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A Comment on Corporate Culture

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I know these two companies. They have vastly different cultures. The first company has deep respect for its employees and encourages them to be their authentic selves. They offer support and resources for LGBTQ+ employees and for employees from all races and ethnicities. They celebrate Pride. They offer flexible work options. You can see how they respect their employees in everything they do...

I Held a Baby

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I am asked if I want to hold her and I offer my arms and cradle the baby. She is tiny and buttery warm. Her eyes are closed and she is new and exquisite. Weightless and yet entirely substantial. I stare at her like a dream. All around me, her parents and family beam like full moons. A powerful sense of well-being flows over me. A smile arcs across my face. Immediately, instinctively, I begin a...

And I Call Myself a Writer!

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I’ve been a writer most of my career and managed to cobble together a living doing so. I’ve had novels published. I’ve written a zillion words for corporate clients. I’ve taught college-level writing. I’ve mentored other writers and have edited other writers’ work. You’d think at this point I’d have a high degree of competency with the English language. Maybe even consider myself a master...

Another Attack on Health Care

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Kelley v. Becerra, a lawsuit before a federal district court judge in my “favorite” state—Texas!—threatens the section of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requiring insurers and group health plans to cover more than 100 preventive health services—with no additional cost to consumers. Preventive care coverage is one of the ACA’s most popular and recognizable benefits, with health plans covering...

Happy Birthday, Irene Klein

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July 27, 2022. My mom would be 98 today, an age few people live to become. I can understand and accept that, of course. But she died at age 58, which was a lot harder to accept and understand. When someone has been gone for so long, you only have distant memories to recall, the same ones on a repeating reel. Maybe that’s why I write about my mom more than my readers might want to hear, but...

It Couldn’t Happen Here

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Or could it? This is the question posed in Philip Roth’s 2004 novel “The Plot Against America” and further explored in the 2020 HBO limited series (six episodes) by the same name. Roth imagines an alternate history when American aviator and suspected Nazi-sympathizer Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election. The result is a turn toward fascism in the...

What’s Wrong With This Logo?

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Logo design can be a complex endeavor. You need to marry shapes, colors, tones, and typography into a single unified whole that conveys personality, reflects your identity, is relevant to your audience, and pleases the powers-that-be. What I call the most recent “Teutonic logo blunder” comes from the East Side Elementary School in Marietta, Georgia, which recently unveiled its new look...

To Niagara Falls — And Back

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I said I was going to take the 50-mile round trip bike ride from my cottage in Thunder Bay to Niagara Falls and back. But as the day of reckoning approached, I began to get have doubts. I’ve never ridden 50 miles on a bicycle. I was afraid my quads would give out or my butt would rub raw or my back would seize up and I’d end up having to call Harriet to come pick me up somewhere along the Niagara...

I Had to Write a Dystopian Novel

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Genre fiction fits into defined categories in order to appeal to readers who groove on that particular type of story. Fantasy, crime, science fiction, thriller, horror, and romance are popular genres. I never thought I’d dabble in genre fiction. My other novels (Stash, Clean Break) can only be considered general fiction. Not literary enough for the highbrow, not formulaic enough to fit into a...

Banned Books–“The Bluest Eye”

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The “State of America’s Libraries Report,” concluded that the year 2021 represented the largest number of attempted book bans in public and school libraries since the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom began tracking challenges 20 years ago. The leading initiators of book challenges are parents, patrons, administrators, and religious and political groups. Only six...

“They Shot Sonny on the Causeway.”

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They Shot Sonny on the Causeway The actor James Caan died yesterday. I first saw him in “Brian’s Song” in the role of Brian Piccolo, the Chicago Bears running back and teammate of Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams), in a highly emotional movie about Piccolo’s death from cancer. Could that be the first movie that brought tears to my eyes? In “Misery,” he played the role of every...

Geese in a Graveyard

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This time the geese are talking to me. They’re everywhere. Along the shore, among the gravestones, on the driving path, in front of my car. I have to come to a full stop not to run them over. I visit this cemetery once in a while to think of my mom whose ashes we spread in the lake. Today, because of the geese, because of their strange, insistent behavior, and because among all these Canada geese...

“Mercy Street” — Jennifer Haigh

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Jennifer Haigh’s “Mercy Street” was published this past Spring in what has proved to be an exquisite sense of timing. My reading of it also happened to be very timely, given recent Supreme Court rulings against women. Claudia, 43, divorced, no children, is the novel’s protagonist. She is a counselor at Mercy Street, a women’s health center that provides a range of health services including...

My Abortion Story

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A friend asked how I was doing. Usually, we exchange a casual, familiar tune: I’m good, how are you? But this time I answered, “Angry and despairing.” That got his attention. “About the Supreme Court rulings.” Guns. Prayer. Abortion. This is about abortion. I can’t tell you how much I support a woman’s right to body autonomy, and how disgusted and worried I am about what our country is becoming...

Facebook at its Finest

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I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook, for the usual reasons. I’ve got nothing to brag about. I don’t post proud-parent pictures, glamorize my perfect vacation (not that I’ve taken one recently), or spout about my life philosophy. I’m also not a shameless self-promoter on Facebook, although I do occasionally post a subliminal message about how much someone might enjoy one of my books...

A Summer Blockbuster Streaks Across the Sky

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My friend Jimmy texted me and said it was $7 night at the Spectrum and did I want to go to the movies. What film did he want to see? Top Gun: Maverick. Uh, no. Not my kind of movie. But my friend said his son saw the movie and it was incredible and the action sequences were some of the best he’s seen. Plus, it’s got a 99 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s almost...

Busy on the Summer Solstice

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Lucky me, I was awake at 5:13 a.m. this morning when the summer solstice started in the eastern time zone in the Northern hemisphere. At that moment, the earth arrived at the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt toward the Sun. The result is the longest day—and shortest night—of the calendar year. I was too busy to make the trip to Stonehenge for the summer solstice...

Dad Lessons I’ve Learned

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I’m reposting this from an earlier date in honor of all fathers on this Father’s Day . . . 1. Show Up Regardless of whether you live with them or not, a father’s job is to show up whenever possible and be a positive force in the lives of your children. My kids are young adults now and I’ve been fortunate to be present for most of their journey from infancy to adulthood. You’ve got to...

This Artist Friend of Mine

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1990, Santa Cruz, CA: One of the other waiters pointed her out to me. That’s Linde. She always comes alone and sits at table twelve and drinks at least two margaritas. She has a German accent, loves to talk,  full of energy. Once or twice a week she comes in. I seat her at table twelve. I make sure she gets her drink. We talk about the menu and she’ll try anything that’s new from the chef...

How to Leave a Party

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I was at a social gathering in a bar with people I hadn’t seen in a long time—50 years! It was a reunion of my elementary school. We were a big enough group I could go unnoticed for a bit, and small enough that I had a chance to speak with everyone, share a few memories, and catch up on what we were doing. I enjoyed seeing my old classmates. Most of them I could still recognize. I also enjoyed my...

David Klein

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

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