CategoryOne-minute Reads

To Calm Myself, I Spent Some Time With Charles Today

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The last few days have spawned an onslaught of insanity, shame, and sadness in our country, along with a corresponding uptick in anxiety and tension within myself.

So I turned to Charles Bukowski this morning:

And then there’s one of my favorite Bukowski poems, “The Laughing Heart.” This reading by Tom Waits is perfect in tone and voice:

Christmas Babies

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That’s me on the left, Julia on the right, both of us born on Christmas, 40 years apart. What better birthday gift can a father receive–a daughter born on his birthday. Extreme gratitude to Harriet, for enduring a torturously long labor to give us a Christmas baby, and to my own mother, Irene. I was her second Christmas baby, three years after my brother Peter was born. Happy birthday...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

My Ten Commandments for Social Media Use

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The other day I did what I hate doing on social media: I experienced one of those knee-jerk, angry reactions to what someone posted and I kind of lashed out in the comments. That did nothing good for my state of mind. I don’t use Facebook often and when I do I mostly lurk. But occasionally I share one of these blog posts on my Facebook page because I think there might be one or two people...

No Satisfaction–Yet

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I was out inspecting the perimeter yesterday and I saw a flash of red in the bushes. I pulled out this sign that someone must have tossed here. They probably stole it from another lawn and flung it here, hopefully in disgust, but I wish they hadn’t tainted my property. It landed not far from my Black Lives Matter sign. The Trump sign was high quality: heavy plastic and sturdy wire frame. It...

Six-Word Memoirs

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There is a legend about Ernest Hemingway responding to a challenge to write a six-word story with this: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” That’s about as devastating and definitive as a story can be–whatever its length. And it has inspired many writers to construct six-word stories and memoirs. Here’s another one, unlikely written as a six-word memoir, but...

It Hurts Getting Punched in the Mouth

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I’m not a boxing fan, I’m not even a Mike Tyson fan, but I’m a big fan of this quote attributed to the fearsome warrior: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” There are a number of military variations on this quote, such as “Plans are great until the shooting starts” or “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.”...

Playing in the Neighborhood

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I looked out my window the other day and saw this going on in my front yard. I had kept one of the swings from the playset we had in our back yard when my own kids were young and I hung it out front from a maple tree. Every once in a while someone will come by and take a ride, usually a mom with her toddler. I watched these two girls take turns pushing each other. Swinging as if they owned it...

Ruth, You Were A Rock Star

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I’m crushed over Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death. Not just mourning for her and the incredible work she’s done for all Americans and for women especially as an attorney and then a Supreme Court justice. But I’m also consumed with anxiety because of the Supreme Court vacancy her death creates just a few weeks before the election, with two-faced, lying, duplicitous republican senators saying they will...

The Delight of Youth

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Somehow, this is a photo of me, and not of my son.

It wasn’t taken when I was eight years old but just the other day using one of those crazy filters on Snapchat.

That’s one delighted kid in this photo. It’s a joyful version of who I wish I’d been as a child.

Now instead of a special effect, I need to discover the real effect, and somehow look like this in my current life (except 50 years older).

David Klein

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

Novels

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