08 Aug
Somethin' to Say Everyday


Just a quick entry today to detail what is going on in life. I feel very excited, like now is a time for new beginnings and to recommit to writing more often. I am not the most industrious writer but I think it is something I can and should practice more often and hopefully make into a weekly hobby. I am excited to see where I might be working in the next weeks or months, how my plans for the future change... A lot might end up happening this fall! All I know is that I want to change where I am now, hopefully get farther into the bookselling/publishing business, travel a little bit (COVID safe as always) and just generally get my life going. When I get back to work next I will take a look at "Turn On the Words" so that I can be ready for my book club this week and then we will finally pivot to more interesting fiction books instead of non fiction, poetry and memoirs. Those have been getting pretty tired.

So, I will take this morning to drink some birch leaf tea, write a tad bit and hopefully enjoy the rest of my day. As always, good morning to all who celebrate and have a wonderful day!


Happy August one and all! I am back to give my final thoughts on "Give Me a Sign" now that I finally finished it. First off, I couldn't wait to get through this book. I made sure that every lunch and dinner break I had during work was used in order to devour not just food, but also summer camp romance goodness. This whole read is just so enjoyable, the characters are cute and perfectly... cast? I suppose? I like that so many aspects of D/deaf identity were shown through each counselor and camper, that fears and apprehensions around hearing aids and signing were talked about, real world problems were given space to be explored and so many dynamics between oral Deafies, late signers and native signers were right there in the middle of relationships between characters. I also think that the camp being a Deaf/Blind camp was a cool touch because- and this is definitely a controversial opinion to some, but I believe that Deafness is a disability and it does in fact belong right alongside other disability communities. Distinct, of course, but still under the same umbrella. Allowing Blind characters to have some representation in this story seemed like a nice subtle way of reminding us that the "Deaf Utopia" wherein everyone learns to sign and all communication barriers are dissolved just isn't accessible to all. In that way, the fight to distance Deaf from disability just doesn't sit well with me. We are in the same fight, our experiences differ but our principles- those of communication, accommodation and equity are the same. Saying we are a "linguistic community" and thus, not disabled just strikes me as dropping our principles in favor of being admitted into the abled world on a technicality. Shooting ourselves in the foot and refusing a crutch, if you will. 

Politics aside, The romance in this book is wonderful as well. Very safe and exactly the kind of warm fantasy that hurts so much to let go of by the end of the story. The end by the way, that shit had me feeling so nostalgic for my days at Gallaudet's IIASL camp in highschool. 

I also appreciate that they shed some light on Mackenzie and used her character to describe uncomfortable allyship. If you know the other sign for "HELP," the one where you tug your elbow e.g. "here, let me help you with this thing you don't need my help with." Then you will understand Mackenzie's character. She is proud of being "in" the Deaf community and she wants to be a leader, a helper and a patronizer- all while profiting from it on youtube. Her character had me so frustrated in every scene she was in. I have been actively in the Deaf community for a good 9 years now and I have met so many Mackenzie xeroxes. Its not even about the money or youtube or what have you, its the very core of her personality. Her place in the Deaf community is always above and looking down.

If I had any advice for people looking to swim around in the Deaf community it would be this: be scared, be confused and ask for help. If you aren't feeling challenged or scared then you aren't learning. If you aren't learning while interacting with us, you are definitely stepping on peoples toes. The thing is, you aren't meeting "Deaf people." You are learning about individuals, each just as unique and complicated as the last, and learning how Deafness shapes us. People like Mackenzie who explore the Deaf world only to find a hill on which to stake their claim will inevitably end up interacting with our Deafness first and our personhood second. And they always make themselves a judge of Deafness. So instead, explore but don't touch. visit but don't claim. The Deaf world is oftentimes just a garden and in that way even I feel like just an occasional visitor to that garden, after all- we spend most of our time in the hearing world. But our culture is still growing, our history expanding and language further developing so while it does so I invite you to please just appreciate what is sprouting up and share our enthusiasm for the flowers and the bees and the dirt- 

just keep your damn hands out of the soil.

So yes, please read Anna Sortino's "Give Me a Sign," I rate it up there with "Tru Biz," who gives a hoot about the YA label. For now, those are my thoughts, please comment any discussions you want to have, feel free to message me here or on any socials and if you are feeling extra generous, I just created a tip jar at "buymeacoffee.com"! As always, good morning to all who celebrate and be well.


Ok, much like last time I have a bit of a confession to make- and that is... I have started reading another new book... I promise I am not neglecting my other responsibilities but the author's sister came in and gave us a whole bunch of bookmarks for their new book. So, allow me to introduce Anna Sortino's new book which released this July the 13th (12th maybe?) called "Give Me a Sign" This is a traditional YA summer camp novel about a girl going off to a Deaf summer camp, only this year she will be a counselor and not a camper. Just from the first few chapters have read I can already tell you that this story mirrors my experience with Deafness almost exactly. It's a little eerie in fact... From the frustrations with IEPs, FM systems that teachers rarely use, how painful it is to have them transmitted directly to your hearing aids (I remember ripping the transceivers off immediately after my teacher's voice blasted through) to the frustrations with identity once you meet other Deaf people. How language becomes the measure of your Deafness and feeling challenged by hearing people who had the good fortune of accessing sign before you did. This book creates characters that bring me right back to those days of trying to prove myself, trying to find the right words to call myself, the excuses for why I don't sign well, why my family doesn't, all of that. But really, it is a super enjoyable book, an easy read and it strikes a perfect accessible balance between Deaf folks who are "in the know" and for hearing readers who are fully clueless about Deaf culture. 

Another point I want to mention is that dialogue between signers is Italicized while spoken conversation is in print. That is all that was done to separate the two languages. No gloss, no word for word print of ASL signs, just a simple translation into written English marked by italics for the signed conversation. I find myself preferring this so far. I have read enough Deaf fiction and non fiction to know that this is something of a sticking point for a lot of authors. In Adam Pottle's "Apparitions" he tends to simply write out his signed dialogue for long conversations so as not to break the flow of writing, but for quick exchanges or to put emphasis on certain words he would visually explain in detail how the sign is made by describing the handshape and movements. I Think this works on occasion but I noticed that as I read further into the story, I found myself automatically translating the conversations between Deaf characters into what I imagined their signs to be, but then the immediate description of a sign or two ends up being really jarring because of how much effort it takes to describe just one sign in writing. I think these lengthy descriptions also serve to confuse non-signing readers simple because- short of describing all five parameters each time you try to paint a picture of a sign, you almost always end up using language that is vague enough to give the wrong idea. Pottle often wrote something like "NO- his index and middle fingers snapped together at me." and this could just as easily look like a sign for "scissors" or "dog" for people who have no idea what the sign for NO is. 

This isn't to say that I have a problem with Pottle's writing or dialogue, just that Deaf writers in the future have a tight line to walk when it comes to truly representing signed speech.

Now that we are on the subject, I think I'd like to share my full thoughts on "Apparitions" before revisiting Anna Sortino. So, Apparitions is a very dark and traumatic book. I think it hits on a uniquely Deaf centered fear about repression, confusion and isolation. That isn't to say that hearing people don't have these same fears but the Deaf experience often leads us to putting trust in people as a matter of necessity rather than comfort, being lost in a world that moves ahead without us and finding connections with people who share our trauma and fears instead of making healthy, not co-dependent relationships. Pottle's book touches on these things as a central theme but ratchets them up to eleven. The tone of this book is really characterized by the helpless confusion that our main character feels. I think the fact that he doesn't have a written name for the majority of the book is a perfect example of this, because his own story doesn't feel like his own. Everything exists around him and happens to him but his own agency and power is nowhere to be found outside of running away. I think this is what I had the most trouble with in this book- that it was hard to connect with the story when the main character doesn't act to change things or make the story their own. It made it hard to look back and retrace everything that had occurred throughout the book. In the end though, I think This story ended up being very unique because of this. The few connections that were made felt like candles in the dark, as warped as those relationships often were, it made us crave those positive interactions because we know just how little we have without them. 

Another point I want to make is that there really weren't any good guys in this book. The hospital administration and staff were all pretty cold and uncaring, illustrated by how they never bother to communicate with either of our main characters, outside of an interpreter on a few occasions. All of the rest of the background characters- family, patients, police are either indifferent, useless or actively hostile. The world established in this story is dark at every corner except within relationships between characters. communication and understanding is the only good thing that happens throughout the whole book, which is a big D - Deaf theme if ever I have known one. 

 I do have one small gripe about the book, if I may. (I am always a critic first and foremost, sorry) I think it was an interesting choice to make our characters have something of a sexual relationship, not to mention that the main character expresses Bi or Pan interests, but I think most of my problems lie with Felix, who seemed a little inconsistent. In the doctors notes, his journal entries and all of that- we learn that he is violent and prone to outbursts, but his character in "real time" is really calm, methodical and in control all of the time. This also calls into question his relationship with the main character. it wasn't that I didn't know whether Felix was manipulating him, its that I couldn't tell where his character ended and his delusions began. He was both jealous and disinterested, he instigated sex but also used his relationship to gain an apostle... I couldn't really tell who Felix was because there weren't cracks in his façade like the story seemed to be suggesting. I am always a big fan of gay villains (be gay do crime am I right?) but in this case it felt like homosexuality was being linked to insanity and manipulation a little too much for my liking. Again- I love that the main character, being raised without gendered expectations, ended up showing interest in people regardless of gender, but Felix's character just didn't hit its mark the same way. If Felix had more abrupt mood swings, changes in personality, more subtle lacking of empathy, more contradictions in his character or most importantly, a clearer sense of his values, I might have understood things a little better. All in all, I think the story was written well and I don't think Felix's character was bad, after all- the point of this writing style is to make us just as confused as the main character. I just think that the line between clarity and confusion needs to be carefully balanced in stories like this.

Getting back to "Give Me a Sign," Sortino actually does make use of descriptive writing- as mentioned above, on occasion. She mostly writes out all conversations in English but when our character is learning a new sign, mistaking a sign or when a description is needed for context, she will go into said lengthy picture painting. In this story it actually works quite well since picking up ASL is a lengthy and awkward process that requires this kind of attention. This is a story with a lot of growing pains so it ends up deserving this... lets call it a motif. Anyway, I haven't gotten far enough in to this one to make any definite assumptions, but please check it out if you are able! email or call a local bookstore and get it ordered. Solid state currently has just the one. and look forward to "Apparitions" in September as well! its a perfect quick Halloween read.

Ok, that was a long winded post. I hope I made some semblance of sense as I don't really proofread these before posting. Time to get some lunch, get out of the house and put in my time at work. As always, good morning to all who celebrate and enjoy your waking moments wherever you are.


Alright, at the behest of my lovely partner in crime- I am going to make today something of a general reading dump in order to talk about what I have ACTUALLY been reading, as opposed to what I planned to...

I was able to go on a little buying spree recently and the first thing that caught my eye was a book on backyard homesteading. It is a dream of mine to begin farming for myself and my family in the near future, hopefully with some chickens, maybe goats, lots of staple crops and whatnot. "The Backyard Homesteader" has guides on literally every nook and cranny of farming, preserving, butchering, animal husbandry and more... so suffice to say it has reignited my inspirations for the future.

