Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spunky Senior Author Larriane aka Larion Wills Shares Misconceptions About the Hard of Hearing

Larriane aka Larion Wills

Born in Oklahoma, but raised in Arizona Larriane/Larion feels a native to the state and has settled in the high desert country. Her first publisher used to tease her about 'coming out of the closet' as she had written all her life but didn't take the manuscripts out of the closet and begin submitting until after her half-century birthday.  In a quiet, rural area with a family who tolerates her writer’s single-mindedness, she presents us with a series of science fiction and unique westerns while still producing contemporary romances, many laced with paranormal settings, all with strong characterizations and suspenseful plots, capable of dragging you into a story in a genre you thought you didn’t care for. Under her pen of Larriane she writes science fiction and fantasy. As well as being an writer, Larriane is also an editor.  

Visitors are always welcome at her website, where blurbs and excerpts of her current titles can be found, and buy links, of course.   

Larriane/Larion's constant companions, Guy and Nekko
And Now, Larriane/Larion has words some of you can relate to, or at least understand:

Are you rude or infinitely patient?

Only part of that tolerant family with 4 generations on
hand for 50th wedding anniversary.
Today I’m not even going to talk about writing, at least not in the actual writing. As an author, you’re told you have to promote, go to conferences, books signings, book fairs, etc. Having attended a few is why I ask are you rude of infinitely patient?  If you don’t know, carry on a conversation with someone hard of hearing. Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not slamming people with a hearing handicap. I’m on the receiving end, not the giving. About twenty years ago, thanks to a doctor who gave me a medication in too strong a dosage for too long a time, I lost the majority of my hearing. Since, I’ve discovered people who answer to both ends of that question. To some, I suddenly become invisible to a degree they not only cut me out of a conversation; they turn their backs to me. Are they embarrassed, thoughtless, or….? I really don’t know, but I do know, there are more on the other side, for which I’m grateful. I know it’s frustrating to have to repeat what you say, two or three times. It’s frustrating to me to have to ask you to. I’m happy to say the ratio of those willing to is far higher than those who get irritated, rude, or back off when I move closer to hear better. Honestly, I’ve had people back away to the point I worried about BO more than did I invading their space. On the opposite end are those like a clerk I asked questions about my computer. He’d repeated the information in parts for the third time before he asked, “Are you having trouble understanding me or hearing me?” I could have hugged him. He didn’t look at me as if I were stupid. Furthermore, he didn’t start yelling at me to embarrass me. Yelling, btw, only makes it worse. Yelling distorts the sounds I’m already having trouble recognizing. I have about 25% speech recognition in one ear. I supplement that with lip reading which at its best is estimated to be 33%. Anything that distorts the sound or obscures your mouth lessens my ability to catch enough to make sense of what you’re saying, although admittedly there are some people who don’t make any sense anyway. Poor diction makes it nearly impossible. I’m became more and more aware of how poorly people speak, enough to make me wonder do they not teach pronunciation in the schools anymore. Slurring, running words together, talking a mile a minute, and chewing gum take my comprehension abilities down to about one word in twenty.

As hard of hearing, I would like to pass these tips along in talking to people ‘like us.’
Get our attention. This doesn’t mean walk up and slap us on the back, punch us on the arm, or some people’s favorite, slap the fanny. Not only is it jarring to the nerves, it’s irritating. A light touch on the arm or shoulder is so appreciated. If you’re across the room, waving wildly usually helps. Also what works nicely is to ask a hearing person near us to touch us lightly on the arm and point in your direction.
Look at and talk in our direction. It isn’t necessary to look us in the eye. I know that makes some people uncomfortable. I wouldn’t look you in the eye anyway; I’d be watching your mouth. Keep in mind if you’re looking over your shoulder, to the side, or even at the floor, not only is it difficult to see your mouth, the sound is going that direction.
Don’t cover your mouth.  You’d be surprised how many people do that when they’re talking. Are they afraid they have spinach in their teeth?
Don’t shout. I’ve already explained why. Sometimes pitching your voice to another level helps, but generally speaking normally works the best.  
Pronoun your words clearly. Self explanatory.
Speak at a normal rate. By that I mean, just because someone tells you they’re hard of hearing, don’t think talking in slow motion is going to help. I’ve found slow motion is like shouting. It tends to distort. I’mmmmm gooooingetc. I have asked people to slow down. It’s usually last about three words into a sentence before they’re back up to speed.
Don’t be irritated if they parrot back what you said. I’m just making sure I heard you right before I answer.
Be patient. That’s the most important thing, and enjoy some of the unexpected humor when you ask a question. I’ve given some off the wall answers to what I thought was said. I can always tell when I’ve heard wrong by the ‘Huh?’ expressions I get. Those can be pretty comical. Ah, yes, a sense of humor helps, too.

About Her Book: From the atrocities of war a decision was made to save their race and their world. Protection of those of paramount value must be assured by any means. Ships orbiting their planet were built. Only when their planet would not support even war, the last and lowest, the military, were sent to the ships. From the age of seven when his training began, Jaylon knew only military. Guard duty in the Paramount lounge should have been easy duty though he was warned by his peers to never trust the Paramounts, especially the woman. Many played a game, flirt with military, and report them for punishment for breaches of protocol. His secret assignment, discover the trickster and the method behind the self-moving, sometimes attacking objects. From the first night, Tieanna caught his attention. She didn’t flirt. She tormented, using a formidable weapon, the truth. Hidden behind the lies, corruption, and betrayal of all but the chosen few, was the Paramounts’ fear, resurrection of the Bastards of Ran. Surely they and their powers were no more than legend. Who could believe in powers of the telepathic mind to healing with the touch of their hands? Jaylon did not. Still, if the belief of the Bastards, and their belief all were equal, revived then too would revolt and treason?

Where Larriane/Larion relaxes when not writing.
     Larriane AKA Larion Wills 

Please welcome Larriane/Larion to Spunky by leaving a comment.


  1. What a great--and helpful--post! My hearing has become less acute in the past few years (which I resent mightily) and I'm now in the "I'm sorry?" segment of the population.

  2. Very helpful tips. Thank you. This is the first post I've read since subscribing. Very cool.

  3. Larriane/Larion, welcome to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents. Your photo reminds me of my rides on Amtrak!
    Love your little doggies!

    Morgan Mandel

  4. Hi all. I hope it is helpful to those with the problems as well as those attempting to talk to one who has difficulty hearing. the things i miss the most is speech. I seldom ever can hear a child anymore, and bless their hearts when you tell them they need to speak louder, it only makes them more shy. I haven't heard birds or crikets in ages, but ironically can hear road noise when i'm driving. is that fair? lol.
    thank you Liz and Patti for the comments. and thank you Morgan for having me.


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