Monday, January 12, 2015

How Open-Minded Are You?

How open-minded are you? 

You know, it's easy to look at someone, and yet, actually look straight through them. What do you see when you see a person in a wheelchair? Do you even see the person? Or just the chair?

How do you refer to a person in a wheelchair? Do you use terms such as Disabled, Handicapped, Physically Challenged, or Mobility Impaired? You know, a person can be in a wheelchair for any number of reasons.

I know someone in a wheelchair. He prefers not to be labeled as "Disabled", "Handicapped", or "Physically Challenged". To him, those words have a negative connotation. He tolerates the phrase Mobility Impaired.

I challenge you to open your eyes, and your mind. No. I'm not saying dash up to a person in a wheelchair and offer unwanted help. I'm just saying, "Open your eyes, and your mind. Be aware that a person is sitting there."

In my new release, the hero, Craig Johnston, is a paraplegic.

Give Away Alert!! Mickie will be giving away an e-copy of her new book, Christmas Crush to someone who comments. Be sure to include your email address in your comment to enter.


Although Ashley Wagner feels more like Scrooge than Santa, she keeps her promise and accompanies her sister back home for a Christmas wedding. Her three-day weekend is off to a rocky start, thanks to the unexpected run-in with her womanizing ex-husband, and his very pregnant new wife. She manages to get away with her dignity intact, but later, with old wounds ripped open, the professional crisis manager ends up in the middle of her own life-altering predicament.

Then, sports journalist Craig Johnston, wheels to her rescue.
Will Ashley spend Christmas brooding over bitter memories? Or will Craig, a dynamic paraplegic, present the deserving divorcée with a gift she can't resist?

Driven to perfect his sports news piece, Craig glanced from his laptop to the telephone when it rang. In a way, he was glad for the interruption. The knot in his neck said he’d been hard at work for hours. “Yeah?”
“There are two ladies here to see you.” The female voice on the phone advised.
Since the station operated on a skeleton crew because of the holiday, the call was from the security officer in the building’s lobby. Adjusting the rolled up sleeve of his white shirt, he asked, surprised, “Visitors to the station on Christmas Eve, Donna?”
“They say it’s about this morning.”
Those words commandeered his attention. “This morning?” He slapped down the cuff of both sleeves. “I’m on my way.” Quickly, he buttoned them, pushed back from the desk, then rushed from the office. His door shut with a bang. Craig took the hallway to the elevators, almost running down a co-worker when he turned the corner.
“Hey! Where’s the fire, Craig?”
“Sorry,” was all he had time to say as he continued on his way.
The elevator seemed to take a long time to arrive. Finally, the doors opened, and he dashed to board.
Memories flooded back to him on the ride down. Craig remembered how he recognized the woman was in trouble. Her luminous eyes held a faraway look. Nevertheless, in no way did that obscure their charismatic beauty. He reminisced about the cottony soft skin of the hand he held.
The elevator bell dinged.
Abruptly, he was a bundle of nerves. Big, strong, athletic sportsman, Craig Johnston experienced something he hadn’t in years—immediate infatuation—for a stranger, no less.
Chances of a slow reveal past as the security officer beckoned in his direction. The two pivoted together. Their resemblance was so remarkable. Although one appeared slightly older, he surmised a familial relationship. The younger one failed in her attempt to hide what he assumed was pity and alarm. His wheelchair probably caused her reaction. The woman he rescued never batted an eye of surprise. To his amazement, he watched her stroll over. A majestic smile curved her luscious-looking lips.
“I’m Ashley Wagner.” She extended her hands to him. “I believe you’re the one I should thank for being so kind to me this morning.”
Taking her outstretched hands, Craig looked at her. No longer in a rush, he took time to analyze Ashley. A feeling, akin to this morning’s enchantment, zapped him. “Are you all right?”
At that point, Ashley’s action mystified him. Craig watched her close her eyes. But, she never removed her hands from his fingers.
“Ask me that question again,” she urged.
Baffled, he obliged. “Are you all right?”
“That voice.” Her eyes reopened. They seemed to shower him with a joyful gaze. “I would recognize that chivalrous rumble anywhere.” Ashley squeezed his hands as if to impart power to her gratitude. “It is you.”

Purchase Christmas Crush at:

Author, Mickie Sherwood

I'm a cruise-loving, people-watching, picture-snapping baby boomer with time on my hands. So, I create sweet, and spicy relationship-based, mainstream contemporary, and romantic love stories.

Find me at:

Thanks to TRR for sharing my newest romance.


Sarah J. McNeal said...

Of course, because my day job was as a critical care nurse, I saw plenty of people in wheelchairs and handicapped patients. But something similar to your blog about not really "seeing" someone who has a physical problem happened to me in the '80s when HIV positive people were treated like outcasts. People were terrified of people with AIDS. I worked with a nurse who contracted AIDS. He was a smart nurse with so much compassion for his patients and co-workers. But when he showed up in the unit to in a wheelchair toward the end of his illness just to visit, everyone suddenly disappeared to avoid contact with him except another nurse and me. He cried when we hugged him and thanked us for not being afraid to touch him.
People probably don't intend to be cruel, but fear of the unknown and the influence of peers can cause them to act in unbecoming ways.
I commend you for including a handicapped character as a lead in your story, Mickie, and I wish you all the very best.

Mickie Sherwood said...

Hi Sarah,
You're right. Fear of the unknown can paralyze in many ways. Thank you for allowing me to share with your visitors.

Visitors, don't forget to comment. I'm sure you want to know how Craig responded to Ashley's amazed statement.

Talk to me.

Unknown said...

There's a real person inside everyone, no matter the external appearance. Sarah, I think you're exactly correct: People fear what they don't understand.

Thanks for spreading the word, Micki. Best of luck with your new release!

Mickie Sherwood said...

Hi Kathleen,

Thanks for coming by and sending good wishes my way.

Mickie Sherwood said...

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for showcasing Christmas Crush this past week.

Visitors, the giveaway has expired.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

You're very welcome, Mickie. It was a pleasure to have you here.