Interview with Luke (Guest Blog Post #10)

Hi Everyone, this month I got the pleasure  of interviewing my friend Luke. Luke has his own blog. He is an amazing blogger.  Please be sure to check out his blog and other social media links. Many thanks to Luke for featuring me on his website.

  1. What is your name?

Luke

  1. Age?

I’m 28, although I feel much older.

  1. Who has inspired you the most in life and blogging?

I would probably have to say my Mum. She always supports me whatever I do, but my biggest blogging inspirations would have to be Mikhela and Caroline Hirons.

  1. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I really like to read, mainly Autobiographies, and also love to watch as much TV as I can.

  1. Name a bad habit that you have?

I occasionally pick my Nails, but I can often go months without doing it.

  1. Name your best quality?

I would probably have to say my willingness to help anyone.

  1. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

I would have to say either Joan Rivers or Sarah Millican, as I think that they would have some great stories about their lives and the people that they’ve worked with to tell.

  1. What is your college major/Minor?

I don’t have one.

  1. What school (college or university) did you go to?

Queensbury School in Bradford. It was a decent School at the time but it’s gone very downhill since I left and at one point ended up in special measures, which is kind of OFSTED’s, the governing body of Schools, naughty step.

  1. What is the title of your blog?

Luke Sam Sowden.

  1. When and why did you start your blog?

I started on the 1st of October 2014, and I started because it took quite a lot of work. to film, edit and promote the YouTube videos that I was uploading at the time.

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully still writing my Blog but to a bigger audience, and maybe even the owner of some kind of small business.

  1. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

I have Retinitis Pigmentosa, which is a hereditary Eye condition, which unfortunately means that I have Tunnel Vision, which is more like looking through a Funnel rather than a Tunnel, Night Vision, which means that I can’t see at Night and floaters, which are like little pieces of White Fluff that float around my Eyes every so often.

  1. How does your visual impairment or other disability that you may have effect you on a daily basis?

My visual impairment makes it difficult to read text like my mail and misjudge where things are.

  1. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

Most of the people including my Family and Friends, are perfectly fine with my condition as they know that I can’t change anything about it, but there are some people that aren’t and somehow take the fact that I can’t see properly as an insult towards them but I don’t give them a second thought.

  1. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be?

Just that the best thing is to get on with your life and don’t take any notice of what other people might think.

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

My Blog |http://www.lukesamsowden.com

YouTube |http://www.youtube.com/user/lukesamsowden

Facebook |https://www.facebook.com/lukesamuelsowden

Twitter | https://www.twitter.com/lukesamsowden

Instagram |https://www.instagram.com/lukesamsowden

If you are a disability writer, blogger, or YouTuber and would like to be a guest on my blog feel free to contact me by email at: amanda@amandagene.com

Interview with Beckie (Guest Blog Post #9)

Hi Everyone, this month I got the pleasure of interviewing Rebecca (Beckie)  L. (Torres) Holland. She has her own blog and her own book. She also writes for the magazine Captivating. Please be sure to check out her book, website, articles in Captivating, and her  social media links. Many thanks to Beckie for featuring me on her website as a guest blogger.

  1. What is your name?

My name is Rebecca L. (Torres) Holland. I am a writer, disability advocate, and pastor. A small book of my poems,  Through My Good Eye: A Memoir in Verse, was published in December of 2018.  All the profits made from the sales of that book are being donated to the church where I serve. I am also a staff writer at CAPTIVATING! Magazine.

  1. Age?

I turned 30 in July of 2018; however, many people tell me that I look younger.

  1. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?

There are many people who inspire me. The person who has inspired me most in my life is John Wesley. He and his brother are the founders of the United Methodist Church. The ministry of the Wesley brothers inspires me to live a life rooted in love and service.

Stephanae McCoy from Bold Blind Beauty is the blogger who inspires me the most. She is also the editor and co-founder of CAPTIVATING! Magazine.  I admire the work she does to raise awareness about sight loss, educate people about disabilities, and empower members of the disability community.

  1. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a voracious reader. I love to read and last year I read over 120 books. I also enjoy running, yoga, and making music. I play the flute and sing in a choir. This year, I am training for my first marathon.

  1. Name a bad habit that you have?

I have a tendency to worry and to over think things. Sometimes, I worry so much that I can actually make myself ill. When I control my tendency to worry, it can become a strength. This habit makes me conscientious and attentive to detail. It also inspires me to plan to and to consider decisions from many different angles.

