Ron Lands

Fiction Writer

Oak Ridge, TN 37830

Author's Bio

Ron Lands grew up in a small East Tennessee town with a five generation Appalachian pedigree that contains a host of farmers and preachers, but no statesmen, valiant warriors, writers or physicians. The first indication that he might break that mold was the day after President Kennedy’s assassination when, in an attempt to process that tragedy, he wrote a very bad poem and gave it to his second-grade teacher. The teasing that he endured from his peers after she read it to his class squelched his desire to share his work for the next 25 years.

A year or so after the ill-fated attempt to write, he developed appendicitis. His physician, a small-town general practitioner, operated late one night without a specialist’s consultation, abdominal CT scan or anything else considered standard today. He recuperated in the hospital for a week. A nurse recorded his vital signs every 8 hours on a flowsheet attached to a clipboard that dangled on a string from the foot of his bed. Every day, she ripped the adhesive bandage off the surgical site and changed the gauze dressings. Before she dressed it again, she would clean his fingertips with alcohol and let him touch the thick silk sutures.

He was enchanted by the rules, the rituals, the smells, the nurses with swollen ankles and white stockings. He was awe-struck by his doctor who made rounds at random times with a pack of unfiltered Lucky Strikes in his short-sleeved clinic coat pocket. He felt like a member of an exclusive club when the hospital operator announced over the PA system at 9 PM that visiting hours were over and everyone had to leave the building, except the unhealthy and the healers[CG1] .

Over five decades later, now a retired cancer doctor, drawn to that specialty because the art of medicine still seemed relevant even as the science unfolded in breathtaking waves, he still finds himself writing to find clarity about his patients. Writing and medicine are his vocation and avocation, impossible to do one without the other.

Publications & Prizes

The Long Way Home (Bottom Dog Press, 2021)
A Gathering of Friends (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2021)
Final Path (Finishing Line Press, 2020)

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
William Faulkner Raymond Carter Anton Chekov Ted Kooser Susan Perabo
What I'm reading now: 
John Quincy Adams by Harlow Giles Unger, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
American, Appalachian
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Rockwood, TN
Raised in: 
Rockwood, TN
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Last update: Dec 16, 2021