History is Present
When I was a child I loved to sit at the dining room table after meals and listen to the grownups tell stories. One of the stories that fascinated me was about my maternal grandmother, Marjorie “Peggy” Brady. She had mysteriously left a husband and daughter in the 1940’s, and later named my mother after her first child. No one knew what became of her daughter, but my mother knew she had a half-sister somewhere out there, with her same name.
When I began to write fiction, it was my grandmother’s story that surfaced in my imagination. I wondered what painful turn of events could have caused her to leave her first child. Through interviews with my mom, I learned more about her difficulties battling alcoholism, depression, and an abusive relationship. Her mother had also abandoned her mother when she was young. Imagining my grandmother’s life inspired compassion in me, and gratitude that the cycle of abandonment had ended with my mother. My grandmother’s story developed into my first novel, After Alice, and even though I never knew her in person, I maintain a close relationship with her through my writing.
Helping Others Write Their Stories
I began Anchor Your Legacy to help other people unlock the power of their own stories. Whether they are shared only with close family and friends, or published widely, every life story is remarkable and deserves to be told. Anywhere people build relationships and have experiences together, new stories are made. Every time I interview someone, I am honored to receive their stories and turn them into written records of the human experience. I thank my amazing clients for their trust and openness in sharing their life stories with me. I look forward to helping many others write their stories too.
Anna Brady Marcus
Born and raised in Northern Vermont, Anna Brady Marcus grew up listening to her father’s game warden stories and reading a constant supply of books provided her librarian mother. Her first channel to tell stories was through dance, and from the age of three she performed and trained intensively in ballet and modern.
After graduating from California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Dance, she moved to New York City in 2000, and worked over the next fifteen years with dozens of choreographers and contemporary dance companies as a performer and administrator. She was a pioneer in the genre of dance film, and produced shorts, a cable access television series (Move the Frame) in Manhattan and Brooklyn, edited a blog, and curated screenings and dance film festivals in NYC and abroad. All the while she actively kept a journal, wrote dozens of articles and grants, and used writing as a tool to underpin all of her creative pursuits.
In 2012, after starting a family and moving to the Hudson Valley, she began creative writing. Under the guidance of her teacher, the novelist Julie Chibbaro, she wrote the first draft of After Alice, a novel based on the story of her maternal grandmother and three generations of mothers and daughters contending with a cycle of abandonment.
The experience of writing her own family story led her to launch Anchor Your Legacy LLC in 2017 to help others tell and preserve their stories. Today she continues to write fiction and creative nonfiction, dance (and perform occasionally), read, hike in the Hudson Highlands, bike on rail trails, tell stories to her daughter, and collaborate on life with her musician husband.