Who is Karl Stuart Kline?
Basically, he is a good man with some ability as a writer and a poet. Perhaps even a great deal of ability, but he doesn't like to make that kind of comparison, since the greatest obstacle to his being published in multiple genres has been his own reticence.
LIVING WITH EPILEPSY...
That reticence has it's roots in the disability that has plagued him since early childhood. As an epileptic, he learned early in life not to call attention to himself, for the results were invariably undesirable. Several hundred petit mal seizures a day combined with a variable witches' brew of chemicals that were used to try to control them made him unable to interact with his peers in a normal manner. The long term result of that was that having never really been accepted as an equal, he never credited himself with talents that might even be exceptional.
As he grew older, he outgrew the petit mal seizures that had stolen his youth, but after a short hiatus they returned with a vengeance as grand mal seizures took their place. However, as bad as a grand mal seizure can be, this was an improvement over his former state since they can be better controlled with medication and they only occurred occasionally instead of hundreds of times in a single day. Unfortunately whatever advantage he might have gained by that was offset by the separation of his parents and he spent the remainder of his youth transferring from school to school and bouncing back and forth between one or another of his parents, grand parents and even State School when no one else could care for him. Surprisingly, having grown up as a loner and a misfit as he did, he became well educated from an unusual variety of sources.
Ultimately he has achieved enough control that he has become able to drive and work safely around heavy machinery, enough so that he now works as a robot operator for the U. S. Postal Service at their West Palm Beach Processing and Distribution Center. Their robotic systems are a highlight for the tours that they have several times a month and the mechanic likes to underscore the fact of their size and power by mentioning that those robots are big and strong enough to pick up and move Volkswagens!
MEETING THE CHALLENGE...
Interestingly, the most challenging things in his life have been of a physical nature and so many of his accomplishments have gone without comment, due to the hidden nature of his disability.
Other people can forget or never realize that it's there, but he can never forget. Simply forgetting his medication can result in a series of events that would be catastrophic.
Perhaps that is why he has chosen to meet many of those physical challenges head on and has done many things that most people would hesitate to even try. But then there are other things that many people take for granted (such as driving!) that have been major accomplishments in his life. Interestingly, he was a PADI certified open water scuba diver even before he could legally drive!
Living independently was the first and foremost of those challenges and he left home before he even finished high school, choosing to finish high school and earn his college degree independently while working at a variety of different jobs. Not being able to drive and unwilling to be confined at home any longer than he was forced to, Karl resorted to hitch hiking and working around the country as he traveled. Starting from Central Florida, he began his last year of high school in upstate New York and finished it on the Treasure Coast of Florida.
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Note: 6/10/05... Since this was written, it became necessary for me to write a biography to accompany the submission of Going Without Peggy to the Pulitzer Prize Committee. I have now transcribed it to this site and it can be seen on it's own page.
For those of you who have a particular or personal interest in epilepsy, you might find Going Without Peggy to be of particular interest. Peggy also had epilepsy and we met through Epilepsy Concern, a coalition of self help groups. The love, support and understanding that we gave to each other throughout our marriage was priceless...
Less important, but still notable, may be the fact that I am a past president of Epilepsy Concern.
Karl's books are available directly from the publisher at a discounted price. Whoever is interested can click on these links to access them directly;
For Poison Pearls, click on www.publishamerica.com/books/4092
For Going Without Peggy, click onwww.publishamerica.com/books/8958
For Brain Stemmed Roses, click on www.publishamerica.com/books/14297