Toni Bailie


B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1987


Contact via email

Biographical Note

Toni Bailie lives in the Oregon Outback. She is a member of three writers' groups: Writers of the Purple Sage in Lakeview; Easy Writers and Stone Soup Writers in her home town of Paisley. She loves the outdoors and spends her free time hiking and contemplating nature. She writes feature stories for the Surprise Valley edition of Ruralite. Her non-fiction and poetry has been published in two anthologies: Seasons and A Sense of Place.

Publication Type(s)

Non-Fiction, Poetry, Journalism

Latest Publication Title

"The Middle of Nowhere"

Publication Excerpt

When people hear that I live in a remote Oregon county with only 7500 people, they sometimes ask, "Why do you want to live in the middle of nowhere?" Out here in the middle of nowhere I can inhale greap gulps of clean air and revel in a deep quiet broken only by wind soughing through the pines, the piercing cry of a red-tailed hawk or the curious, fluting notes of sandhill cranes. There's not many others who want to be somewhere out in the middle of nowhere. So I can be nowhere the crowds are jostling, nowhere congestion throngs the streets or smutty pollution clogs the air. I like being nowhere--out in the middle of the vast open space is exactly where I rejoice in being. Out here in the middle of nowhere, a coyote might be prowling on her morning rounds, or a squirrel might be chattering in a pine tree. Nowhere is where an osprey circles a clear mountain lake, spots a fish with keen eyes, and swoops down for a catch to rival any fisherman with rod and reel. Nowhere is where the sky stretches away on every side. Cumulus clouds swirl into an azure sky. At night, stars cluster thickly in the deep, black darkness and the milky smudge of our home galaxy is smeared across the velvet reaches of space. A silvery moon rides the crest of the ridge, a celestial cowpoke herding the wayward planets. Yes, the middle of nowhere is the somewhere I want to live, and breathe, and let my spirit fly off free -- into the wild blue yonder, the ultimate middle of nowhere.