On writing: own the process

Last Sunday, the writers’ club meeting started in identical fashion to the previous one: I arrived first, despite the best efforts of heavy rain and clusterfucked traffic, as well as being 30 miles away. I persuaded the hostess of Fred 62 that the rest of the party was “parking” so she sequestered me at a table in the back, serviced by a winsome waitress in racy stockings. After a few testy exchanges via iPhone, the rest of the gang arrived: Erik & then Bob bringing up the rear. We cut through the fat and through the breakfast dishes like nothing before we got to the meat of the meeting. Continue reading On writing: own the process

Fingersmiths “R” Us


Bob – a short story author, published a novel

Erik – a screenplay writer

chez moi – a graphic novelist

Fred 62 Diner in LA

Yesterday, at 2pm, I arrived at the diner mere moment before Erik did, despite the best efforts of the traffic gods and an unreliable GPS. We agreed to sit outside, and after we obtained refreshments, the conversation lurched immediately into a “whatcha done lately?” mode. Erik is a filmmaker who desires greater control over his craft, so he decided to break into script writing.

After taking turns in exchanging horror stories about grad school, and before we ran out of gas, Bob made his grand entrance. He’s a middle aged man with the wittiest sense of humor this side of George Carlin, or an American version of Lord Henry from the Picture of Dorian Gray. We spoke a bit about the goals of the club, what we expected from it, and what we hope to gain from each other, and so forth. Continue reading Fingersmiths “R” Us

Decline and fall of a great club

Greetings, everyone. I bring you sad news. My book club, that unique mix of professionals and literati, has reached a crucial point in its 6 year history.

Let me give you a bit of background: the book club was founded by a couple of deaf bookworms who wanted to discuss books in their native sign language. Soon enough, my sister joined and I followed not long after. The membership stayed roughly at around 6 to 8 people. We struck a near-perfect balance between a linguist, a lawyer, a historian, an activist, a psychologist, and a heretic.  However, about a year ago, more and more members started to join. By last summer we had balooned to 14 and decided on a cap. Sure enough, by fall a couple of people stepped down (moved away or leave of absence) and that opened up roster spots.

Now, a middle aged man was recruited to join but to the general chagrin of the club. I won’t go into personal details – but suffice to say that his addition somewhat skewered the chemistry. Now, for the final spot, I proposed a great candidate (in my opinion but I’m sure she qualifies much better than the other guy) but she had one drawback. She wasn’t deaf by nature. However, she was born to deaf parents, and her first language was sign language. That should have been good enough of a counterargument in itself.

Not to several fundamentalists, unfortunately. They wanted an exclusive all-deaf club. That in itself isn’t a bad idea, given that there are thousands of book clubs out there in the greater metro area we can’t participate. But that bothered the hell out of me – we participated through the use of sign language, not because our audiogram passed a certain level of hearing loss.

After I submitted a petition for the coda (child of deaf adult(s)) citing her merits (she’s involved in the community, has a fantastic personality, well-read, etc) the members voted on her. Some were for, others were against (due to a dubious argument that her profession as an interpreter could lead to conflicts in the future). Battle lines were drawn, blustery emails were fired, ideologies were spouted, etc. The vote was suspended for the next meeting.

Now, my feeling is that the hardliners will dig in, ignore all charges of reverse audism, and with numbers, reject the coda’s application. My sister will then write a card that says “HYPOCRITE,” and then tell everyone that she doesn’t want to be one, and resign. Then some of us will follow her out of the door and set up our own inclusive club.