Next is "La Tercera" by Gina Apostol- a family drama novel following a Filipino family dealing with a land dispute, inter family tensions that arise within immigrant households, deaths in the family and whatnot. The story itself bounces around in time as these revealing little snippets about the main characters life and it is all told with a kind of dramatic humor. My companion has confirmed for me that the cultural dynamics and quirks in the book are very much based in reality for Filipino families. 

When I am not daydreaming about being a farmer or trying desperately to seem cultured for the sake of my girlfriend, I sometimes take a look at the newest "Best Short Stories of 2023" compilation which is set to come out in September of this year. These are the winners of the O. Henry prize, put together this year by Lauren Groff who has a wonderful foreword to the book. The very second short story I read was an absurdist account of a character trying to scale a "man mountain" literally a mountain made of fully conscious male bodies that spawned out of the blue in the middle of Kentucky. None of it is ever explained and it ends on an exceptionally abrupt note- but damn did I love it. 

Finally, I have been taking a look at "Turn On The Words" an account of the fight for captioning in media. Ill admit, this is the only book I really planned on reading since it is also my august book club pick- but I haven't really been giving it the time of day... So forgive me on that. Moving forward (or at least before August 13th) I'll make sure to get through it.

So that is what I have been keeping myself busy with lately. I am still mulling over my thoughts on "Apparitions" by Adam Pottle and i'll make a separate post on that in the near future. Until then, good morning to all ye who celebrate! and I hope its a good one.


Well folks- "Apparitions" is now done and over with. I think I will need some time to sit with this one and figure out my feelings, but first and foremost- I do think it is a worthwhile read and in fact a pretty good book. 

To start, I want to shine some light on the writing. My favorite part of Adam Pottle's writing is his descriptive flair. There were multiple times throughout this book where I stopped for a second just to appreciate his framing of the experience of pain, cold, emptiness, claustrophobia... anything. There are a lot of great examples of this because Pottle writes from the perspective of a young boy who hasn't developed much language and vocabulary amidst the neglect and abuse he had suffered. Lots of the descriptive language then, has a very naïve and detached feel to it because the character is supposedly coming across the experience for the first time. So I really like that Adam Pottle went that route and tied it in with the theme of Deaf people being apparitions/ghosts. In fact, this is one of the things that I am still mulling over currently. That is- the world in this story feels TINY. Like all that exists is a small circle around the characters. The way things are described- wind as a ghost breathing on your neck, grass as fuzz on the earth, clouds as gray muscle pulled across the sky... The inherent confusion in the tone that our author uses makes the world feel like its being hurriedly thrown together around the characters rather than existing independent of them. 

The constant sense of confusion and dysphoria is definitely an interesting choice but I think it made it harder for me to get sucked in to the story and suspend my disbelief. 

Now that I've dragged you through some initial thoughts- I'll give a brief overview of the actual story without spoiling anything. Our main character is a nameless victim of abuse trapped in a basement. He is Deaf and has very little to no language abilities and he lives out his life with no sense of time, the lights never go out and the only interruption to this monotony is when one of a few men drag him outside to hose him off with cold water, feed him, or give him "the red drink" before he is forced to fight for his life for sport. A stroke of luck lets him escape this situation and he is later found and brought to a psychiatric hospital and slowly he has to adapt to this environment. With the help of Felix, the only other Deaf child there, he learns sign language and slowly begins to find words and names for the world- but Felix has grand plans regarding his place in this world and begins to shape our protagonist for his own uses. 

Now, ill leave off with some last brief thoughts because I don't want to get too far into my reactions just yet, I just finished the book like 20 hours ago anyway. I will say that the story has some strong "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" influences and maybe a similar writing style to Stephen King's, with his straightforward narratives but flowery descriptions. Like I said, it's an entertaining book with a lot going for it and I can't wait to see what others think about it when it finally comes out this Fall! I think tomorrow I'll talk more about the themes and politics of Deafness that cropped up in the story because there is a lot of interest to talk about there. Until then, good morning to all who celebrate and be well!


I will make this a quick entry just because I made a post last night which covered most of my thoughts. This morning though- I made a Facebook account specifically for this blog in hopes of reaching out to more people! Getting more feedback, hopefully some ideas and inspiration could really help me get this thing off of the ground, so if you are new here, welcome and feel free to scroll down to see my journal entries and get a feel for what I have been doing the last few months! As always, good morning to all who celebrate and enjoy your day.


ooOOOoo, a late night entry! a Good Night Hands if you will... I finally had a day off of work for the first time in seven straight days! Man oh man do I get burned out quickly from those long stretches without time to unwind. My reading plan is moving along just as I expected- I am on to the final quarter of "Apparitions" and my thoughts are all over the place as to how I like it and where I think it fits in the canon of Deaf literature. I will save my thoughts until after I have finished it and processed things fully. So far I am getting some influences from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and maybe some Stephen King in terms of tone and imagery. It is giving me a lot to think about and because I had such high expectations for this one I want to make sure that I don't let that cloud my judgement. That is all to say that I am really enjoying this book regardless. It will be a great Halloween read come this October. 

I'm not sure how to end off this quick night time entry since it somewhat breaks my arbitrary rules, so good night everyone and drink plenty of water.


Hoo boy! Now we're cooking! 

I have quite a few books on my TBR list and for once I am excited to read so many at the same time! First things first, I finally got a PDF of Adam Pottle's ""Apparitions" over email yesterday and I am almost a quarter way through it so far. I genuinely think that this book can be the next Tru Biz and I can't wait to have it in store this October. I don't want to get ahead of myself though, I still haven't gotten to the meat and bones of the story so it remains to be seen if I will love it so much moving forward. This is so far a very dark book filled with abuse and pain and confusion told from the first person perspective so you really get thrown in to the chaos of it all. I'll hold off on giving too many thoughts all at once for now but I will leave it with this- I really hope the twist isn't that the main character was a ghost the whole time. There is already a very strong theme of ghosts, a scene where two teens get scared by his face in a window (very ghostly, wouldn't you agree?) and there is a slight play on perception of time in this story where things jump around just slightly- like their are holes in the character's memory, but this could set the stage for a plot twist where some events happened when the boy was alive while others happened when he was a ghost. Anyway, that's just my personal suspicion, and there may be a way to pull that off really well- I just hope that I find something to be surprised about by the end.

Next up- I am reading "Palace Walk" slowly but surely. More than likely I'll turn my attention to it at home when I am done with Apparitions in a few days. I like the writing style so far, it is beautiful and concise and does such a good job at fully illustrating the setting before jumping in to the story. I find myself hoping that the women in this story are not relegated to being docile homemakers and slaves and instead their characters get flushed out more. I am coming at this book hoping to get something like "East of Eden" by Steinbeck, where there is a whole world living in each character and you get to see directly into the intimate humanity of each person. That's what I want from a domestic novel like this.

I am also hoping to work through reading "Turn on the Words" like I mentioned yesterday. Ill start reading that more than likely next week and see how I enjoy it. This is my last hope for the first round of Deaf books I ordered into the store. I haven't had much enthusiasm for most of the non-fiction stuff I was able to come up with so either this one will turn out to be super fascinating and well written, or I will turn my attention to promoting lesser known authors and especially fiction works, Luczak, Pottle and the likes. 

So that's my roadmap for the coming weeks or so. As for this morning I will do a bit more reading, I have already made some oolong tea today and all that's left is to make lunch and hope that work goes by quickly. Thanks for reading everyone, more thanks to those who write- because then I would have nothing to read and to all who celebrate, good morning!


I promise I am not giving up on the blog! I am still here, still reading tons and still working my butt off at the bookstore, its a miracle I know. What happened is that I went on vacation back to Massachusetts and saw family that I haven't seen in forever. Even that didn't stop work from seeping into my life though- I still had to join zoom meetings for our union negotiations right smack in the middle of the day, multiple times. 

Anyway, while I was up there I was able to finish Luczak's "The Kinda Fella I Am" and I really loved the ending. I had some qualms with his choice to portray people of different race than he is but I think because the central theme and the spirit of the whole writing was about exploring sexuality as an otherizing force, he didn't end up crossing any boundaries in the end. The book paints sex as a dynamic and fluid action, like a need fulfilled rather than a single action of entering another person like we usually think of it as. So in the end I love this book because it is the ultimate portrayal of gay love and lust in all of its forms. This book is raunchy, explicit, political, vulnerable and unique for sure.

While on vacation I was also able to finish reading Frank Herbert's "Dune" which was wonderful but I doubt it will stick with me so much. I liked the sprinkled in themes of middle eastern lore, vocab and tons of references to old texts from our world. It was fun reading a quotation from a character and googling it to find that it actually came from some obscure source. Same could be said for lots of names and places in the book- which were often Arabic or Malay inspired words. Away from those fun facts, I actually did love the story, the slow changing of Paul Maud'dib's character, the splitting timelines and the anxiety that came with seeing all futures at once etc... Really cool writing devices but in the end, the story just didn't leave me with enough to really want to continue reading the series. It is obviously a giant lore driven universe but I am contented having read the central myth of that world and leaving it at that. maybe some time in the future ill get back to the series though. 

Next month's Books on Hands pick for my club is called "Turn on the Words" which is about the fight for captioning and its importance in media. In terms of non-fiction reading I am actually interested in the political side of this topic so I think I will read it in my downtime at work and decide if I should keep the club going as is or try to change gears to something more general that might attract more people. 

Finally I am reading my first book by Naquib Mahfouz "Palace Walk" part of the "Cairo Trilogy." Ive had my eye on this name for a bit, partly because of my interest in middle eastern literature but also because my dad's side of the family was supposed to be named Mahfouz as well, but that got changed when they immigrated here. Now we are left with Kalil- which is usually a first name. 

Anyway, that's my reading life for now. I may add some excerpts to my "writing ideas" article because I am practicing writing somewhat more often again. So I hope everyone is having fun with their chosen passions and projects should you have any, resting if not- and to each and all who celebrate, Good morning!


Hello all! I am in a particularly good mood today because after this work day finishes I'll have two days off and then my dad will be coming up from Florida to drive us to my hometown by this Sunday! I love having something to look forward to and I am even happier to have time to myself between then and now. One troubling thing is that I finished "The Maniac" yesterday and now I can't bring myself to go back to non-fiction works for a little bit. I'll more than likely end up finishing "The Kinda Fella I Am" and get my review out for that, but gosh darn it I just want a few more mindless reads for the next week or so. Maybe I can pick up a graphic novel or two from the store, who knows, the world is my oyster. 

Quick side note, if you haven't made your own jam out of crushed berries- literally whatever berries you want, you should get on that. Toast with raspberry and blackberry jam and an oolong tea is absolutely killing it today. 

Anyway, I think I want to do my best to promote my book club some more so that will be my quest for today. I'd like this to be something more of a creative day to keep me occupied. Yesterday was almost unbearably quiet that the day passed too slowly. SO lets hope for better things today! 

As always, to all those who celebrate- good morning! and be well as well as you can be.


I have been having a good string of days lately! I am going home to Massachusetts by the end of the week which I am very excited for, but I am also finishing up "The Maniac" by Labatut and I look forward to whichever book I choose from there. Maybe I can use my vacation as a time to sit out at the beach and devour a bunch of books to focus more on this blog! Its been a while after all, since I've had multiple days in a row without any work to do (although I do have some union negotiations over zoom next week). Anyway, I'm excited to start a new book, hopefully a new author as well, whether its the DeafBlind essays I have or Apparitions- if I get that in time. Lots more thoughts to come! For now I'll contemplate the coming weeks here in my room, drinking my Moroccan green tea. Good morning to all who celebrate and be well!


