The Writer

I am a storyteller. I come by it honestly – a kind of linguistically imposed avocation. And that’s a story, too!

The majority of my professional life has been spent in the world of mathematics and in the company of adolescents. I was on the faculty of Brophy College Prep and Xavier College Prep sharing my appreciation for the beauty and logic of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry with young minds eager for the experience. The left side of my brain worked very hard.

Maryann McCullough

Maryann McCullough

But the neglected right side was secretly jealous, and when I left the world of academia, it staked its claim on whatever years remained of a functioning mind. I was now to do something more creative with my life.

So I sketched and I painted and, after a time, I began to sit at the computer and write. My parents, my grandparents, most of my aunts and uncles were deceased. Grandchildren had yet to make an appearance on this earth. My primary purpose in writing was to introduce past generations to future ones. Slowly, cautiously, stories in my head began to make it to paper. Then they began – like popcorn in a skillet – to burst forth unbidden, one story prompting another to be told.

It’s been almost three years that I have lived the life of a writer, preserving my stories for that generation still to be born. But in the meantime,  in friends and in fellow writers, in magazines and anthologies, in coffee shops and theaters, I have found the readers and listeners who enjoy the places my words take them.

It took me many years to discover that I was meant to be a writer, a teller of stories. I should have paid more attention to my name. I was christened with a poem of a name – Maryann Shanahan but only recently did I learn the privilege and responsibility that goes with the name“Shanahan.”  If you’re Irish, if you held tight to your Gaelic, you’d know me as Maryann the Storyteller..

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