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Challenging Questions - Answered by Tillsontitan aka Mary Craig

Updated on November 21, 2014


Warm sweaty palms, cold sweat on your forehead. You feel like a garden hose full of holes, sweat coming from places you never dreamed of. That's usually how you feel before an interview, especially a job interview.

No, this isn't a job interview, but a personal interview in response to a challenge by availiasvision. It would certainly be fun to see lots of responses to this challenge.

While I'm not actually sweating for this interview I am wondering just how well I can handle it. After all, it is an interview and how prepared can we actually be for an interview?

All photos are the sole possession of Tillsontitan unless otherwise specified.

An earlier me
An earlier me

Hub Pages

I decided one day to start writing, something I've always wanted to do but never actually did. I searched the Internet for places I could write that didn't require a college education or years of experience with bylines or books under my belt. Lo and behold I came across Hub Pages. I was leary at first and decided to use a pen name in case I made a fool of myself.

Since joining HP a little over three years ago I have learned so much. I've learned about my beloved craft, I learned about so many writers like myself and I've learned to love writing even more. I've also learned there are so many people out there just like me who are willing to help each other and share the journey.

Hubby and me
Hubby and me

About Me

I was a child just like any other. I was in the in-between crowd. Not the popular bunch but never really uncertain about myself. I'm married to the love of my life and have four wonderful children and seven beautiful grandchildren.

I've worked as a medical secretary, legal secretary, administrative assistant and finally a director of technology in a school district. Underneath it all was the desire to write. I did a lot of writing in those jobs including creating manuals and newsletters but it wasn't the same. I once took English 101 - Creative Writing at a local Community College.

There I was and here I am. Writing on my beloved Hub Pages. Will I ever write a book? Could be. In the meantime I'm loving life on HP.

One of my Halloween costumes
One of my Halloween costumes

Questions for this Challenge

In the Film version of your autobiography, who would you like to play yourself?

I have to admit, my first choice was Boris Karloff. I loved that man and I loved his movies! Seriously though while I would love to say Marilyn Monroe I think Meryl Streep would be more fitting. First off she was born in New Jersey and I was born in New York, that's pretty close. I think the determining factor is her versatility. From serious roles like "Sophie's Choice" to comedy like "She-Devil" she shows her abilities to adjust to any role. Something I would like to think I do in life, adjust to whatever comes my way.

She sang beautifully in Mama Mia, I love to sing. Not saying I'm a Meryl Streep, but there are some similarities there too. I think I like that fact that as an actress she has been called "a chameleon". She takes on any part and becomes that part. She may look stunningly beautiful in one part and crazy and bewildering in the next. Deep down she is an actress we love to watch.

I think she might be able to capture my crazy personality.

My new grey hair
My new grey hair

What quality or talent do you wish you could cultivate?

This is the part where I'm supposed to say something truly deep and meaningful I suppose but music is the first thing that comes to mind.

I'd have to say my singing. I've always loved to sing, started when I was very young and my Dad played the piano. As a child I sung solos in plays and in church. I still sing, just enough to drive my family crazy. I love all types of music and just get that warm feeling when I hear a song.

Who is your favorite fictional character ever?

That's a tough one. Like many writers I've always been an avid reader and I love the movies. Trying to nail down one character is tough. I guess if I was pinned against a wall, King Arthur would be my answer. A great warrior and a magical figure, Arthur was chivalrous and attempted to found a perfect kingdom.

His outlook on life was filled with the perfect future. Love and honor were his creeds (according to later works about him). Who wouldn't want to live in Camelot? Imagine the glory of Excalibur and the fear of his half-sister Morgan Le Fay?

I'm not sure if its Arthur himself or the whole Arthurian legend that I love.

Stephen King


If you could have the career of any author, who would it be?

That's an easy one for me, Stephen King! He is a master of all he writes. We are the same age you know so I would have a lot of catching up to do but this is just a question after all.

