howdy Marie! Yes, life does present a lot of detours. I’ve had my fair share. It makes me appreciate the good a lot more. Best of luck!

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  3. Hey, Marie! Great to learn more about your background. Meeting Virginia Woolf would be cool indeed.

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  4. Wonderful answers to great questions. I love the response about the seemingly timelessness of childhood. She captured into words a feeling that’s difficult to describe.

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  5. Reblogged this on 1WriteWay and commented:
    Today I am a happy guest over at Jill Weatherholt’s blog. Jill is wonderful writer and also one of the nicest people I’ve met in the blogosphere. I consider her a good friend. Please enjoy my spot in the spotlight and take a tour of Jill’s blog while you are there 🙂

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    • I agree wholeheartedly about Jill. She has been a wonderful encouragement to me in my art and writing. 🙂 I will have to go check out your blog now, Marie. You and I have similar thinking in our childhood backgrounds. I wanted to do the more creative things with my life, but my dad talked me into getting “practical” jobs that could pay the bills. They paid the bills alright, but I wasn’t happy doing them! I have been fortunate enough to be able to stay home and raise our two children and become who I always wanted to be.

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    • Aw…you are so sweet, Marie…I feel the same about you. Your beautiful smile is welcome here anytime! Thank you so much for participating in this series. I found your comment about Virginia Woolf so interesting; I also have suicide in my family…so many questions for those left behind.

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      • Thanks, Jill. This series is really wonderful. I’ve met so many interesting and nice people.
        I’ve known a couple of people who have committed suicide: one a family member, and another, a friend. You’re right, they leave behind many questions, the least of which is, “could anyone have helped?”

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  6. Enjoyed this. When I was a kid I had the same feelings. I never regretted them and was so happy the day I finished college and was actually given money to do what I liked best at that time; work. It is no wonder I admire you as I do. Thanks to Jill.

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  7. I loved Marlo in That Girl, too! Though I was a tad older than you. What a lovely interview!

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  8. Nice to meet a fellow Marie. 🙂 I totally agree about childhood too–that sense of timelessness. I couldn’t wait to be 18. It seemed that birthday would never come! But now I realize how fast time flies!

    I’m glad you gave yourself the time to write. Like you, I took a lot of detours with “responsible” jobs. What do you like to write most?

    Thanks, again, Jill, for hosting such great bloggers and writers.

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    • Hello, L. Marie! I don’t know many other Marie’s so I’m always thrilled to meet another one :). I like to write short stories, but with NaNoWriMo, I started writing novels. So now I have drafts of 5 novels, but I’m not sure if any of them will actually survive 😉

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    • Hi Linda! It’s too bad “responsible” jobs aren’t as much fun as writing. 🙂 I can’t wait for your time in the spotlight! Enjoy your weekend!

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  9. Something froze up during my comment 😦 I’d like to spend an afternoon with Virginia Woolf, too. Determined in life and in death.
    Ellespeth

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  10. Marie Ann Bailey? Never heard of her.

    😛

    You know what I miss most about being a kid? Monster magazines, and sitting on the front steps reading them in the sunlight. I know I could still do that, but the magic isn’t there. Plus, Mole People do better in shade.

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    • You. Are. So. Funny. I think I had a few monster magazines when I was a kid. But one (weird) thing stands out for me: when I was a TEEN-AGER, of legal drinking age and all that, I would go out dancing with my friends, have a couple of beers but the high point of the night was coming home early enough to catch the midnight horror movie, which I would watch while drinking milk and eating chocolate cookies. That was my nirvana when I was, like, 19. Go figure 😉

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      • I don’t have to go figure. That sounds like a perfect night. I spent the better part of my late teens watching horror movies all night and eating junk food. Which no doubt explains why I am such a high-powered executive today.

        By the way, right before I checked WordPress, I was perusing my DVD shelf for a monster movie and lamenting the dearth of good werewolf films in my collection.