Lately I have been having a pattern of dreams wherein each of them I am in the bookstore which I work at, but there is always something different about its layout or overall vibe. Last night's ended up having a pool where the bathrooms should have been and there was some foreboding message telling me to go back there and check it out. Anyway I don't remember enough to recount the dream but it was somehow stressful, as all work related dreams are. I can't even escape it when I'm asleep. damn. 

I am still getting through "The Maniac" by Labatut and it really is such an interesting take on the development of computers as well as the technology for bombs, AI and everything else we learned how to apply game theory to. 

I am going to try my hand at creating a Pinterest board for this blog as well as branch out to tiktok to showcase the books that I get in and talk about. Hopefully that will drive some more traffic and guide this process a bit better. Should I just stick to Deaf books? or provide commentary on all books as a Deaf reader and bookseller? The world may never know.

In the meantime- I will continue drinking my snowy dragon oolong, reading, enjoying myself and hoping that you all have a good morning- if you celebrate such an occasion. Take care!


Just a quick update today which I am super excited about! I got an email last night explaining that Adam Pottle's "Apparitions" was on its way to me! They will be sending an ARC as well as an EPUB reader whenever they can so ill be able to dig into that over the summer before it gets published! I am absolutely stoked for this because it seems like a genuinely interesting horror story that could be right up my alley, although I would be lying if I didn't say there is a little voice telling me to be skeptical. Horror is so often done poorly and I have no idea what Adam's writing style looks like. Anyway, I have an early shift today so I am downing some Oolong tea while I write this before heading to work. Good morning to all who celebrate and stay tuned for more updates! Much love.


oof, it has been a minute since I revisited this blog... I took some time off in order to read a few book son unrelated topics and it made me feel as though I wasn't staying true to the goal of these posts. Thanks to my wonderful partner though, I have decided to broaden my horizons a bit and open up this "daily" posting regimen to include topics outside of Deaf literature. Maybe giving myself some breathing room will set the tone differently and help me write more about what I am interested in. So if you will, grab some tea and sit down with me for a moment. 

The last two weeks have brought me to a few different topics. I dove in to a book about homelessness and the psychology we each internalize to allow such visible suffering to happen in front of us. It is something of an academic work written by two graduate co authors (Amanda Banh and Andrijana Bilbija) as well as Kevin Adler and Donald Burnes who work closely with homeless people through organizations they founded. The big thing about this book is that it tears down this rancid image we have of "The Homeless." A name which sounds more like a boss from a dark souls game than a group of underserved, abused and oppressed people. It gives personal stories about individuals finding themselves without a place to live, no way out of their condition and worst of all- completely out of contact with friends or family who could help. I appreciate that we are given so many perspective from different people as to how you YOU can become homeless at the drop of a hat. An immigrant father who is ashamed he isn't providing well enough for his family so he slides into isolation and despair after losing his apartment. A woman who gets crushed by medical debt after getting cancer. A mom and her son both working at a McDonalds and living in a truck in the parking lot who, combined- can't live off of their wages despite working... It makes me angry and it reframes just how real homelessness is, but luckily the book also provides us with a new mindset and real tangible ways to help our houseless neighbors. Check out "When We Walk By" when it comes out later in November if you need some sociology literature.

Next up was Navied Mahdavian's "This Country" which is a super wholesome graphic novel with a realistic but simple art style wherein he talks about the three years he spent in Idaho with his wife establishing a homestead and getting in touch with nature. It being Idaho around the 2016 election, he experienced a distinct lack of community and welcome from his neighbors as an Iranian man. That isn't to say he didn't meet any great people along the way but for the most part the locals were just not the "new age progressive agenda" types. What I loved most about the book aside from its charming tone was how real it felt to go on this little adventure with them. I want so badly to have a homestead of my own, not to isolate away from society but to build a community outside of... well, American society, with all its faults. Watching them try and fail at some things but just keep on going and enjoying the process was unreal. I haven't felt like I could carve out a life that really FEELS like I made it my own despite the world around me- until I read this. So, I highly recommend this one too!

As of this current moment I am reading one book about "Green Sketching" which is just a practice of sketching nature for the purposes of enjoying and taking in more of the world around you, rather than developing your drawing skills. I like the philosophy and I think we could all use a way of slowing down and creating a bit more so I want to incorporate that into my life when I can.

I am also getting through another pre publication book by Benjamin Labatout called "The Maniac" which follows suit with his previous book "When We Cease To Understand the World" where he develops a narrative around some of the greatest scientists during the early 1900s with a specific focus on Johnny Von Neuman. He paints a picture of the personality behind the genius and really grounds these historical figures and events in something more real. Like yea... scientists partied and fought and did ridiculous things and bought expensive cars. Some of them were silly, others were serious, and of course a lot of them were ego-maniacs. its a fun read that takes a little bit of the mythos out of some really big names.

so... phew. I could get used to doing this more often. I still want to tie some of this back into the theme of this blog though... I want more Deaf literature that I can count on to be distinct. I am tired of recommending biographies and historical accounts of the same events and people in the community. This is why I cling so tightly to Raymond Luczak and gave Connie Briscoe so much slack despite being relatively anti-Deaf community. They end up writing stories that I haven't seen from many other authors. I want to develop a big list of unique Deaf authored books- especially fiction works that I can try to breeze through this summer. I am waiting on Adam Pottle's "Apparitions" to come out this October but hopefully I can get it before then. Otherwise I am slightly at a loss. I think for now I will finish the books I have and then turn back to Luczak for a minute before diving into "Touch The Future" by John Lee Clark, a DeafBlind author who wrote a series of essays about the future of the community. Interesting stuff so I can't wait to dive in! I may also restructure the blog a little bit moving forward. It is safe to say that graphic design is NOT my passion so I'll get that sorted out later. For now, Good morning to all who celebrate, if you guessed Matcha for this morning then you win my affections, I drank two bowls of the stuff before exercising just to get me going. It actually makes me somewhat sleepy so I don't know what I was thinking there... but anyway, take care and be good everyone!


Happy Sunday everyone! I'm sorry I haven't been posting consistently but on the bright side I am reading consistently! "The Kinda Fella I Am" Is getting very interesting, especially with regards to the creative risks Luczak is deciding to take. For one, he is writing characters from the 40s or so and really diving in to the breadth of experiences that Gay and disabled communities have gone through over the last half a century or so. Something that surprised me was that he decided to write from a black character's perspective in one story- which I believe was set in the 70s. It didn't necessarily center blackness as a theme, at least not heavily so the focus of the story wasn't really on that side of the character's identity but I still can't say I agree with the choice to do that. The chapter had themes of manipulative relationships, poverty, chasing dreams etc... and the way the character's blackness is just not that apparent- despite them being Deaf black and gay just doesn't sit well with me. Outside of that, I think Raymond hit on some really good themes in that chapter and continued to explore some really interesting ideas moving forward so I am very happy with this book as it stands! I'll be hosting a book club for his other work "A Quiet Foghorn" tonight which I am a tad nervous about but hey, it should be interesting! For now Ill keep reading, keep drinking my pu'er tea and hopefully enjoy the sun and 90 degree weather today. Good morning to all who celebrate and have a wonderful day!


Alright, I am back on the wagon again with regards to reading! all it took was putting down my phone for a day and getting away from twitter and instagram and the general hellscape of social media nowadays. I've actually started one book about homelessness which will come out in fall of this year while reading Raymond Luczak's book "The Kinda Fella I Am" on my down time at work. Lucak's book is taking an interesting turn with a chapter about a gay young man around the 40s and 50s discovering the hidden queer subcultures of the time. There is less in the way of disability representation, at least- since the main character is able bodied, but There is mention of a disabled character recognizing the young man as gay and accepting him because e is one of the few people that looks him in the eye and treats him as a human. Apparently Luczak is making a comment on how attraction can sometimes play a humanizing role with between disability and queerness. This is a book I feel really comfortable recommending and trying to sell in the store. It is unique, politically motivated and definitely an interesting read. Ill try to get my hands on some more of these.

So for today I'll just be going back to work. The air seems better today than the last few days which is good. I'll be staying away from my phone again today in hopes of enjoying the day a little more and reducing m stress. Think ill make myself some green tea and give that new pressed grass-looking stuff a chance. So for now, good morning to all who celebrate! Stay healthy and happy and keep being you.


Hello again everyone! Since my last update very little as changed... Still unhealthy amounts of wildfire smoke and pollution, record temperatures, COVID etc... But we I made a Corsi Rosenthal box to help filter the air at home so that's something! I guess that right now I am waiting for my next book club meeting to see what's up. I have been feeling a little bit unfocused with regards to reading so I think I need to find a way to get back on track with that for now. Its been hard staying on top of the project lately. Co-workers are getting sick, the second store is open, everything is too busy, too hot, too polluted all of the time. Man I need a vacation. Anyway, for all of the Deafies in DC and across the country, I hope you find a way to celebrate or protest in support of pride this month! We need all voices in the LGBTQ+ community this year. And hey, maybe you could get to writing that story you've had stuck in your head all this time eh? I need some more reading material you know. So, good morning to all who celebrate, be well everyone, I think I'll grab some matcha this morning.


Hello everyone! I hope you are all surviving the smog outside in DC, and also the boil water advisory, and also record temperatures, and also SARS2... Man oh man. 

Anyway, I don't have much to report in the way of reading- I am just doing that at a slower pace than usual for right now. I do have a good feeling about this month's book club though! I am hoping that I can pick up a little more interest by making it more COVID conscious and maybe opening it up to zoom calls as well. That depends on my managers and also how much effort I really want to put into this thing.  Anyway, I think I'd like to keep adding to my short story soon. Its been a while since I have revisited it and I only have a few paragraphs anyway. 

Today I am drinking a new tisane called "Zhourat" (also meaning flowers in arabic). Really good stuff! So good morning to all who celebrate, stay safe and keep reading! 


Happy pride month everyone! I hope everyone is able to stay safe, masked and queer this month! Things are pretty bad here in the US with regards to queer persecution and oppression so please, understand that we have a responsibility to organize and protest for queer rights, with disabled and BIPOC voices front and center. Disabled voices especially have been sidelined during this pandemic so at the very least I want you all to have a good high quality mask ready to use for any events or protests you do attend. These movements were created by our most underprivileged and under served communities so it is time we recognize that and provide accessibility to those same people, now that we want in.

SO in line with this month's theme I have been reading the gayest, disabledest, kinkiest book currently available to me- and that is Raymond Luczak's "The Kinda Fella I Am." Just like the title, this book is written with a kind of casual, common tongue voice from the perspective of multiple disabled characters each with their own perspective on lust and sex. Our first character was a gay leather daddy and wheelchair user who recounted his introduction to the world of sex via orgy with his group of similarly disabled friends. The next story which I recently finished is about a quadriplegic man who lusts after a sign language interpreter, prompting him to vent his frustrations about his lack of a sex life, how people view him as a non sexual object, as not human etc... So the book ends up being very political in its portrayal of sex and disability, but it does so while still holding a sexy, unflinching tone towards these topics, which I am glad for. I didn't crack this bad boy open to read a clinical work on the intersections of disability, kink and sexuality.

