AuthorDavid Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

The Blue Period

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Pablo Picasso had a blue period, from 1901-1904, which started with the death of a close friend. During this period he produced almost exclusively monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors. At the time, he achieved little success at the time with these paintings, which might be hard to believe now. As he gradually emerged from his...

Time Ceases to Exist

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The plane nosed down once more and Robert caught a glimpse of the markers leading up to the runway. They were going to be short. They were a second or two from impact. And here came the amazing thing about the moment of death: time doesn’t slow down—it ceases to exist. You can experience the regret of not kissing your wife goodbye that morning. You can remember a family trip to St. John you...

Dreaming of COVID

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Just a few short weeks ago I wrote about how COVID was getting inside of me and impacting my fiction writing. Admittedly, having COVID infiltrating my thoughts when writing isn’t nearly as bad as getting the virus itself, which I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid. So far. But now COVID has found another way in. Last night I dreamed about COVID for the first time. I was hungry and in...

Push Yourself Up!

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To be on the team, you have to perform twenty pushups. There’s no getting around that requirement because if you can’t do twenty pushups you won’t have the strength to help the team. You’d be a burden on your teammates. You’d be unwanted. So twenty pushups it is, no exceptions. Plus eight pullups, running a mile in seven minutes or less, and scoring at least eighteen out of twenty on the team...

Savoring the Winter Hike

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I have a new quest: hike all 35 Catskill Mountain peaks over 3500 feet in elevation. I’ve got one down, 34 to go. Today I hiked Westkill Mountain, joining an organized small group because this was my first mountain hiking in winter conditions. It was wet on the lower elevations, snowy with some ice up higher. The sun wasn’t out . . .but the view still inspired. Hiking is one of those...

I’ve Been Writing This Novel Seemingly Forever

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FLIGHT RISK: After surviving a plane crash but wandering off into a trauma-induced fugue state, a previously reliable husband, father, and successful businessman attempts to put his life back together while enduring the stigma of his psychological collapse.    It’s unsettling to be working on a novel I thought I’d finished writing several years ago. It was called A SERIOUS LAPSE back then. My...

A New Game I Want to Play

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It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I need to get moving so I head out on my bike because my legs are too tired and toes too achy for running today. I ride as far as the town park and pass by the tennis courts where I play during the summer. The courts are full of pickleball players. I stop and watch. I’ve never played, but I pick up most of the tactics and rules watching the four players on the...

Giving Thanks Should Be a Daily Duty For Me

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Taking a run at Five Rivers and thankful for it. I don’t think about what I’m thankful for often enough. Instead, I tend to get caught up in the negative, I dwell in the dark rooms: things gone wrong, failures, mishaps, misfortunes. It’s hard for me to admit this, and nothing to be proud of. I have to fight against the shadows and remind myself to experience gratitude. I have family and friends...

It’s Time to Play Keep or Cull

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I have left the era of acquiring and now entered the age of dispersing. There are 14 bookcases in my house, most of them stuffed. The kids each have a bookcase in their rooms. Harriet has one for all her cookbooks. The rest are mostly mine. Our two feature bookcases, on either side of the fireplace, I’m trimming out and painting. It’s time to do something about the all books. The time of...

LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND — Rumaan Alam

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I eagerly awaited my opportunity to read LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND, by Rumaan Alam, a novel that has received a lot of attention and hype this season. I have mixed feelings. First, what I really liked. Some of the writing is stellar, the novel moves briskly along, and it clocks in at a trim, bloat-free 241 pages. The premise itself is powerful and promising: a white Brooklyn family heads out to the...

It Gets Inside You

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I haven’t tested positive for COVID yet, but it’s gotten inside me in other insidious little ways. Here’s a first-time occurrence for me: I’m at my desk novel writing, deep in a chapter. I pause. Part of the work of storytelling is asking questions: Is this authentic? Could this happen? Is this behavior believable? These questions came to mind and I’m suddenly wondering whether my characters...

A PALE VIEW OF THE HILLS–Kazuo Ishiguro

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Delicate, elegiac, mysterious, haunting. If those words describe the kind of novel you like, A PALE VIEW OF THE HILLS is for you. It’s on my list of The Most Important Novels in My Life, which I’ve been revisiting during the coronavirus pandemic, and a recent rereading of Ishiguro’s first novel reminds me that it belongs. I first came to this novel in 1993, while I was working on a...

The Not So Lonely Path

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I had to get out for a hike this morning to think some things over. I went to a trail that’s new for me, Bennett Hill Preserve. It was overcast, chilly, and windy — perfect conditions for me. The trail started up a ridge with a view of a dairy farm and cows through the trees and I kept a vigorous pace as the elevation increased and the gray and brown forest thickened. Pretty soon I...

The Most Important Novels in My Life

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I have set myself a task for 2020: reread the ten most important books in my life. To qualify for the list, the novel (or novella or short story collections; I’m including those also), must meet one or more of the following criteria: It was so profound and meaningful to me that I’ve read the novel multiple times.It significantly influenced my own development as a novelist.The...

I Honor My Father on Veteran’s Day

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I honor my father today, Bob Klein, veteran of World War II. At the too-young age of 17 he enlisted in the Navy and served in the Pacific. Here’s a photo of him, a long-legged sailor, on his ship. He came back from the war in one piece and lived a long and I believe mostly satisfying life. He didn’t talk much about the war. I remember asking him if he was afraid of getting killed and...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

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