Meet Mary Beth
Mary Beth’s birthday is April 21, which is also the birthday of
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain whom she does not know personally. The queen
lives in a palace, wears a crown, and has lots of gold, which Mary Beth does
Mary Beth was born and grew up in Toledo, Ohio, home of the
Toledo Mud Hens, and the famous Tony Packo’s hotdog. She spent many Saturday
mornings during her childhood taking free art lessons at the Toledo Museum of
Art. Afterward, she wandered art-filled galleries with parquet floors—inlaid
wood in patterns—that creaked beneath her saddle shoes when she walked.
There were two boys and five girls in Mary Beth’s family—she was
the oldest. The other kids hated when she baby-sat, and never did what
she told them to. They usually do now.
Sister Mary Celestine didn’t smile and didn’t believe in giving
A’s, but she gave MB A’s in English. That meant MB could be a famous writer when
she grew up.
During high school, MB worked at her local library,
where she read books with that “new book” smell. She knew it wouldn’t be long
until she could smell a book of her own.
Thirty years, three other jobs, and a marriage later, it
happened—MB’s first published book. Now there are four—click on “Books.” She’s
published magazine stories, articles, essays, and poems, but also has a stack of
rejection letters. She writes every day.
In addition to writing, she attends seminars, meetings, and
conferences; works on her website; stays in touch with her mentor/friend/tutor;
applies for grants; critiques manuscripts for other writers. Click on
“Critiques.” She loves books (click on “Links” to MB-recommended books about
writing), movies, cats, Florida native plants, and crosswords. And books.
8. If you ask about MB’s artistic mission, she says it’s “To change the world, which is why I often write for children—they’re our future.” Her cats—who never listen to her—and her writers’ group—all excellent writers themselves—keep her humble.