My Favorite Mountains


Back when I was focusing on hiking all 46 Adirondack high peaks that reached over 4,000 feet, that singular mission kept me focused on the biggest mountains and the most grueling hikes. After checking off about half of the high peaks, I abandoned my quest. I realized there were too many mountains that required more than a single day’s hike to conquer, meaning I would have to carry camping...

A Library Return


The doorbell rang. It was two chimes—ding-dong—which meant the front door. A single ding is the breezeway door. Twenty-seven years in my house and I can still mix that up. But I can write Pi out to ten decimal places, so I’m cool. A man stands on my front stoop, rocking on the balls of his feet, as if about to launch himself to chase a ball. He holds a book in his hand, half hidden behind his leg...

The Sugar Maple One Year Later


About a year ago I wrote “Long Live the Sugar Maple,” about our imperiled tree. This is an update. First, a bit of background: it must have been about twenty years ago that we had the sugar maple planted out front. I’ve always loved the sugar maple’s shape and iconic fall colors and the sweetness of its syrup.  It’s the official tree of New York State. I’ve planted plenty of...

Curriculum Changes


Where I live, for multiple days in the past month the air has been hazy and scented with smoke and the sky cast in a menacing sepia tone. It was like something straight out of a dystopian novel. Huge storms have battered many parts of the world. July was the hottest month ever recorded. The world is on fire. For decades, scientists have warned us about the dangers of a warming planet and climate...

Artificial Intelligence is Coming for Me


A couple of years ago, a writer friend told me that soon artificial intelligence will be writing better fiction than we can. I wasn’t sure if I believed him, but I didn’t forget his words. On the bright side, it prompted me to write two new novels: The Culling and In Flight. Perhaps I was trying to get something accomplished before I became obsolete. That day might be approaching. Generative AI...

The Multigenerational Household


Almost 60 million adults in the U.S. are living in multigenerational family households, according to data from The Pew Research Center. It’s four times the number that did so in 1971. The percentage share also more than doubled, to 18% of the U.S. population.  Disclosure: I live in one of these multigenerational family households. Both of our young adult employed college graduates are living in...

The Cottage Life Balancing Act


My siblings and I jointly own a summer cottage in Canada that my father left to us in his will. Growing up in Buffalo, we spent our summers in Canada, in our early years at a place we called Three Acres upon which my father and his buddies hand-built six very rustic cottages in the 1950s. Our current cottage Old cottage Almost fifty years later my dad upgraded to a new place—bigger, with reliable...

Truth and Fiction Collide


It has to be a coincidence. Randomness on display. One world is fiction and the other is real. But something just happened to me that is eerily reminiscent of what happened to the character Robert Besch in my novel In Flight. In the book, after the news spreads that the Plane-Crash Hero had suffered from a dissociative fugue, all kinds of strangers begin contacting Robert. From the novel: There...

Opposite Encounters on A Bike


1. I’m on my bike riding through a residential neighborhood, zipping down one of the only hills in Bethlehem to gain enough speed to climb up the other side. Ahead of me, I spot two other riders, a man and a woman heading in my direction. They’re on my side of the road. Someone has to move to the other side, and it should be them. They just keep on coming in my direct path. I take a quick look...

Every Window is a World


I’m mesmerized by kinetic art—the sculpture that spins, the mobile that sways—and because of that I’m compelled to hang windows in our yard. Every window is a world, and when a window is suspended, when a window floats or sways in the breeze, another facet of that world is yours to behold. My first kinetic window I sourced from the double-hung I saved from our bathroom remodel. It had the old...

The Courts are Lonely


Within walking distance or a short bike ride from our place in Thunder Bay are a number of tennis courts. I pass by them and am reminded of another era, the 1970s when most of these courts were probably installed and tennis was booming on the global stage. The big stars back then were Bjorn Borg, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Billie Jean King, and Chris Everett. Bob Klein, serving big...

Along the Shore of Thunder Bay


Where Thunder Bay comes to a rocky point I came upon a cairn along the shore. I’d say this is an intentional design—a creature on sturdy legs with arms spread taking in the wide expanse of the lake. It’s a finished work, but I’m tempted to add my own flair, to say I was here too and admired your art. If you look closely you can see what I did, a little weight for each...

What Sign Are You?


My transformation started innocently enough. I was scrolling through my news feed and came across this headline: “5 Zodiac Signs That Thrive Under Pressure.” The last time I paid attention to my zodiac sign was probably fifty years ago—I’m a Capricorn (December 25)—when I would read my horoscope every morning in the long-defunct Buffalo morning newspaper, The Courier Express. It was fun. Not to...

Confronting the Existential Moment


Ah, Sunday morning. Do you ever get sucked into one of those existential moments? When you’re deep in the throes of contemplation about the nature of human existence—all its mystery, uncertainty, and complexity. Its pleasure and suffering. Its beauty and horror. And you’re compelled to evaluate your role as the architect of your brief and minuscule life? They can be a struggle, these existential...

Dining Out Isn’t What it Used to Be


It’s been ages since the four of us have gone out for dinner, but finally the stars align and we decide to go out to celebrate some family milestones. We choose a restaurant with a good reputation that we’ve been to before and that works for all of our tastes. Some of us have a cocktail, and we order two appetizers to share and four entrees. So far, so good, except Harriet’s cocktail, although...

David Klein

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


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