This isn’t a Frequently Asked Question page, but an Infrequently Asked Question page. Some questions may be so infrequently asked that no one has asked me at all yet, but I’m going to answer it anyway, because I figure I have the ability to see the future as far as what questions you might ask. By answering them upfront, they won’t be asked as much!
Q: Are you deaf?
A: Yes, I am profoundly deaf and have been since somewhere around the age of 3.
Q: Do you sign?
A: Yes, I use imperfect ASL, which sometimes probably looks more like PSE. However, I’ve never been skilled with non-manual expressions, and I love the English language to the point that I think in English. I rely on ASL every day for communication in person.
Q: Why do you tend to use deaf instead of Deaf?
A: I will sometimes use Deaf, capitalizing the word, rather than deaf, if I am writing about Deaf Culture. The thing is, I don’t usually write about Deaf Culture. I have a deep appreciation for Deaf Culture and I do love my community, but I don’t consider Deaf Culture as being my only culture. I am still sorting out my feelings about this, but at present I identify with more than one culture. I don’t feel qualified to write posts about Deaf Culture, and there are far better representatives of Deaf Culture than me.
Please understand that my not claiming Deaf Culture as my only culture is in no way a rejection of the culture. I also love many aspects of Japanese culture, but I’m not culturally Japanese.
To me, being deaf is not a negative thing. You could argue that I’m focusing on it in medical terms, but the reality is I’m not so fixated on what I don’t have.
So most of the posts I write are more inclusive of deaf, culturally Deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, deaf-blind, culturally Deaf-Blind, and so on. The whole enchilada. It’s just easier to use deaf in this case, which should be interpreted as including all of the above. No disrespect intended, all love intended.
Q: Why do you write?
A: I have two primary reasons for why I write. I love to entertain because I’m a storyteller, who enjoys making people FEEL. I also want to have a positive impact on this world, which is mainly why I write so many posts that are deaf-centered.
If you want to know what I enjoy writing the most, here it is: fiction. Fiction, beautiful fiction. I love a good creative story that springs from my own imagination, that is untethered to truth, that can undergo any metamorphosis of my own choosing.
That is why one of my favorite works is my first novel, The Goblin Road, and why I took so long (oh my God, so long) to finish the sequel. It’s done, by the way, and I’m seeking a publishing house to welcome it into their home. Perhaps give it a little room, a comfy bed, yes?
I love this practice, and I want to do it well. I want to continue to grow as a writer, especially of my cherished fiction, to entertain not only you, but me. I am my first audience. If I’m not entertained, you won’t be entertained.