When I tell people I’m a writer they want to know what kind of stuff I write. “Everything,” I say.
“Everything,” I repeat, “From press releases and radio ads to novels, magazine articles, newspaper columns, and short stories.”
“Anything published? Anything I might have read? Are you famous?”
Once or twice I’ve crossed paths with someone who consulted my books on Antique American Lighting, published by Schiffer, and they’ve treated me like a celebrity. But more rewarding, are the few times someone has read one of my short stories in a small literary journal, and told me they still think about it. It’s the ability to convey life’s challenges and possible resolutions, that draws me to pen and paper.
A writer writes out of compulsion, to communicate ideas as well as information. My desire to convey the way a visual artist works led to me write my two children’s books about the cat Molly Midnight, illustrated with paintings by my father Herman Maril. My favorite genre to write is fiction, but I enjoy writing in all its forms. The story could be an newspaper article. It could be website content that provides consumers with a better sense of a product or service. It could be a novel about the son of an immigrant striving to become the champion quarterback of his high school football team.
So what are my credentials? As of January 2020, I hold a MFA in fiction from Stonecoast (University of Southern Maine). Projects underway include the revision of a novel about a Jewish and American Portuguese family coping with a sudden illness and family secrets, a story I started when entering the MFA program, as well as a series of essays on the 1923 home my husband and I have been restoring for the past 2 ½ years. I began this blog, originally titled “Write On Annapolis” back in 2007 when I was the Editor-in-Chief of a regional publication What’s Up Magazine. The emphasis was on community events that sometimes included book and theater reviews when there was no space for them in print. Prior to working for What’s Up?, I was the Lighting Editor for Victorian Homes Magazine, wrote a weekly column on Antiques for the Annapolis Capital Newspaper, and freelanced to various publications that included Romantic Homes, Old House Journal, The Cape Cod Times, and the Washington Post. In 2011, a horseback riding accident Labor day weekend set me back with two fractured vertebrae compelling me to reflect on what was most important in my life–the art of writing. I kept the blog going because writing distracted me from my constant pain, but I resolved to myself that when I recovered I would return to what I’d loved since childhood, writing fiction. In 2012, I took another job as a magazine editor, for a new magazine, Chesapeake Taste, which unfortunately only stayed in print for one year but was wonderful while it lasted. It gave me the opportunity to work with some of my favorite writers as well as include a page or two in the back for guest artists’ poems and essays.
Currently I still do a little bit of marketing work, but focus as much time as I can on my creative endeavors. At age thirty five, I was a widow with two small children. Not willing to give up on love, I met a wonderful man, remarried and we had another child. I believe in marriage and I believe that if you work hard enough at what you are trying to achieve, ultimately you’ll get it right. Now my three children have grown up and lead successful lives of their own. My best thinking is often done when I’m inventing new cooking recipes and going for long walks. I love dogs and own a large fluffy labradoodle named Chloe who is very photogenic. I used to be more of a cat person, but people evolve and change. To share my journey as a writer, I continue blogging. I appreciate your comments. Feedback is always welcome.
Always a writer, Maril was also owner of an antiques business “Rare and Beautiful Things” that specialized in 19th and early 20th century antiques. Her love of old glass and lamps, inspired Nadja to research the history of American lighting and to collect old catalogues and books on the subject. An antiques dealer, with an extensive collection of lighting, she was asked to pen a reference book on the subject in the mid 1980’s. After several years of research, her first book , published by Schiffer publishers, “American Lighting 1840-1940″ was released in 1989 and several years later another book ‘Antique Lamp Buyer’s Guide,” followed, also published by Schiffer. American Lighting is in its second printing and Antique Lamp Buyer’s Guide is in its third printing. Nadja has lectured on antiques and antique lighting and done appraisals. She continues to write personal essays, non-fiction, and fiction. The daughter of the late Herman Maril– a nationally renowned painter, she collaborated with her father on her two Molly Midnight children’s books, “Me. Molly Midnight; The Artist’s Cat” and “Runaway Molly Midnight; The Artist’s Cat.” Ms. Maril’s books can be purchased at local bookstores as well as online.