I devoured each King book as it came out. I have to admit Salem's Lot had me a little apprehensive about things going bump in the night and The Shining certainly didn't make you want to visit any red rooms. He has a magnificent mind and his writing is always so real. I mean, think about The Stand. With Ebola and everything else going on it almost seems as if we could wind up in a situation like that. Speaking of which, I understand its actually being made into four movies for the big screen!

King is a gentle man and shares his knowledge by teaching about writing. He thought Carrie was no good and actually threw it in the garbage. His wife fished it out and had him finish it. What writer can't relate to that?

He's even in a band with fellow writers. To me, he is the epitome of a famous author. I love his works, I admire the man, yes I would love to be him.

Have you ever responded to a hub challenge from another hubber?

See results

What inspires you?

That's another one of those questions that makes me sweat. The answer is different depending on the day or the time.

Sometimes I am inspired by writers like Stephen King, wanting to be like them, share their abilities and great writing. Other times I am inspired by a dream or a thought. I may be lying in bed and something pops into my head. I start thinking about it and before you know it I have to write a story.

This new trend (at least new to me) of Flash Fiction has inspired me. The thought of being able to write about what I'm thinking and not have to make it a book makes it easier to go with what you've got.

I guess inspiration is where you find it.

When did you first realize you were a writer?

I'm not sure about this one. I'm still realizing. I think the encouragement of folks like Bill Holland (billybuc), Paula (fpherj48), Maria Jordan (marcoujor) and so many wonderful friends here on Hub Pages are beginning to make me realize I am a writer! With the Grace of God and if my brain doesn't dry up I will continue to be a writer.

Copyright - Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thank you for taking the time to read this Shanmarie!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      4 years ago from Texas

      Nice getting to know you a little better! I love Meryl Streep. And music, too.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      But Paul you are a writer and a storyteller. You do so in each of your hubs without even realizing. Yes you share your life experiences but in a writer sort of way! Thanks for the votes and shares.

      Kathleen I think this would be a great challenge for you. Judging by the comment you left, you have a lot to tell and I know it would be a great read.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I've enjoyed your work and comments so much over the course of my three years here. But now I feel like I know the person behind the pen name. I also write under an AKA. I started doing this in order to write without censoring myself for my Mother's card group! Now I continue to do it as an homage to my paternal Grandmother for the effort she made to stay in my life from six states away after my parents divorced. It wasn't until I found myself separated by three states from my grandchildren by a divorce that I realized the effort it took for her to do that for me.

      I'm going to take a look at this challenge, primarily to learn more about the people behind the AKAs!

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      The answers to the questions in your interview are very interesting. It would be difficult for me to answer these questions because I really don't consider myself a writer or storyteller. I write because I want to share interesting information about myself and things I have done in my life. Unfortunately, I can't share a lot of my experiences in life. Voted up and sharing with HP followers.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks Lawdoctorlee, seems we may share a lot from what you've commented. It was hard starting out and who knew ;) I appreciate your reading, commenting and voting! God bless you in the New Year.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 

      4 years ago from New York, NY

      Tillsontitan, thanks for this great hub and for putting yourself out there for the rest of us to get to know. I am really loving what I read by the hubbers who decided to accept Jen's challenge. What a great idea she had!

      Like you, when I started on HP, I used the penname "Lawdoctorlee." I didn't have much confidence and wasn't sure that I wanted people to know who I was, just in case I was a flop. Turns out we were both wrong :) You most certainly have not made a fool of yourself.

      I voted this hub up and interesting. Looking forward to reading your other hubs. Keep on writing. We get better with practice.

      Hope that 2015 brings you many blessings.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      You should know Deb. You writing never ceases to amaze as it goes from birds to poetry with talent and grace.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You won't dry up. Something always pops into one's head! We just…go with the flow.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks for stopping by MelRootsNWrites. Hope to see more of you.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 

      4 years ago from California

      Nice to meet you! It was interesting reading your answers and getting to know you a bit. Thanks for sharing!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Mothersofnations I too have so many things started and so many thoughts written down, someday they may be dusted off and finished. Thank you for reading and the blessing. Hope we can share a future.