So that is my start to July. On the tea side of things I am trying out a homemade masala chai courtesy of a good friend of mine so I am enjoying things so far. Remember, be gay, do crimes and good morning to all who celebrate.


Agh, I hate when I neglect the blog  for a few days. Something about having my two days off from work really puts me off from writing for that time. So I have finished Connie Briscoe's "You Never Know" and luckily I have had a few days to think about it. I will be getting in to spoilers here so be warned.

"You Never Know" was a fine book. To get it out of the way first and foremost, Connie is a non-fiction writer and this was her first foray into the fiction and horror genre and for that I can give her props on writing a consistent story that doesn't have any major holes. She should be proud of the book and it looks like it did alright in terms of sales considering my store always has about 8 hardcover copies stacked up. 

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I have to talk about my problems with this book.

1. The story ends on a really unsatisfying note. The last 20 pages of the book include the climax, resolution and ending all at once. Paul never ends up coming into play again and maybe never stalked her in the rain- but still definitely did stand outside her house at night. His character never amounts to anything important, other than just being a shitty abusive ex.

Alexis loses her best friend and it is never addressed again. I just find it annoying that it is never revisited and we never know if her best friend was coming on to Marcus or had an ill intention at all. 

The twist is that no one attacked Alexis... She makes up a home invasion story, brutalizes herself and then tell the cops her story in order to get a spotlight shined on Marcus, and hopefully have an investigation reopened on to him. The only good thing I can say about this is that it stays consistent with the opening sequence. The book never outright lies to you because it opens with Alexis explaining her story to the police, so upon rereading it you see that she is actually nervous because she is lying. That part I appreciate, but it didn't win me over. Not only was that move risky and super over the top, but it also solidified Marcus' alibi because he wasn't home when Alexis was attacked!

Her grand plan never even worked. What caught Marcus in the end was his moustache twirling monologue where he tells Alexis he will straight up kill her the same way he killed his first wife. "its too easy to hide a body when you have a boat." And of course... Alexis had a recording of that. 

Some other minor grievances I have with the book have to do with the dialogue. Too often it feels like the characters are the same person talking to each other. Speech patterns and diction are the same between characters, there isn't much life or distinction in each personality. You would think that when Marcus was going on a tirade or Paul was begging to talk to Alexis that their tone would get a little looser, angry, more wild swearing or anything like that- but there is a lot of restraint and very choppy dialogue which is all spoken out. Especially with a book about domestic abuse and toxic masculinity- with all of the emotional insecurity that comes with I expected the men to have a harder time speaking their minds, to deflect and jump to anger, to have seemingly unrelated outbursts etc... you know, the masculinity that we all know and love. The writing in this book though, it gives the men so much calm control instead of that fiery unpredictability and gaslighting that characterizes most abuse. ok, there was the scene when Paul chokes Alexis out, but that is never present with Marcus and it is never really explored again as a theme for the rest of the book.

So, that is "You Never Know." I think it is still worth a read if you want to make up your own mind about the book. It hits that gossipy itch pretty well because the majority of the book is about relationship tensions and blinding romance so, check it out if you like that!

Next up I am reading "The Kinda Fella I Am" by Raymond Luczak and so far I can tell you... this one is starting off with a bang. I really love that this book is an unabashed love letter to disabled sex and kink as a means of personal and political liberation. How many books have you read like that huh? The closest thing I can think of would be Alice Wong's "Disability Visibility" but that is a collection of personal essays while this is pure sweet fiction, baby. I'm excited to dive in to this one so stay tuned! 

I have a neglected kettle of now lukewarm water in the corner of my room so after I sign off ill be showing that some love. Maybe ill make some masala chai out of the leftover black tea and some spices I have, who knows. Either way, take the time to have yourself a good morning, if you celebrate such an occasion, and be well!


So, yesterday I had a lot to say about Connie Briscoe's politics in "You Never Know." Unfortunately, my points still stand even as I am nearing the last few chapters but at the very least I can say that the story is picking up and I am excited to finish it. The stakes are being set and I think there is a very real sense of safety when Marcus in sot around, but as soon as he is, the story instantly takes on this timebomb like tension. A really good thing that Connie was able to do was make Marcus so controlling and secretive that his suspicious behavior becomes par for the course, so you never really know how much he knows about Alexis' snooping. Alexis is never safe in her house when he is around and you don't know where they stand either.

I will say that I am a little concerned that the story will be predictable from here on out. It seems like Paul is being primed up to be a twist character now that he is all of the sudden part of the story again but not actually doing anything in the story. My guess is either 1. the boring option: Paul saves the day at the end and he was just looking out for Alexis to make sure she was safe the whole time.

or 2. Paul is Marcus' other son or his brother. I have no idea how old Paul is supposed to be in this story but I always imagine him as early 30s or so, despite Alexis being in her 40s I believe. At least that twist would tie some things up and be somewhat satisfying. 

If they back out of Marcus being a killer or the real bad guy then lets just say I will not be super happy. The book is almost over for gods sake, just commit to a plot line. 

Anyway, I'll post a detailed review when I am done with the book, including all of my thoughts and hopes and dreams. For now, I am gonna enjoy my Oolong tea and eggs. 

Good morning to all who celebrate and be well!


Alright, work week is now underway and I am starting to plan next month's Books on Hands meeting as well as getting closer to finishing "You Never Know" which, I have some thoughts about. As the book is coming to its final chapters and building up the tension, I am feeling a little iffy about its politics. At first I was completely fine with the pro cochlear main character because this is a character very obviously based on Connie's own self. I can always appreciate an individual's experience as a Deaf person, regardless of whether it is positive or negative or both- in fact, sharing all of our experiences is kinda how we form a culture and get our thoughts out into the world as a community. The problem is that Connie is taking a sharp turn from "I am hearing impaired, a cochlear user but I also appreciate ASL" to "Cochlear implants are miraculous and they saved me from being a pitiful hearing impaired woman. I'm SO glad I can finally have a child, now that I am not hearing impaired..." 

Not to mention the constant usage of "hearing impaired" (which, fine, she is deaf and has the right to use what language she prefers) but she mentions ASL in a good light maybe two or three times in the whole book while mentioning how awful it must be to be a Deaf parent something like five times. Now, the fears that Connie expresses through this book are valid. Being a mother is scary enough by itself, and this book deals with a lot of abandonment, mistrust and insecurity around loved ones so the ideas fit the theme of the book at the very least. The problem is that this very quickly goes from personal fears being expressed to a straight up full chapter about cochlear implants, how they should be used on children as early as possible, how they work perfectly and how they make you a safer, more well adjusted person. Lets not forget that this is all in the context of an abusive environment where the cochlear is presented as a means of liberation and a way of taking back some independence. Nothing is mentioned about losing your remaining natural hearing, about the processor taking months to adjust to, about the abusive Marcus having complete control of the finances and how he could break the hearing aid and leave her fully deaf at any moment, the gaslighting he could engage in... This could have been a perfect time to really dig into the fears on both sides of the cochlear discussion but it just gets breezed past. 

I don't know, maybe somehow Connie will go back on some of the narrative she is spinning at the end of the book, but as of right now, with only a few chapters to go, I am tempted to call this book firmly anti-Deaf community. It disparages Deafness, Deaf parenthood and spreads too much misleading information about cochlears for me to feel comfortable accepting it as is. Ill share the rest of my thoughts in the next few days and give a final answer by at the end of the book because who knows, maybe the ending really will change how I feel about the story.

Anyway, I am gonna take the rest of the morning to enjoy this Oolong tea (snowy dragon) which is quickly becoming my favorite of all time. To all who celebrate, good morning and be well!


Another day, another quart of tea. I hope everyone is well today! I got to celebrate a good friend's birthday yesterday by going to the national portrait gallery and seeing all of those incredible exhibits. and hey! only one strange man took a picture of us! not bad numbers for a bunch of Deafies and a wheelchair user. These friends will be going off to Texas in the next few weeks and my lovely companion is in California for the remainder of the summer, so on the bright side I have more time to focus on reading and thinking. Still doesn't make waking up alone any easier.

So with the most recent Books on Hands meeting out of the way, its time to focus more on Raymond Luczak's "A Quiet Foghorn" as well as his other writings. That will be the topic of our next meeting and I am hoping to get him on a zoom call to answer questions and what not! Anyway, that's the basic outline of this month, once I go to work and come back tonight I'll have a better idea of what to talk about for the remainder of this week. Usually something pops up in a book I'm reading or with my co-workers or something. For now I will enjoy  perfectly scheduled out, lonesome morning with my oolong tea and the chilly morning creeping through these thin walls. 

Good morning to all who celebrate, love those around you and miss them when they're gone and wait with growing excitement for them to be back 


Hello everyone and welcome back! I am finally on my "weekend" off work so I can take my time waking up and sharing my thoughts today. I Think I will be done with Connie Briscoe's book this week. If I could take it home with me that might be easier but I am sticking to reading it for 30 minutes at work instead. I like the distraction from wanting to use my phone while on my break. The book is keeping me engaged though, despite very little in the way of action and most of it being dialogue and very pedestrian drama, It is slowly building into this isolating cage for our main character. There really is no more safety for her because both men in her life are a danger- and her friends have all but abandoned her. 

In terms of the Deaf representation in this book, again, it is realistic but not particularly pro Deaf community. There are mentions of ASL, dialogue about speech and lipreading etiquette, awkward and relatable conversations to neighbors about what we can hear and lipread, cochlear implant discussions etc... All the usual stuff is there but the Deaf community is not and in the end, the author relies on a cochlear, speech and oralism as the most empowering choice for their character. 

I mentioned in a previous entry that I don't actually mind this, after all it is an authentic take by a Deaf woman who has lived the life. In fact, I think it suits this story quite well because the kind of dangers present in the book are all insidious, related to money, independence from a controlling husband, and the losing of community. I am nearing the climax of the book and Alexis is at her loneliest, her marriage is strained, she only works part time and even that money she makes for herself is scrutinized and she now has a cochlear amidst all of this. Its a pretty good metaphor for how getting the surgery can subtly guide you away from the Deaf community.

Next book is by Raymond Luczak, I am really excited for it so stay tuned for my thoughts. In the meantime, I will get some tea, maybe pu'er today and start my day. 

Good morning to all who celebrate and be well!


Back to the daily blog! Things are still trucking along as per usual, I am half way though "You Never Know" and I am really enjoying myself. I was also sent three of Raymond Luczak's more prolific works yesterday. "Flannelwood, The Kinda Fella I am and Men With Their Hands." All three seem super interesting and "The Kinda Fella I Am" is written with a really crude, casual tone that I haven't seen from Raymond before. I Think I'll read starting with that one as soon as I finish "You Never Know." Im excited to have something to look forward to over the next few weeks!

Drinking a new "Snowy Dragon" Oolong tea out of my small turquoise gaiwan today. good stuff. So good morning to all who celebrate and be well!


