Meet Mary Struble Deery

Meet Mary Struble Deery

Mary Struble Deery

Mary Struble Deery fancies herself to be an artist. Not a sculptor or painter, but a “Word Arranger.” She’d prefer playing Scrabble with words. Individual letters, even if they’re Z’s and Q’s worth a whopping 10 points each, don’t satisfy.

Mary worked in the media side of advertising, with numbers and dollars, so never had a chance to unleash her creative side. She’s now making up for lost time. If you want to find Mary, put her keyboard coordinates into your GPS. There you’ll find her fingers flying all over.

Check out Mary’s website here:

A Sample of Mary’s Writing

Saving Francis Ford Coppola

A 95% True Story


Mary Struble Deery

A splendid bottle of wine tumbled ten feet underwater. The Bablers (yes, that’s really their name), the big-hearted people who lost their wine when it slipped through the bottom of a faulty box, told us about this when they hauled us from the Michigan island where we spend our summers to the mainland for a round of golf and dinner.

Nestled in the seaweed near the public island dock, the bottle is visible, but out of reach. Pattie says it’s one of her favorites, a Coppola, produced by a vineyard owned by the famous director.

“I’ll retrieve it,” I say, remembering picking up pennies from the pool bottom. The water is cold this time of year, but I have a wetsuit top.

“Yea, yea, sure.” No one quite believes me. How’s that for a response to firm up resolve?

I plan the hero’s deed for the next afternoon. Driving my Odyssey along the dusty island roads, I envision how this feat will become island legend. As I dream of the adulations I’ll receive, a fox darts from the woods, black squirrel in mouth. He stops and stares at me as if to say, “Look what I found!” That will be me, I think, bottle of wine in hand saying, “Look what I found!” My resolve grows.

I head to the dock. When I wear my wetsuit top, I don’t wear a bathing suit, which at this point in my life is definitely a one-piece. The tugging to maneuver a wetsuit over a bathing suit is too tough. So I just wear underpants. I have a leopard print pair that could pass as a suit bottom, from a distance anyway.

The dock area, usually teeming with travelers, is empty. I have mixed feelings-no one will see me in my leopard undies, but there won’t be witnesses to pass on the legend of my wine salvage.

When I see the “Positively No Swimming” sign, for one beat I think maybe this isn’t such a good idea. Sure, no spectators will witness my infraction. But I just passed Sheriff Whipple (yes, that’s really his name) on the road. I have a flash vision of an I-wish-I-were-still-middle-aged woman in underpants, arrested for rescuing a bottle of wine.

What the hell, live dangerously, I think and start wading, then swimming to the small space between the boat and dock, looking down at the lake bottom. When I can’t see the lost wine, I’m actually relieved. At least I’d tried.

But then, there it is-the distinct black and gold label gleams. Coppola.


Unlike that well-fed fox, I fail the mission. Age does something funny-you know too much. You become cautious and lose your nerve. All I could think was how my body would wash up on the shore, head bashed from surfacing too fast directly under a boat. But, hey, how about an “A” for effort? And there’s always the thought that counts thing.

My husband has agreed to rescue the wine tomorrow. The same story will be told, only the hero will be wearing less distinctive swimwear.

 What Mary says about WordPlay

“I was hooked the day I met Maureen Ryan Griffin at a local so-you-want-to-be-a-better-writer session. And now, after years of WordPlay classes and retreats, I must confess, I’m a true addict. But it’s not like being addicted to drugs or alcohol; it’s more like craving carrots. A Maureen addiction is a good thing.

At every class and retreat writers are seated on piles of comfort, while Maureen serves up a cornucopia of confidence. ‘Heap your plate as high as you can,’ she says. The self-belief concoction she serves gets creative juices flowing.

Inventive prompts and writing recipes are some of the tools of Maureen’s trade. These help her gently nudge students to recall and convey, imagine and express whatever surfaces. Finally, all are prodded to buff, buff, buff until their pieces gleam. Maureen helps writers feel proud.

Are you interested in getting addicted, too? Want to learn more about writing, have pride in the work you produce, laugh and cry in a safe, creative community? Well then, come mainline some Maureen with me.”