CategoryPersonal

Dad Lessons I’ve Learned

D

In honor of all fathers . . . 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 make time for them. 2. Be interested What you’re interested in is not...

She’ll Give Until the “Safe is Empty”

S

About eight years ago I picked up this novel called TRAPS, about four very different women whose lives intersect in a collision of fates—a security guard, an actress, a prostitute, and a recovering alcoholic. Anyone who’s read my novels STASH and CLEAN BREAK knows I have a thing for these disparate yet connected stories and lives. I still remember how much I appreciated the novel—it was deft and...

Back in Boston

B

I’d almost forgotten over the past year how much I love a fine restaurant experience. Creative food, unique cocktails, attentive service, the company of close friends—that’s a lot to savor. Plus from my years of experience working in restaurants I’m aware of and interested in all the details: the layout and logistics, the way the staff works together, how the table is set, even (especially?) what...

If You’re Feeling Woebegone, Try Woebot

I

“Hi David, How are you feeling today?” So begins my chat with Woebot (quite the name!), an artificial intelligence-based chatbot that provides mental health therapy. I can write something in the text box or choose from a long list of feelings: anxious, depressed, sad, frustrated, happy (although who’s feeling happy if they’re using a therapy chatbot?), and many others. I don’t have a particular...

Children Are Cutting Off Their Parents

C

I just read a troubling article in The Economist: “How many American children have cut contact with their parents?” Quite a few: “. . . Familial estrangement seems to be widespread in America. The first large-scale nationwide survey, recently conducted by Cornell University, found that 27 percent of adult Americans are estranged from a close family member.” The actual percentage is likely higher...

Keep Going, Keep Going

K

That’s Fred in the center of the photo, Number 8, leaning into the first turn of his motocross race, just seconds after a thunderous start and sprint out of the starting gate. Fumes and dirt flying. Combined engines like a jet taking off. A younger man’s game, right? No. Fred is my age–and he’s still a beast on a motocross bike. He came in second in his class on a hot day...

Who Needs Handlebars?

W

How better to accept and appreciate living in the suburbs than riding your bike through quiet neighborhoods of tasteful houses and smooth, paved roads, no hands, lilacs and lawnmowers in the air, sitting high above your handlebars, pedaling, arms stretched out, balancing even through the tiny thrill of leaning into a corner and turning onto the next pretty block, no hands, no hands. What a...

Team Player or Solo Contributor?

T

Someone criticized me for not being a good team player. And yet I’ve always liked the idea of collaborating with others. In school, I liked being on the crew team and hockey teams. I like the camaraderie of playing basketball with the guys. I like brainstorming with others to generate ideas and solve problems. I once co-wrote a screenplay with a creative partner and it was one of the best writing...

Yoga Returns to Alabama

Y

I’ve never been enamored with the South, but I developed a fondness for Birmingham, Alabama after visiting multiple times while Julia was living there for much of the past year. So I was pleased to hear this week that Alabama lifted its ban on teaching yoga in K-12 public schools—and aghast such a ban had existed for almost thirty years. Why the ban on yoga? Because of pressure from Christian...

A Tree Grows On Woodridge Road

A

Fifteen, maybe eighteen years ago when the kids were young—so hard to remember every milestone—we planted a six-foot-high sugar maple and said, Oh, we’ll see it grow tall and beautiful someday, and sure enough the tree must be thirty feet high now, healthy and gorgeous in every season. Such a fine tree is our sugar maple, living proof we were here and time has passed. And this year I planted one...

Help Wanted: Better Pay

H

It’s a perfect Saturday afternoon with the sun shining and we’re strolling along the avenue looking for a place to have lunch. We’re vaccinated and eating out again and starting to feel hopeful the world might be on the mend. The first restaurant we stop in has a slew of picnic tables outside and a bar open to the breeze and hardly anyone there, but they can’t seat us for thirty minutes despite...

Hard Work Beats Talent . . .

H

I attended hundreds of youth hockey games when Owen was playing. One of the many rinks he played at had a large banner hanging from the rafters that said, “Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard.” The message made sense to me because it offered some hope and a way to level the playing field for the less naturally gifted against the talented. Owen wasn’t moved as much–he...

Tulip Time

T

Washington Park was in splendor today. Tulips symbolize deep and meaningful love, did you know? You can tell by their sturdiness and vibrancy and perfection of shape. The way they shimmy in the breeze like life itself. The way they fight to keep their petals for as long as nature allows. What I love about tulips are their graceful cups, their petals of myriad hues, their hearty green stalks and...

In Praise of My Weedy Lawn

I

Although my neighbors—they of the lawn as green and manicured as a fairway at Augusta—might disagree, my lawn is looking its best right now. It’s resplendent with golden dandelions and tiny creeping charlie purple blossoms and delicate white clover flowers. There is a reason for this: I will not put down weedkiller. All those pristine suburban lawns you see can only get that way through the...

Introverts, I’ve Got Your Back

I

Olga Khazan, a writer for The Atlantic who published an opinion piece in the New York Times last month that pissed me off, states “the person who emerges from quarantine doesn’t have to be the same old you.” For those tired of being their same old selves, this might be good news: You can change and it shouldn’t take too long. Khazan goes on: “Researchers have found that adults can change the five...

David Klein

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

Novels

Subscribe to this Blog

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Get in touch