MARK D.PRITCHARD
 

Sometimes people ask me why I use my middle intial as an author. This is because there is another author of the same name who writes books on erotica. I figured, therefore, that it might be prudent to make some differentiation between us.

Given also that there is an eminent politician who shares my name, I thought, "What if he becomes Prime Minister and people can't tell us apart?" I could even end up with an identity crisis myself and turn up at the wrong office.


My book "I'm Never Ill"  was not originally intended to be anything more than a short story to ease the boredom of hospitalised brain trauma patients who had been through similar to me. 60,000 words later...

 
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“Hi darling,” I said. “I’ve got a bit of a problem. I’m going to have to call an ambulance...”
 

“... Is he going to be brain damaged?” Sarah asked the doctor. “Well let’s just see if he makes it through the night,” he said.
 

“The hole in my skull – does it go right through to my brain?”
“I don’t know,” he said, “sometimes the bone knits back together and sometimes it doesn’t. But I can check for you.”

 
"When you have looked death straight in the eye and lived to tell the tale, you can develop a sense of elevation, almost like an out of body experience, where you can look down upon yourself as if you were watching someone else. All that you are now may never have been. So whatever you do, as long it isn’t harmful, is a bonus, irrespective of what anyone else thinks. Self-consciousness becomes irrelevant. You can laugh and smile at every moment you create that may never have been, knowing that you are adding more and more sentences, paragraphs, chapters and pictures to what potentially had been a finished book, even if some of those moments didn't work out the way you'd planned. I'm lucky that I don't have any fear of dying. Therefore, I could, if I had the inclination, jump off a very high bridge to my death, laughing, mocking and rejoicing at the extra years that shouldn't have been mine as I plummet to the ground, like a thief in the night. It doesn't matter if you make a fool of yourself from time to time, or find yourself in a situation that you're unhappy with. You can just walk away and keep adding more moments, and keep following your principles."

“What about rehab?” he asked.
“Rehab?” I returned the question. “What do you mean?”
“Did you have any rehab after you came out?”
“No,” I said. He was beginning to look as if he’d seen a ghost.

 
During those days at the Heath Hospital when I didn't know if I'd escape from there alive, I couldn't possibly have predicted that exactly two years on I'd be drinking pina colada in the Caribbean and swimming with tropical fish.

Irrespective of the number of family and friends we have around us, we all live our lives in isolation - a disturbing thought. On the inside, we all live and die alone. Nobody else can see our perspective.
 

We went to a local dance teacher, Bob, who suggested a basic foxtrot.
“How basic can you make it?” I asked. He seemed to be a little suspicious of me at first, seemingly thinking that my complete incompetence was some kind of joke and that I wasn’t taking it seriously.

 
She thought maybe I was about to suffer a heart attack. This was not to be the case. The moment came. She immediately knew why my heart was working so fast. As we exited the cave we were engaged to be married.
Being a human being is a very difficult job, but just by adopting the correct attitude you can make that job one hell of a lot easier.
A couple of weeks later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. There are some moments in life that are unimaginable until they actually happen. They are best left unexplained, as words can often be insufficient to communicate the intensity of their impact.
 
 
We are very, very lucky people. We don’t want to be seen as people who have been through a lot of misfortune. Our very own “big picture” is, in fact, the opposite.
 
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