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      • I wish my husband was more into the old classic horror movies. You mention werewolves and I think Lon Chaney. Now we did see the Howling with Jack Nicholson which was all right (although frankly the love interest between him and Michelle Pfieffer … really?) But I digress. And I have to go to bed. But I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought the perfect Saturday night was eating cookies and watching Grade-B horror movies.

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    • Always the comedian. 🙂 I can picture you sitting on the front steps reading your monster magazines, Eric. My sister and I used to sit on the front porch and see who could spit their watermelon seeds the farthest. 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!

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  11. Hello, Marie! So glad to hear that you are now doing right by you! It’s never too late to follow your passion, right?

    I was so painfully shy as a child that I too could not wait to grow up. It wasn’t until college that I finally came out of my shell and now you can’t shut me up. 🙂

    This Friday feature Jill is doing is wonderful because we get to learn more about each other. Thanks for sharing bits about yourself with us. 🙂

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  12. A well-deserved moment in the spotlight! Congrats, Marie! 👏

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  13. We grew up around the same time. Twiggy, adventures, the need to grow up FAST, I can relate to all that. I love how you describe the timelessness. I wish I could get that feeling back! Great responses.

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  14. Ayers Rock is a worthy trip goal. I enjoyed this interview, Marie and Jill.

    I still wish I could make Time stand still………..

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  15. Enjoyed your answers. As a child, I definitely felt that TIME was on my side. An infinite pool.

    With respect to your thoughts about Virginia Wolff: perhaps she awoke to the realization that being here no longer interested her. Or, perhaps, she just wanted to see what came next . . . without waiting around for the proverbial bus to hit her?

    The predominant view of modern medicine is that suicide is a mental health concern, associated with psychological factors such as the difficulty of coping with depression, inescapable suffering or fear, or other mental disorders and pressures.

    I’m not convinced that there is an absolute correlation between suicide and mental illness. Just the opposite ~ I suspect that many who commit suicide are saner than the rest of us. 😎

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    • Thank you. I really appreciate your comments on Woolf. I think that is why I’m so interested in her and what motivated (drove) her to suicide. Her method suggests not just certainty, but a level of rationality that is rarely associated with suicide. Years ago I studied her writings and biographies closely. The sense I got was that she simply didn’t want to live through another bout of madness. And she didn’t want to put Leonard and her friends and family through it either. She was tired of it. Without appropriate treatment, some regiment that could have truly helped her, can one blame her for that? I wish it hadn’t been so for her, but I could never deny her right to do what she felt she needed to do.

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      • Yes, that’s the sense I get from her suicide note ~ “she was tired of it.” And she knew that “it” was a lifelong companion. To get rid of “it” she needed to die.

        In that sense, her “madness” was a precipitating factor, while the decision to take her own life (under the circumstances) seems rational and sane.

        On a lighter and brighter note ~ thanks for jumping into the Summer Series pool. Jill’s decision to spotlight fellow bloggers has been a treat.

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      • Hi Nancy! On a lighter note, I loved your post today on the “Monastery of Silence”…hilarious!
        I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying this series. I’ve had such a great time learning more about everyone. I need to get you into the spotlight! 🙂 Enjoy the weekend!

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  16. Great interview, Marie. Always nice to learn more about my WordPress friends. 🙂 I know what you mean about that sense of timelessness. Seems once you hit adulthood, things just kick in to overdrive. Hope you have a great weekend!

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  17. Lovely lady, Marie! (You, too, Jill!) 🙂

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  18. So glad to meet you, Marie. I enjoyed your responses, especially “…a moment can hang in the air, buzz around your head before it disappears…” and your wish to know/talk to Virginia Woolf.

    Another good interview, Jill. Well done.

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  19. Good work Jill – good to meet Marie. Katherine Ross eh 🙂 Yes, Ayers Rock has a great deal that is magical I think.

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    • Hi, Roy! I know, the Katherine Ross thing took me totally by surprise. It was many, many years ago. I was buying a coffee at a kiosk near the bus station. The server, who had waited on me many times before, suddenly told me that she remembered who I looked like, “Katherine Ross from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I simply took the compliment and left her a nice tip 😉

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    • Thanks, Roy! The spotlight suits Marie, don’t you think? Enjoy your weekend!

