I'm not a writer. Writing bursts out when I'm not expecting it (maybe it's a pressure valve) and I'll write things which I have never realised are in there.

"All in the Mind" is probably just such an escape valve. It's the story of a child who develops epilepsy (no great surprise, but most certainly not autobiographical). With the condition comes an imaginary friend who helps him through social difficulties, treatment, and ultimately surgery. Initially a single post on a mailing list, with help from a professional editor and friends it eventually snow-balled into a full novel. Educative yet entertaining, it's intended mainly for children, but has been given to parents of children with epilepsy to help them understand what their kids are going through.

Still in the area of educative children's reading is "Captain Conroy's Empty Planet". Using the story of a space-freighter captain lost in space as a vehicle for Key Stage 2 science education, it has proved very popular with ten and eleven year olds, who enjoy the fun of the story without realising that they're being taught at the same time. Any copies of both are available from MTD@mtdomain.demon.co.ukMTD@mtdomain.demon.co.uk.

In an almost entirely different vein are the poems which emerge from time to time. Temporal lobe epilepsy is frequently associated with psychiatric disorder, and I'm very lucky to have survived that side of things relatively unscathed. One good venthole is the poems which blast themselves out of my head. They will stretch your brain, put you in the mind of an epileptic during a seizure, stand you at the top of the cliff, or throw you off. You have been warned!

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23/08/01 by M.Thomas