Who’s Abner?

Doubleday, of course!

I am Mary Ellen Chiles. I own Chiles Creative, LLC, and I work as a writer and photographer. These days I write feature articles on artists, entrepreneurs, and athletes. I also do family photos (you can book on my site!), as well as sports. You can keep track of my recent work here.

In the past, I worked in hospitality in Alaska, among other places. People often opened up to me in those days (and they still do!), and it’s cool that I can use that empathy when I write stories now.

I have a Master’s in creative nonfiction writing from Missouri State, which I completed in 2018. I wrote a collection of essays about Alaska for my thesis, which you can read here. Check it out if you’re into fishing, bears, northern lights, solo camping, or power dynamics when you’re the rare woman working in Alaska (in more ways than one, I say!)

In winter 2019 I returned to work at a lodge to work as a northern lights guide. If you want to see a curated collection of aurora photos, check this out

The title of my site is based on the classic baseball colloquialism “Ol’ Abner has done it again.” Broadcasters say it when a team is losing in the ninth but has its best hitters coming up and could rally to victory. I heard the late, great Cardinals announcer Mike Shannon say it many, many a time and he inspired this choice for the site title.

My eldest brother followed the Cardinals and I heard games from time to time. One day I fiddled around with a radio and found an afternoon game to hear by myself. I was 8. That was it.

At 16 I read a book about the Gashouse Gang and loved the colorful and engaging recaps from the era. I also began writing in a spare, lyrical style while living in Alaska as a way to discuss the beautiful, stark wilderness, and you may recognize that style here.

Thanks for stopping by! Say hey.