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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Write about right writing

My friend Shanna has put out a challenge to me and a bunch of others at Hearing Loss Nation (, an affiliate site related to HLAA. This writing challenge involves putting down my thoughts and perspective on something personal related to hearing loss. I'll post a portion of her post here:

I am looking for hearing loss experience stories to be featured online and/or in e-book form. When more funding becomes available, a print version would be an option. We have no budget, just willing volunteers. :)

Length should be 350-1,000 words typed and embedded into the body of an e-mail, along with your name, address, and e-mail address, to:

Deadline: August 28

Below are some prompts to get your writing started:
- The day you were diagnosed with hearing loss: What was that day like for you?
- The journey for information: What have you learned about your hearing loss?
- Finding peace: How did you accept your hearing loss? Describe the process.
- If Hearing Loss were a person, what would you tell him?
- The road to acceptance: What steps have you taken to educate friends and family about your hearing loss?

Please select a topic from above, or come up with your own.

Other writing tips:
- Write in first person (I, me) to make the story sound more personal.
- Include interesting quotes and setting description. For an example of this style of writing, read "The Princess with Broken Ears" at

You retain first rights to your stories. This means that you are the owner of your stories.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to reading your submissions.

Shanna Groves
Editor, The Hearing Loss Story Project

I've always loved to write, putting my thoughts onto "paper" as it were, and this is definitely a topic I know by heart. So why am I having a difficult time picking just one story to submit?

Then it struck me. Why only submit one? Surely I don't want to overwhelm the editor with gazillions of little ancedotes I've experienced, but I was having a hard time choosing between three stories. I can write about all three, and see which one is liked the most, which one is the most heartfelt, which is the one that readers would connect to. So, I've outlined three instances of personal experience to post:

1) My very first memory, my earliest memory, which is upon where I woke up recovering from spinal meningitis and had no hearing;

2) My experience bridging the gap between deaf and hearing people, showing that I'm hearing enough to be in one world yet deaf enough to get Deaf culture;

3) The time when I accepted my deafness in college, and began to immerse myself in the "other world."

Now that I've got my outline set up, time to put the nose to the grindstone and keystroke away. Heave.... ho.....

On the bright side, I did find out there was a really cool play earlier this year that I missed out on - "Pippin," one of the longest running Broadway shows in history, was performed in conjunction with Deaf West Theatre in a similar manner as "Big River", where the entire cast signed and it's accessible to both those who can hear and read sign. Of course, that still leaves out us who can't hear nor know sign... ;-) Both shows were brainchildren of choreographer Jeff Calahoun. Big River was phenomenally enjoyable, and Pippin looks to be on the same level. Hope Pippin becomes a traveling show!

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