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  • Marissa Oakley Browne

For the love of writing


A little girl, the child Marissa, curls up in a quiet corner of a bustling house and melts away into a world where she is the heroine of a vast array of adventures. She wanders the Swiss Alps, climbs the Catskill Mountains, rolls down a hill in a peach, rides a horse across the Great Hungarian Plain, solves truly puzzling mysteries and escapes from witches, poverty and nuclear fallout. When all the books have been read, she directs her two sisters in plays and writes stories of her own.

A grown woman, the adult Marissa, curls up in a soft corner of a toy-strewn house with a good book and promptly falls asleep. She is woken abruptly by a small happy face peering into her own and shouting “Wake up!” She longs for rolling fruit, a fast horse and mountain adventures but she’ll settle for a little bit of time to read and write.

Sure, I could try to invent a way to travel back to childhood, I could go back to an office job, I could study something useful to the world, but I read somewhere “Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”* That struck a chord with me when I was looking for an excuse to do what I loved - write! Besides, I could do it from home. I could do it from a moving peach, from the top of the mountain, probably not on horseback though.

One question did bother me. Who am I to be a writer? Someone who loves to write and has stories to tell, that’s who. You could be too.


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