So last Wednesday was the last installment of the Accessible Excerpts series, bringing Merry, as a character, full circle. With this series, I wanted to show how I use disabilities in my stories to create unique yet believable characters. It’s my hope that in these protagonists you can see real life struggles and flaws, traits that help them step off the page and into your mind.
I realize that those of us with disabilities are a minority and the experiences of these characters are not necessarily universal, but I also hope that by spending so much time in their heads and finding things in their thoughts, feelings, and experiences to relate to – you can see that we’re not all that different.
It’s not my intent to ram a certain agenda down your collective throats, but I did have a purpose going into this project. I want to empower those of us who read tales about heroic feats and think, “I can’t do that”. I want to examine what it takes to be a hero – an important question whether you have a disability or not – and who it is that steps into that role. And finally I want to promote understanding. Everyone has their problems and it’s not any one person’s place to rank those, saying “Oh, my struggle is harder than your struggle”. This creates division, we become us and them, or you and me. I think this is a gap that needs to be bridged.
I hope you guys have enjoyed seeing this deeper look at Merry. I know I learned a lot more about my character than I realized when I first wrote her. And thanks for all your comments and feedback. They’ve been very encouraging. Maybe we’ll see Merry and some of her compatriots again further down the road.