  1. Name your best quality?

I am kind and empathetic. I always try to see human beings as multifaceted individuals. I try to view the world from the perspective of other people. My natural empathy is a valuable attribute in both my ministry and my writing.

  1. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

I would interview my favorite poet, Mr. Alexander Pope (1688-1744). His poetry defined the neoclassical age and it is the most beautiful thing that I have ever read. His work inspires me. He led a fascinating life. He  knew many interesting people and had a variety of interests. I would love to ask him about his thoughts on writing, the publishing industry, art, geology, philosophy, theology,  and horticulture.

  1. What is your college major/Minor?

I have a Bachelor in the Science of English Education and a Master of Divinity. I am a certified and licensed English teacher for grades 7-12; however, I have put my license into inactive status because I am not currently teaching.

  1. What school (college or university) did you go to?

I attended Millersville University of Pennsylvania for my undergraduate degree and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. for my master’s degree.

  1. What is the title of your blog?

My blog is entitled Rev. Rebecca Writes: Read, Write, Pray

  1. When and why did you start your blog?

I started my blog in October of 2018 as a way to share my writing, talk about books, and raise awareness about issues related to disabilities. Along the way, I’ve met some wonderful people from all over the world. I have also learned a great deal about writing.

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’m very happy where I am right now in life. I have a loving husband, a lovely place to live, and I’m working at my dream job. In five years, I hope that I will have written two more books. I also dream of one day being published by a traditional publishing house.

  1. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

I was born with cataracts on both eyes (bilateral congenital cataracts). I needed nine surgeries before I was a year old in order to remove the cataracts and the secondary membranes that grew back over my eyes. When I was four, I developed glaucoma as a complication of surgery. I have had thirteen surgeries on my eyes.

  1. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis?

I think about my visual impairment every single day. It inspires me to work harder in order to achieve my goals. I know that as a female of minority descent with a disability in a profession dominated by men, I need to work ten times as hard to be taken half as seriously as many of my colleagues.

  1. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

My family was very supportive of me when I was growing up. My mother worked hard to instill in me the belief that I can do anything that anyone else can do- I just might have to do it a little differently.

  1. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be?

Work hard and always put your best foot forward. I truly believe that success is composed of a little bit of luck, a lot of perseverance, and a ton of hard work.

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

Blog: http://www.BeckieWrites.com

Amazon Author PageRev. Rebecca L. Holland

Goodreads: Rebecca L. Holland (BeckieWrites)

Twitter@BeckieWrites

Instagram@BeckieWrites

Facebook: Rebecca Torres-Holland

Linked In: Rebecca (Torres) Holland 

If you are a disability writer or blogger and you would like to be featured on my website please feel free to reach out to me via email at: amanda@amandagene.com

 

 

 

Interview with Stephanae McCoy(Guest Blog Post #8)

Hi Everyone, this month I got the pleasure of interviewing Stephanae McCoy. She has her own faux fashion magazine cover, called Blind Beauty. This is a high level snapshot and it’s aim is to highlight the beauty of women who are blind and visually impaired. The goal of this faux fashion magazine cover is help break down barriers and to educate others about the misconceptions about blindness. In addition to this, she has her magazine called Captivating.  She is also on social media. Please be sure to check out her links. Many thanks to Stephanae for featuring me on her faux fashion magazine cover.

