A sense of place

About forty years ago I read an article about Eudora Welty in which the writer praised her sense of place. That’s it! I thought. A sense of place. It needs to be a strong element in any fiction worth reading. Welty did it with accents, quirks of speech, and descriptions of houses, towns, the land …

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A bit of gay history

People who were here in Olympia, Washington in the early days of LGBTQ activism might recall the Smithfield Cafe and Hands Off Washington and Pride parades when they were tiny and it took guts to march or even stand on the curb and cheer as the courageous ones passed by. And a bit later the …

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Sleeping around: A fun little reminiscence

by Alec Clayton I don’t know what triggered these memories from when I was young and single and perpetually horny. First, when I was living in Nashville I had a girlfriend who was six feet tall and gorgeous. I claimed to be five-foot-four at the time, but I might have been stretching it a bit. …

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A short vacation during the pandemic

by Alec Clayton Going to visit Gabi’s brother and sister in Northern California at the end of June 2020, the first thing I noticed looking out the train window was that almost immediately after leaving the Olympia/Lacey Amtrak station the tracks were following along what seemed to be a high plateau, almost like a levy. …

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Remembering my brothers

By Alec Clayton On Father’s Day 2020 my niece Allison posted on Facebook: “Happy Heavenly Father’s Day, Daddy!” And another niece, Angelina posted: “Happy Father’s Day to my Dad that’s in heaven.” Allison’s dad was my big brother, Buster, and Angelina’s stepdad was my identical twin brother, Bill. Bill and I adored and hated big …

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Patsy and Roger get it on in Jujitsu for Christ

In a recent email thread, poet and novelist Jack Butler and I talked about writing sex scenes. I mentioned Barbara Kingsolver’s essay on the subject in “A Forbidden Territory Familiar to all” from the New York Times series “Writers on Writing,” in which she talked about how difficult it is to write sex scenes that …

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Schmoozing with the nearly famous By Alec Clayton

Schmoozing with the nearly famous By Alec Clayton Early in the day, after driving all night, I parked my VW bus in front of the Montrose Apartments in Johnson City and started unloading my worldly possessions—clothes, books and paintings. I was met by a gangly guy who said, “Hi. I’m Richard. You must be Alex.” …

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Growtown

Growtown By Alec Clayton The rapid rise of this pandemic is like the growth of Growtown and the phenomenal fecundity of Henrietta Hawley and her multitude of descendants. Both are exponential. Henrietta is the oldest person in town. She lives alone now in the big house on top of the hill where she can stand …

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