Monday, November 8, 2010

I think I'll give credit to brain damage

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.

1 comment:

Nancy Ferriell said...

I had the good fortune of being in Kalamazoo and attending David's Kawanis speech. I had been extremely proud of his writing. The day of his Kawanis speech, David added a new dimension to my appraisals of his capabilities. Yes, I was surprised and now proud of his speaking abilities. To all of you coordinators of events, If you set the bar high for asking people to speak at your functions, David will be totally value added. He was poised, knowledgeable, and even fun and funny. Seek David out and you will be immensely glad you did. Nancy Ferriell