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Something Must Change

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I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about change and I’ve reached an obvious conclusion: change is inevitable. It is the defining factor that proves we are alive. There is an endless number of illuminating quotes from experts, writers, and gurus about change, but one I came across I’ve known forever; it appears on the ceiling in dentists’ offices. I’m now looking at it from a new angle—the...

The Car Ride

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I hated that people thought my father was crazy, because the guys were right: That kind of stuff could be hereditary. It can get mixed up in your genes. I could be next. To make matters worse, about a month after the McGuire thing my father showed up at school one morning at nine o’clock. I’d only been there an hour. He had the vice-principal come and get me out of class, making like there...

Even the Mentally Toughest Go Down

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I settled in yesterday afternoon to watch the men’s tennis final of the U.S. Open, 34-year-old Novak Djokovic from Serbia vs. 25-year-old Daniil Medvedev of Russia. It was going to be a historic day in tennis. Djokovic was on the cusp of completing the first grand slam in more than 50 years—winning all four of the major tennis tournaments in a calendar year. He’d already won the Australian Open...

Little Free Library, Version 2

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Six years ago I launched my first Little Free Library. I was one of the first free libraries in town. Since then, these libraries have been sprouting up all over the place. There must be at least a dozen, maybe fifteen, just in Delmar. It’s hard to keep track of all the competition. So I’ve upped my game and built a new version. My original library had been showing signs of fatigue. One of the...

EVERYMAN, Philip Roth

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Philip Roth, toward the end of his writing career (and life; he battled many health problems), wrote a number of short novels. Everyman, which focuses on aging, sickness, regret, and death, is one of the grimmest. The novel opens at the protagonist’s funeral, then cycles back and tells the story of his life: he gave up the dream of being an artist to work as an advertising man. He was married...

Water Investigator Reported Missing

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The aqueducts originate in three locations: Duluth, on Lake Superior; Milwaukee, on Lake Michigan; and Sandusky, on Lake Erie. Each system of pipelines, tunnels, and open-air channels transfers water east to west. The  Duluth pipeline feeds the Sacramento River, the Milwaukee line empties into the Colorado River, and the Sandusky sector ends at the Rio Grande. A half-dozen 1-gigawatt pumping...

GREAT CIRCLE, Maggie Shipstead

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This is one of those epic 600-page novels I don’t pick up very often and in this case, I couldn’t put it down. GREAT CIRCLE begins in dramatic fashion early in the twentieth century when Maggie and Jamie Graves, infant twins, are rescued from a sinking ocean liner by their father, the ship’s captain. The father, dubbed Captain Cowardice, is sentenced to prison for not going down with the ship...

Things Other Than Me

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Every so often, not very often, I get out of my own head and observe. Not to gather information and form impressions and make assessments, and not to judge and plot and scheme, but to leave all of that behind and do nothing other than experience sunlight glitter on a stream in a way I’ve never noticed. It’s only a moment or two of my attention but for that moment my breath stops when I realize...

A Surprise at the Cottage

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I had begun to fear the worst: a family of raccoons had moved in. Or our cottage had become a bat house. Or mold clung like moss to the walls. There would be standing water in the basement, the foundation would be crumbling. Finally, the border to Canada opened. I made the trip up to Thunder Bay. My first impression on seeing the cottage was relief: it looked the same as ever from the outside...

Another Year in the Books

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Today marks two years I’ve been fiddling around with this blogging thing. That’s not really an anniversary cake. I’ve co-opted Harriet’s birthday cake again. She baked it herself, but at least I made the icing and frosted the cake. Taking a couple of hours (or less or more) to write a blog post is so unlike the two-year trial of writing a novel that it’s hard to...

Where to Draw the Line

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If you’ve been reading this blog, you know Ask Dave has had some back and forth dialog with Andy about the sexual harassment allegations against him. I have not gone easy on Andy and suggested he resign, which he has done. In announcing his resignation, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “In my mind, I have never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the...

Welcome to the Neighborhood

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A few weeks ago the sale on the house across the street closed but no one’s moved in yet. We’re wondering who will be our new neighbors. We look out the window for activity. I might have spotted an elderly couple going in and out one day. Julia said she saw a young mom with a baby and a car seat, along with a couple of Jeeps in the driveway. So, a young family perhaps. I’ve been hoping for that...

California Dreamin’

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August 12, 1989, SANTA CRUZ, CA. The morning begins like most August mornings here—cool and muffled, the fog a layer of insulation over the town, the horn at the harbor tolling a deep note every ten seconds. By midday, the fog has lifted and the beaches are filling up. Monterey Bay is flecked with whitecaps and the glint of sun. The temperature will reach 74 degrees today. As my friend says...

Dear Dave: Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown

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Dear Dave: I really have nowhere else to turn at this point, so I’m writing to you again. Everyone is abandoning me—I mean everyone. My most trusted confidantes are like rats deserting a sinking ship, my executive secretary has quit, and even my old friends Nancy and Joe are calling on me to resign. The media is calling me a power-crazed misogynist. Me of all people! Okay, I’ll admit to a bit of...

Manufactured Lies: A Strategy for Supremacy

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I’m really pissed off about the thumping that critical race theory is taking from its enemies. Funny thing is, about a year ago few people outside of academia had ever heard of critical race theory (CRT). Now, almost everyone has, because the conservative right wing has labeled it subversive and threatening (Threatening to what? White supremacy). CRT got its start around 1980 when researchers and...

Favorite Color

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Some days pass in a whirl of imagination and others are taskmasters hounding me and I get near the end and not once have I taken a moment for beauty, but if I’m lucky and I remember and my timing is right I look a little outside myself and the world shakes me by shoulders and says pay attention fool, the sunset is your favorite color.

The Desire and the Need and the Wanting

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I recently took a gander through my writing journals of the past fifteen or so years. I have both notebooks and online documents, but because my handwriting is almost illegible, trying to read the notebooks isn’t worth the effort unless I’m desperate to locate something specific.  The online journals are the nerve center. It’s where the fast typing takes place, legible sentences are...

FALLING

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Although it’s been almost seven years since my father died from Alzheimer’s, I’m only now researching on a deeper level how dementia is portrayed in the arts. Years ago, I read the bestselling novel depicting dementia—Still Alice. I also highly recommend the film, The Savages, with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney as adult siblings dealing with a very ill parent. It’s got both humor...

Adam Vanek, I Knew You Well

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CLEAN BREAK by David Klein

Lately I’ve been thinking about a character, Adam, from CLEAN BREAK. He suffered from a gambling addiction, ended up in a rehab center, lost his family, was now living with his parents and trying to get his life in order. But it was hard. He relapsed. He was in debt and in trouble and heartbroken. I had so much empathy for him. I knew him, this figment from my imagination. From CLEAN BREAK:...

David Klein

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

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