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A Dish Only I Like


One consolation prize of being the only one home and cooking dinner for just myself is I can make one of my favs that no one else in my household likes: pasta puttanesca. A working-class recipe from Italy, “puttanesca” is an adjective derived from the word “prostitute.” It’s a lively, intensely flavored dish made with tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, olives, capers, and chili pepper flakes. I love...



This time of year when the trees leaf out I remember the American elm in front of my house when I was a kid. Its limbs flared toward the sky like an elegant vase, the branches and leaves spreading a canopy as wide as the tree’s height. The flat, egg-shaped seeds covered our sidewalk and driveway. Then Dutch elm disease made its way to Buffalo, and the elms lining our street withered and the city...

A Challenging Love Triangle


The love triangle fascinates me. It’s a classic storytelling device because it comes with built-in drama, tension, and excitement. It radiates sex, secrets, and heartache. What more can you want from a story?  Rick, Ilsa, and Laslo in Casablanca. Jay, Daisy, and Tom in The Great Gatsby. Vampire, Werewolf, and Bella in the Twilight series. The love triangle never stops delivering. I’ve been...

Love Is All You Need?


I heard this story second hand, and have been thinking about it for months. A woman I know: her daughter told her she was feeling depressed, disjointed. The daughter was living a coast away at college for the first time, finding her place, nineteen or twenty years old. I’ve met her a few times and remember a smart, sensitive, and savvy young adult. What the mom said to her daughter next is what...

2,000 Consecutive Days


I’m not a dedicated social media user. I have a LinkedIn account but use it only to keep tabs on a few professional contacts. No Instagram, no TikTok, and no other platform that I happen not to know about because I’m too old or not cool enough. I fiddle with Facebook, mostly as a lurker and tracking old friends, with the occasional shameless self-promotion to persuade someone, anyone, to buy one...

I Looked Up From My Desk


Day after day I get preoccupied with petty concerns, and then a shift in the light has a way of nudging me to get out of my head and look up from my desk because there’s something I should see right outside my window, it will last for but a few moments in a world that keeps turning, so take a break and experience the wonder, then go back to your little problems if you must.

Annual 420 Magazine Appreciation Post

STASH by David Klein

April 20 (4/20) is weed day. The day got its name in the 1970s in California when a group of high school students met after school around 4:20 to get high and 4/20 became a code phrase they could use in front of their parents. Clever stoner types, these high school kids. The reputation of 4/20 spread from there. 420 Magazine, founded in 1993, has a mission around creating cannabis awareness. I...

Blooms, Windows, Chimes


Three straight days of incessant rain and I’ve decided if there is a fourth I will have to consider building an ark. But the fourth day dawns in a shroud of fog and later in the morning the sun melts the mist away and the garden pops before my eyes. The daffodils debut and the one good hyacinth bursts in purple perfume, the vinca open their periwinkle blooms on a backdrop of green, and the...

Cover of My Next Novel


Dear Readers: For those of you who have been anxiously awaiting my next book, you will soon be rewarded! THE SUITOR will be published in May just in time for you to have a great summer read. I’m pleased to share the cover with you today. Every good story answers a key question. THE SUITOR: What does a father do when he vehemently opposes the young man his daughter is determined to marry...

The Juice is Gone


It’s my first job in the corporate world. I work at a software company called MapInfo, a supposedly cool tech company. And yet today there’s a television on in the cafeteria and there must be a hundred people gathered around it to watch the verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder trial that had captured our entire nation’s attention. Former NFL star, ad pitchman, and film actor Simpson had been...

Sunbeams Aren’t Made Like Kurt


You learn a little more about this guy and you might not be so disdainful of the “tortured artist” cliché. No, this post is not about me. Kurt Cobain was a wildly talented musician and lyricist, and he fought his depression and addiction demons to the death—his own—joining the “27 Club” of musicians and other artists who died at that age: Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix...

Ode to an Ice Storm


First the freezing rain fell and the world turned to glass until the temperature climbed just enough and the ice became rain, just rain, torrential and unrelenting for hour upon hour under heavy iron skies until the thermometer dropped back down and the rain froze again and the snow soon followed with jaw-dropping ambition, the inches quickly piling up, nature flexing its heavy muscles, and then...

A Writer of Very, Very Short Stories


I once again got to take advantage of living in the same community that is home to the New York State Writer’s Institute. I haven’t been attending many of their events this year because the writers they’ve been scheduling haven’t been that compelling to me. Just like with the publishing industry, the Writer’s Institute is placing significant emphasis on writers and voices that have historically...

I’ve Got My Father’s Longines


My father, Bob (1927), and Harriet’s father, Joe (1926), were born a year apart. They both served in the Pacific in World War II. They both went to college on the GI bill that paid their way. They both married, led professional lives, and raised families—Bob in Buffalo and Joe in Brooklyn. They both lived into their eighties. They also had almost identical Longines wristwatches from the same era...

Not Exactly Winter Hiking


March in the Northeast mountains is known as mud season: melting snow, heavy streams, mashed potato mud, and stretches of hardened ice on the trails. Everyone says stay away. But we couldn’t. The day was too beautiful. Hunter Mountain is the second tallest peak in the Catskills, but it’s easily accessible by hiking a trail up the backside of the mountain. We were prepared for mud...

Was This a Senior Moment, or Just a Shivery One?


Owen said I had a senior moment. I’m old enough to qualify for one. But I think what happened was more due to environmental conditions. I flew back alone from Florida last week, while Harriet stayed on, and I arrived in Albany on a dark, cold evening, with temperatures around twenty degrees and the winds gusting at twenty-five miles an hour, making the wind chill 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit (using the...

“The Zone of Interest”


About “The Zone of Interest,” long-time movie critic Manohla Dargis at the New York Times wrote, “Jonathan Glazer has made a hollow, self-aggrandizing art-film exercise set in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.” I couldn’t disagree more. This film, loosely based on the plot of a novel by British writer Martin Amis, packed an emotional punch whose pain lingers in me days later. I’m more convinced...

A Lesson in Forest Management


There was a bit of sadness at the estate today—two trees had to be taken down. A mulberry and a red maple. Both of them were already mature trees when we moved here 28 years ago. I loved them both. The shy mulberry stayed mostly hidden and out of the way in our side-yard wilds, but it was a double-trunk tree, and one of the trunks was split into two sections, both leaning badly, one capable of...

The Tragedy of Oscar-nominated Short Films


I tell myself I won’t but I do it every year: I go to see the Oscar-nominated Live Action Short Films that my local theater shows. I say I’m not going because invariably the films are extremely depressing and tragic, as if short films (most are thirty minutes or less) are required to be about death, war, tragedy, and trauma to be relevant. While there is no such requirement, again this year...

Tree Trunk In My Way


For someone who often willingly glues himself to his desk, I’m a physical, movement-oriented person. I need to exercise, do things, play things. I like to compete. I love to test my limits. And as lucky as I’ve been and as devoted as I am to my fitness, my limits are a lot closer than they used to be. The bar is no longer getting higher. It’s only dropping lower. About two years ago I wrote about...

David Klein

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


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