  1. What is your name? Stephanae McCoy
  2. Age? 58
  3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging? My grandmother, it was because of her and the way she lived her life, that I learned and deeply appreciate the true meaning of beauty.
  4. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? Reading, playing with my grandson, catching up on several Netflix TV series
  5. Name a bad habit that you have? Binge-watching Netflix and an addiction to popcorn.
  6. Name your best quality? My work ethic.
  7. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why? I’d love to interview Sandra Bullock for no particular reason other than she seems like a down to earth person who’s relatable.
  8. What is your college major/Minor? N/A
  9. What school (college or university) did you go to? I studied Business Administration at Wheeler School for Business and Duff’s Institute.
  10. What is the title of your blog? Bold Blind Beauty
  11. When and why did you start your blog? I began blogging at the end of 2014. I created Bold Blind Beauty with the idea of changing people’s perceptions about people who live with disabilities, specifically blindness/sight loss. My belief was and still is, if I could find a way to connect sighted and non-sighted people this would help break down some of the societal barriers by revealing our commonalities.
  12. Where do you see yourself in five years? I no longer think in terms of where I’ll be at any given stage because for me it’s more important to remain mindful of where I am. I’m pretty content and have been for the last 10 plus years. I’ll continue doing my advocacy work but beyond that I have no idea where I’ll be in five years.
  13. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? Macular holes that came about from high myopia was the initial cause of my sight loss. I also developed glaucoma, cataracts, torn retinas, and uveitis. Only the cataracts were a direct result of my macular holes as I had to have several vitrecomtomies in an attempt to repair the holes and restore my sight. Unfortunately, in spite of my retina specialist’s best efforts, I was declared legally blind back in 2009.
  14. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis? For the most part I have adapted well to my sight loss as I use a white cane to navigate the world around me and thanks to the advances in technology I’m able to work on my computer, use an Android phone and read audio books. I still have days where I run into a snag or two but for the most part since my sight loss has become my normal it’s no longer a major issue for me. My biggest concern around my blindness are the misconceptions I encounter on a daily basis.
  15. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? What other people feel about my blindness isn’t a real concern of mine other than to help those who are willing to listen understand that sight loss does not equal less abled. There are always going to be people who are skeptical about people who are on the spectrum of blindness, and they won’t be convinced otherwise. Honestly, I don’t have the time nor desire to try to alter the mindsets of people who are unable to express empathy for others.
  16. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be? My advice to anyone with a visual impairment or other disability would be to not give up, keep on living life and not let anyone else define them or their idea of success. Knowing yourself and remaining true to who you are is important and this can be done by periodic self-assessments.

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

Bold Blind Beauty: www.boldblindbeauty.com

LinkedIn: @StephanaeMcCoy

Facebook: @BoldBlindBeauty

Instagram: @BoldBlindBeauty

Twitter: @BoldBlindBeauty

If you would like to be a guest on my blog please feel free to email me at: amanda@amandagene.com

Interview with Nicola (Guest Blog Post #7)

Hi Everyone, this month I got the pleasure of interviewing Nicola. She has a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and blog. Many thanks to Nicola for allowing me to interview her and for allowing her to interview me in return. Do not forget to check out her social media accounts and her blog.

What is your name?  Nicola

Age? 40, although deep down I think I’m an old lady.

Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?

My mum has been a big inspiration to me.  She was a single parent and taught me how to be me.  As for blogging Sass Wyatt of Thinking Out Loud and Alice of Notebooks and glasses are my biggest blogging inspiration.

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

When I have some spare time on my hands, I enjoy watching movies and tv shows. I’m a huge sci fi fan and enjoy shows such as Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who and many more.

Name a bad habit that you have?

A bad habit of mine is that I am an over-thinker and worrier.

Name your best quality?

I’m terrible at listing my qualities.  If you were to ask my husband he would say that it is my kindness.

If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

This is a toughy.  Michelle Obama, she’s a kick ass woman.

What is your college major/Minor?

My degree was in Communication studies.  Looking back I should have chosen a more specific topic to focus on.  Communication studies covered a lot of different areas.  I wish I could of went for journalism or PR instead.

What school (college or university) did you go to?

Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. At the time it was a college/university as it didn’t have the right number of students to be just a university.  Now I believe it is a full fledge uni with a bigger campus.

What is the title of your blog?

Nicola J Ogston – Parenting in Pain.

When and why did you start your blog?

I originally started blogging in an attempt to stave off boredom.  I wasn’t able to work anymore, which meant I was stuck at home alone and lonely.   I wanted to share my experiences with the world, then I became a mother and wanted to share what it is like parenting in pain.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Ideally, I would still like to be writing and sharing my journey as a chronically ill parent.  A big dream of mine is to write a book, probably fiction but a book for other chronic ill parents would be something I might do.

What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

The main cause of my visual impairment is something similar to Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR).  Although no one else in my family has the condition.  Therefore my ophthalmologist hasn’t been able to give me an exact diagnosis.  My condition has some of the traits of FEVR, however I was born with it and from what I know it is a progressive condition.

As well as my visual impairment I suffer from chronic costochondritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, hypermobiity as well as depression and anxiety.

How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis?

