It is my delight and joy to let you know my new ASL book with JannaPicture Yourself Learning American Sign Language, Level 1 — is now available for purchase from major online booksellers and in your local bookstore!

This is our second ASL book that relies on our Hardcore ASL teaching method and Picture Yourself Learning American Sign Language, Level 1 even has a DVD included so you can sign and learn right along with Janna’s video teaching!

The keen thing about learning ASL with us is our new “Pick and Say Rubric” where you can create simple — “three idea” — phrases in ASL simply by picking one or more words/ideas from a RED column, a GREEN column and a BLUE column and signing them in sequence: It’s. Just. That. Easy!

Using that method of learning ASL, you can create over 27,000 unique American Sign Language sentences by learning only 90 words — and getting the knack of how to do it takes less than 10 seconds.

We hope you enjoy the book, and we look forward to your feedback — and if you ever need help with anything, you know where to find us!


  1. I was also thoroughly impressed with the combination system. It reminds me of this ad I keep seeing, claiming that you only need to learn 169 words to communicate in Spanish.

  2. We definitely appreciated your help throughout the book, Gordon. You were our learning firewall to make sure everything we were trying made sense to new eyes and a fresh mind.

  3. Congratulations both 🙂
    Gordon …………. I need these people ……..
    “claiming that you only need to learn 169 words to communicate in Spanish”

  4. Hey, Katha!
    Yes, it is a great looking book! Thomson/Cengage did a great job designing the look and feel of the book based on our teaching style and content learning. It was a tremendous success.
    Thanks for the good energy!

  5. Hi Dananjay!
    Yes, it is a great relief to finish a book and then seeing it in print. There’s a couple of months delay between being “done” and seeing the book in print so it’s almost like being visited by a ghost from your past when the book appears in your hands.
    Next up: “Picture Yourself Learning Office for Mac 2008” — yay! I finished writing the book a week ago and it’s now in the editorial process.

  6. Dananjay —
    I am able to write these books pretty quickly — but there’s still a strange down time when I’m done and the rest of the publishing process has yet to happen.

  7. David,
    i kind of know the feeling. After i finish writing something a sense of emptiness follows, and it’s a weird passage…almost like a dark corridor…until you start to anticipate it and then you can just go with the flow. the pendulum will swing for sure. 🙂

  8. Right on, Dananjay! The are the aftereffects of the creation blues where you give your all 100% every single day and then the project is over and you’re looking for something else that takes the same whole-body effort. 😀
    I haven’t felt those blues much over the last six months or so because I’ve written four books in a row — so before I’m finished writing one I’m starting the next one.
    There’s always another project begging for attention, though, so the melancholia certainly isn’t allowed to last long.

  9. i remember years ago when i published my first short story in a monthly and i panicked after it was published, because i didn’t think i could write the next one ever,never mind the deadline. and much less twelve of them!

  10. Dananjay —
    Yes, “dovetailing” is the key to keeping sane — fill up your calendar a year in advance with major projects and plug the niches with other independent work. It’s the only way to bring some predictability to the process.

  11. Right, Dananjay! You just have to sit down and do it and get it done. There’s no inspiration involved. No big thoughts. Just words on a page. There is too much danger of never writing another word if the process is too romanticized. That’s what’s so great about writing four blogs — I need to come up with something good fast even if I don’t feel like it — that training comes in really handy while trying to pound out a book on a hard deadline.

  12. Yes, David! i too enjoyed that when i had a live blog – self-inflicted pressure. as for inspiration, it comes on its own when you’re enjoying the process.

  13. You make a good point, Dananjay. There are many ways to ensure the writing process can continue on without a blog. Just write something every day. Set a schedule and stick to it. Money deadlines do that for you, but we need to have the discipline beyond that sort of neck-wringing. 😉

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