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  20. Wonderful to meet you Marie! stray cat magnet I can relate to that…except that my ‘problem’ includes dogs, raccoons and suicidal birds (the type who insist on tying to break the window barrier). Love your response to what you miss most about being a kid 🙂

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  21. Hi Marie – I enjoyed your thoughts in this article. I too couldn’t wait to be ‘grown-up’ though now I look back and wonder when it actually happened….. Life and detours – yes to that as well – I’ve often found myself somewhere other than where I wanted to be and then discovered later that it was exactly right for the next step. I found your thoughts on Virginia Woolf most interesting too.

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    • Hi Pauline! Why did we all want to grow up so fast? I feel the same, questioning when it all happened. 🙂 I hope you’re enjoying your weekend. How is my pal, Siddy? I miss him. 🙂

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    • Hi, Pauline. Thank you for your comments! I do wonder if it is a generational thing, especially since so many young adults are continue to live with their parents. Granted, it’s mostly for economic reasons, but it also seems like the umbilical cord is stretching further these days as well 😉 My stepdad, who would be in his late 80s if he were still alive, had a policy that each of his 8 children had to be out of the house, living on their own by the time they were 18. When he married my mom, I was 19 and he was perplexed. He became my staunchest advocate when I did finally decide to leave home. He even taught me to drive a stick shift so I could drive away 😉

      Funny, when I think back on it more, although I wanted to grow up and leave home, I didn’t have a clue how I would support myself, what kind of life I could make. Hence all the detours. I started off with my head in the clouds, writing strange stories and reading Anais Nin and DH Lawrence. Today I work in public health statistics, crunching numbers, making data talk. When our younger colleagues ask me how I chose my path, I always point out that I didn’t. I did a lot of searching and took opportunities as they were presented to me. At this point in my life, I just want to look ahead and not worry over what might have been 🙂

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      • Well said on that last point Marie! I wanted to leave home as it wasn’t a good place to be – and I did. I ran away at 15 with no clue! But I got lucky and survived and learned and never really looked back. I went on to become an adult student and eventually a teacher, a principal and a teacher trainer. ten years ago I jumped ship and ended up life coaching. I am soooo looking forward to retirement 🙂 I don’t regret anything in my life and look forward to years of taking my time doing my thing and loving each moment!

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      • You’ve had an amazing life!

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      • Marie, I laughed at your comment about your stepfather teaching you to drive a stick. 🙂
        Wow, Pauline! What a life you have lived…I had no idea. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Marie, I loved getting to know you a little better here. I’m so glad you’re part of my blog world. xoxo

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  23. I”m glad to meet you, Marie. And thanks to Jill for introducing you to the people who follow her blog.

    I’m glad you’ve finished your detours and are taking time for yourself and writing. Many of us have a similar story. We think we have to find a “reasonable” way to make a living–something that pays better than writing does. Unlike you, I didn’t write stories when I was young. I came to writing slowly, almost by accident. Yesterday I finished writing a couple of posts about the long, winding path I took to become a writer. I’ll be publishing the first one on Sunday.

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    • I’ll look for your post! While I always note that I started writing when I was young, I know the writing I did then is not something I really want to share with anyone. I even cringe over the writing I did in college 🙂 It makes me feel that there was a good reason for me to take all those detours.

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    • Hi Nicki! It’s been great to have all of my blog friends interact with each other. I’ve learned so much about them. I’ll keep an eye out for your post tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend!

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  24. Hi Marie I agree with you about time. As a child I could sit and watch nature and get caught up in that world. Time stood still. I wish I could recapture those moments

    That sense that Time was infinite, a bottomless pit, never-ending. I love that.

    Maybe then our detours would not be so many, if we listen to our inner child. Thanks for sharing your world.

