CategoryOne-minute Reads

Six-Word COVID-19 Stories

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I’ve got a thing for the six-word story form. I wrote six-word memoirs. Here are some six-word coronavirus stories. Locked downOpened upLocked again Craved hug,settled for a nod No mask?Don’t tread on me. More idiocy, more cases, more deaths Social distancing comes natural to me Bartender! A double martini!Sorry, students United States leadsin COVID-19.Sadly. Sanitizer takes over from...

SMILES ON WASHINGTON SQUARE, Raymond Federman

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In 1985 I went to the University of Buffalo to finish my graduate degree in creative writing. Raymond Federman headed up the program and that year “Smiles on Washington Square” was published. This novel was my introduction to metafiction, or experimental fiction, or whatever you want to call it–and I was blown away. My world expanded. The definition of a novel expanded...

July 4th: Happy Birthday You Hot Mess

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Fourth of July 2020. I looked up and down the street. Many houses were flying their flags. I was conflicted. I put mine out. I managed to fly it for an hour or so until I became uncomfortable and took it down. Here I am getting triggered by my country’s flag. I’ve allowed to happen what I’ve railed against: the flag being a symbol of Republicans and the shithead in the white...

Latest Novel Now With Agent

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I’ve submitted my latest novel, THE SUITOR, to my agent, after we’d gone back and forth on some edits. The story centers on three characters: recent college-grad and law-school-bound Anna; the ambitious and scheming Kyle, who loves her; and Anna’s father, Art, who doesn’t like the idea of Anna and Kyle together. Read the first chapter. I’ve got another shot with this...

THE PLAGUE, Albert Camus

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No longer were there individual destinies; only a collective destiny, made of plague and the emotions shared by all. I probably would not have chosen to read “the Plague” if we were not in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic and had I not found the novel on a bookshelf. But it seemed an appropriate read, tucked between my rereading of the most important novels in my life. I had just...

Memorial Day 2020

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May 24, 2020. Memorial Day Weekend. This is the front page of the New York Times today: 100,000 thousand dead so far in the United States from COVID-19. So far. The sub-head to the story states, “They Were Not Simply Names on a List. They Were Us.” There will be more deaths. Probably many thousands more. Compare this number to the number of U.S. deaths in war. Almost twice as many...

Home Gym is Getting Busy

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I’ve been working out alone in my garage for years. It’s a spartan space: unheated, floor of concrete, shelves packed with garagey stuff. There are bicycles, tools, garbage cans, recycling bins. Unfinished walls. But I’ve got a set of dumbbells. And I’ve got a pull-up bar and a yoga mat and a Bosu and a jump rope. I’ve got everything I need to get a solid workout...

4/20 is a Special Day

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April 20 (4/20) is weed day. The day got its name in the 1970s in California when a group of high school students met after school around 4:20 to get high and 4/20 became a code phrase they could use in front of their parents. Its reputation spread from there. 420 Magazine, founded in 1993, has a mission around creating cannabis awareness. I hadn’t heard of the magazine until its editor...

Dinner with Family — and the Mob

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What to do when hunkering down with the family? We ate spaghetti dinner thanks to my son, 20, who made us sauce, and we watched The Godfather, one of my favorite movies of all time. About family. I tried to get the kids to watch The Godfather when they were still too young, probably six or seven years ago. It didn’t hold their interest. This time it did. Daughter 21, watched a three-hour...

The Bunker Mentality Sets In

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Everything is getting cancelled: opera, plays, sports, travel, school, campaign rallies. Canned goods and staples are getting plucked from grocery shelves. We decided to postpone a small dinner party we had scheduled for this week, all in the name of social distancing. Was that a necessary action? I don’t know. But we’re all responsible for the potential spread of the coronavirus and...

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...

This is Called Doubt

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I started thinking about the novel and got anxious that the characters are stupid and unappealing, or stock, or boring. They are duds and the story is a dud and the language is ugly and the writing forced.  The voice is wrought or annoying or soundless. The plot is vapid. The pace dull. This is called doubt. Crushing, debilitating, self-loathing doubt. I take full responsibility. I am...

Lake Placid, the Setting of My Novel-in-Progress

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This is a photo of Mirror Lake in the Village of Lake Placid in upstate New York. One of those lights on the far shore is a catalyst to my imagination. I am inexorably drawn to Lake Placid and the Adirondack Mountains. For its natural beauty. For the 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks (those summits over 4,000 feet). For the lovely village and one of my favorite bookstores—The Bookstore Plus—which...

6-4, 6-3, Tennis Friends

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Chris is one of those guys who is a tennis friend. I like him. I like to play tennis with him. He is about my age, a steady player, a variety of shots, quick on his feet, willing to go for angles and winners. But . . . Chris is loud. He talks a lot. He screams the word “OUT” when my shot is long. And he just talks. During games, between games. Mostly about himself, sometimes about...

6-2, 6-7

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That’s Danielle Collins in the photo, competing at the US Open. I was inspired by my day at the Open, where I saw the world’s best players compete with intensity and ferocity. I couldn’t wait to play again, and this morning I did. I won the first set handily. I was hitting my shots, my opponent wasn’t. I tried to focus on moving my feet and getting in position to hit the...

David Klein

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

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