Brain damage, and credit? Brain damage is a serious matter, and I'm not making light of it. In my case--and in so many ways I am a very lucky man--brain damage has shaped my life in a good way. Do I have your attention yet?
I had grand mal seizures as a child. That was in the early 1970's, and something happened (probably as a result of those seizures) that made me use both sides of my brain for language. In 2005, I suffered an acute bout of Wernickes--which I've describe in detail in Green Goblin. In 2008, I had a neuropsyche exam--which is not a psychological test to see if a feller has his marbles or not, but a test of brain functions--that revealed I am what they call "lateralized"...meaning there is a large gap, a really large gap, between my verbal and procedural I.Q's. On the verbal side, I test high. The word descriptor was "very superior." On the procedural, or math side, I tested low. The word descriptor was "impaired."
I have loved to write since I was a little kid. I wrote for fun in junior high, I wrote for fun in high school. I didn't know I was any good at it until college...when I asked, quite honestly, for help with an English paper. Some awards for my newspaper columns, some awards from the college literary magazine, a mentorship with Clive Cussler, Stephen R. Donaldson, and Terry Brooks later, and I started to think I was a pretty decent writer.
I'm getting ready to speak to a Kiwanis club in Kalamazoo, MI later this month about my books. Until a little while ago, I didn't wasn't sure what to make the basis of my speech. I want them to buy my books. Not going to kid about that. But that doesn't make much of a speech.
Overcoming brain damage...using it to build a skill that all too few seem to possess a lot of? Well...that's a topic for a speech.