My visual impairment makes it difficult to read signs, directions of food packaging, small print and sometimes my mail.  As for my chronic pain conditions, they make day to day life very difficult.  Getting out of bed, off chairs, walking and carrying things can be extremely painful.

  1. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

I think that my close family and friends feel that it is part of me and understand the struggles and challenges that it may bring.  There are however some people who don’t understand my conditions and act like if they can’t see it, it’s not necessarily real.

  1. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be?

The advice that I would give, would be to don’t be afraid to ask for help and support.  Take the time to explain to loved ones what your condition is and explain that although you might not be able to do the activities you did before or spend as much time with them as before, you are still the same person.

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/nicolajogston

FB https://www.facebook.com/nicolajogstonblog/

Instagram http://www.Instagram.com/nicolajogston

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/nicolajogston

 

An Interview with Jaidie (Guest Blog post #6)

Hi Everyone, this month I got the pleasure of interviewing Jade. She has a Twitter, Facebook, and blog. Many thanks to Jade for allowing me to interview her and for allowing her to interview me in return. Do not forget to check out her social media and her blog. 🙂

  1. What is your name? My name is Jade, though I prefer Jaidie as I believe it best suits me. I’m called other things apart from jade far too often
  2. Age? I’m 24 years old.
  3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging? There are many people who have inspired me in life and blogging. I met a man named Dale who has been an inspiration to me for many years. My grandmother is also an inspiration to me and someone that I have looked up to for most of my life. In terms of blogging, I look up to many of my fellow blind or vision impaired bloggers out there.
  4. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? I love reading. Reading is something that I have loved for many years. I have memories as a little girl of being told to put down the braille book long after lights out and my brothers have gone to sleep. I also have a passion for slow cooking. In fact, I’m planning a curried sausage dish as I write this post.
  5. Name a bad habit that you have? I stress. Far too often and I also don’t believe in myself as often as I should.
  6. Name your best quality? This is something I struggle with. Physically, I think it’s my hair. In other aspects though, definitely my writing.
  7. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why? This is a tough one. I’d love to interview some of the authors of my favorite books.
  8. What is your college major/Minor? I haven’t actually completed my course due to taking a mental health break, though I will eventually complete my grade 12 certificate before I find something else to study.
  9. What school (college or university) did you go to? I am completing my course through Tafe Queensland.
  10. What is the title of your blog? The title of my blog is Jaidie’s Words.
  11. When and why did you start your blog? I started my blog in 2017 as a hobby. I would love to turn it into a means of earning a little bit of money though to fuel other project ideas.
  12. Where do you see yourself in five years? I struggle with this one. I hope to be living happily with my partner, continuing to blog and surrounded by animals.
  13. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? My condition is called optic nerve hypoplasia. It’s basically an under-developed optic nerve.
  14. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis? I don’t let it. If there is something that I want to do I find a way to do it.
  15. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? I’m often asked how I do what I do. People don’t believe that blind people can do all they do, and I make it my challenge to change those thoughts.
  16. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be? Live life to the fullest. Don’t let others put up barriers in front of you. Make life what you want it to be, even if it means adapting what you want to do so that you can enjoy it.

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

I can be found on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/writingjaidie

My Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/jaidiesblog

And of course, my blog link is: www.thejaidie.me

 

An Interview with Anna Adams (Guest Blog Post #5)

Hi Everyone, I got the pleasure of interviewing my friend Anna. She is the fantastic blogger who runs Walk-N-Rolling With Spina Bifida.  Many thanks to Anna for allowing me to be featured on her website and for allowing me to interview her. Don’t forget to check out her website 🙂

  1. What is your name? Anna Adams
  2. Age? 34
  3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging? Laura Tellado
  4. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?help the community and fishing
  5. Name a bad habit that you have? Talk too much lol
  6. Name your best quality? I never judge and I am Always there for others
  7. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why? Jean Driscoll
  8. What is your college major/Minor? It was graphic design
  9. What school (college or university) did you go to? Seminole State College
  10. What is the title of your blog? Walk N Rolling With Spina Bifida
  11. When and why did you start your blog? 2 years ago , I started my website to give everyone with a disability an opportunity to be heard
  12. Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully having my own 501c non-profit organization
  13. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?Spina Bifida
  14. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis? I can’t walk . I use a wheelchair. I am also incontinent . I also have memory issues due to Hydrocephalus.
  15. What do other people feel about your visual impairment(of other disability that you may have)? I don’t have a clue
  16. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be? To always be positive . Never give up .

