Two Weeks In: 10 Thoughts


Two weeks into social distancing I remain in my bunker with spouse and two college-age children. Despite the horror of the coronavirus and the misfortune of many who are suffering, at this point I feel so fortunate to have my family. We’re doing well together.But I also have a helpless feeling — meaning it’s hard to find ways to help if we’re supposed to stay home. The...

Writing in the Time of Covid-19


Writers shouldn’t rush to put out a Covid-19 book, according to Sloane Crosby in her recent New York Times essay. Even though every writer in the world is seeing the world through a virus lens at this moment. Even though we’re all sentenced to our desks. Even though we can’t concentrate on writing anything else. At least Crosby understood the irony of her own writing about what...

Troubled Times: Day Six


It’s been one week since I’ve been practicing social distancing. Mostly I’ve mostly stayed home, which is what I usually do anyway, since I’m a writer that works from home. So in some ways my usual routine is intact. In other ways, not. Both college-age offspring are living again home. I’m pleased. Spouse now working from home. We’re a family that’s together. But now we’re four adults and that...

My First Novel Was a Disaster


I’m on page 38 of 327 pages of a novel I’m reading and I want to put it down. I’m uncomfortable reading. Anxiety is building in me. Anguish weighs me down. Even shame. And yet — I also experience a sense of wonder. The novel is called THE PETTING ZOO, and it’s the first novel I wrote, 30 years ago. I came across the manuscript — wasn’t sure I still had it...

Passing Time Hunkered down at Home


I once gave a poem I wrote as a wedding present, slipping the envelope into the basket among all the other envelopes which I’m sure contained money and not poems. It was years ago, when I lived in Santa Cruz. I remembered this now because I’ve been hunkered down at home against the coronavirus and have found time to go through some old journals. The poem I wrote was for Maz and...

What it Means to be a Man. Part 1


“THERE’S A BUG! IT’S REALLY BIG!” Yes, there is a bug. However, ‘Really Big’ is a relative terms: It’s about the size of my pinky fingernail. It’s clinging to the ceiling, or the wall, or the window frame. It has been discovered either by spouse or daughter. And it’s my responsibility to do something about it. Invariably that means that I must...

The Bunker Mentality Sets In


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...

My Brilliant Career


People sometimes ask me how I became a writer. The path was anything but straightforward. I didn’t start out wanting to be a writer, but I gradually veered in that direction, bumping a few guardrails along the way. Here is a list of all my paying jobs (unless I’ve forgotten some). Does this constitute a career? One definition of career is “a person’s progress or general...

A Swim with My Dad


We’re in Canada at Thunder Bay Beach on Lake Erie, my father and me, standing at the shoreline. It’s a perfect late afternoon near the end of summer, the warm water lapping at our toes and the soft sand and hard pebbles contouring the bottoms of our feet. The sun glints like a thousand mirrors on the water’s surface. The long arc of the shoreline extends in either direction...

March 1 is a Special Day for Me


No, it’s not my birthday. I’m a Christmas baby — my birthday is December 25. My brother Peter, three years older than me, was also born on Christmas. What are the chances? Six years old? Two birthdays on Christmas in my family. Plus, of course, there’s Christmas to celebrate, which was always a big deal growing up. Christmas Eve with my mother’s family, full of...

Quest for Fire


About the only thing I remember from Tom Wolfe’s novel, “A Man in Full” (the much less successful followup to “Bonfire of the Vanities”), was a character who said that when he wanted to make a fire he started with a tree. I liked that. In many ways, I’m like that. Sure, I have a nice fireplace where all I need to do is arrange newspaper, kindling, and firewood...

Dog Person, Cat Person, People Person


Are you a dog person or a cat person? Apparently, you need to choose a side. I can tell you right now I am not a dog person. That doesn’t mean I don’t like dogs. I do. Dogs are fine. They can be playful and fun. But I don’t like it when dogs jump up and put their paws on me. Or when they have to stick their noses in my crotch or slobber on me. I don’ t like dogs licking me...

A Patron of the Arts Is Gone


When I think of the Koch Brothers, I think of Charles and David and the behemoth Koch Industries. My impression of the Koch Brothers: ruthless capitalists and libertarians. Conservative and greedy polluters. I didn’t know of the eldest Koch brother, Frederick, whose obit I just read in the New York Times: “Frederick Koch, Who Spurned Family Business, Dies at 86.” It was this...

Time for a Library Visit?


For me, the best part of my local library is the book collection. There’s also music and video content, and a Library of Things: games, museum passes, even fishing poles. There are popular programs for kids, teens, and adults. There’s a full schedule of book discussions, school visits, mentoring, volunteering. I do some writing at the library (but not this post). I’ve decided...

Six-Word Memoirs


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.


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