Hello everyone and happy (or not so happy) Monday! Yesterday I had what I thought would be my first official books on hands meeting. I had an author lined up to be there, at least two people got tickets on eventbrite and some engagement on social media so I thought maybe five people would show, but unfortunately no one did. Sarah Katz did stop by at 6:00 and we had a nice conversation about writing, her plans for the future and feelings about the Deaf community and whatnot. I am really grateful for that, since getting to know Deaf writers is kind of my jam. In the end, I got paid for the extra hour of work and spent a great night with my love eating fried rice at home so I have no real complaints. I hope that I can grow the interest in this club over time- I just need a way to reach the community in a more substantial way. Maybe advertising inside of the signing starbucks for next month would do some good. Anyway, I'm getting ready to start my day. Had black tea with milk this morning, good morning to all who celebrate and never stop pursuing your lofty goals!


Woah, good afternoon! Its been a few days hasn't it? While I have still been updating the site, i've mostly been working on a little short story rather than blogging. I haven't had much to report lately because I am slowly getting through a new book, 30 minutes at a time and I don't have much in the way of new books to talk about. I do however, have my first book club meeting tomorrow! Sarah Katz, the author of Country of Glass is supposed to turn up, so too will an awesome member of the Gallaudet Publishing house, Katie Lee, so I am excited for what that might bring. Maybe I'll resume my daily updates after the first club has finished and I get some ideas for books and what not! Either way, be well and i hope you have a good morning whenever the occasion arises.


Hello again all! I am changing things up a bit by typing this from the kitchen, a nice bowl of matcha next to me and breakfast already having been eaten. It is super early compared to when I usually get up and write but hey, the workforce demands it. I'm just glad I get to wake up with my partner next to me.

SO the novel "You Neve Know" is scratching a kind of drama itch I never knew I had. I guess I never realized how stressful it could be to read about a woman being torn between two guys, especially when there is an underlying tone of danger to the situation. Who is more likely to blow up or hurt her when they find out the truth? It's by no means a new concept but hey, I'm enjoying the ride and I appreciate that this is from a d/Deaf perspective in the first place. Either way, this is definitely going to be a recommendation I make in store from here on out. At least it is easier to sell people on than some of the other Deaf works we have. 

Going to keep on keeping on and figuring out what else I can do with this blog hopefully. Thanks everyone for following along and be well! Good morning to all who celebrate.


another late entry for today, sorry for the lack of morning goodness to whomever this might concern. I have my lovely partner over to stay at my place for a week, now that the college semester is coming to a close so I will be figuring out my schedule and how to stay on top of things.

Nothing much to report today anyway. I am a few chapters in to Connie Briscoe's book, enjoying it immensely so far and I really hope to see it surprise me moving forward! That's all for tonight. Take care all


Hello one and all! It feels like a good morning already. I have an oolong tea brewing in the background- its called Wuyi and it has a perfect breakfast taste, like sweetened oats. I am eating a hearty breakfast of corned beef, eggs, toast with fig jam and sausage just sorta thrown into one bowl to save the amount of dishes I have to do later. Now that's breakfastin' with your head. 

 Yesterday I took a new book with me when I went out on lunch. This was Connie Briscoe's "You Never Know", her newest and only domestic thriller novel about a Deaf (I guess deaf) woman who has relationship issues, is between two men and then gets attacked in the middle of the night by an unidentified someone whom it seems increasingly like may be very close to her. Now, Connie has come in to Solid State- where I work and done an author reading/signing (actually she didn't sign a huge amount heh heh). All this to say I already had some thoughts about her. First off, she doesn't identify as Deaf. in her books and on her site she most often uses the term "hearing impaired" and talks about how much her cochlear implant helps things along. This is great and all and I am happy that Connie gets as much benefit as possible from her cochlear- but it did drop her down to the bottom of my list of Deaf authors for sure. In store she used an interpreter to help understand the QA portion of her event but she didn't much sign herself. The more I learn about her it seems mostly like she is new to the language and community of Deafhood after having gotten her implant so late in life. So despite her successful book, I put her off as an author I could get to at a later date and... Well I suppose that date is now. I cracked her book open yesterday, it began with an exciting and prolonged chase throughout a house- recounted to a police woman in the aftermath of the break in. I was already intrigued by this point, I really needed a good professional tale of horror and Connie knows what she is doing with that. Most surprisingly though, The politics of Deafness that Connie brings into the story keep me reading. The first thing I noticed about this author is that she almost definitely self-inserts as the main character. The thoughts and ideas in the book might as well be her own politics. The main character has a cochlear, identifies and hearing impaired, takes pride in her speech abilities, has middling signing abilities etc... and while I might normally find this annoying and/or "hearing washed" I actually found a lot of nuance in this choice. Since Connie writes essentially her own thoughts into the story, we get a really intimate look at a Deaf author's experience. Our character has a taste in men that includes preferring men who put in the effort to sign with her, despite her own limited abilities. She hates crowded parties and loud environments, she has frustrations with lipreading but also adds how easy it is to lipread family and friends... Connie telling a story that ends up being very relatable without necessarily catering to her Deaf audience. Its just her story, told the way she likes it, open to all. Throughout "Tripping the Tale Fantastic" I felt like there was a blaring neon sign reading: 

This. Is. For. Deafies. Only. 

And that gets quite old. Of course, I'm not trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater here, I like Deaf stories and I don't think our stories need to be consumable to hearing people whatsoever. But my original assumptions about this book are being beaten down with nuance. This is an undeniably Deaf book, but it isn't... bold? it just is. I kinda like that. Anyway, I haven't gotten especially far into this one anyway so I'll keep you posted on how this unfolds.

To all who celebrate, good morning, be well and watch your backs at home...


Brief entry today. I made some additions to my list of finished books and today I need to focus on what to read next. We have some biographies in store but they aren't striking me as the most interesting things to look at. I want to keep going down the fiction route if I can. see-see. Reheated black rose tea this morning, and a good one to all who celebrate!


All good things must come to an end right? I am starting this entry just moments after finishing the final three short stories from Tripping the Tale Fantastic. We got an Eyeth reimagining! also a strange futuristic dating app and a decent story about transhumanist students playing football with electronic prosthetics. I can safely say that reading this collection was worthwhile but not without its frustrations. Some of the stories just weren't very impressive, well thought out or imaginative but I am proud of the overall work that went into this. In fact, I really hope we can see this become something of a multiple volume work over time. Maybe i'll get in contact with the publishers and see what we can do about that. 

Lets also take a moment to appreciate the writers guild strike which is happening right now. If we want to talk about lifting up Deaf voices in literature then we have to love those who fight for decent wages and rights for writers in media.

I guess I don't have much commentary to share for today. I am going to move to my other page and update my reading list as well as start on a review of my favorite short stories from the collection I just finished. Its about time I started to fill out the rest of this blog. Sipping on sugary rose black tea, wishing all who celebrate a good morning and hoping you can all be your best most revolutionary selves today!


Hello friends and welcome yet again! I hope the end of the school year is treating everyone well. I think there is a general air of apathy, especially so this year what with all of the sickness, absent teachers and students etc... Please stay safe and mask indoors if you can.

I am excited on a few accounts today! On a personal note, I'll be going to the zoo on this rainy day which I haven't done in quite a while. Regarding this blog though, I have been in touch with more authors, publishers and learning about some of the up and coming novels which Deaf authors are getting published later this fall! I'd urge everyone to check out Signedink.org for more info on Deaf authors and writing. I am obviously very new to this but I love the feeling of being an insider. I have access to ARCs (advance review copies) of books and I have some authority as a Deaf bookseller so I really do feel like I can make a difference!

Settling down now, I just ate some fig jam toast and I am drinking Taj Mahal brand black tea from India, which a friend gave me! I also made a mint syrup and tossed some of that in for that minty goodness. Black tea and mint, I'm telling you its incredible. I hope everyone else is similarly enjoying the start to their own respective days.

To start things off, I read Kristen Harmon's "Spirit Box" this morning and it is still fresh in my mind. Here is a genuine story with an interesting setting, a fully detailed world, a story that keeps you guessing all throughout and finally a sharp turn towards the end with a gut punch. I am really glad that the final short stories are delivering quite well. I love how this story lulls you into the feeling that it is a nostalgic romance story about a young couple just skating by, living their dream in an old dilapidated southern house. I love that the characters are introduced like they just have cute hobbies and interests and its just part of who they are. Great work on this one Kristen! (She was also one of my professors at Gallaudet so I have quite a lot of respect for her at this point).

With the school year ending and my companion leaving in two weeks for California I will have to fill my free time with research and outreaching to Deaf writers in order to get a good list of up and coming books together for the fall. Meanwhile I will keep going through the books I already have and finally get to updating my page about what I have already read. Lots to be done but for today, the zoo.

As always, good morning to all who celebrate, be well and enjoy the rain if you can!


Happy May, one and all! I'm just now settling in to my little corner on the floor- hand stinging from spilling matcha tea down the sides of the bowl but otherwise unburnt everywhere else. Lately I have been having a lot of luck contacting really important names in Deaf literary circles! Raymond Luczak, Sarah Katz and KL from Gallaudet's publishing office are all in contact with me and they will be stopping by my book club as well and I intend to learn as much about writing and publishing from them as I can! Who knows where this will lead me but creating a network of people is never a bad thing. I hope everyone else is doing well, reminder to please drink some water. Just a good habit to get into every morning. Mmm, nothing beats that first frothy sip of matcha. Somehow it feels vindicating after having felt its stinging wrath moments ago. I do not forgive this transgression and thus I will be consuming it fully.

Now, Tripping the Tale Fantastic is coming to a close in the next few stories and while I'm sad to see it go, I think I am ready to move on to something more substantial. Perhaps even getting to the original point of this project, to start listing out these books and making this blog something more of a resource for new readers of the Deaf. So that will be the plan moving forward. I will develop the rest of my pages on this blog, focus on by book club and contacting other lovely helpful people to see what I can learn about this literary world. Hopefully I can spy some new up and coming writers to check out. 

As for right now, I think I must unfortunately choose anger. The last short story I read from our beloved collection was called "Thurisaz" by Brighid Meredith. She killed the dog... She created this little post-apocalyptic world of toxic gas, earthquakes and dimensional portals and she just had to melt the poor dog before the story ends. Also lets just give it up for the worst, most entitled family in the apocalypse. They have an armored protective vehicle with TVs, smartphone access, half of a years worth of food, and a heckin good boi. They have more luxury at the end of the world than I do now- but even still they lose their daughter, she fucks off into some magical gateway that whisks her off to another dimension and the family just stands there arguing about how she totally died and they need to call the government for evac before the gas kills the rest of them. 

I don't actually have that many qualms about this story. It had balls and I love gruesome writing but It suffers from not being able to develop its world and cast further. I want to know if these parents are entitled or if they ever loved each other. I want to know if the kids are just whiney and stupid or if they are regressing in the face of a collapsing society. I want to know if the good boy got all of the head pats he deserved. With how short this story was made to be it just leaves a frustrating amount of questions left unanswered and a glaring lack of story being told. But that isn't a bad thing so long as our author Brighid keeps writing this one and makes something of it! "The Hagalaz" is an objectively cool name. The term is rooted in an old old Germanic word for hail and is a sort of metaphor for destruction, and change. Didn't have to kill off the dog so brutally though... 

So, I will be finishing this collection soon and making a list of my favorite stories and a brief explanation of each. Stay tuned for that. Otherwise, good morning to all who celebrate and be well!


Welcome one and all to the end of the month! Remember to cancel any outstanding free trials before they become paid subscriptions. You're welcome. Some of us here in DC woke up to the sound of thunder hitting nearby which is always a great way to start the day off with a sense of calm and composure. Though- I do love thunderstorms and rain especially. I get to sit here with a muffin, reheated pu'er tea and the occasional crackle and pop of especially large raindrops smacking my AC unit.