    • mothersofnations profile image

      Mothers of Nations 

      4 years ago

      Very interesting article! As I've said many times before, I enjoy learning about people. (BTW, I like your choice of Meryl Streep! :)

      This is what stood out to me most: "Other times I'm inspired by a dream or a thought... I guess inspiration is where you find it."

      I tend to do the same thing as well, very often. Imaginations are amazing! Most times, the writing simply goes into my private collection, not always completed, but who knows maybe one day they'll be shared :)

      God bless you, Tillsontitan. I look forward to reading more...

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Glad you stopped by and enjoyed Linda!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Way to go, Tills with accepting the challenge!! It was nice learning a bit more about you! :)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks Cam. No one wants to suffer but the things that have happened in King's life have made him who he is. I would think you've been through as much or more! It was my pleasure to introduce myself, thank you for reading and leaving such lovely compliments.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      4 years ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Mary, it's good to get to know you a little bit more. I almost used King as my author, but I really don't know if I would want to be in his shoes. He's had a tough life. But I admire him greatly. Thanks for letting us see a little more of Mary Craig, a good person and a good writer.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      The honor is mine Kim. Thank you for reading! Have a great weekend.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thank you so much Jo. Your comment brought tears to my eyes and hope to my heart. I'm hoping that novel comes out soon.

      The first picture my hair was blonde but now it's gray and I love it. I think Meryl Streep and I would hit it off!

      Happy, Healthy, and Blessed Thanksgiving.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      4 years ago

      Hello Mary,

      How beautifully written. I love the photo of you with your beautiful blond hair. It looks blond to me. Interesting you chose Meryl Streep as I am a big fan of her movies. Learned the depth of your heart which is truly a blessing. And I am so thankful to call you friend. All the very best for you. And I hope you will write the next best selling novel!

      You just need to believe you can and I am sure of it! You have many things to draw on for material which would bless so many.

      May your beautiful heart grace the eyes of God, so that he continues to Bless your life and all your aspirations! Shalom

      ( Up all the way and shared)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thank you Loreva both for enjoying my interview and for your writing encouragement.

      Elsie the reason I took this challenge was to meet more people like you. Take your time and let me know when you write yours, I'd love to read it.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      4 years ago from New Zealand

      Excellent interview of yourself. This is the first time I have met you, after reading this article I feel I know you as an old friend. Keep laughing you are a good writer.

      I'm going to write one for this challenge, just can not get started, just as well there is no time limit.

      Happy days writing.

    • Loreva13 profile image

      Lorenzo M Vasquez III 

      4 years ago from El Paso, TX

      Great interview and very well done! An absolute pleasure to get to know you on a different front. Keep writing and never stop!


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Glad you enjoyed Eddy. I can't wait to read yours. This was a great idea not just for the writing experience but to get to know each other a bit more!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      4 years ago from Wales

      Great work here ; so interesting and bravely covered. I am drafting mine at the moment and after reading this I am glad I decided to do so. Inspiring and interesting my friend.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      You are most welcome Gypsy. Always nice to get to know each other and what we like. Thanks for passing it on.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      4 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Thank you for a fascinating read and a look into your world. Stephen King is also a great favorite of mine. Passing this on.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Yes, having an avatar is certainly a way to "hide" our identity Availiasvision. Glad you found my interview interesting and that you share my love of The Stand. You just gotta love Stephen King!

      Ghaelach your sense of humor is ever present. I would say most of us wouldn't think of interviewing ourselves but it certainly was interesting to do. The hardest part is sticking to the questions. Hope you enjoyed your tea and I'm looking forward to your interview. Thanks for voting and sharing. Have a great week over there ;)

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Morning Mary.

      It seems I'm a little late with my comments, or at least I think so.