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

https://www.facebook.com/WalkNRollingWithSpinaBifida/

https://m.facebook.com/groups/632321793544956

If you would like to do an interview swap or  if you would like to be featured on my blog please feel free to email me at: amanda@amandagene.com

 

An Interview with Jordan Mahony (Guest Blog Post #4)

Hi Everyone, I got the pleasure of interviewing my friend, Jordan. He has his own YouTube channel and website. Many thanks to Jordan for allowing me to interview him and for allowing him to interview me in return.  Do not forget to check out his channel and website. 🙂

What is your name?

Jordan Mahony.

Age?

I am 20 years old.

Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?

The very person who has always been in my head is Molly Burke.

She had a very graphic story and I thought she got her story out there and I thought to myself that I needed to do the same thing. So, people like me could have a voice and not be left in the dark any more about what they could or could not do. So, she inspired me to make my channel on YouTube which is action.

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to sit down and talk to my friends and also getting to know new people. I like to challenge myself to always do more for me.

Name a bad habit that you have?

A bad habit that I have is when I get excited and I shake my hands. It can also be a good thing or a bad thing.

Name your best quality?

My best quality is my ability to feel positive about myself. I do that in the case of other people because, to put it straight, I want to help them as best I can.

If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

If I could interview anyone living or dead it would be miss Demi Lovato. I like her because she is my hero. I would like to meet her, as I like to say, she is my hero. It would fill me with pride if I did meet her one day. I went to a Demi Lovato concert in Dublin. I would interview her because she supports mental health and I like that.

What is your college major/Minor?

I majored in drama and acting. My minor was advocacy for visually impaired people.

What school (college or university) did you go to?

I go to Life Long Learning in Child Vision. I will continue to go there for 2 more years.

What is the title of your blog?

The title of my blog or website is www.jordantmahony.com Which is my way to help people and educate them about people like me.

When and why did you start your blog?

I set up my blog on Saturday the 16th of September 2018. As to why I set it up. I did it so I could have a voice to get my views and opinions across the map of the world. I wanted visually impaired people to come out of the shadows and talk to me about their concerns and problems.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In 5 years, I see a lot of things happening for myself. Like living on my own and in a physical relationship. Also, being at the top of my game. Making a long and hard career as a very famous and brilliant actor. Having a good life without looking back at the bad things.

Doing what I think is best for me and my future family.  Saying no to sighted people and that I will not be a defenseless little child. Being a full- time certified councilor for those that need my help. Finally, to be recognized for my gifts and not my visual impairment and to have a world where my fellow visually impaired brothers and sisters can be for once in their life’s happy and free.

What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

I have a condition called Bardet Biedl syndrome. Which affects the kidneys, sight and your liver. Since I have a fatty liver I cannot give or donate blood. I use a white cane, since my sight is greatly affected. One day I will go blind. I also have a small amount of autism, which is not a problem. However, there will be decisions in life that I will have to make sooner or later.

How does your visual impairment or other disability that you may have effect you on a daily basis?

Well, I have to use a long cane; or as I call her, Demi who I have with me every day. If I do not have her, I will not get far. I like that I have a cane, (and) I am okay with that. It is not easy, but I get through it because I want to live my life to the fullest. My impairment does not define me as a person. I have a message in my head, and that message is I am sorry that I am visually impaired, but I am not sorry that I cannot see. I took that message from Demi Lovato’s song Sorry not sorry. Trust me when I say that every day is a challenge, but it just makes you stronger. That is part of my daily life.

What gets on my nerves is sighted people, and how they treat you like you are a mutant. I do not like that. Which is why I will not be controlled by a sighted person, ever.

What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

My mom and family are okay with it.  But my auntie Annmarie is the best. She does not treat me differently. As far as she is concerned I cannot see a lot and she does not care about that. All she cares about is me and my well-being.

If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be?

Live your life the way you want to and ignore the people who think that they get you. If we are being honest, if there are people who control your life well they need to leave because it is not for them to say oh we control you; instead that is not the way it works.

You are the person in control and I think people with a disability need to know that.

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

I am on YouTube as Jordan Mahony.

I have my own website as well.

I am on Twitter. Type in Jordan Mahony and you will find me.

My website is at:  www.jordantmahony.com My username is pyro 2028.