Monday, February 29, 2016

Don't tell ME "no sign language"!

As a deaf parent, sign language is, of course, a part of how I communicate with my children. My husband also uses sign to understand what our kids are saying to us. We use both sign language and lipreading to communicate with them. We sign every day. It’s just a part of how we talk to each other.

And when Jesse asked me to play a game with him today, I agreed, preparing for another round of communicating with him through sign. As he sat up the game, however, I took some time to read over the rules. My jaw dropped when I saw one rule in particular: “No sign language.”

For real????

I showed this to Jesse and commented how wrong that rule was. I guess the people who put that game together and wrote up the rules decided they didn’t want deaf people to play?

Well, despite that stupid rule, my son and I still communicated with each other through sign language as we played the game. It’s really the major way we communicate with each other: Through sign language! I am profoundly deaf and cannot use hearing aids. I either rely on lipreading or sign language or writing things down to communicate with others. Sometimes my kids sign to me what other people say. So, yeah, I DO need to use sign language for a game that relies on verbal communication.

But the thing about this that really pissed me off was that this was JUST another example of how the hearing people forget about the deaf people in this world. Some hearing people out there don’t realize that there are DEAF PEOPLE – which means WE CANNOT HEAR – out there in the world. We kind of need to use sign language for communication. We also need captioning, subtitles or an ASL interpreter signing to let us know about emergency bulletins and evacuation procedures.

There are hearing people in this world and there are deaf people, too. It would be nice if more hearing people would remember us deaf people and the types of communication accommodations that we need. This includes sign language.

So even if a game says we can’t use sign language, well, that’s too bad. Because as far as me and my family goes, well, we sort of need to use sign language. It’s just one of the ways that we talk to each other.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Trying a new reading routine

First of all, I am all for trying something new. In fact, I jump at the chance. I LOVE trying something new! New foods, new travel routes, new kinds of writing and new hobbies. (In fact, I am learning how to do a new thing right now, to see if I can pursue it as a hobby.) I also like checking out new TV shows, books and artwork. Another “new” thing I’ll try a hand at is a new system, routine, method or just a new way to do something.

Last week, I tried something a new reading routine. Usually, I read two books at a time: Fiction and nonfiction. I have quite the collection of books and several I have yet to read. (In fact, I have a whole box of novels in my room I hope to get around to reading through someday!) But last week, I decided to try reading three books at once. I got the idea to do this because of the fact that I’m working on three different projects throughout the day. (I talked about that on my writing blog, in this post.) I figured I would need something to distract myself with in between working on them.

So, I started this new “reading routine” last week, on Monday. I’d read in a book (sometimes just 1 or 2 chapters, depending on the book, but with one book I read through several chapters in a day) then I’d work on one of my projects: The short story for the week, the nonfiction book I’m writing, one of the novels I’m writing, a nonfiction book I am typing out from a notebook or two books I am revising. Or maybe there’d be poetry. But in between them all, I’d take a break and read in a book. For last week, the three books I read are a novel I am reviewing for Night Owl Reviews (which I finished reading today), a book about the Norman Conquest (that was me satisfying my inner history buff), and a book about fashion design (one of the things I am thinking of pursuing as a hobby – the other is landscaping).

And, surprisingly, I was able to pull it off. It went really well. I was able to read three books at once without getting confused over anything or being too distracted by one book to concentrate on another.

I am very pleased I was able to do this. And now, with my current reading done (as I also finished reading the Norman Conquest book today) and ready to take on new books to read, I started to wonder today: Am I willing to give it another go? Read three more books at the same time?

Actually, I don’t think I really need to.

It’s not that I didn’t like this arrangement. Heck, any time I have to read makes me happy!

The one thing that bugged me about it, though, is that it DID annoy me that I HAD to read in another book again instead of doing something else. I don’t like being tied down to anything.

And the time-consuming part of it was an irritant, too. I mean, I coulda been doing something else instead of reading AGAIN. As much as I love to read, I always see reading as one important thing to get done in my day and, when it’s done, it’s DONE and now it’s time to do other things. I am the same way with everything else. After I’ve done “the email thing” for the day, I’m DONE with emails. After I’ve spent time on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest, I’m DONE with them for the day (although I’ll make exceptions to Facebook to reply to comments that same night or answer messages if I have time because too many people grew irritated with my 24-hours-to-respond policy). After I’m done working on a project, I’m done with it for the day until next time. I just didn’t like taking time to read three times a day. Ugh.