      Interviewing myself never entered my head. Not until I read this wonderful hub. You've given your friends here on HP a chance to get to know the real "Tillsontitan" also known to many as Mary Graig.

      After reading your life story, it got me thinking about my life. From my earliest memories of a 6/7 year old whipper-snapper to what I am today and everything in between. In all those 66 years I've done a lot, I've seen a lot, and I've wished a hell of a lot more.

      I've had a look at Jenn's challenge and read her hub. I've written my comments to this wonderful hub and now guess what I'm off to do? No you are wrong, first as every good Brit would do, I'm off to make a nice cup of tea, then open up O/O (open office) and attempt to put my 66 years down on paper, so to say.

      Voted across the board and sharing with my cyber space friends.

      Take care and have a nice Sunday.


    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Lovely, just lovely! Meryl Streep is an excellent choice, I could totally see it. Until now, I'd only seen you in costume. It's funny, but I actually pictured you differently. I love that these interviews reveal the person behind the avatar.

      Interesting idea about The Stand. That was one of my favorite books. So well written, suspenseful and great characters.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks for sharing Always! Seems we have much to share. I think the book "Misery" was a bit harder than the movie! So glad you enjoyed and hope we share for many years to come.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I loved reading this. You are my kind of writer, no holds barred, tell it like it is! You like many of the same things I like. Music..What would we do without music? and movies, I get lost in a good mystery, what comes to mind, ' Misery ' I have the movie and I think I watch it once a year. My grandson Jackie Jr. asked me, grandma what you want for Christmas? Of course I said, " Misery ' Thank's for a look-see into what makes Mary happy..

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      I certainly try Frank. Blessings returned to you dear friend.

      Faith you make it hard for this person to be humble ;) It is difficult to write about oneself though. I wasn't sure what way to go so I just stayed middle of the road. Thank you so much for the votes and shares! God bless you as well dear friend.

      Thank you DD. I hope you take up the challenge. As friends on HP it is nice to learn more about each other.

      Thank you Suzette. I'm glad you enjoyed and gladder yet you found me interesting ;) It would seem we inspire each other here.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great interview, Mary. I so enjoyed reading this because you are so interesting. Thanks for sharing this with us and it is so inspiring to me.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting and kind of gets me thinking about myself too. I am glad you wrote this hub to enlighten us more about a wonderful you.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      What a fabulous interview and I am not surprised as the one who is being interviewed is one fabulous woman and writer extraordinaire! I loved learning more about you, dear Mary. I am so glad you participated in this interesting challenge, as it surely is a challenge to write about oneself, except when you are already such an interesting, fun and lovely person in this world and all are blessed beyond measure to know you via HubPages.

      Thank you for sharing more of yourself here.

      Up +++++ tweeting, pinning and sharing

      God bless you.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

      Tillson... well now this time I am more sincere when I say it's a pleasure meeting you...:) you really do hit challaneges head on..bless you :)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      I wish I had Linda Carter's blue eyes at least! Thanks Peg. Look who's talking about are one lady who's loaded with it for sure.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      4 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      You are one cool lady. It takes a lot of writing power to write about ourselves and what motivates us. You did a fine job of it. Meryl Streep? I'm thinking more like Wonder Woman.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Oh man. I wrote all these lovely answers to my comments and my Cable/DSL Router pooped out on me. I'll start over and hope I get them right.

      Mike I'm so tempted to call you Chocolate Man after reading your series. I appreciate your comment.

      I know Ann. I had to pare down what I wrote. You make a good point though, we don't realize our life can be interesting to others.

      Thank you Bill for being you, for writing the wonderful hubs you do, and for always being my support. Can't wait to read your response to this challenge.

      Okay Paula, step away from the window. I think the whiteout has effected your thinking. Really GF, perfect woman? I have a family here that might wish to argue with you. Love ya girl.

      mdscoggins, I remember what it was like to be working and trying to find time for things I enjoyed. Thanks for taking your valuable time to read here.