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    • Thank you so much for commenting! I find I can sometimes recapture that sense of timelessness when I’m sitting in a natural environment. My husband and I often reflect on a canoe trip we took once, where we drifted into a stand of ogeechee Tupelo trees. It was so quiet. The only sounds were the battle cries of a couple of Prothornatory Warblers who were flying about and the buzzing of deer flies and dragonflies. It did feel like a place where Time had stopped and things just were. It’s been years, but that experience has stayed with both of us.

      I don’t think it’s ever too late to listen to your inner child. I would have preferred fewer detours in my life, but I did learn a lot about myself with each other. One thing I learned is to reacquaint myself with my inner child and see my later years as an opportunity to give that child space 🙂

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    • Hi Kath! Thanks for stopping by. One of my favorite things to do as a child was to lay in the grass and watch the clouds. Who needed computers or videos games? 🙂

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  25. Hello Marie! Very nice to meet you. I was in no hurry to grow up and I still don’t want to grow up and I am 62.. 🙂 I too was very shy, not so much anymore. I enjoyed your interview and am interested in reading a bit more about Virginia Woolf. I also want to click over and take in your blog. Thank you for sharing a bit about yourself.

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    • Hi, there! I love that you still don’t want to grow up at 62 🙂 There’s that old phrase that “youth is wasted on the young.” I think of that often when I see young people taking their youth for granted. My husband will be 62 this year and I’m 57, and we’re both hoping that we maintain our good health so we can enjoy our later years. There’s still much fun to be had in the world 🙂 Thank you for your comments.

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    • Hey Pixie! I hope you’re enjoying your weekend and doing something wild and crazy. 🙂 I was very shy as well. I grew out of it, but I still don’t enjoy public speaking.

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  26. I have followed you, but never took the time to really get to know you, Marie! I have had a rather ‘crooked’ path to writing, too. Not always do I feel confident, so it was nice that this was part of your story, being shy and not sure this was what you should do. I have a family who are supportive of all my choices, which really helped me when the road was challenging and the ‘going got tough!’ I like the idea of a jaguar and your idea of going to that beautiful place in Australia, too. Thanks for sharing your feelings about subjects that we may not have encountered in your posts, Marie. Good luck!
    Jill, this is a fantastic way to really get to understand someone’s background. We feel closer after reading the honest answers of each of your summer spotlight interviewees! Great job!

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    • Thank you for your kind words! It’s wonderful that your family is supportive of your choices. My family of origin never was, and for a long time my husband was more interested in me making a decent living than realizing my dream of writing. (That may sound a bit harsh, but it’s true, and I don’t fault him for that. Being from a relatively poor background, earning a decent wage was always an issue for me too.) But it’s never too late to try out your dreams 🙂

      I do love the summer series of Jill’s too! I’ve met so many nice people. I just wish I had more hours in the day to visit everyone 🙂

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      • Marie, I agree that people do tend to worry about financial situations. It is hard when that is the only thing that keeps people from trying what their passion is, whether money is needed for cooking, music, art, writing, woodworking or other wonderful crafts. Oh… I could go on endlessly, but I have always had to be careful with my money, too. I blog at the library so I don’t have to pay for the computer, electricity or the Wi-Fi. I just wanted to say I understood your family’s perspective, but think that it is important to follow your dreams and make some of them come true! Smiles, Robin

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    • Hi Robin! I appreciate your kind words. This really has been eye opening for me. Everyone is revealing little bits about themselves that I would have never known through their blog posts. It’s been a great experience for me and I’m happy that everyone seems to be having fun with it. 🙂

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      • You have done a lovely job of asking great questions! Everyone enjoys answering them, since they are so unique and those who are reading their answers (like me!) are thoroughly enjoying them. Hope you have been having fun during the in between times, enjoying your summer, too! I wondered about the summer concerts that you mentioned you have enjoyed. Hope they had good jazz, pop, rock or wonderful effects on your musical inner soul, Jill! Smiles back, Robin

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  27. I have heard the stars are so beautiful in Australia, especially that part. What a wonderful place to want to go!!! And I also had Marlo Thomas as the person I wanted to be!!!! She was always so in charge!!! So nice to be a part of your world, Marie!!!! I also liked your quirky view of time and your childhood!

