Lavender Writer Profile: Linden M. Bayliss

Photo provided by Linden M. Bayliss
Photo provided by Linden M. Bayliss

Where did you grow up, and what was that like?

I grew up in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. I spent many a summer day riding my bike down the Luce Line trail and reading books at my grandparents’ house, comics like Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield, and all the old tear-jerking classics like Black Beauty and Charlotte’s Web. I dabble in fiction writing as well and I think I draw a lot of my inspiration from those old children’s classics full of animals and hard life lessons. I’m an only child so I had to really learn how to entertain myself back then, books were always a good way to fight off boredom. It could get lonely sometimes, but I was lucky I had all those old books and awesome neighbors my age to hang out with. I am still friends with all of my childhood neighbors to this day.

Describe your perfect day.

Wake up slow, have my coffee and breakfast and chat with my other half, listening to some good music. Spend the rest of the day outside, maybe a bike ride or some mushroom hunting. Have a really delicious dinner and enjoy it with some good wine or cider. I really just like being outside, eating good food, and being around good company.

How long have you been a writer, and how’d you get into it?

I’ve always been a writer since I was young and throughout my school career, but I started professionally as an editor, actually. I worked for a small publisher in Wisconsin for a while, editing and proofreading and then did some freelance work for family and family friends until a friend of mine got me connected with Lavender in 2022 and I went back to writing. I love writing a lot more than editing. I’ve been so grateful for the opportunity. 

What are you reading/watching/listening to these days?

I’m currently reading a harrowing memoir called Out of the Impossible: The Hope of the Lost Boy by Paul Kur. I met the author during Pride weekend, he was my Lyft driver here in the city. He told us he grew up as a child soldier in South Sudan and I couldn’t believe it, I was astounded that this happy, charismatic guy could have gone through all that. Then he told us about his book and I just had to read it. It is truly astounding, what a tale. You really never know what someone has been through until you get to know them. 

What inspires you?

Meeting interesting people, good conversation, also movies and music. I always feel really inspired after I see a good film. 

Favorite qualities in another person?

I like being around people who are open-minded, honest, easy-going, caring, fun-loving, and can find the funny things in life. People who share my dark sense of humor and love for satire and talking shit, but also people who have big hearts and can help me stay grounded. I need more calm in my life. I like the honest, quick-witted sweethearts I guess? 

Least favorite?

I don’t like people who think everyone is out to get them and can’t see anyone else’s point of view. There are too many people like that and I think the world would be a better place if people weren’t so self-centered and tried a little harder for some empathy. I truly believe at the end of the day we all want the same things in life: love, fairness, security, and to have fun, so why treat each other like the enemy? I also don’t like people who take themselves so seriously; we are all just out here trying for the same things, at the end of the day you aren’t better than anybody else, just different. 

Where’s your happy place?

Swimming in the ocean, jumping into the shallow waves (I’m not a good swimmer so shallow is important). I love swimming in the ocean so much. If I can’t get to one, being that I am landlocked most of the time, I honestly think my happy place is the grocery store. I can’t be upset surrounded by food, and I love picking out what I’m gonna eat for the week. Food gets me excited. 

What is your motto?

Spread your light and your love, you never know who needs it. 

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