Who’s Abner?

I am Mary Ellen Chiles. I recently completed a Master’s of Arts in creative nonfiction writing at Missouri State University.  My thesis is a collection of essays based on working at fly-in fishing lodges in Alaska, which I did for five summers after finishing undergrad.  After graduate school I worked at a lodge 35 miles north of the Arctic Circle and hosted guests traveling to Gates of the Arctic National Park and Kobuk Valley National Park. In winter 2019 I returned to work as a northern lights guide. If you like stunning aurora borealis and cute sled dogs, find them here.

I also run a photography business and sell images from my life in the north. I am presently in Springfield, MO, working on freelance projects in writing and photography. Connect with me!

The title 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’ve heard 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 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 beautiful, stark wilderness.

Thanks for stopping by! Say hey.