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  28. Hi Marie, nice to meet you. I always wanted to grow up too quickly as well – always felt older than my years, but you describe the timelessness of childhood beautifully.

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    • Thank you, Andrea. It’s nice to meet you too! At this point in my life, I’m actually feeling younger than my years 😉 It’s like I rushed into adulthood, until I got to around 40 and then decided to slow things down, at least philosophically 😉 Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m in my late 50s 😉

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    • Hi Andrea! I’m happy you stopped by to meet Marie, she’s such a talented writer. I wonder why we were all in such a hurry?

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  29. Ayers Rock is amazing – I definitely recommend it! Great interview 🙂 I was once told that I look like Kathy Bates – Misery Kathy Bates 😉

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    • Hi Linda! Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to meet Marie. I clicked over to your blog and was immediately intrigued with your story. I’ll look forward to reading more about your life in Latvia…very cool!
      Misery…one of my favorite movies!

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  30. Hi Marie, I so enjoyed reading about your writing journey here on Jill’s Summer Spotlight. I can relate to much of what you share about always wanting to write but ‘other things’ getting in the way…! Great that you are now taking the time out to do what you want to do with your writing…your time to shine! I loved your answers to Jill’s great questions and can remember having that same urge to leave home and experience the world. My family life was fractious and it left me with a ‘wanderlust’ that has never really gone away. When I was 18 and working at a small post office in Suffolk, England, I had dreams of ‘escaping’ to America with a friend, backpacking and travelling by Greyhound bus! Never did pull that off but did end up living in America a few years later… !
    I’m fascinated with Ayers Rock too (never been to Australia but would love to) and a little snippet about Virginia Woolf you might enjoy – my eldest son lives in Lewes on the south west coast of England. Virginia Woolf owned a windmill there, which she converted into a home for a time. I only just found this out recently and plan to take a photo of it next time we visit…who knew? I didn’t!
    I look forward to reading your blog Marie as soon as I get the chance (been away and catching up now) but just to say in the meantime, it’s great to meet you – Sherri 🙂
    Jill…so glad to catch up with Marie and Kate and meet two more wonderful bloggers. Hope you have a great week …it’s good to be back… 🙂 xo

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  31. Hello, Marie. Enjoyed meeting you via your post here at Jill’s blog. 🙂
    Jill I’m sorry I’m so late with this. I’m very behind on my blog visits. There never seems to be enough hours in the day. I love that you’re introducing us to all these talented people and it’s generous of you to allow space for them to showcase their talents to the rest of us. Hope you have a wonderful week. Hugs, Elizabeth

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    • You’re never too late, Elizabeth! I’m so happy you’re enjoying this series. I’ve been having a blast learning so much about a great and talented group of people. The way things are going…it’s going to go into a Fall Spotlight. 🙂
      I hope you have a great week as well! xo

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  32. Hi Marie. I liked your answer about wanting to meet Virginia Woolf. That was an answer to the question I hadn’t heard before, and something a great question to ask. I’m fascinated with the human psyche myself, and why people end up behaving in certain ways. Thanks for sharing about yourself on Jill’s blog.

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  33. Hi Lori! Thanks for stopping by to read Marie’s spotlight. She’s a special lady!
    Being a psychology major, I’m like you, very interested and fascinated by the behavior of people.

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  34. It’s nice to meet Marie! I love it that she wants a fighting chance as a jaguar.
    Have a great week, Jill. I finally made a post at my blog:-)

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  35. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    ORT-ORT-ORT!!!!

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  36. Hi Marie! Delighted to meet you and as delighted that I got to learn how your letter-writing mission ended – good stuff!

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  37. Sorry I’m late to the party, Marie. Playing catch up after a few days in Paris (Silver Wedding celebration). Boring jobs- I know all about that! Isn’t it wonderful to have the luxury to choose? 🙂

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