Fiction, Writing, Articles, Essays, Reviews.

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ON EARTH WE’RE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS, Ocean Vuong

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Maybe it’s time for bookstores to devote shelf space to a growing genre: Autofiction. As the name implies, autofiction is autobiographical fiction, starring the author, often written in the first-person point of view. There are many examples: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s epic account of his life, “My Struggle.” Rachel Kusk’s triology whose protagonist is a novelist. Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick...

My Love for Pecha Kucha

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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)...

Food Truck

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FOOD TRUCK David Klein None of us mentioned the food truck. Too much else required our attention. We had urgent stories to post about the seven confirmed dead and the eleven still missing. We had reports to write about the remnants of the hurricane that dumped six inches of rain in less than twenty–four hours and lifted the rivers and streams to record levels causing the Schoharie Creek in Fort...

Art as Nightmare

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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...

In Praise of Clichés and Jargon

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Clichés are worn out, overused expressions that often express a popular or common idea. We all know them and understand their meanings. Therefore, it’s easy to reach for clichés when writing or speaking. “Light as a feather.” “Blind as a bat.” But as writers, we must purge clichés from our work. George Orwell once said, “Never use a metaphor, simile or figure of speech which you are used to...

“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie”

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El Camino offers a tremendously entertaining farewell to the Breaking Bad series. Punctuated by outstanding performances of Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) and Jesse Plemons (Todd), the film is sure to satisfy fans of the series—who will likely be the only ones to watch it, or at least “get” it. The movie picks up right where the series left off, with Jesse escaping in Todd’s El Camino from the...

What I Think of Refugees and Immigrants

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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

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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...

Write for Expression, Not Recognition?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about artistic expression and its relationship to public recognition. A primary reason I write is to express myself. Whether I’m writing a novel or a journal entry, I’m trying to say something. Its meaning isn’t always clear to me, especially in the beginning, but eventually, through writing, I get there. It’s enormously satisfying to finish a piece of writing and feel...

Writing is Rewriting, Except for This

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See that photo? Those are all the drafts and notecards and spreadsheets–the mountain of writing and writing tools that finally led to that much smaller final product: my novel, STASH. In all my novels, I’ve rewritten scenes dozens of times. I’ve revised every sentence. I’ve drastically altered plots. Hatched and killed subplots. My characters: their motivations change...

We Need a Better Term than Whistleblower

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The definition of whistleblower in the Miriam-Webster Dictionary is: one who reveals something covert or who informs against another. Within that definition, there is nothing that implies ethics, courage or morality on the part of the whistleblower. There is nothing that puts a positive spin on the complex act of whistleblowing, that recognizes the whistleblower is attempting to expose wrongdoing...

“Official Secrets”

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I just read a New York Times news lead that President Trump said whoever provided information to the Ukraine whistleblower was a spy and guilty of treason. And, coincidentally or not, last night I saw “Official Secrets,” a whistleblower thriller starring the magnetic and convincing Keira Knightley as Katharine Gun, a true-story British Intelligence staffer who blew the whistle about...

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...

“Once Upon a Time . . . In Hollywood”

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I revere Quentin Tarantino. He is one of my favorite writer/directors, and “Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood” keeps him firmly on top that pedestal. Ostensibly about an aging washed-up actor, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), and his stunt double/personal assistant, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), the film recreates 1969 with detail, authenticity, and visual splendor. The cars, the movie marquees, the...

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...

David Klein

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

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