Creative Juice

Where you can find me to tell me your thoughts

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A glimpse at my Facebook page. Click the image to visit!

I love to write, and I enjoy knowing what others think and feel about my written works. Sometimes I want to entertain, to make someone smile, to laugh, to join others in feeling. Sometimes I just need to express myself, to seek that cathartic feeling, and find peace in the act. I love to tell stories. Fiction is my absolute favorite thing to write, which is why I wrote a novel called The Goblin Road and I’ve got another one in the works. I love to write with humor, which is why my non-fiction guide to changing habits, The Rabbit List, is chock full of crazy rabbits.

And there’s Munky Mind, of course.

A lot of my popular posts in recent days have been my Deaf-Centered topics. I want you to know why I write these posts in particular. I write them because I want to make a difference, in my own small way, for my community. When I say my community, I really mean my global community, the deaf community worldwide, and all the hearing people that are connected to us.

I want to make a difference for the deaf person like me, that isn’t always sure where he or she fits in. I want to make a difference for the hard of hearing person who questions whether becoming fluent in sign language is going to happen, whether it’s ASL, French Sign Language, or any of the other signed languages of the world. I want the person who has chosen not to learn to know that we still value that person. We will not reject anyone for not learning a language we hold dear, but the invitation stays there. It’s on the table, it’s waiting, and it will always be there.

I want to make a difference for the parents of deaf and hard of hearing children who are uncertain, who feel troubled by not knowing whose advice to follow, who worry about being judged. I want to make a difference, as well, to the ones who made a choice, whether it was for cochlear implants and speech therapy, or ASL, or both. We don’t need to agree on everything to find value in each other’s thoughts. We do not need to take the same path, nor do we need to take separate paths and judge the other for our choices. We can find common ground in the simple fact that we care about these kids.

I want to make a difference for the teachers who have a tough job. Some of you feel you’ve got it all figured it out, and some of you struggle with doubt. You face judgement, because the concerns we have for the deaf youth of today come from a place deep within us, a place we once were ourselves. But I know, so well, that pelting teachers with harsh criticism is never the way to make positive change happen. There are plenty of us that want to be there for you, if you’re willing to accept our help. Again, we can disagree, but let us find new ways to move forward.

I want to make a difference for those beginning to sign, whether they are students, family members of deaf individuals, or merely interested. I know some of you will go on to become interpreters, or to pursue other fields and have the ability to sign as part of your amazing toolkit. I want you to know that many, or most of us, value you for your interest. Here again we have strong feelings about who should be interpreting what kind of assignment, for good reasons. Our words need to be firm, because we have the right to communication that truly works, but we can express them with kindness. We can encourage you, so that you grow as professionals. Never let “better than no interpreting” be a oft-used phrase. We deserve more, and we want you to feel the same way. We need to encourage you to keep going, and we can’t do that without positivity.

I could go on. I have left someone out. Isn’t that always the way it is?

The reason I started this post wasn’t really to explain why I write, but to explain that I value what you have to think. I write these posts that mean a lot to me, but most of the comments are comments I will never see, so I would like to invite all of you to visit my Munky Mind Facebook page.

Anytime you want to share your thoughts about any of my posts, please visit me there and comment. Or you can always comment on the post here on my website!

Another place to find me, Twitter: My Twitter Page

Finally, if you want to be sure not to miss anything, you can subscribe to my posts. Just find the Subscribe field in the right sidebar of this page and enter your e-mail address, then click Subscribe. You’ll get an e-mail when I post, with a short excerpt, and a link to the post. I hope to see you come back here, now and then.

Thank you for your readership!

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

8 Comments

  • Sue Ferriola

    I love what you wrote! I just came upon it while at work. I am Hearing and am studying ASL online at a few key sites. I have very little contact with Deaf folks except those who come into my store. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to learn – to be able to communicate with my Deaf customers, hopefully making them feel more welcome and me feel less inadequate, communication-wise. Oftentimes I feel like I’m not retaining as well as I should and might end up apologizing for my limited signing skills when “talking” to one of my Deaf patrons. You opened my eyes and warmed my heart with your comments! You are a definite inspiration – I’ll be watching for your posts from now on 🙂

  • Kaylee Horn

    I just found your page when my interpreting agency shared one of your posts. I salute you. I am a recent graduate and am not yet a year into my career. It’s refreshing to see that some Deaf people do value the interpreting profession and genuinely want to see us succeed. Your posts are inspiring and they make me want to keep going. Thank you.

  • Paula

    Thank you for your eloquent graceful encouraging language.
    I will share your pages with other Educational Interpreter/Teacher Aides I work with here in Australia
    I agree wholeheartedly that language expression is a journey we are continually travelling on and no-one should put themselves into a permanent category as though we have got off the train at a certain station and that is now our permanent address…novice…awkward …fluent…good enough….
    Really we can all grow…travel further and enjoy the journey.
    I am hearing but passionate about the right of every voice to be heard and of every one having full access to communication.
    Your kind respectful words remind us all of our shared responsibilities.
    Thankyou

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