CategoryOne-minute Reads

A Walk On the Ice

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Cross here? What do you think? Looks pretty good. Better than downstream. The ice is strong right here. Just a little slush on top. What about out the middle? I don’t know. It looks okay. How deep is the water? Just a couple of feet here. But out there, over your head. Great. What do you think? Sun’s out. It’s a warm day. You don’t think we should? What are we going to do on the other side? I...

The Black Chemistry

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One of those goddamn depth-of-winter days when the snow is sooty, the sky relentless gray, the trees dismal brown. You force yourself out for a run and make it as far as the cemetery but sure enough your foot aches, you step in a deep cold puddle, and you’re going to die someday. This chaotic black chemistry that is you. Then the freezing rain starts like someone mocking me. I lower my gaze...

Skating on a Winter Night

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To feel young again on a chilled winter night skating on a frozen pond across the choppy ice To feel young chasing a puck and slapping your stick calling for a pass or attempting one More than scoring a goal your goal is to remain uprightand not smack your brittle bones on ice as hard as concrete To feel the freeze in your fingertips and the run in your nose To hear your skate blades carving...

INTERIOR CHINATOWN — Charles Yu

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The narrative structure and storytelling of Charles Wu’s quick-read “Interior Chinatown” are like no other novel I’ve read—and I’ve read a lot of them. It’s part screenplay for a cop show—Black and White—being filmed at the Golden Palace restaurant, and part interior monologue of the protagonist Willis Wu, who plays Generic Asian Man/Dead Asian Man/Background Oriental in the margins of the show...

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...

David Klein

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

Novels

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