The internet, a computer and a wooden stick prepared by her father opened windows for Zhang Lulu, a physically challenged woman in Zhaobao, Luoyang city, Henan province.
Holding the stick in her mouth to tap the keyboard, the 27-year-old has written 12 novels totaling 2 million words over the past decade. One of the novels has been read more than 13 million times since she published it online.
Because she can’t use her hands and feet well, Zhang had to stop her studies after graduating from primary school. She stayed at home and had nothing to do at first.
In 2006, Zhang asked her father to buy her a computer to kill time and get to know the world.
Since then, she has practiced with her typing stick on the keyboard to read novels, poems and news online — and to write. The stick, about 20 centimetres long, has been ground down to 10cm.
“Usually I can write more than 2,000 words each morning,” Zhang said. “Sometimes, if I am inspired by something, I can write 4,000 words.”
In the afternoon, she studies on her own.
“Literature provides me with spiritual power. My mom supports my life,” said Zhang, who wants to be a professional writer so she can buy new clothes for her mother and a new mobile phone for her father, she said.
Many people have volunteered to help Zhang. The Luoyang writers’ association has accepted her as a member to help her expand her network and enhance her writing abilities.
A high-tech company gave her a smart mouse that can transfer voice to writing on a computer. With the high-tech mouse, she can input faster and easier than she could with the stick.