My Bout with Cancer PART SEVEN

Ring, ring, ring. On the way from the radiation room to the front door there’s a big brass bell with a sign saying ring three times to announce when you’ve finished your final radiation treatment. Well, it’s not really a big bell, medium-sized maybe, and it might not really be brass. But I like to …

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My Bout with Cancer PART SIX

I’m sitting in the “Fish Room” at Radiant Care in Lacey waiting for a nurse to appear and call out, “Alec” or more likely”John.” There seem to be somewhere between six and a dozen nurses, and I haven’t learned any of their names. They know mine because it’s written down as John with a note …

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“My Sweet Lord,” Willie Ray is Locked In

by Alec Clayton I finally finished my latest novel, Locked In. It’s my eleventh novel. It has taken well over two years to finish writing it, for Gabi to finish editing it, and for me to complete a final re-write. Locked In is the story of a lifelong fight for justice and of romance and …

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My Bout with Cancer PART FIVE

I guess I live my life out loud, meaning I share personal information that many other people would not. Like these jottings about my bout with cancer. Shortly after my first surgery to remove the tumor, I told my friend Nikki—who has breast cancer and also lives her life out loud, who has shared on …

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My Bout with Cancer PART FOUR

The folks at Radiant Radiology, a part of Providence Regional Cancer System, are great. They answer questions and explain upcoming procedures patiently, thoroughly and clearly. After taking our wounded car to the body shop to get a repair estimate (see PART THREE), we took my wounded face to Radiant for a second consultation with Dr. …

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Kruse’s “The Boy” Will Linger in Your Mind

Megan Kruse’s short story “The Boy” in the story collection Mud Flat Shorts (mostly fiction) is a haunting story that will stay with you long after you finish reading it, a story you’ll want to read again. A young American soldier named Chester is stationed near the river Anapo in Italy. Despite the camaraderie of …

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My Bout with Cancer PART THREE

Yesterday was a momentous day in many ways. For starters, it was a big day because it marked a milestone in my treatment—my last visit with my plastic surgeon until June 28. He removed the staples from the top of my head and checked everything and said it all looked good — that I no …

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A Look Into Dawud H. Al-Malik’s “From the Depths of Darkness”

The paragraphs above are from the opening of Dawud H. Al-Malik memoir, (a work in progress, as edited by James O’Barr) published in Mud Flat Shorts (mostly fiction), a collection of thirty-one great stories by nineteen magnificent writers published by Mud Flat Press. Gabi met Dawud when he and she were attending the Olympia Friends …

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First reading of The Descendants of the Pirate Pegleg Josiah Johnson

Jack Butler, author of Living in Little Rock With Miss Little Rock. JuJitsu for Christ, Nightshade, is a great writer and a great friend. Also published by us at Mud Flat Press are Jack’s books: Practicing Zen Without a Licence and Christmas on a Distant Planet (illustrated by Gabi Clayton.) We met Jack at Mississippi …

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My Bout with Cancer PART TWO

My hair, where I have hair—a patch like a medieval monk’s tonsorial—was a madly matted yellow mess. The yellow comes from medicine during surgery and medicine infused tape. When I was finally able to take a shower, that got much of the yellow out. Now I can wash my head and get rid of some …

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