• Creative Juice,  Deaf-Centered Topics

    Secret Signs: Part 4 (Conclusion)

    By J. Parrish Lewis Part 1     Part 2     Part 3  Part 4 For nearly a week, Alice’s intended consequence for her mother, a perpetual cold shoulder, crumbled slowly until she gave in to her reality. No words, no apologies or favors, would get Alice what she wanted. She knew this because she knew her mother, knew that her mother means what she says and says what she means. By the end of the week, conversations were still chilly, but Alice felt herself letting go, a dog who has relented on the bone its master reclaimed. She did not see Wren. Once, as quick as a blink,…

  • News

    Secret Signs: Part Three

    PART ONE: In which Alice learns about a new Deaf Student PART TWO: In which Alice meets Wren, a Deaf Boy who teaches her some ASL Secret Signs: Part 3 By J. Parrish Lewis By the end of the week, she knew how to make the alphabet with her hands, just like Wren could. She was mesmerized by the idea of writing, in a way, with her hands and nothing else, not even a pen or a paintbrush. It was magic. Wren taught her other signs as well, including a specific sentence she asked him to teach, a sentence she would use on Friday. Friday afternoon came. She hopped off…

  • Creative Juice,  Stories

    Secret Signs: Part Two

    PART ONE: In which Alice learns there is a new Deaf student at school Secret Signs: Part Two By J. Parrish Lewis She saw his backpack first, outside the speech therapist’s office where kids who had speech therapy were always directed to drop them. It was worn around the edges, broken zipper and bore the attempts of doodling with markers too fat to produce legible drawings. As a result, the black splotches intended to be tattoos drawn on a superhero she did not recognize. This was not the backpack of any kids she knew already, so it was his. She peered into the window in the door, a narrow one…

  • Creative Juice

    The writer in the current

    The writer sits on his green couch, keyboard poised on the soft pillow resting on his lap. The blank screen intimidates him and will not back down from his insistent stare. He wonders what will come forth, if anything will come forth, for doubts have multiplied of late. Self-doubts about his talent, fed by fearful thoughts and the burden of expectations that he places on himself, spread like wildfire through his veins. He can feel the doubt there. He feels it in the knot of stress in his shoulders. Yet the defiant scent of cinnamon wafts through the air, a byproduct of an afternoon’s spontaneous urge to bake cinnamon rolls. He takes a…

  • Creative Juice,  Fiction

    Story Stew #1: Light and Unseen Shadows

    Author’s note: On my Facebook page, I asked readers to give me various elements of a story that they wanted me to include in what I call a Story Stew. I’d take their ingredients and mix them together, adding in my own elements to create a short story. Below is a first draft, unedited at this point, to share with you. I call this one, for now: Light and Unseen Shadows. The elements readers gave me were: The number 23,Orphaned ostrich named Kayla, Peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich, A boy with magical abilities on a magical quest, Ceiling fan, Daffodils. Light and Unseen Shadows (a draft) By J. Parrish Lewis Sometimes he had the…