Thursday, 12 July 2012

An explanation, Jeremiah Fishfinger, and other news . . .

Hi everyone.

First of all, I feel I need to explain my absence of the last week or so. The week before you know about - the computer dying thing - life, that's what that is. Things happen. You carry on. There are lessons to look for, for example during the demise of my computer I rediscovered the beauty of writing by hand. Silver lining, and all that. And then the following week - last Thursday lunchtime to be exact - something else happened . . .

I had a couple of seizures - two within six hours of each other. Now, as some of you may have been aware beforehand, I have had epilepsy for most of my life - well, since I was eighteen. Because of this, I am unable to drive, hence, I get a free London Transport Travel Pass (which I manage to lose on a regular basis).

I am very fortunate the epilepsy is really well controlled through medication, a seizure usually occurring about once every eighteen months. I'm sort of used to that. One can, theoretically happen at any time, but I don't live in fear, it's just become a part of who I am. I have had seizures whilst playing football, rested for a couple of minutes, then carried on. Others, I'm so exhausted I have to sleep for hours at a time. They're all different. Sometimes I don't even know I've had one unless someone else is there to tell me afterwards. Other times I'll have a vague recollection a couple of days later about being on the floor, my left shoulder and elbow sore, and deduce I must have had a seizure.

So they come and they go . . . but two seizures in six hours . . . that was something else. Like being hit by a train twice.

I went to the hospital, was checked over, and all seemed fine. As far as I am concerned, it's all done with. It's taken me almost a week to  become fully cognisant, mind. Dopey for days, struggling to grasp the words people were saying to me, grappling with the reality of day to day moments. It's been a real wake-up call.

I would imagine each person having a seizure experiences it a little different from the next. For me, a seizure shifts me into a different place, a place where the very atoms become thick and clustered, like breathing through treacle. And it is a reality without connection. Having a seizure, for me, is the loneliest experience in the world. It is as close to dying as I can imagine. Heartfelt thanks go out to my neighbour - Cindy, and her kids, James and Philippa, who found me on the patio during the first seizure - to my wife Katie, who sorted me out with the second one, and my mum and dad who took me up the hospital and provided such loving support throughout.

As for me littl'un, Summer (4) - who when she saw me the next day asked me to do 'the wiggly thing' again, I love you more than ever. Kids really do see life as it really is, don't they. No attachments, you know :)

Anyway, I'm back to normal now, and have been cracking on with the writing these last couple of days. I've begun AWM2 in earnest - handwriting it all the way, and I'm more determined than ever to make a go of this writing lark.

In other news . . . my entry in this year's Watery Grave Invitational - THE DROWNING OF JEREMIAH FISHFINGER  has been picked up by Thomas Pluck for inclusion in an anthology in aid of PROTECT -The National Society to Protect Children. The book is due, I think, for publication this September, and includes such luminaries as Ken Bruen, George Pelecanos, Joe Lansdale, Wayne Dundee, Patricia Abbott, Nigel Bird, Ray Banks, Charlie Stella, and loads of others. Needless to say, I'm absolutely thrilled. I have a real belief books and stories find their way home, find their way to people and places who need them most. In Jeremiah Fishfinger, I feel that to be completely true.

Also . . .  work is underway in organising another couple of dates for the ABIDE WITH ME Book Tour, hopefully something around November/December. I'll post the dates soon as they're confirmed.

Finally . . . my heartfelt thanks to all of you who've contacted me via Facebook, etc. with all your good wishes. It's been quite a week. I thank you all.

Have good'un.

Ian :)



  1. Hi Ian,I'm so glad you're OK. As you say,it's great you have such loving support around you.
    Many,many congratulations on your success with The Drowning of Jeremiah Fishfinger. To be included in the same page as George Pelecanos,my hero,well how good does it get! Brilliant.
    Keep well Ian. We need you around you know!
    Harry (Dunn)

  2. Cheers, Harry.

    Much appreciated, mate.

    Looking forward to your name in lights, sir :)

  3. Glad to hear you're doing better and congratulations on the Fishfinger (okay, sounds odd put that way). Frank speaking seems the best way to demystify a condition that too many people have misconceptions about.

  4. Thank you, Kate.

    Always wondered about Jeremiah's name, but it is his name, so nothing I could do about it really.

    As for the epilepsy, it's never something I've ever thought I really suffered with - not something I've seen as an obstacle, just a different path for me to travel. I do know I get of very light compared to a lot of people with epilepsy, and it really does still have a stigma. Funny, though, that place it takes me to, in some way, I know it's the same place all my stories come from. It's a part of me now and I wouldn't be without it.

  5. Fucking hell mate. I didn't know that. Glad you're OK now though. If you need anything give me a shout and if I can help I will.

  6. Cheers, Pete.

    All on the mend now, mate. And it's all material, you know. All material . . . ;)

  7. Glad you're okay now. All the best.

  8. So glad you're feeling better. And happy to know that others see what I saw in Jeremiah.

  9. Ian I am glad you are feeling better mate. Your pint of London Pride awaits you.

  10. Hey Ian. Good to hear you're back on your feet. Nothing a couple of Purple Yorkies won't fix, right?