Melanie Bailes is living her dream but she took the long way round to get there and there were many detours along the way.
She grew up in the Bronx in the sixties and seventies. For as long as she can remember, she wanted to be a scientist, whatever that means. She repaired her friends electric toys for fun, read her science textbook from cover to cover the first day of school and got burned by acid when she took apart a dry cell to see how it worked. She was rewarded with a big lump of zinc.
It all changed in 10th, when she wrote a poem about pollution to enter a contest. The desire to write hit her at the right time. Her poetry was filled with teenage angst, her stories were romantic and unlikely, and her plays fought social injustice and her friends encouraged her. But no one else did. Her family and her guidance counselors encouraged her to stay on the science path.
While it is too late to make a long story short, it can be slightly shorter by describing the next forty years as turbulent. During that time she has done data entry, been a threat control clerk (really good title, really boring job), worked on the front lines of welfare handing out money, written code as a software engineer, and owned an online bookstore. She attended four colleges, made a fortune, spent a fortune, got married, got divorced, got married again and adopted a baby from China (before it was a trend).
In 2014, she became disabled, homebound and mostly stuck in bed. What to do? What to do? Making lemons out of lemonade (hey, she likes lemons), she started writing again. And while she has yet to be published, she just loves expressing herself in words. Let’s leave her there — in bed, on her stomach, at her keyboard— writing.