Unable to use her hands to type, because of a birth defect, Marys proficiency at the use of a mouthstick empowers the writer to pour out her spirit on the computer keyboard. Mary is also an accomplished mouth-artist. her inspirational greeting card line, art prints, and books are available at local bookstores. Please tell us something about yourself.
I’m 53 years old, going on 21 <big smile>, and enjoy my work, my family, and my friends. God has blessed me a lot!
How did you react to the situation as a child when you realized your shortcomings?
It never hit me so much when I was a child – that I had a physical handicap- because my parents always surrounded me with things I could do, like pencils and crayons, chemistry sets and model clay.
Who helped you to overcome those feelings? How did your family support you through this?
When I became a teen I realized I would have to cope with discrimination in the area of dating. Then later employment. My family always encouraged me to keep my dimples polished. In other words, concentrate on my strengths.
You have completed several Bible courses. How were you able to attend university? Would you like to mention any person/persons who put themselves in the way to help you with this?
I attended all Bible Colleges through distance learning programs. But I attended and graduated from Salisbury State University with a BA in psychology.
There was no significant person in Bible Schools. I just wanted to do it.
When did you start writing and painting? What were the difficulties you faced with it? How did you overcome them?
I started doing both since I was born. I couldn’t use my hands, so I held the crayon between my teeth and got shavings between my teeth, but I loved every minute of it! In writing, I often created stories in my mind, trying to decide if I should make the character tall or short and had a ball with it.
When did you discover the internet? Did it bring about a change in your life? Please tell us about it.
I discovered the internet about 8 years ago. WOW! It sure did change my life! I could talk to people around the globe, join writer support groups, shop (big smile), conduct research, and I could go on and on.
How was the behavior of other people towards you?
Very favorable. Of course, I can be a chatty cathy, so I warm up quick to others.
Did your birth defect affect your position in Society?
It would have done so, if I had let it, but I’m very focused. I know where I want to go and what I want to do.
How did your family and other people in society react to your decision to write and paint despite your shortcomings?
I have a lot of education. At first, some people didn’t see why I would forego a job for writing, but writing is my calling, and so is art. Now, with some success in my past, everyone sees the light.
As a quadriplegic woman writer/artist, did you find the competition with other writers/artists tough?
No, not at all. You see, in the arts, I have experienced no discrimination.
Please tell us more about your work. Your books and art. What inspires you? Publishers and Printers – how did you manage everything?
I’ve authored 6 books. One of these (a how-to book for authors) is co-authored with my good friend, mentor, and publisher (co-owner of Ebooksonthe.net), Arline Chase. My first three books were published by White Oaks Creations Christian Publishing in Virginia. They no longer publish books.
Two of the three are e-published (electronic) at http://www.ebooksonthe.net. My last three are paper (print) published by Cambridge Books, part of Ebooksonthe.net. Christmas In The Country is a collection of stories from writers around the globe. I’m the editor and illustrator. It comes out this month. I have a good working relationship with the owners of Ebooksonthe.net, Arline Chase and Sandra List, and am really into marketing my books.
Your poems have a distinct touch of Motivation and Inspiration in them. Your life itself to others. What inspires you to write them?
God inspires me through the spirit speaking to me and through what a person may say or do.
Who are/were the people who were instrumental in your success?
My career mentor has been Arline Chase. She walks the walk.
Please tell us about your future plans?
Write! Write! Write! It all boils down to that. I definitely plan to integrate more of my art in my writing.
What are your goals in life?
To do everything I can to work with authors in the EPIC at http://www.epicauthors.org , continue my close association with the International Womens’ Writing Group at http://www.iwwg.com , keep writing books on whatever I become inspired to do, and enjoy the little things along the way — deer in the field, geese flying over, etc.
What would you advise others with physical defects and all women in general?
Never give up on your dreams!