But the main reason why I don’t think I’ll be doing this again next week is just that I really didn’t need to do that after all. I THOUGHT I would need to do that in order to make the transition between projects go more smoothly, but I really didn’t. I saw proof that I didn’t yesterday, when I easily went from working on one of my WIPs to another without any reading needed to be done to get into the mindset for it. I just easily jumped from one thing to another. I was able to focus on each one 100% and have no trouble as far as getting back into a story was concerned.

So, it turns out that I don’t really need to “distract myself” with other things in between transitioning from one project to another. I have no trouble doing this without the distractions. I think that is pretty cool and I’m glad that I was able to see for myself that I can handle multiple projects at once just fine.

Just not multiple books to read. From now on, I think I’ll just stick with two.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Letting the haters hate

Earlier this morning, I was doing something that is part of my “morning activities”: I was on Pinterest. So there I was just innocently pinning away and then I started to experience trouble pinning some things. Apparently, some people who I don’t know have blocked me on Pinterest. At first, I joked about it. Seriously, I had a good laugh. “I’m so evil!” I chortled. But I started to wonder why these people blocked me. I didn’t know them and weren’t following them or anything. I guess new people who join Pinterest get an email telling them, “Welcome to Pinterest! Be sure to block Dawn Wilson!” LOL

But, ya know, the whole blocking thing on Pinterest really doesn’t bother me. Like I said, it makes me laugh. I didn’t do anything to these people. I wasn’t mean to them. I didn’t send them spam or anything. So, I dunno. Whateva.

But it doesn’t hurt me. And if those people think it hurts me, then they really need to get a life!

That got me to thinking: There are other things people do on the Internet – specifically, social media – that can be seen as bullying or as being negative. Now, getting your ass torn out in a comment war is one thing. That is not cool. But the whole blocking on Pinterest, unfriending on Facebook and tagging people on Twitter with negative tweets can be used as a way of bullying and hurting others.

Me, I don’t give a shit.

Seriously, haters gonna hate! And you know what? I don’t care. Let me rephrase that: I. Don’t. Care.

I am too busy living my life and doing my own thing to give a flying fuck about people on the Internet deciding to put me on their shit list. Especially when it comes to people I don’t know.

You wanna block me on Pinterest for no reason? Go right ahead!

You wanna unfriend me on Facebook because I hurt your mom’s feelings? Fine!

You wanna point and laugh at my small number of followers on Twitter and tell everybody “don’t buy her books because she hurt me” or “don’t buy her books because she’s a two-faced liar” or “don’t buy her books because she worships the devil”? Have at it!

Meanwhile, I’m gonna be over here not giving a crap!

I am going to continue doing my own thing, just as I have always done my own thing. I will continue to write books because I want to write books. I will continue to pin things on Pinterest because I want to pin things on Pinterest. I will continue to be active on Twitter and Facebook because I WANT to be active on Twiter and Facebook.

And I REALLY don’t care if that bothers someone!

I have the right to live my life. Deal with it.

If people are all gonna be a bunch of crybabies or whiners or haters on the Internet because of something I did or said or shared or…WHATEVER then they can either take it up with me personally and we can work that out or they can waste their time and their life by hating on me and doing silly shit thinking it will hurt MY feelings. And if they choose the latter, then I guess they REALLY need to have more drama in their lives. I guess they HAVE to have something to cry into their pillows about. I guess they want that one Horrible Thing from the past to hold against someone for the rest of their lives. That’s too bad, but I’m not going to disappear because of it.

I am still here. I am still doing my own thing. And regardless of what kind of crap I have to take from people on the Internet, I will ALWAYS be here. I will NOT go away. I will not kill myself over their petty shit. I will not bury myself into a hole and hope the world forgets my shame.

Nope. I’m not going anywhere. I write what I want to write. I don’t do shit to get people’s attention or to get on someone’s nerves or to intentionally hurt another person. (Gotta keep in mind all the pussies out there who can’t take a joke!!) I’m not doing stuff to make up for anything because if I HAVE hurt someone’s feelings AND they actually take the time to talk to me about it instead of holding a grudge FOREVER and spreading hate, then it’s all good. I AM willing to work things out with people. I AM willing to acknowledge if I made a mistake, apologize and make things right with people.