So I hit another impressive short story yesterday! This one was another who's name I forgot, but I'll make a list compiling all of my favorites and their authors at the end of this excursion. It was about a young woman moving out of DC and into... I think it was New York but i'm not entirely sure. It was all narrated through the letters this woman sent to friends, family and her past professor, so her voice and writing style changed to suit each correspondence. As the story goes, we learn she is a teacher for a school for the Deaf, her landlord is especially friendly (and apparently she has a thing for dad bods. no judgement) and she is making the slow adjustment into her new life. We learn how these life events unfold and they start to take a sinister tone when she faces harassment, then her cat is killed and evidence piles up that she is being watched. The nature of reading mail that has already been sent gives the story a slightly voyeuristic feel and also the sense that you are too late to whatever events are unfolding. A lot of the prior stories in this collection has suffered from pacing problems and a lack of emotional umpf. Either there is no discernable conflict to make the story an actual narrative, or the pacing is so fast that the story never breathes and lets you sit with the actions and consequences. This one did a great job of keeping the story moving at a good pace, developing the world, giving us a red herring (albeit a bit too late in the story) and delivering on something of a stressful story. I think it works especially well because of the sense of isolation that is played up. The Deaf community is small and finding a friend nearby can sometimes feel like latching on to the nearest person so theres a real sense of desperation when the pieces fall into place and you realize that your home and community is the danger. There is no other safe place to turn. All in all, I think a lot of elements worked great in this story. It isn't easy to make such a short narrative work in the first place so I'm glad we now have at least two creative and well put together stories to be proud of in this collection. 

Ah hell... work in thirty minutes.

Good morning to all who celebrate, be well, be hydrated and avoid the lightening. its faster than you think.


Alright, I have about 15 minutes to type something out for today so I'll do what i can with the thoughts I have. The best anyone can do really. Pu'er black tea today. Its my kick in the ass tea.

 As I'm getting through these short stories about two at a time I am noticing a greater variety of stories which is great! I realize I have been in a very critical state of mind lately so I want to take a moment to appreciate the nature of this compilation book I am reading. It really is a super fun idea to have so many diverse voices and stories come together by Deaf authors. I genuinely want to see more books like this one in the future and just the principle of this work being put together puts a smile on my face. I love that I am getting into stories about wizard detectives, faeries and families turning into dogs. I really am having so much fun getting through these stories but at the same time... gosh darn it I just want to turn a critical eye towards the things I love. I want these stories to be the best they can possibly be and I want us to learn collectively from them. Deaf authorship, as the header of my blog says- is in its infancy (relatively, to the mainstream world at least). Because I have to leave for wok I just want to leave off with this thought. I want you all to write the crazy, strange, best and worst of your imaginings. I think that as a community we have the potential to write some of the most unique stories and I can't wait to see those come to fruition. "Tripping the Tale Fantastic" is a wonderful first step for us so lets keep tripping.

As always, good morning to those who celebrate and be well. I gotta rush the hell outta here.


Hello everyone! I have my mint tea at the ready, some homemade guac and triscuits (why are there no quadscuits, huh?) and a wonderfully rainy day to accompany me as I slowly come online and into the day. As always, thank you for joining me on the floor of my bedroom and indulging my little tirades and mental wanderings- I only hope it is of some interest or entertainment to whomever comes across this page. 

So to jump right in to things, I just hit a short story that really hit me! Apologies for not remembering the authors name, I can't bring the book home with me, but the story I believe was called "vibrating mouths" and no, that's unfortunately not a sex thing. 

(lets get someone on that, though)

In all seriousness, this one really departed from the preceding parables in a few key ways. A brief overview of this one: The author speaks from the point of view of a Deaf person concerned about Deaf language and the influence of hearing people, referred to as "the vibrating mouths." While Deaf people in this world are still the minority, They have taken up the kind of dismissive attitude and even dehumanization of hearing people that parallels our history of treatment. The narrator talks about hearing people as if they don't speak, have no language, are inferior in all ways and are even sub-human to Deaf people. That their only recourse is to teach these poor vibrating mouths to close their lips, to use language, understand poetry, beauty and become civilized. 

This story works so god damned well- not because it turns a simple convention on its head or boldly voices the frustrations of the Deaf community in a scathing indictment of ableist attitudes, but because it keeps Deaf and hearing people exactly where they are. There are still hearing doctors in this world, audiologists who take Deaf children away and implant them. The Deaf people in this story aren't elevated to where hearing people are in our world but even still they are written with this contempt and patronizing attitude fitting of a majority supremacist culture. The thing is, for the purposes of this story, it doesn't matter. What "the vibrating mouths" shows is that the control of language over all else can change everything. It immediately turns educated doctors and human beings into broken chattering creatures. It places aggressive stupidity on a whole community of people while stripping their power from them. That revelation about half way in the story was super powerful to me. The Deaf people in this story are objectively in the exact same position as we are now. Still being sent off to boarding schools, implanted etc... but through sheer ignorance and supremacist attitudes, the Deaf are "elevated" to the same enlightened place as hearing people in our world as we know them. In other words- its all bullshit. 

Because Deaf people were included in this indictment of ableist attitudes and language use, It got me thinking a little more about our community. I actually shared my thoughts on the concept of "Deaf gain" a few days ago and I want to revisit that in light of this story. What I want to ask you is this:

Why the hell did we come up with Deaf gain?

If not entirely for the purposes of begging hearing people to view us as less disabled, less useless, to accept the uniqueness of being Deaf... Now that last part I have no problem with. Acceptance of what makes us unique is sort of at the core of my philosophy and politics, but that acceptance is an end and a means all by itself. No justification required. "Deaf gain" as a concept (at least the way it is often used to justify being proud of being Deaf) just strikes me as so backwards, so pretentious. "um actually, did you know that being Deaf gives you greater visual acuity and a longer attention span?? Oh um, Deafness actually gives me a greater spatial awareness because of the nature of blah blah blah..." Who the hell cares about the average peripheral vision of Deaf people? So many of us do not have good vision. We do not have great mobility or spatial reasoning. The way to overcome the toxicity of the hearing world is not by engaging with the exact same mindset that got us here in the first place! The best of us aren't those with the most attuned of what senses we have left and our worth has nothing to do with our ability or what we have gained through our struggles. Deaf gain is a funny little inside joke for us and a cute piece of trivia to bring up at show and tell but that's it. As a philosophy it is garbage and where we see gain for ourselves, we also look down on those who do not gain. Our breadth of experience, our uniqueness, our ability not to DO but to BE is what makes us human and that applies to everyone. We have the GALL to charge headlong through life, some of us with parts missing, nuts and bolts clanging, jangling and finally falling as we leave them behind. Life is already hard enough as is and we accept that and move forward. Gain or none. I refuse to look back on them from up ahead. To condescend from afar.

Those poor creatures. If only they could be elevated to our enlightenment. If only we could make them see... If only we could make them understand... If only we could make them...

Good morning to all who celebrate. Go be ;)


Here we are once again sitting on my bedroom floor, drinking Moroccan mint tea and finishing up my breakfast. Thanks for joining me on this shorter post! I just wanted to write something for this morning despite posting last night, just to keep the pattern going. 

I have no idea if my work at solid state is getting more noticed or not but yesterday we did have multiple groups of Deafies come in and browse around! I love that we can have full days where there are people sitting in the corner or at a table just signing openly in our store. I want more of that please. 

I think I will switch over to reading the weird fiction shorts over Raymond Luczak for now- until June, when I have my book club for A Quiet Foghorn. These shorts are definitely catching my attention and inspiring me to write more but I am definitely looking forward to the best this book has to offer. If just one story can really captivate me then i'll consider this one a success. So my plan for today will be to read on my lunch break, research some more Deaf books to get in store eventually and at the end of the day I might try my hand at writing a short of my own. I have a few ideas rattling around but they are all old concepts that I have reused. Maybe I should shake it up and try something new. 

More discussions on weird literature tomorrow! For now- good morning, be well and enjoy the day!


Hello everyone! No I did not forget about you- lets just call this one a late good morning alright? Life gets in the way, you already know. I had a busy day today but I did keep reading some more Deaf short stories. Boy does "Tripping the Tale Fantastic" hit it on the nose when they call it "weird fiction." Some of these stories have no point, others are thinly veiled metaphors for deaf oppression using dog transformation... I really do love discovering these stories one by one and analyzing them, but I have to admit that very few of them have really struck me so far. I think this whole collection is a great exercise in getting people inspired to loosen their writing voice and jot down whatever ideas come to mind. Reading any given story always ends with me wanting to keep it going or add to it or fix it in whatever ways I wish. SO if I may, id like to give you all some homework. That's to absolutely trash a story of your own choice with your own ideas and interpretations. Whatever plot ideas come into your head while you read- jot them down and write a new story based on that. I want people to get used to the idea that most stories are inspired by others rather than living in a vacuum. Theres nothing wrong with building off of an existing idea or even writing an objectively bad story based off of anothers' idea. writing is fun and personal and super messy and we can all use a little more imperfection in life. Now, I want this on my desk by friday and, like a good authority figure, Im going to immediately go to sleep and leave you to your own devices. Ill see you for another good morning tomorrow! be well.


Alrighty then, hello everyone! Today is off to a better start than yesterday in that I actually made my tea on time (reheated Darjeeling tea) and got some reading done before my blog post, which is likely a better way to go about this whole project. I finally took some time to finish reading the first three stories in "Tripping the Tale Fantastic" and... well they weren't lying when they said these were "weird fiction." The first one "The Hearing Aid" by David Langford has a very obvious Orwell / Bradbury tone with the sinister and socially antagonistic tone of all of the characters. The story followed a tone deaf man in an alternate universe where hearing devices are sold to help identify and understand music. Being able to understand and parse out melody and grasp what is  being played is evidently seen as incredibly important and anyone (Deaf people) who can't do this are encouraged o "try harder" and ridiculed. Of course the hearing devices are all but worthless, annoying and expensive little voices in our characters head so he ends up shutting them off and with them, the music. 

I think this short did a good job of reframing what the real problems of Deafness are often like so that hearing people can understand the social impacts a little better. There's a lot of patronizing, antagonizing, testing and supremacy that one must deal with when being openly Deaf. While I don't think that the world was built up very much so I couldn't make much of a mental image of the story in my head, I think it works really well as an outlet for some of the most common frustrations we hear as Deaf people.

Next was "The Meaning, Not the Words" by Kristen Lingman. I actually mistook this for Raymond Luczak because of the Fae/ Faerie theme, but anyway... This story is something of a tender love letter to Deaf people. There are heavy themes of us being connected to nature and outcast from humanity through our Deafness which is certainly an interesting take. This isn't the first time that Deafness has been seen as inherently more naturalistic or even "wild" but I think having the fae settle for letting the Deaf boy go and return to his family was a good way to end the story. After all, we ARE human- but I do like the nod towards our inherent tendency to connect and bridge gaps with people more easily. I know a lot of my Deaf friends are into fae and mysticism so this one will more than likely land with a lot of you. 

