Steamboat Springs There were a lot of things Tony Crawford found while sitting in a waiting room preparing for cancer treatment.
There was introspection on a life lived and what it meant. There were thoughts about a Vietnam veteran undergoing treatment for cancer linked to the Agent Orange chemical used in the war.
There were somber moments, moments of hope and quiet times to just think.
There were also stories and the relief that came from pouring words on paper.
And with it came Crawford’s second fictional book — penned under the name Tom Dawson — detailing short stories about his battle with cancer and everyday life.
The book “Pieces” features brief snippets from Crawford’s time sitting in the waiting room and doing other things while going through his battle with cancer. Excerpts from his first book “Cottonwood” are also included.
“It’s to help me appreciate my memories and reflect on them,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ve learned some things along the way. I do not want to get up and preach, but these are things I’d like to share.”
Crawford moved to Steamboat in 1999 and still has a home here. In 2011, he was diagnosed with cancer and was forced to move to Denver.
While in Steamboat, he worked with the Steamboat Writers Group, finding his love of the pen.
After originally finding out he had cancer and undergoing treatment, Crawford used his writing as a way to explore his own mortality and compare it with the way others endured such things in life.
“Pieces,” he said, isn’t a sad book but rather contemplative with a humorous touch. His writing is ironic and funny, all while making the reader think.
The short musings were first published just on his website. But after compiling enough of them and receiving feedback, he decided he had enough to publish another book.
“It’s just been looking at what it is to be human,” he said. “You see people from all walks of life, the young and the old, from all nationalities. You see they have all degrees of problems they’re dealing with. You can’t help but relate, going through knowing each and everyone has own story.”
Crawford said he’s not writing books for monetary benefits or the hopes of becoming a well-known novelist.
For him, it’s been a way to express himself through a tough time in life, all while doing it with a sense of humor.
“What I do, I do because of the enjoyment I get out of it,” he said.
Both of Crawford’s books can be found at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, Amazon.com or at his web site by clicking here.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham