CategoryPersonal

My Sauce is Comfort Food

M

I learned to make sauce from my mother, who learned from her mother, two women of Italian descent who knew how to cook without looking in a book. We’d have sauce at least twice a week growing up: spaghetti and meatballs, usually, often with garlicky braciole rolled with twine and simmered right in the pot. A variation used penne or rigatoni instead of spaghetti. A special occasion called...

This is Called Doubt

T

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 disparaged...

Today in a Cemetery

T

I visited Lee, Massachusetts today and found myself in the Fairmount Cemetery. It’s an old graveyard, with sections of leaning, faded granite slabs, many greened with lichen. Names and dates you’d need a rubbing to read. Other, newer sections were populated with obelisks and polished slabs. I walked among the gravestones and the air was cold and occasionally the sun peeked out and I...

Which One is Better–the Book or the Movie?

W

The dictum says the book is always better than the movie. Consider: you read a great novel, get absorbed in the fictional world, accompany the characters on their journeys. Your imagination creates every face, pictures every scene. You lose yourself for pages and pages. You loved the book. You hate the movie. Or, at best, the movie is okay. They did a pretty good job repurposing this incredible...

I’m the Curator of a Little Free Library

I

A perfect autumn day for the library. Harriet gave me the idea to sponsor a Little Free Library. She seems to know when I need a project to focus on, and this one fit me well: I’m an author, an avid reader, and we have many full bookshelves in our house—books as furniture, we call that. I have just enough skill and an assortment of tools to believe I could design and build my own library rather...

A Fitting Epitaph

A

A favorite place of mine is the Five Rivers Environmental Center just down the road from where I live. When the kids were young we would hike the many trails, catch frogs in the streams, and visit the educational center. When by myself now, I run on the trail network, chasing deer and getting chased by Canada geese. There’s one spot I always visit. A small sign with an arrow points from the...

My Love for Pecha Kucha

M

One advantage of living near colleges and universities is that innovative galleries such as the Opalka Gallery at Sage College host Pecha Kucha nights. Pecha Kucha is a unique presentation format: you get 20 slides, each slide stays on screen for 20 seconds and then automatically advances to the next. You get exactly 6:40 to present (20 slides x 20 sec/per = 400 seconds = 6 minutes 40 seconds)...

Art as Nightmare

A

I recently visited Art Omi, a sculpture and architecture park in Columbia County. We were able to ride bikes through the 120-acre park, on dirt paths and grassy slopes, stopping near each installation. The art was original and thought-provoking, the early autumn weather warm and colorful. I’ve got family with me. It’s one of those days you’re just lucky to have. Near the end of...

What I Think of Refugees and Immigrants

W

They come from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Myanmar. From Nigeria and Yemen and the Congo. Venezuela and Columbia. They are refugees and immigrants. They are in the United States because they have been lucky enough to escape a previous and often dangerous life to start a new and hopefully better life. For hours every day, they work on their English skills so they can learn to shop, communicate...

7.1 Loma Prieta Earthquake, 30 Years Later

7

October 17, 1989. Some dates you never forget. I was living in Santa Cruz, CA when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck. The world shook. My world shook. Ironically, at the moment the earthquake began, 5:07 pm, I was helping move my ex-girlfriend into a new apartment because we had broken up after living together for four years. It was a devastating moment. We ran out into the driveway. I member...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating watcher of movies and series.

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