Lastly, there was Willy Conley's "The Ear." This one is my least favorite so far unfortunately. If I had to guess, I would say that this was supposed to be a story about how awkward and isolating it feels as a Deaf person to respond to potential danger. The police are not accommodating to us, family often isn't easy to trust or reach out to, lovers, friends and any number of other factors cause us to second guess ourselves from making decisions or responding to a situation appropriately. I love the idea of a horror story where the police and other "safe" solutions are turned on their head, (Jordan Peele's Get out is a great example) but this story immediately makes our character seem unlikable and unbelievable. From the fatphobic comments she makes about her running partner whom she relies on to feel safe to her weird "wow, a black woman police officer with tribal earrings. how far we've come" line that is no joke, one of the last lines in the story. In the end, the ear was a pig ear. There were no elements of horror in this tale, no tangible moments of stress or suspense. It actually reads very much like those "white woman calls cops for no reason" stories you see on the news. This lady gets riled up over a discarded deli cut, bothers her friend, beats her TTY machine on several occasions, abruptly peaces out in the middle of the night on thanksgiving to call the cops and have them poke the ear and tell her its... not human. There's just no substantial commentary to fill the void where some kind of story should be. I dunno, I have a lot of thoughts on this but I'll hold off for now so I can get through some more of these stories without judging things too harshly. Remember folks: If you want to write a story, make sure it has a point, evokes an emotional response and ends on a note that ties things up or leaves them unsettlingly unresolved. 

Anyway, enough criticism for now. I need to start my day and that means a hearty good morning to all of you! hold on to your ears today, be extra nice to any TTY's you stumble across and keep writing at all costs.


This Monday is already feeling weird so apologies for weirdness hence... I have today and tomorrow off work so it feels like a strange kind of limbo where I have lots of free time but not really because I need to use this free time to get things done, not to mention I woke up two hours later than I usually do this morning. Isn't it ridiculous how when we give our bodies the chance to sleep in and recover they almost without fail take all the sleep they can get? It's almost like we are constantly overworked and overstimulated and could all use a bit les of *all this* around us.

Because I plan to read later today, I'd like to word vomit some of my thoughts this morning. I am feeling very politically incensed today. I don't know about you, but the whole "Anti trans laws, child labor laws, ongoing pandemic, another child shot for no reason, ongoing police brutality..." stuff really gets me going. Specifically with regards to COVID I am disappointed to see that even at Gallaudet, a liberal arts university, a place for higher learning even- has seen a complete drop in community protections. The one campus in the world that is supposed to champion Deaf/DA rights is completely throwing its most vulnerable students out the window. Classes keep getting cancelled every week due to teachers getting sick, students aren't encouraged to test and so end up going to class and getting more people sick and there is no COVID tracking on campus anymore because the university shut that whole thing down... There are so many immunocompromised students, so many multiply disabled students and the general consensus on campus is to parrot the age old American dream of "take care of yourself, I've got mine already." I don't know, I love my fellow Deafies but it sucks to see that even Deafness doesn't translate to the kind of community that ensures that we keep each other safe at all costs. That's my own dream anyway, that we practice what we preach when we talk about Deaf-gain. I don't care about heightened peripheral vision, hand dexterity, better visuo-spatial awareness... That always struck me as creepy and ableist. Deaf-gain to me is about community and our ability to exist outside of the apathy of the hearing world. We gain from community and connection far more than hearing people do because we have community and culture where they do not. 

SO to tie this all in with the writing theme of this blog, I want to talk about an as of yet unexplored genre of Deaf fiction (This means I have yet to explore it, not that there are no Deaf stories in this genre). Deaf Horror. I think that Deafness in literature is especially well equipped to write stories about isolation and rejection, or even more extreme stories about society turning on an individual. I think most of us have an innate distrust of the large society around us, but pairing that with our own community rejecting us (on the basis of not being Deaf enough, not signing well enough, etc...) could make for a really poignant story that taps into a lot of our fears. I'm imagining a sort of campy story where our hero wakes up to find all of his friends and family have been implanted or given hearing aids- Deaf and hearing alike so as to "perfect" their hearing beyond its natural level. This sudden change would be confusing and people would suddenly be hearing so much louder that they would be whispering at all times to one another, making it impossible for the main character to hear or lipread them. They would be able to hear heartbeats, Deaf friends and family would all of the sudden reject the Deaf label with these new implants and leave our character alone, the hearing world as our character knew it would be turned up to eleven. I think that this could make a pretty good (if goofy) story about the ableist obsession with "perfect" senses. There is definitely a parallel with some of the older alien invasion stories about aliens parasitically taking over a town while keeping the hosts personality just about intact (The Thing, invasion of the body snatchers etc...)

So I think there is an interesting precedent for Deaf horror to latch on to some of these tropes! I myself am feeling inspired to write something along these lines to let out all my angst about the state of the Deaf community around me. I hope that "Tripping the Tale Fantastic" ends up having some good horror in it as well so I may take a look at a story or two from there today. 

I have to officially start my day now. It's very nearly 12:00 and that's ok, I think we all deserve some slow starts every now and again. So of course, Good morning! have a great day everyone and please wear a mask around other people when you are able. take care.


Hello again and happy Sunday everyone! Unfortunately, I don't have weekends like your average office joe- so instead ill be going to work as per usual. Tomorrow is actually my day off so I'll take some time to go shopping, read some more, the works... I'm also going back to drinking straight matcha this morning! That is only exciting to me I realize, but matcha is always a good omen that things will be decent today. That's why its important to cycle you teas, kids. You need to get the full range of foreshadowing for a balanced storyline.

I am happy to have seen so many more Gallaudet grads and students coming into Solid State recently. Even if you people only ever look at the tarot cards and YA novels I still love you. 

Lately I have been researching more Deaf publishing houses and trying to find the best resources for discovering other Deaf writers. Raymond Luczak, as it turns out has his own publishing house with a few more books I haven't yet seen. I also think that following the list of authors under "Tripping the Tale Fantastic" is a good start for discovering more work. I just have yet to find a helpful resource that compiles a long list of names across all genres. Maybe that will be my calling, who knows! 

another brief note on "A Quiet Foghorn." Wow does this one pick up in the second half. Raymond was really holding out on us when he was talking about his upbringing and whatnot because now that he is on to the New York portion of his life, his experiences with love, loss all of that... He is leaning harder into prose, really letting his emotions go and dropping the formal, perfectionist tone of the beginning. I made sure to write a staff pick in store just to let people know that I am hooked at this point so in the end, My initial assumptions about this book were totally wrong and I couldn't be happier to be reading "just another Deaf biography." 

Anyway, I have another early morning for work. I hope I can start finding a groove in which to read and write more often because I don't think I a reading often enough to warrant my thoughts being published right now. That's all part of the journey though! Here's to the good mornings ahead- one and all! Be well everyone.


Good news everyone! I finally got my copy of "Tripping the Tale Fantastic" yesterday and I am super excited to dive into this ASAP. I took a little bit of time on one of my breaks to read the foreword and- aside from a weird comment about fake ASL usage in movies being compared to blackface, the editor seems to have a very enthusiastic tone and I am really looking forward to these short stories. The first one is called "Hearing aid" and seems to be set in a crowded cocktail party with all of the accompanying irritability and overstimulation that noisy environments like that provide. An interesting start for a first short story. I'm going to take a stab at it and say this will be a horror themed short, maybe all of the guests at the party will become more confusing and more hostile towards our protagonist, perhaps demanding over and over that he "just wears a hearing aid." and all of his problems will be solved. I love sinister stuff like that... The tone is very dry and witty so far so I am hooked. Good start.

That was the highlight of my day yesterday, reading a new book. My managers were at work for most of the day so there wasn't much in the way of resting. I am thinking that I should convert part of this "daily writing" schedule into a legitimate journal for writing short stories of my own, inspired by the authors I read for this blog. maybe at the end of each week I can try my hand at applying what I've learned and post it here to cap off the week. Otherwise I would love to get some stories from my audience to share on here! 

Early morning today, schedule for work has me coming in at 10 so I gotta get up and go. Good morning everyone! enjoy the sun or lack thereof, depending on where you are and take care one and all. (wear a mask if you are going anywhere).


Good morning to friends and foes alike! (I don't really have any enemies, I just spent too much time riling myself up on twitter). So I took the day off yesterday, a whopping five days in and I'm already slacking off, but I made the most of that day! I had my boxing class, went out with my partner, ate some food outside, walked around Chinatown, fried some Filipino turon back home... good day! 

Now, on Wednesday I got to read much more of "A Quiet Foghorn" and I am really excited that things are picking up even more. Raymond is exploring more complex ideas around sexuality, Deafness and navigating the world as he grows older. I actually think that the presence of talk about age is a really unique vector that we, unfortunately don't get a lot of in queer stories. Things just feel a little brighter when an older gay man gets to talk about falling in love, going on bike rides and eating olives... Boy does he really like olives. SO I think I am finally finding the *point* to this work of essays that I've been looking for. My number one fear was that this book would be too unfocused for me, but now that introductions are done I can see that Luczak has some unique insights that make this book stand out and be a real joy to read. 

Anyway, I'm running a bit late for my... everything. I took too long getting out of bed and making tea (ginger and green) So im gonna get outta here and start me day. More content to come in the following days, im just hitting a bit of a plateau with my work not having my next book in yet. Take care everyone, good morning yet again and be well!


Good morning to you all! I had a nice day yesterday- despite having some mind numbing tasks at work all day. I ended up reaching out to a fellow Gallaudet graduate and blogger who is writing about and ranking Deaf characters in fiction (by hearing and Deaf authors) and I thought they would be a perfect place to jump over to when you get bored of reading my own posts. So check out slacowan.com for more thoughts on Deafness in literature! 

 Aside from making a new friend, I also got my work to sign off on letting me bring "A Quiet Foghorn" home with me on our library system so that I can spend more than 30 minutes at a time every day reading this thing. I want to mention that my last two posts were mostly critical of this book, but as I'm getting further into it A lot of my fears are assuaged. What I thought was a very safe and formal writing style is turning into more of a bold, assertive voice. Luczak has very clear thoughts on his life and he doesn't leave much room for doubt, even when talking about trauma. Its really pretty admirable how fearlessly he carves his story into the pages. It reminds me of that trademark Deaf bluntness that we all know and love. I think I will save the rest of my thoughts on this for tomorrow or the day after. I'll most likely have finished reading it by then and my long awaited sci fi compilation will have arrived as well! I can't tell you all how excited I am to go through those short stories. I plan to get through two or three shorts every day and post about what I like and what I noticed about each author's writing style and influences. Its going to be a real high point for this blog! 

Anyway, my tea isn't kicking in like I thought it would so I'll leave off right here. Wish me luck at work today, I have tomorrow off so I'm hoping to spend the day working on some of my other projects and maybe cooking some Filipino dessert with my partner! So good morning to all who celebrate. Be well, be warm, be weird. 


Good morning and welcome to my fourth blog post! I'm in that weird state of mind when you start a new habit, have a few good days under your belt and all of the sudden your body just says...

 "Hey you could just stop doing that thing that you are trying to work hard on. Instead you could spend your morning drinking tea and doing literally anything other than something productive. You should try it, its fun!"

So while I wont give in, I do have a knack for meeting my body half way, and that's by essentially having cake for breakfast. A raspberry iced pastry to be exact, and I took a heaping helping thank you very much. Oh and my tea of the day is a Pu'er from China. Look it up if you don't know. Any description I give will probably put you off of it anyway.