But if instead they choose to do things on the Internet like blocking me or unfriending me or whatever, then they are just wasting their time. None of that shit hurts me at all. So you go right ahead and keep doing your passive-aggressive bullying tactics thinking it’ll make me fall apart into a million pieces. You go right ahead! It’s not going to work! I am going to continue living my life and doing my own thing! And none of that negativity coming from the haters is gonna stop me at all.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Angels among us

As someone who is dealing with grief, there are times that I will just retreat into a corner and feel a little sad. Or I’ll see someone that reminds me of a lost loved one and it makes me cry a little or remember them fondly. The other night, I was thinking about an aunt, and something that she was asking me about when she missed the ending of Rocky II after seeing it for the first time. Then the other day I was thinking about how I stayed up really late one night just talking and hanging out with a friend – who passed away almost 4 years ago. I know this is something that everyone who deals with grief goes through.

The death of my parents has been the hardest, though. And it’s been almost a year since my dad died. So last night I was thinking about him and really missing him. I was sad because I missed him so much. After a rough night of dealing with that, I went to bed, hoping that maybe I wouldn’t be feeling that sadness so much tomorrow. Before I’d gone to bed, though, I chatted with my older sister. We got to talking about our dad and she wondered if he’d made it to Heaven. I told her that I thought he did. In my heart, I believed that he did. We had forgiven him and I’d spent a lot of time at his funeral praying he would be allowed into Heaven and asking God to accept our forgiveness for our dad.

But the pain last night was too much so I decided to go to bed earlier than normal. It would seem I was not going to have a good night’s sleep.

I was awakened during a dream I was having. I literally felt a hand gently shake my shoulder to get me to wake up. After I woke up, I sat up in my bed and the first thing I did was look out my bedroom door. I saw the retreating figure of someone walking through my hallway. This figure had dark-colored hair (dark brown or black) and wore a white shirt. I didn’t see the rest of the clothing. Then I looked at the time. It was 3:11 a.m. I was alone in the room.

At first, I thought the person I’d seen was my daughter (she has dark brown hair and a pixie haircut), even though she hadn’t worn white when she’d gone to bed. I also thought maybe it was someone in the house. I knew it wasn’t my husband. He doesn’t wear a white shirt. So I got out of bed to investigate. My daughter was sleeping. My husband was both on the computer and watching Supernatural. And there was no one else in the house. The house was secure.

It was then that I knew a certain “visitor” had woken me up and had been who I had seen walking away in the hallway.

I checked on my 8-year-old son and found him halfway off his bed. I went into his room, put him all the way back onto his bed, moved him over a little so he wouldn’t roll off the covered him with his blanket. I figured this must’ve been why I’d been awakened. I wasn’t surprised I’d been alerted to something about him. This has happened in the past. There are ghosts in my house and many of them have woken me up several times in the past.

But had it been an angel that had woken me up this time? I keep wondering because of the white clothing. I first saw an angel after I moved into this house. I knew that the being I saw was an angel: He/she did not have wings (not that I could see!) but he/she wore a white gown and shown with a brilliant light all around him/her. The being had shoulder-length blond hair. I couldn’t tell if it was male or female (do angels even have genders??) because this figure was retreating down my hallway with its back turned to me.

Just like the being I had just seen earlier.

I would like to think that it had been my dad checking in on us. Seriously, he fits the description. (My dad had black hair.) And I would like to think my dad is indeed an angel now. I’d like to believe that he went to where my mom is. So I’d like to think that the being I saw was my dad.

This would not have been an unusual thing for us. I have seen my lost loved ones before. And I know that my parents have been here in spirit a time or two. My family has a sensitivity to this type of thing and we all believe that our lost loved ones can visit us in spirit form or in our dreams. My children believe the same thing, too. They have also seen ghosts.

And my son thinks that his grandma was once in a room with him. He can still remember the day that he had been jumping on my bed and he took a huge leap to the floor. Suddenly, he was caught in mid-air then gently lowered to the floor. He told me he thinks that his grandma caught him. I think so, too.

For a long time, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t see any angels. I saw ghosts just like everyone else in my family and I was able to sense when there’s someone in a room, and I have also “heard” ghosts, but I hadn’t seen any angels. But now I have. And with my parents being among the angels, it is comforting to know that I can see them every once in a while, too. It was certainly comforting to know that my dad knew I was missing him last night and maybe decided to pay us a visit. I hope I’ll see him again soon. I know I’ll be seeing him again in my dreams – and my mom, too – and those are the kinds of dreams that I cherish.