      How good you are Sha. You are one of those wonderful friends on HP! Hope I can keep being unpredictable.

      Martie, my African Queen. How wonderful we can inspire each other!

      Ms Lizzy, wow, you certainly nailed it with your "still finding out who I am". I must admit I thought it was only me. Horror is certainly not everyone's cup of tea but I've loved it forever. Thanks so much for the votes.

      Manatita, another one of my very special friends. Certainly, two young ones to blow kisses to on your behalf and I promise to deliver. I will certainly take their advice and practice, practice, practice. Maybe one day we will both be famous! Om Shanti!

    • manatita44 profile image


      4 years ago from london

      Well, my Sweet, to me you are an excellent writer. If you take Stephen Kings and Bradbury's advice to practice and work at it, you will be further ahead than most in no time, and the talent is already there.

      Nice to read your thoughts on life and things and to see your pics in a different way. Any young ones to blow kisses to on my behalf? A great evening to you. Om Shanti!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Great answers! I love that you have the same general sense of "still finding out who I am" that I experience. Is that true for all of humanity, I wonder, or is it only writers who constantly question themselves?

      I see we both picked up on some aspect of the Arthurian legend. That one was about "everything," so I think it strikes a chord with many people.

      Me, I'm not so crazy about horror; Stephen King is not my kind of reading. But it is interesting that I read an interview about him once, in which he was asked, "What scares you?" and his answer was "Everything." Interesting that he writes in the genre he does, then.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      4 years ago from South Africa

      Mary, I can so relate with everything you've written in this hub, and I love your new blonde hair.

      Voted up and most inspiring :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Mary, I loved this interview with yourself. I certainly hope your brain never dries up. I always look forward to what you pen. You're not predictable, which is one reason I follow you. I never to what to expect and am always delighted.

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 

      4 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thanks Mary for a glimpse inside your life. Challenges sure are fun and I hope to get in on this one. Being a part-time writer I must find time to do so. However, I love Hubpages..Have a great weekend.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Till....YOU are a writer, alright girlfriend. This is as blatantly obvious as the 8 feet of snow I'm buried in at the moment. You are prolific, talented, gifted and your writing never ceases to amaze me. ( and everyone who reads your work!)

      This, in itself is quite impressive and admirable, but you just have to go beyond the title of fabulous writer, now don't you?

      You've a green thumb that is enviable and you handle a camera like a pro. Naturally you have to have a beautiful singing voice and lovable personality.......not to mention your creativity in anything you touch.

      If I didn't love you so much, I would.........I would.....well, OK, I don't know what I'd do, but I'd think of something.

      So anyway perfect woman, I just want you to know that I CAN RAISE ONE EYEBROW AT A TIME!!! Beat that! HA!....UP++++pinned & tweeted

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That was a first-rate interview, and the interviewer and the interviewee did quite well. :)

      You are a doll for mentioning me. I was "talking" to Ann about this earlier today....we are all mentors for each other..all peers...all equals...and I love HP because of people like you.

      Thank you for a glimpse into Mary. Mine is coming next week. :)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      Yes, it is a hard one to do. I think everyone's life is interesting to others even if we don't think our own life is worth mentioning!

      I'm writing a draft at the moment but I keep rambling! I'll sort it out soon, hopefully.

      My best to you!


    • mckbirdbks profile image


      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Mary - You certainly are a writer. No doubt about it. Interesting answers to tough questions.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thank you Ann. I was not sure about this one, hard to be personal without too much information ;) I've thought my life was pretty interesting but wasn't sure how others would think. Glad you enjoyed and certainly appreciate your votes. Oh, glad you like the grey!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      Great response to the challenge, Mary! You write as though you were talking to us face to face and that's a talent.

      You've done some interesting things and I can identify with much of what you say. Love the 'new grey hair'; suits you!

      Thanks for the great read. Up++



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