As for the point of this blog, I did no reading yesterday- aside from the few minutes I spent outside with a philosophy book in the sun. In the spirit of philosophy I have decided to ask a few questions to my readers to see if we can work out something of a template for the state of Deaf literature as it stands currently. I talked yesterday quite a bit about a narrative pattern I have noticed in most Deaf writing- but now I want to figure out how we can incorporate Deaf characters into all kinds of writing and what our limitations are for that. I think all good storytelling has to be done according to rules and limitations. The way people say that real life is often more absurd than any fictional story, because stories usually try to conform to some rules to keep the narrative from getting too loosey goosey. This also helps to keep stories nice and neat so they don't waste any unnecessary time, Which I think is the first problem I ran into when I tried incorporating Deafness into my own writing. See, I have all kinds of fantastical sci fi ideas poking around in my brain, mostly about the world coming to an end or some other incomprehensibly bad event happening that leaves people just... stranded with what's left. The problem I faced is that it is difficult to build a story first and then incorporate Deafness as a theme later. I was trying to stamp my writing with the "Mark of Deafness" Instead of creating a story that can benefit from themes of otherness, isolation, language etc... The other problem I have found with regards to sci fi writing is that you have to consider technology and the kind of society your character lives in. Either:

1. Technology has the ability to remove deafness and your character has opted out (Dystopian themes)

2. Society has gotten really cool about Deafness and incorporated ASL into their lives (Utopian themes)

3. Your character has suffered some injury and only recently became Deaf. Say, aliens attack earth with some kind of weapon that deafens the population. (VERY Deaf centered. like basically eyeth).

In this way it is very hard to simply drop a Deaf character into the middle of a sci fi storyline. at least by mainstream standards for storytelling, Deafness has to be explained or justified and that will ALWAYS require some extra subplot or theme. This frustrated me for a long time because often, I just want Deafness in a story without making it the center of the whole plot. In the end though, whether it's a sci fi story or any other genre, I think that maybe it is best to lean into these limitations and rules. Every time I have written a character who just IS Deaf and just happens to be the protagonist, I end up creating a one dimensional character who's only real trait is that they are Deaf. It just doesn't add up. So I think these rules we face when we make Deafness a part of our stories is where the complexity comes from. Deafness is relevant, it is loud and bold and it isn't a subtle trait to throw in with the rest. 

 I struggled because I was trying to write hearing stories with Deafness sprinkled on top as a garnish, but hen we write in sci fi, we have to bend the world to become ours. We have to create our own planets. To hell with futuristic comm systems, grumbling alien languages, laser pew pews... What does a fully Deaf future look like? I started out this post wondering how to neatly fit Deafness into literature as it stands today, but now I feel a bit divorced from the idea. 

Readers, what is our future? What new, silent planets will we create? 


Day number three is here and I also have a day off from work! I do not have a set schedule, instead my days off change almost every week and so do my hours so... My free time is very precious to me. Still, I'm happy to have the routine of waking up and writing every day- though I forgot to put the kettle on for tea. It'll be a slow morning, that's fine. Shout out to the two Gally students who came into the store yesterday looking for books on mushrooms and plant guidebooks. Seems like they are on a foraging bend and I love that! 

 Now, I got a few more chapters into "A Quiet Foghorn" and unfortunately it is turning out as I feared. There is nothing actually wrong with the book by any means, but I file these Deaf biography types under a mental note which reads "For hearing people." Books like foghorn make it a point to speak in a clear and consumable way about how Deafness impacts their unique lives, and That is a great way to show uninitiated hearing people what the Deaf world looks like, where our culture and values stem from etc... Past that it is very difficult to sell a fellow Deafie on a book like this, which is relatable to a fault. As a side note, the content of this book reminds me very much of the trademark Deaf greeting:





Ya know, all the basics of your Deaf life. Now this isn't to say I dislike Luczak's work, I just think I picked the wrong one of his works for my purposes. I am hoping to read a compilation of sci fi works this week which he contributed to and I am very excited for that one! 

Some closing thoughts: There is a trend I am noticing, something of a balancing act which all Deaf centering literature is ascribing to. These stories always include the bedrock of the Deaf experience. Language deprivation, the discovery of sign, finding your real social self and solidifying your identity is almost a template for each of these stories. 

 In Deaf Utopia, Nyle experiments with going to a mainstreamed school and in that way he dips his toes into language deprivation in the hearing world until it slams into him when he enters Dancing with the Stars as well as America's next top model. Then he discovers the power of sign in these performances, solidifies his identity and image and becomes who he is today.

 In Tru Biz, Charlie is mainstreamed and has hearing parents, she struggles with living as a "Hearing" person without connection to her Deafness until her father brings her to her first ASL class. She slowly starts to find how much better her life is with access to language, grows closer to her father and farther from her mother, discovers the Deaf world at her boarding school and through the other Deaf students and faculty she has her coming of age story and begins to step into her own identity. 

 The same can even be said for EL Deafo, Train gone, sorry, and most biographies. I think the key to writing memorable Deaf stories is to keep this structure in mind, after all it is a foundational and near universal experience for our community, but to make sure that your characters jettison out of this template by the end of the story. Deaf stories are ones of building tension- like Sara Novik's slow cooker bombs, where a character is stuck waiting, unchanging and confused. The most important part of the narrative is when we reconcile with the hearing world and learn exactly how we will chose to live in it. That is when the bomb goes off. Even Deaf family and CODA stories, which have significantly less tension, language deprivation and so on still follow this rule, just with the whole family becoming the pressure cooker. I am going to stop my rambling here for now because Who knows if my thoughts will even hold up tomorrow or next week. I'm excited to read some short stories soon! Ill keep making my way through A Quiet Foghorn as well, I haven't given up on it by any means. Tomorrow's post will probably be more rambling about general themes and tropes and whatnot because I wont be able to read much today. So, Time for me to get some tea. Good morning! Please keep writing so that I can have more fodder for this blog, ill go easy on you I promise. Take care and be well.


It's tomorrow already! Yesterday at work I ended up cracking open Raymond Luczak's "A Quiet Foghorn" because I have had my eye on this one ever since it came in. I wont pass any judgement on it yet because I have only gotten seven or eight pages in so far, but I hope it develops some character as it goes. Raymond has very neat and clean formal writing- at least in his first two essays, and It is starting to put me to sleep on my dinner breaks at work. He seems primed for a David Sedaris-like writing style but I wont hold it against him for not going the comedic route. I just hope to see more content, opinions, real meat to bite into instead of the same old biography writing which makes up the vast majority of Deaf texts we see in stores. Not that his life isn't interesting and relatable in its own right... Anyway, Ill be stepping further into that book today and hopefully have more worthwhile commentary on that.

 As for Sarah Katz and Raymond Antrobus, the two big poetry stars in store right now, I have to say that I personally enjoyed Antrobus' "Perseverance" much more than "Country of Glass." Country of Glass has a lot of content to think about and allows for any number of interpretations for any given poem. Some are of course more straight forward than others; like "They fall apart" on page 48. This is in the second half of the book where I Katz started to open up her focus to more general ideas, like the nature of spoken word and how they can crash and boom like thunder but still slip so readily away from us and likewise, how the hearing world lets signs fall away as useless things they can't understand either. This poem was the highlight of the book for me and even though I didn't connect with all of her material, I do appreciate this collection for what it is; a diverse array of poems each with its own format and energy and all of them with visceral emotion attached. 

As for "The Perseverance" It is off to a great start with the cover, a big crude black dot which reminds me of a story Idea I have had in mind forever wherein an inexplicable black dot in the sky watches over a town and essentially drives everyone mad simply by making them feel seen at all times. Antrobus' poems deal a lot with perception, judgement and identity conflict so I almost wonder if the cover art is somehow related to the idea of being watched. Anyway, His poetry is loads more consumable at least to me. I like his sense of rhythm and that he conveys very clearly what he wants to tell his audience. There is very little ambiguity in most of "The Perseverance" but there is loads of playfulness and confidence in the way he writes, even when the tone is dark you can tell there is a real enjoyment of the process of writing. "Two Guns in the Sky for Daniel Harris" Is one I can really appreciate him writing. I think it is especially hard to write about and connect ASL concepts in English without it coming off as tacky, but this one has a good sense of solemnity and care for the topic of police violence, so the message is both clear and unique. ASL isn't just *sigh* "WOW such a beautiful language." There is lots of poetry to be found in sign but it is also an inescapably bold language. Signing conflicts with the hearing world- is even seen as antagonistic (to anyone who has ever responded by signing right back to someone who wont stop speaking, expecting you to lipread). 

So in closing, I like "The Perseverance" quite a lot because it weaves together Raymond's identities in equal measure and respects all of them. This allows for more complexity than we usually see given to Deaf writers/ characters and it is what I am hoping to see in the short story compilation that I am currently waiting to come in called "Tripping the Tale Fantastic." If These short stories can be creative and unique in their own right without relying entirely and unabashedly on Deafness as a selling point then I will be satisfied. More thoughts to come about "A Quiet Foghorn" in the days ahead as well! 

Good morning, have some delicious tea (I've had a full kettle of Moroccan mint) and go write a thing or two if you have it in you.


Well, my website is officially up- My self confidence is already tanking but I want to commit to this daily writing and hopefully imbue it with some decent commentary on Deaf literature as it stands today.

 To start things off, It is painfully clear that there is no interest  in "Deaf authors"  as a community to follow and buy books from. Whether that is because of hearing people trying to cash in on the Deaf character in their own writing, unintentionally drowning out authentic Deaf portrayals as they do so, or maybe the long-standing stereotype of Deaf people having worse language abilities turns others away from the idea of taking Deaf writers seriously. Either way, its about time we took our place in the sun. 

 At the same time as I dive into the domain of Deaf writers, I will also be growing the list of books I order into the store I work at- "Solid State Books" which is on H street NE DC. We already had a few titles; tru biz, el Deafo, the invention of miracles... some of these books just did not interest me in the slightest. especially scientific works on the history of Deafness, oppression, AG Bell, the likes. and while I am not opposed to a good history lesson or a hard focus on the mechanics and experience of Deafness, I think we all know that we as readers are in desperate need of Deaf Novels. Real complex characters, imaginings straight from the hot oven of the signer's mind THAT is what I am after. I am proud to say that my first wave of books were ordered and came into the store about a week ago today. Raymond Luczak, Merry Herring Wright, Sarah Katz and some others. They aren't selling particularly well so far but then, I haven't read any of them either. I think "A Quiet Foghorn" has kind of a sexy look to it. People often like essays written from a unique perspective so that will be my first focus- store wise. 

To end off my first round of reading ramblings, I want to turn to the future real quick. I stumbled upon a title that goes by "Tripping the Tale Fantastic" which... obviously caught my attention. In this work is a compilation of authors, from former professors of mine at Gallaudet to... well actually I am not familiar with the other authors but rest assured there are a lot of them and they are all writing science fiction and horror shorts! Holy shit this is exactly what I am looking for and I can't wait for it to come in to the store in the next few days. More to come later in the week on that, and tomorrow maybe Ill talk more about Sarah Katz's "Country of Glass" and Raymond Antrobus' "Perseverance" my first two Deaf poetry collections. So, Good morning! have whatever kind of day you deserve and most importantly, write about it.

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